Thursday, October 29, 2009

Color Lines book review: Other: An Asian & Pacific Islander Prisoners’ Anthology

Below is my new review that appears in the November/December issue of ColorLines Magazine.

Other: An Asian & Pacific Islander Prisoners’ Anthology (AK Press) is an impressive book featuring writing and art by 22 people imprisoned in the U.S. The publisher, the Asian Prisoner Support Committee, writes that it “works with API (Asian and Pacific Islander) prisoners to educate the broader community about the growing number of APIs in the U.S. being imprisoned, detained and deported.”

Other contributes significantly to both prison-abolitionist and ethnic-studies literature, each of which has badly neglected this issue. In the preface, journalist Helen Zia argues that the resulting invisibility of API prisoners extends to the “mainstream media and ethnic media alike,” where they essentially “do not exist.” While the arrest rate among API youth is increasing, APIs still do have a lower arrest and incarceration rate than other racial groups; however, in 2004, the Services and Advocacy for Asian Youth Consortium in San Francisco reported that the API conviction rate is 28 percent higher than other racial groups.

The plight of API prisoners who were legal residents with green cards at the time of their arrest is illustrated by the story of coeditor Eddy Zheng. When granted parole in March 2005, Zheng was ordered deported and was immediately transferred to immigration detention. He promptly appealed the deportation order but was held in detention until February 2007, when he was released after an outpouring of public support. As of this writing, his deportation appeal was pending at the Ninth Circuit Court.


Monday, October 05, 2009

Book Review: "Anarchy Alive!: Anti-authoritarian Politics from Practice to Theory"


When Israeli anarchist Uri Gordon first moved to Europe in the fall of 2000 to begin his doctoral studies at Oxford University, he was planning to study environmental ethics. However, Gordon explains that “the IMF/World Bank protests in Prague had just happened, the fresh buzz of anti-capitalism was palpably in the air, and I was eager to get a piece of the action.” After attending a report-back from locals that had traveled to Prague, he quickly became involved in protests locally and around Europe. “I soon ended up doing much more activism than studying,” writes Gordon, who had now been “tear-gassed in Nice, corralled in London and narrowly escaped a pretty horrible beating in Genoa.” He soon decided to shift the focus of his PhD thesis to anarchist politics. The completed thesis has now been published as Anarchy Alive!

Read the rest of the article in this month's Z Magazine. here.