Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

“The magnificent seven.”

They are a cross-section of American men, black, white, Greek, and Italian. Seven men, seven guards at a county jail in Lackawanna county, Pennsylvania. Seven man who collectively face 37 counts of sexual and institutional assault against a dozen women.

The women? Local newspapers have a policy of not naming them, a process that adds to their extreme and visibility. As inmates, as prisoners, they were already invisible.

How could they feel otherwise when they complained for years only to be ignored, retaliated against, only to be assaulted again and again and again. The trial against Lackawanna County Seven has begun and who knows what will happen. They may be convicted or they may be acquitted, for they were charged with sexually assaulting women, women prisoners, two categories doubly invisible in today’s America.

On local TV, a tape was shown of the men being arrested and walked out of the county prison, their hands handcuffed, all caps covering most of their faces. It was hard to tell their ages. I assume they were mostly young men, but published counts showed all seven were between the ages of 42 and 53: mature men, fathers, grandfathers.

The sexual assaults against women in a Pennsylvania county jail were no different than the sexual assault against Hollywood’s brightest stars, ‘cause it’s about power, y’all. State power, male power, and the power of the law which legitimize scapegoating. It’s ultimately all about power. What will happen? We shall see.

From imprison nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.

These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.