[col. writ. 10/12/07]
(c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal
A 14- year old boy is assaulted, restrained, his breathing restricted, and ammonia capsules are plunged into his nostrils, as he struggles for breath.
Within moments, he falls limp, comatose.
Soon, Martin Lee Anderson is dead.
Martin met his death at a Florida boot camp, where a phalanx of so-called drill instructors beat the youth, held their hands over his mouth, and forced ammonia caps up his nose.
A predominantly white jury quickly acquitted all 8 staff members (including a nurse) from the boot-camp of all charges.
The state workers would've faced more punishment if they killed a dog.
Instead, he was a black boy. The jury barely had enough time for a good lunch.
Across the country, families are learning that boot camps, and other juvenile facilities, are little more than hell-holes for children.
Kids are beaten, brutalized, starved and caged by the state; paid by the state to administer legalized child abuse.
Just days ago, seven workers at a West Texas lockup (including so-called 'quality assurance monitors') were fired by the Texas Youth Commission.
The facility, known as the Coke County Juvenile Center, was the site of what state officials called "deplorable conditions", such as dirty sheets, feces-smeared cells, and cases of juveniles being placed in solitary confinement for five weeks (see New York Times, "National Briefing" (10/5/07), p.A19).
It's clear from the Martin Lee Anderson case, and from voluminous reports of violence and torture at boot camps nationwide, that America is at war with its youth.
Schools are but training camps for prisons.