Friday, June 10, 2011

Grassroots Opposition

The title link goes to an article detailing the work of a grassroots campaign in Globe, Arizona, to prevent the construction of yet another private prison in one of the most private prison-heavy states in the country. The plan was pitched in secret to town officials, with the assumption of community support even though many folks had no idea of the proposal. Once the folks in town caught wind, widespread opposition grew quickly into a petition drive, in which they collected nearly 3,000 signatures (and later 400 more through a postcard drive). That's nearly half the population of the town expressing their direct opposition to the prison.

I also want to call attention to a public form that took place in the town of Milo, Maine yesterday regarding a proposal to bring a CCA facility to town. After Governor Paul LePage, who used to be an official in Milo, received tens of thousands of dollars of support from CCA during his campaign, he hired a former CCA warden as his director of the DOC and has been pushing to bring a private prison to Milo. This would be the same jerk governor who removed a mural depicting labor struggles from the Department of Labor. So yeah, a real friend of your average Maine citizen. But Frank Smith, a longtime anti-private prison advocate, was able to describe the situation most clearly: “Bring someone in from Corrections Corporation of America and they’ll tell you anything you want to hear,” he said. “You’re condemning yourselves to terminal economic disaster [if a private prison comes to Milo].”


  1. Thank you for this blog. The American prison state is a true tragedy.

  2. That's hilarious. When an Alaskan who lives in Kansas and is a professional field organizer for a Florida based anti privatization group goes to rural Maine you call it 'Grassroot Opposition.'. Who are you? Dick Armey?