Ralph talks to professor Ruth Wilson Gilmore about abolishing prisons and journalist Adam Higginbotham about his book, “Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster.”
Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics and professor of geography in Earth and Environmental Sciences at The City University of New York. Professor Gilmore is a cofounder of many social justice organizations, including California Prison Moratorium Project, Critical Resistance, and the Central California Environmental Justice Network. She is the author of Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis and Opposition in Globalizing California and is the subject of a recent article in the New York Times Magazine entitled “Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore May Change Your Mind.”
“Most people who go to prison no matter what the conviction leave prison. So, imagining that somehow prison is this place where people are sent, and they stay there forever unless the abolitionists have their way is absurd. People go. They come out. So, one: Why have people go? Why not have things in place before people mess up? And two: When people come out, why have this system of permanent punishment instead of the things that are necessary like education, housing, healthcare, culture, well-being – not just for them but for everyone?”
Professor Ruth Wilson Gilmore on abolishing prison
Adam Higginbotham is a journalist who began his career in magazines and newspapers in London and is now based in New York City where he has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, GQ, and The Smithsonian. He is the author of Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster.
“The explosion tore apart the reactor, lifted the biological shield, the huge lid on the top of the reactor, peeling off the top of it. The radionuclides then escaped into the building. There was a second explosion, which destroyed utterly the roof of the building. And then the radionuclides and this column of poisonous vapor just began roiling right into the atmosphere, where it was snatched away by high altitude winds and began traveling ultimately around the whole of the Northern Hemisphere.”
Adam Higginbotham, author of “Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster”