The Forgotten Ones were out on Friday night dancing for their Vanguard and for prisoners in general at MDC.
According to their Instagram account, [posted prior to the Friday event] “It’s almost Friday again y’all! @bboyirv will be joining us again with drums to kick the dancing vibes up a notch 🥁 We’ll see you there in person or on the livestream for the most alive dance gathering in NYC!”
After the event, they posted, “We can always count on this corner to drop the beeeeats!🔥Fyi, some of the units have been without a/c these last days. With no air circulation and being locked in a cell almost every hour of the day, this is beyond uncomfortable. We can do better, but we won’t until more people care…”
Their point is a reasonable one: Imagine being locked in a small room with bars for days on end, in the heat of the summer without air conditioning. Now consider that MDC houses mainly pretrial detainees, people who are awaiting trial who could not make bail or were not granted the opportunity to post bail.
Of approximately 1600 detainees, about 1400 are awaiting trial. In our system of law, that means they are innocent [until proven guilty].
Why must conditions be so horrific for innocent men and women? Couldn’t there be a better system for non-convicted defendants? It is tough enough to be a defendant in the criminal justice system, especially the federal system where rules are slanted to favor the prosecution. On top of that if you are incarcerated, defending yourself is much more difficult in prison than if you were out on bail. Then, to top it all off, you are held in one of the worst jails in America.
There are some who believe this is by design. The idea is to ensure that defendants cannot mount a good defense, that their health will be shattered. That the torture they experience – and that is what it is – torture – will weaken the defendants and encourage them to make plea deals – even if they are innocent.
The Orwellian-named Department of Justice has shown time and again that their goal is winning and getting conviction stats and not justice. It is not justice to cage defendants in cells without adequate outdoor time [there is none at MDC], without adequate food, exercise, and without even adequate cooling to support health.
Within this framework, the defendant is supposed to mount a defense to charges against the government which has unlimited financial resources and usually with a public defender or assigned counsel that cannot spend anywhere near the time it takes to defend the client properly.
The Department of Justice boasts of its 97 percent conviction rate as some kind of badge of honor. At the same time, there are those who call other countries with similar conviction rates, “Banana Republics” or places where dictators rule and almost everyone charged by the government is convicted – like Russia or China.
In America, it is the same thing: Almost everyone charged by the federal government is convicted. Is that because prosecutors are so excellent or that the system is so slanted against poor defendants that plea bargains of innocent people are commonplace.
If there was true justice, would the conviction rates after indictment be close to 85 percent?
Consider that 10 percent of those exonerated by the Innocence Project through DNA were defendants who took plea deals. Though innocent, they pleaded guilty to lesser charges because they knew they might go to prison for far longer and that innocence did not matter in our court system.
As for Keith Raniere, who also sits and festers at MDC, no doubt in most uncomfortable and squalid conditions, he will be sentenced on October 27 and assigned to another prison. Where that will be is anyone’s guess.
Actually anything short of a supermax facility ought to be as good or better than where he is now.
Did the Forgotten Ones [AKA weareasyou] help or hurt him by their protest dancing?
Will the judge hand him a harsher sentence because he had Manson-girls-like dancers twerking at the prison for days on end? Probably not.
Even without the dancers, Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis is likely to sentence him to a long, long sentence, quite possibly life in prison. Raniere will be 60 on Wednesday.
Since we have no photos of the dancers from last night, here is some related artwork by the wonderful MK10ART.
Finally, here is the mission statement of the Forgotten Ones:
In our country, there are entire classes of people who are locked up in prisons, whose humanity and rights have been disregarded, and whose existence forgotten by most of society.
Our movement started as a humble attempt to bring humanity, levity and connection to individuals who are currently incarcerated at a federal prison in Brooklyn. Through the unifying expression of dance, and other forms of entertainment, we lift the spirits of those inside, support their families and loved ones, and shine a light on a judicial system that, along with societal stigma, has allowed an entire sector of our population to be treated as less than human.
In the process of reinvigorating a sense of hope during these dark and difficult times, we have uncovered many other resources and forms of support that are sorely needed. As a result, we plan on organizing efforts to offer that support. Things most people take for granted, like talking to a friend or taking Advil for a headache, are luxuries not afforded to the people being held at MDC, and prisons across America. By staying ignorant to this reality, we allow our forgotten ones to live in conditions we would find unacceptable for our pets.
At some point in our lives, we’ve all had the experience of being forgotten. Our mission is to shine a light on the forgottenness, expose the violations that are currently cloaked in darkness, and restore our shared humanity through authentic human expression.
Follow Us: @WeAreAsYou
Overall the mission statement expresses something true …. only the motivation is spoiled by their support, their brainwashed support of their Vanguard, who never had a thought in his life for anyone other than himself…