In a recent Venue mag (26 oct – 4 Nov) one of their writers decided, “[Bristol Indymedia is the] Home of the leftie and anarchist activists and assorted nuts, trolls and fairies. Should be read as entertainment rather than information. We particularly recommend the recent thread about abolishing prisons and being nice to criminals” Now Bristol ABC believes that they are talking about the article ‘Public Meeting – Campaigning against prisons‘ at Kebele where Pauline Campbell came to talk to people about her struggle for justice following the suicide of her daughter in custody. We were unaware that the suicide of a child is ‘entertainment’ – but in some sections of the press, those living outside a perceived higher standard of wealth and education are simply there for ‘entertainment’ – this is nothing short of class prejudice. We’re sorry to report it goes wider that just Venue.
Regarding the women in prison for Venue’s ‘entertainment’; would the Venue writers take the issue seriosuly to hear it from somebody posh before they are prepared to acknowledge what is happening in jails, especially women’s prisons – that they are not working – would Baroness Corston do? “For most women who offend, prison does not work; it is inappropriate, unnecessary, and damaging. Women offenders and those at risk of offending need local community-based provision based on women’s centre models such as the Asha Centre and the Calderdale Women’s Centre, which are close to families and networked into local services. To reduce crime and improve women’s lives it is crucial to address women’s complex needs, including poverty and debt, mental health problems, abuse and domestic violence, addictions, and housing.”
Shame on venue for bundling up suicide, prison abuse, poverty and the debt trap as nothing more that their ‘entertainment’. Most of us understand how shit the system can be, perhaps that’s why Venue is struggling with circulation – because its writers are busy tapping away about life in the Ivory Tower while the rest of us have to live in it’s shadow.