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So what are some of the problems with this? And so if you look at the literature, and this connects back to 13, I'm not supporting this necessarily, but the but the first one is that it alters the process of procedures of how you get a trial. Unfortunately, the way things are set up now, close to 96% of all criminal cases are done by plea agreement, you plea out of them. This is the way it's set up between prosecutors and defendants, because it streamlines the the whole system, you go they accuse you of a crime. You say, Well, look, I'm poor, I can't fight this. I'm innocent. But I'll take the six months probation because I just don't have the time to be in jail takes six months. Now, that's fine if you're a citizen, but plea agreements count as convictions for immigration purposes. So now imagine if you're an immigrant, he I'm not even talking about an undocumented immigrant, if you're just an immigrant, now, the criminal justice system is much different. Because you can't take that play, you have to now fight it. And now the way the criminal justice system is set up, it's set up to punish people who don't take plea agreements, if you don't take plea agreements, they're gonna throw the book at you. And so you end up in this really bad catch 22 you end up with parallel and unequal systems of justice, for citizens and for immigrants. And again, I'm not talking about undocumented immigrants. I'm sorry about immigrants in general face a whole different system. So different rules. The second one I think is kind of obvious with the case of the Cambodian immigrants I told you about, you get basically punished twice for the same crime. You've paid your dues, right? We all do ?bonehead things. Right. But should you be deported for this? I don't think so. I think that's actually cruel and unusual. That's been an argument that other folks have made. And lastly, and this is another one that I'm iffy about, but when you think of, you know, President Trump's favorite, favorite gang, SM, 13, some other future, that gang started as a gang in Los Angeles and got exported to El Salvador, and now it's come back. And so there's a sense that what you do with your immigration policy is you force countries that are poor and can't sort of fight back, you kind of empty out your prisons in some way, by exporting some of those criminals, to those other countries. I'm iffy about thinking of it in this way. But there's been a lot of literature saying, look, there's a sense where you send folks to states that they don't have quite the institutions to deal with, with some of these more dangerous folks, you actually are exporting crime to some of these areas, especially when we're talking about people who, you know came to the US at the age of one or two. These are our folks. The second part, so, criminal punishments for immigration cases. So I told you this should already be disallowed. But beginning in 1929, what we started doing was we started making unlawful entry and especially unlawful reentry, a crime. It is now, if you are deported from the United if you enter the United States are caught and deported. If you try to unlawfully re Enter again, you could face up to 20 years in prison, which is which almost no one gets to that, but you could face up to 20 years in prison. But what this has done, so look in beforehand turnout, and this was not a crime. 1993 about 5% of all criminal cases had an immigration offense as a more serious offense. This more than doubled in four years got up to 13% by 1997. In 2010, it more than tripled almost quadrupled to 46% Today immigration law violations constitute the largest category of federal offenses. What worries me about this and should worry you about this is go back to that Wong Wing case. These immigration convictions are not arrived at by a by a by a court of the judicial branch. It's a court that is under the executive branch. So again, the executive branch has judge jury and executer in these cases. So it's so you get convicted as being unlawfully present by a court that's being done that is under the same branch that's going to exit it's going to execute the punishment. So it's, it's circum. It's able to punish you criminally, without having convicted you in a Judicial Court. And very last one.
Christa 9:31Yes, I thought about it was very hard. But because of I went on a Lowell Walk, and that's when I first discovered that the Underground Railroad like is here in Lowell, like understanding this church and cried my eyes out and thinking about a way to kind of memorialize that I was thinking about having wherever you I don't know what the right term is for this, but any spot that had an underground railroad, possibly having like a rocking chair, like some sort of way rocking chair that's like fixed. I don't know the art terms, but you know, and says something like, May you rest or something like that, because when I thought about the Underground Railroad, you know, you picture like just fear and running and, and I like to think that today it could be this kind of like, I don't know, like sit down, have a rest and kind of memorialize all the lives that went by. So I think it'd be really cool if every stop maybe there was like this cement, I don't know, rocking chair and like a tree over it. And then language that explains like the whole purpose behind it. A lot of our conversation at this point moved to a discussion of audiences. Christa shared some of her observations about a recent production of the play Nina, about Nina Simone and Lowell. I spoke to the actors that are in the show at MRT right now, Nina Simone. And they said in Chicago is the same issue. People are like, ooh, Chicago, you must have the audience's must be so rich and diverse and they're like Nope, it looks like it looks like Lowell looks like the typical audiences. And I know some people I've spoken with, it's been like barriers to the financial aspect, like a lot of these huge theaters. The patrons are majority people, not of color people. And I would also say what I'm seeing we've only been around for like a year is I just think there really needs to be like a targeted outreach, like something like we were trying to get the word out best we could, but there is not one engine that's really pushing like, Come on people. Let's go to theater, like come on. So it's, it's, it's been a struggle. Somebody else at MRT had brought that up and said, like, how do you feel that there are It was a full house? And there were like three black people there? Like how do you feel about that? And I was like, I don't like it. But I think the the reasoning behind it, I think is a is a big question. And I think if folks aren't intentional about wanting certain people in the audience, I don't think it's going to happen. organically, I think it really has to be some sort of intention, whether it's from the theatre, or higher level government, I don't know. But I think it like has to be an effort. And it's something we're dealing with too. But I do think too with us, just to kind of you were talking about the people don't really want to understand don't want to like, you don't want to rehear the trauma. Like even myself, I don't watch certain movies, because I'm like, it's going to make me sad and depressed, and I don't want to sit in that space. Some people don't mind it, we try to focus on like empowerment. So that to me, just gives people the vehicle to spread their story, which may or may not have struggle in it at all. But I totally I can relate to your friends a bit because I do sometimes it's something where I have to distance myself from certain narratives for my own sanity.
05:16Here it is, this illustration is called 100,000 Days A Year. And before we go into each of these steps, sort of a couple caveats, the bail to bolt process was historically complex and dynamic. And each of the steps that I described here has its own history. And you know, you could spend a lot of time researching and diving deeper into each one of these steps. So this illustration, it has some omissions, it potentially has, you know, it definitely has a perspective, right. And to that end, you know, it is simplified. This is a very simplified version of the process. So with that said, I'll sort of outline this, if you if you see the here's the full illustration, you have the title 100,000 days a year, you have portraits of the so called Lords of the loom are members of the Boston associates who were these sort of wealthy merchant capitalists from New England who devised what became known as the wall fan local manufacturing system, and invested in the cotton manufacturing complex in Lowell. In addition to purchasing the land. You have further Lords of the loom text here. These are other people who invested in it, but sort of not as directly and some are secondary investors through other stock ownership in the Waltham Mills, I have a summary text description that'll walk you through and my sources, a map within a map down here that sort of describes the direction of the interstate slave trade and also the packet lines. On the left here this is there's sort of a subtitle here that says cotton harvesting. These are the steps again, the simplified version, steps of the cotton harvesting process, meaning what's what's actually happening on on the slave labor camps. And then up at the top is the power power loom. One of the workers of the looms often, if not, I believe exclusively women, and a physical description of what happens to the cotton fibers through the spinning and weaving process, landscape drawing of the local manufacturing complex that was part of the manual Merrimack manufacturing company, and then a line of the railroad here that linked the customhouse to each year in the decades before the Civil War, the cotton textile mills and Lowell Massachusetts consumed on average 15 million pounds of cotton. Historian Edward II Baptist estimates that the bales of cotton consumed in Lowell for the Merrimack manufacturing company took slaves a combined 100,000 days of labor per year to produce capital invested by a small handful of people. The Lords of the loom made this cycle of violence possible. 100,000 days a year shows a simplified version of this cycle, including the direction of the interstate slave trade, the land expropriated from the Chickasaw, Choctaw Creek and Seminole peoples, the long life long lat style of slave labor camps along the Mississippi River. The steps to produce bales of cotton by slave labor, the packet line between New Orleans and Boston, the overland shipment of cotton bales from Boston to Lowell and then finally, steps to transform cotton bales into textiles. By wage labor working for the Merrimack manufacturing company. One mill in a larger mill complex, the local mill produced course, so called Negro cloth and sold it to plantation owners. A slave who picked cotton could have had that same cotton returned to them in the form of a shirt manufactured in Lowell, the cradle of the American industrial below that text description here. In addition to sort of get the hopefully this description gives you a sense now why it's called this this illustration is called 100,000 days a year. And below the text description are the primary sources, mostly secondary sources that I used in my research, huge shout out to illustrator Madeline Dall, she made this come alive. It's really her artistry that makes this work take you through this illustration. And it's probably the smallest element on the page. And it's it's a map within a map. So if you took a sort of a far out view of this illustration, you'd seen mostly the eastern that the shoreline of of Massachusetts, and you can sort of see that, you know, see that the arm of Cape Cod as it were. And then on the bottom center of this map is a much smaller version of basically the upper south and Gulf Coast coastline of the United States. This solid arrow here represents the general direction of what's called the interstate slave trade, the domestic slave trade are all called the second great migration in the United States. So after 1807, the United States bans importing slaves from the International slave trade. And it's at that point that the domestic slave trade explodes. And you have people basically buying, selling and stealing people from slave camps in the upper south. So South Carolina, Georgia, and where they were producing, you know, tobacco, sugar for rum, they were producing one commodity and bringing them to the banks of the Mississippi River for cotton cultivation. Now, it's important to note that this was not empty territory. This was not empty wilderness here. And we have maps, sort of the shaded area on this map. These other territories are the territories of the indigenous communities that were there were living there at the time. And the map is very much indebted to Edward Baptists book, namely, the Chickasaw, Choctaw Creek, and the seminal peoples in Florida, that that land was was violently expropriated from these peoples and coerced from these peoples in order to the to build up the domestic cotton production process, right? This was for a young nation, right? This is a mere 20 You know, this, this starts wrapping up a mere 30 years, 40 years after the American Revolution. And the cotton commodities known as King cotton is basically the the commodity that is the foundation of, of the young, the young America's economy, sort of that the national economy, so huge stakes in producing cotton, the very small here you can sort of see these like little splinters coming off of the the white line here is the Mississippi River. These little splinters coming off here are the what's called the long lat style of plantations, which was, believe it, it has French origins, the sort of the, the style of the property style, as it were the property geometry. But the idea is to give as many different people, as many different companies and individual plantation owners getting as many people as possible access to the riverfront access to the river will also try to optimize for acreage. So you get these many like very long, long plantation styles so that every everyone who's harvesting, growing cotton and harvesting it can get to the Mississippi River and ultimately to the Port of New Orleans. And then finally, this red dot and then sort of the dotted red line here represents the packet line cycle of commodity production ramps up you get sort of standardized what are called packet lines, where you have basically the same ships more or less, going back and forth to the same places. Often, you know, it can be also known as the triangle trade. Where in one from one voyage, it's it's shipped, like one boat from the Port of New Orleans to New York City is filled with cotton. And then the cotton goes to Liverpool, the Cotton's dumped out of Liverpool, but then the ship is filled back up with cloth wares and other manufacturing goods to make it to the rest of Europe, also potentially going to Africa. But the idea here is that there's a you know, there's a trend shipment line that's constantly going back and forth. The vast majority of the cotton that is produced along the Mississippi River in this part of the South, it ends up in England in Liverpool specifically to be transformed transformed into cloth commodities for the European markets. But even so, you know, the 10% of that that doesn't get exported, that's enough to sort of build up the national economy and certainly build up New England's wealth. just the sheer volume of comments produced is astounding, right? The 15 million pounds of cotton that just goes to Lowell every year at its peak. Something they're like, I think by 1860 something like 45,000 plantations in the American South and I'm not sure how many along our along the Mississippi River but it's a gigantic scale. And then scaling out is sort of the cotton harvesting process. And one thing that we that we omitted here, slave quarters of where were where the slaves were residing and spending their lives. That said with without a mission, we have the top left sort of what's you know, known in American vernacular as the big house or sort of where plantation owners and other sort of company man are doing their business and even living That's, you know, has it's such a powerful symbol in the American imagination and also in American history. And then next to that, labeled one is the clearing of the land, right. And that's something that isn't addressed really much at all in the literature, let alone the connection to slavery, right from when you're reading about the cotton manufacturer in New England, slavery is rarely mentioned. And even in contemporary accounts, the cotton planting and harvesting is highly extractive from an environmental standpoint. So it's, it exhausts the land itself, doing this sort of monoculture, you're depleting the soil of its of its nutrients, you're destroying the ecosystems, you're clearing the forests in the service of producing this con. So you have this this land, it's cleared by slaves, the lumber from the clearing is often used to construct the big house, once it's cleared of stones of, of animal life, and you're left with just the top. So you have step two, which is the plowing of the top soil for planting the actual cotton seeds. And there's a an entire literature about whether you know, what species of cotton plant was most effective and what ticular time in this in the 19th century, this is, this is what's called I believe, upland cotton. The cotton grows it flowers into the sort of fibrous tusks that you're you're familiar with. And then it's, it's harvested by by slave labor. And people are picking, you know, hundreds of pounds of cotton a day. It's brutal. It's truly terrible conditions. And once it's it's harvested, step four, depicts the weighing of each slaves' harvest from that day. And this is something that Edward Baptist, in his book that has never been told, makes an argument about it about when you compare the slave regimes that exist in the West Indies. In the upper south, you see, you see a transformation between the the slave labor regimes that existed there, and what we end up seeing along the Mississippi River and these in these slave camps to produce the garden commodity. And what you see and it's actually depicted in Steve McQueen's movie, 12 YEARS A SLAVE is, unlike, each day, having its own quota. slaves are basically forced to compete against themselves to reach their, their their own personal quotas for how much they pick in the fields each day, so if a slave is out there, they pick 250 pounds of cotton one day, that next day, there's going to be slave owners or another laborer who's working on the on the slave plantation who isn't a slave saying, you pick 250 pounds today. What? Yes, you picked 250 pounds yesterday, what have you picked today, and they're constantly ratcheting up each individual person's quota to extract as much possible cotton from each person as they can, without and sometimes intentionally exhausting that the person themselves. So the cotton is weighed. And then it is it's ginned. And that, you know, there's a huge literature about the the influence of the cotton gin and the explosion of the production of the cotton commodity, which is an automated way or rather a mechanical way of separating the cotton cotton fibers themselves the thing that ultimately become cloth, separating seeds from that, and the ability to separate those seeds in in a more automatic fashion is is one of the necessary conditions for the explosion of commodity production in the south. Then finally, you've got the gin cotton, and it gets bailed or pressed into the bale maybe that that that is the raw what I would refer to as a raw cotton commodity. Meaning that you know, buyers on the other side of this are looking for a standard standard weight, standard size, more or less standard quality of the cotton commodity itself to be used in the manufacturing process. The bales are then you know, now that they've been commodified right into into these units, these bail units, they get stacked on these barges, these barges that float down that go down the Mississippi River, collecting bales from from the different slave labor camps London Mississippi River until finally they make their way to the Port of New Orleans. And from the port. Like I said most go to New York. Most go to Liverpool by by way of New York, most of the cotton goes gets exported out of the country. But the the cotton is bought. It's it's unloaded. It's reloaded out of these packet lines. And then it's off off to their destinations. This is the Boston Custom House, I was interested in the Custom House as an institution, which straddles both the colonial era and also sort of the early the early republic as something which is trying to regulate and standardize the operations of the mercantile and market economies. You know, you can walk to the Custom House in Boston, and it would have been the the shores, that the waves of Boston Harbor would have been laughing up onto the side of the Custom House in the 19th century, before the land was filled in, got a packet line shift, this one's modeled after the USS Ohio. And they get to the Custom House, they sort of register with the customs agents, and then sort of buyers and sellers are squaring their accounts, as it were. And then the cotton gets unloaded. And it's transshipped. Offer over the Boston and Lowell railroad, which is basically dedicated to just moving cotton, from from Boston to to Lowell, it makes its way to Lowell further picking are sort of removing debris from the raw cotton commodity carding, where you have these individual cotton fibers, and you sort of straighten them out, you sort of like comb them together, then you spin the fibers together into threads, you work together, the finer threads, the thicker threads, and then you weave together the larger threads into into cotton cloth. You know, a lot has been written about the what's called the wall fan Lowell system. And it is the first sort of vertically integrated manufacturing company in the world. It was designed, you know, that it sort of conceived of by this rather sort of mysterious historical figure of Francis Cabot Lowell, who I don't know if you would agree with his characterization. But he goes, he goes to, I believe in Scotland where he finds this but he goes any basically memory, he goes and visits a mill out, I believe it's in Scotland, but it could have been in England, likely in England. He goes there and what the way that cotton production was working in England at the time was through the putting out system so a bunch of people get, they get the con, they get the raw con commodity, and they sort of put out the cotton to all these peasant families. And the peasants are the ones sort of doing the picking in the cardigan and spinning the fibers into into usable thread for the manufacturing process. And Lowell goes and sees a version of the power loop. He sees an automated machine loom in action, he memorizes it, he, he sees it, he memorizes it, he brings it to the United States. And then he enlists his friend Paul Moody to reconstruct the machine based on his memory to then go and sort of launch their what's vertically vertically integrated process so they don't put up the cotton to peasants. They have all of the production under one single facility they have proven the success of the model in in Waltham, Massachusetts it sees incredible corporate profits again all using cotton from slave labor the people who are originally investing in Waltham say hey, this is this works. Let's do this on a bigger scale. And so they go and they find they find a place at the time is called East Chelmsford, indigenous territory but before European settler colonialism, expropriated it from those people. Turns out there were actually some pretty consequential battles and King Philip's War in Queen Queen Anne's war, not far from from where Lowell is today. So they identify East Chelmsford as the place where they want to set up this planned industrial city, a planned factory town. And one of the main reasons they do that is because the Merrimack River drops about 32 feet in elevation over what's called the Pawtucket falls over over the length of about a mile. And it's a very, very strong currents from the Merrimack River it's creating rapids and this drop in elevation makes it a perfect place for to to utilize water power. And in fact, there had already been a canal built in this section of the Merrimack River called the Pawtucket canal before the load before the Merrimack manufacturing company purchases the land. But the but more canal sort of smaller tributaries are built off of the Pawtucket Canal, and the gravity of the falling water is what powers the mills themselves. And you know, you can go in there and now and I visited Lowell, it's deafening. I mean, the inside of these places as these power power looms are moving, and all these machines are operating, it is deafening, that the scale of the operations are incredible. So the raw con commodity is making its way from the slave labor camps, it goes to these Mills, and it's transformed into various qualities of cotton cloth. Usually it's women, working the machines, but also children, many children. And it's Lowell has a long, proud history of labor organizing as well. And fighting for such things as the eight hour work day, as a result of some of the conditions. Although interestingly, one of the pitches to investors for the creation of this wage labor system among women and children was comparing it to the English textile mills, which were notoriously horrible for everyone working in them, they consider this to be more humane than what they saw on it. So you're looking at, you know, these these are, these are the components, the literature is, is, is not critical, for the most part about this, and you're looking at all this and you're like, millions of pounds of cotton, thousands of wage laborers, 10s of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of enslaved peoples indigenous communities destroyed for the production of this commodity for the production of cotton. And, you know, what is it that's animating all of this? You know, is it you know, demand in European markets? You know, I see a lot of sort of, like technological determinism, that describes the force of, you know, why this system lasted for for decades and decades before the Civil War. And like, you know, it's the cotton gin that didn't, you know, once the cotton gin was was present, then, you know, then the cell took off. And it's like, you know, that's just one piece of the puzzle. And if you look at the history, what's animating it is the investment capital from from the Lords of the loom. These these men, and they're mostly men. Were looking for profits. They were looking to make a lot a lot of money. They were looking for power. And this was an opportunity to invest to invest capital. You know, I thought it was important to name some of these folk Paul Moody, the engineer PT Jackson, Dudley Ting, Kirk boo Nathan Appleton, William Appleton and Daniel Bowditch. JOHN Lowell Jr. That's Francis Lowell sun, people for whom I was not able to find likenesses, Timothy Wigan, Ebenezer Appleton, Warren Dutton, these men were, these were sort of the original investors who sort of had conceived of, of, 2b1af7f3a8