A friend recently asked me about what during the last four years of being in solitary has been the hardest part of that struggle. While the hardships are many, it has been the sustained lack of will by those most responsible in the inmate population to effect any change that will better our conditions, which most weighs on my heart and mind.
Solitary confinement or administrative segregation was designed to house primarily gang members and disciplinary violaters who are a threat to both staff and others. Among our fellows we have a voice due to the sacrifices we have made in these walls for what we represent. Our voice should e able to be heard by our brothers both in population and on the streets. Yet we seem to have been forgotten both by ourselves and those we call family.
Moreover we have forgotten the tools of protest we have at our disposal to right our conditions. We never hear about hunger strikes or other coordinated means of protest against our oppressors. At least not in the state of Texas. Not for many years.
When one proposes those methods or even filing grievances or writs regarding conditions, we are answered back by ranking members that those ideas and sort of thing is outdated. Moreover we are advised to follow the rules, not think about it and make wave, and pray the state in a moment of kindness will parole us.
Said attitude prevails across the races and amongst the families here. There is no longer any will but for kamikaze zeal for false figureheads of self destruction. To follow current leaders in these so-called prison families is to lick the boots of the state.
As long as these families or gangs exist, no change will come. To me, this is truly disheartening. It makes each day as well as the many years which lay ahead very hard indeed.
Moreover it is saddening to me to recall both the many sacrifices I have over the years and those being made by free-world advocates today who are currently working with almost zero help on the inside to the end the prison industrial complex. How can we expect or deserve the aid, friendship, and comfort or anyone when so many of us are unwilling to help ourselves?
There is a quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, which says, “We must be the change in the world we wish to see.” I think this is correct, and I take refuge in the life story of the great soul Gandhi who took the outcasts of Indian society and coined a movement, which brought the British Empire to its knees.
We here can do the same thing. A new solidarity movement is needed. A movement, whic will give voice and direction where constipated throats refuse to speak. It is on us to encourage both a unified declaration and action where hearts are willing and hands meet.
Birth of such a movement is long overdue. It is as simple as reaching out to like-minded brothers and sisters wherever we find them and breaking away from any who would and do stand in the way of bettering our conditions. Such is the path which lies before us. Such is the path we must blaze. So I have chosen. So it is written. So may it be spoken and lived.