Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 4 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 2 (6 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats   6 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Legalizing Oppression

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 3 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 5   Must Read 4   Inspiring 4  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 2/10/14

Become a Fan
  (356 fans)

"You're always on the cusp of doing the wrong thing, or getting in trouble for something," she said. "I wrote a letter for a woman, and in order to make a copy I emailed it to Ralph." She went on: "It was basically asking a judge to stay any decision because they were going to take all of her pension as payment for what she had done. And she wanted to get this letter in right away. So I emailed it to [Ralph] and for that I lost, I think, about three months of commissary, and email."

She said, "It's almost impossible to organize prisoners in this day and age to stand up, to become a unit, to say no to certain things."

"I found it virtually impossible to convince the women at Carswell that they should not be always thinking that what happened to them was personal," she said. "They should be looking at political answers, that where they ended up was not because of some personal lack or weakness but because the political system has designated them to be there as one of the kick-arounds, as one of the not-for-consumption."

"Why do you think that is?" I asked.

"I think ... television has a lot to do with it," she said. "There's a certain idealized life. People that are in trouble get there because they have done it to themselves." She said that many of the women incarcerated with her lacked self-esteem.

"The women I've left behind" are "the one real shadow on my tremendous joy at being home," she said. "I can no longer even communicate with [them] because the conditions of my probation are that I may not associate with any felons. So I can't even write to dear Mara, what happened with your case? Someone who got 20 years because she sold some heroin and then a guy died a week later, and they used that murder to enhance her sentence, completely contrary to everything we ever learned."

One of the saddest moments in prison, she said, was mail call. The names of those who had letters would be read. Some women "waited for their name to be called and it never happened." Those who did not get mail or visits, she said, "become more and more institutionalized."

"The world of the prison is the only world; the outside world does not exist for them anymore," she said.

"I'm not waiting for the working class to make the revolution," she said. "I think that's a day long gone by. That might have happened in the '30s. It didn't. We have to look at a new way, some new force."

She said that although she is disbarred she will continue to be a catalyst for change. She quoted Rosa Luxemburg, who said that radicals should at once alleviate human misery and do political work. Stewart said she will continue to fight for the some 150 political prisoners, mostly African-Americans, who have been in prison for decades because they belonged to radical groups such as the Black Panthers or the Black Liberation Army.

"My other goal is not to turn my back on the women in prison," she said.

She stressed the importance of community.

"The most important thing is don't let yourself get isolated," she said. "Don't feel that you're the only one in the room that thinks this way and you must be crazy or something, and they're going to get you because you're the only one. Find the other people who think like you. They're out there. There are people out there. There are groups. There's everyone from the raging grannies right up to the very serious lefties, but there's somebody out there, make sure you're not all alone. That's the worst part of what we face these days. As long as you're with other people you have a fighting chance, and you can organize more people."

"This is a pretty loveless world we live in," she concluded. "We have lots of romantic love. We have lots of 'Sex and the City.' But real love, love that is the kind that saves people, and makes the world better, and makes you go to bed with a smile on your face, that love is lacking greatly. You have to search for that."

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

Chris Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

Hedges was part of the team of (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why the United States Is Destroying Its Education System

This Is What Resistance Looks Like

Hope, from now on, will look like this. Chris Hedges Speech Before Joining Anti War Vets in DC Civil Disobedience Action

A Decade After 9/11: We Are What We Loathe

The Radical Christian Right and the War on Government

Criminalizing Dissent

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
4 people are discussing this page, with 6 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

I remember after the WTC was hit everyone on TV N... by Paul Easton on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 2:21:28 AM
Considering the momentous changes that followed t... by Paul Easton on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 2:30:30 AM
Lynne Stewart has it right, "This is a pretty lov... by Paul Repstock on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 12:52:19 PM
The natives of every conquered nation know what it... by Derryl Hermanutz on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 6:44:14 PM
Until we Westerners can dig deep enough to find s... by Paul Repstock on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 8:07:43 PM
Thank you for this article on Lynne Stewart. an am... by Amy Schreiner on Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 at 7:43:39 PM