Imprisoned Party Window Trim

From Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, which the author would like to discuss with prisoners on the inside and the outside:

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

Introductory note: GRAHAM NASH and his associates should glance at http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1295 and http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1296, not this post. I pray that this will encourage an embrace of my supplement for their anti-nuke/anti-Monsanto efforts. Physicians for Social Responsibility members should review http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1291. Others I’ve reached out to in June might want to contact me at aptosnews@gmail.com for direction to an article which was intended for them exclusively, for this entry will certainly lose your attention prematurely, to put it mildly. What’s below is an unedited first draft. UPDATE: Just heard from Katherine Vockins, Founder & Executive Director of Rehabilitation Through The Arts and Prison Communities International after Noon PST, 2 July. Responded to a request for details. She knows Dewey Bozella personally, and, among other things, I’m looking forward to asking why I haven’t received a response yet from Dewey or his wife Trena respecting my offer to volunteer on behalf of their foundation, which focuses on at-risk kids. Absolutely no criticism intended here; merely into understanding the pace of others. UPDATE: Nothing from Exec. Director Vockins as of 1:13PM PST, 3 July (Wednesday), but there’s a relevant article posted today: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/07/03/black-skin-white-justice/; wrote to the author at Drexel… where academics have previously poo-poohed taking action they pretend to be all for. Ciccariello-Maher, when in Oakland a bit back, did the same, as I remember. BUT… we’ll see what unfolds. Certainly, if one is into helping The Community you’d think that any concerned citizen, especially a proactive activist one, would be able to rise above anything off-putting I might write, and move in solidarity on some basis.

Anyone who glances at the two links http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/07/01/the-real-traitors-to-america-ar e-in-washington-and-new-york/ and http://www.zcommunications.org/a-whole-different-class-of-people-here- by-tony-russell should get an interesting sense of our institutionalized injustice. The reader does not have to plow through the articles, unless it’s enjoyable to do so. I’m mainly into roping the reader into action in solidarity. Overcoming that sense that there’s nothing we can do about the status quo, other than cringe or scream out with bootless cries. We CAN do something together which will create a watershed in history, and it will cost you NO money, and less time. It will cost most people only the time it takes to engage in leisurely dialogue once, with ample time for in-depth Q&A. And if you can’t spare that, I guess I should wish you luck on your return to your toxic, infectious hell of a cell.

Imprisoned Party Window Trim
Dedicated to my many children, may they trim the sails seen below
by Papi Ox

“How about writing a play for the prisoners to perform which — with proper publicity — would serve as a catalyst for the general public to take action on their behalf? What about finding a way to have them encourage street theater of a sort on the outside, helping ‘free’ people to overcome their apathy, resignation, cynicism, ignorance and separateness? And to act as if prisoners were human beings.” — a thirteen-year-old, just after having been discouraged from going on a ‘hunger strike’ designed to free innocent prisoners… and eliminate inhumane punishment “which damages all of us”

“Our great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Therefore, all of our activities are in the hands of a small group of men who chill and check true economic freedom. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, completely controlled and dominated governments of the world. No longer a government of the majority but a government of the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.” — Imperialist, racist ex-president Woodrow Wilson just before dying, talking about select white men, rich citizens who don’t care one whit about the poor, whose descendents benefit by the Prison Industrial Complex as it is… with its current momentum

“Why does the United States behave so arrogantly? If there is a country which has committed unspeakable atrocities, it is the United States of America. They don’t care for human beings.” — Nelson Mandela, giving a 2003 speech, on the eve of another war in Iraq, Martin Luther King’s words about the U.S. being the greatest purveyor of violence on earth resonating deeply

I’d like to prepare prisoners for the outside. Not help them to acclimate as per the usual routes. Rather, run a few new numbers by them. Get them ready to get steady in a fresh way. Not teach them that the world is round, but that it cannot be forced into a square toxic hole even with protective gloves on.

I’m very interested in moving in solidarity with prisoners of color, but I’ll be more than happy to embrace non-racist white brothers and sisters too.

I have a plan for action which the incarcerated could get with post haste, costing no one anything whatsoever. A fun plan that stands to create a watershed in history whilst building opportunities for those on the inside to bond with those on the outside prior to being released*. The proposal for action would also provide singular leadership training, carve out educational inroads for one and all, and do much more. Much more.

*We could have an Imprisoned Party which would represent those imprisoned on both sides of our prison walls.

I’m not stupid. I pay attention to what’s flying. I know that our electoral system is corrupt, and that tons of concerned citizens have rejected voting as a legit means for bringing about desired change. That said, I’ve come up with an electoral plan which follows a fresh paradigm, one that prisoners could be an integral part of, with the potential to serve as an asset to their post-prison days; even disenfranchised felons. In fact, it’s a plan which could very well play a part in their early release. I chose to focus on the electoral arena with my primary spotlight ’cause I sought to come up with something which would be both legal and nonviolent. Legal and nonviolent AND serve as a supplement to those who are already fighting the good fight in little corners of society here and there, including the realms activists, educators and agencies devoted to improving all sorts of aspects of prison life.

When I make contact with activists, I always ask them what issues are dear to their hearts. They don’t cite anything related to the Prison Industrial Complex often enough for my taste. But even when they do, they rarely have a sense of deadlines like some concerned citizens do respecting Climate Change issues. For me, too many days are going by with people serving time who should not be behind bars, with too much inhumanity being sponsored with our financial support, with too many horrid seeds being planted which are destined to bloom/erupt in our faces upon the release of this one and that one who was humiliated, deconstructed as a human being.

I intend to be responsible, in part, for the release of a record number of prisoners in some state in 2015. I’ve been working at that for a very long time, but — as you can glean from the previous post — I’ve been frustrated repeatedly, not even given a response to my outreach in many cases.

As I write, I’m waiting to hear back from a lot of people in different quarters associated with the Dewey Bozella documentary, and many working for non-profits centered on prison issues. And others with whom I have reason to believe the above might resonate.

With my background and overtures (as per the previous post), I don’t see why I’m not gobbled up immediately. Can’t get why I don’t receive at least some kind of prompt response respecting my offer to volunteer, donate, etc. I mean, wouldn’t the incarcerated benefit right away if they knew someone like me was interested in being in their corner? Don’t some of them need contact with the likes of me as soon as possible? Aren’t those who are serving them in various capacities — hands on — interested in not losing my enthusiasm, energy? How about those who have made films tracing the history of innocents doing someone else’s time? Wouldn’t you think that they’d be overjoyed about impacting on someone like me so?

Look, I’m not just coming on to the tune of “Hey, I’ll teach you to read.” That’s vitally important for most, but I’m saying I want to host a whole new shebang within prison walls. And I’m boasting that I have a plan that stands to free them, AND serve their loved ones on the outside equally.

Maybe it’s off-putting to hear someone like me complain. Maybe it sounds very presumptuous for me to be critical, considering what others are doing, and that I’m coming from left field, no proven track record as far as anyone’s concerned.

But I do have a track record to discuss… if someone will grant me the time. And I do, admittedly, come on overly headstrong by most standards with a sense of urgency that just probably doesn’t work well for those already engaged in serving prisoners’ needs.

But PERHAPS the good citizens I’ve been reaching out to don’t see the need to move expeditiously. Or PERHAPS they’ve given up on dealing with the source of bleeding, have resigned themselves to applying necessary tourniquets exclusively.

I see a window of opportunity big enough for prisoners to walk through… if they start walking yesterday. We can — and need to — trim the sails of the most sinful, and we cannot do that if we’re locked away, or kept apart from one another, brother… sister.

Contact the author at aptosnews@gmail.com. It is most instructive to learn how the window opened for the author. It was blown open when he learned that law no longer applied to the powers that be. That we had entered, unquestionably, a time when the usual two-standards of justice framework — unfair enough — had evolved into a no accountability whatsoever time for bigwigs. A period when law was laughed at whilst U.S. society’s most unfortunate and the world’s most immiserated were subjected to a great scale and severity of punishment with no recourse to justice.

From Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons:

Cromwell: Now, Sir Thomas, you stand on your silence.

Sir Thomas More: I do.

Cromwell: But, gentlemen of the jury, there are many kinds of silence. Consider first the silence of a man who is dead. Let us suppose we go into the room where he is laid out, and we listen: what do we hear? Silence. What does it betoken, this silence? Nothing; this is silence pure and simple. But let us take another case. Suppose I were to take a dagger from my sleeve and make to kill the prisoner with it; and my lordships there, instead of crying out for me to stop, maintained their silence. That would betoken! It would betoken a willingness that I should do it, and under the law, they will be guilty with me. So silence can, according to the circumstances, speak! Let us consider now the circumstances of the prisoner’s silence. The oath was put to loyal subjects up and down the country, and they all declared His Grace’s title to be just and good. But when it came to the prisoner, he refused! He calls this silence. Yet is there a man in this court - is there a man in this country! - who does not know Sir Thomas More’s opinion of this title?

Crowd in court gallery: No!

Cromwell: Yet how can this be? Because this silence betokened, nay, this silence was, not silence at all, but most eloquent denial!

Sir Thomas More: Not so. Not so, Master Secretary. The maxim is “Qui tacet consentire”: the maxim of the law is “Silence gives consent”. If therefore you wish to construe what my silence betokened, you must construe that I consented, not that I denied.

Cromwell: Is that in fact what the world construes from it? Do you pretend that is what you wish the world to construe from it?

Sir Thomas More: The world must construe according to its wits; this court must construe according to the law.

LAW 101, EQUAL LAW FOR EVERYONE
: What sort of state is it, that says to its own people, we can invade a country based on lies, kill a million people, hold nobody accountable but hey, when one of us does something so abominable as to reveal that the state spies constantly on the people of the world, we have to have a “manhunt” for him and punish him for treason?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wORwlCy3JDI