This text was also published here.
Prisons are not here to help us. Prisons are not here to rehabilitate. US prisons do not stop, deter, or prevent crime and they never will. The people in power can continue to lock people up and they can keep building more prisons and crime is still going to happen, because we live in an unbalanced world. Everybody wants to be in control, everybody wants to be able to control other peoples' opinions, actions, and options. Nobody wants to break away and take control of their own lives.
It doesn't matter whether we are in or out of prison. The way we are living as people is foul. If you are in prison, however, then you have the opportunity to really sit back and think about things. Whether you take advantage of that opportunity or not, is up to you. We can sit back and think about revolution, freedom, life, and death. We can sit back and think about creation and destruction. We can use this time to destroy our old ways of thinking and reconstruct new ways of thinking and new ways of living in the world.
Prison has no place in this society because there are as many criminals in this society as there are in prison. Even the people in power can be considered criminals. What kind of people are they who let the poor suffer while the rich get richer? What kind of people are they who value money more than another person's life? The people in power get to define the meaning of a criminal only because they are the people in power. I could tell you that the people in power are as criminal as I am, but it wouldn't matter because I am in prison and they are in power. What they decide to do with their power will never be in my best interests because who am I but a prisoner? What the people in power do with their power will rarely be in the best interests of the people, because who are they but powerless people?
So, they leave us with two options: we can be powerful or we can be powerless. We can have or we can have-not. Of course, everybody is going to try to be a person of power and the ones who don't are going to be the ones who end up getting controlled by the people who have power. In this way, we conflict with each other as we strive for power.
All the while, the people who really have all the power benefit from our conflicts, because they're the ones who control our options. As long as we give them that control, they are going to do whatever they want with their power, whether we like it or not.
This is what I think about while I´m in prison, but one should not have to be in prison to think about these things. I should not be in prison, because this prison should not be here. Think about that…..
From a cell, I salute you!
El Coyote 2007
Ely State Prison
Anarchist Black Cross
Note: Here's a revolutionary idea: "Lets hear what ´the scum of the earth' have to say!"