[Ppnews] From Ray and Jamila, for Richard

Political Prisoner News PPnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Dec 9 08:47:34 EST 2005

Greetings, all ... Last night, December 7, Ray was writing the words 
that follow, just hours before Richard passed over to the other side. 
I know Richard heard him. Please use our words on the website and the 
tribute book. I just want to say that although I never had the 
privilege of meeting Richard Williams in person, I am touched by the 
beauty of his spirit. I wish I'd had a chance to get to know him 
better. We corresponded during 2001-02, during the time he spent 
months in the hole never knowing if or when he'd be transferred to 
Marion or ADX. The stress he endured, and the conditions under which 
he suffered, surely had a marked effect on his health. He understood 
death as a natural part of life, something all of us would do well to 
learn. Now he is free. love, Jamila

 From Ray: The first time I met our comrade Richard Williams was in a 
safehouse, underground. For the next decade we engaged in a common 
struggle to provide whatever support we could muster to the 
downpressed - be they victims of apartheid in South Africa, or 
slaughtered in Central America - and to defend ourselves. It wasn't 
until the last hour of the last trial that we were consigned by our 
enemy to different prisons. I would never see him again.

Richard, like many political prisoners, has never received the 
recognition and respect he deserves. He has been vilified in the 
media and ignored by the left - a shared experience by many political 
prisoners. But then, Richard never sought accolades. The brother I 
know is not ego driven nor laden with grandiose ideas about what 
others should march to. He has at his essence that uncommon quality 
of a revolutionary - feeling every injustice done to the poor and 
working people of this planet.

I know Richard well, having risked our lives together time after 
time. He never waivered when confronted with danger, and didn't 
disappoint when demands upon us were critical. I've seen him act 
decisively when it took courage to step up, and step down in 
situations that required defusing. He's all of that - a people's 
soldier and friend.

A man of deep commitment and fiery passion, he dedicated his life to 
others. The fallout from that was not being able to see his own 
children during the most dangerous years. He made that sacrifice, but 
the longing for his kids was intense and it laid heavy in his heart.

Sacrifice. How deep the sacrifice for what we believe true and 
necessary? When the U.S. killing fields in Central America were 
littered with the bodies of companeros and their children, Richard 
did not stand idly by. When apartheid drenched South Africa in the 
blood and suffering of African people, Richard chose to act. The 
lineage from prison and antiracist activist to underground guerilla 
is not difficult to figure - Richard has the heart, consciousness, 
and political perspective to take it to a brutal enemy.

He did it in his time, when time was of the essence. When he knew he 
had the strength and endurance for a protracted and extraordinarily 
difficult struggle. That time has now past.

The brother I know, who withstood 50,000 volt stun gun assaults and 
the rigors of solitary confinement, has fallen. This brother of such 
infectiously good humor, so respectful of elders, and without a 
cynical bone in his body, is dead. He chose to pass on in as 
dignified a way as possible given the inherently abusive conditions 
of his confinement. They never crushed his spirit.

Brother, I do not say goodbye, for there are no words for this in the 
language we know best. Until next time - among oak leaves, the 
feathers of a hawk, nurturing new life from a coral reef .... I love you, Ray

Ray Luc Levasseur, December 8, 2005

The Freedom Archives
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San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
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