[Ppnews] Dispatch from Jeff “Free” Luers - 5/17

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri May 23 10:39:01 EDT 2008

May 17, 2008 Prison Dispatch from Jeff “Free” Luers

It’s been over a month since I’ve written a 
dispatch. Much has happened in that time. 
Yesterday, May 16, I became officially 19 months 
to the gate. The months I have left in prison 
have fallen to the teens. It still doesn’t seem real to me.

Since I’ve been here at CRCI I have received two 
letters from friends back at OSP. Both are doing 
life. One will never go home. The most difficult 
part about my resentencing and subsequent move to 
minimum has been missing my friends at OSP.

I am leaving them behind. There is no other way 
to put it than I’m going home and they aren’t.

It’s not political. It isn’t relevant to anyone 
other than me. And more than a few readers would 
probably think they deserve their fate. But they 
are my brothers. They have stood by me for the 
last seven years. Together we have war stories, ones I can’t write about.

It seems silly to say; I can hear the echo of 
ridiculousness. Yet, I cannot justify my going home and their staying behind.

Prison is a horrible place. I have seen and done 
horrible things. But despite all that, the beauty 
of the human spirit can be found within this 
place. When solidarity exists it is not easily 
broken. When convicts unite they can accomplish many things.

Inside the walls of OSP I built a family. My 
family went beyond race and politics. Amongst 
those imprisoned for years a unique and powerful 
bond builds. When faced with the reality of doing 
decades behind bars you find strength knowing you 
have friends doing the same. You do not have to 
experience it alone. You have support.

My brothers at OSP have become an extended part 
of my real family and community. I have 
introduced them to my parents and friends. I have 
included them in all I have and shared all that I can with them.

I have no doubt years from now I will again sit 
in the visiting room at OSP, returning to see and 
talk to one friend in particular who above all 
will hold my love, respect and loyalty for life.

I look upon the relationships I have built in 
prison and I find myself wishing that our 
activist communities could emulate them.

In the face of the ultimate oppression, politics 
come to mean less and honor to mean so much more. 
In prison, I have found common cause with an 
anarchist’s most hated enemy. Indeed that even 
has extended into a friendship. The irony of which is not lost on me.

When looking beyond these walls I still see a 
movement factionalized and divided: green and 
red; black and white; progressive and radical. 
And I still see a capitalist monstrosity towering over all.

I ask myself, if I can walk the yard of a maximum 
security prison with a black gang member on my 
left and a Nazi skinhead on my right, why the 
hell can’t activists, radicals, and progressives 
find level amongst themselves when they have so much more in common?

OK. It’s not that simplistic. I know. Still, 
there are alliances we could and should be 
building. There are bridges that should not be 
burning. If we put as much energy into building 
community and making allies as we have talking 
shit and leveling criticism we might have already 
taken that first inch. And in the words of 
Conflict, “For once we take an inch, you just watch us take the mile.

Could it be that we actually have a deeply 
ingrained fear of success? After all, our 
ideologies are proven. We’ve made little if any 
progress toward creating alternatives to this 
society. We remain stuck in the tearing down, 
laying blame and pointing fingers stage.

Fair enough. There is a lot to be dismantled and 
done away with. There is even more to build and learn.

I think it is high time to shrug off the chains 
of isolation and self-exclusion. The rhetoric of 
pure idealism has been tried and left as wanting.

Of course, it’s nothing I haven’t said before.
A brief review of my dispatches will reveal 
different versions of the same recycled messages, 
which in itself says something—I’ve been saying the same things for years!

To succeed we need unity. Judi Bari taught us 
that. The Battle of Seattle taught us that. Even 
more state repression has taught us that.

For those who still choose to stand on their own; 
marginalized by their self-righteous politics and 
inability to open their own mind (while they 
demand it of others), I say good luck. 
Personally, I’m going to try to build a community 
and movement that realize we must rely on each 
other to create a healthy, stable, sustainable 
and safe society. It’s not about politics it is 
about life. Life needs diversity.

The real question is how do we build it? How do 
we create a broad coalition to challenge things 
like global warming and other social injustices?

While I can already here the groans from my green 
anarchist brethren, I believe a good place to 
start is by building bonds with the unions and 
working people. I know it may be a dream years in 
the making, but imagine a general strike 
demanding action on climate change. Picture a 
union action bolstered by direct action and civil 
disobedience. What if the docks closed as a 
gesture of solidarity with eco-defense prisoners? 
Visualize the world’s most powerful corporations 
capitulating to us, the people.

It is not beyond us to build alliances. It’s part 
of our own radical history. Our history also 
teaches us that we are more effective together than alone.

- Jeff “Free” Luers

Jeffrey Luers
9111 NE Sunderland Ave
Portland, OR 97211-1708

freefreenow. org

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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