I don’t know your names. All I know is what corporate news media has reported. They say you are Anarchists, that you intended to blow up a bridge, and that you purchased what you believed to be explosives from a federal informant. I don’t know how much of that is true.
I am going to assume for purposes of this letter that you are Anarchists. I hope that you are. In a world filled with mindless worshipers of hierarchy, freedom-loving Anarchists are too few and far between. I hope you to be Anarchists, just as I hope everyone to become Anarchists, to swear off slavery to bosses and tyrants and profiteers.
I will also assume that you intended to blow up a bridge. I hope that this is true also. We are enslaved by a sprawling system that forces us to live poor, butchered half-lives, that reduces us to drones; it can only continue with our participation, and when we work to directly obstruct and sabotage that system, we create free space for greater resistance.
By my way of thinking, you would not be destroying a bridge. You would be creating a future where there would be the absence of a bridge, and therefore the absence of a tool used by the larger machinery of enslavement.
Assuming you to be Anarchists, and assuming you to have intended to blow up a bridge, I want to first of all tell you that you are not failures. Though the bridge is still standing, you have planted a seed in the minds of many who would have continued to think of this inimical and repressive system as all-powerful, who would have viewed resistance as futile. You now have them asking the important question, “What if... ?” So, please do not be hard on yourselves. You deserve praise for your courage and vision, not blame for any perceived error of judgment.
For anyone who wishes to follow in your footsteps, however, I should point out that it is never necessary to purchase explosives. One can obtain them from mines, quarries, or lumber operations, and usually with little hassle since (1) the explosives are kept away from workers for safety reasons, and (2) they are usually secured by a single padlock which may or may not be locked. It is also worth mentioning that the power of explosives is usually expressed in relation to TNT, and that C4 is two and a half times more powerful. It should also be pointed out that it requires approximately 4 pounds of explosives per square foot to take down concrete or cinderblock structures, such as courthouses or schools or embassies or... bridges. That would be 1.6 pounds of C4 per square foot.
At any rate, I want to thank you. I have seen movies like “The Matrix” and “V for Vendetta” and I have cheered for the heroes in those movies, but I never expected to see them in real life. You are those heroes. You are Neo and V. You will inspire many others who will follow your example and will liberate the future from the grip of the fascists and crapitalists.
Which gets me to the point of my letter: I want you to hold on. You are not hopeless. You are not helpless. You are not alone.
I have twenty-one years of experience in the custody of these brutal terrorists. They will engage in psychological warfare, subjecting you to dehumanizing deprivations in order to break you, in order to weaken your resolve.
When I was held in solitary confinement and subjected to sleep deprivation and torture, I found a few things that helped me to survive conditions with my integrity intact. First, I always sought a way to maintain connection with the outside world, even if it was through other prisoners sending out mail on my behalf.
Second, I found ways to resist, even if it was just refusing food and communication with my captors for an extended time. They need control, and when you refuse food, and then refuse to tell them why, it drives them crazy because they have lost control. Resistance, even small resistance, gives you purpose and gets you through the monotony of the day.
Third, I reminded myself daily of who I was. Part of the purpose of deprivation is to break your will and your sense of yourself so that they can re-define you. Never let them do that. Remember who you really are, not the redefinition they attempt to re-impose upon you. This is particularly important during periods of sleep deprivation and torture.
Fourth, remember you are not alone. You have friends. Imagine their faces, then close your eyes and think of their essence being in the room with you. Think of the long tradition of comrades and militants who have gone before us and imagine that their essence too remains with you. You do not know me and you have never seen my face because I have been captive maybe since you were born, but I am with you; so imagine what you think I look like and place me in the cell with you. Isolation is only a matter of geography. You are not abandoned; you are just kind of far away. But this is temporary and you can get through it.
Fifth, keep in mind that everything the enemy does is designed to destroy you. If you are Anarchists as the media represents, then you already know, and everything you are has been shaped by the inimical pressures of the State and the hierarchs pushing down upon you to distort you and turn you into a useful tool. You already know the score.
Sixth, and finally, you should know that you will experience a wide range of emotions. Much of what you feel will seem intolerable. In those terrible moments, center yourself and breathe deeply and ask yourself, “What is my enemy doing in order to make me feel like this? What is my enemy’s intention?” Approach your situation from an analytical framework and see it for what it is.
What you now experience is temporary. It will pass. You may feel like you cannot endure it for one more moment, but you can—and you will. I think it is important that during the trauma we experience at the hands of our enemy, we remember that this system has set in motion its own inevitable destruction. It is unsustainable. It cannot continue long, and it is already eating itself. It is unraveling. This hierarchy thing is just a temporary glitch that will soon rectify itself and then all the titles like “Special Agent” and “Judge” and “Attorney General” will have no meaning. These will be the idiots who are far more shocked than we are when the whole system goes down the toilet, and they will need our help or will end up sitting down on the curb to let the dogs and the birds eat them.
In short, the future belongs to us. We walk on the surface of history.
Do not forget who you are. Hold on.
Freedom or Death,
Prison Reg. 243-205
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