Our work renews our fidelity to freedom and a life in common. It affirms to us, in our doubt and confusion, that anarchy lives in our day to day lives and connects us to a rich and vibrant history of free spirited revolt. It asserts that anarchy will be combative or it will be dead. Solidarity with anarchist prisoners is not, for us, a humorless endeavor, a duty-infected routine. It is generative play and the substantiation of free community. Will you join us? – Call For June 11th 2021
When I think of Anarchist prisoner support, I think mostly of pain. The pain of those locked up, the pain of those supporting imprisoned loved ones, and the pain of fighting day after day within the Leviathan that is the prison system. The stories I’ve heard of longtime prison supporters seem to confirm this image, illuminating a path of constant grinding through bureaucracy, prison fuckery, and bullshit all so that their people don’t end up being tortured, starved, or killed (any more than is usual in prison). But surely that isn’t the only experience out there for prison support.
I tend to agree with the June 11th folks, that if something becomes solely a duty, a “humorless endavor”, then it often becomes a dead thing for all involved, and the opportunity for solidarity to become drudgery and duty seems to increase 1000 fold in the context of prison support. So, with that in mind, I’m interested in how folks who have done prison solidarity, are doing prison solidarity, been adjacent to it, or were the recipient of prison solidarity feel about this dynamic.
What kept you going while doing prison support, even when it felt hopeless? Was it sheer will? Small victories? Where and when did you feel joy while doing it? How might we do prison solidarity differently, to avoid at least some of the pitfalls of duty? Should we shift our focus from letter-writing, noise demos and such to prison breaks? Dropping weapons into prison yards via drone a la Sean Swain? Or should we jump on the “prison abolition will save us” bandwagon? Tell me!