Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Letter to San Quentin

 


My letter below to death row administrator Captain Patao at San Quentin State Prison in California. It is a letter in solidarity with an inmate on death row by the name of James P. Anderson who many believe is innocent. Anderson works hard from jail to link various movement activists and also makes art (including beautiful pendants) that he shares with various organizations working for justice. One of his pieces recently sold for $1,000 in an auction to benefit one of the groups. Anderson has been using a metal prong from an electric cord for years to carve his pendants. It's never been used as a weapon and the jailers long knew he had it. Recently he was charged for 'having a weapon' and was put in the hole for 90 days. The real reason for the punishment by the jail administration was because Anderson is a royal pain-in-the-ass who uses the legal system to hold the prison accountable for their many misdeeds. This is the story of one such case. (I will soon write more about James Anderson and his 42 years behind bars.)


Captain Patao,

I am writing about James Anderson who I assume is under your control.

I've been a phone friend of Mr. Anderson for over two years. We talk frequently about his life and the larger world.

I was distressed when I heard he had been put into more severe detention for the past 90 days. He is now waiting to be moved back to his previous cell.

I was also distressed when I first heard that Mr. Anderson had been found 'guilty' for using a metal bit from an electric plug to do his art work. Something I understand your administration has been aware of for many years and the 'item' had never been used in any threatening way.

It appears to me to be a case of 'creating an excuse' to justify more punishment.

Mr. Anderson has been in jail long enough that he has the crazy idea that he should be treated with respect and dignity.

He's had repeated incidents happen where your staff has stolen his property. In the real word those who steal are supposed to be prosecuted - not the other way around!

He was found guilty for holding the institution to its own professed rules and ideals.

You should know that out here in the land of the free, people are increasingly re-evaluating the entire 'criminal justice system' - from the cops to the courts and to the jails'. We don't like much of what we see.

Your administration is pledged to serve the public and those on the inside.

I call upon you to honor your professed code.

I intend to write about this on my blog.

You've inspired me to speak out.

In peace,

Bruce K. Gagnon
Coordinator
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 389-4606
http://www.space4peace.org


'Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.'
                ~ Henry David Thoreau

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