Letter by Jeremy Hammond for June 11 Day of Solidarity
This message from Jeremy commemorates the 2018 June 11 Day of Solidarity with long-term anarchist prisoners. To find out more, including how to write many anarchist prisoners, please visit June11.org
A raised fist to all those behind bars who maintain their dignity in the face of a system that dehumanizes and exploits us! Our steadfast commitment to our collective vision of a free society is more resilient than any prison they’ve ever built; even after all their iron bars and concrete walls crumble to dust, we will remain standing strong together.
A raised fist to all those in the world writing letters, sending books, marching in the streets or putting in all-nighters! Your words and actions have a ripple effect that reaches even those of us the system has attempted to bury. You remind us that we are all part of something bigger than any of us individually: that when one of us falls, others will pick up where you left off, and the struggle continues.
Reflecting on this year’s theme of sustainability and burnout, I consider how we can stay positively engaged despite the stresses and hardships of an oppressive society. Whether one is imprisoned, warehoused like cattle in the most minimal conditions allowed by law, or whether one lives in the so-called “free world” competing for survival in their financial rat race, we are all struggling under an authoritarian power structure and an economic system we had no role in creating and which offers us no future. I can understand how, in the face of a seemingly overwhelming military force, headed by the most blatantly corrupt corporate fascist to date, the odds may seem against us, and as a result, some can become jaded or burnt out.
Not a day goes by that I don’t say to myself that prison is fucking terrible and no one should have to live like this. Not for one second, however, do I regret my actions that have brought me here. Fully aware of the potential consequences of my illegal activities, I decided that it was better to risk everything to change an unjust society than to become comfortable within it’s cage. We can’t foresee every card that life deals, every betrayal or unfortunate circumstance; I’ve made mistakes and tactical blunders, and have taken some losses along the way, but I still believe in the power of direct action and hacktivism. The key to overcoming these challenges is staying focused and active, and constantly evolving oneself to confront new circumstances while staying true to our principles.
Possibly the greatest injustice as an imprisoned anarchist is the inability to participate in the movements that we were a part of. Often we would be completely unaware of how history is unfolding, if it weren’t for the diligent efforts of the comrades out there who have kept us connected to our communities and informed of current news and analysis. Your work in this regard is much appreciated; knowing that people have our backs, gives us continued strength and inspiration. It brings a smile to my face every time I read a reportback or critical analysis, knowing that it is still going down out there. And as I complete the final stretch of my bid, I am preparing myself physically and mentally for my release, and look forward to joining you all.
See you in the streets!