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//OPPENPAL [until they are all free]
follow: @OpPenPal #OpPenPal #OpValentine
In January, Rachel Allshiny received a letter from a prisoner named Marcel who met Migs (NATO 5) in segregated housing at Pontiac Correctional Center. (As you may recall, Migs was thrown in seg for 5 months because he had “unauthorized” anarchist literature and symbols.) Marcel wanted to know more about OpPenPal and asked to be added to our list so that other politically conscious people could send him letters and books.
Although Marcel is not incarcerated for political reasons, it is our belief that any prisoner who wants to learn about the history and theory of political resistance should be accommodated if possible. As such OpPenPal will be establishing a second mailing list in the near future to include prisoners who have non-political charges but are interested in corresponding with activists and receiving political literature.
It is important not only to have activists advocating for prisoners from the outside, but also to cultivate relationships with prisoners on the inside who are committed to resisting the oppressive conditions of their confinement.
Before I go any further, I’d first like to say that I really appreciate you taking the time out to respond to my letter. It was a very pleasant surprise because, due to the lapse in time, I’d honestly assumed my letter would go unanswered.
After reading your letter and getting a clear understanding of all that you do and everything you’re involved with, I must say I’m impressed. The work you do and the lives you’ve impacted through your efforts speaks volumes about your character, to me. I can only imagine the amount of time and effort you have sacrificed to be a part of making [OpPenPal] a reality. It leaves me to wonder, when do you have time to rest?
I became aware of the Occupy Chicago movement around the time that Chicago was hosting the NATO summit a few summers ago. It seemed to be all that the media was covering at that time, so I knew that whatever the Occupy movement was about, it had to be a serious threat in one way or another to the summit, because the security measures that were being implemented in anticipation of the protest were unheard of.
Over the years I’ve become more familiar with the organization [i.e. Occupy] through reading and seeing them in the news. Comrade Migs and the reading material he shared with me is what really sparked my interest, though, and left me thirsty for knowledge of the movement and the companionship of those active in it.
Although my knowledge of political activism is limited, I do know the risk of being arrested is always there for those on the streets protesting to make a difference. I also know firsthand the deliberate injustices being inflicted by the authorities behind these walls upon those who’ve dared to buck the system and have been labeled as “terrorist” and “anarchist.”
So you’re absolutely right; prisoner support is an indispensable part of the protest community, but also know that the people like yourself who advocate on behalf of those behind bars are just as invaluable. You’ll probably never know how vital your support was to Comrade Migs during his time away, and especially the time he spent in seg. Something as simple as a letter with a few words of encouragement means the world to us in here, so for him to have the whole movement behind him in solidarity is powerful.
Also, your willingness to assist even those who do not fit your original mission is admirable. It reflects on your role as an educator, and I am honored to even be considered for the OpPenPal offshoot that you’re currently working on. So yes, please include me, and be sure to let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.
Since it started I’d been following [the #NATO3] trial closely and was relieved to see that they were acquitted of the more serious charges in their case. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous how much time and money was wasted trying to convict these guys of these outrageous charges. This fiasco really makes the Mayor and CPD look bad. Hopefully this case will serve as precedent for activism in Chicago for the future. I’m interested in seeing what the outcome of sentencing will be - whether or not they’ll be fair or if they’ll try to send a message.
Before I close my letter, I’d like to share a little more about myself. Like yourself, I’ve lived in Chicago my entire life. Before my incarceration I’d been trained and certified in Culinary Arts and worked as a cook at Mt Sinai Hospital on the city’s west side. Cooking is something I’m passionate about, but unfortunately my reckless lifestyle and some very poor decisions led me down a different path, and landed me in prison.
Since I’ve been away I’ve made a conscious decision to change my life for the better and do something positive with my remaining years. I know that an education is the key to success, so I enrolled in school and have completed three vocational courses and received certificates. Before I was placed in seg, I was attending night classes to earn credits towards an associate’s degree in liberal studies. I’ve been in seg for eleven months now, so my education is pretty much on hold. I’m due to be released from seg at the end of April and will pick up where I left off.
While here though, I do a lot of reading to stay mentally stimulated and sharp. I’ll read just about anything right now but I prefer fiction, mysteries, action thrillers, horror, some theological non-fiction, history, and biographies. I also like newspapers and any type of mags dealing with current events and world news.
Outside of reading I’m a sports fanatic, especially for the Chicago sports teams. I like it all, football to hockey. So I spend a lot of time watching games, whatever they might be, and ESPN.
I like to write and express myself, so I’ve recently begun to keep a journal and write short stories and poems to pass the time.
On that note I’m going to end this in hopes of hearing from you again whenever your schedule allows. Until then take care of yourself and stay warm. I’ll do the same.
P.S. I’m not familiar with the Suffragettes. Please enlighten me. If there’s a book or any type of reading material you can send my on the subject I’d really appreciate it.
WRITE TO MARCEL:
Marcel Hunter #B65362
Pontiac Correctional Center
PO Box 99
Pontiac IL 61764
If you have questions about sending books to Marcel or other prisoners, please get in touch with @allshiny.
I didn’t really mean for the ‘slide to unlock’ to end up THERE.. But now that it has.. I’m not complaining… 😂
MUST SEE & Important: This is the following conversation between Assange and Snowden. Obama’s mad at them stealing Microsoft.
I have a sneaking suspicion these people are from the comments section at Gawker. Sigh, the good old days.
The violence we teach our sons in teaching them to Be Men is the same that keeps us up at night worrying about our daughters.
К. Беньямин. Поразительные окружности. Коллаж, 2013.
C. Benjamin. Striking circle. Collage, 2013.
This collage is amazing.
Photoset reblogged from with 343,096 notes
Leonardo DiCaprio gets attacked by a penguin during a trip to Antarctica in 2006
Sweet jesus how I love this. Penguin is all “Mission Accomplished, Tango Down”
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