Love Your Enemies for the United Front?
I received September/October issue of Under Lock & Key. I have a couple of comments to share, regarding what I read. One person, page 9, thought the AEH in California meant he had to love someone who killed someone over his "views and beliefs." That's not what you're being asked. It would seem to me that if we look around there are serious issues that could be dealt with more effectively if we were to combine our resources. I've been in here going on 50 years, and trust me, I don't like everyone I work with. Doesn't matter — if we're fighting the same enemy.
Secondly, regarding the Texas gulag system hiding the prisoners' grievance manual, doesn't the state have an Open Records Act, or FOIA law? Even a backwater like Texas should have at least one of them.
MIM(Prisons) responds: This brief letter is very relevant to the question of the United Front and who we can unite with. We agree with this writer that we can be more effective united, and it is definitely true that we don't have to like everyone we work with. The views and behaviors we have learned over a lifetime of living under capitalist patriarchy are going to be filled with stuff that other people don't like. And perhaps more importantly, those people who aren't even interested in trying to fight their patriarchal views or other anti-people beliefs might still be potential allies. We don't have to like them, but if they are down for fighting on the side of the oppressed against the criminal injustice system we can ally with them in the United Front for Peace in Prisons. Over time we can also hope to educate them further in the various forms of oppression and perhaps awaken a broader desire for justice and equality. But we do not need all of our allies to also be close comrades. To require this would mean sacrificing our goals for unattainable ideals.