Commentary from An Anarchist Prisoner

By Duane Fuller, Center for a Stateless Society

As an anarchist prisoner, it has been said many times that one can learn a great deal about society by looking towards its prisons. Look towards its dungeons and there you will see in concentrated and microcosmic form the sickness of the entire system. And today there is something that is particularly revealing about the analogy between the prison and the larger society of which it is a reflection. For in a painfully real sense, we are all prisoners of a society whose bombastic proclamations of freedom and justice for all are nothing but meaningless rhetoric.

In our society today, we are surrounded by the very wealth and scientific achievements which hold forth a promise of freedom. Freedom is so near, yet at the same time it is so far away. This thought invokes in me the same sensation I feel while awaiting my release in prison in a few short months while enduring the conditions of the past 46 years of incarceration.

From my cell, I am eagerly awaiting to join the movement of my fellow comrades with the freedom of space which was taken from me while in captivity. The conditions in the here and now of all races on the streets bears a striking resemblance to the conditions in the prisons I have been in and at the present moment in my life. The wealth and technology around us tells that a free, humane, harmonious society lies near. But at the same time, it is so far away because someone is holding the keys and that someone refuses to open the gates to freedom. Like all prisoners, locked up with the ugliness of racism and poverty and wars and all the attendant mental frustrations and manipulations. We’re also locked up with our dreams and visions of freedom, and with the knowledge that if we only had the keys – if we could only seize them from our keepers, the oil companies, automotive manufacturers, all the giant corporations, and of course from their yellow belly protectors, the government. If we could only get our hands on those keys, we could transform these visions and these dreams into reality. Our situation bears a very excruciating similarity to my situation as a prisoner, we must never forget this. For if we do, we will lose our desire for freedom and our will to struggle for liberation.


Categories: Anarchism/Anti-State

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