Revolution #214, October 24, 2010
"The vast potential that is locked behind these prison walls"
Prisoner Writes on Gregory
Editor's Note: The following is a letter from a prisoner. We greatly appreciate receiving these letters and encourage prisoners to keep sending correspondence. The views expressed in letters from prisoners are those of the writers, and not those of Revolution.
This is an excerpt from a letter from a prisoner who writes about the recent unjust conviction of a young revolutionary, Gregory Koger (for background on the case, see “A Grave Injustice Has Been Perpetrated...” and “Judge Slams Videographer with 300 Days in Jail” in Revolution issue #211 [September 12, 2010] and #212 [September 26, 2010].
Dollar-a-Day PRLF Donation for Every Day of Gregory’s Unjust Sentence
In response to the outrageous conviction and sentence of Gregory Koger, a Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF) supporter was inspired to donate a dollar for every day of Gregory’s sentence ($300):
“Gregory should definitely know how inspiring he is. He has a lot of heart and the will to dedicate himself to the service of humanity. I heard of how the judge looked down at him and declared that he had a violent nature and needed to be locked up, in the literal face of all those who had come in person to support him, and in the metaphorical face of all those (including me) watching from afar, many of whom had sent personal statements of their own. I mainly want to challenge the Judge’s words in a concrete way. I decided to pledge $1 to Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund for each day he was sentenced to, $300. And I’m asking others to try to contribute something also. Because it is such an outrage. Think if it could snowball, think what that would mean to everyone, to Gregory and all the prisoners that will be reached.”
Also please view Gregory’s eloquent appeal to “Adopt a Subscription” to Revolution for a prisoner, which can be read at prlf.org or seen at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqtpfFI1EBU. Please give a generous donation and consider becoming a monthly sustainer.
I’m writing to comment on the article in the last Revolution newspaper titled: “A Grave Injustice Has Been Perpetrated...Free Gregory! No Jail Time!” The fact that Gregory had went from being a “common” criminal—who’d once unknowingly engaged in “class suicide” against himself and the community, by perpetrating a bourgeois dog-eat-dog world outlook—to transforming that world outlook to one of a revolutionary proletarian kind, speaks to the vast potential that is locked behind these prison walls.
As a proletarian revolutionary myself, who’s been incarcerated for the past twelve years since I was nineteen, I applaud the fact that he spent his time in prison developing his consciousness to the extent that he can now say that: “Now my life is dedicated to the struggle to end all exploitation and oppression and getting to a world where people contribute what they can to society and get back what they need to live a life worthy of human beings.”
That statement by Gregory reminds me of a quote by Mao in which he said, “The correctness or incorrectness of the ideological and political line decides everything.”
Not only does it decide everything in regards to how we define our true class interest, our relation to the proletariat class (domestically and abroad), and our world outlook, it also decides how the bourgeois ruling class defines its relation towards us. As Mao said, “Class struggle is an objective reality independent of man’s will. That is to say, class struggle is inevitable.”
No matter if we’re conscious of our true class interest or not, the way we go about our lives, the content of our world outlook, and the values we live by, will either be a proletarian line or a bourgeois one—again, no matter if we’re conscious of it or not. Nevertheless, it’s only when we become conscious of our proletarian responsibility (by taking up the proletarian line consciously)—as Gregory had done—that we truly become a revolutionary threat to the status quo of our misery. Why, one might ask? Well, because the person, who consciously embodies the proletarian line, represents in him or herself, the socialist man, the socialist woman, and socialist society in negation of the bourgeois man, bourgeois woman, and bourgeois society of today. This is truly the capitalist’s greatest fear, since he finds in such a person no future of himself, in him or her—at least not within his capitalist form and content today.
The injustice that has recently been perpetrated against Gregory is nothing more than a concentrated expression of this class struggle. Just as we have been successfully combating the Revolution newspaper ban in California, we must stand behind this comrade until we can successfully claim another tactical victory. It’ll show our resolve and commitment to those leaving prison, who’ve chosen to dedicate their lives to their true class interest, while strengthening and deepening the overall movement.
In addition, I believe Gregory’s case also provides an opportunity for us on the inside to learn more about this comrade in Revolution newspaper—with the aim of deepening the commitment of those behind the walls…
P.S. Thanks again for sending me And Mao Makes Five. More of us need to understand the importance and the significance of The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
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