A reflection on coming out of prison: on Contradictions and Responsibility

A reflection upon coming out of prison: Contradictions: including Individual and collective responsibility.

Susan Crane, May 2012
Peggy Coleman, Susan Crane, Chet Collins and Larry Purcell

Peggy Coleman, Susan Crane, Chet Collins and Larry Purcell in the FCI Dublin visiting room.

After the Disarm Now Plowshares action, trial and sentencing, I was in prison with a fifteen month sentence: an eye-blink in comparison to the sentences of most of the women I was with in FDC SeaTac and FCI Dublin.   FCI Dublin is a federal woman’s prison in California that is behind two fences and rolls and rolls of razor wire. There are about 1000 women there; 85% were foreign nationals, mostly Hispanic, who would be deported by ICE when their sentences were over.  I have no regrets about going onto the US Naval Base in Washington, where the largest stockpile of nuclear warheads are stored, and where 8 of the trident submarines that deploy the nuclear warheads, are homeported.

The time in prison was full of contradictions and bookended by two passages: a quote from George Bernard Shaw about prisons, and a story from the gospel of Matthew about the judgement of the nations. Both bring up the question of how we as individuals and as a collective are responsible for what is happening in the culture we live in.  Continue reading

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