April 4, 2010
As a reader of Revolution’s letters from prisoners, I am outraged that a prison in California or ANYWHERE USA is banning their right to read Revolution newspaper. This goes to the most basic rights of people locked up on the bottom of society to lift their heads to understand the world and through their voices to be part of changing it.
Do prisoners have a right to develop as critical thinkers?
Do prisoners have a right to the wonder and awe of science?
Do prisoners have a right to atheist views and to break the mental shackles of religion?
Do prisoners have a right to understand why so many of them are in prison?
Do prisoners have a right to learn how to build bonds of multi-racial unity through recognizing the common roots of their oppression?
Do prisoners have a right to understand the oppression of women, to reject the misogyny and porn so prevalent in prisons?
Do prisoners have a right to explore alternatives—radical, revolutionary and Communist solutions to the plight of the people and of the planet itself?
Do prisoners have a right to transform themselves into emancipators of humanity?
I have read the letters. I have seen the future in these letters. I see in your prison bans the echo of the past when it was a crime for slaves to teach themselves or be taught to read. It is as basic as this—Do prisoners have a right to a life of the mind, to be human even under the most horrible conditions? YES THEY DO!