DRIVE

DEATH ROW INNERCOMMUNALIST VANGUARD ENGAGEMENT

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Reading the call to send our thoughts about this subject I feel there is no right or wrong in the first place.  I am a psychologist and psychology is about understanding... people's minds, feelings, behaviour. From that point of view, any way of acting just before one gets executed is legitimate, understandable, logic, right...

 

Those who fight are not foolish; their acts are meaningful, very much so..it is the way they express the value of their life..maybe it's fear or despair...whatever it is..it can be understood and should be respected.

 

Those who walk in peace express their most inner self or the state they are in as well. People always have their reasons which are to be respected too.

 

Personally I have great admiration for those who resist, simply because I feel their strength and love, not only for life, themselves, but also for their comrades. And if they physically fight I feel them. It's like they want to give their loved ones and the world a last message...and if they do, we should send that message around to the world.

 

Therefore, I hope lot of men will NOT walk to their own murder...maybe that is a great way to resist...powerful but nonviolent. DRIVE is all about that and I love all those who strongly support DRIVE's vision. Politically speaking this way of resisting may be the most powerful way to really reach people...to not confirm the image of the violent criminal...it's strong, shows dignity and determination, but as I said, you'll hear no moral judgment from my side when one decides to fight.

 

In struggle and connection with you all,

Maayke Derks

 

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I think it shows that life is important...these men are still human beings and deserve the same fairness that everyone in or out gets....My thoughts on this are:

 

Fight, fight all the way to the end....DRIVE ON because you deserve humanity and these are your lives you are fighting for!!!!

 

Claire Dube

 

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I respect the right of a man (or woman) to decide what to do in that unthinkable time. But if I have to say, I'm hearin' Gabriel's voice in his poem- Suit up the team,I'm going out scrappin'. Your lives are worth a fight.

 

Peggy Howell

 

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Hi guys,

 

I think no one from the outside can give any advice about this. I could not even say how I would react in such a situation.

 

As you, I am against any violence so no physically fighting. Cooperating would mean to me going down and cooperate with the system and what it does to you. NO WAY !! Not to walk seems to me a good thought. Don't participate with this cruelty.

 

This year was my first visits on death row at Texas, what I know now is that I have to learn a lot more. For sure I am not the one to give any of you any advice.

 

I am encouraging you to go on with your struggle and I am supporting any non-violating way for that.

 

Thank you for those wonderful visits.

 

Chrissy Vorstand - ALIVE (Germany)

 

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Dear Haramia KiNassor!!

 

I hope that you are well!

 

Haramia KiNassor, it is like a name of a warrior!

 

I often go on the site of the DRIVE Movement! I absolutely wanted to write to you about your text: “Fight Until the End”, and to send you my regard!

 

Already, I thought of this question, often when a very good friend was killed by the state of Texas. He was called Marion Dudley, "Baby boy". Marion was against violence, he studied the Buddhism Zen, he liked much meditated. The way in which Marion faced the day of his execution made me so much reflect. He refused its last meal, when the guards came to seek it, he remained sat. Thus, they have to carry it. In spite of sadness to have lost this friend. I smile also while thinking of the way in which he left. I am so proud of him. Because until the end he respected its conviction: no violence! While remaining no violent, he showed its opposition, he showed its revolt by refusing the last meal, and remaining sat.

 

I am proud of him, and I would be eternally proud of him!

But I would never allow myself to judge the men who act differently from him the day of their execution.

 

I have other friends in the death row, in Texas. But I never tackled this subject with them, because it is not obvious to do it. Perhaps, I am afraid to do it…

But if this terrible day arrived, if they decided to fight. I would not be shocked, I can understand that a man fights for his life. A man, a woman, a child, an animal, we are all able to fight when we feel in danger, we have this force in us. Even if the exit is fatal, I can understand that a person fights for her life. I am against violence, but I could never judge a man who fights of all his forces for saying: "No, I do not want to die…"

 

Dignity is in the heart! A person can be worthy, even if he decides to go until its death, a person can be worthy while fighting like a lion, a person can be worthy while deciding to eat or not to eat her last meal…  Dignity remains in the heart, and in the love of the close relations…

 

If my friends decide to fight, or not to walk, or to walk the day of their execution. They will always have a great place in my heart, because what will remain in my heart it is our friendship. All that we are given of beautiful and of sincere…

 

Thus, I cannot give you my position. All the reflections which I would have will not never give me the possibility of answering you. As free people will never understand oppressed people. Perhaps that the people free will be able to fight for the oppressed people, because they will be against oppression. But they will maybe be able to never understand the reactions of people oppressed.

 

But we do not need to be understood to be a person respected. Freud was not be always understood, but much of men respected it!

 

But I can give you my reflection on the last meal, as well as on the lethal injection.

 

In certain countries in the Middle-East, the lapidation is their means of execution.

The countries not practising the death penalty say: it is barbarian!! It is cruel! It is inhuman! And that gives perhaps good conscience to countries which practise the lethal injection. They want to make believe that their method is more human, but finally they kill also! They assassinate!

 

Finally it is a illusion for to continue to assassinate, it is a way of saying: "Look at! Here we kill in a soft way!" People have the need to be sleeping peacefully the night!

But if many people for the death penalty knew really what occurred in the death row, if they opened the eyes in front of the lies of their states murderer, they could not sleep peacefully…

People for the death penalty, prefers to think that all of the prisoners of the death row are monsters. Thus they can sleep peacefully and not feel guilty to be victim of the lies of their state.

 

Yes, unfortunately, much of people for the death penalty are victims.

They are victims of their hatred!

They are victims of their fears!

They are victims of their politicians!

They are victims of the media!

 

But in fact these victims do not want to think of all these illusions, they are too egoists...  They want to sleep peacefully…

 

So that they continue not to reflect, the politicians for the death penalty their, say that the death penalty is the solution against criminality. They say: you spend less money with the death penalty; the prison at the perpetuity would make you spend of many moneys…

 

And they feel less guilty while saying itself than, they pay the meals of the prisoners of the death row, even the last meal, thus they continue to sleep peacefully…

 

We must prevent them from sleeping peacefully!! The writing exist the men have to use it for denouncing the injustices; your texts are really strong!

People who are free must make use of these texts to act!

I am 25 years old.

I was 20 years old when I read a book of a prisoner of death row. And now I have several pen pals in the death row, and I am a member of an association against the death penalty.

 

Do not stop you writing! The writing is a force!

 

Perhaps the people who will read you will decide to act because you will have touched them with your words! I was touched by the writing, and I do not want to be a victim who sleeps peacefully!

 

Regard and smile for the D.R.I.V.E. Movement and for you!!!

 

Kadia

 

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Hi Kenneth,

 

As I have translated your text I had time to think of your questions. And I think this is very hard to tell you what I think that inmates should do because I just can’t imagine the hell you are living, I've never been in that situation and so I really don't know how I would behave myself if I were in that case. So it's hard to say (from my simple little and cozy life) that to me inmates should fight until death, not walking to this unfair path, let the officers be conscious of their funeral job, but the best could be that the media know about this "ultimate not walking protest". But I have no advice to say, I don't think I'm able to do it. This is just because your asking makes me think a lot. Thanks for that, Kenneth. I encourage you in your non-violent protest, you've got good ideas with your  

movement.

 

Be careful to you.

 

Standing in determination,

Fanny

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FIGHTING UNTIL THE END? WHAT PEOPLE THINK: