Updated: Oct 20
Today is Christmas.
It’s about 3 a.m. and I’ve been up all night writing. I’m really amazed by the awesome response we’ve been getting from everyone on the outside. Let me explain how things go with my website. First, only one person operates my site and that’s my webmaster-genius friend Miles. He runs like 25 other sites all by himself. It would be simply impossible for him to type up everything that goes on my site. Plus, he lives in England and it takes around two weeks for our letters to get to each other.
So everything has to be typed up beforehand, then e-mailed to him. I only have one person who does typing for me and she’s an absolutely amazing woman who is extremely active in the anti-death penalty movement. You know how they have Extreme Snowboarding and other Extreme Sports Championship awards? Well, if there was an Extreme Abolitionist award, she would surely be a top contender. I don’t see how she gets so much done for the anti-death penalty movement on top of working and dealing with a house full of kids.
Really, she’s amazing and we’re lucky to have her as an ally in the Struggle. So it’s me writing, her typing, and Miles posting – that’s it. When we start protesting harder, I’ll need to be putting updates out everyday. Plus, a lot of people have been e-mailing my site and leaving messages on the message board asking questions that I need to answer.
We really need some help with typing. If anyone here in the United States is able to help, let me know. When Miles and my Extreme Abolitionist Champion friend read this, I know they’re going to tell me,"It’s no problem at all Rob. Send me whatever needs to be typed up and I’ll get it posted ASAP". They’re both very caring, thoroughly dedicated to the Movement and they understand how important it is to get information out to the public right away. But I also know that they really don’t need any more work – they’d be overwhelmed. So, if anyone here in the United States can offer any help, it would be very much appreciated.
Now, let me answer some questions people have asked me. I believe the DRIVE pamphlet is up on my site under the DRIVE section. Like I said, it takes two weeks for me to get Miles mail, so things go kind of slow. And of course it takes two weeks for him to receive my letters. If anyone in the United States would like to help with the web stuff, let me know. Things could be done a lot faster that way.
I have no idea how long I’ll be on disciplinary status. I’ve been trying to organize a protest since the very first day I arrived on death row, so I’ve spent most of my time here on disciplinary levels. No, I’ve never had a fundraiser, or tried to do any fundraising. I guess that’s because I’m not a big fan of capital. But I’m moving into my last stage of appeals, and my only hope is to find a good federal writ attorney soon, so I suppose fundraising for attorney fees would be a good idea.
About the gas, the TDCJ “Use of Force Plan” says they use OC and CS gas. I think they have some other kinds down there in the Use of Force office, though. No we don’t get actual outside recreation. What TDCJ calls “outside recreation” is an enclosure about 15 feet by 10 feet cage with 20 foot high walls on all sides and metal bars across the top. A person might feel the sun on his skin through the roof of bars 4 or 5 times a year, if he is lucky. Even then, it’s only for a short period of time.
I’ll be answering every letter I’ve received; all I do is write all day long and take reading breaks every so often. I’ll be answering everyone e-mails also, if I can find a way to do that. The Solidarity everyone out there has been showing truly is inspiring!
Today is Christmas, and Jesus was just about as cool as can be. So I think I’ll close off with a paragraph from the letter of James, 1:24, and then a quote directly from the Christ himself, Matthew 5:9-10.
My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have it’s full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of God.
From the Polunsky Death Camp
with Strength and Love: