Truth In the Midst Of a Battle Zone
“Truth became my sole objective. It began to grow in magnitude every day and my definition of it also has been ever widening.”
The Story Of My Experiments With Truth, Mohandas Karamchan (Mahatma) Gandhi
A battle zone. Burning rubble, riot control, tear gas grenades being deployed, SWAT teams stomping around, crowd dispersal chemical weapon OC gas assault rifles being utilized, screaming cries of pain echoing throughout the atmosphere—this is an absolute war-zone. Yes, all of the things mentioned above apply to this environment right now. This is what is happening.
Earlier today I conducted a sit-in demonstration coming back from the shower and made a team of officers carry me back to my call in the Spirit of Satyagraha. The day was extremely chaotic. The psyche patient guy B. was screaming all day and beating on his metal toilet and walls. Conducting civil disobedience demonstrations is always intense in this environment and this is something that words cannot even begin to properly describe. Watch a scene from a war movie and perhaps you can get a feel for what is going on. I’ve seen plenty of prison movies but none have ever shown organized protest in prison. All of the focus on prisoner vs. prisoner issues or depict the general daily occurrences in prison. Of course organized protest is an extremely rare thing in prison historically and in today’s time, but this is what we are doing; this is what we are engaged in.
Ah, yes, the C.O.s just walked by and didn’t step on the faces of Jesus, Ghandi and MLK. In the Use Of Force Offender Participation Statement of 5.13.11 below you’ll read how I did a flyering of big 9×12 images of Ghandi, MLK, Jesus, the peace symbol and symbol of early scared OM, right after the demonstration I conducted earlier. For a while the C.O.s stepped on the images while walking by, stepping on symbols of Righteousness, Liberty and Justice and Peaceful Coexistence of Humanity until one C.O. became bothered by this and kicked the images into a pile in the corner. I hope people understand that we are most certainly not inmates ‘just acting up’. I do not think that it would be too farfetched for me to say that I am knowledgeable in the area of socio-politics and particularly the social justice struggles of the past.
I think in an extremely strategic and methodical manner. I live in the tradition of those who have engaged in transformative societal action in the past. I am a student of Mohandas Karamchan (Mahatma) Gandhi, of Martin Luther King Jr., of the U.S. Civil Rights movement. I’ve studied socio-political theories of various kinds of Resistance throughout history for many, many years. This does not need to be said to those who know me, but I know that sometimes pieces I write get forwarded to a large number of people who don’t necessarily know who I am. For those, I urge you to go to my website http://www.freerobwill.org and also http://www.drivemovement.org and discover who I am and read the writings of others. The first major direct action that I engaged in this recent protest campaign was conducted on April 29th, 15 days ago, two weeks ago. That Friday, in celebration of May Day (we don’t go to rec. on Sunday and Saturday wasn’t a good day strategically speaking) I engaged in a peoples’ confiscation of the oppressive hand-restraints (i.e., handcuffs) and locked myself to the dayroom push-up bar. The SWAT team came and forcefully removed me and carried me back to my cell while I gave a protest speech, or as my Comrade Gabriel would say, “I got my white Malcolm X on.” We’ve been engaged in intense struggle since then. I haven’t been able to write much. It took me several days to recover from the CS chemical weapon crowd control tear gas grenade that was used on me last week. I’m still sore from the crowd dispersal OC chemical weapon assault rifle rounds that were fired at me.
People tend to be wide-eyed shocked when they learn that they use military grade chemical weapons on us. Yes, they are chemical weapons. If for example, the UN held a council session on Qaddafi’s use of chemical weapons they would be discussing OC (oleoresin capsicum) and CS (orthochlorobenzalmalononitrile) gas. In fact, these are the only forms of chemical weapons he has used and this is exactly what they’ve been using on us here. These deadly ‘non-lethal’ weapons have killed thousands of people. And the technology used in the chemical weapon deployment, the ‘chemical weapon delivery systems’ are specifically designed for crowd control/riot dispersal only, but this is what they use on us, on a singular individual.
So, yes, indeed, it does take a few days to recover from being assaulted with riot control chemical weapons and it’s hard to write during the recovery period. Perhaps this is the reason I haven’t heard from a single person regarding the direct-action campaign I’ve been engaged in for the last two weeks. Or perhaps people do not care and are not interested? I certainly hope the former is the case. One thing for certain, I need your support; we need your support. Everyone please network and get out information about what is going on—utilize all available networks and avenues. Contact media and various organizations. The Administration is trying desperately to lock down the flow of information COINTELPRO-style. Do not allow them to do this. Outside support is absolutely essential. Bridges of solidarity with dedicated people on the outside must be built and solidified. It is true that the system of capital punishment is unjust. Is it true that the conditions here—which are far worse than what Bradley Manning has been enduring—are extremely oppressive? It is true that my struggle, our struggle is inexorably connected to all other current and past social justice struggles? If you believe that the answer to all of these questions is yes, then I hope you will feel convicted and feel compelled to get involved. In the spirit of Satya, in the spirit of Truth, I’ll sign off with a warm embrace of:
Peace, Strength and Love
*When contacting me offering support and solidarity please let me know who you are, what your capabilities are, what you are willing to do and what level of involvement you wish to have. This saves a lot of time!
* The Offender Participant Statement from the 5.13.11 demonstration/UOF is posted below.
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Use Of Force Report
Offender Participant Statement
a. Name: Robert Will TDCJ#: 999402
b. Date force was used: 5.13.11
c. What happened before the UOF that may have caused officers to use force?
I was viciously psychologically assaulted and as many academics have noted psychological violence is many times more severe than physical violence.
d. Where were you when the force was used on you?
12 FF shower, and then 12FF 7I.
e. What kind of force did staff use on you?
I was carried back to my cell.
f. If you think staff should not have used force on you, or they used too much force, explain why:
No, staff should not have used force. They should have led a contingent to the Major’s office and the Warden’s office and forcefully removed Major Smith and Warden Lester from the unit because of their oppressive actions.
g. Did the force used on you leave marks on you or cause injury?
If “yes”, what are the marks or injuries?
Extreme psychological trauma. Since this new outrageous rise of oppression initiated by Administration I have been consistently and viciously assaulted and my psyche has suffered greatly because of this.
h. Written statement:
Some interesting symbolism: I just tossed some large 9×12 photos of Jesus, Ghandi, and a Peace symbol, a scared Om symbol and Martin Luther King Jr. out on the run, so they will be walked upon when this statement is picked up and every officer who walks the run today will be stepping on them. This is only appropriate because this system by its very existence steps daily upon the face of Peace, Justice, Humanity—the things which these pictures symbolize. The Death Penalty is fundamentally unjust and even the conservative American Law Institute has withdrawn its support for capital punishment. (Note: The American Law Institute essentially allowed the death penalty to be used again in the U.S. by giving intellectual credibility but now the ALI has recognized that the system of capital punishment is thoroughly flawed and cannot be justified in any intelligent manner.) Yes, we are protesting the conditions here but larger questions must be asked. Why were millions of dollars spent on the video camera system for D.R.? Why not give the C.O.s the pay raise they’ve been asking for, for years? How about building some schools instead of spending the approximately $2.3 million it takes to execute someone? As all academics that have the right to speak on such things have noted, the death penalty is certainly not a deterrent. It serves no purpose other than the nefarious purpose of allowing certain people——D.A.’s running for office in very conservative areas, for example—to boast loudly that they are”…pro death penalty!”
I’m innocent. I don’t belong here. Think of this: Michael Tonty was always getting into it with officers and he’d write about the bad conditions here, ranting and ranting. You, being a part of this environment, oppressed Tonty for over a decade before he was released and exonerated. Same with Antony Graves, and Ernest Willis and y’all are doing the same to me. And I know there are other innocent people here like Sarge Foster. I knew his co-defendant and he told me what happened, he told me Sarge didn’t kill the victim or have anything to do with it. But Sarge is here being viciously attacked on a daily basis. I’m here being viciously attacked on a daily basis. D.R. is being singled out. None of this asinine nonsense is going on out in the g.p.: The The g.p. C.O.s aren’t being viciously harassed by Administration like the D.R. C.O.s are. You will read tis and then think: “Oh, so that’s why those pictures were in front of Will’s cell.” Everyone reading this needs to think of this: We realize that all of the problems are arising from Major Smith and Warden Lester (and a few ass-kissing suck-up cowardly C.O.s like little Daniels and property officer Martinez). Are you going to continue to stomp on the face of Jesus, Ghandi, MLK and allow things to get worse? Are you going to sit by like a passenger on a train that is running out of control and do nothing? Are you going to stomp on peaceful existence for all? Or are you going to change things and make this environment better for both inmates and officers? In the 35-year history of modern Texas Death Row there have never been so very many Uses Of Force and assaults in such a short period of time. It needs to stop. I will be living on Level-III until things change and others have that attitude also. And there are more of us on L-I just waiting to be called to action. But we just want to be calm and be left alone and have things be better for inmates and officers. Either you will help this happen or by your inaction become part of the problem. If things regress it is your fault. Discover a renewed sense of humanity and realize that you have the power to create a more positive environment for all.
* Please thank whatever genius decided to split some of us up—now, rebellious ideology can be spread to other pods! Thank you! Whoever, obviously hasn’t noticed that this has already been happening and of course we planned on this. We appreciate the strategic help!