This letter comes from Susan Crane, serving 15 months beginning in 3/28/11 one of the Disarm Now Plowshares group convicted of felony damage to government property, conspiracy and trespass for cutting the fence and entering the nuclear weapons storage area at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, 11/2009. Susan mentions her prayer for the health of Nuclear Resister Jackie Hudson. Jackie died Aug. 3rd. See photo tribute here and Disarm Now Plowshares website for more information.
[Side 1 handwritten]
Hi Chris—Thanks for writing—glad you are out. Steve and Bix made sure I saw you there in the SeaTac visiting room. Thanks for your smiles!
[Side 2 typed]
Thanks for writing to me. I’ve been noticing that several letters arrive weeks after the postmark. Letters from Oakland that should take a day or two are given to me more than two weeks later. Apparently the mail room is a bit behind.
A couple of conversations have stayed in my mind recently. One was with the staff person in the laundry room. I had to go there to get my pants sewed up. The staff person recognized me as having been [t]here before, and asked why I was here. I said that I had been part of a peace action, and she said, in a discouraged voice, “there is no peace.”
Always looking for common ground I agreed. She continued: There won’t be any peace until there aren’t any starving people.
Had to agree again…we know that without justice, which includes some sort of fair distribution of resources, there won’t be peace.
Then I was talking with a young woman here who is just starting work at UNICOR. She has a job in telemarketing. They are selling magazine subscriptions—actually the magazine subscriptions are free, all the person has o do is give email, phone and physical address and they can get these trade magazines.
The woman said that she would do anything for money. She needs money, owes restitution and fines. I was interested in finding the line that she wouldn’t cross in the prusuit [sic] of money. Was there something she’d refuse to do? She was clear that there were no limits on what she would do for money. She would scam older people. Even your grandparents? No (finally, something she wouldn’t do), but other older people were fair game, as she didn’t know them.
Wow. Discouragement and a feeling of hopelessness about the world situation n on the part of some, and a lack of compassion on the part of some others.
I was talking to the Chaplain about how moral dilemmas can be used to teach moral reasoning and build compassion. He suggested that perhaps the Jesuits who come here for Mass could teach a course in ethics.
Right now there are some men in California prisons on hunger strike for better conditions in the SHU [Solitary Housing Unit]. Some have been in solitary for decades.
Everyday when I go outside, feel the breeze, get warmth from the sun, I think about Steve Kelly, SJ and Lynne Greenwald, who are both at SeaTac, and never get to go outside or see the green of a tree or a blade of grass. And I think of the y-12 resisters in the jail, in harsh conditions, and I think of Jackie, struggling for her health.
And of course, I think of the hard work that all of you are doing Keeping communities going, challenging the powers that continue to oppress us all.
I am doing well, still teaching ESL, still staying under the radar, being a good compliant prisoner. Makes me really search my conscience.
As I watch the owls, swallows and hawks fly in and out of the prison, and see the squirrels go through the razor wire and through the double fence, it shouldn’t surprise me that the Spirit moves through the fence and the walls and cement, and brings love and warmth to my heart. Makes me feel very small and humble.
I continue to try to listen to others, find what is good, and find lots to be thankful for.
Susan Crane Reg: 87783-011
Federal Correctional Institution Dublin
5101 8th St. Camp Parks
Dublin, CA 014568