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Marc Emery’s US Federal Prison blog #3

submitted by on May 29, 2010
I’ve been busy today (Friday, May 28th). I got up at 5:30am as usual, started reading "Parting the Waves", the Martin Luther King and civil rights movement story. Excellent book. My day is the same thing over & over again each day: I read, I write, I eat poor food, I see no sun and feel no fresh air and can’t sleep, its like Groundhog Day (the movie) unless I get stuff in the mail, or photos, or articles, or anything that has some substance that changes my day.

Had a physical exam at the doctor. Then I got interviewed by US Immigration for my return to Canada, whenever that happens. I’m going through media withdrawal, so I hope people send me updates about the outside world. It’s very isolating and boring here.

(Please click here to send Marc mail!)

I did a second interview with Robert Henry, my subject for the piece I’m writing (he’s an African-American prisoner whose life of hell started when he was forced to go to Vietnam at 18 years of age). That’s exhausting, but I’m doing a thorough job documenting his life story. I’m also moving along with my book report on the book "Worse Than Slavery". I got 4 more letters today from supporters, so I have 8 to answer to. I got the Buddy Guy book "Damn right I got the blues", that’s great.

I wish I had more articles where Jodie or supporters are quoted saying something profound or pro-freedom about me. I hate reading these articles that say I made millions – I didn’t make squat. The business sold over a million in 4 of the 10 years in sales, but of course, I didn’t keep any of that. Can’t anyone get quoted saying that? I’m so frustrated today. That just annoyed me. Again, there’s no journalism anymore, just reporting.

My meatless diet has started but aye-yie-yie, it’s bad stuff so far. I’m a little crusty and groggy from lack of sleep.

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

It’s 6am on Saturday morning. I didn’t sleep at all but I’m going back to sleep in about an hour because I’m foggy brained. At least I hope I can nap or sleep.

[Hours later] I slept very soundly from 7am to 10:30am. I made an eye mask with a sock and a twist tie, and that really helped. I need a shower but the showers don’t come on till 1:30pm since I missed the morning shower period. I am getting some Orange Spice tea from commissary next Tuesday. For breakfast I had corn flakes and no-fat (no hormone) milk and two oranges, for lunch a vegetarian sloppy joe (which was fine) plus potatoes. I usually make tuna salad sandwiches each day as well, so food is not a problem (I’m on the no-flesh diet now) even if its dubious flavour/quality.

A new guy came in to our range today, and there was a bit of a weird scene when he chased away a black guy from our table and then said to me pointedly "We don’t eat with OTHER people". I went "What?" "WE DON’T EAT WITH OTHER PEOPLE," he reiterated. I deliberately looked at him again and said "What!?" and he repeated "WE DON’T EAT WITH OTHER PEOPLE" and I know he means black people, so Jackson (a black guy) gets up and leaves, and I say, "don’t get up, Jackson, come back here". But then, Oliver (my cell mate or "cellie" as they are called, he’s Jewish) and I get up and go eat with Bear and Robert, two black guys, and they let Oliver & I sit with them. (Robert, who’s black, had the same kind of experience when a black guy came up to him and said "we stick with our own" after seeing me play dominoes a lot with him).

The hot-headed new white guy has a swastika on his arm, which makes Oliver feel uneasy (needless to say), and this new guy is always angry. He’s been in penitentiaries where he says it is segregated by race, and that this is the only place he knows that is this way (not strictly race-segregated). Meanwhile I’m carrying my civil rights history book around with me, which is all about the desegregation movement. If where I end up is segregated, fine, but it’s weird to me.

I’m very disappointed in everyone who is opposed to the California legalization initiative. All that anti-legalization stuff is coming from medical marijuana growers and profiteers who rightly fear prices will plummet and no one will have to buy their pot anymore. It’s just a lobby to protect their black market. The areas of contention are that the legalization initiative says no public smoking (like the law is now, so no difference!) and it doesn’t exempt 18 to 21-year-olds (again, that’s how the law is now, but at least adults are FREE from imprisonment!). It does not usurp or alter anything in Proposition 215, which is California state law and the force behind the massive medical marijuana movement there. If every citizen of California can grow 25 square feet of cannabis in their home or backyard, there goes the privileged black market backing the anti-legalization campaign, and that’s why some people are opposed to it. Imagine that! Self-proclaimed cannabis activists working AGAINST legalization!

Jodie gets down sometimes because of all the world’s problems that need solving and that she feels she needs to take care of, but my advice is to not be cynical about the state of the world. The world always looks like its on the edge of doom, from any era or any year or date. World wars, wars, disasters, government control & dictatorship, etc., it’s always been there. The reason the planet doesn’t get sucked into the abyss is because great individuals bring us technology (like Blackberry, iPod, iPhone, plasma screens, stoves & fridges and electrical appliances that cost $30 to run for everything for one month – that’s a miracle!) and individual liberty through vigilant defiance of the trends of tyranny.

Without people like us who take a stand, the world would already be a prison everywhere. Sometimes there is a price to pay, but even here in prison, so far I am fairly free to say and write what I want because of the work of others before us who were willing to suffer to promote individual freedom. The forces of tyranny are always well-armed and well-insinuated into the political establishment, but as I say, if it weren’t for Nazis in positions of power, what the hell would we do for a career? Fighting for freedom is the only worthwhile life mission.

Even though I’m very busy with reading and writing, it’s as boring here as you could possibly imagine. It’s lonely in the sense that my life is with Jodie. She and I do everything together 24/7, for years now, and I love and miss that… It is so anti-life here, it’s a prison for sure.

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