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  •  I'm sorry for your pain, Mollywog, and for (21+ / 0-)

    the suffering of you and your family as your son does his time. Yes, it's definitely very hard on the families, especially the children. My heart goes out to you all.

    What you have done here in speaking out, asking for understanding, is important--and it looks like you might have gained some good leads for yourself. I hope so. Being alone with all you are handling makes everything that much worse. Mutual self-help can be a life-saver.

    However, I'd also like to say something, gently I hope, on behalf of the tone of the other diary that you found disturbing--while noting that I speak for no one but myself on this topic.

    I've never committed civil disobedience myself or risked arrest for the sake of a political cause, but I have worked closely with people who have taken that kind of stance. It goes back a few decades now, to the time when anti-nuclear activism was very strong, also (not coincidentally) when Cold War saber-rattling was very intense.

    My experience is that no one who was participating in civil disobedience took it lightly. Even with the strongest of beliefs about the matter and the righteousness of their cause, they didn't disregard the weightiness of what they were doing. They were risking their health, certainly their liberty at least temporarily, and facing unknown consequences--because once something is set in motion, there's no telling where it will end.

    As someone else mentioned above, there is a very long and honorable tradition of civil disobedience in this country, because sometimes confrontational tactics against a faceless, seemingly unaccountable, central power are the only things that break the logjam, bring awareness, and produce positive change.

    It is also the case that many activists once they are in jail or prison for CD become radicalized about the conditions for "ordinary" prisoners, most of whom still are not treated as they should be in most states of the union (and that is probably the understatement of the decade, given the little I do know about prison conditions and the class action lawsuits that have been filed on prisoners' behalf). Far too many Americans pay no attention to the plight of prisoners or their families, and far too many are willing to assume that someone in prison/jail deserves nothing but cruelty while they are inside. I don't think that describes most people who've seen the inside of a jail because of their activism.

    Again, I am not speaking for myself here, but only in conjecture--but I would guess that the light-hearted tone that you found to be so troubling from the other diary might also come from people's (understandable) reaction to try to make light of a very heavy, very burdensome experience. Just my extrapolation from being in other situations in which a certain amount of gallows humor, so to speak, is one of the main coping mechanisms. Admittedly, it can seem off-putting to people who aren't part of the group.

    In my state (MI) the American Friends Service Committee is very active in providing support to prisoners and their families. Here's a link to a list of resources which appears to be pretty accurate. I found the national AFSC website much more difficult to navigate--but knowing how things work, I would bet that if you made contact with someone in Michigan that they could let you know if there are programs they know about in your state.

    Good luck.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 02:11:28 PM PST

    •  PK, you always have such a wonderful way of (13+ / 0-)

      putting things. Yes, the diary this morning was in no way making light of going to jail.

      It was written in advance of a group of Kossacks going to join a peaceful protest with the chance that they might be arrested.

      Maybe it was written to boost confidence before taking that chance, I don't know, but there wasn't anything lighthearted said by anyone who hadn't been in jail that I read.

      I have a real admiration for those who are willing to go to jail to express their beliefs. Maybe because I grew up in the 60's where guys went to jail for not wanting to go to war.

      I have been in many protests where we are briefed ahead of time on how to protect our bodies from attacks and how to get lawyers if we are arrested.

      That's a little different than serving time for a crime which again, some in the diary (and some of us who were not posting) had done.

      We could have a whole month of prison diaries here and never cover it all. Unfair arrests, unreasonable sentences, for profit prisons, aiy, yai, yai!

      Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

      by ZenTrainer on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 03:07:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for (9+ / 0-)

      explaining that it takes a special kind of courage to risk arrest.  I understand and appreciate the history in our country of those who choose to engage in civil disobedience.    
      I wanted to ensure that along with the gallows humor and the wearing of the badges that there is another side to arrests and incarceration that isn't looked upon by the majority of Americans as noble.  
      Having a loved one arrested is very much a stigma in this country and the shame on families involved is very real and hurtful.  It's a different perspective and admittedly, one I have recently just considered.  
      I wrote this diary in the heat of the moment, upset that another venue where I had hoped to find some support was not there.  But look what happened!  Kossacks responded to a first time diarist and I have many leads because of that first diary.  I have been wanting to tell my story for months but was too afraid of the reaction.  That original diary was the impetus of something good for me after all and it seems for many people here.  

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