"You are not forgotten"
August 23, 1998
I hope this letter finds you well and in good spirits as we continue the struggle. After 7 years for me I, get out in 4 months and so am starting to feel much better. Yes, the time does eventually pass. The year off for the drug program helped a lot. Now that I am getting out, I am not going to forget. I was political before I was arrested and will continue in the future. One of the things that has helped me through this has been my activism. Maintaining a political perspective is a way of not giving up.
In the meantime, some of the things that help are:
1. Writing letters to answer anything you disagree or agree with. Someone has to read the negative letters whether they get printed or answered or not. People need positive feedback so positive letters are very important too.
2. Look for "The Big Lie" and publicize or protest it. Many of the politicians are saying things that are not anywhere near true and they need to be challenged at every turn.
3. Collect letters of people who send positive letters to the editors. These are people who should be natural allies. Copies of the articles should be sent to the Coalition and also a local data base should be formed by those people not in prison who are doing local organizing. This could be very valuable in targeting a weak legislator and running and winning a campaign with one of the issues being ending the drug war. If we could beat one of their drug warriors with this explicitly as one of the issues we would cause a lot of thought. That is what the religious right is doing so successfully to keep us in, and something that we should learn how to do.
4. The level of apathy among the people who are incarcerated for drug crimes is incredible. You would think that almost no one wants to get out. Encourage your fellow prisoners. The media seems to be especially anxious to hear our side of the story. All we have is time, we have nothing to lose and only our freedom to gain.
Take care of yourselves and you will hear from me soon on the other side of the walls.
Peace and love,
Henry Schwan, Prisoner of the Drug War