Alex Hundert has been released! Upon release, he published his feelings surrounding the circumstances (see below). While I can’t even begin to compare our arrests, with the FF14 case, to the severity/conditions imposed on Alex, we too had similar debates, as to whether to continue fighting the case in courts or whether to just accept a peace bond and have the charges/conditions dropped. With full respect to those that decided otherwise, I think others and I made the right decision. There are limited ‘victories’ to be ‘won’ in an inherently biased legal system. People are of more use to the struggle in their communities, than in a cell, or restricted to a home, or banned from speaking to fellow activists. There is no shame in accepting plea agreements to obtain release – as our battles are not in the courts. Our battles are in the our communities and in our streets. If we put such a great priority on moral victories within the court system, are we not in some way lending legitimacy to the courts?
I am glad Alex has finally been released, and I hope more will follow. Welcome home.
Some people will be quick to judge this as a “sell out,” as exchanging a platform to fight for a potentially meaningful victory in court for my personal freedom. That possibility has haunted me. But I do sincerely believe that position to be a hasty and narrow judgement.
To remain behind bars would have been the obvious choice, even if a hard decision. Previously in October, I had made the decision to refuse my bail which included a media gag and punitive non associations. Staying in jail this time around would also have been relatively easy because I had been doing just fine in there. But at the same time, I was a serious drain on those who have done such wonders in supporting me, helping me stay strong and to feel connected to community. Incarceration is a weapon designed to affect the communities that people are a part of; to suck resources, energy and emotion out of them and not just the individuals held in dungeons.
And while being willing to sacrifice oneself might be noble in theory and sometimes the only right decision to make, in this circumstance I feel it is far more important to be in my community, contributing, giving back, fulfilling my responsibilities. This is who I want to be in the movement right now—a participant, not a symbol.
And what would the point even have been, if I had sat in the cage until after we were able to get our victory in court? The truth is, the only point that can ever be proven in a court is that the courts are a legitimate source of authority in our lives. I would like to deny them that power.