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Editorial Comments

Ed Mead

We are encouraged by the response to the first issue of Prisoner's Legal News. We have created some controversy. Prisoncrats confiscated the mast copy of PLN #1, another comrade and I received newsletter-related infractions, and my cage was kicked in and trashed twice during a four-day period. Such clear-cut repression is a sure sign that we are doing something right. These are times in which controversy is a good thing, it leads to struggle. We hope to generate some controversy within the ranks of our prisoner readers with a campaign to combat discrimination against prisoners on the basis of their crimes.

One of the objectives of PLN is to be a forum through which readers can express comments on what they've read or to point out issues we should be addressing. We feel it is important to open up a dialogue with those who support us, as well as with those who disagree. We are not above criticism, nor do we claim to have all the answers. So give us your feedback and we will print as much as we can in the letters section on issue #3.

We also want to build links: Links between prisoners; links between prisoners and their families and supporters; and links between our seedling prison struggle and the many struggles people are engaged in the outside community. It is thorough the building of such links that our efforts to extend democracy will depend upon. If you agree with what we are trying to accomplish, then why not pass your copy of PLN on to friends or relatives. As it will require the help of our loved ones if we are to build an outside support network.

Another way to support this paper is with a donation of stamps or money. So far all costs have been paid by prisoners. It is our own time and money that goes into getting this message to you. Send contributions of stamps or money to:

Prisoners' Legal News
4557 - 8th NE #3
Seattle, WA 98105

On the other hand, letters, articles, poetry and graphics can be sent to either:

Paul Wright #930783
PO Box 5000
Clallam Bay, WA 98326

Ed Mead #251397
PO Box 777
Monroe, WA 98272

The life span of this newsletter is dependent on its meeting your legal, political and informational needs. You cast your vote on how long we will last by either giving or withholding your support.

Paul and I would like to express our deep appreciation to the Toronto ABC in Canada and the Oxford ABC in England, who have volunteered to reprint and distribute the PLN in Canada, Europe, and the Middle East. These comrades make it much easier for us to fulfill our obligation to prisoner-internationalism. This act of solidarity by the Anarchist Black Cross is but one example of the ABC's long and progressive history of prisoner support.

Finally, should the content of the PLN at times seem a little schizoid, it is because we were originally going to be a much larger quarterly that was to be aimed at political prisoner around the world. We completed the first issue of the Red Dragon, as it was to be called, but could not generate the necessary level of outside support needed to duplicate and mail the paper.

We then decided on a less ambitious project, a smaller monthly to be directed toward social prisoners in Washington State and their loved ones on the outside. Yet even as we publish we find it increasingly important to address issues beyond the intended scope of the PLN. In short, we may soon be carrying more national and international news and issues, as well as continuing to be a local informational sheet for Washington State's prisoners. We apologize to our readers for not being more clearly focused, and we ask for your patience as we grope for direction.

The people enjoyed real freedom of thought
The masses' rights were respected;
The few who insisted on
publishing things
Were the only ones effected.

--Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)

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