Unfortunately, it is impractical to directly assist anyone with any case until we have an attorney to represent us at the location of the complaining inmate. It is a helluva task to line up an attorney for every prison, and we are wide open to all who will accept cases pro rate. Any reader who is such an attorney is invited to contact Universal Suffrage immediately. All readers who have personal attorneys who may consider such representation are encouraged to contact those attorneys and refer them to us. Please refrain from sending case material to our central office; save it for an attorney who can represent your case directly.
While we seek to build such a network for future assistance, we must also concentrate upon the overall political situation that has placed us in such a helpless position. The only way that we can expect to have any effect upon those holding power over us is to regain our ability to vote.
The only reason that any politician or civil employee has for assisting an individual is that such complainant has some power over the official's job - and that power is wholly concentrated in the right to vote.
If you are a felon, you have probably already attempted to elicit help from your congressmen, senators, judges, DAs, etc. How much response have you gotten? If you had a vote, be assured, you'd get a helluva lot more action!
The average citizen who complains to a government official will get some kind of attention for having complained, because politicians realize that those who complain are most likely to actively campaign for or against them - something that we can never do! We are, therefore, ignored, given the runaround, or insulted, because we are less than citizens.
It is our contention that no one should be denied the right to participate in the creation, amendment or eradication of laws because that person has been found guilty of having violated laws.
The Holy American Empire has found a very effective countermeasure to the respected tradition of non-violent civil disobedience, practiced by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. to change the world that they knew; that deterrent is the simple strict enforcement of unpopular laws, and eliminating forever the legal voices of those who are found guilty of their disobedience. The guilty are permanently removed from the democratic process of change, and their opinions are rendered worthless to the government, the press and the public.
The present system upholds the status quo: laws are protected from change, and incumbent elected officials are protected from impeachment and strong opposition, by the permanent elimination of the voices of those who feel strongly enough to challenge them. Who is better qualified to consider the proper requirements of a judge, sheriff, district attorney or lawmaker than one who has been subjected to their "justice?" Who is more suited to determine changes in laws than one who has personally felt their effect?
This nation made great progress in the protection of individual rights in the 1960s. (It didn't do all that it needed, or that its people needed, but it was moving in the right direction.) In recent years, however, we have seen more and more erosion of those rights - to the point, now, of blatant reversals of previous Supreme Court decisions that had upheld our Bill of Rights. This steadily increasing attrition of individuals' rights has directly paralleled the alarming increase of convictions in the courts, and the prisons are overflowing.
This situation has already made serious inroads into the voices of those who defend individual freedom. If allowed to continue, it will eliminate us from consideration by mainstream society altogether - we will be powerless, subject to the whims of every traffic cop and local bigot who is aware that we (as convicted felons) don't even have to break a law to be imprisoned ... and more and more laws will be enacted - as has already begun - that require us to [k]owtow to the personal desires of the tyrannical majority!
Our only hope is to regain the right to speak at the polls. Whether we exercise our votes or not, the potential of those votes gives us credence to those in power, the potential of those votes gives us credence to those in power, and ensures that we will always be a possible force with which to be reckoned. Only a citizen can practice civil disobedience; only a citizen has a vote. One with no vote - with no voice it not even a citizen!
Help us to regain our voices! Stand with Universal Suffrage and fight for the right to be heard. We need attorneys, and we need activists to assist in compiling the voting laws of felons and prisoners nationwide, compiling information for our lobbying efforts and helping to further build our membership. Contact: Universal Suffrage, Box 35, Alto, Georgia 30510. If you would like to take an active role by pursuing one of the tasks outlined above, tell us what you can do. If an answer is expected from us, please enclose a SASE (every quarter counts).
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