'I found prison in many ways quite agreeable. I had no engagements, no difficult decisions to make, no fear of callers, no interruptions to my work. I read enormously; I wrote a book, "Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy"... and began the work for "Analysis of Mind" '
– Bertrand Russell about his 6 months in prison
Hello lovely people,
Yes, I am finally out of Wormwood Scrubs after six weeks. (They have a nice front door as you can see). Thank you so much to all the kind people who emailed me messages. It was fine, I was fine and if anything was annoying, it was sitting there thinking about why so many people make up excuses for not taking this step which is now so necessary. I know I’m a bit weird – sitting on a bed all day reading biographies of Gandhi, having my food made for me, is pretty much as good as it gets as far as I am concerned. But really going to prison is not the end of the world.
Here then are a few “obviously’s”:
1. Obviously going to prison is not for everyone. If your mum is about to die, if you are traumatised, if you are claustrophobic, then it’s not for you.
2. At the same time obviously thousands of people from all backgrounds can do it and the excuses are just due to prejudices and unfounded fears.
3. Obviously you want to be sorted before you do it. It’s a project, like moving house, going to another country for a time, or changing a job. It’s a big thing but it’s just another thing.
4. Obviously going to jail is not going change the world just like that. Like pressing a button and everything is sorted.
5. At the same time obviously going to prison is a massive headache materially and politically for the authorities and once hundreds and then thousands of people do it in an organised and coordinated way, then in my scholarly opinion real policy changes are going to happen. It is the single biggest act of radical political and nonviolent effectiveness any social movement can decide upon.
I think on the last count something like 1800 people in Extinction Rebellion are up for it. So I will be spending a lot of my time helping to get actions organised which enable these people to walk their talk.
If you are reading this, then I am sure you know it’s all systems go, the time is now, and all the rest of it on the Ecological Catastrophe. So get in touch with XR, book some time off, and make up your book list.
And thanks again for the support – I really appreciated it.
Hi – Thanks for all the comments. I am very sorry some people are upset by what I have written. Discussing prison is very difficult because it is a terrible experience for many people and it is very definitely not for everyone which is what I am trying to say in the post. However, it is a debate which has to be had at a time when dramatic action is so necessary. Social breakdown is going to happen unless we stop governments allowing the emissions of carbon which is leading to the destruction of the climate and ecological systems. I have been in prison five times and I am speaking from my own experience and the views are my own, expressed on my own personal facebook page. I would appreciate it if the responses are respectful. Thanks.