Between Brothers

(While imprisoned in Danbury, Ct. I took part in a hunger strike and work stoppage. This was written three days after I had passed out leaflets calling for it and after I had learned that the vast majority of prisoners had taken part in the work stoppage on the morning we had called for it.)

August 9, 1971

The clenched fist is being used at Danbury Federal Prison.
From the hospital window to brothers below
From whites to blacks
From blacks to Latino
From white to black to Latino to black to white.

Three days ago, as I passed out leaflets,
I encountered dispirited men.
Waiting, looking forward to nothing,
Slowly trudging to hated work,
Silently cursing their lifeless existence,
Living a living death.

I was ushered into a liberated zone,
I and my four beloved brothers.
The price of admission was a strip search.
The main course was a 6 x 8 foot cell.
The just dessert was our freedom.

Clenched fists are exchanged when spirit is present,
when prison and inertia and fear have been overcome,
when movement is present and visible.
Its meaning is power to people,
to living people, not the dead, the living dead.
Its meaning is the solidarity of the oppressed,
the crossing of all lines to join in common cause.

Our common cause, brothers, is justice.
And freedom, and self-respect.
And ultimately, and right now, revolution.
Turn it over brothers.
Turn over yourself and
turn over the lifeless system.

Join Us.