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Home About Us Prisoners of Conscience Court Statements Caitlin Harwood
Caitlin Harwood PDF Print E-mail
My name is Caitlin Alma Harwood. Alma is a family name that means ?spirit?
or ?soul? in Spanish. It is a name that was called out many times this
November, a it is something I share with countless victims of who have died
at the hands of the SOA/WHISC graduates, each one of them a part of my
spirit and soul. I was called, over and over, each time responding
?Presente? to acknowledge that connection, that love and that bond of
spirit.

I am here today to attest to my guilt, to my ignorance, to my naivet??. In
a way we are all guilty, na?ve and ignorant. Guilty of trusting a corrupted
government, of ignoring atrocities against the people, of of having faith in
humanity and the possibility of a better world.

I have always held an ever-present faith and hope in the inherent good of
human beings. A belief that we can all promote goodness if only shown the
way. Today, Your Honor, was the first time in the whole of my nineteen
years that I felt my faith and hope waver.

It rocks me to my core, the abominations that I have witnessed within this
very courtroom. That this collection of beautiful, peaceful people should
be tortured in this manner simply for standing up in truth and stating in a
peaceful way what they believe in.

I accept responsibility for the actions that I have taken, for the actions
that I will indeed continue to take. I would ask that you, Sir, accept
responsibility for condemning this collective to whatever form of suffering
suits your whim.

Nineteen years is but a speck in a history of injustice. Nineteen years is
nothing in many lifetimes of pain and suffering. But at nineteen I
understand and know that changes must be made, that the world cannot
continue on as it is and has been.

I crossed that line as an action of solidarity, as a statement of love.
Both for all the peoples of the world and my understanding of who and what I
am within that scheme.

When I heard my name called and felt that collection of voices and spirits,
it tugged at every corner of my soul. I hold the belief that all peoples of
the world are entitled to be free from persecution, torture and pain. That
they are entitled to seek a better life free from fear and suffering. I
crossed the line in search of freedom, as countless people that are dear to
me have crossed into the United States, leaving behind all they know because
they were bound by that necessity.

I gladly give away my personal freedom in search of a greater spiritual
freedom, in order to release myself from the guilt of standing aside in
silence. If those personal freedoms are what you require within this
court, and are what you choose to steal from me, go ahead, you may have
them. You may lock me up, as I know you gladly will. But you can never tie
me down.

For now I find faith in all the Almas of the world. That they stand up, be
counted, and declare, ?Presente.?
 

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