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Home About Us Prisoners of Conscience Court Statements Marvin Warren
Marvin Warren PDF Print E-mail
I began thinking about what I would say to this court with great sorrow in
my heart
and it is with great sorrow that I stand before the court today.
It troubles me
that we have exhausted out legal options
to no effect.
We pay taxes to a government
which funnels them into military programs
that oppress and murder the poor
while we wage a supposed war on poverty, or
was that the point?
and the officials we elect pay us no mind
when we call and write and lobby.
So we turn to the example of other successful movements.
Civil rights grassroots activism of the SNCC
so no, it's not terribly original; but
it's all we've got left
The school on Ft. Benning is a symbol
of a system for which we are responsible.
And that's what it's all about isn't it--
I stand before you having plead guilty
that is, having taken responsibility for my actions--
and that is what we all came to do in November
We Are All Responsible

I came to represent the dead.
and, to stand in solidarity with the living people of
Columbia, and Guatemala
living communities everywhere
I realize, in retrospect, that I haven't done enough
for my own community
that community builds outward from family, friends, neighbors
to villages, regions, continents
and one reactionary act of global outcry
does not make up for years of community service.
They must go hand in hand

Some call that a radical perspective
there are those who say the same about seeing
every man as my brother and, every woman as my sister
people used to call their elders "father" and
"mother," simple signs of respect, in passing on the streets
and if his holiness
the Dalai Lama, is correct and
"compassion is the radicalism of our age"
if I cannot say, "he is my brother" and
"she is my sister"
then we need more radicals.
Then I am a radical.
Because being part of a living community
brings me joy
working for the continuance of the human family
gives me strength
And this land, my home, has a history of radicals
that gives me pride
the modern environmental movement is rooted in it
the judicial process is founded on it
the radical idea that
a person is innocent until proven guilty
is not yet three centuries old
and that idea has not yet caught on
(in some far-flung corners of the globe.)
Franklin must have been a radical
he and Jefferson almost snuck racial equality
into the Constitution
and he called for Revolution
every twenty years
if I'm not mistaken.
That recognition, that change is the only constant
is what gives me hope.


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