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Home About Us Prisoners of Conscience Court Statements Patrick Lincoln
Patrick Lincoln PDF Print E-mail
When we enter this courtroom we are presented with a case of obligatory amnesia. We are asked not to remember our colonial roots, the foundation for the oppressions many suffer today; asked not to remember that indigenous populations through out the Americas have been and continue to be systematically removed from history and land, or that the people of Latin America have lost the simple and most basic right to live, caught in the talons of our foreign policy. If these memories could present their case a courtroom that thrives on an amnesia preserved in legal text would simply crumble under the pressure of justice. When we ?crossed the line? onto Ft. Benning we acknowledged this fact and chose to unlock these trapped memories ourselves. Disobedience is our only democracy, our only memory, so long as the past exits only to rationalize a present world so uneven in its distribution of power and wealth.
I struggled for a long time thinking about what I would say here in my defense, but I shouldn?t even be here, none of us should, there are too many new ideas and actions needed to transform this world to waste time holding on too tightly to old systems that refuse this transformation. Therefore, I did not prepare a case for this courtroom because it is has no justice to offer us, the very memory of resistance it would rather forget. Instead, I spent my time reflecting on the 500 years people have spent struggling in the Americas to determine themselves freely as individuals, as communities. My defense rests now but the movement will not, not until the WHISC and the mountain of oppression it stands on, 500 years high, is moved, so that finally we may all have the chance to ?cross the line? to join those individuals, those communities, remembering all the way with an indigenous heart, a Latin American heart, a humanized heart.

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