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Sherman Austin in Custody

by Lupe (words) and Heidi (photo and words) Tuesday, Sep. 09, 2003 at 3:56 AM

More than 50 people were in attendance to see Sherman turn himself in with encouraging energy and an optimistic outlook. Even though the cops hassled a camera-man about recording the federal building by accident, the good vibes didn't end. They grew stronger.

Image Copyright © 2003 Heidi Werntz. All Rights Reserved.

Sherman Austin in Cu...
sherman_self_surrender.jpg, image/jpeg, 529x576

Sherman's mother delivered a powerful speech. She expressed words of wisdom and strength to help Sherman enter prison with a good peace of mind knowing that people are behind him and will continue the struggle for justice while he's in. She also spoke loving words of his childhood and reflected upon his current situation. Sherman was assured there will be a fight for justice in his case.

Her passionate words of inspiration were encouraging for people to stand up for their rights and not become intimidated. Injustices of this country and of the world need to be exposed, SILENCE IS DEFEAT.

Everyone stood in solidarity with their fists raised high in the air, while a close friend of the family eloquently delivered another emotional statement about staying strong on situations like Sherman's or any other struggles against oppression.

She said:

First of all, I want to thank everyone who came out this morning. It’s not easy to be standing here today. I’d like to first share with you the last few paragraphs of a book written by a woman who was a Sandinista in Nicaragua, who saw too much bloodshed, and who lost many close friends. At the end of her memoir she writes:

“I dare say, after the life I have lived, that there is nothing romantic in wanting to change the world. It is possible. It is the age-old vocation of all humanity. I can’t think of a better life than one dedicated to passion, to dreams, to the stubbornness that defies chaos and disillusionment. Our world, filled with possibilities, is and will be the result of the efforts offered up by us, its inhabitants. Just as life was a consequence of trial and error, the social organization that brings us to the full realization of our potential as a species will issue from the ebb and flow of struggles we jointly undertake across the globe. The future is a construct that is shaped in the present, and that is why to be responsible in the present is the only way of taking serious responsibility for the future. What is important is not the fulfillment of all one’s dreams, but the stubborn determination to continue dreaming. We will have grandchildren, and they will have children too. The world will continue, and whether we know it or not, we are deciding its course every day.”

We are all here today because one of our own stubborn dreamers has been unjustly convicted of a crime that he did not commit. His crime was not distributing information about explosives. His crime was not that he had intent that people use the information to harm other human beings. His crime is being young. His crime is being intelligent. His crime is being compassionate. His crime is being black. His crime is being an organizer, an anarchist, a fighter, and a stubborn dreamer who will not be intimidated, and who will not be silenced.

We are all here today because one of our own stubborn dreamers has been railroaded into prison by the federal injustice system. He was railroaded not because he poses a danger to other human beings, but because he poses a danger this imperialist, colonialist, brutal, immoral, homicidal, genocidal, military, industrial, capitalist government. He poses a threat not only because he thinks, but because he acts. He poses a threat because he is not afraid to stand up and put his ass on the line for what he believes. We should all be so brave.

We are not here today to hang our heads low because the government has decided to make an example out of our stubborn dreamer. We are not here today to hang our heads low because a partner, and a friend to many is being carted off to serve a sentence he so doesn’t deserve. We are not here today to hang our heads low because a mother has only a small pile of belongings left in her living room to look at as a reminder of the son that is being taken away from her. We are here today not to hang our heads low, but to raise our fists high.

Raise your fist for the Iraqis.
Raise your fist for the Afghanis.
Raise your fist for the Palestinians.
Raise your fist for the impoverished, for the exploited, and for the oppressed.
Raise your fist for the people in south central, in east la, and in every ghetto in every city across this land.
Raise your fist for Mumia, for Asata, for Leonard, and now for Sherman.
Raise your fist because they don’t want us to.
They may harass us, they may intimidate us, they beat us down and they may lock us up, but we will not be silenced.
Raise your fist, and keep it raised!

Thank you.

Though tears filled the eyes of many faces, Sherman's smile kept glowing throughout the rally and at the door of room 394 where he turned himself in. Receiving many hugs and words of courage from supporters and loved one's; he waved goodbye as the marshal took him in and Sherman assured HE"LL BE BACK.

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