In his book “live from death row”, African American revolutionary, Mumia Abu Jammal explains how the prisons system in the US is designed to crush the relationship between the caged and their “free” family. He explains how prisoners are usually sent to prisons far from their families, making it harder for them to reach the prison for a visit, and when they do cross the long distances, they are still unable to touch their loved ones, as they remain separated with glass walls.
In a quick comparison with the Palestinian prisoners situation and the hardship they and their families have to go through, you can see the similarities between the 2 systems, as the Israeli colonialist system build it’s prison and locate the prisoners far away from their families, beside the barriers, checkpoints, making it almost impossible to visit the caged but through the Red cross organized visits.
Palestinian prisoners families can visit only through the red cross, and only after obtaining a special permit Issued by the Israeli colonialist. the trip usually start as early as 4AM and end late at night. In many times families were sent back from the prison gates or from the checkpoint with no reasons but the usual “Security”. Prisoners families from Gaza were prevented from seeing their caged loved ones for 6 years for the same lame reason “Security”.
Few days ago a video was published on electronic Initifada blog, featuring former Palestinian prisoner and hunger striker for 78 days, Thaer Halahleh and his wife Shirin. The couple talked openly about how the frequent Imprisonment of Thaer psychologically affected them, and how this reflects on their relationship.
The video produced by Al-Haq, brought an insightful view to the complex relationship Thaer has with his wife caused by the continues detention, as he was arrested 2 months after his engagement with Shirin for 2 years, to be arrested again 14 days after his wedding.
What Thaer, and Shirin said reminded me of a paragraph I marked from Mumia book, about his relationship with his beloved wife and family.
The heavy gaseous odor still lingers, and a dark oily ring stains cups. It makes me wonder about a saying my wife and I share, that bars and steel can’t stop the power of love. The dark side of that also is true: bars, steel, and court orders can’t stop the seepage of pollution that afflicts both the caged and the “free”. Despite the legal illusions erected by the system to divide and separate life, we the caged share air, water, and hope with you, the not yet caged. We share your same breath.
I don’t really have anything more to say but to quote the “Long distance revolutionary” again. “The earth is but one great ball. The borders, the barriers, the cages, the prisons of our lives, all originate in the false imagination of the minds of men.”
The Title was stolen from Mumia book “Live from death row”.