Here’s To Ressurrection

Elena Herrada
Detroit, Michigan

Today was the first day of the fast for Efren Paredes.  We held a press conference, which the Michigan Citizen attended, but none of the corporate press attended. They are fixated on our erstwhile mayor. There was just a handful of us. We hope that those who were sentenced as children are freed soon. It is a crime against humanity to lock away a child for life, without hope of freedom. What makes it so agregious is that, like the death penalty, it negates the possibility of conversion . In the case of the innocent person, there are no words for such an injustice.

When i got home from the press conference, my daughters asked me how it went. I told them that the kick off for the fast went well, but that few people joined us. I told them that an issue about prisoners, guilty or innocent, is not important to most people. Otherwise, how could Efren be still in prison nineteen years after being sent away as a child for a crime he did not commit? Who cares? Mothers and some family members, if one is lucky. Many families in Detroit are too poor to make the trip to visit their loved one far away. How could we ever calculate how much of our collective human capital has been squandered by imprisoning children? What could ever restore them?

From the beginning of my involvement with Efren’s campaign, i have connected with Velia, his mother.   She was the inspiration for me to bring attention to his case so that he could be given a chance at justice, so long after his youth was stolen from him. Who cares? A mother cares.

We must stay focused on human rights, because we are losing them daily in the belly of the beast. Day after day we hear tales of people who just want to be treated with basic human dignity. Keep this in mind while we fast for Efren’s freedom and the legions of those in captivity. Perhaps our sacrifice will fortify us to keep up the battle for dignity, for respect. We have no where to go; our backs are against the wall. We might as well hold the line. I look forward to Efren’s release from prison so he can taste freedom and join us in this mighty struggle for justice from the other side of the barbed wire.

hese are just come reflections on the fast, on the campaign to free Efren and the others. I am sticking to juice, water and coffee for now. The thing that really hit me today was how little the world cares about people who are locked away. It is so easy to forget about them. We adjust our lives and move on so quickly. Of all the human rights struggles i have been around, prison work is the most thankless, and thus, probably the most important.

Let us keep the forgotten in our hearts. Human suffering takes so many forms; remembering the forgotten is bringing life back to the dead. So here’s to Resurrection.

In gratitude and hope,

Published in: on March 18, 2008 at 8:53 am  Leave a Comment  

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