April 2013 Communique from Jason Sutherlin

Friends & Comrades,

As a community and as individuals you never stop amazing me. The support and solidarity I have felt from all of you is nothing less than overwhelming and amazing. I have been receiving a steady stream of mail and books since being placed in my current institution. Y’all are bad asses!! To all my birthday well wishers and all of you who decided “/b/ my valentine”, I love you all.


To everyone who just writes to let me know I’m supported and remembered, either at letter parties or on your own, thank you. I love your letters and appreciate each one. Whether you are telling me about your pets, passions, interests, views, hopes, trumpets, or arm wrestling tactics (that wrist thing is cheating btw)…  I find them all interesting and often hilarious. I am unable to respond to all of you every time, but I want you all to know I value every word and you make my week every time I get a letter. Also I am not able to send letters out of the US right now. I do want to send some love to Queensland, Australia. Your letter was awesome and I wish I could write back. Much love to the French Resistance and a certain comrade in Germany. You’re rad K.

So I feel as though only the Cook County Jail could ever make a person “ready to get to prison”. Needless to say my conditions have improved greatly. I can purchase stuff like dental floss. I can workout. and I now have a walkman. Yes. A real walkman with real, or should I say, reel tapes. I am probably the only person in any prison with a Bjork tape! I’m also in classes which helps pass my time and I can earn days off my sentence. I have been treated professionally and the same as every person around me.

So before I close I want to touch on a subject that has come up over and over again in radical circles and radical causes. It’s time to ask yourself some hard questions when thinking about taking direct action. Are you prepared to be locked up? Are you willing to stay locked up to protect your comrades and community? Solidarity is a gift and a responsibility. Please ask yourself and be honest. If you don’t believe you can commit to the safety of your comrades and community, take a different path. We can all use the skills we have in the ways we are comfortable. There is so much work to do. So many ways to push for the world we hope to see. Please be safe, think tactically, and keep standing for what you know to be right.

I want to close with love and thanks to all of you. You all give me hope and remind me that some people actually care and that not everyone is a racist, sexist, homophobe… just most of the people that surround me at this moment in time. I still have hope for so many reasons and all of you contribute to that.

I want to publicly thank all my hometown heroes and all the folks holding down rad bookstores from North Carolina to Indiana to Sacramento working on prison support. To my own “dream team” doing research on how to mitigate the damage of mass incarceration and to my own light, who guides me everyday. I would be lost without you. To my crew, love y’all to death!! I’ll be home before too long.

With Love and Rage,

Jason W Sutherlin