By Katie at Houston IndyMedia
She was arrested on Mon evening, 5th of Dec at Houston & transferred to Victoria late afternoon on Fri the 9th. In all that time, she was never brought before a judge. She was unable to call her attorney because the phones wouldn’t work. Jail authority’s response to her complaint about the phones was met with “it’s not our problem”. She was constantly moved from one cold detention block to another. And the worst part, subjected to humiliating and dehumanizing treatment by the female jailors. I had already heard about some of it from her sister and phoned her lawyer to take legal action against the prison. He was unwilling to do anything until he got the facts directly from her. He also seemed to think that this was something that could wait until after she got out. Diane’s response was, “That was the most outrageous thing that’s ever happened to me in prison. And I’ve been arrested dozens of times, I should know! I’ve a sense now of how people in concentration camps must have felt…stripped of their dignity & treated like animals. And these were people who have just been picked off the streets on traffic violations, maybe suspicion of a misdemeanor…they have not been charged or indicted or even brought before a judge! How can these people be expected to go back into the world with anything less than hate and disgust for cops?!” She most certainly wants to file a complaint but she prefers not having to go through the debasing details with the attorney. She requested that I write it and mail it to her for her approval. Meanwhile, she will call the attorney and ask him to assist me in pursuing the matter. Need I say that I am having a traumatic time writing it? I brought her to speed on her attorney’s fruitless negotiations so far, with the sheriff & the DA, to cut down her sentence by one-third. Her response was, “I want to start this fast like thing for change…for world peace.” I couldn’t help but groan! On the occasion of Christmas, she thought it would be good idea to begin meditating on various issues such as the war in Iraq, bringing the troops home, justice for Bhopal & the environmental tragedy plaguing her Bay and the conditions in prisons such as the one she was held at in Houston. “They’re all connected and I want to do something about all of them.” Kind of like “meditating on the human condition” I said. She shook her head vigorously and flashed that famous grin. She assured me that she would not announce it as a fast or a hunger strike to the authorities. “It will be like a religious thing. The authorities won’t mind that sort of action ‘cos it’s non-confrontational…passive. ” She would just stop consuming whatever little solid food she was on. Just stay on water, Kool Aid and coffee. I explained that it would tough to publicise it or raise any support until after New Year’s. She didn’t seem to care about that. She was more interested in discussing meditation techniques. We had recently begun exploring Vipassna for her since I have been practicing for some years and we happened to meet a wonderful Vipassna-Zen teacher at Bioneers. Someone who wanted to help me take my practice to the next level and teach Diane in a manner that would prepare her for prison. I’ve added a couple of relevant titles to her book list.