The Chance to Make a Difference

Please visit our fantastic new website by clicking this link!

Editor’s Note: In March 2010, we began posting the work of Enceno Macy, an inmate in a U.S. prison. Enceno’s articles are sent handwritten, then typed and edited by a trusted editor. Comments typed into the response area will be sent directly to Enceno. Thanks for reading and for the warm response he’s received each time. –efc & ajp

by Enceno Macy

With no access allowed to computers or internet, prisoners in this state receive news only via major networks on a few prison-controlled tv channels. We therefore knew little or nothing of the Occupy Wall Street actions until police brutality drew reluctant media coverage. Quietly, many of us cheered.

Sign at Occupy Maine. Photo by Amanda Painter.

Prisoners are after all the most disenfranchised and voiceless segment of the 99%. Our very survival is totally at the mercy of an industry that makes obscene profits, grossly overcharging a literally captive market for out-dated, condemned food products, factory-reject clothing, expired medicines, and defective, unsalable merchandise.

The Occupation has now faded from corporate news, but for a while there I dared to hope they would persist and maybe even score some victories against our corporate masters. I want to cry out now to each of them not to give up, not to blow this chance to make a difference. I was so young I blew my own chance without even knowing I had one, and trying to regain it has been a long, hard journey.

The young mind, caught up in self, focuses mostly on the immediate future and the common daily occurrences that directly affect a youth’s current situation. Young people therefore often fail to comprehend the world as a whole. Other countries might as well be other planets, politics and global relations are grown-ups’ business, and things appear generally to be everlasting. Caring, compassion and empathy are often limited to the things and people closest and most familiar to us at the time: our family, friends, possessions and pets.

Some kids may grow up more worldly, but the above is what I knew and was at 15 years old: simple and self-absorbed. I came to prison then – back when cell phones were rare and primitive and Palm Pilot was the only hand-held computer. When I came to jail, Clinton was considered the closest thing to a minority president that we would get. Global warming and peak oil had not become common terms or concerns. Terrorism wasn’t being used to justify conflicts and military campaigns that depleted our debt surplus and contributed to a crashing economy. Our planet wasn’t being murdered as blatantly with countless pollutants in our air and water (or to be honest, I hadn’t noticed).

To read more, you must be a registered user. Registration is free.
If you are already registered, please login Here!

This entry was posted in by Enceno Macy. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Chance to Make a Difference

  1. mystes mystes says:

    “There is blessing not only in being helped but in being able and willing to provide that help. ”

    Thanks, Enceno, for speaking so clearly to this privilege. You’re a jewel.


  2. Amanda Painter Amanda Painter says:

    Enceno’s other editor (the person who works with his drafts before i put them on the blog) just sent along this email from an acquaintance of theirs:

    This is an amazing article from Enceno, and it is so pertinent to what I am doing right now. I am very involved in Occupy Oakland and this is something I am currently getting involved in organizing — an action about prisoners. Here is the link. I thought you might find it interesting.

    I plan to share Enceno’s article with my co-organizers and I will tweet it as well.

    End the new Jim Crow!

  3. Rachel Victoria says:

    Dear Encino. I so appreciate hearing your story. Your path has been an amazing one, and your courage to move beyond fear towards compassion is deeply compelling and inspiring.

    Your words of encouragement to those of us on the front lines of Occupy are a welcome gift. Sometimes I feel discouraged, but hearing your story coming from inside those walls reminds me of why I am doing this.

    I want you to know that Occupy Oakland has recently called for a National Day of Action in support of prisoners on Feb 20, 2012. Here is the link to the website. We are just beginning to organize it, but there is a huge swell of support.

    I look forward to your liberation from prison, and to liberation from oppression for us all. Together we can make a difference. We already have.


  4. Len Wallick Len Wallick says:

    Thank you for another lucid and eloquent installment of your journey. Been thinking about you in recent weeks. It is good to know of your impending release. Speaking for myself, you have made a difference. Reading your words has made a difference in my life. Among those differences is the appreciation of opportunities that you speak of. May you soon be outside the wire and availed of the increased opportunities that you have worked so hard to prepare yourself for.

  5. Lea Burning River says:

    I don’t feel adequate with words to express my heartfelt appreciation for the choices you have made and the transformations in your thinking that have made you the man you are today. So my best response to your post, Enceno, is my suggestion just now under another PW post that an action be taken by PW in solidarity with Wikipedia and other internet communities to stand against corporate take-over of the freedom of speech that we enjoy on the internet by blacking out for 24 hours on the 18th (tomorrow) with them. May your spirit continue to plant seeds in many spirits.

  6. Lizzy Huffy says:

    Great to see you back here dear Enceno! It’s been a while… You really are one helluva guy. As I read your piece I was reminded of the words “Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains”, from the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. I’m still waiting for you to write that book…!

Leave a Reply