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Commentary :: Environment & Food

Dispatch From Jeff 'Free' Luers - January 7, 2006

2006. That has such a profound meaning to me. To start it means the beginning of my 6th year. It means come April, if I don't go to the hole, I'll have exactly 15 years left.

2006. Seven years since the pinnacle of this movement in Seattle. Seven years for things to get worse.

2006. Another year to try again. To hope and watch each sunrise with a sense of anticipation. Could this be the year? Could tomorrow be the day?
Jeff at Oregon State Penitentiary-March 2005
Everyone seems to take away something different from these writings of mine. I like that each person interprets my words based on what is in there heart. I like that at any given time I can receive compliments, criticisms, and even challenges from any one dispatch. If nothing else it tells me I'm making people think.

A very dear and special friend told me recently that my dispatches lacked something very important. That they lacked me!

She went on to say how well she knows me. That I only share one small part of me in these writings. She honestly worried that the world was not seeing the wonderful person I really am [her words].

That stuck to me. How can someone so close to me, who knows my heart ask me the hardest thing of all - to open up. I don't like to feel vulnerable. I don't like to feel like I don't have a wall to hide behind. I don't like sharing with strangers.

The damnest thing is that she's right. I think I hide too much.

It is so easy for me to make this prison sentence all about resistance. All about standing up for something better. After all, that's why I'm here, right?

But after all these years, and the decline in action, the "why" I'm here gets lost. Only the "how" I got here remains. It has been simplified beyond measure. "Free fought for the earth" or "Jeff was protesting global warming." Some people even say I did it for the animals.

All of these are great reasons. But nobody makes a stand just because something is bad or unjust. They always do it because something makes them care.

In 2000, my friends had a baby girl. She was born very sick. She had to undergo so much medical treatment and it was touch and go the whole way. All my friends wanted was for their baby to live. A whole community came forward to support them.

This baby was fighting for her life. I knew she would be fighting her whole life. She would struggle just to live and when she made it we would hand her a broken world. A world full of injustice and corruption and haunted by every type of exploitation. A world polluted beyond repair.

I wept for her and for what we would give her, for what my nephew and nieces would inherit. I cried for the world I would leave my kids if I ever have any.

I knew then who I was fighting for, why I would fight and how hard I would fight. That's when it got personal.

Our children, whether our own or members of our community, deserve better than what we were handed. We have struggled to right the wrongs of generations because those before us did not fight or did not succeed. That is not a legacy we should pass on. If we are ever to move forward as a human race then humanity has to improve with each generation. Not get worse. Not trade one injustice for another.

I don't know how much I accomplished before I got locked up. My actions were small and I've no idea how far they rippled. I do know that I inspired people. It is my gift and it is what I do even when I'm not trying to.

I'm good at inspiring people because I'm inspired by love. I can't tell you what to fight for. You've got to find that on your own. All I tell you is there are some things worth fight for.

~ Jeff "Free" Luers

Write to:

Jeffrey Luers
Oregon State Prison
2605 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97310

For more information go to

To donate to Jeff's legal appeal or to his commissary, go to
Write Free at Jeffrey Luers, #13797671, Oregon State Penetentiary, Salem, OR 97310

Donate to Free's Legal Defense:
1-Online through the 'make a donation' button at
2-Send a check or money order to: "Free's Defense Fund" and mail to
POB 3, Eugene, OR 97440

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