Society is like a stew,
if you don't keep it stirred all the scum settles on the top.
- Edward Abbey
If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time.
But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine,
then let us work together.
- Aboriginal Activists Group, Australia
If you ain't angry, you ain't paying attention.
Many claim that it is insane to resist the system;
but actually, it is insane not to.
Prison is a second by second assault on the soul,
a day to day degradation of the self,
an oppressive steel and brick umbrella that transforms
seconds into hours and hours into days.
- Mumia Abu-Jamal
The establishment is made up of little men, very frightened.
Women will change the nature of power,
rather than power changing the nature of women.
I spend all day figuring out how to beat the machine
and knock the crap out of the political power structure.
Women will not simply be mainstreamed into the polluted stream.
Women are changing the stream, making it clean and green and safe for all:
every gender, race, creed, sexual orientation, age, and ability.
- Bella Abzug
We don't have a clue what it is to be male or female, or if there are intermediate genders.
Male and female might be fields which overlap into androgyny or different kinds of sexual desires.
But because we live in a Western, patriarchal world,
we have very little chance of exploring these gender possibilities.
- Kathy Acker
Look in the mirror.
The face that pins you with its double gaze reveals a chastening secret.
I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it.
I want to have lived the width of it as well.
- Diane Ackerman
Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
- Lord Acton
... nature's God commands the slave to rise,
and on th' oppressor's head to break his chain.
- John Quincy Adams
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
The full-bellied child says to the hungry child, "Keep good cheer."
- Herbert Agar
Prison has taught me that there is a part of you
that no one can ever take from you, and that is your heart.
- Babar Ahmad
I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning to sail my ship.
Help one another is part of the religion of our sisterhood.
- Louisa May Alcott
Nationalism is a silly cock crowing on his own dunghill.
- Richard Aldington
Today’s lynching is a felony charge.
Today’s lynching is incarceration.
Today’s lynch mobs are professionals.
They have a badge; they have a law degree.
Racial violence has been rationalized, legitimated,
and channelled through our criminal justice system;
it is expressed as police brutality, solitary confinement,
and the discriminatory and arbitrary imposition of the death penalty.
- Michelle Alexander
Write what should not be forgotten.
How can one not speak about war, poverty, and inequality
when people who suffer from these afflictions don't have a voice to speak?
- Isabel Allende
Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host.
But anger is like fire. It burns all clean.
You may shoot me with your words.
You may cut me with your eyes.
You may kill me with your hatefulness.
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.
In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are,
what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.
- Maya Angelou
The real thieves, sir, are those who keep us in here.
If the System doesn’t make you angry, you haven’t been paying attention!
There is a saying in prison that prisoners are the cousins of death
because family and society forgets about them.
The first all-solitary-confinement prison in the U.S., in Auburn, New York,
was shut down in 1822, after only 18 months of operation,
when the governor visited and saw that every one of its 26 prisoners had become psychotic.
There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous.
No punishment has ever possessed enough power of deterrence to prevent the commission of crimes.
- Hannah Arendt
Because you are women, people will force their thinking on you, their boundaries on you.
They will tell you how to dress, how to behave, who you can meet and where you can go.
Don't live in the shadows of people's judgement.
Make your own choices in the light of your own wisdom.
- Amitabh Bachchan
Action is the antidote to despair.
You don't get to choose how you're going to die, or when.
You can only decide how you're going to live now.
- Joan Baez
In every State, the government is nothing but a permanent conspiracy on the part of the minority against the majority, which it enslaves and fleeces.
- Mikhail Bakunin
To be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.
Those who say it can't be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity.
- James Baldwin
I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.
- Lucille Ball
A system that warehouses people is not the cure for social ills.
From the slave ship to the citizenship we faced a lot of bullship.
- Amiri Baraka
Your brain has a mind of its own.
- Kathryn Barrett
It is easy to understand why the law is used by the legislator to destroy in varying degrees among the rest of the people their personal independence by slavery, their liberty by oppression, and their property by plunder.
This is done for the benefit of the person who makes the law, and in proportion to the power that he holds.
- Frederic Bastiat
All oppression creates a state of war.
- Simone de Beauvoir
A single decision by the chairman of Royal Dutch/Shell has a greater impact on the health of the planet than all the coffee-ground-composting, organic-cotton-wearing eco-freaks gathering in Washington D.C., for Earth Day festivities this weekend.
- Sharon Begley
Happiness is good health and bad memory.
- Ingrid Bergman
In addition, our nuclear adventurism over 57 years has saturated the planet with nuclear garbage from testing,
from explosions in high altitudes (four of these), from 103 nuclear power plants,
from nuclear weapons factories that can't be cleaned up - and so on.
Because of myopic leadership, of greed for possessions, a public chained to corporate media,
there has been virtually no response to these realities...
- Phil Berrigan (excerpt from his last words)
Corporation, n. An ingeneous device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.
- Ambrose Bierce
Laws are like sausages.
You sleep far better the less you know about how they are made.
- Otto Von Bismarck
There are two ways of meeting difficulties.
You alter the difficulties or you alter yourself to meet them.
- Phyllis Bottome
Politicians are swine. You cannot reason with swine.
You must hit them on the nose with a stick.
- Bertold Brecht
The reward for conformity is everyone likes you but yourself.
Lead me not into temptation; I can find the way myself.
Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment.
A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually.
One must fight for a life of action, not reaction.
- Rita Mae Brown
Adulthood was invented to repair the wounds of childhood.
- Joy Browne
To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death.
I love people. I love my family, my children ... but inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that's where you renew your springs that never dry up.
- Pearl S. Buck
A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on.
- William S. Burroughs
Being in prison for seven years was like being in an army that never drilled, never deployed, and only fought itself.
- Raegan Butcher
I spent 33 years in the Marines.
Most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers.
In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.
I helped make Honduras "right" for American fruit companies in 1903.
I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912.
I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914.
I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916.
I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenue in.
I helped in the rape of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.
In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
The record of racketeering is long.
- Smedley D. Butler (Maj. Gen. - U.S. Marines) War Is A Racket 217kb
A committee takes hours to put into minutes what can be done in seconds.
- Judy Castrina
We work on ourselves in order to help others,
but also we help others in order to work on ourselves.
The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.
- Pema Chödrön
He who controls the media controls the minds of the public.
Democratic societies can't force people.
Therefore they have to control what they think.
The general population doesn't know what's happening,
and it doesn't even know that it doesn't know.
Nobody is going to pour truth into your brain.
It's something you have to find out for yourself.
That's the standard technique of privatization:
defund, make sure things don't work, people get angry,
you hand it over to private capital.
There's a good reason why nobody studies history,
it just teaches you too much.
- Noam Chomsky
Democracy can and must be about more than voting every four years on which gang of pirates you want to be robbed by.
- John Clarke
I find it rather easy to portray a businessman.
Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me.
- John Cleese
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then you will find that money cannot be eaten.
- Cree Elder
Never keep up with the Joneses.
Drag them down to your level.
However low a man sinks he never reaches the level of the police.
- Quentin Crisp
Nothing in life is to be feared.
It is only to be understood.
- Marie Curie
The police are not here to create disorder,
they're here to preserve disorder.
Why are they destroying their homes?
- Richard Daley (Chicago mayor during the Attica Prison Uprising)
You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom.
You can only be free if I am free.
- Clarence Darrow
I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change.
I am changing the things I cannot accept.
You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world.
And you have to do it all the time.
Jails and prisons are designed to break human beings,
to convert the population into specimens in a zoo
- obedient to our keepers, but dangerous to each other.
Prisons do not disappear social problems, they disappear human beings.
Homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, mental illness, and illiteracy
are only a few of the problems that disappear from public view
when the human beings contending with them are relegated to cages.
- Angela Davis
What we accept, what we honour, who we choose to honour,
says a lot about what we value as a society.
- Irene Moore Davis
All oppression creates a state of war.
I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom.
However gifted an individual is at the outset,
if his or her talents cannot be developed because of his or her social condition,
because of the surrounding circumstances, these talents will be still-born.
- Simone De Beauvoir
While there is a lower class, I am in it.
While there is a criminal element, I am of it.
While there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
- Eugene Debs
Republicans and Democrates are simply two adjoining cheeks of the same ass.
They need each other.
- Bada Dehili
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
- Fyodor Dostoevsky
This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one,
and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle.
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out
the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them,
and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.
The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
- Frederick Douglass
Sexism is the foundation on which all tyranny is built.
Every social form of hierarchy and abuse is modeled on male-over-female domination.
The genius of any slave system is found in the dynamics which isolate slaves from each other,
obscure the reality of a common condition, and make united rebellion against the oppressor inconceivable.
- Andrea Dworkin
Make the work harder for the men so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.
- Egyptian Pharaoh
The world cannot get out of its current state of crisis
with the same thinking that got it there in the first place.
- Albert Einstien
To the fervent proponents of ruthless corporate capitalism I say:
make a millionaire CEO live as a poor sweatshop worker in Indonesia for one month
and then ask him about the merits of the world economic system ...
- Vassilis Epaminondou
Doctor, you touched my vertebrae and you are touching my unpaid bills,
touching my unmade marriages.
And you look at me and say, "Have you ever had shock treatment?"
And I say, "Doctor, life is a shock treatment."
- Karen Finley
Is it surprising that prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, hospitals, which all resemble prisons?
But a punishment like forced labour or even imprisonment – mere loss of liberty –
has never functioned without a certain additional element of punishment that certainly concerns the body itself:
rationing of food, sexual deprivation, corporal punishment, solitary confinement ...
There remains, therefore, a trace of ‘torture’ in the modern mechanisms of criminal justice
– a trace that has not been entirely overcome, but which is enveloped, increasingly,
by the non-corporal nature of the penal system.
- Michel Foucault
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike
to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.
- Anatole France
It's the rough side of the mountain that's the easiest to climb;
the smooth side doesn't have anything for you to hang on to.
- Aretha Franklin
The walls are the publishers of the poor.
Many small people, in small places,
doing small things can change the world.
It is necessary to say no to the identification of reality with fate,
to this fatalistic idea, which is being disseminated universally now like poison gas,
which identifies what is with what will be.
One must claim the right and the duty of imagining the future, instead of accepting it.
- Eduardo Galeano
I’ve said it before - In contrast to those traditional stories that begin with,
‘Once upon a time …’
Zapatista stories begin with,
‘There will be a time …’
- Subcomandante Galeano (formerly Marcos)
The first step in fighting injustice is to make it visible.
Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state becomes lawless or corrupt.
- Mahatma Gandhi
We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery,
for though others may free the body,
none but ourselves can free the mind.
- Marcus Garvey
The most violent element in society is ignorance.
If voting could change anything, it would be made illegal
One cannot be too extreme in dealing with social ills;
the extreme thing is generally the true thing.
Ask for work. If they don't give you work, ask for bread.
If they do not give you work or bread, then take bread.
- Emma Goldman
Almost all the anti-social behaviour which makes us think it's necessary
to have armies, police, prisons and governments to control our lives,
is actually caused by the system inequalities and injustice
those armies, police, prisons and governments make possible.
- David Graeber
Freedom is fragile and must be protected.
To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure, is to betray it.
- Germaine Greer
Prisons are hate factories, Pastor, and society wants more and more of them.
- John Grisham
Be realistic, demand the impossible!
Live your life not celebrating victories, but overcoming defeats.
Let me say, with the risk of appearing ridiculous,
that the true revolutionary is guided by strong feelings of love ...
Above all, always be capable of feeling any injustice
committed against anyone anywhere in the world.
- Che Guevara
I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.
If I fall, I'll fall five feet four inches forward in the fight for freedom.
I'm not backing off.
- Fannie Lou Hamer
If you dare to struggle, you dare to win.
You can jail a revolutionary,
but you can't jail the revolution.
- Fred Hampton
Don't be afraid your life will end;
be afraid that it will never begin.
- Grace Hansen
Rules are for people who don't know how to get around them.
- Tori Harrison
If I don't speak, this silence is also going to kill me.
- Rehana Hashmi
A well-adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous.
- Jane Heard
What experience and history teach is this:
that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles.
- George Hegel
Enemies are so stimulating
If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.
- Katharine Hepburn
Prison is the only form of public housing that the government has truly invested in over the past 5 decades.
- Marc Lamont Hill
You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
- Eric Hoffer
Writing saved me from the sin and inconvenience of violence.
Being oppressed means the absence of choices.
No black woman writer in this culture can write "too much".
Indeed, no woman writer can write "too much"...
No woman has ever written enough.
Even the most subjected person has moments of rage and resentment so intense that they respond, they act against.
There is an inner uprising that leads to rebellion, however short-lived.
It may be only momentary but it takes place. That space within oneself where resistance is possible remains.
- bell hooks
One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions.
- Grace Hopper
No matter how well meaning and astute the investigators are
or how well-researched, witnessed and documented the incidents of cruelty are,
a prison is a prison is a prison.
The structure of authority that produces the oppressed and the oppressor alike is the key to understanding the problem.
Contained within this structure is the authoritative power to agendize language, which is simply another control mechanism.
- Gayle K. Horii
Always be smarter than the people who hire you.
It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it.
You have to be taught to be second class; you're not born that way.
- Lena Horne
He who opens a school door, closes a prison.
- Victor Hugo
Prison is an expensive way of making bad people worse.
- Douglas Hurd (Thatcher gov't 1989)
Grab the broom of anger and drive off the beast of fear.
Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.
No matter how far a person can go the horizon is still way beyond you.
If you are silent about your pain,
they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.
- Zora Neale Hurston
The first rule of holes: when you're in one, stop digging.
Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful.
What you need is sustained outrage ...
there's far too much unthinking respect given to authority.
- Molly Ivins
They will never count me among the broken men.
Patience has its limits.
Take it too far, and it's cowardice.
- George Jackson
I abide where there is a fight against wrong.
Sit down and read.
Educate yourself for the coming conflicts.
- Mary Harris Jones (Mother Jones)
It's amazing how much trouble you can get in when you don't have anything else to do.
- Quincy Jones
I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.
Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.
A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free.
- Nikos Kazantzakis
The highest result of education is tolerance.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.
Security is mostly a superstition.
It does not exist in nature.
Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other's welfare, social justice can never be attained.
- Helen Keller
Fighting crime by building more jails is like fighting cancer by building more cemeteries.
- Paul Kelly
Don't agonize. Organize.
Sweetie, if you're not living on the edge, then you're taking up space.
You've got to rattle your cage door.
You've got to let them know that you're in there, and that you want out.
Make noise. Cause trouble.
You may not win right away, but you'll sure have a lot more fun.
- Florynce Kennedy
It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life.
- Sister Elizabeth Kenny
Going to prison is like dying with your eyes open.
- Bernard Kerik
Struggle is a never ending process.
Freedom is never really won,
you earn it and win it in every generation.
Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved,
I believe that you must become its soul.
The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members,
... a heart of grace and a soul generated by love.
- Coretta Scott King
There comes a time when silence is betrayal.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
It's important to watch what you put in your mind.
- Linda Knight
Power should not be concentrated in the hands of so few,
and powerlessness in the hands of so many.
- Maggie Kuhn
What we all need to do is find the wellspring that keeps us going,
that gives us the strength and patience to keep up this struggle for a long time.
- Winona Laduke
The more laws and order are made prominent,
The more thieves and robbers there will be.
You can't let fear paralyze you.
The worse that can happen is you fail, but guess what:
You get up and try again.
Feel that pain, get over it, get up,
dust yourself off and keep it moving.
- Queen Latifah
You only learn to be a better writer by actually writing.
Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities
simply by being given the opportunity to do so.
- Doris Lessing
Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.
It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.
The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated;
but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
- C.S. Lewis
There's nothing wrong with a little agitation for what's right or what's fair.
You must be bold, brave, and courageous and find a way... to get in the way.
Rosa Parks inspired me to find a way to get in the way, to get in trouble... good trouble, necessary trouble.
- John Lewis
My silences have not protected me.
Your silence will not protect you.
We are powerful because we have survived.
I am not free while any woman is unfree,
even when her shackles are very different from my own
If our history has taught us anything, it is that action for change directed against the external conditions of our oppressions is not enough.
For the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house.
They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game,
but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.
- Audre Lorde
Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.
- Rosa Luxemburg
Do not judge me by my successes,
judge me by how many times I fell down & got back up again.
- Nelson Mandela
I decided it is better to scream.
Silence is the real crime against humanity.
- Nadezhda Mandelstam
The secret of our success is that we never, never give up.
Most people like to deal with us as though we were in a museum or a history book.
We must trust our own thinking.
Trust where we're going.
And get the job done.
One of the things my parents taught me,
and I'll always be grateful for the gift,
is to not ever let anybody else define me.
- Wilma Mankiller
Regret is an appalling waste of energy;
you can't build on it;
it is good only for wallowing in.
- Katherine Mansfield
Our choice is not between war and peace but between life with dignity or without
I slip away to a corner of the dawn,
and I light my pipe and uncertainty.
Then I hear myself, clearly, saying to myself:
"Perhaps not. ... but perhaps yes ..."
- Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Even when the winds of misfortune blow,
amazing things can still happen.
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him whose.
- Don Marquis
When the same man, or set of men, holds the sword and the purse, there is an end of liberty.
- George Mason
No matter how old a mother is she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.
- Florida Scott Maxwell
People just need brains.
- Amy McBride
Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.
Likely as not, the child you can do the least with will do the most to make you proud.
What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.
- Mignon McLaughlin
Always remember that you are absolutely unique.
Just like everyone else.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
Our humanity rests upon a series of learned behaviors,
woven together into patterns that are infinitely fragile and never directly inherited.
- Margaret Mead
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
(and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
- H.L. Mencken
The right and the left wings belong to the same colonial bird that shits on us.
- Terri Monture
The human eye is a wonderful device.
With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice.
- Richard K. Morgan
You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.
The function of freedom is to free someone else.
If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.
- Toni Morrison
You reach a certain point that, when you've been through enough crap,
you know what you want when you see it.
- Kelly Murdock-Billy
We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.
- Edward R. Murrow
Fascism should more properly be called corporatism,
since it is the merger of state and corporate power.
- Benito Mussolini
The immense hold which ignorance, indifference and inertia have over men's lives is not due in the main to any deficiency in human nature, but to the deliberate, determined efforts of ruling minorities to maintain their authority and perpetuate their power.
- Scott Nearing
"First They Came For ..."
"In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then the came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, but I didn't speak up because I was a protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.
- Reverend Martin Niemoeller (a German Lutheran pastor, was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Dachau in 1938. He was freed by the allied forces in 1945)
I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.
We don't see things as they are. We see them as we are.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
I am in a beautiful prison from which I can only escape by writing.
- Anais Nin
We were very impoverished because our history was denied to us.
So you can imagine all the work that we have to do still.
That every community, every child that's growing,
should know its history and, as much as possible, its language.
- Alanis Obomsawin
We have a political culture of intimidation, of favoring, of patronage, and of fear,
and that is no way for a community to be governed.
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
No one can dub you with dignity. That's yours to claim.
When I cut my hair, it was called an Odetta.
Until then, I had swallowed lock, stock and barrel the uptightness of this society -
feeling ashamed of 'Black,' 'fat,' 'ugly.'
Looking back, the path to self was paying attention to my intuition, feelings and thoughts.
Night time is really the best time to work.
All the ideas are there to be yours because everyone else is asleep.
- Catherine O'Hara
In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side,
but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.
- George Orwell
Be patient and tough;
someday this pain will be useful to you.
Dripping water hollows out stone,
not through force but through persistence.
Did the mass of men know the actual selfishness and injustice of their rulers,
not a government would stand a year. The world would foment with revolution.
- Theodore Parker
Our mistreatment was just not right, and I was tired of it.
Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit,
and you just pull the scab off of it over and over again.
I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear;
knowing what must be done does away with fear.
- Rosa Parks
My crime is being Indian. What's yours?
Only one thing’s sadder than remembering you were once free,
and that’s forgetting you were once free.
We need to do more than just what is right.
We need to join together and right what is wrong.
- Leonard Peltier
Government began in tyranny and force, began in the feudalism of the soldier and the bigotry of the priest,
and the ideas of justice and humanity have been fighting their way,
like a thunderstorm, against the organized selfishness of human nature.
- Wendell Phillips
You see, without real dissent - that is,
dissent that makes us sceptical of what governments say,
dissent that exposes cultural conformity - we lose freedom:
not all at once, but bit by bit,
so that we barely notice it slipping away.
- John Pilger
Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
- William Pitt
Just because everything's different doesn't mean anything's changed.
- Irene Porter
Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up, because they're looking for ideas.
- Paula Poundstone
You can't turn back the clock.
But you can wind it up again.
- Bonnie Prudden
Isn't it amazing what a pencil can have inside?
Prison is, simply put,
the bottom rung of the welfare ladder.
- Stephen Reid
Even if you're on the right track,
you'll get run over if you just sit there.
- Will Rogers
Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.
The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling –
their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.
Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it.
To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it.
With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness -
and our ability to tell our own stories.
Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.
- Arundhati Roy
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent full of doubt.
- Bertrand Russell
'Ah, what can I do?' say a powerless few,
With a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye,
Can't you see that their poverty's profiting you?
- Buffy Sainte-Marie
Slang is language that takes off its coat, spits on its hands, and goes to work.
- Carl Sandburg
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
- George Santayana
The proverb warns that "You should not bite the hand that feeds you."
But maybe you should if it prevents you from feeding yourself.
- Thomas Sasz
A lot of what children go through is because you adults don't carry the burden yourself.
A lot of what children's hurt feelings are about is how the parents react.
- Laura Schlessinger
A drawing - whether it becomes a window, a mirror, a weapon, or a tool - is always also a lifeline.
- Andrea K. Scott
So the concept is this, basically ...
we're going to walk on this nation.
We're going to walk on this racist power structure.
And we're going to say to the whole damn government:
'Stick 'em up motherfucker, this is a hold-up!
We've come for what's ours!
- Bobby Seale
Fear is the tax that conscience pays to guilt.
- George Sewell
The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.
- Dr. Seuss
Where there is oppression, there will be resistance.
No one is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them
And if I know anything at all,
it's that a wall is just a wall and nothing more at all.
It can be broken down.
Love is contraband in Hell,
'cause love is an acid that eats away bars.
- Assata Shakur
When you are doing time,
you have the time to realize how art can keep you free.
- Welmon Sharlhorne
Prison always has been a good place for writers,
killing, as it does, the twin demons of mobility and diversion.
- Dan Simmons
Hot water is my native element.
I was in it as a baby, and I have never seemed to get out of it ever since.
I am not eccentric. It's just that I am more alive than most people.
I am an unpopular electric eel set in a pond of goldfish.
- Edith Sitwell
Sanity is a cozy lie.
Most people in this society who aren't actively mad are,
at best, reformed or potential lunatics.
The truth is always something that is told, not something that is known.
If there were no speaking or writing, there would be no truth about anything.
There would only be what is.
- Susan Sontag
If you're never scared or embarrassed or hurt,
it means you never take any chances.
- Julia Sorel
I cannot submit to injustices, even minor ones.
Once one starts submitting to minor injustices and rationalizes them away,
their accumulation creates a major oppression.
That’s how entire peoples fell into slavery.
- Martin Sostre
If you are selling security,
you have to make sure people feel insecure.
The people who vote decide nothing.
The people who count the vote decide everything.
- Josef Stalin
Anything less than the truth is a lie.
- Tamara Starblanket
The truth will set you free.
But first, it will piss you off.
Power can be taken, but not given.
The process of the taking is empowerment in itself.
Law and justice are not always the same.
When they aren't, destroying the law may be the first step toward changing it.
- Gloria Steinem
He whom many fear, has himself many to fear.
- Publilius Syrus
If one cannot invent a really convincing lie,
it is often better to stick to the truth.
- Angela Thirkell
Under a government which imprisons any unjustly,
the true place for a just man is also a prison.
Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty.
The obedient must be slaves.
- Henry David Thoreau
The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win,
you're still a rat.
No matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up.
I always wondered why somebody doesn't do something about that.
Then I realized I was somebody.
- Lily Tomlin
People will stop dying when the Canadian government stops leaving them there to die.
- Nisha Toomey
When the ice on the razor wire starts to look pretty,
you've been in prison too long.
The rich rob the poor, and the poor rob one another.
- Sojourner Truth
I never ran my train off the track,
and I never lost a passenger.
I had crossed the line.
I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom.
I was a stranger in a strange land.
I had reasoned this out in my mind,
there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death;
if I could not have one, I would have the other.
- Harriet Tubman
We must not allow ourselves to become like the system we oppose.
If you are neutral in situations of injustice,
you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
- Desmond Tutu
Policemen and politicians ...
are the dust-licking pimps and slaves of the scum ...
everywhere in America.
- Mark Twain
The most important thing schools teach children today is:
You can be anything you want as long as it isn't different.
- Aisha Tyler
The real thieves, sir, are those who keep us in here.
If the System doesn’t make you angry, you haven’t been paying attention!
There is a saying in prison that prisoners are the cousins of death because family and society forgets about them.
The first all-solitary-confinement prison in the U.S., in Auburn, New York, was shut down in 1822, after only 18 months of operation, when the governor visited and saw that every one of its 26 prisoners had become psychotic.
The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.
- Gore Vidal
It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
The history of the great events of this world are scarcely more than the history of crime.
The best mind-altering drug is the truth.
- Jane Wagner
The most important question in the world is, 'Why is the child crying?'
No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.
The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.
- Alice Walker
If you think you're too small to make a difference,
you've obviously never been in bed with a mosquito.
- Michelle Walker
You can't hold a man down without staying down with him.
- Booker T. Washington
Good intentions will always be pleaded for any assumption of power.
The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.
There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern.
They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.
- Daniel Webster
Power is always insolent and despotic.
- Noah Webster
We praise soldiers for doing by deceit and treachery what would meet with capital punishment among civilians.
- D. A. Wells
The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.
- Ida B. Wells
If only we'd stop trying to be happy we'd have a pretty good time.
- Edith Wharton
Often the best thing about not saying anything is that it can't be repeated.
- Suzan Wiener
There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice,
but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.
- Elie Wiesel
The form of government that is most suitable to the artist is no government at all.
Authority over him and his art is ridiculous.
- Oscar Wilde
To see the caging of human bodies on a mass scale is arresting for the human soul.
- Alfre Woodard
You can stand tall without standing on someone.
You can be a victor without having victims.
- Harriet Woods
For most of history, Anonymous was a woman
If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.
Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by his heart, and his friends can only read the title.
- Virginia Woolf
If we don't stand for something, we may fall for anything.
That's not a chip on my shoulder, that's your foot on my neck.
When 'I' replaced with 'We', even the Illness becomes Wellness.
We’ve only suffered from America’s hypocrisy...
If you go to jail, so what?
If you’re black, you were born in jail.
I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading has opened to me.
I knew right there in prison that reading had changed forever the course of my life.
As I see it today, the ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.
- Malcolm X
If age imparted wisdom, there wouldn't be any old fools.
- Claudia Young
We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.
- Malala Yousafzai
I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees.
If there is not justice for the people,
let there be no peace for the government.
- Emiliano Zapata
But remember, this power of the people on top
depends on the obedience of the people below.
When people stop obeying, they have no power.
If there is going to be change, real change,
it will have to work its way from the bottom up,
from the people themselves.
That's how change happens.
It must surely be a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit
that even a small number of those men and women in the hell of the prison system
survive it and hold on to their humanity.
- Howard Zinn