Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Another Visit With Activist Susan Walker In Elmira Jail

Susan Walker of Dundee, NY, is in jail after participating in an action blocking the gates of an Inergy compression station in Watkins Glen September 6th:

Hi Doug,
I thought by sending this to you, it would reach the people who want to know how Susan is doing. I DID POST IT TO THE FACEBOOK PAGE FOR SUSAN!

Her son, Zach and I went to visit tonight. Zach was very nervous about seeing his mom in jail, but as we waited and talked, he relaxed and sang songs for the others waiting to see their loved ones (one man waiting worked for the gas company). He is a great guy with a wonderful sense of humor and a GREAT singing voice.
Just as Jack reported, there is a series of doors and metal detectors and looks in our mouths and under our tongues. We waited for about 10 minutes or so for the next group of inmates to come into the visiting area. Susan had a lovely look of surprise and love on her face when she saw her son, and so did he. They hugged hello (which can only be done at the beginning and end of a visit). Having never met Susan, I must say that she looked great and was calm and even looked good in orange (the color of jail jumpsuits-this was Zach's comment).
Susan stated that she is well, feels good and is deeply moved by all of the cards and letters that she is getting. She said that she reads them to all the girls in the unit and they all feel so uplifted by the words of encouragement. So, the cards are a huge help in many ways... She stated that it is really noisy in there, and the lights are on most of the time. Susan stated that she hasn't been able to take her meds but she is doing OK about it. When I asked her if she needs anything, she said no, she has pencil and paper and two stamps. She is writing one letter to Jack and wondered who she should write to thank for all of the support.
She said the guards were telling her about the rally on Thursday and they had never seen anything like that before.
(Many of them didn't know what fracking was, so she continues her work while on the inside!) I told her that there are nightly vigils and she was stunned. We had 25 people tonight.
As a matter of fact, during the visit, some of the visitors were saying "There's a protest out there!" and the inmates were pointing to Susan saying it was for her. "She's a nice lady!" one of the female inmates said.
Susan was very touched to know that Sandra Steingraber encouraged us to wear pearls after watching Susan hand over her string ot pears to her friend while being escorted out of the courtroom last week.

Zach and his mom talked a lot, giggled and laughed and caught up on things. Zach sang to his mom and Susan, as any mother would, displayed tons of love for her son with adoring looks. You can tell they really like each other.
Susan said that she will be "released" Friday. Here is how it goes: she will be taken to Schuyler Jail at 10PM to be processed. Then, she will be let out at midnight Friday morning.
I gave lots of room for the two to visit but all three of us had a good chat. When it was time to go, Zach and Susan hugged. When outside the jail, Zach said that he felt so much better seeing his mom and knowing she was not in distress. "I'll have a relaxed ride home now! I feel so much better!".
By the way, Zach will NOT be down on Wednesday to see his mother, so that means that if two people would like to visit Susan, it can be done. I'm not sure how to determine who that would be so I'll let you decide amongst yourselves. I could call Zach to see if any family wants to visit to be on the safe side.
It was a wonderful visit. Susan is kind and soft spoken. When asked if she has any regrets, she said, without pausing "NO!".
What a fine person Susan Walker is.


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