Monday, October 29, 2007

Postal addresses

I've been dealing with the prison system for two weeks now. I was saying that trying to support prisoners is like throwing myself against a brick wall, but I've decided that it is throwing myself against a brick wall.

I don't seem to have any surprise or anger left in me. Each difficulty, each frustration, each blockade in getting the prisoners their most basic entitlements. Incompetence or malice, it doesn't even matter any more (although mostly I don't think it's either, it's a systematic lack of concern for either prisoners and those on the outside who love them). The latest, which wouldn't be the top five most frustrating that I've come against today is about trying to write letters.

I want to write letters to my arrested friends so they know that people love them and they are not alone. I want them to know about the solidarity they have received from around the world. I also need to let them know about practical things; in order to visit a prisoner in Auckland you have to write to them so they can book a visit. I've sent three letters to Auckland Central Remand Prison, all to the wrong addresses.

The address for Auckland Central Remand Prison in the Auckland phone book is 1 Lauder Rd, Mt Eden. The address for Auckland Central Remand Prison on the Corrections Website is PO Box 92625, Symonds Street, Auckland.

The actual postal address for Auckland Central Remand Prison is Private Bag 96925, Symonds Street, Auckland.

It should not be a challenge to write to friends and loved ones in prison. It should not require a toll call; postal address are not a state secret. But I'm beyond being angry or shocked - I'm just printing out extra copies of their letters, so I can send them again.

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