EVENT DATE: May 26, 2012
Chris Spicer wrote -
Funds raised here to bond out Chinbat will help me to payback the rescue investors who can give money up front to release him Saturday, May 26th.
Dear family and friends,
The newsworthy events of the Chicago NATO Summit this past week and my personal experience taking part in nonviolent direct action to protest NATO prompt this update. I would like to share with you some of the actions I took part in and some thoughts that have come up from this.
On May 14th, a cadre of Catholic Workers convened a symbolic banquet in the Obama campaign headquarters. While a hundred catholic workers held a makeshift table laden for a meal, sharing bread and baked goods, we sang anthems of the civil rights era and held a banner on display read “NATO Feeds War” and “Community Feeds People”. Then, after several warnings, still singing “peace is flowing like a river”, eight activists including myself were escorted from the premises.
Following my arrest, I served ten days in jail. In the crux of this I met an inmate who won my respect and my pledge to help raise his bond with urgent speed. I want to share briefly about the inmate named Chinbat and how you can join me to liberate him from captivity.
The one whom most called the “Chinaman” appeared despondent, lying on his lower bunk. Talking overhead, another NATO protester and I were engaged in political discourse with another inmate when China was mentioned. The man informed us of the 800 million Chinese who live without the privileges of advanced industrial cities, typically without access to electricity for example. This astute man turned out to speak five languages and his English was broad enough to describe in detail his first-hand experience of communist society. He seemed to enjoy companionship as we played chess and discussed the significance of Perastroika for Russia. Yet deeply anxious about his confinement in the county jail, he had not slept in three, going on four nights. I never asked what charges he faced.
A Mongolian by birth, Chinbat later went to university in Czechoslovakia. The travel to and from university took him by train through the corrupt and disintegrating city of Moscow. More than once he survived the death threats of Police armed with AK-47’s and a license to kill. His foreign complexion marked him as an easy target for harassment. Something of the terror he must have felt pooled out of his eyes when Chinbat spoke, pleading me to aid him make bond.
His wife and son live also in Chicago but do not know of his arrest and detention in Cook County. Chinbat has no contacts he can request financial help from and would have me contact his son only as a last resort. It is clear that this is a case of honor linked to his cultural background. While this is a culture foreign to many of us, we probably know something of his feeling that his very integrity hangs by a thread.
A bond acts as insurance that Chinbat appear in court and the relatively miniscule bond itself testifies to the petty matter at stake. For some it is too much, and for those of us who can shrink the gap the case of Chinbat is one on which our own integrity might also be at stake. For as social thinker Eugene Debs once said (paraphrasing), “Where there is even one in prison, there also am I. Where a class is oppressed, then I am of it also.”
Please consider whatever measure of financial assistance you can afford at this urgent time. Thank you for your vital support.