Letter #44 from UPIII

english

english

Recieved 8th October 2018

JVA Köln, 19th September 2018, rewritten 22.September 2018

Please write letters and send things to the new UPs. Please. I have so many letters, please prioritise those with none!

Please don't write that I'm brace/ inspiring/ you admire what I did or whatever. I did nothing. If you're going to admire or think these things of anyone, please let it be every person in the forest right now who is fighting or supporting the fight. Every single one. They're amazing and need to be recognised for the incredible shit they're doing.

Please don't tell me about solidarity actions "for" me. Do the action because it is right or just to do it, not "for" me. I didn't do anything. If you're doing it to raise awareness through (banners or whatever) absolutely do it. Fuck the system. Show people "justice" doesn't exist in the law. Otherwise do it for all of the UPs - there are a few of us now. Please.

My legal name is now in the prison system (officially). So letters for UP III may no longer come through. We'll see in the next few weeks. If they bounce, post them to "Samantha Henttonen". I hate my legal name but I love getting letters more. Especially on Thursday (20. 09. 2018) - they literally were the only thing that stopped me crying (for an hour or so). They mean so much more than I can express to you.

SUPPORT THE NEW UPs! They want to know that you care and don't forget them! (I know I already said this but it is super important!)

If you can go to the forest. The people there, I'm sure, would very much appreciate your time and support.

I'm probably not going to write much for a while. I am very worn out, but I'm going to try and keep up the contact. It'll just not be a lot. Besides, now there's new UPs you'll always know what's up in here anyway!

Again, support the forest. Support the reason we're sacrificing part of our lives in prison. We believe that strongly in trying to save that little patch of wild we're willingly giving up our freedom to protect it. I can't speak for anyone else, but I'd rather people went to the forest and/or support it than wrote to me or visited. I don't need letters or visits (as much as I love them). The forest needs you way more than I do!

I've just said this, but I want to make a very serious point of it. The best thing you can do right now is support the forest.

Some people have no other place they can imagine calling home. If the forest is cut, it not only destroys the legacy of those trees and ecosystem but it destroys a community and family home for not only people but animals too. For those who are so in love with that wild and magic place:

DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO SAVE IT. PLEASE.

Even if the forest is cut (and I am hoping beyond hope it isn't) we still win. But, obviously, it would be better if it stayed standing.

FOR EVERY UP WHO THOUGHT THAT WHEN THE POLICE TOOK THEM THEY WERE SAYING GOODBYE, FIGHT FOR THEM TO GO HOME AND SAY HELLO AGAIN.

FOR ALL OF US WHO ARE IN HERE, FIGHT.

FOR EVERYONE WHO CALLS HAMBI HOME, FIGHT.

FOR EVERY ASSHOLE WHO SAYS HAPPILY THE FOREST WILL GO, FIGHT TO PROVE THEM WRONG.

FOR EVERY FUTURE GENERATION WHO DESERVES NOT ONLY TO READ ABOUT HAMBI BUT SEE IT TOO, FIGHT.

FOR ALL OF US WHO WILLINGLY PUT OUR BODIES, OUR FREEDOM AND OUR LIFE ON THE LINE FOR THIS CAUSE, FIGHT.

FOR EVERY MOMENT OF HAPPINESS, OR LOVE, OR POSITIVITY YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED IN HAMBI, FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT TO HAVE MORE.

I feel so stupid and ridiculous writing all of this, I'm not even a Hambi and the forest isn't even my home, I'm just some strange human who turned up out of nowhere but THAT PLACE MEANT ENOUGH TO ME IN SIX FUCKING DAYS THAT I'M GIVING UP NINE MONTHS OF MY LIFE FOR IT.

THAT IS HOW I CARE ABOUT HAMBI, FOR EVERYONE WHO CALLS THE FOREST THEIR HOME.

If I can ask for anything now, it is that you care about Hambi for five fucking minutes.

GO THERE. ASK WHAT THE PEOPLE THERE NEED.

DO ENOUGH SO THAT IF THE FOREST FALLS YOU DON'T THINK YOU COULD HAVE BEEN, GIVEN OR DONE MORE.

WHATEVER IT TAKES, GIVE THE PEOPLE THERE THE TIME AND RESOURCES TO DO WHAT THEY DO BEST. OCCUPYING. RESISTING. FIGHTING. PROTECTING.

None of this is meant to sound desperate. It's meant to sound deadly serious.

We hear the sound of trees being cut, and we cry.

We see the evictions, and we cry.

We see people we know and love being abuse, dragged around, held in cages like animals, and we cry.

We hear about someone we know coming to or in prison, and we cry because we can't reach out to comfort them.

We hear that everything is going to shit, and we cry.

BECAUSE WE ARE STUCK HERE AND CAN'T CO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

BUT YOU CAN. YOU HAVE THE POWER TO HELP.

THE CHOICES YOU MAKE NOW MIGHT MEAN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FOREST OR AN OPEN PIT.

WHATEVER YOU CAN GIVE, PLEASE GIVE IT.

IF THE PEOPLE IN THE FOREST NEED SOMETHING AND YOU CAN GIVE IT, PLEASE GIVE IT. PLEASE.

IF I COULD I WOULD BE THERE RIGHT NOW.

THERE ARE THINGS WORTH FIGHTING FOR.

AND THIS IS ONE.

There are worse things in life than prison, especially if you know your actions are changing something.

BECAUSE THEY ABSOLUTELY CAN CHANGE SOMETHING.

YOU CAN HELP MAKE THE OUTCOME OF THIS FIGHT POSITIVE.

If everyone thought that and empowered themselves we could really do something and show something.

EVERY PERSON COUNTS. EVERY HELPING HAND COUNTS.

I'm not asking you to go to prison for the forest, I'm asking if you could please stop just talking about caring.

You know what changes the world?

THE ACTIONS OF PEOPLE. OF YOU. YOUR CHOICES.

It's late and I'm exhausted and stressed and upset because all I want to do is be there. Be in the place that needs help. But I can't be. And it's killing me.

NINE MONTHS FOR NOTHING.

I WISH IT WAS AT LEAST FOR SOMETHING.

A SHITTY BIT OF NOISE AND I GET TO WATCH FROM THE SIDE LINES.

SHIPS ARE SAFE IN HARBOURS, BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT SHIPS ARE BUILT FOR.

I cannot get you to care. I cannot inspire you to do something. I cannot make you see the seriousness of the situation.

I wish I could.

I wish I could reach into every heart right now and get you to feel the love I have for Hambi.

BECAUSE IT IS ENOUGH THAT MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, IF I COULD, YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND WHY WE ARE HERE FOR IT. WHY WE SACRIFICE OUR LIFE IN PRISON FOR IT.

AND I NEVER EVEN GOT THE CHANCE TO CALL THE FORESTHOME.

I NEVER SLEPT IN A TREEHOUSE I HAD TO CLIMB A ROPE TO.

I WAS NOT EVEN THERE LONG ENOUGH TO FEEL A PART OF IT.

BUT HAMBI IS A PART OF ME.

AND NOW THERE IS A VERY REAL POSSIBILITY NONE OF US IN PRISON WILL EVER SEE IT AGAIN.

WE WILL GET RELEASED AND GO TO WHERE WE LAST SAW TOWERING BEAUTIFUL TREES AND SEE AN OPEN PIT INSTEAD.

GIVE US HOPE THAT THERE MAY BE A CHANCE WE SEE HAMBI AGAIN AS IT IS: WILD, RAW AND FREE.

TO EVERYONE IN THE FOREST NOW - I LOVE YOU. THANK YOU.

TO EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTS HAMBI - I LOVE. THANK YOU. 

TO EVERYONE SUPPORTING OR GOING TO SUPPORT PRISONERS - I LOVE YOU. THANK YOU.

TO EVERYONE FACING THE POSSIBILITY OF PRISON FOR TRYING TO PROTECT THE FOREST - I FUCKING LOVE YOU. THANK YOU.

EVERY ACTION COUNTS NOW, BIG AND SMALL, EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

Maybe it's all negativity here, all"in October there will be no more forest to go back to" etc. but I'm writing this letter because I want you to feel something. To give us in here hope, who can literally do nothing that we want to do to help, that maybe we see it again.

The general attitude is we won't.

I don't even know what to write anymore. It feels pointless why am I writing these dumb letters to deaf ears? Does anyone actually go and do something because of these?

It feels like I'm telling vegans how great it is to be vegan right now. You already fucking know.

EITHER YOU ALREADY CARE OR YOU DON'T.

I AM NOT GOING TO CHANGE THAT.

AND I FEEL HELPLESS AND SHITTY AND LIKE I'M JUST WASTING THE INK IN THIS PEN BECAUSE IF YOU READ THESE YOU ALREADY CARE ABOUT HAMBI.

YOU ALREADY KNOW THE STAKES, EVEN BETTER THAN I DO.

YOU ALREADY KNOW ABOUT ALL THE SHIT I'M SAYING.

WHY AM I EVEN BOTHERING WITH THESE "PLEASE CARE" LETTERS? I don't even know.

This all feels senseless. Every single day I hear "the forest is dead". Even the UPs say it. They say their home is gone. They say they have said goodbye.

So how the hell am I, this one little meaningless human, who spent not even a week in Hambi - the UPs have spent months or even years there - meant to change a single damn thing?

I FUCKING CAN'T.

All I can do is watch the trees being cut and see the evictions. People here are waiting to hear the moment the last tree falls. The sentence "there is no more Hambi".

I wish I was blind and deaf so I couldn't watch or hear about it. But there's this tiny shred of maybe left that completely depends on you.

Maybe you can help the Hambi stay.

Maybe you can stop the forest becoming an open pit.

Maybe you can give the UPs hope they will have the forest, their home, to go back to.

Maybe you can change something.

Maybe you might give yourself enough credit to believe you can.

Maybe, maybe, maybe.

All I'm hoping for is that people not only share information about Hambi but they share their time there too.

Give us a reason to believe in the power of individuals working together something bigger that themselves.

Give us a reason to believe Hambi bleibt.

Give us hope that the fate of the forest is not as a sandy dusty pit in October. Or November. Or December. Or ever.

Give us a reason not to worry every day that we're going to hear "there is no more forest". Even if the forest is lost, let us hear that every person knows about it and hope it changes something.

Let us know, see, hear that people stand together not only to fight against climate change and a selfish private company, but stand for and fought for the future of a home and community for both people and animals.

I'm trying very hard not to use the past tense. As if the fate is decided. It hasn't been. Not yet. Not if there is a maybe.

I want Hambi to stay. But me hoping is not enough. Everything feels so useless and pointless from here. Pointless to hope or think of seeing anything but a pit after being released. As if I'm just holding my breath waiting to hear "there is no more forest".

I really hope you prove that Hambi bleibt.

Stay brave.

UP III

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