From Anarchist News
Today a member of the NATO 3 Defense Committee received a letter from Brent Betterly, which included a rewritten version of his sentencing statement. Brent ad-libbed his statement in court from notes, but says he is confident that what he has written is almost exact to what was said, save for a few grammatical differences and filler words.
I apologize in advance if this seems a bit long-winded and I’d just like to express my great relief and gratitude for the opportunity to utilize my own voice again after a frustrating two years. My goal in making this statement is to refute some of the negative assertions about who I am and what my intentions are.
Very briefly, I’d like to start by addressing these recent allegations of racially derogatory comments directed toward an officer with whom I’ve had virtually no contact with. It’s my position that this is a complete fabrication and is in keeping with this consistent pattern over these past couple years where I’ve been repeatedly accused of engaging in the same sort of senseless ideologies and acts of violence that I so vehemently oppose and are just antithetical to the sort of person I am. To engage in or plan out this supposed conspiracy would be to perpetuate the same cycle of fear and violence I have so desperately strived to expose and disrupt. Those who know who I really am know that I’m just not capable of harboring such ideals and intentions.
Now, I’m not a big fan of categorizations, but one label that has continuously been advanced by the State as if it was in itself a condemnation, somehow synonymous with a violent terrorist, and I will not shy away from is that of the so-called “self-proclaimed anarchist.” Without professing to be an expert in all the complexities of political philosophy, I will say that as one who identifies as an anarchist there are specific principles I strive to live by and those I choose to reject. I believe that within everybody lies the ability and the right, both individually and collectively, to responsibly govern themselves. I believe in empowering people to overcome the disadvantages and inequities imposed on them by others in power. I oppose the exploitation and degradation of human potential in every form, be it racism, sexism, homophobia, or classism, and these violently institutionalized injustices are deeply etched into the conscience of our society. Admittedly, I’m not a hundred percent sure how you completely dismantle and abolish such archaic institutions but I’m at least intelligent enough to realize that the reciprocation of these sort of violent ideologies is a historical failure and counter-productive. (more…)