A Public Defense and Plea for Amends
My name is Sean Lawlor Nelson. I'm an American poet and social thinker who has been under heavy government surveillance especially since my involvement in the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders... who I made contact with due to an ambulance bill for medical services I felt were unacceptable.
Due to a combination of social thinking and experience, as well as exasperation with conditions and situations I had been dealing with in a patient and long-suffering manner, I wrote a set of essays which clearly disavowed violent tactics but called for a great social advancement and change in various American affairs, i.e. a political revolution.
Senator Sanders joined the call for revolution the next day... and I was a key member of his team through many hard-fought months until Clinton's victory in New York, at which point President Obama made a public statement for activists to 'stand down,' as things were getting out of hand domestically and internationally.
I continued to interact with the public, Pope Francis and various priests, as well as diverse public figures and intellectuals... much of the discussion being focused not just on politics but on matters of national policy, including international policy. I should clarify here that in all veracity I have never had connections nor discussions with foreign governments, nor have I accepted funds from them.
My basis for understanding has been academic study, my world travels, the liberal press(American and international,) and the brave new world of the internet... as well as comparing this information with life as experienced. Of course I have traveled abroad but did not confer with foreign governments.
I was aware that in discussing international matters in ways that went against the official line, I was pushing the envelope and taking a little risk. I was not prepared for quite the punishment that followed. Perhaps I should worded things differently: perhaps I should have held my tongue. This can't be known: it's history. But I implore the American people and authorities to show Christian mercy on the actual broken and disabled man that I have become... to help these difficulties to ease for me.
Indeed, I have always lived in a state of relative poverty and though my public communications and conversations have been many, my solicitations of funds has been very rare. I am of the world of ideas and spirit, and in respect to finances am thus free of corruption.
Although my life has been video-taped and publicized(and profited by,) this has not been a part of any financial deal... I live on a minimal disability stipend and receive minimal aid from my generous middle-class family. This has been the extent of my financial life since I first became disabled from arsenic poisoning from sea food while a professor in Thailand.
But neither is it true that I've had conversations with foreign governments. Rather, having since childhood made a diligent study of these public issues, I developed and publicized views about domestic and international matters... seeing it as essential to democracy that citizens should think about American political questions and international relations and affairs, keeping up a vibrant third space, rather than leaving these decisions to be made behind closed doors... under the influence of various special interests. I greatly appreciate those who've defended and encouraged me through this difficult activism and these trials, although the status quo really isn't workeable.
My health has always been sensitive, which is the main reason that although I've had significant relationships with political leaders and public figures, there hasn't been a tendency to speak my actual name in front of the television cameras, though there has often been substantive response to my ideas, from which I've drawn benevolent satisfaction.
However, as part of my motivation was always to draw attention and help to my plight as a disabled citizen under heavy government surveillance etc., this has been a source of some frustration. But I always respected the rationale that my health was likely not fit for a media circus.
I understand that I am under some scrutiny and wish to answer any appropriate questions the public or proper authorities might have... but I would emphasize to you that I've been through quite the ordeal, and suffer from that horrible disease caused by the shingles virus as well as post traumatic stress disorder.
I would implore that there be sensitivity to my damaged health in general and in regard to any public questioning. I feel that I have always taken care for the veracity of my public statements... and that the participation of a thoughtful citizen in his democracy should not be seen as nefarious. I am aware that I am but one modest citizen among many, and that my understanding of the world is imperfect, as in fact are all understandings. I do not wish to be seen as more than a disabled citizen who strived to be part of our proud American democracy.
I do feel that, far from being a criminal, I am a citizen whose ideas, likeness, and intellectual property have been used without compensation by diverse corporations going back some years... and that I have also undergone illegitimate persecution due to legitimate expression of ideas and ideals(such as having lived the recent years of my life entirely 24/7 on camera... scrutinized by governmental and non-governmental agencies, entirely without consent or compensation.)
I do not however hate those involved with this... or feel that there has been no relatively honorable rationale for all this... even though I vehemently disagree with much of what has been done... and what I have been reduced to. I have children who need food, education and shelter: for my daughter, even the last of these is in some question. I implore aid not only for myself but for my children, as a matter separate from myself... as thankfully they don't live with me, nor fully share in the danger of the present state of affairs.
God bless you, and God bless the United States of America!