It is very empowering to have our stories aired on TV, radio and
in newspapers. To be labeled with mental illness often means that
people stop listening us. To reclaim our voice is a deeply healing
experience! We can speak for ourselves and in so doing, reclaim
our voice and our pride.
the TV news story about Danvers State Hospital aired, the Department
of Mental Health put $5,000 toward clearing the cemeteries. Here
you see Bill Capone, a member of the Danvers State Memorial Committee,
standing in the bulldozed cemetery with an incredulous look on his
face. "I can't believe they tore this place apart with a Bobcat!",
the cemeteries were so hastily and poorly cleared, the Danvers State
Memorial Committee had a choice to make. We could protest the bulldozing
of the cemetery or we could celebrate the fact that it was the first
time in forty years that people could walk through the cemetery
to see how many graves there were. We decided to celebrate and on
a cold November day in 1998 a group of ex-pedients, allies, clergy
and press met to walk through the cemetery and bear witness.
expected, in the spring of 1999 the cemeteries began to be overgrown
again. Here you see Sam Chivers walking through the cemeteries and
photographing the new overgrowth. We used photographs such as these
to get our point across during face to face meeting with DMH officials.