It is illegal for those who are incarcerated in Texas prisons to change their name. This law denies those imprisoned one of the most fundamental aspects of a person. Marius’ legal team will be fighting this in court. We’ll keep you posted on this struggle.
In response to the news, Marius composed this poem.
Why I Can’t be Introduced in Texas (or Say My Name)
Say my name, say my name,
Your laws they just confound me,
Like brick walls they surround me
Say my name, say my name,
I know that you can’t see me,
Make it so hard to be me
But what’s in a name?
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,
But I am not a rose, I am a man.
Yes, I’m a man, yes I am, and I can’t help but
Tell you so.
Though you’d say no.
How can I perform my gender,
An actor stripped of his lines,
How can this scene be “blocked”
When I am perpetually “clocked”
As what I am
The invisible man,
Without my name wrapped around me,
Giving me shape and substance
Like a bandage, holding this wound
Texas, you vigilante,
Riding rough-shod over the smallest liberty,
My name my only sovereignty
I am invaded by your assumptions
A nation under siege.
But my flag still waves,
And through the rockets’ red glare,
I’m still there.
A herd of wild brumbies on the plains above Kiandra in the Kosciuszko national park. Photograph: Mike Bowers for the Guardian
“Disappearing Brumbies,” a painting inspired by the complex situation of the Brumbies, highlighted recently in The Guardian,
Inspired by the recent Guardian article, A time to cull? The battle over Australia’s brumbies Marius painted this portrayal of the brumbies.
“Chester Smith and a Brown Pelican Egg.” (In Memoriam) Smith was instrumental in saving the Brown Pelican from extinction. He became the Audubon Texas Coastal Warden at the age of 65 and continued until his recent death at 90.” Chester Smith, Audubon Texas Coastal Warden, Dies | Audubon Magazine
The Great Detroit Incinerator Battle: Civil Disobedience – May 16, 1988 from Joel David Silvers on Vimeo.
A real gem of resistance history has surfaced. At 12:17 Marius is interviewed through the window of the city jail bus about to cart off members of the Evergreen Alliance who had been arrested for blocking the street in front of the world’s largest trash incinerator. Also gotta love at 12:53 when he calls out “We’ll be back!!”
The incinerator plant was built in 1986 and in response the Evergreen Alliance, a group of environmental activists and local residents formed. They carried civil disobedience, creative protests, and other forms of resistance in attempts to shut down the plant. While their efforts were unsuccessful, the criticisms launched against the plant were dead on.
The plant has been one of the worst polluters in Wayne County for years, and contrary to the city’s claims that the plant would bring economic prosperity to the community it instead left Detroit residents paying over $1.2 billion.
The plant continues to be fought to this day. More information on the Incinerator can be found at http://zerowastedetroit.com/our-work/detroit-incinerator/. To join the ongoing resistance to the Incinerator check out zerowastedetroit.org.
Marius, along with several inmates at FMC Carswell, completed a guitar class. As a group, they performed Candy by Paolo Nutini and Broken by Tracy Chapman. For his solo performance, Marius chose Gavotte by the Spanish classical guitarist Francisco Tárrega.
Moira Meltzer-Cohen, Marius’ lawyer recently wrote an article for the Fifth Estate on Marius’ gender transition and case. Check it out!
Free Marius Jacob Mason
Published October 14, 2014
Marius Mason’s latest artwork. “Lionfish are not native to the Atlantic Ocean. The venomous, fast reproducing fish are aggressive eaters and will consume anything and everything, gorging so much they are actually getting liver disease. With no known predators they can wipe out 90% of a reef.”