Archive for the 'Marie’s Writings' Category

Marius and Fellow Inmates Complete Guitar Class

Marius Guitar Class

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.

Marius’ statement to the 2014 ABC Conference

imageABCHello Comrades, Family and Friends at ABC,

Thank you so much for the work you do in supporting prisoners and in educating the public about the reality of incarceration and its effects on the “free” community. Your words have an effect that reached far beyond even the broad radical circles that are part of the ABC network.

Just last week in the New York Times, a columnist who was attempting to answer the talk-show rhetoric that has been going around (that white folks don’t get the reason for the riots in Ferguson) – stated that it was in fact a natural outcome of the economic inequalities and police brutality that many folks encountered, not just in Ferguson but all over the country. As part of this discussion, the columnist also noted the disproportionate numbers of people of color in prison, as well as the growing economic disparity between races.

Clearly we have much work to do as a society on the issue of race, but at least the problem is being discussed publicly and honestly. ABC has contributed to this debate with integrity.

Prison seems to me to be a microcosm of the outside world and many of the social ills are magnified in this tense environment. Basic economic inequalities are exaggerated and systems of privilege are extended here in marked ways. Often what could be an opportunity for mutual aid and the achievement of basic human and labor rights becomes instead a confrontation along racial lines. But I find great inspiration and guidance in the words of bell hooks, Assata Shakur and Mumia abu Jamal and have been very grateful to ABC for making those words available to me and to others on the inside.

Your news letter is also often the only news source that I have to keep up with the stories of those environmental and animal defenders caught up in the legal system. I have been so encouraged by the creativity, integrity, strength, and intelligent confrontation to injustice that these defenders have shown. La Lucha Continua!

Finally, I have been so deeply touched by the solidarity and support that I have received from activists in the ABC network after my coming out publicly as trans. Thank you so much for this! This support has been an essential part of my transition, as I’d been very concerned that this aspect of my identity might overshadow my work as an environmentalist, or even diminish the credibility of the important campaigns that I have tried to contribute to in my life. I am so grateful that, with your support, this is not so.

All struggles are related, and we are all responsible to each other as allies.

Until All Are Free, with love and respect, Marius

The Griffith Flaw

The Griffith Flaw

When I lived in the world
Of laboratories, glass, machines and noise,
A white-coated novitiate in
The delicate chemistry of mixing things,
We were warned of the Griffith Flaw in glassware
The crystal lattice structure bruise
From bouncing, banging, bumping
A thousand times on unforgiving surfaces,
Heating and re-heating beakers
In repetition just to prove a point,
Until one unexpected day
The slightest touch of cup to countertop,
It pops.
The shattered pieces propelled out
At last revealing an atomical dysfuncionality,
The reality
Of things rushing towards entropy
As just this morning, likewise
Brushing teeth and peering in the mirror
For the billionth time this life,
I couldn’t see me anymore,
The damage of reflection done
And pieces flown away,
What was left, was changed
In ways I could not say.

Prison Visit

Prison Visit

Prison is
Hushed and heavy
Like water near the Ocean’s floor,
Then loud and bitter,
Like fractious storms lashing the sky
Everything cement and nerves
And too many years gone by…
The heart requires a place to rest
From all its maddened wanderings
The raft of the Medusa tossed
And trembling in the sea.
Or just this table here
And you across from me,
A sunlit sail
And I this aching castaway.
I cannot touch you – it is not allowed.
Our eyes hold
Hanging onto words
Until a hand falls upon the back
The narrow hall, the clanking keys
The door, the cell
And under.

Marie Mason Composes Two Songs- Monsanto Blues, The Door Swings Both Ways

From Marie,

So these two songs are an attempt to put music to a friend’s lyrics (and to collaborate on lyrics, as well- Rick’s given me a lot of license to adjust for rhythm and to add lyrics for the bridges). It’s such a different process, a real challenge and I hope to learn a lot from it.

I think Rick originally wrote the Monsanto Blues about a farmer in Michigan that got some uninvited GMO pollen in his organic corn field. Then they (Monsanto) tried to sue him for non-payment for the GMO corn. Which was ironic, as it ruined his crop from being certified organic- which had been his intended crop when he planted.

Sadly, he lost both ways- the pollen belonged to Monsanto and he had to wait 5 years to be re-certified organic. Not too surprising that the court sided with the big corporation. Now Michigan can’t seem to certify any organic cornfields- they’re all contaminated.

I’ve included both notation and tabs (with chords and lyrics, too)- just because this is the first time trying to share songs and not just poetry. Tab can be put on line, just use 6 lines for the guitar strings and numbers for the frets. I always use standard tuning, but have been trying to learn to play in open G and D tunings. There’s a bunch of cool, old Stones tunes, blues standards and some recent Civil Wars songs that use these alternate tunings. Of course, couldn’t get to the guitar while I was on lock- so it was really nice to get to play for a few minutes last night.


*Editor’s Note: Marie has requested that the Monsanto Blues song be taken down as she is re-writing it, in part to honor the original intent behind it by Rick.  Stay tuned for the rewritten version shortly.

The Door Swings Both Ways

The Door Swings Both Ways

The Door Swings Both Ways- lyrics page 1a

The Door Swings Both Ways- lyrics page 1b

The Door Swings Both Ways- tabs

Blood and Ivory- Song by Marie Mason

Marie Mason, environmental activist and political prisoner recently composed the following song, Blood and Ivory, while locked up in FMC Carswell, a highly restrictive unit outside Fort Worth, TX.

Play it, record it, remix it, and then share it with the Free Marie Committee!


blood and ivory1blood and ivory2blood and ivory3

Marie Mason Painting: Ivory Funeral Pyre (Blood, Money, Smoke)

The burning of smuggled ivory.

Marie recently completed this painting, inspired by this photo from a 2011 burning of poached ivory.

A Chinese reporter in Kenya covers the 2011 burning of 5.5 tons of smuggled ivory. Kenya helped launch a global ivory ban in 1989 but lately has been stockpiling its ivory. The ivory here belonged to other countries. Photograph by Brent Stirton, Reportage by Getty Images

Th feature article, Ivory Worship, documents the religious carving of ivory that fuels the poaching of thousands of elephants each year.  Marie elaborates on the painting, writing that-

“The painting is in response to a National Geographic article on religion an the illegal ivory trade.  The article was heart-breaking and surprising, a lot of poachers and vendors using religious icons as a cover for black-market ivory.  So many elephants were murdered this year!”

Until We Are All Free Radio Documentary

Listen to the radio documentary on Marius Mason and Eric McDavid here.

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Write to Marius Mason

We encourage everyone to write to Marius Mason in prison:

Marie Mason #04672-061

FMC Carswell

Federal Medical Center

P.O. Box 27137

Fort Worth, TX 76127

Under no circumstances mention any illegal acts. Letters that mention other Green Scare prisoners may be rejected. Mason has a list of 100 pre-approved people he can write to; if you are not on that list, he will be able to receive your letter but not write back.

Everyone must use their first and last name when writing. All letters must be entirely in English. Be sure to include your return address on the envelope. You should also write his name and prisoner number on each piece of correspondence, as the prison tends to discard the envelope and then may "lose" track of who the letter is going to.

Last, do not send anything that is "affixed" to the letter or card - such as glitter and glue. Pen, pencil, crayon and paint are fine.

About Marius Mason

Marius Mason is a long-time activist in the environmental and labor movements. In March 2008, he was arrested by federal authorities for charges related to two acts of property destruction that occurred in 1999 and 2000; no one was injured in either of them. He accepted a plea bargain and was sentenced on February 5, 2009 to just under 22 years. He is now serving the longest sentence of any "Green Scare" prisoner.

The “Green Scare” is the name given to the recent arrests of animal rights and environmental activists who have been charged with acts of economic sabotage. Federal authorities have sought outrageous sentences (often Life in prison) and have publicly and legally labeled the activists as “terrorists” – despite the fact that no one has been killed or injured in any of the acts.

Supporting Marius Mason does not mean agreeing with the actions that he took -- but it does mean opposing the fear-mongering tactics of the federal government and the outrageous sentences they have imposed.

Background on the Green Scare

For more information on the Green Scare see here



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