Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Maroon Unchained: A People’s Victory!

After spending 22 years in solitary confinement, political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz has now been moved to general population.  What a huge victory!  Thank you to all of Marie’s supporters who joined in solidarity with this struggle by making phone calls, signing petitions, mailing in letters, and attending events.  This is a huge victory for prisoner support and prison abolition movements.

MAROON UNCHAINED: A People’s Victory!

Russell Maroon Shoatz

For immediate release:

February 21, 2014

The international movement to free political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz from solitary confinement has achieved an historic victory: on Thursday, February 20, 2014, Maroon stepped into general population for the first time in 22 years.  There is no doubt; this is a PEOPLE’S VICTORY!

The coordinated efforts of Scientific Soul Sessions (SSS) and the Campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz – particularly those organized groups in NYC, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia – showed the true power of the people. When SSS (a multigenerational collective of revolutionaries prefiguring a new society and working directly with the lessons laid out by Maroon) sparked this international movement three years ago, Maroon’s name was hardly known beyond a small circle of dedicated prisoner rights activists. Over the past years – on the political, artistic, and cultural fronts – we have seen the founding of the Campaign, the funding and initial coordination of Maroon’s Legal Team, the publication of Maroon’s collected essays, and the organization of countless events and soul sessions across the US.

These achievements are only the beginning. By answering the calls to action, we created a tidal wave of momentum that must be maintained until it is unstoppable. The power of the people proved to be a far greater force than the system, which would have been happy to see Maroon die without ever again feeling the embrace of his loved ones.

In a matter of weeks, Maroon went from a feces infested dungeon inside the criminally insane Restricted Housing Unit at SCI Graterford with nothing – not even a blanket – to General Population because of the people’s vigilance, voice, and committed support to fight this injustice and stop the torture of Russell Maroon Shoatz.

This proves our strength to make the seemingly impossible possible. It proves that the pressure to free Maroon from solitary was greater than the state ever anticipated. The next step must be to demand Freedom Now for Russell Maroon Shoatz. We won’t allow less than complete freedom from incarceration for this freedom fighter and inspiring leader.

Let us celebrate this victory by demanding FULL freedom for Russell Maroon Shoatz!  We must stand firm and be prepared for our next steps and calls to action. Thank you to all for your committed and generous support; our future work together must be stronger still!

FREE MAROON!

Scientific Soul Sessions | www.scientificsoulsessions.com

NYC Campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz

International Campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz

No Fences, a poem for Lynne Stewart

Lynne Stewart is a radical human rights lawyer held imprisoned at FMC Carswell, the same prison as Marie Mason.  She is battling cancer at this moment and has been given 12 months to live. This poem is dedicated to her and the current fight to grant her compassionate release.  More information is available at lynnestewart.org

No Fences

I’ve been on the wrong side of too many fences
Their lamentations creaking sour
Protests of possession.
Dissonant in any ear
And in mine, so much…
The coyote’s song is sweeter so,
By far
A harmony with air
And he owns nothing but the world itself
So let me be
Where the wind blows free
Through rocky arches, twisting trees
To fill the breathless sky
So wide and full of light
Unsubdivided, indivisible,
This vaulted blue cathedral,
Just here,
Where we disappear alone,
Where we are made whole again
Together
There are no fences here
At all.

Message from Marie Mason Calling for Compassionate Release of Lynne Stewart

I would like to add my voice to the many who have called for Lynne Stewart to be granted compassionate release. Though we are nominally at the same prison facility at Carswell, we have been unfortunately unable to meet. The Admin Unit (where I am housed) is an isolated unit, separate from the rest of the facility here. But I would have been proud to make her acquaintance and to thank her for her years of tireless work on behalf of those in need of defense and advocacy. From all that I have read about her, she is a formidable attorney – both fearless and compassionate. It is tragic that this hero of the people, this astute, talented and conscientious woman, is prevented from accessing the care she needs to give her the best chance at survival, and to at least be given the closeness and connection to her partner, Ralph, and family during this time of grave illness. I have had the opportunity to thank the Warden here for speaking on Ms. Stewart’s behalf in her request for compassionate release. If the decision were his, Ms. Stewart would be home now. So I am still hopeful that other prison officials will also come to the opinion that Ms. Stewart should be allowed to go home. I hope that the ever increasing numbers of good hearted people working together to apply some pressure will eventually bring about her release. If you are able to call or write on Ms. Stewart’s behalf, I urge you to do so now. She is precious to us all, and worth fighting for. Wishing you well, Ms. Stewart, with love and solidarity

- Marie Mason

 

 

Write the BOP director and ask that Marie be moved

NOTE: We are asking supporters to send letters through November 25, 2013.

Please help get Marie Mason moved out of FMC Carswell by writing a letter to the Bureau of Prisons Director. We are asking as many people as possible to write letters and organize letter writing events so that we can show the BOP just how many people recognize her position as unjust, and support the idea of her being moved into a general population unit closer to her family.

Below is the address to send all letters to, and a sample letter. Please remain firm but polite in your communications with the BOP.

Charles E. Samuels, Jr. , Director,
Federal Bureau of Prisons,
320 First St., NW,
Washington, DC  20534
USA

Dear Director Samuels:

I write on behalf of Marie Mason #04672-061, who is currently incarcerated
in a special isolation unit at FMC Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas.  Marie
has been unjustly placed in this unit – without notice or cause- in a move
that is strictly punitive on the part of the BOP. She has had no
disciplinary incidents since her incarceration, poses no threat or danger
to the prison or other inmates and has worked hard to make her life and
the life of her fellow inmates better for the last 5 years. There is no
reason for her to be in this unit – 1000 miles from friends and family.
In fact, you said in a memorandum written to all federal prisoners in June
2013 to reaffirm the importance of parenting that, “there is no substitute
for seeing your children, looking them in the eye, and letting them know
you care about them.”  Marie would love the opportunity to do this.

I urge you to transfer Marie to a lower security facility – closer to her
family and friends – so that she can serve the remainder of her sentence
in a facility where she can be housed with the general population.

Her sentence would best be served in a facility consistent with her
peaceful personality and constructive nature.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  If a reply is possible, it
would be appreciated.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Address Optional]

“São Paulo, June 2013″

mm-brazil.2

“this image is a riff on a photo in the New York Times (June 23rd to be exact) about the protests in Brazil. I thought about putting a soccer ball in, or a bus – but really the unrest is, of course, more deeply rooted than that…. Hope it’s clear that the protestors are tossing back canisters of tear gas, that’s why she has the thick oven mitt-like gloves on. Learned they get very, very hot when they are splitting out the gas (in Seattle). And also found out that bandanas really don’t help much to keep put the gas. Good times, good times….”

BOP denies Lynne Stewart’s compassionate release

supportmarie:

Like Marie, Lynne Stewart is also locked away in Carswell. We are outraged at this denial of justice and encourage people to continue to pressure the US government to release her.

Originally posted on Denver Anarchist Black Cross:

From Justice for Lynne Stewart:

URGENT ALERT – LYNNE STEWART DENIED COMPASSIONATE RELEASE BY FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS DIRECTOR

Lynne Stewart’ husband Ralph Poynter was informed by Lynne this morning that she received a three-paragraph letter from Kathleen Kenney, General Counsel for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington, D.C.:

Compassionate Release has been denied on the grounds that Lynne’s “health is improving.”

This claim is at once cynical and false. Lynne Stewart’s cancer continues to spread in her lungs. She remains in isolation as her white blood cell count remains so low that she is at risk for generalized infection. She weakens daily.

A message from Lynne will be released imminently.

We call upon all committed to the effort to secure Lynne Stewart’s release and to save her life to stand by for further notice of the response from Lynne, her husband Ralph Poynter, and her family and…

View original 23 more words

Arianna Staiger Dedicates Song “Ashes” to Her Mother

I was on the phone with Marie last night when she mentioned that her daughter, Arianna Staiger, had written a song for her and that it was on Soundcloud.  My computer was handy so I quickly searched for it and sure enough, I found it.  Marie was able to listen to it for the first time ever and though words can’t do that moment justice, it was both beautiful and heart-wrenching.  It was a time when, momentarily Marie was able to pierce through the layers and layers of confinement, separation and restriction  and connect with her daughter.  When the song ended and Marie choked back her tears we talked about the possibility of recording Marie singing over the phone some time soon.  Then, as always, the call was dropped unceremoniously and her time was up.

Be sure to check out the rest of Arianna’s work .

 

-Clayton


Join the Move Marius Campaign

Marius Mason is being held in a highly restricted prison unit for his political beliefs. Join the movement to get him moved out of Carswell and stop the political targeting of him. For more info see the Move Marius page.

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

Contact

supportmariemason@gmail.com

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