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.”
Archive Page 2
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
Tags: Islamaphobia, Muslim prisoners, post-9/11 repression, prisoner art, War on Terror
Art of Protest: Creative Stands Against Political Imprisonment
CUNY School of Law
2 Court Sq, Long Island City, New York 11101
For the first time ever, post-9/11 Muslim prisoners’ artwork will be displayed, read, recited, and spoken aloud to the public.
The National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms (NCPCF) in collaboration with CUNY-CLEAR; CUNY- CUNY-Law Students for Arts (LSfA); and the Muslim Law Students Association (MLSA) invites you to join us on the opening night of Arts and Poetry From the Window of Prisons.
Families and friends of prisoners, former prisoners, advocates, and community members, who have been resisting human rights violations since 9/11, will gather to speak out for justice.
We invite you to join us in the discussion of how basic rights have eroded after 9/11. It’s an erosion that shows itself in War on Terror policies and practices – in our communities, courtrooms and prisons across the U.S. Through the exhibition, we hope to raise awareness about the prisoners and their conditions, to view the interconnectedness of their cases, political eras, and their lives.
Art reveals the person behind bars, it encourages the public to take a second look and raise awareness about the plight of political prisoners in the US. We will be joined collectively in the struggle for social justice, and this exhibition will create a space in which the voices and visions of the incarcerated political prisoners can be expressed.
The works will include Muslim prisoners, imprisoned environmental, and animal rights activists. The artworks include a range of mediums, styles, and themes.
Arts and poetry from the following prisoners will be included:
Shahawar Matin Siraj
Shukri Abu Baker
John Walker Lindh
Sami Al Arian
Poetry will be recited by: Annam Choudhry, Hamdan Azhar, and Gareth Bryant
Speakers include families of prisoners:
Shahina Parvin, mother of Shahawar Matin Siraj
Khadija Mohammad, daughter of Mohammad Hossain
Inas Shnwer, sister of Mohamed Shnewer
Sahar Mirza, wife of Farooq Ahmed
Representatives from the following organizations will speak:
Marwa Elbialy, Esq. National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms
Willoughby Janet, CUNY-CLEAR and Law Students for Arts
Zahra Cheema, Muslim Law Students Association
Faisal Hashmi, Muslim Justice Initiative
Bina Ahmad, Esq., National Lawyers Guild
Bring YOUR community! Bring your ID!
RSVP on Facebook.
Refreshments will be served
For more information contact the curator Sharmin Sadequee @ 517-505-1697
Tags: animal liberation, Raffaella Tolicetti, Sea Shepherd, vegan, vegan cookbook, vegan recipes
Please join us on Saturday, August 9th as we celebrate the publishing of Think! Eat! Act! A Sea Shepherd Chef’s Vegan Recipes by Raffaella Tolicetti. Raffa is a veteran Sea Shepherd Conservation Society crewmember. She has served as chief cook on board the MV Steve Irwin, MY Bob Barker and more recently on the mighty MV Sam Simon.
Think! Eat! Act! is much more than a cookbook. It is also the story of Raffa’s journey from home cook to activist and a guide with facts and resources that she hopes will inspire people to adopt and maintain a vegan diet. In her words:
“There are many ways of refusing oppression and cooking is one, because choosing your food is definitely a ‘political’ act. Choosing not to eat animals, not to be part of a system that exploits them, growing your own food, or eating organic and local food are many small decisions that make a lot of difference for those who are killed as a consequence for our behavior.”
We will sample some of Raffa’s delicious recipes and she will share with us what inspired her to write Think! Eat! Act! We will also be sharing photos from Sea Shepherd’s Antarctic Whale Defense Campaigns. Books will be available for purchase. This event is a fundraiser for political prisoners Eric McDavid and Marius Mason. All proceeds will be donated to their support funds.
Saturday, August 9th
$10 suggested donation
Save the Frogs Education Center
2524 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley
We would like to let everyone know that Marius Jacob Mason will no longer be using the name Marie, and will be using male pronouns. We hope that you will all join us in supporting Marius through this transition, which will no doubt be extra challenging within the prison system. Until his name is legally changed, any mail sent to Marius in prison will still need to be addressed to ‘Marie Mason’ on the envelope. This goes for donations also. Please write to Marius at this time! Receiving supportive and friendly mail makes a world of difference. Below is a statement read out by Moira Meltzer-Cohen, one of Marius’ legal representatives, at a solidarity event organized by New York City ABC recently.
“My name is Moira Meltzer-Cohen. I’m an attorney working with a person of immense courage and integrity, someone who struggles for liberation and self-determination on behalf of other people, non-human animals, and life on Earth itself. This is someone whose courage and integrity are made even more salient by the fact that their own liberation and their own autonomy have long been severely circumscribed.
Even more than most people in prison, my client and those in their unit face rigid, arbitrary constraints on communication and expression that impact every part of their lives. But even more – I want you to imagine how difficult it would be if all your struggles toward liberation and autonomy were taking place not only in a prison, but in a world that always targets trans people for further violence, confinement, and abuse.
I am proud to be working with Marius Jacob Mason to change their name to the one that reflects his masculine gender identity.
It is my sincere hope that this announcement does not serve as any kind of excuse for argument or debate – it should be self-evident that trans-exclusion is indefensible in any movement claiming to move us toward collective liberation. If we are serious about liberation and autonomy, it is incumbent upon us to take seriously that all our various struggles are mutually implicated, that earth liberation and trans liberation are not simply mutually compatible, but that achievement of each is a necessary condition for the satisfaction of the other.
So I want to call on “us” – anarchists, allies, environmental justice advocates – let us acknowledge Marius’ gender now, not only for Marius’ sake, but for the sake of our collective liberation. This transition not only does not undermine the importance of Marius’ environmental and other social commitments – it is further evidence of his commitment to justice, and bravery in the face of repressive and destructive systems. It has not been and will not be easy for Marius to transition while in custody of the most heinous part of the U.S. prison system.
But we can make this process a little easier by supporting his gender identity, by using the appropriate masculine pronouns and his correct name, writing to him and other incarcerated trans folks, providing meaningful social support, and funding legal battles and medical needs both in and out of prison. We have an opportunity as a community to demonstrate conclusively that we are strong, that we understand the mutual implications of all forms of oppression, and that we can reject the subordination of any cause to another. I want to also remind you that because transpeople are disproportionately and aggressively policed, there are many many folks in prison who need your support, including one I want to highlight, Jane Doe, a 16 year-old trans girl who is being held without charges in Connecticut. You can find more information at facebook/justice4janeCT. You can find information about incarcerated trans people at SRLP.org, and more information about Marius Jacob Mason at supportmariemason.org“
Tags: art exhibit, fundraiser, Never Alone, Sean Swain
The Never Alone art exhibit has already sold numerous pieces of art, benefitting Eric McDavid and Marie Mason. Both of Marie’s paintings have sold, which is great to see. There is still this wonderful drawing by anarchist prisoner Sean Swain, inspired and featuring the No Fences poem written by Marie. Be sure to check out (and bid!) on the amazing art that is part of the Never Alone art auction.
Bids close on June 30th so don’t procrastinate. ;)