Last Updated – 12/09/08
In a movement wide show of unity and Solidarity. We are encouraging groups, collectives and individuals to sign on to the statement in support of Marie Mason. Please forward sign ons to firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to include your location/title.
On September 8, marie mason accepted a non-cooperating plea agreement which requires her to plead guilty to three out of four charges leveled against her by the US Attorney’s Office relating to E.L.F. activity. We are aware that marie was facing several consecutive life sentences had she taken her case to trial and been convicted. She was also facing the threat of additional indictments in other districts. Within the wording of marie’s plea agreement, she stipulates to the involvement of confirmed snitch and government informant, Frank Ambrose, in the actions she plead guilty to. Frank Ambrose has already plead guilty and admitted his involvement in these actions in his own plea agreement. We have all reviewed a full and un-redacted copy of marie’s agreement. There are no other names mentioned in the plea agreement, rather the terminology ‘others’ is used. Furthermore, her plea agreement does not require her to provide information about other individuals, testify against others, or provide any further information to law enforcement.
Frank Ambrose has been a paid informant for the FBI since April 2007. Along with numerous debriefs with federal agents concerning multiple actions and individuals, Ambrose traveled the country “wearing a wire” – visiting old friends and attempting to make new ones – in an effort to incriminate these people, thereby assisting the FBI in securing additional indictments. There are hundreds of hours of recordings of Frank in conversations with his ‘friends’ and ‘allies,’ prodding and digging for information to use against those individuals and other activists. marie was arrested along with Aaron Burthwick and Stephanie Fultz – these arrests stemmed directly from the information and cooperation Ambrose provided to the FBI. Ambrose not only cooperated fully with the FBI but actively assisted the investigation, going so far as to pursue information on other unrelated groups and individuals involved in legal, above-ground activism.
We believe wholeheartedly in the principle of non-cooperation. We also believe that the idea of expecting someone to face several consecutive life sentences to protect a confirmed snitch – one who has already plead guilty to the charges – follows not only flawed reasoning, but is simply insane.
marie mason has faced calculated betrayal and continued to fight when the deck was so clearly stacked against her. Throughout this, she has acted completely “above board” and has carried herself admirably. She has shown incredible courage and integrity throughout this case, always putting the safety of others above her own. Despite threats and risks to their personal safety, those involved in marie’s case worked diligently to get information about Ambrose to the rest of us. marierefused to even look at a cooperating plea agreement and has refused for weeks to sign the current non-cooperating plea agreement because Ambrose, the very person who turned her over to the Feds, was named in the agreement. It was not until several movement activists and movement attorneys gave their support to the agreement that marie accepted the plea.
Too much has been lost to informants, and Ambrose truly is among the worst of them. marie strikes us all as a courageous and compassionate woman – full of integrity and concern for how her actions might affect others. While her plea agreement does not include specific text protecting her from future subpoenas or interrogations, marie’s conduct thus far serves as a good measure of the actions she would take should she find herself in that kind of situation. marie’s agreement absolutely falls into the non-cooperating category. We are throwing our full support behind her and all prisoners who have maintained their integrity in the face of such incredible oppression. We ask that the rest of you do the same and help us helpmarie get through the next 15 to 20 years of her life – the horrid sentence being sought by the US District Attorney’s office.
To date the above statement is endorsed by the following –
Groups and Collectives
Earth First! Journal
Peace Center Collective of Kalamazoo, MI
East Bay Prisoner Support Collective
Chicago Anarchist Black Cross
Got Your Back Collective
Earth Warriors Are OK! (EWOK!) Eco Prisoner support collective of Twin Cities, MN
Liberation Projects of Lexington, KY
Shoelacetown Anarchist Black Cross of Paramus, NJ
Asheville Rising Tide
Peace Center Collective of Kalamazoo, MI
Burning River Anarchist Black Cross of Cleveland, OH
Animas SDS ( Occupied Ute Territories)
Milwaukee Anarchist Black Cross
Agência de Notícias Anarquistas-ANA of São Paulo-Brazil
Individual sign ons
Arthur J. Miller Co editor Bayou La Rose
Janet Staiger – Tumwater, WA
Peter Solenberger – Ypsilanti, MI
Vitor Rego Moraes
Luciana Raposo – São Paulo – Brazil
Hector Ricardo Urrutia – Denver, CO
Brett Ward, UAW local 1700
Rosilene M. E. Tauscheck – Brasil
Michael David Sasson – Oakland, CA
Paul Lefrak – Mérida, Venezuela
Ted McTaggart, Ypsilanti, MI
Melissa Hornaday Lansing, MI
Megan Gallagher, Detroit, MI
Jon Hiesfelter – Seattle, WA, member of Solidarity and CWA 37083
Dianne Feeley, UAW Local 235 – Detroit, MI
Priscilla Dziubek – Detroit, MI
Lou Novak, Chair, Wayne County Green Party Committee – Detroit, MI
Elin O’Hara Slavick, Professor of Art, UNC, – Chapel Hill, NC
Iris Potter, MSW, Kalamazoo MI