Alexander “Sasha” Berkman’s book, Prison Memoir’s of an Anarchist, has served as a source of strength for Marie recently.
Tags: Alexander Berkman, political prisoner, Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, prisoner art
Tags: art show, kickstarter, prisoner art, Sacramento, Sacramento art, With Conviction
On January 11th, 2014, Marie Mason’s art will be on display alongside hundreds of other prisoners’ art as part of a month long exhibit entitled With Conviction: Art and Letters from Behind Prison Walls.
If you’re near Sacramento, make sure to check this out. Also, the organizers are fundraising to fly out Anthony Rayson and his partner Michael Ploski, who have collected most of the art that will be on display. If fundraised successfully, the two will be on hand for the opening to speak of the art collected and the politics and messages behind much of the work. You can contribute at the Kickstarter page here- http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/238264289/with-conviction-art-and-letters-from-behind-prison
Tags: BOP, letter, Move Marie
We’ve seen a great outpouring of support for Marie since the Move Marie campaign launched in October. Events across the country and even the world have been organized, publishers such as AK Press and Burning Books have been sending out postcards with orders, bookfairs and other events have been gathering and mailing signed postcards to the BOP. The response has been moving and powerful.
We’re calling now for those of you who haven’t yet sent in a letter, to do so by November 25th. After this final push of sending letters demanding that Marie be moved, we’ll be entering into the next phase of the campaign.
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
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.
Tags: Art Auction, Earth First! Journal, fundraiser
The Earth First! Journal is holding their First Annual Art Auction as part of their big fundraising drive to cover the printing costs for the 2014 year. Marie has donated her two most recent paintings- Banana Slug and Northern Lights, Melting Ice to the event. The auction is taking place online November 18th. Be sure to check out her and the many other artists’ original works and bid generously to support one of the best radical publications out there.
Tags: climate change, melting ice caps, Northern Lights, polar bear
Tags: blues, folk, folk music, guitar tabs, Monsanto, Monsanto Blues, protest music
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.