Reportbacks from the International Day of Solidarity with Marie Mason, Eric McDavid & all long-term anarchist prisoners
We’re humbled by the enormous outpouring of solidarity which comrades all over the world demonstrated on June 11th this year, especially the ways in which people linked Marius [Marie] and Eric’s struggles in prison with their own struggles against environmental devastation, the prison-world and the forces of capitalist exploitation.
We’d also like to draw attention to the hunger strike currently taking place in Greek prisons, against the construction of new high security wings and entire prison for those convicted on terrorism charges (primarily anarchist and nihilist combatants). We continue to stand in complicity with comrades, near and far, who are struggling both inside and outside of prison walls against the intensification of the systems of control and oppression.
Reportbacks are below, alphabetical by city. If you participated in an event that wasn’t listed, post about it in the comments!
$500 raised for the comrades, and lots of new faces at the event/show.
We began with a call-in from anarchist-communist prisoner Tasos Theofilou, accused of participating in a bank robbery and the murder of a taxi driver, and of being part of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire (which he denies). Being able to breach the prison walls in this small way, and to talk directly with Tasos, was very special. Greek comrades discussed the new political uses of anti-terror policy in Greece, as well as the plan to build newly classified ‘special prisons’ modeled on the US’s Communications Management Units. Vegan food was served. Then a comrade from the USA gave a presentation on Eric and Marie’s cases, describing the Green Scare, the question of informants, the problems that “thought-crimes” present for our movements (which has a certain overlap with Tasos’ case, since one of the only pieces of “evidence” against him is a play he wrote), and what all this means for anarchist practice today. We showed the new 20 min documentary, “until all are free”, before concluding with two short films about militant eco direct action in Canada by indigenous peoples, to connect Marie and Eric’s causes to the present day. An extensive multi-lingual anarchist zine library was raided, and shirts & drinks were sold, raising 110eu (148USD) for Eric and Marie. Four people wrote letters to Marie and Eric as well. A follow-up event was proposed by some comrades in the audience, who were inspired by the topics discussed.
-For the June 11th day of solidarity with longterm anarchist prisoners, comrades in Bloomington, IN hosted an event which sought to connect outside supporters with those struggling behind bars. We listened to pre-recorded interviews with two rebellious prisoners– Leon Benson, a rebel serving a 60-year sentence in Indiana who has participated in prison struggles and recently got out of a ten-year term in solitary confinement, and Michael Kimble, a black gay anarchist being held captive by the state of Alabama since 1986. Leon was also able to call in to the event and fielded questions from audience members about the conditions of long-term imprisonment and the relationship between struggles outside and inside prisons. Michael was unable to call in due to oppressive state-sanctioned time standardization (time zone misunderstanding). We also read an incendiary statement from anarchist prisoner Sean Swain and signed cards and wrote letters to several long-term anarchist prisoners from the U.S. and around the world, including Marius (Marie) Mason and Eric McDavid. The event raised $600 for Marius and Eric.
-We attacked the facade of the AT&T building in Bloomington with paintbombs. The company’s cooperation with NSA surveillance efforts was confirmed again one year ago by the Snowden leaks, yet AT&T and other collaborators have escaped any real consequences. We covered the building with graffiti highlighting their massive participation in the machinery of control and repression.
This machinery (digital and physical) is everywhere and available to simple attacks like this one. Solidarity with Marie Mason and Eric McDavid in their daily struggles against prison. These revolutionaries are imprisoned for their commitment to struggle in defense of the earth. The same forces that profit from the destruction of the natural world also maintain prisons and require the protection of police and the NSA. Solidarity with Chelsea Manning, Jeremy Hammond, and all rebels whose actions expose and attack the cracks in this control society.
-We glued the locks of a Bloomingfoods, a local green capitalist “co-operative” enterprise, because we find it disgusting that a town that once nurtured the fighting spirit of Marius Mason pacifies itself with feel-good shopping in the face of environmental destruction. We also painted “death to cops and snitches” on a local bridge.
-In Bloomington, supporters hosted a late-night pub quiz night at a local vegetarian restaurant. Players formed teams and answered a variety of challenging trivia questions, while enjoying fried vegan snacks and beer. The packed house raised over $250, which was split between Marius’ cats and a local Farm Animal Sanctuary. Funds raised for the sanctuary were matched by a generous anonymous donation.
Briger Forest, Florida–
We spiked the trees in the Briger Forest.
With anger and love we hiked through this southeastern Florida forest and threw 6” nails into the gears of the capitalist death wish. The spikes were driven into countless trees in the areas of Briger already bought and sold for destruction. Slash pines, scrub oaks, saw palmettos, cabbage palms, even invasive melaleuca and Australian pines. Some spiked high, some low—some visible, many hidden. We left nothing safe to cut. Signs were hung near the edges of the forest as a warning to would-be forest levelers:
“THESE TREES ARE SPIKED – WILL DAMAGE MACHINERY. FUCK ALTON.
Four cellphone towers burnt. Communique here:
Information about the person arrested for allegedly committing this action:
If anyone knows of this person’s legal support needs, please pass them along and we will be glad to help publicize them.
Chapel Hill, NC—
Cincinnati recognized its 4th annual J11 with an open house at Soapbox Books (our first infoshop, now in its 2nd year) Food Not Bombs arrived and talks on the necessity of Prisoner Support and Security Culture were given. Then a house show nearby with Decide Today (ex-Realicide), Iron Oath (new sXe hXc) and the Make Overs from South Africa. Zines covering topics of Animal & Earth Liberation, police resistance, political prisoner support, &c were distributed. Donations will be forwarded to those in need. www.realicide.com www.soapboxbooks.org (A) in 513
Although Marie remains in heavy lock-down at the Carswell Federal dungeon in Fort Worth, Texas, her spirit remains strong and expresses itself often in oil paintings she sends out with postal correspondence. As our June 11 event, an exhibit of some of her work was on the display at Detroit’s Cass Cafe at an opening Friday, June 13, and remains up for public viewing through June 21. The IWW Detroit Branch was present with a table and banner as per Marie’s request as about 100 people came throughout the night to view the art and take literature.
On Friday 13th, June 2014, around 8:00PM, an angry crowd of about sixty people converged on the Durham County Detention Center in downtown Durham for the June 11th international day of solidarity with long term anarchist eco-prisoners Marie Mason, Eric McDavid, and all others whom the state has imprisoned. The crowd brought banners bearing messages of solidarity with those inside, one even saying “We Are the Bad Luck” with a provocative image of a cop being kicked, drums, a variety of noisemakers, and a giant crow puppet which waved around visible to inmates, until it eventually blended in with the night sky, creating a witchy silhouette. Bandanas were
brought along with “How to Do It” posters, which provided info about how to mask and bloc up properly in order to conceal one’s identity from police or random do-gooders who might be filming. Almost immediately, a pig tried to talk to us, but his unwelcomed chit-chat was stopped ultimately when people gathered around him and drove him away with loud, disruptive drumming.
Grand Rapids, MI—
Despite gloomy weather, a crowd of 35-45 people and three dogs gathered at the Treehouse of Horror in Grand Rapids on Wednesday, June 11th. The main draw was the music, a genre-diverse showcase of seven acts; supporters also munched on potluck offerings, wrote letters to prisoners, and perused a large selection of radical zines. A banner hung at the house reading “Solidarity with Marie – you inspire us all” as we talked about why it’s so important to create a culture of solidarity and support with all prisoners. We chose to focus on Marie Mason because of her connection to our home region, but did not limit discussion to her story alone. The atmosphere was relaxed and receptive throughout. Donations collected came to somewhere around $150.
New Orleans, LA—
In New Orleans for June 11 the documentary If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front was screened, followed by a discussion of the history of eco-resistance and its repression by the State in the U.S. The screening, which brought out about 20 people, was the first of its kind to be held at Jane Place, a newly formed and emerging anarchist social center. The discussion focused primarily on the details and relevance of Eric McDavid and Marie Mason’s imprisonment, and money was collected for their commissaries.
Yesterday a banner bearing the words “Free All Prisoners (A) june11.org” was hung from an overpass over I-5 in Olympia, Washington. It was hung during afternoon rush hour traffic and stayed up for at least 12 hours. Warm greetings to Marie Mason, Eric McDavid, Sean Swain, Michael Kimble, Jeremy Hammond, and all others engaged in revolt against prison society.
Sacramento Prisoner Support hosted a two-hour event on June 11th, the International Day of Solidarity with Eric McDavid and Marie Mason, at the Sol Collective in Sacramento, CA.
The event was, in part, a prisoner art show. Art has proven to be a powerful medium through which prisoners can express to the world their experiences within prison. We displayed art from several radical prisoners.
One section of the art show was dedicated to Eric and Marie. A pencil drawing by Eric McDavid called “Endurance” was on display (along with a powerful poem). There were also a couple of paintings from Marie, including a painting inspired by a tree sit in Tazmania.
We also had artwork from TR, a Pennsylvania state prisoner. TR has painted stunning portraits of two incredible individuals, Marilyn Buck and Assata Shakur. He paints with precision, and has also created beautiful pictures on leaves he has collected from the rec. yard, in protest of a prison policy that labels leaves as contraband.
We also displayed artwork by anarchist prisoners Larry Pendleton and Sean Swain (prisoners in Nevada and Ohio, respectively). One section was dedicated to the powerful and unmistakable art of the Minister of Defense for the New Afrikan Black Panther Party – Prison Chapter, Kevin Rashid Johnson. We also had art on display by Jose Villarreal, who is in the SHU up at California State Prison – Pelican Bay.
We screened “Until All Are Free,” a 20 minute documentary about Marie Mason and Eric McDavid, and then fielded questions about Eric and Marie. After the film there was a brief open mic, where people seemed inspired to talk about books they’ve read and events they’ve been to in the past that pertain to political prisoners and prison struggles. Two members of Sacramento Prisoner Support read written pieces and letters from prisoners, including a powerful poem by Sean Swain.
The night was capped off with a wonderful 45 minute performance by Straight Out Scribes, a mother/daughter spoken word duo who are very familiar with what it means to stand with political prisoners. They visited Marilyn Buck when she was being held at FCI Dublin, CA, they worked on the campaign to free Huey P. Newton, and they continue to write to many prisoners today. We were honored to have their performance be a part of our June 11th event this year.
The SPS table was full of literature on Eric McDavid, Marie Mason and other political prisoners, as well as a lot of support stickers and T shirts. Some new connections were made and fliers for our next prisoner letter writing night were distributed.
We move forward with Eric and Marie on our minds and in our hearts, along with all the other prisoners we stand with and work for. We find solace in the fact that there are June 11th events happening all over the world, knowing we are part of a movement and that we are making a difference.
We held our event last night in Tel-Aviv. We started with a weekend of cooking, we were certain we are making too much food but we were amazed by the fact that more than a 100 people showed up for the event. We served them yummy food, and held a talk about Marie’s and Eric’s case. People than took the time to write letters to Marie and to Eric, which we will make a two zines, one for each of. People got their picture taken holding a sign stating their support for Marie and Eric. People donated generously, and we managed to raise around 750$ that will be split equally and sent to Marie and Eric. We later screened the film “Life according to Ohad”, a documentary about an animal liberation activist here and his relationship with his family.
We were amazed and thrilled by how many people came and helped us in our preparations and by how many people came to the event and showed their love and care to Eric and Marie Of the four years we have been holding this important event this probably the most successful event yet. lets hope that next year it will even be better 🙂
On June 11th, at 12:00 we started a microphone demo at the city centre of Thessaloniki to inform people about the cases of Eric and Marie, the cases of other anarchist prisoners, the situation that is going on with the reformation of the prison system with maximum security units, and the Total Liberation and Anarchist struggle. At the afternoon, around 19:00, we gathered at the Terra Incognita squat and made a representation of our brochure about 11th June and the anarchist fight against prisons, state and capitalism.
This is written in the banner: No prisoner at the hands of authority. Liberation to E. McDavid and M. Mason.
Posters and banners were also hanged at Volos, Larisa, Crete, Athens, Patras, Ksanthi, Kavala.
Black/Green – Μαύρο/Πράσινο
Here the event was in general ok. The bad thing was we couldn’t make the painting, but the screening of the movie was ok, around 20 people came. After that people were discussing and getting information stuff we had about Marie, Eric and other anarchist prisoners. The concert and the vegan meal was pretty good, a lot of people came, around 50.
In June 11th, 2014, there were at least 41 events in 39 cities in seven countries, as well as many actions. Anarchy being what it is, we’re sure even more happened.
Our list of 2014 events is here; mouseover for details, if available. You can find the 2014 callout in, thanks to ContraInfo and other friends, Serbo-Croatian, Italian, German, Greek, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Thank you for all the solidarity you show, on June 11th or any day. It means everything.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 at 2:49 pm and is filed under Prison Struggle.