The passing of a comrade: Recently released political prisoner Marilyn Buck dies in New York

Marilyn Buck Please note that DABC has received conflicting reports about the surroundings in which Marilyn died. Some comrades are stating she died amongst friends at home, while others say she died in a hospital. In the end, while it does matter where she died, especially to Marilyn and those immediately surrounding her where she passed, the tragedy here is that she had so much of her life robbed from her by the state. We must never again allow this to happen, for the state to rob a revolutionary of some of the best year’s of her life… just to die days after being released. We must ensure that no more comrades face the prospect of dying in a cage or shortly after leaving one. Our thoughts of love and solidarity go out to everyone that knew Marilyn, and especially those that were with her during her final hours.

From the Rag Blog:

Friends of long-time political prisoner, former Austinite, and acclaimed poet Marilyn Buck, 62, were saddened by news of her death at the home of her attorney Soffiyah Elija (edited by the Rag Blog on 8/4/10) early Tuesday, August 3.

Buck was released from the federal prison medical center in Carswell, Texas, July 15, 2010, and was paroled to New York City.

Buck served 25 years of an 80-year prison sentence for politically motivated crimes undertaken in opposition to racial injustice and U.S. imperialism. As a prisoner, Marilyn, while moderating her ideas about methods, continued to stand tall for her beliefs.

A selfless advocate for others, especially in the arena of prison medical care, Marilyn was diagnosed late last year with a uterine sarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer, too late for treatment to save her life.

Marilyn Buck was the recipient of funds raised at a June 25 benefit in Austin hosted by eight local groups, including NOKOA the observer and The Rag Blog, and supported by many businesses, artists, poets, and compassionate individuals.

While attending the University of Texas at Austin, Buck became involved in the civil rights and anti-war movements, and worked with SDS and the underground newspaper, The Rag. In the following years she became increasingly committed to and active in support of the black liberation struggle in this country.

Buck is survived by three brothers; several cousins; her long-time counselor, Jill Soffiyah Elijah; and loving friends worldwide. Her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Louis Buck, who both pre-deceased her, were leading civil rights activists in Austin in the early 1960s.

According to sources close to Marilyn’s family, there will not be a funeral, but memorial gatherings will be scheduled in the future in New York City, in California’s Bay Area, and in Texas. Funds raised for her hoped-for transition to the free world that had not been dispersed at the time of her death will be used according to her wishes to assist other aging prisoners.

The size of the U.S. prison population guarantees that increasing numbers of those released after lengthy sentences will lack savings, health insurance, or the network of friends from all walks of life that sustained Marilyn — and benefited from her generous, principled spirit — throughout her years behind bars.

Youth Emergency Service, Inc., fiscal sponsor for last month’s Austin benefit, will continue to accept tax deductible contributions through PayPal at its website, or by check or money order, made out to YES, Inc., at PO Box 13549, Austin, TX 78711.

2 Responses

  1. I have it on good authority that she didn’t die in any hospital, but rather at Soffiyah Elijah’s place, surrounded by loved ones.

    • We’re merely posting what Marilyn’s friends at the Rag Blog have made public about her death. We’ve read different accounts stating both that she died at a friend’s home among friends, and others stating that it was in a hospital.

      Either way, our thoughts are with all of her close comrades and friends at this time, and with the dozens of other warriors now sitting in cages across the country and the world.

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