Marius Mason: New Poetry

Support Marius Mason:

Give Me One Of Them

A dentist and his luggage arrive in Zimbabwe
Cash and carry-on, pushing the buttons of privilege and pardon
That his class feels heir to, a legacy
Of helmeted conquistadors in search of gold or something shiny
Those Roman envoys come for tribute from the territories
Legions come to kill, conquer or consume..like tourists
Greasing the palms of hired-hands – the Future’s traitors
Handing off their nation’s treasures to the clamoring idiots
“Give me one of them”, he roars, gesticulating wildly
The ugly American who can buy anything
It’s practically online shopping and no safari
When the trophy’s guaranteed (or your money back)
Swindled and stolen by subterfuge
An empty stomach so often a trap full of entanglements
And so another African will make a Middle Passage
As a corpse
The deed is done, and life converts to property
The ebony-tipped lion dubbed ‘Cecil’
Like an immigrant at Ellis Island changing names and nations all at once,
By bureaucrats who needed a familiar name in their own tongue
Unbecomes, falls into history
Ends his story and his line in blood
The collaborator, Honore`, will pay the price before the law,
But surely honor suffers even more
As the greedy foreign butcher slinks
Behind a sturdy Minnesota door
And we, the wild tribal Diaspora dispersed by birth
From Mother Africa, generations gone and
Scattered loose across the globe, like seeds
Will know ourselves one less


Marius just completed Honeybee Democracy by Thomas D. Seeley.  Check back regularly for what Marius is reading and writing about!

“What’s more political than the question of expendability?” Barry Schwabsky
With clouds on the horizon spotted,
Have we decided yet?
Who will ride the ark with us,
Protected from our floods and pestilences
In valuable concubinage-
And who will sail instead into Eternity? These honeybees, so small
Among the lilies of the field,
That we might miss them altogether,k9267
Especially the rushing bipeds travelling through
A plastic, frantic world
Lives lived indoors, cramped and strangers to the sun.
But the bees make music working
through their quiet summer days, even if there is no one to hear
In fields and orchards, lawns and meadows
Tending their life’s work
And our own as well.
The tiny fuzzy fairies falling
Prey to a darker pall
That spreads a shadow everywhere
The approaching silent spring soon
Minus singing bees
Who, as it turns out,
Are much less expendable than we

 

February 22nd Call-Out

From Support Marius Mason:

helloxfamily1Never too early for a call-out!  Marius and friends are organizing events to take place January 22nd to support queer and trans prisoners.  Support Marius by supporting others!  Let us know if you want to do an event and we’ll send you materials.

June 11th is here!

merkouri2

June11.org

AnarchistNews

As of today, we know of events and demos planned in 35 cities for this year’s day of solidarity with long-term anarchist prisoners. Please continue to contribute more events, and send in report-backs from events and actions after the day. Visit http://june11.org/#events for details on most of the below.

Athens, Greece
Atlanta, GA
Asheville, NC
Bristol, UK
Chapel Hill, NC
Chicago, IL
Cincinnati, OH
Denver, CO
Detroit, MI
Durham, NC
Greensboro Bend, VT
Haifa, Israel
Hamilton, ON
Helsinki, Finland
Houston, TX
Kalamazoo, MI
Lake Worth, FL
Madrid, Spain
Melbourne, Australia
Milwaukee, WI
Montreal, QC
Norfolk, VA
New York City, NY
Oakland, CA
Olympia, WA
Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix, AZ
Pittsburgh, PA
Plainfield, VT
Sacramento, CA
Tallahassee, FL
Tel Aviv, Israel
Thessaloniki, Greece
Turin, Italy
Tucson, AZ

Banners were hung in advance in Athens:
http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net/2015/06/08/athens-for-the-diffusion-of-ac…

Let us know if you hear of other build-up actions.
See http://june11.org/#resources for newly released posters, materials, and translations of the 2015 call (English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Greek)

***********************************

Below are statements from Eric McDavid, Marius Mason, Krow, and Sean Swain – each is an autonomous and welcome contribution.

Eric McDavid’s statement on June 11, 2015

This J11 is a first for me, as it will be an experience beyond the gates of prison… Being on supervised release i’m still, for all extents and purposes, only out in the physical sense – in every other aspect my ass is still within those walls of concrete, steel, & razor wire… while i was held within the confines of county jail for 28 months, 3 & 1/2 years at medium II fci victorville, & 3 plus years at the low security fci terminal island in Long Beach, the aid and nourishment i received from communities around the world on J11 was paramount to my survival… receiving books, funds for visitors, & the letters that maintained those crucial connections which i needed the most – J11 provided in abundance without fail… i can not express with adequate depth what it meant for me to receive even the shortest note of support & solidarity from someone on the outside – some of which have become friendships i cherish to this day… my thanks will never be enough for the nourishment of my foundation over the last 9 years, and for your continued solidarity & aid to those held from family, loved ones, & their community…
in solidarity
w/muchlove
d
find your
joy

Marius Mason’s Statement for June 11th

Solidarity and greetings to you all! Thank you for coming together to celebrate our respected comrade’s regained freedom, as well as the many transitions that have taken place this past year. First and foremost, I’d like to wish both Eric and Jenny every possible happiness, and to express how grateful I am to their dedicated and capable legal team. This kind of victory should be savored and taken to heart as a lesson in solidarity and perseverance. While it’s a travesty that Eric lost 9 ½ years of his life unjustly, still, despite a social climate of hysteria and hype over domestic terrorism, our movement was able to come together to support Eric and to keep fighting until he was returned to his family and loved ones. We have to be in this struggle for the long haul, but this important win proves that we can make change when we remain committed.
But our solidarity work cannot end here, as reentry is a difficult process for any prisoner returning to the free world. We should make every effort to support Eric’s transition back into society, to help him get the education and training he needs to live a decent life (as he so well deserves). He has earned our help, support and gratitude with his life’s work and his integrity. I know that I am grateful for his work defending this Earth and for promoting compassion through veganism.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank everyone who has written a card or a letter, sent a song, a photo, or an article to me this year. It’s a constant regret of mine that it’s not possible to write back to everyone (though I do try to add folks to the contact list whenever I can). But I want to step up my efforts at staying in contact, as well as to thank folks for the many books I receive. Look for a new post once a month on the support website that will focus on book reviews, current events and poetry and paintings.
I’m happy to announce that with the cooperation of The Base and other community bookstores, and my dear friend Letha, the books that have been sent here (and have been shared around) will we sent on to a new round of sharing in the free world. I’m really, really glad to have this opportunity to spread this wealth around. The library at the prison here would no longer accept donations, so this was an excellent way to save these great books from the dumpster.
This year has been my hardest yet in prison. As the years go on, it gets harder to maintain important friendships, to keep up with the changes in my (now grown) children’s’ lives. I’m far from home, and visits are hard to set up and expensive. Incarceration unweaves the fabric of all families, and mine is no exception. My mother, Karin Mason, passed from cancer in December 2014. Her illness was sudden and intense. While I will always be grateful that my sister could care for her at home for hospice, it was really painful to be separated and barely able to be in contact during her weeks in hospice. My grief at her loss incapacitated me for quite a while. Many, many thanks to those who sent their sympathy and comfort during this time. Your kindness meant a great deal to me.
This has also been a challenging year because of my decision to transition, publicly, as male-identified. I can out to family first in the spring of last year. I feel incredibly fortunate that my family has maintained their loving connection with me. This is a gift of love and I know it. Coming out to friends over the next few months was awkward at times – laughter being a pretty common response – but went well, all in all. Coming out on the Unit was harder, as there was some social fall-out, and there still is some. In August, 2014, I finally spoke to the Warden to request medical help with transitioning. Warden Upton’s response was, and has consistently been, to be humane and to be in positive compliance with the BOP’s new policy. This is also very fortunate, and from reading in Prison Legal News, kind of unusual as a response.
So far, I have gone through the psychological interviewing process to get an official diagnosis of gender dysphoria and to have begun the medical screening process for future access to hormone therapy. I am requesting compete SRS, but right now it is unclear as to what medical procedures are permitted under the new policy. I’m trying to stay persistent and positive. Though I cannot at this point legally change my name in Texas (which is awkward) still the BOP has allowed mail addressed in my chosen name to be delivered to me (as long as it has my register number and last name). I have been issued boxers now, as part of my transition process – which feels like a small victory, a tangible sign of things changing.
I want to acknowledge all of the work, struggle, and sacrifice that other transfolk have made before me. I can’t tell you how sad I was that Leslie Feinberg passed. We lost them too soon. I know that whatever human rights I now enjoy were dearly bought, and I am grateful. I’d like to specifically thank the folks at Black and Pink for their publication. Several folks here get it, and it has made talking about my situation much, much easier.
I also want to thank all of the wonderful folks who wrote to pass on their wishes of support for my transition process. Though things have changed a lot since the mid90s when I had first wanted to come out, still social concepts always move at a glacial pace, and for much of society; gender, orientation, and race remain contested terrain. We still have a lot of work to do, but it can be done.
In conclusion, I have to end with a special shout out to my very own hero this year. What my advocate and friend, Moira Meltzer-Cohen, has done for me is nothing short of saving my life. Thank you, Moira, for believing in me, for getting me through the worst moments, and for patiently showing me the real power of solidarity. There are no works adequate to express my admiration, gratitude, and respect. Thank you all for being there for me – trust and believe that I’m in here for you. Love and solidarity, Forever.
Marius

Krow, arrested during an anti-mining action on June 11, 2013 and now serving a nine-month sentence, released a statement here: https://penokeedefenders.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/from-the-cages-stateme…

Sean Swain’s statement for the June 11th Day of Solidarity with Long Term Anarchist & Eco Prisoners, 2015 can be found at https://archive.org/details/j11seanswain

“My name is Sean Swain and I’m speaking to you from a payphone at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville Ohio, the site of the longest prisoner uprising in US history*. I currently reside in the block where that uprising began, L5 and my cell still has the scorch marks on the walls from more than twenty years ago. I think the authorities leave the burn marks to remind all of us prisoners that they won.

But, when I see those burn marks on their walls, I only think of possibilities. I have to warn you before we go any further that I am a “unique security threat”. It was a federal court who recently gave me that designation: “unique security threat” using those exact words.

I’m not just your run-of-the-mill maximum security prisoner, I’m a special category of prisoner who may be subjected to a regimen of restrictions without so much as being accused of violating prison rules. I’m such a unique threat that my communications can be subject to a lifetime ban in anticipation of what I might say about the state terrorists who hold me hostage and occasionally torture me.

Also, you should know that the Fascist Bozos of Ineptitude (FBI) generated 1,297 pages of investigative files on me during the course of my imprisonment. I’m one of my favorite topics, and I write about myself quite frequently, but I can’t think of 1,297 pages to write about me.

So that means the FBI knows more about me that I do. My file is available from the FBI as a three-disk set that costs $40. That’s roughly the same as the Sex Pistol’s box set. If ever you have a choice between the two, I would suggest you can’t go wrong with the Sex Pistols.

But, I digress. My point of course is that I’m a unique security threat, and I’m a unique security threat not for what I do with my fists and my feet, because the fascist police state has easy methods for containing those. I’m a unique security threat for what I do with my head. My thoughts, my ideas, the things I articulate, those are the things that make me a unique security threat, because the fascist police have found thoughts and ideas harder to contain than fists a feet.

Also it’s important to point out, I think, that the fascist police state isn’t concerned so much with my communication of ideas to fellow prisoners. I don’t use these monitored communications systems to communicate to prisoners. I use them to communicate with you.

So, look, here’s my agenda. I have to find a way to stop being a unique security threat in order to lesson my odds of getting tortured again. I have to stop being a unique security threat in order to get home to hug my elderly parents. Being a unique security threat makes me vulnerable to repression by state terrorists. My uniqueness makes me a singular target. They can focus the full force of their terror operation on me.

My fear and dread of facing potential torture in the future compels me to find some way to stop being unique in the present. If only I can find a way to inspire and persuade others, like you perhaps to become security threats, either equal to the threat I pose, or superior to the threat I pose, I would stop being a unique security threat. I would just be one of hundreds or one of thousands, or even one of tens of thousands of ubiquitous security threats.

So that’s my agenda. To create ubiquitous security threats. Thousands with thoughts and ideas just as dangerous as my own. That’s what I have to do to avoid getting tortured again.

That’s quite a daunting mission isn’t it? I hope I’m up to it.

If I succeed, at the very least, state terrorists will have their hands so full dealing with all of you security threats that they’ll forget about me and leave me alone. Best case scenario: their entire power structure will collapse, the nightmare will end and we can all go back to living in ways that make sense, absent the oppressor.

So, if the state terror asshole with the headphones monitoring this communication is distracted by his donuts and coffee and doesn’t hit the kill switch, I’m going to share some ideas and thoughts to hopefully create ubiquitous security threats out of you. I hope you’re down with that.

I think the process of creating ubiquitous security threats should begin with an observation. Information is power. Kind of a no brainier, as far as observations go, huh?

Yeah, information is power. That’s why they’ve got security cameras everywhere. That’s why they click through all of your emails. That’s why a dozen government agencies have a digital recording of your call before you ever even hear it. Information is power and your enemy, my enemy, our enemy is constantly collecting information.

So, what do we know about them?

Information is power. Now, I’m going to be talking about the prison industrial complex specifically, and the state terrorists who run it, but what I’m saying really applies universally to all the institutions of the fascist police state. And really, to the corporate profiteers who pull the strings. So really, what I’m proposing has a vast array of broad applications.

But, back to our question: what do we know about them? If you’re a prison abolitionist, or if you’re a prisoner rights advocate, wherever you’re from, do you know where the prisons are physically located? That’s pretty easy to find out. It’s public information. Now, those prisons have parking lots. Those parking lots contain the vehicles of prison workers, guards, staff, administrators. Often the Warden’s spot is marked with a sign that says “Warden”.

All of those cars are located in a public parking lot. Whoever you are, you can drive right in. At shift change, for instance you’d witness two shifts of prison workers coming and going. Do you have a cell phone camera? Almost everyone these days has a cell phone camera. Faces. License plates. With a plate number and a friend at the Bureau of Motor vehicles you can obtain home addresses and all kinds of information.

If you don’t have a friend at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles you can wait in a lot down the street, pull into traffic and follow people home.

Information is power.

The same goes for administrators in the Central Office of any state prisons system. Their parking lots are not located in some alternate universe. These people who employ torture are parked right there. They drive home to spouses and kids and family dogs. They work for a terrorist state that collects information on you. What are you doing to collect information on them?

I can tell you right now for an absolute fact that what I’m proposing to you is the state terrorists’ worst nightmare. They torture their captives. They tortured me, knowing they would never be held accountable by their fascist supervisors or their oversight committees or by media investigations, or federal courts. All the institutions of the fascist police state are accomplices in their crimes against humanity. In fact the instance of torture and continuation of state terror occur in the confidence that no one will do anything about it. Their arrogance so far is well founded.

I recall during the year of prolonged torture at Mansfield Correctional the day that my cell mate Black Jack stood up and passed out. He hit the floor. We had suffered starvation rations for months, had each lost roughly 30% of our body weight, and Black Jack passed out due to malnutrition. That was the day I became convinced that we might actually die. Our captors might actually kill us.

I had a website of updates. I had written letters to the legislative oversight committees. I had a lawyer protesting my treatment. I had hundreds writing letters and making calls and I was convinced that none of that would change conditions. That Black Jack and I might die despite ALL of that. Now, to contrast, just as a matter of practicality, I urge you to imagine what would have happened to our conditions, if instead of letters and calls to lawyers and online updates if one, just one of the state terrorists involved in the terror program would have gotten up for work one morning and stepped out of his or her tasteful suburban home to find his or her car ablaze with SeanSwain.org spray painted across the cracked windshield.

I’m not sure, but I bet just that single event would have gotten Black Jack and me an extra scoop of potatoes at lunch. If not, there are always other nights and other cars.

Now, sure there’s a degree of risk for those involved and that risk varies according to the planning and execution. Also keep in mind we’re not talking about a risk taken to rectify one instance of mistreatment. We’re talking about an action that would alter the operation of the terror complex completely.

Now, if something like that had happened in response to Black Jack’s and my torture—it didn’t, so this is just a theoretical pondering—but if something like that had happened, the state could only put squad cars at the residences of state terrorists for a short time. In Ohio, for example, there are something like 30 prisons. That equals 30 wardens, 30 majors, 90 deputy wardens, hundreds of captains and lieutenants and captains and sergeants and guards, too many to dedicate squad cars for protection of their homes night after night indefinitely. They couldn’t possibly be protected from a ubiquitous security threat, so chances are they would have changed their low-down ways. State terrorists would realize there would be direct and serious consequences for torturing their captives, as their should be. It really boils down to a kind of operant conditioning. If you torture us, we’ll light your cars and houses on fire. If you stop, we’ll stop. It’s a consequence of the operant conditioning. You get the behavior you’re looking for, whether it’s an end to torture, or an end to the prison complex entirely.

It would be preferable of course if you could simply ask rationally, perhaps through a grievance process or correspondence to a legislative committee, or through civil litigation in federal court, but non violent appeals to reason and fairness are a completely foreign language to hierarchs. You may as well be speaking Portuguese. So to change anything you have to let cans of gasoline be your verbs and let matches be your nouns. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. Soon there’ll be a website online that posts profiles of state terrorists along with message boards where visitors to the site can leave anonymous comments, including perhaps information about each of the profiled state terrorists. Information is power. I think I’ll stop there. When this monitored call is over I’ll go back to my cell with the scorch marks covering the walls and I’ll think of the possibilities. This is anarchist prisoner Sean Swain from the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. If you’re listening, you are the resistance.

The Lucasville Uprising in 1993 was not the longest prison uprising in US, history, it was the longest in which people died.”

*********************************

We’d like to close by calling attention to the days of solidarity later this month with long-term anarchist prisoner Marco Camenisch:

http://actforfree.nostate.net/?p=20043 and in German, http://rotehilfech.noblogs.org/

Our love and solidarity go to Tamara Sol, imprisoned by the Chilean state and recently transferred to a high-security “Centre for Feminine Orientation,” a prison comparable to the one in which Marius is trapped. https://wccctoronto.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/tamara-sol-public-communiqu…

For another June 11 – and year – dedicated to solidarity and the ongoing struggle against domination and ecological destruction,

the June 11th coordinating assembly

June 11, 2015 : TRANSITION : The struggle’s not over…

From June11.org

j11_heart final

The last year has been full of changes and transitions for our imprisoned comrades and for those of us engaged in struggle on the other side of the walls. Now, solidly in the throes of spring, we feel compelled to celebrate these transitions and victories as new life and energy burst forth all around us. It is not often that we get a chance to truly mix celebration and struggle – but now is one of those times! On January 8th of this year the Eastern District Court of California ordered Eric McDavid released from prison. Our comrade Marius came out publicly as a man and began seeking resources for his physical transition. We believe these are both transitions worthy of celebration and reason for continued struggle. It is in this spirit that we bring you our thoughts about J11 2015.

First, a bit of housekeeping: We have a new email address: june11th at riseup dot net! If you sent something to the old address, it is likely we did not receive it. We would love it if there were many translations of this callout and other support materials (many thanks to ContraInfo and others for supporting translation over the years)! Please send information about the June 11th events you are planning this year, posters, zines, and any report backs to june11th at riseup dot net. We are looking forward to hearing from you and will post events as we receive them at June11.org Every year events happen in new cities, and we hope you’ll encourage your friends and comrades far and wide to join us this year.

This day is an annual day of solidarity with long-term anarchist prisoners, including Marius Mason and Eric McDavid. In calling for the day, we aim to deepen ongoing support for comrades facing long sentences. They, in particular, risk being forgotten within a prisoner support model based on reacting to spikes in state repression and other emergencies. We are committed to building a model of solidarity that is both long-term and capable of flexibly responding to new developments. It is also vital to constantly build new links of solidarity between prisoners and between struggles, rather than fall back on static networks of personal links and contacts.

Originating as a day of solidarity for eco-prisoners, J11 remains anchored in a project of ecological defense and struggle against a society based on exploitation and confinement. As the focus shifted to solidarity with Marius and Eric, two eco-anarchist prisoners serving roughly 20-year sentences, people have expressed their solidarity through letter-writing nights, fundraisers, educational events, demonstrations and attacks. Any real effort to aid prisoners cannot be based simply on passive support, but must also include a commitment to build on their struggles before and after their imprisonment. More explanation about the context for and strategy of June 11th can be found here: http://june11.org/about/

Last year, while organizing J11 events, we addressed challenging questions about the relationship between ecologically oriented struggles and anarchist anti-prison struggles. It is clear to us that the world which requires prisons also requires the destruction of the environment; as anarchists, we despise both. We are heartened by the growing movements against the tar sands, LNG pipelines, fracking and the myriad other ecologically destructive projects. The escalation of eco-struggles across the globe is both necessary and exciting. Both Marius and Eric remain committed to these struggles, as we remain committed to them, all eco-prisoners, and the struggles that they all – we all – are engaged in. But this year we have been given cause for celebration – and we would like to emphasize that as we move forward.

This year Marius Mason publicly shared his new name and use of male pronouns that better reflect his masculine gender identity. To quote his lawyer, Moira Meltzer-Cohen who is assisting with the legal aspects of his transition, Marius is someone “whose courage and integrity are made even more salient by the fact that his own liberation and autonomy have long been severely circumscribed.” In the face of a world that systematically subjects trans people to violence, isolation and abuse, we hope that everyone shows their support of trans liberation by supporting Marius and the many imprisoned trans folks. This struggle should extend beyond mere fundraising. Trans prisoners are struggling not only for the material necessities of existence, but are also struggling against systems of domination which will stop at nothing to prevent them from simply being who they are. Our solidarity needs to be as creative and varied as the state’s tactics are cruel and oppressive.

On January 8th of this year, Eric McDavid was released from prison after nine years of incarceration. Eric returned home to his friends and family after a federal court granted his habeus corpus petition, stating that the FBI withheld evidence during the trial phase of his case. Because of this, Eric was able to plead guilty to a lesser charge which carried a five year maximum sentence – four years less than the time he had already served in federal prison. Eric’s incredible determination and the awe-inspiring support from his family, friends and comrades have not only contributed to his emotional and physical well-being while behind bars but also to his eventual release. His release from prison after 9 years is a monumental change. Eric is now faced with building a new life after almost a decade of incarceration. This is a new phase of struggle for him, and we are committed to continuing our solidarity with him post-release.

We face new questions about how to help Eric during this transition from a heavily controlled prison environment to a life in the open prison (the conditions that overlap between Eric’s parole and the society of control in which we all live). Although he is no longer living his life in a cage of concrete and razor wire, Eric still constantly faces the repressive apparatus of the state. His movements are restricted, his communications monitored, and his time is spent in ways that aren’t always of his choosing. All of this limits his interactions with the communities he has been away from for so long, the communities he wishes to engage with and be a part of. We must figure out how to lessen the impacts of these kinds of restrictions and how to enable as smooth a transition and homecoming as possible. We are thrilled to be facing these questions nine years earlier than we’d expected.

The focus of June 11th events this year will continue to include Eric by aiding him materially and emotionally during this transition and maintaining channels for political engagement concerning Eric’s entrapment. Eric’s case remains one of the most obvious examples of the state targeting and entrapping anarchists in this country. But we must always remember that his case is in no way exceptional. Muslim communities have borne the brunt of these kinds of attacks from the FBI. We should always be finding ways to work in solidarity. Post release support is a vital component to our struggle, and we’re obviously thrilled beyond words that Eric can walk and talk among friends and Earth according to his own desires again, and with every step we affirm that we want the destruction of all prisons.

The practices of ongoing solidarity should not solely serve as a soothing cultural custom: our actions carry potential for real material consequences — both positive and negative — for our imprisoned comrades. As we practice solidarity with imprisoned comrades and loved ones, our goal goes beyond simply supporting them; we aim to build social momentum against an entire system of domination and ecological destruction. These linkages add significance to all our gestures of solidarity, rendering them more potent tools on behalf of those inside, but also increasing the risks should these gestures be miscalculated or imprecise: as always, exercise care and sharp analysis when laying plans.

This reflection applies to the entire range of support projects, including fundraising. We hope though, that fundraisers also create spaces for discussion and struggle. A common anxiety among comrades facing long sentences is whether there will still be subversive projects and conversations underway when they get out. It’s up to all of us to make sure that there are, and that these projects and conversations are stronger, richer, and more vital. And it’s everyone’s letters to prisoners that ensure their ongoing connection to this process.

A specific element of this process is building our capacity for ongoing prisoner support. There have been both victories and setbacks over the past year as anarchist and other rebellious prisoners have waged struggles against their conditions, including both hunger and work strikes. Nikos Romanos’ hunger strike and the accompanying revolutionary solidarity reminded us of the subversive possibility of struggles coordinated across prison walls. But as anarchist prisoners, like Sean Swain in Ohio or Michael Kimble in Alabama, increasingly conduct similar fights in North America, the movement has frequently lacked the connections or strength required to offer meaningful solidarity. This is not a criticism of the dedicated support crews working with these rebel prisoners, but is directed to the rest of us, indicating the importance of generalizing active forms of solidarity with prisoners.

An important aspect of the long-term project of prisoner solidarity is maintaining old connections while building new connections with other prisoners in struggle. Recently released comrades Amelie and Fallon encompassed this idea well in their February open letter http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net/2015/02/17/mexican-prisons-open-letter-of<http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net/2015/02/17/mexican-prisons-open-letter-of-amelie-pelletier-and-fallon-poisson-february-14-2015/> Generalizing solidarity means escaping the space of the small “activist scene” to allow surprising new relationships to form. Part of our proposal this year is to build stronger relations of solidarity with trans prisoners in struggle, both to offer immediate personal and political support, and to prepare to offer more meaningful aid in future struggles for safety, hormones/other medical resources, and dignity. http://supportmariusmason.org/2014/07/07/free-marius-jacob-mason/ We were inspired by Chelsea Manning, who won access to hormones despite very adverse conditions, dramatically indicating the possibility of future victories for other trans prisoners.

We will continue to adapt to a changing landscape produced both by the victories won by our imprisoned comrades — including Eric’s release, Marius’ coming out, Nikos Romanos’ seizure of “room to breathe,” and just in the past few days, the amazing homecoming of Amelie, Carlos, and Fallon, — and by ongoing transformations of the repressive machinery. These transitions mark the expansion of the project and not any sort of stopping point.

“The struggle is not over … it assumes new forms. For no matter what the face, no matter what the name, it’s still war.”