I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Be Strong: Marilyn Buck dies free.

I just learned that my favorite poet and revolutionary, Marilyn Buck, has passed away from cancer. She was exceptionally gracious and kind to me at a very difficult period in my life when we corresponded, speaking nothing of her own illness. That selflessness was characteristic.

Here is a roundabout link to her friend Mariann Garner-Wizard's beautiful photo album, where I first came across the news. Once there is more information out there about her, I'll post it. Check the Rag Blog first for updates - I'm posting Mariann's note about her today from there below.

If you have or know of a spot on this planet where Walmart will never build, please plant a tree in her memory - and help a prisoner. Then join us, if you can, in Arizona's streets, or boycott this place completely. There must be no more business as usual. If this fascism isn't stopped here, it spreads across the country like a virus. It has already.

Blessings, Marilyn. Thank you for sharing your freedom with us all these years. May you always dance.


Mariann G. Wizard : Poet/Political Prisoner Marilyn Buck Dies in New York Hospital

Marilyn Buck was released from prison July 15, 2010.

Recently released from Texas prison:
Cancer takes poet Marilyn Buck

By Mariann G. Wizard / The Rag Blog / August 3, 2010

AUSTIN -- Friends of long-time political prisoner, former Austinite, and acclaimed poet Marilyn Buck, 62, were saddened by news of her death in a New York hospital 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.

Also see:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this. Marilyn was one of my early inspirations and encouragements to sticking with prisoner support and prison abolition work even though it seemed so male-dominated and male-centric.

    She not only encouraged my political work but, since once upon a time she had been an assistant photo teacher, encouraged my photography too (even though my early works were just plain bad).

    I had known she was battling cancer and so, when she was released and living only a short train ride away, I didn't think that I needed to see her *immediately.* There would be time, I thought, to get a bite to eat or have tea or for me to show her around the darkroom so that she could get reacquainted with the old-fashioned darkroom techniques she had once known so well.

    It didn't occur to me that we might not ever have a chance to meet.

    I'm honored to have known her.