June 11th: International Day of Solidarity with Eric McDavid, Marie Mason, and Longterm Anarchist Prisoners
From June11.org: June 11th is the international day of solidarity with Eric McDavid, Marie Mason, and all longterm anarchist prisoners. If you are planning on doing an event for the day, please email us at june11[at]riseup[dot]net. You can find resources, information about events from previous years, and word on upcoming events at june11.org. Read on to see our thoughts on what it means to do longterm solidarity, on how Eric and Marie inspire us, and to learn how June 11th began.
The state stole Eric McDavid and Marie Mason from us in 2006 and 2008 respectively. In the years since their arrests, repression has come to feel less like a specific event and more like an inescapable, ongoing nightmare. Sentenced to 22 years and 20 years, respectively, Marie and Eric remain in cages to this day, and know this nightmare more intimately than most.
Lately, we hear lots of talk about the end times, and total environmental collapse seems imminent. But what do these forces mean to those inside prison cells? And what do they mean for us on the outside? We are trying to save both each other and some shred of wildness on this earth. Our task is difficult, and sometimes seems impossible, because the harder we fight, the more repression we face. Every day we lose more species, more land, more friends… and this process shows no signs of slowing. How do we survive and continue to struggle in the face of this reality?
If winning was our only goal, it would be easy to quit. But although we may fight to win, we also fight because, in this situation, to fight means to live. From the outside it’s easy to equate a prison sentence with the end of everything… but Marie and Eric are still fighting. With both our love for them and our hatred for their jailers intact, we fight alongside them.
That means not only continuing our struggles on the outside, but also engaging with the imprisoned in ways that keep them connected to their friends and communities on the outside. The state has kidnapped our friends, and we must ensure that the state is not successful in its attempts to isolate and destroy them. Our struggle can only continue if we struggle together.
June 11th is a means to that end. June 11th is about remembering– not in the way that we remember a fact or history, but an active remembering: a re-membering, a putting back together. It is often easier for us to raise
money and generate material support for people who have just been arrested than for people who have been locked away with many years in prison ahead. This day is a time for us to concentrate our energy, resources and love on those people, who cannot be forgotten.
June 11th has also become a staging ground for building our international ties of solidarity. The last two years have seen an incredible show of support from people outside of the US for Eric and Marie, and some efforts within the US to show solidarity to long-term anarchist prisoners in other places. This year, we hope to have more translations, more cross-referencing of struggle, and a further broadening of solidarity that does not take away, but adds. We refuse to recognize their borders; we aim to make that refusal more tangible.
June 11th is only two months away. Hold a fundraiser, plan a noise demo, host a letter-writing night, or use your own context and imagination to explore other possibilities. Use your creative energies to show your comrades that they’re not alone and that we will continue to struggle for them, for the earth, and for total liberation. They have tried to destroy us, that’s what they do–but Marie and Eric, Justin Solondz, Marco Camenisch, the grand jury resisters of today and tomorrow, and so many others show us how to survive those attempts. Let’s make June 11th a celebration of our shared survival and resistance.
the June 11th crew
For a brief history of June 11th, please visit http://june11.org/about.html
Here are some recent words from Marie and Eric that inspire us…
Marie: I have been processing a lot of my own history this year, probably just a function of so much isolation and time spent in confined quarters. In my former free life, if I was faced with difficult decisions or sadness, trauma or trouble I would go to the woods and hike, or swim in one of my beloved Great Lakes to find solace and focus. The natural world is my source of strength and my comfort. It has been hard to be unable to walk on the ground, touch a tree or see the sky without metal in between. Prison on the compound was one level of removal from life, but this is another level of intensity entirely. So it was a joy to be able to hear from so many folks actively working in service to this Earth, to be inspired by you all and to be comforted to know that, though I am no longer able to walk with you, that you are continuing the journey forward. That is my comfort now.
Eric: 7 yrs… i can’t say it’s easy 2 put these words dn on paper – that it doesn’t pain me 2 look bk over these past 7 trips around the Sun… w/the process of the courts continuing n the final appeal stages; it’s end yet 2 show up on the horizon = no illusions, while still Dancing w/wishes… Love & Joy have also made their presence known = the overwhelming support from all over the Earth ~ i wish 2 Thank every persyn/grp that has written & supported me along this journey – Ur intents, N which ever forms they’ve taken, have aided & nourished me N remembering who i am N a situation & environment bent on unraveling, dismembering & remolding…along w/all the communal Solidarity, i’m grateful 4 the support of friends & family – & how i’ve been buoyed by the Love and Passionate Patience of my Partner = i Love you J, you R my Joy… … i’m unable 2 adequately express my feelings of Respect & Solidarity 4 all the folx Dancing w/the overt repression across the continent while staying True 2 their Hearts… 2 the folx Dancing w/Grand Juries = bide Ur time, this is 1 of the few circ.s where time is on the SD of the oppressed… w/N this cultural climate the Path is not easy or simple by any means – making it all the more important 2 find those unique, ever changing, beautiful & sustainable ways 2 aid & nurture each other… …. i’ll close wishing that each of U continue 2 explore & heal Ur Hearts & communities; may U find the space & time over the coming yr 2 let Ur minds play w/new & safe communication skills, & Ur bodies w/self-defense…
- Marie Mason: still jailed to boost Criminal Corporations (thefreeonline.wordpress.com)
- A Thank You from Marie Mason to All Who Wished Her Happy Birthday (supportmariemason.org)
- “Words of Encouragement and Respect” (A statement in support of the Sisters’ Camelot Canvass Workers from Fellow Worker Marie Mason) (supportmariemason.org)
- International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5: May 16 – 21 (occupywallst.org)
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