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Join us in Austin this Friday:
Free Marilyn Buck Now!
By Alice Embree / The Rag Blog / June 23, 2010
A benefit for Marilyn Buck this Friday, June 25, will raise funds and gather healing energy for the former Austinite. Slated for release on parole this August, Buck was diagnosed with cancer late last year. Her plans for starting life over at age 62 now must be amended to allow for recuperation and healing.
Marilyn Buck, an award-winning poet originally from Austin, was convicted of politically-motivated crimes in the 1970s and 1980s. She has spent 25 years in prison. She earned two college degrees, taught herself Spanish in order to communicate with and for Latina prisoners, and organized AIDS education and literacy classes in prison. She won respect as a principled voice for the rights of oppressed people, especially women, people of color, and other political prisoners.
Benefit organizer Mariann Wizard shared a moving and personal tribute to Marilyn that appeared recently on The Rag Blog. The benefit will bring together those who knew Marilyn when she worked on Austin’s underground newspaper, The Rag (predecessor to The Rag Blog), and those who have only known of her as a political prisoner.
The benefit will feature music by Karen Abrahams and Riders Against the Storm, poetry by Joe P. Carr, and remarks by Robert King of the Angola 3. Benefit hosts include NOKOA, The Rag Blog/New Journalism Project, Resistencia Bookstore, Ex-pinta Support Alliance, Ecology Action, One Love Kitchen, South Austin Popular Culture Center, and YES, Inc/Phogg. Supporters include the Angola 3, Austin Jail Project, Bookwoman, MonkeyWrench Books, Ruby’s Bar-B-Que, Teatro Vivo, Threadgills, and many more.
The benefit will take place 7-11, Friday, June 25th at 3105 E. Cesar Chavez. $10 at the door is requested and advance tickets are available at Resistencia Bookstore and Planet K stores.
If you can’t attend the Austin benefit, you can contribute to Marilyn Buck’s support by sending a check to:
Youth Emergency Service, Inc.
P.O. Box 13549
Austin, TX 78711
Make sure to note “for Marilyn Buck” on the contribution.
Robert King and Mariann Wizard on Rag Radio
Robert King and Mariann Wizard were Thorne Dreyer’s guests on Rag Radio on KOOP 91.7 FM in Austin, Tuesday, June 22.
King spent 32 years in Louisiana’s Angola prison, 29 of them in solitary confinement, for a crime he didn’t commit. King, Albert Woodfox, and Herman Wallace were active in the 1970s with the Black Panther Party while in prison, and came to be known as the Angola 3. An acclaimed BBC documentary, In the Land of the Free, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, was released earlier this year. The film explores the facts surrounding the Angola 3’s incarceration.
Mariann Wizard joined Dreyer and King on the show to discuss Marilyn Buck’s case and the upcoming benefit. Tuesday’s program is now on the Rag Radio archives, and you can listen to it here.
Rag Radio airs every Tuesday from 2-3 p.m. (CST) on KOOP 91.7 FM, and can be streamed live on the internet here.
Thanks, Alice, and thanks Thorne for having me on! King and I will be talking more about Marilyn’s situation — and I’ll be able to get into some of the details of our great musical line-up! — on Friday at 1:00 on People United, also on KOOP Radio. Tania Rivera of ESA will also be with us.
Yesterday, one of the things King said really resonated with me about Marilyn. Thorne asked how he’d retained his sense of humanity and self in 29 years of solitary confinement. Robert said, “I was in prison, but I resolved not to let prison get in me.”
Like Robert King, Marilyn has suffered harsh prison conditions for many years. Like any grownup, there are things she’s done that had consequences she didn’t want. She chooses to focus her energy on positive solutions.
I am so proud of the wonderful response we’re receiving on this benefit — it’s been a pleasure for me to talk with so many generous, kind-hearted people. Many don’t admire many or any of Marilyn’s actions, but agree that she has paid the agreed-upon price, and deserves a chance to start over. Many don’t care about any of that, only that she is ill, and that mutual friends, without great personal wealth, want to help her.
A few mean-spirited folks think such a benefit somehow rewards Marilyn with “extra attention” — oh boy, well that can’t be supported! For these grinches, I’d simply suggest that their hearts and brains are both a couple of sizes too small!
Oh, btw, I’ve been dropping hints about the door prizes we’re going to have. “Really”, y’all, there’s nothing THAT special. As for the silent art auction, oh, ho hum, you know, Austin is home to hundreds of great artists, and we are NOBODIES in the art world (oh, except for Leea & Henry at SAPCC, formerly the Museum), so probably our selection will be colorless and ordinary, NOTHING that will interest anyone here… (Choke. Cackle.) — Wizard
Yes, Marilyn did some of the things that prosecutors said she did.
But she has paid the price and then some, the “then some” being about the things for which she stands, and how persuasive she is about them.
Long past time to free this remarkable woman, with whom I had the pleasure of crossing paths. The social justice movement does itself a big favor by getting Marilyn back in shape and into a new phase of her life’s work.
Alice, Thanks for this posting and thanks to MW for all her work. I am far from Austin but I anxiously await the report of the results.
It was nice to be invited to and to attend this sacred and fun event. Thanks to Marianne, Alice, Karen, Thorne, and all of you for all your devotion and work, now and throughout the years. May Marilyn find happiness and peace now and always, and may we all have and be the good friends we need.