Fight the Treatment Industrial Complex

Fight the Treatment Industrial Complex by supporting the AFSC- Arizona campaign

Fight the Treatment Industrial Complex by supporting the AFSC- Arizona campaign
AFSC-Arizona staff are amazing advocates for prisoners - and as such, are true blessings to our communities. Spend time on their site - lots of resources.

Retiring Arizona Prison Watch...


This site was originally started in July 2009 as an independent endeavor to monitor conditions in Arizona's criminal justice system, as well as offer some critical analysis of the prison industrial complex from a prison abolitionist/anarchist's perspective. It was begun in the aftermath of the death of Marcia Powell, a 48 year old AZ state prisoner who was left in an outdoor cage in the desert sun for over four hours while on a 10-minute suicide watch. That was at ASPC-Perryville, in Goodyear, AZ, in May 2009.

Marcia, a seriously mentally ill woman with a meth habit sentenced to the minimum mandatory 27 months in prison for prostitution was already deemed by society as disposable. She was therefore easily ignored by numerous prison officers as she pleaded for water and relief from the sun for four hours. She was ultimately found collapsed in her own feces, with second degree burns on her body, her organs failing, and her body exceeding the 108 degrees the thermometer would record. 16 officers and staff were disciplined for her death, but no one was ever prosecuted for her homicide. Her story is here.

Marcia's death and this blog compelled me to work for the next 5 1/2 years to document and challenge the prison industrial complex in AZ, most specifically as manifested in the Arizona Department of Corrections. I corresponded with over 1,000 prisoners in that time, as well as many of their loved ones, offering all what resources I could find for fighting the AZ DOC themselves - most regarding their health or matters of personal safety.

I also began to work with the survivors of prison violence, as I often heard from the loved ones of the dead, and learned their stories. During that time I memorialized the Ghosts of Jan Brewer - state prisoners under her regime who were lost to neglect, suicide or violence - across the city's sidewalks in large chalk murals. Some of that art is here.

In November 2014 I left Phoenix abruptly to care for my family. By early 2015 I was no longer keeping up this blog site, save occasional posts about a young prisoner in solitary confinement in Arpaio's jail, Jessie B.

I'm deeply grateful to the prisoners who educated, confided in, and encouraged me throughout the years I did this work. My life has been made all the more rich and meaningful by their engagement.

I've linked to some posts about advocating for state prisoner health and safety to the right, as well as other resources for families and friends. If you are in need of additional assistance fighting the prison industrial complex in Arizona - or if you care to offer some aid to the cause - please contact the Phoenix Anarchist Black Cross at PO Box 7241 / Tempe, AZ 85281. collective@phoenixabc.org

until all are free -

MARGARET J PLEWS (June 1, 2015)
arizonaprisonwatch@gmail.com



AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Marilyn Buck: State of Exile.

From the Friends of Marilyn Buck, who is fighting cancer in federal prison. She's an extraordinary poet and translator (see State of Exile by Cristina Peri Rossi), and a sharp essayist. The article this links to at the Rag Blog is awesome. Note Marilyn's address change below, and drop her a card of encouragement and blessings. She is supposed to be paroled in August: show them how big and caring her community is.

Hit this page on her friends' site and listen to an interview with her attorney, Professor Jill Soffiyah Elijah, detailing Marilyn's history, prosecution, and experiences as a political prisoner. Professor Elijah has represented many of our freedom fighters and political prisoners over the years...

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Political Prisoner, Poet, Writer, Translator, Teacher –

Free Marilyn Buck!

Photo   of Marilyn  2000

political prisoner

Marilyn Buck began her antiracist activism as a teenager in Texas. As a college student, she organized against the war in Vietnam and in solidarity with the Black liberation movement. “After less than a decade as a political activist,” she writes,“I went to prison, convicted of procuring firearms for the Black Liberation Army. I faced 10 years in prison—a very long time for a young woman."

After serving four years, Marilyn was granted a furlough from prison and did not return. She spent the next eight years in clandestinity. Marilyn was recaptured in 1985. In addition to charges related to Assata Shakur’s escape, she was convicted of conspiracy to protest government policies (the invasion of Grenada and military intervention in Central America) through the use of violence against government property. Her total sentence was 80 years.

poet, writer

“The trials, those years of intense repression and US government denunciations of my humanity had beat me up rather badly. Whatever my voice had been, it was left frayed. I could scarcely speak.” Instead, Marilyn wrote. “For prisoners, writing is a life raft to save one from drowning in a prison swamp. I could not write a diary or a journal; I was a political prisoner. Everything I had was subject to investigation, invasion and confiscation. I was a censored person. In defiance, I turned to poetry, an art of speaking sparely, but flagrantly.”

Marilyn’s poems can be found in many collections, in her chapbook, Rescue the Word, and on her CD Wild Poppies. She has been awarded three prizes by the PEN Prison Writing Program, including first prize for poetry in 2001. Some of her poems are online here.

translator, teacher

Marilyn has long translated for Spanish-speaking women held in prison, and she is now translating Spanish literature to English. In 2009 City Lights published her translation of Uruguayan poet-in-exile Cristina Peri Rossi’s extraordinary collection, State of Exile. Read more about her publications.

She has also taught writing, GED preparation, history, and yoga inside.

imagination

One of more than 100 political prisoners in the United States, Marilyn is proof that imagination and solidarity can’t be stifled, no matter how many prisons or patriot acts we face.

her address is:

MARILYN BUCK 00482-285
FMC CARSWELL
P.O. BOX 27137
FORT WORTH TX 76127

more

Read a recent profile of Marilyn by a long-time activist friend at Austin's Rag Blog.