Tag Archives: “Marius Jacob Mason”

20th January – Trans Prisoner day of Action and Solidarity – film showing of Criminal Queers

criminalqueerspostcardJanuary the 22nd is the 2nd International Day of Action and Solidarity with Trans Prisoners. The Friday before, on the 20th, Bristol ABC are hosting a film showing of Criminal Queers. Come along to find out more about the struggles of trans people behind bars, and sign a card or write a letter to people so that they know they’re not alone.

 

 

 

Background Info:

January 22, 2017 will be the second annual Trans Prisoner Day of Action: an international day of action in solidarity with trans prisoners.

This is a call to action against the system which seeks to erase our very existence. The survival of trans and other sex and gender minority people is not a quaint conversation about awareness, but a struggle for us to live in a world so determined to marginalize, dehumanise, and criminalise us – especially trans women, and especially Black, brown, and indigenous trans people.

We are discriminated against in every area of society including housing, healthcare, employment. Our survival is often precarious and many of us survive by work which is also criminalised – making us even more of a target for police harassment and the crime of “Walking While Trans’’.

Once incarcerated, trans people face humiliation, physical and sexual abuse, denial of medical needs, and legal reprisals. Many transgender people are placed in solitary confinement for months or years, simply for being trans. Trans women are usually placed in men’s prisons, where there is a massive increased risk of experiencing sexual violence.

Just as our lives are violently repressed on the outside, trans people experience extreme suffering and death within the walls of jails, prisons, youth facilities, and immigrant detention centers.

Trans Prisoner Day of Action on January 22nd is a day to acknowledge the experiences of trans and other sex and gender-minority prisoners. It’s about collaboration. It is about forging new relationships and dismantling the isolation of prison. It’s about resistance to state violence. It’s about solidarity between those who experience the violence of the system first hand and those for whom the state hasn’t come yet.

Many prisoner support and prison abolition groups around the world do so much excellent work writing letters to prisoners, educating the public with  letters to editors and articles for the media, holding protests and marches, organising queer communities to phone in and demand that trans prisoners be treated with respect and dignity, calling for an end to incarceration. Trans Prisoner Day of Action aims to make this work accessible to all who are in support – we encourage you to hold vigils for those in our communities who have been taken by State violence, to hold an event, host speakers, screen films, invite presentations, and hold workshops to spread the word on the experience of trans prisoners, share knowledge, and build strategies of resistance. Have dance parties and raise funds for people and groups already doing amazing work. Take action. Let’s join together and show our conviction in supporting each other and ending prisons once and for all.

This project was first imagined by Marius Mason, a trans prisoner in Texas, USA. Since then, through his friends and supporters, an international collective of people both inside and outside of prison walls have come together to make Trans Prisoner Day of Action a reality. We are trans and non-trans folks and friends and supporters. We join a long tradition of trans and queer people resisting state violence.

Join with us in the struggle for freedom.

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Free Marius Jacob Mason

We would like to let everyone know that Marius Jacob Mason will no longer be using the name Marie, and will be using male pronouns. We hope that you will all join us in supporting Marius through this transition, which will no doubt be extra challenging within the prison system. Until his name is legally changed, any mail sent to Marius in prison will still need to be addressed to ‘Marie Mason’ on the envelope. This goes for donations also. Please write to Marius at this time! Receiving supportive and friendly mail makes a world of difference. Below is a statement read out by Moira Meltzer-Cohen, one of Marius’ legal representatives, at a solidarity event organized by New York City ABC recently.

“My name is Moira Meltzer-Cohen. I’m an attorney working with a person of immense courage and integrity, someone who struggles for liberation and self-determination on behalf of other people, non-human animals, and life on Earth itself. This is someone whose courage and integrity are made even more salient by the fact that their own liberation and their own autonomy have long been severely circumscribed.

Even more than most people in prison, my client and those in their unit face rigid, arbitrary constraints on communication and expression that impact every part of their lives. But even more – I want you to imagine how difficult it would be if all your struggles toward liberation and autonomy were taking place not only in a prison, but in a world that always targets trans people for further violence, confinement, and abuse.

I am proud to be working with Marius Jacob Mason to change their name to the one that reflects his masculine gender identity.

It is my sincere hope that this announcement does not serve as any kind of excuse for argument or debate – it should be self-evident that trans-exclusion is indefensible in any movement claiming to move us toward collective liberation. If we are serious about liberation and autonomy, it is incumbent upon us to take seriously that all our various struggles are mutually implicated, that earth liberation and trans liberation are not simply mutually compatible, but that achievement of each is a necessary condition for the satisfaction of the other.

So I want to call on “us” – anarchists, allies, environmental justice advocates – let us acknowledge Marius’ gender now, not only for Marius’ sake, but for the sake of our collective liberation. This transition not only does not undermine the importance of Marius’ environmental and other social commitments – it is further evidence of his commitment to justice, and bravery in the face of repressive and destructive systems. It has not been and will not be easy for Marius to transition while in custody of the most heinous part of the U.S. prison system.

But we can make this process a little easier by supporting his gender identity, by using the appropriate masculine pronouns and his correct name, writing to him and other incarcerated trans folks, providing meaningful social support, and funding legal battles and medical needs both in and out of prison. We have an opportunity as a community to demonstrate conclusively that we are strong, that we understand the mutual implications of all forms of oppression, and that we can reject the subordination of any cause to another. I want to also remind you that because transpeople are disproportionately and aggressively policed, there are many many folks in prison who need your support, including one I want to highlight, Jane Doe, a 16 year-old trans girl who is being held without charges in Connecticut. You can find more information at facebook/justice4janeCT. You can find information about incarcerated trans people at SRLP.org, and more information about Marius Jacob Mason at supportmariemason.org