[Ppnews] Marie Mason is Being Denied Visitors and Mail in a Special Prison Unit

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Mar 16 14:52:03 EDT 2011


Marie Mason is Being Denied Visitors and Mail in a Special Prison Unit

by Will Potter on March 16, 2011

<http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/category/prisoners/>Terrorism Prisoners

Marie Mason was arrested three years ago and 
charged with destroying genetic-engineering 
research and logging equipment. Her crimes did 
not cause any physical injury. Leading up to her 
sentencing, the FBI had warned that “terrorists” 
might attend the hearing. She was sentenced to 
nearly 22 years in prison. As I wrote at the 
sentence was twice that of violent racists who 
assaulted African Americans on the night Barack Obama was elected president.

 From the outset, Mason–a mother of two–was 
facing the longest prison term of anyone 
associated with the Earth Liberation Front. Then 
in August, 2010, she was transferred to FMC 
Carswell in Fort Worth, TX, which is described by 
the Bureau of Prisons as providing “specialized 
medical and mental health services to female offenders.”

Since being transferred to FMC Carswell, she has 
been denied all visitors except immediate family. 
Every single request by non-family has been 
turned down. In addition, for months she has not 
been receiving mail (prison officials say they 
have not officially refused any correspondence). 
Marie Mason is not being held in solitary (as she 
was previously at FCI Waseca), but she reports 
that she is being housed away from the general 
prison population, in a special prison unit.

Special Prison Unit

At least one other political prisoner is also 
housed there. In 1984, Helen Woodson and others 
entered a Missouri nuclear missile silo with 
sledgehammer and jackhammer. They said they were 
inspired by the Book of Isaiah, which says “They 
will beat their swords into plowshares and their 
spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take 
up sword against nation, nor will they train for 
war anymore.” Woodson is scheduled for release in 
September, 2011, after 27 years in prison. 
[Update: To clarify, that 27 years has been 
cumulative. Woodson was briefly released from 
prison during that time, but she committed 
additional non-violent political crimes and was sent back.]

I have written extensively on secretive prisons 
Management Units, which radically restrict 
prisoner communications with the outside world. 
Daniel McGowan, an Earth Liberation Front 
prisoner, and Andy Stepanian, of the 
7, were both imprisoned in a CMU. (These prison 
units were recently covered by both 
Nation and 

The Bureau of Prisons has not responded to my 
inquiries about the CMUs, nor about Mason’s 
conditions at FMC Carswell. However, Mason’s 
supporters and attorneys report that federal 
officials have repeatedly denied that FMC Carswell is a CMU.

Disproportionate Treatment

Whether or not that is true, it’s clear that 
Mason is being singled out for harsher treatment 
than other so-called “eco-terrorists,” and 
harsher treatment than other prisoners at that 
facility. Her restrictions on visitation are 
actually more extreme than those for CMU 
prisoners, who are allowed non-contact visits with family and friends.

Mason’s case truly puts on display the 
unaccountable, unchecked power that the 
government has acquired in the name of fighting 
“terrorism.” Like many other defendants, Mason 
was labeled a “terrorist” from day one, and that 
label has followed her into the courtroom, 
through a draconian sentence, to these 
disproportionately harsh prison conditions.

As the president 
on his pledge to close Guantanamo, and alleged 
Wikileaks conspirator 
Manning is inhumanely being held naked and 
shackled, it should be clear that this is 
fundamentally about a lack of checks and balances on government power.

“An evening like this”

Marie Mason’s support committee reports that she 
has faced these three difficult years with 
strength and courage, and she continues to do so. 
She has been particularly interested in her 
artwork and poetry. Here is an excerpt of 
of her poems, dated August, 2008:

An evening like this: summer sunset

The air no cooler than my blood, and still, so still

The tiny humming of mosquitos hovering in my line of sight

I will remember this when I cannot see the sun for days on end.

Please visit 
to write her a letter and donate to her support fund.

You can write Marie at:

Marie Mason #04672-061
FMC Carswell
Federal Medical Center
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX 76127

* LockedOut http://zinelibrary.info/lockedout-2010
* Prison Book Project http://www.prisonbooks.org
* Radical Reference http://www.radicalreference.info
* AM dial http://amdial.tumblr.com

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