[Marxism] blog post: lock 'em up

MICHAEL YATES mikedjyates at msn.com
Wed Aug 18 17:35:16 MDT 2010

Full at http://blog.cheapmotelsandahotplate.org/2010/08/18/lock-em-up/
"[This first appeared in counterpunch on August 17, 2010. This version includes hyperlinks.]. Sometimes events conspire to make you think that things are worse than you imagined. On August 3, Marilyn Buck died. Marilyn was a fighter in the struggle for racial justice and against the most virulent pestilence in the world—United States imperialism. Unlike most of us, she put her money where her mouth was and her life on the line. It is easy now to forget that the agents of repression—the police, the FBI, the courts, the government itself—consciously and actively targeted those who were active in and led the civil rights and Vietnam war resistance movements. They infiltrated and acted as provocateurs in movement organizations; they arrested innocent people; they enacted and enforced draconian laws; they illegally tapped phones and spied on any and all persons suspected of "subversive" activity; and they tortured and murdered those who they deemed to be the most dangerous radicals. Whites like Marilyn who militantly supported black liberation were high on the list of suspects. She was arrested in 1973 for buying (legal) arms under a false name. She was sentenced to ten years in prison, and during a furlough to consult with her lawyers in 1977, she went underground. She was arrested again in 1983, accused of multiple crimes—aiding the prison break of Asata Shakur, planning and participating in several bombings of public facilities, and taking part in the infamous Brinks robbery of 1981 in which a guard and two policemen were killed. She was convicted and sentenced to eighty years in prison. While incarcerated, she earned college degrees, became a poet and writer of distinction, mentored many prisoners, fought for the rights of those behind bars, and continued as an activist in the battles that defined her before her imprisonment. Finally scheduled for parole, she discovered that she had cancer. Treatment failed and she died at home, having been released a few weeks early because of her failing health. She was sixty-two years old."

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