As part of a gender transitioning process, environmental and anarchist prisoner, Marius Jacob Mason, announced recently that he will no longer use the name, Marie, and will utilize male pronouns as self-descriptions for himself. Mason was arrested in 2008 by federal authorities under his previous name after being snitched out by her then ex-husband for two acts of property destruction that occurred in 1999 and 2000. No one was injured in either action. He accepted a plea bargain and was sentenced to almost 22 years in prison, the longest given any Green Scare prisoner.
Support for Marius is critical during this transition period, which will be extra challenging within the prison system.
Below is a statement read by Moira Meltzer-Cohen, one of Marius’ legal representatives, at a solidarity event organized by New York City ABC on June 11 as part of the International Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason, Eric McDavid & All Long-term Anarchist Prisoners.
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, 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.
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.
I call on 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 people, 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.
Until his name is legally changed, mail sent to Marius in prison should still be addressed to Marie Mason on the envelope, but a greeting to Marius is OK. Donations should still be made “Support Marie Mason, POB 2016, Ferndale MI 48220.
Please write to Marius
c/o: Marie Mason #04672-061
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX 76127
Receiving supportive and friendly mail makes a world of difference.