Anti-imperialist and anti-racist activist released after decades in prison
July 17, 2010
Marilyn Buck, a political prisoner in the U.S., was released on July
15, 2010 from the federal prison medical center in Carswell, Texas,
according to her support group, Friends of Marilyn Buck. She is
paroled to New York. As of the writing of this article, no further
details about her release have been made available.
Life-long commitment to anti-racism and anti-imperialism
Marilyn Buck started her commitment to fighting against racism and
U.S. imperialism as a student activist in the 1960s, when she was a
member of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at the University
of Texas. There she organized against the Vietnam War and against
racism, and she was one of the women who helped make women's
liberation a central part of SDS's politics. In the 1970s Buck worked
to support revolutionary anti-imperialist movements around the world,
while also actively supporting the Native American and Black
liberation movements within the U.S.
Despite great personal suffering, including decades in jail, Buck
maintained her commitment to anti-imperialist and anti-racist
politics, including supporting those fighting against imperialism and
for national liberation.
Decades in prison
Marilyn Buck spent four years in prison in the early 1970s, allegedly
for helping Black revolutionaries buy firearms. After she was
furloughed from jail, she went underground to resume her political
activism against U.S. imperialism and in support of Black liberation.
She was captured again in 1985, and has been in prison ever since. At
that time she was accused of actions such as helping Black
revolutionary Assata Shakur successfully escape from prison in 1979,
as well as conspiracy in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Senate building
in response to the Reagan administration's invasion of Grenada, which
had a leftist government at the time.
With her capture in 1985, Buck became part of the Resistance
Conspiracy trial. This was a prominent trial in the 1980s against
seven white anti-racist and anti-imperialist activists who were
accused of conspiring "to influence, change and protest policies and
practices of the United States Government concerning various
international and domestic matters through the use of violent and
illegal means." They were accused of supporting armed Black
revolutionaries within the U.S. and accused of a series of bombings
of U.S. government and military buildings in protest of U.S. foreign
policy in Central America and the Middle East. Buck received an
80-year sentence in the case.
While in prison, Buck became a prolific writer of political articles
and poetry. She wrote, "The trials, those years of intense repression
and U.S. government denunciations of my humanity had beat me up
rather badly. Whatever my voice had been, it was left frayed. I could
scarcely speak. 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."