On the 22nd of January we will spend the whole evening writing birthday cards to Marie Mason, on the 26th of januari she will turn 52.
Marie Mason is a loving mother of two and a long-time activist in the environmental and labor movements. In March 2008, she was arrested by federal authorities for charges related to two acts of property destruction that occurred in 1999 and 2000 – damaging an office connected to GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) research, and destroying a piece of logging equipment. No one was injured in either act. She faced a life sentence before accepting a plea bargain in September 2008.
Mason was sentenced on February 5, 2009 in federal court in Lansing, Michigan. She received almost 22 years – the longest sentence of any Green Scare prisoner. An appeal for a reduction in her sentence was denied in 2010.
The Green Scare is the name given to the arrests of animal rights and environmental activists who have been charged with acts of economic sabotage. Federal authorities have sought outrageous sentences (often life in prison) and have publicly and legally labeled the activists as “terrorists” – despite the fact that no one has been killed or injured in any of the acts. For an intro to the Green Scare, see here.
Supporting Marie Mason does not mean agreeing with her acts. It does mean opposing the fear-mongering tactics of the federal government, and the outrageous sentences they have imposed.