MARILYN BUCK: U.S. political prisoner freed after decades in prison
Article by staff writers at fightbacknews.org, July 17, 2010.
Marilyn Buck, a political prisoner in the U.S., was released July 15 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
Life-long commitment to anti-racism and
in federal prison,
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 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
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
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.”
The seven 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
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.”