MEMORIAL FOR MARILYN BUCK
January 9, 2011 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Join Naomi Jaffee of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the Weather Underground along with elana levy, poet and long time friend of Marilyn. We will remember Marilyn Buck as friends and supporters. Everyone will have the opportunity to read Marilyn’s poems in the circle. Light Refreshments will be served. All are welcome.
Marilyn actively supported the Black Liberation Movement. She participated in the successful liberation of Assata Shakur from a N.J. state prison in 1979. She lived underground in the U.S. until 1985 when she was put in federal prison. She was released less than 3 weeks before her death from cancer.
Marilyn won a PEN award for Best Prison Poet. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications and a chapbook was published, Rescue the Word. In 2008, City Lights published her translation of Cristina Peri Rossi’s poems, State of Exile. An extensive collection of Marilyn Buck’s poems will be published in 2011.
At this memorial service for her, Naomi Jaffee, among others, will speak and read from Marilyn’s writings. Naomi was in SDS, and was with Marilyn at the first SDS Women’s Caucus in 1968. She also participated in the Weather Underground, and appears in the film of that name.
At the University of Texas, Buck was involved in organizing against the Vietnam War, as well as anti-racist activities. She joined Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and in 1967 moved to Chicago where she edited SDS’ New Left Notes and attended an SDS teacher-organizer school. With other SDS women she helped to incorporate women’s liberation into the organization’s politics. She subsequently returned to San Francisco where she worked with Third World Newsreel in outreach in support of Native American and Palestinian sovereignty and against U.S. intervention in Iran and Vietnam and in solidarity with the Black liberation movement. In 1973 Buck was convicted on two counts of purchasing (otherwise legal) ammunition using false identification and sentenced to ten years in prison. In 1977 Buck was given a furlough from prison and went underground instead of returning.
In 1979, Joanne Chesimard also known as Assata Shakur, who had been convicted of killing a policeman, and a leading member of the Black Liberation Army (BLA), escaped from a New Jersey prison with help from a number of associates outside. In 1983 Buck was recaptured and convicted of participating in Shakur’s escape. Along with a number of BLA members and supporters, Buck was convicted of conspiracies to commit armed robbery in the Brinks robbery of 1981 in which a guard and two police officers and a guard were killed.
In 1985, Buck and six others were convicted in the Resistance Conspiracy case, a series of bombings in protest of United States foreign policy in the Middle East and Central America. The May 12, 1988 indictment described the goal of the conspiracy as being “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” and charged the seven with bombing the United States Capitol building, three military installations in the Washington D.C. area, and four sites in New York City. Warnings were called in and no one was injured. Six of those charged in the case have since been released from prison and one was never captured.
While in prison, Buck contributed articles on women in prison, solitary confinement, political prisoners and related issues to Sojourners Magazine, Monthly Review, and other journals and anthologies. She published her poetry in journals, anthologies, a chapbook, and an audio CD. She received a PEN American Center prize for poetry in 2001. Her poems appeared in the anthologies Hauling Up the Morning, Wall Tappings, Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defense of the Earth, Seeds of Fire, and in her chapbook, Rescue the Word.Her poems appear on the audio CD Wild Poppies (Freedom Archives 2004). Her translations and introduction to Cristina Peri Rossi’s poetry appeared in State of Exile, Number 58 in the City Lights Pocket Poets Series.