The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) union in Ireland and our Incarcerated Workers Organising Committee (IWOC) have sent a call-out to members and other grassroots activists to join with us in highlighting the forthcoming TRANS PRISONER DAY OF ACTION AND SOLIDARITY on January 22nd 2018.
This day of action was initiated in 2016 by Marius Mason, a member of the IWW USA, where he is serving 22 years for acts of sabotage relating to environmental struggles (see: https://ecology.iww.org/taxonomy/term/1216)
That year Marius thanked all activists who supported the day of action by saying: “…Thank you for coming together today, to hold up those members of our community who struggle so hard behind walls to keep their sense of self intact. Sovereignty over our selves, our bodies is essential for any other kind of liberty to be possible. By reaching out to trans prisoners, you affirm their right to define themselves for themselves – and defend them against the overwhelming voices who claim that they do not exist, that they must allow others to define them. In the isolating environment of prison, this is toxic and intimidating, and amounts to the cruelest form of psychological torture. By offering your help and solidarity, you may just save a life. I know that for the last year and a half, as I have struggled to assert myself as a transman, as I have advocated for the relief of appropriate medical care for my gender dysphoria – it has been the gentle and loving reminders of my extended family of supporters who have given me strength and courage to continue. Please join me in offering this help to so many others who need it to keep going. Never underestimate the healing power of a letter, those letters have kept me going…and I want to pass that gift on, if you will help me.”
Trans prisoners across the world systematically experience psychological and emotional abuse, sexual and physical violence, medical neglect and daily harassment due to their gender identity. IWW Ireland and IWOC are committed to highlighting the treatment of LGBTQI prisoners as part of our branch development. We believe that an injury to one is an injury to all!
The IWOC has been actively campaigning in Scotland, Wales, England, Ireland and the US in a wider number of issues affecting prisoners such as work exploitation, fighting expansion of prison industrial complex, and the constant abuse of human rights by prison officers and authorities. IWOC played a central role in the recent US prison strike, the biggest in the history of their penal system.
From the IWW- IWOC in Ireland we want to build upon our networks of discussion and action around prison abolition, prisoner rights and the need to conquer new ways of restorative justice in society which can help build stronger communities that defy the daily attacks on the working class such as social exclusion and deprivation, unemployment, racism, gender discrimination.
We invite you to take part in this year’s TRANS PRISONER DAY OF ACTION AND SOLIDARITY on January 22nd. by
– highlighting the issues among your networks using the enclosed material
– writing letters of support to Marius at
Marie (Marius) Mason 04672-061 FMC Carswell PO Box 27137 Fort Worth, TX 76127
– or to other prisoners in Ireland.
If you require more information about the IWW, IWOC and the activities we are involved in please do not hesitate to contact us. In solidarity,
P.S. Please find attached/below information regarding the work of the IWOC and resource material which you may find useful to start the conversations mentioned above.