“Netting Vaquitas” by Marius Mason

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“MEXICO: An effort to save the critically endangered vaquita porpoise is being helped by banning the use of gill nets in all waters where it is found.  The vaquita (‘little cow’ in Spanish) lives only in the northern part of the Gulf of California, and only about 60 remain.  Gill nets are used by fishermen seeking the totoaba- a marine fish that is also endangered.  Its swim bladder can sell for thousands of dollars on the black market.” Science Magazine

 

Free Oscar Lopez Rivera painting by Marius Mason

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Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera has served almost 35 years in prison, convicted of seditious conspiracy for his commitment to the independence of Puerto Rico, though he was not accused or convicted of causing harm or taking a life. Serving a sentence of 70 years, he is the longest held political prisoner in the history of Puerto Rico and one of the longest held in the world. He is 73 years old, and will be 80 by the time of his release date in 2023. No other country keeps its political prisoners behind bars for as many decades as does the United States. -The fight to free Lopez has been expanding. The deepening economic crisis in Puerto Rico with the colonial government bankrupt, has bettered working people. Many have left, coming the U.S. “In Puerto Rico there is a borad consensus in favor of freeing Oscar,” Eduardo Villanueva, spokesperson of the Human Rights Committee of Puerto Rico said by phone from San Juan Aug 26. “We are ororganzing…to show that in the heart of the U.S, in teh belly of the beast… there is also broad support. We want Obama to excercise his constitutional powers and release Oscar.” (from website and newspaper article)

Along with a number of other groups and individuals, the National Lawyers Guild is making a formal request to the current administration to consider releasing a number of political prisoners as an act of executive clemency. Many of these prisoners have spent decades in prison, and have become elders facing extreme health problems… the intention of this portrait is to honor Mr. Lopez Rivera and to join Marius’ voice to the many who are asking for his release.

Vaquita by Marius Mason

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 “The vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus) is considered by many to be the rarest and most-endangered species of marine mammal in the world. in May 2016, the population size of the vaquita is considered to be 60, based on the results of a 2015 vessel survey and acoustic study. It is the smallest of only seven species of true porpoises, and is the only one that lives in warm waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean.” – www.vivavaquita.org

“For Naelyn Pike (San Carlos Apache) standing with Standing Rock” by Marius

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“This painting is another in a short series of portraits of resistance activists at the Standing Rock reservation to the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Construction on part of it had been temporarily halted, but the fight is far from over.  So many people have come together to defend the tribe’s land and water rights- and to speak for a more sane and responsible way to live on this Earth.  Ms. Pike has such an amazing wrote, a warning that we must change how we live, if we want a future for all of our children,  Naelyn Pike was quotes as saying this- ‘Our ancestors are looking at the people with tears in their eyes because they know all the pain and suffering yet to come. They know there is no tomorrow for those yet to be born.’  She’s right.  It’s up to us, this generation to turn it around… there’s no more time to lose.”

-Marius

To learn more: Native Nations Rally in Support of Standing Rock Sioux