Pangolin: new painting by Marius

pangolin

The new 17th Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is addressing the endangered status of pangolins by banning the trade that is driving their extinction. They’re an amazing animal with a fantastical appearance like something out of primordial time. As a kid, I was fascinated by dinosaurs and one of my favorites was Ankylosaurus, which was like an armored tank, covered in spikes and scales. The pangolin’s scales and claws remind me of that dinosaur.
Because parts of the pangolin are used in traditional medicines, there is a market for their bodies. Hopefully, this new agreement will provide them with some protection. Unfortunately, the new treaty is weaker on protections for elephants and lions whose numbers have plummeted in the last decade. So much more work has to be done and so little time in which to do it. As long as markets drive extinction, there is so little room for compassion and reason.

“Netting Vaquitas” by Marius Mason

nettingvaquitas

“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

 

Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20th: Write to trans prisoners!

The Transgender Day of Remembrance should be a day that we remember the large part of our community that has been taken from us by the State.  Systematic racism and transphobia has locked up a disproportionate number of trans and gender variant people, especially people of color.  It is time to tell them they have not been forgotten.

To learn about writing a prisoner in your area see: blackandpink.org

Putting quick note of support in the mail today should reach Marius by November 20th.  Tell him you are out here thinking of him.

Marie Mason images 002

Marie (Marius) Mason #04672-061
FMC Carswell
Federal Medical Center
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX 76127

Free Oscar Lopez Rivera painting by Marius Mason

freeoscar

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.