We went to visit Mark last Thursday July 12th at Riker’s. The wait
and procedure was upsetting, but I am grateful to have friends and
loved ones with me for support.

Once I finally saw Mark after the 3 hour wait, I was shocked by how
thin and exhausted he looked. His eyes are still sparkling though and
he was warm and forthcoming with us. He’s been able to find some
sympathetic and politically engaged inmates and staff in jail. He said
he’s shocked by how much mail he’s received and sends his love to his
Occupy family around the world. He’s particularly enjoying an
autobiography by Emma Goldman, called ‘ My Life’ that someone
generously sent him.

A guard at Riker’s joked that he gets as much mail as Lil’ Wayne when
he was imprisoned. Since he’s gotten so many beautiful packages and
books, he’s placed the over flow in the community room and has started
a kind of library in the prison. He’s very excited to be released this
Monday July 16th and says he can’t wait to see everyone. He’s grateful
and surprised that people are sleeping outside of Trinity and is happy
that we’ve kept up our protest against Rector Cooper and the church.

Mark mentioned being very interested in getting back into Facilitation
and more calming, less arrestable actions once he’s out. He’s craving
lots of protein: cheese pizza, fries and even a big mac! He’s lost
considerable weight, 14 lbs so far since his hunger strike, but it
seems to be helping him keep his focus and remember that he’s a
political prisoner.

The most upsetting thing I heard is that he’s kept in a cage for 8
hours where he doesn’t have space to sit down or stand up before his
release and while he’s waiting to be transferred outside. I would love
to do work with prison activists as this seems completely traumatic
and a clear human rights violation.

He’s hoping to maybe rest upstate for a while, but can’t wait to see
Zuccotti and friends from the community. He will be carrying precious books with him and returning some to their owners as requested. It was heartbreaking but wonderful seeing him. I can’ wait for him to be
released.

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