Our Activist Thanksgiving Weekend and Free Marc Christmas Care Packages

Thanksgiving has already come and gone; my sons will both have birthdays the week before Christmas and there is only a handful of days left until Christmas itself.

We had a great Thanksgiving Holiday, first in Bristol with my husband’s family and then back north across the state (a half-hour drive in Rhode Island) for my family’s dinner. Obviously we all ate very well that day. I love seeing our family and catching up and on the flip side I am reminded of the fact that I don’t spend nearly enough time with the people I love. Holidays seem to have that effect on me.

I had the day after Thanksgiving off work, giving me a four day weekend. I planned to hang a large banner for Eddy Lepp. I taped wire hangers to the corners on the backside and wrapped the hooks around the chainlink fence of the overpass. The banner is still up! I get to see it every morning on the highway driving to work. The Highway facing side says “Free Eddy Lepp No Victim = No Crime” and the other side is a Free Marc Poster and a “No Prison for Pot” poster (because I’m all for multi-tasking!!) For great ideas that are cheap and take only seconds go to http://www.freewayblogger.com/howto.htm (Thanks Mikey!) I took pictures and sent them to Marc and also wrote a letter to Eddy at his new location in Lompoc, CA with the photos included.

We also took down the fall decorations outside and I kept my promise to Ben and decorated the house for Christmas with him. Ben was a very good helper. He made sure I had my hammer, brought nails to me, unwound the lights with me, and of course pointed out EVERY bulb that was burnt out. We spent all afternoon working together and when it was finished the sun had just set. It smelled like snow outside and the warm Christmas lights made our house transform from a simple beach cottage to a magical Gingerbread House in the North Pole! Inside we put the candles in the windows and set up the baby’s Christmas Tree. It’s a tiny little 1-foot high white tree and Ben carefully put each ornament on it just so.

Oh the Financial Woes of the Holidays

Last weekend we bought our Christmas Tree. We purposely picked the ugliest tiny tree we could find.” $42.80” the woman said. Uggggggh. Then we realized that we broke our stand last year so we had to buy that for $17.99. I thought I was being savvy at the Family Dollar store, getting a 7-foot string of lights for $2.00. Turned out to be enough for one pass around the tree.

I have days left to plan my eldest son’s seventh Birthday Party. Chase will turn one only three days after Ben’s birthday. I’m praying the company I work for will not hinder their giving spirit come Bonus time – boy, could we use a miracle right about now. Like nearly every American Family these days we are just scraping by, paying off Student Loans, supporting our family of four – you know the story right?

Three days ago my exhaust broke off from the back of the catalytic converter. This morning I woke up, got in the coveralls, got in the snow pants, went out and tied it up with (guess) wire hangers…..at 6:45 in the morning….and it was cold enough to snow. As soon as I finished and took off for work my wipers got stuck in the middle of my windshield. Then the window crank broke off in my hand. The poor car is nearly 14 years old now and she’s just falling apart in the cold weather. It’s been that kind of month so far! Financial problems always happen before the holidays, don’t they?

Free Marc Care Packages for Christmas

Keith visits Facebook as often as he can, and one day he noticed a comment from a Marc Emery supporter who wanted to pass out material but did not have a printer. Keith offered to send him some of our stuff in the mail. (Ryan, thank you for your enthusiasm and for getting the word out in Massachusetts with the Free Marc material we sent you. Rock on!) This started a chain reaction that has now become our new pet-project for Christmas: Free Marc Care Packages!

My husband and I spent this weekend packing up our little “FREE MARC care packages” to friends and volunteers. They included Free Marc Hand Bills, Spark For Marc Hemp Wicks, Free Marc Postcards, a T-Shirt, an assortment of Free Marc Posters, fliers, chalk, and Free Marc Stickers. (Heather, thank you for the financial help in paying for the shipping to you and your friends in Georgia! It really helps.) These Free Marc Care Packages have now been sent all over the US, and we have MORE to send this weekend – one to Florida and two are headed to Canada!

Writing to Marc and Marc’s Letters from Georgia

I’ve been writing Marc weekly. I send him interesting news articles and local news paper clippings from Rhode Island. I told him how the monthly cardholders’ meeting for RIPAC went, and what I’ve been doing locally. I tell him how my husband’s classes for RIPAC are going. I send him pictures and stupid funny stuff from emails just for laughs, whatever. I’m running quite a tab with the Post Office these days.

I’ve received letters from Marc telling me about the Prison and the people he talks to. My favorite thing he told me about was when he finally got the photos and news paper articles from the DC Rally. He said all of the 64 inmates in his “Pod” got to see them. He said he loved them and was SO HAPPY that the Water Campaign in DC was such a success. He said since the photos got there groups of inmates at random times during the day now shout out “Free Marc!.”

He asked for any like-new books I have that I don’t need anymore. I have tons and I am happy to send them off to a more appreciated home than wasting away in my basement! I also purchased a “How To Draw” book in Spanish (like-new from Amazon for only $1.84), a Spanish National Geographic on Space (Amazon.com for $2.99!) and a book called “Hostage Nation – Columbia’s Guerrilla Army and the Failed War on Drugs” Hopefully they allow it, if not, it was only $8.00 from Amazon, and I’ll live on.

Parallel Campaigns January 1st – February 28th

I am currently preparing a package to send to two Senators that my husband and I feel will be sympathetic to our request. We live in a state with Medical Marijuana laws in place therefore we immediately decided to approach the Senators and Reps that supported that law’s passage. Basically it will be a 3-ring binder with print-outs about Marc, and then a typed letter to our Senators and Reps individually asking them to write a letter to the US Dept. of Justice recommending Marc’s quick transfer back to Canada.

In Marc’s most recent letter he really stressed how crucial it’s going to be between NOW AND FEBRUARY 28th to have our Congressmen, Senators and Representatives – even retiring ones – to write a letter to the Dept. of Justice. This, along with the parallel efforts of US Citizens and Canadian Citizens all writing as well between January 1st and February 28th. Go to www.FreeMarc.ca for ideas.

“What Can I Do to FREE MARC Today?”

I keep what I lovingly call my “Handy Dandy Activist Kit” in my car almost all the time. It has things you can use in any situation to spread the word. I keep Free Marc Hand Bills in it, some chalk, some extra posters, a sharpie marker, stickers, twine, a staple gun, packaging tape, wire hangers, and bungee cords. (It sounds like a lot – but it all fits in a little basket you can keep in your trunk – keep the posters rolled.)

This allows you take advantage of any situation where there is an opportunity to get our message out. Going to a board meeting? Stick a sticker as you cross the street. Going to the quickie mart? Leave a handbill in the box of your favorite snack! Pumping Gas? Place a Free Marc Postcard in the Gas-Card Application box. Coming home from a friend’s house? Make a quick detour to that perfect bridge you’ve been scoping out and bungee a Free Marc cardboard sign to the chain-link fence.

All these things take only seconds to accomplish but you have to be prepared for them at any time, like a soldier ready to roll-out at a word’s notice. You can’t stick that sticker or hang that sign if its in your basement, or piled up in your bedroom paperwork. Get it all together in a handy box or backpack and keep it with you wherever you go.

Also, don’t forget the time when you are just sitting in bed watching TV. That is a great time to grab a pen and paper and write that letter you’ve been meaning to write to the US Dept. of Justice, your Congressmen, or to Marc. We CAN all do something! Why set your goals so high you are only left feeling discouraged? Small steps are all it takes.