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Rockland County, New York, was where I was born, 49 years ago today. There was no internet back then, no cable tv (not even color tv), no library within walking distance, and no park within walking distance. The big event was the opening of the Nanuet Mall in 1969, bringing Bamberger’s (later bought by Macy’s) and Sears stores to Rockland. I remember the record store, Friendly’s ice cream, Spencer’s Gifts…
On October 20, 1981, members of the Weather Underground and the Black Liberation Army determined to change America by attacking the Nanuet Mall.
From Friday’s New York Times:
Marilyn Buck, Imprisoned for Brink’s Holdup, Dies at 62
By MARGALIT FOX
Published: August 5, 2010
Marilyn Buck, who served more than two decades in prison for her role in the 1981 Brink’s armored-car robbery in Rockland County, N.Y., in which three people were killed, died on Tuesday at her home in Brooklyn. She was 62.
The Brink’s robbery endures in the national memory as a powerful example of a politically motivated act gone violently awry. Carried out by a coalition of radical groups that included the Weather Underground and the Black Liberation Army, the holdup netted nearly $1.6 million, which was recovered immediately.
Two police officers and a Brink’s guard were fatally shot in the course of the holdup, which unfolded in and around Nanuet, N.Y., on Oct. 20, 1981.
Is there a monument there at the Nanuet Mall, now, almost thirty years later? I don’t believe there’s anything at all.
A former private-school honor student, Ms. Buck drove one of the getaway cars that day. In the ensuing melee, she accidentally shot herself in the leg and was described in later years as walking with a noticeable limp.
Ms. Buck, who publicly called herself an “anti-imperialist freedom fighter,” was often described in the news media as the Black Liberation Army’s only white member.
When I went to the Nanuet Mall for a Friendly’s ice cream cone, I was an imperialist? Glenn Beck corrects us on this. “Imperialist” to the 1960s radicals means “capitalist.”
In 1988, Ms. Buck was convicted of racketeering, armed robbery and murder. The conviction covered both the Rockland County holdup and a 1981 armored-car robbery in the Bronx in which a guard was killed.
It also covered the escape from prison in 1979 of the Black Liberation Army leader Joanne Chesimard, which Ms. Buck had helped carry out. (Ms. Chesimard, who had been convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper, eventually made her way to Cuba.)
Buck was one classy, principled gal.
Marilyn Jean Buck (1947 – August 3, 2010) was an American left-wing activist and poet who was imprisoned for her participation in the 1979 prison break of Assata Shakur, the 1981 Brinks robbery and the 1983 U.S. Senate bombing. Buck received an 80-year sentence, which she served in Federal prison. She was released on July 15, 2010.
While in prison, Buck contributed articles on the subjects of women in prison, solitary confinement, political prisoners, and related issues to a number of journals and anthologies. She has published her poetry in journals, anthologies, a chapbook, and an audio CD. She received a PEN American Center prize for poetry in 2001. In 2008 City Lights Bookstore published her translation (with introduction) of Cristina Peri Rossi’s poetry collection, State of Exile.
Buck’s Wikipedia page is an example of why people call it the Wackypedia. She was more than a “left-wing activist and poet.” There’s a section here on her activities as an author. Her role in the Brink’s robbery is hidden in a short paragraph under the section headed “Support for Black Liberation.”
Something else very wrong here. She died on Tuesday, August 3rd. Her death had been expected. (“Because of her illness, Ms. Buck was released from the Federal Medical Center, Carswell, in Fort Worth, on July 15.”) Why is this appearing on Friday, August 6th?
Here’s Google News for “Marilyn Buck.” Only the New York Times covers this, a few days late? Where is her obituary writeup in the Associated Press? Where is the obituary in the Washington Post (a newspaper published in a city she and her Weather Underground pals liked to bomb)? Do you think my local Austin American-Statesman is going to report her death, probably more important than the five stories they published about James O’Keefe’s (ACORN tapes) misdemeanor?
Does any network news website even mention the death of this American radical? ABC News? (No.) CBS News? (No.) NBC/MSNBC News? (No.) CNN? (No.) Fox News? (No.) DOES ANYONE COVER NEWS IN AMERICA ANYMORE??
Google News shows three other sources that noted Marilyn Buck’s death.
From Infoshop News:
Poet/Political Prisoner Marilyn Buck Dies
Tuesday, August 03 2010 @ 11:02 PM UTC
Contributed by: scott crow
Long-time political prisoner, former Austinite, and acclaimed poet Marilyn Buck, 62, died early Tuesday, August 3.
Buck was released from the federal prison medical center in Carswell, Texas, July 15, 2010, and was paroled to New York City.
Political prisoner? This must be some cruel joke, but, of course, it’s not. From an Infoshop News story the following day:
Marilyn Buck Will Be Missed
Wednesday, August 04 2010 @ 06:15 PM UTC
Contributed by: Oread Daily
Only a handful of whites have so rejected their skin privilege and stood as tall in the fight against racism and white supremacy as Marilyn Buck. Marilyn was an amazing human being who devoted her life completely to the struggle for justice and freedom. Marilyn never surrendered whether she be on the streets or locked away in America’s prisons. Her life is an inspiration to all of us.
MARILYN BUCK WILL BE MISSED
‘Black August’ by Marilyn Buck, whose passing is mourned
August 4, 2010
by Marilyn Buck
Bill Ayers, who’s retiring from the University of Chicago at Illinois, please don’t send flowers for the departed Marilyn Beck without mourning her victims.
From Wikipedia on the 1981 Brink’s robbery:
In 2004, the Nyack post office was officially re-named after the two police officers and the Brink’s guard who were killed in the shootout
2004? The two dead police officers were finally honored 23 years later?
The Nanuet Mall still has nothing.
I’ll send this to Beck Tips, but others can also tweet Glenn Beck.
It is time to raise funds for a proper memorial at the Nanuet Mall for the victims of that Brink’s holdup, almost 30 years ago–and for the people too young to even know what happened. Maybe Glenn Beck can bring the Rockland County chief executive (a Republican) and Nanuet Mall management together and ask them to do something.
I realize it’s not a happy event that the Nanuet Mall might want to remember, but it’s part of American history. It’s disgusting not to remember fallen heroes who died for you.
American history still means something to most of us.