The 'Friends of Marcia Powell' are autonomous groups and individuals engaging in prisoner outreach, informal advocacy, and organized protest and direct actions in a sustained campaign to: promote prisoner rights and welfare in America; engage the Arizona public in a creative and thoughtful critique of our system of "justice;” deconstruct the prison industrial complex; and dismantle this racist, classist patriarchy...

Retiring "Free Marcia Powell"

As of December 2, 2010 (with occasional exceptions) I'm retiring this blog to direct more of my time and energy into prisoner rights and my other blogs; I just can't do anyone justice when spread so thin. I'll keep the site open so folks can search the archives and use the links, but won't be updating it with new posts. If you're looking for the latest, try Arizona Prison Watch. Most of the pieces posted here were cross-posted to one or both of those sites already.

Thanks for visiting. Peace out - Peg.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Freewaybloggers are back!

"This is the hidden weapon of people who have no power: They have to get other people who have no power to join them, and if enough powerless people join together, then a new power is created, and when that happens, even the most powerful and the most wealthy corporations have to yield." 

-Howard Zinn

ABOUT FREEWAYBLOGGERS: This loosely affiliated group (and a whole lot of unaffiliated groups and individuals) took their anti-Bush and anti-war protests to the highways and internet when we invaded Iraq, strategically placing signs where they'd be seen by tens of thousands of people a day, and photographing them to post on the net so they could be seen forever. They inspired much of this stuff we're doing with Free Marcia Powell - everyone just did their thing, making their voice heard in some visible way wherever they were in the world.

The website ( seems to have been their gathering place, and people came and went pretty anonymously, emailing pictures of their actions to whoever was handling the technical side of things. There's good history there on freewayblogging. I used to be on the list-serve, when they first started up, so I have some sense of the issues they ran into and how they worked things out. 

I guess if you leave your sign behind on the bridges or walls for good it could be considered littering; it would certainly be rude if you just left it to get all torn and tattered, so if you're representing yourself as Marcia's friend, then please leave a clean scene. I don't remember a lot of discussion about the police hassling anyone...maybe at that point they all figured it was better to have a few freewaybloggers around the country than having a bunch more people occupying an intersection at rush hour in LA instead. Or maybe they were just under the radar for a long time, and it looked like a mainstream mode of expression more than any organized campaign...

When they wound it down in 2008, they used the photos to make a collage documenting their collective protest - people from all over the country - maybe the world - contributed. Hit the site; they have some great ideas - I really forgot how much I learned from them until visiting it again this weekend.  

I must have used their strategies and organization as something of a template - either that, or we all just organically produced this stuff because we've been reading similar literature and share an attraction to anarchy. But I think it's the same art of resistance that's been around for centuries. They even have a page that demonstrates the art of painting a good sign, like how I laid out the gear bag: we're all really visual, experiential learners. 

Thanks for this tip, by the way, jahn brahn! (had to take the photos myself, but it was worth it) Can't tell what it's made out of from there. I'll let you all know if I get any flack about it, since freewayblogging was one of my original explicit suggestions to the Friends of Marcia Powell. The police all know where I am if it turns out to be a problem (I'm sure that given the messages for the week, it will with someone). I just hope they come by with a notice or citation before they come to serve me with a civil suit or a warrant.

Think good things. 

And take action.


Anonymous said...

The link does not work or they have been inundated?
I love FreewayBloggers!

Anonymous said...

The link is:

Anonymous said...


Prison Abolitionist said...

Thanks for the back up!