This is the first standalone episode of Error451, The Final Straw’s occasionally weekly podcast featuring a conversation between Bursts and William Budington about tech, security and safer practices. Upcoming episodes include how to avoid leaking info while using maps on your device and safer practices at borders. If you have other topics you’d like to see covered, drop us a line at email@example.com
In this episode, we have a brief conversation about the idea of burner phones, mobile devices kept insulated from the users personal information and which can just be dumped when no longer useful. We talk about reasons one might use them, approaches to getting them and using them and how to dispose of them after usefulness has ceased.
Hopefully you’ll find this helpful in your endeavors!
This is episode number 6 of “B(A)D NEWS – Angry voices from around the world”, a news program from the international network of anarchist and antiauthoritarian radios, consisting of short news segments from different parts of the world.
– Infolora, Switzerland: the struggle against the expansion of the deportation prison Bässlergut, in Basel
– Radio Fragmata, Thesalonika: the case of 2 Political Prisoners
– 1431 am, Thesalonika: workers issues
– Dissident Island, UK: news about arms trade campaigners and the general legal context in the UK
– A-Radio Berlín: comment about Santiago Maldonado, an anarchist murder in Argentina because of the Mapuche struggles
– Radio Kurruf, Chile: news about the trials against the Mapuche struggle
– Radiozones Of Subversive Expressions/98FM, Athens: updates on attacks on politicians in Greece, attacks by racists on refugees, refugee organizing in Lesvos and more
This week we are featuring a recording from an Anti-Repression panel that took place in Denver in October of this year. The sound quality is affected by a fan system that the venue had running, but the words are well worth hearing.
For the hour, we’ll hear words from a few perspectives of resistance in the U.S. currently. First, we hear from Danica from occupied territory of Portland about work around anti-colonial antifa resistance and self-defense in the North West. Next up, Firehawk talks about work in un-ceded Pueblo, Colorado, about working with femme, queer & trans prison rebels, Unstoppable zine and The Fire Inside project. Montana talks about autonomous relief work in Houston after Hurricane Harvey and the slow-disaster that is white supremacist capitalism in Texas. We hear from Jude talking about the J20 conspiracy cases coming out of the Inauguration, the court case moving forward and up til a few weeks ago. Finally, we hear from Jess who has been working with Water Protectors doing legal collective work up in so-called North Dakota mostly around #StandingRock with a very in-dept report-back on wider repression and specific case details.
A few updates are worth mentioning in the J20 case since Jude spoke on this panel: the first defendant convicted, Dane Powell, has been released and there is a linked support site for his post-release; two of the riot charges have been dropped down from Felony to Misdemeanor; & the first court dates have been moved forward to November 15th and info about how to help with court support can be found at Its Going Down.
As stated above, 2 of the initial 8 felony charges (‘engaging in riot’ and ‘conspiracy to riot’) have been dropped to misdemeanors, thus shaving decades from the potential sentences of the defendants. We here at The Final Straw suggest that Judge Leibovitz use a secure tor browser and visit https://dropj20.org to learn more about ending this expensive, insulting and dangerous act of political persecution that is the J20 case.
This week William had the opportunity to speak with someone who works closely with the group Cascadia Forest Defenders, which is based around Eugene Oregon. This crew has been opposing logging in the Willamette National Forest, and was recently driven out of the camp by forest workers and employees of Seneca Jones Timber Company. We talk about this incident, plus much much more in the way of contextualizing and re-contextualizing forest defense in a time of climate change, plus some important things to keep in mind if you are looking to join established political movements like this. More on this group, this struggle, and the many ways to get involved can be found at forestdefensenow.com
To follow up on something that I said toward the beginning of the interview, about logging around the Asheville area, there were plans in place to log in the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests as of 2014. The stated reasons for this logging were environmental and maintenance minded in nature, but it’s thought that those endeavors would help literally pave the way for future commercial logging by establishing a roadway system through the forest.
As promised, here are some links for further reading:
The J20 inauguration arrestees case is starting on November 15th. There is a call out for court support including note takers, as well as folks to fill the court in their finest black dress clothes, also for fundraising and any legal support you can muster. For a really good article on the topic, check out https://itsgoingdown.org/j20-case-need-know/ . Despite the good news that 2 of the Felony “Riot” and “Conspiracy To Riot” charges being dropped down to Misdemeanors this case still has a long way to go.
And a few local announcements from Blue Ridge ABC
For those in the Asheville area coming up Blue Ridge Anarchist Black Cross has 3 events we’d like to share with you. Firstly, today from 5pm to 7:30pm BRABC will be hosting it’s monthly Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night. The first Sunday of every month, join BRABC, who’ll provide stationary, stamps, pens, camaraderie and the addresses of political prisoners with upcoming birthdays you can write to. Or, just take the time to hang, or write to someone you know behind bars. This month, they’ll also be showing TROUBLE #7 about anarchist disaster relief in the Western Hemisphere plus maybe another film.
The pre-registration for BRABC’s benefit Ping Pong Tournament is coming up fast. If you wanna play and help earn some money for legal support coffers, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 12th and then show up November 15th at 6:30pm at the Standard Pizza at 755 Biltmore Ave in South Asheville to battle for a good cause. If space allows and you miss the pre-register, show up the day of and there might be a spot.
On Friday, November 17th at 9pm at The Mothlight in West Asheville, get ready for a #ItsARiot benefit comedy show for autonomous disaster relief efforts in Mexico City and Oaxaca in the aftermath of 3 deadly and destructive earthquakes this year and an incredibly inept government response. Door donations will go to some of the folks on the ground in those cities. The night of comedy will be hosted by Moira Goree, featuring the stylings of Kira Magcalen, Chesney Goodson and a special
guest. More info on these and other events from Blue Ridge Anarchist Black Cross can be found at https://brabc.blackblogs.org
Sole and Bursts Podcast Eminent
Also, keep an eye on our website, thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org, this week for a special podcast conversation between Bursts and the anarchist hip hop artist, podcaster and rad dad outta Denver, Sole. Should be dropping Tuesday. We talked about Channel Zero Network, about prisoner support, the J20 inauguration case, the Situationists and a bunch of other topics. You can hear some of Sole’s work including his podcasts at his website.
This week, we share a conversation that Bursts had with Betsy Raasch-Gilman. Betsy is a lifelong Quaker, feminist and anti-capitalist. She talks about her experiences organizing as an anarchist during the Cold War with Movement for a New Society, difficulties of critiquing capitalism within the peace movement, anti-nuke organizing, modeling consensus and affinity group organizing, alternative and cooperative models, attempting to ground organizing in anti-racism, separatism, organizing with the Marxist Left and more. Later in the conversation, Betsy talks about her engagement in the RNC Welcoming Committee against the 2008 Twin Cities Republican National Convention, the conspiracy trial that she almost got roped into, security culture and police spies and what she’s excited about now in the current terrain.
You can find out more about the work that Betsy is doing these days, check out Training For Change.
This week we are presenting two anarchist voices regarding DACA, among many other things. DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and has been in the news recently because of a stay on this program by the current administration.
I should say that these two interviews were conducted separately, and I am trying something different regarding their presentation, namely weaving the two of them together in the way that seemed to make the most sense to me so as to present all the information in the most succinct way, all in the same place, while still trying to preserve the arcs of both interviews. I’m still not really sure how I feel about this radio tactic, and I’m seeking opinions from listeners if you feel moved to shoot me an email via email@example.com.
The two interviews were very different, and from slightly different
perspectives though the two interviewees were both anarchists and both living in North Carolina. We talk about DACA and its histories, some psychological and logistical impacts of this stay on affected communities, and the mental calisthenics involved in being an anarchist while living in a world so saturated by the state and all it entails.
If you enjoyed this presentation, both of the interviews in their entirety including my replies and questions are on The Final Straw
Radio’s archive.org collection for anyone to listen to. Just visit
archive.org and search The Final Straw Radio Collection and navigate to the post entitled “DACA interviews, full versions”.
The interviewers recommend getting in touch with regional
organizations for solidarity and resources where possible. CIMA operates out of Asheville, and stands for Compañeros Inmigrantes de las Montañas en Acción, which is “a regional network connecting and strengthening organizations that empower Latino communities in Western North Carolina. At one point about 25 organizations actively participate in the coalition.” You can follow them on the web at http://cimawnc.org/ and email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d like to share a Final Straw Radio mini-episode, a conversation with Emilio of the currently unofficial Sonoma County IWW, or Industrial Workers of the World. This chapter doesn’t yet have an official charter but they were in the process or organizing one when the fires in Northern California started last week and have used this as a platform for fund-raising and trying to work out solidarity relief in Santa Rosa, the seat of Sonoma County. For this chat, Emilio and I talk about the weather patterns of northern coastal California, relief efforts by the Red Cross and other NGO’s around shelter and care distribution, what their nascent chapter of the IWW is trying to do and related topics. To find more about their chapter, you can go onto fedbook and stay tuned in the conversation for their relief phone number, a few material needs you can provide from a distance and ways to get involved if you’re in the area.
syriza changes Law
attack on the french institute of athens
harm of environment / shipowner and gold mining
law about the gender issue
15 years of prison in cause of self-defence
attack against goethe intitut of athens
several actions of a anarchist group
*Interview about the case of Herman Bell
(- who is a beloved organizer and family member, a political prisoner clocking 44 years behind bars, and former member of the black panther party. they
spoke to his daughter in law, kihana Ross, about recent developments in
First this week, we had the opportunity to speak with Dr Kihana Mariah Ross, who is the daughter in law of Herman Bell, a former member of the Black Panther Party and a political prisoner who is currently clocking 44 years behind bars. We will speak about recent developments in his case, plus some historical context, and actionable items moving forward.
To learn more about Herman Bell and to read some of his writings, you can visit freehermanbell.org. To send him a card – and be aware that his 70th birthday is on January 14th and his upcoming parole hearing is in February 2018 – you can write to him at
Herman Bell 79 C 0262
P.O. Box 700
Wallkill, NY 12589-0700
How Best to use Signal?
In the second segment of today’s episode, we’ll air another conversation with William Budington, a digital security expert and trainer about the Signal end-to-end text encryption app for smart phones and desktops. Signal, produced by WhisperSys, is an easy to use, free means for folks to avoid one type of surveillance in their day to day communication. The ubiquitous, normalized use of encryption shields the purpose of the use, obscuring whether the practice is to shield illegal activity or not. In the conversation we talk about the human failure side of communication, as well as the informational leakage possibilities of the devices we use to engage Signal app. If you really enjoy the pie-baking/Betty Crocker metaphor, don’t despair, it doesn’t end with this segment. Check out more on this topic in our occasional series, Error451.
Stay tuned soon for a conversation with William about burner phones and more. If you have a topic about digital security, devices and programs, surveillance or related topics, leave us a suggestion at email@example.com ! If you want our pgp key, check our website.
Now, it’s my turn for a brief editorial, dear listeners. This is Bursts. I grew up in a part of so-called California known as Sonoma County, lands stolen from the Pomo and the Miwok peoples first by the Spanish, then by Mexico and Russia and then the U.S. I lived there from the mid-1980’s through 2009 and consider it my home in a way I could no other place. The rolling hills, the foggy mornings, the Coastal Live Oak groves, the nasty but 100 year old Eucalyptis groves, the early evening sky that turns a goldish orange into purple, the Manzanita, the people, the ocean breeze coming out from Bodega. These are things that I remember fondly from the deeply damaged yet still beautiful biome I called home for most (and definitely the more formative years) of my life.
This has been a year for spectacular disasters around this hemisphere, with a record 10th hurricane now appearing in the Carribean and southern U.S., 2 major earthquakes rocking Mexico and now the fires in Northern and Southern California. The fires in the north, which I’ve been paying more attention to because they QUITE literally bring home to me a sense of devastation I still haven’t been able to digest from this distance, have been whipped up by winds, a seasonal dryness out of the ordinary and fed by the aftermath of a wet winter that created a ton of easy-to-burn fuels. California has long been racked by fires, but never this many deaths and never have they consumed large parts of cities as they have with Santa Rosa. Thousands of homes have been turned to ash, monuments standing over a hundred years are cinders, human and non-human animals have been killed, damaged and displaced. California is yet another part of the world feeling the first hand effects of anthropogenic climate change, after years of over-taxing it’s water levels with large scale and animal and food agriculture, it’s manicured industrial lawns, the barely regulated weed industry booming, the building of human settlements in the middle of deserts and the idea promoted by high levels of industry and state that as the 6th largest economy in the world it could buy itself climate chaos. Day by day, year by year, this is proven more and more a delusion. But I digress.
I’d like to give a shout out to the brave folks doing search and rescue in my home away from home, the neighbors who look out for each other, that roused each other from sleep to escape the fire storms, who shelter and feed each other. Also to the fire professionals who are working to fight back the fires. An element of this that is under reported, of course, is the fact that over a thousand prisoners of the state of California and it’s included counties, are putting their lives on the line for $1 to $2.56 a day to train and then fight these blazes. That can be compared to the $31.85 an hour of the median hourly wage for non-inmate firefighters. I would like to bring this up because as the climate becomes more chaotic and the ever-tighter squeeze of austerity capitalism turns further and further away from more sustainable and stable incomes like unionized firefighters this continues a nasty trend.
Putting prisoners on the fire lines to fight the blazes, while more deadly for them than other modes of work, arguably offers them a potentially more meaningful and lucrative engagement with community service. This also fuels the profit motive of governments bent on incarcerating mostly poor communities of color, often people with chemical dependencies and neuro-divergencies the state can’t be bothered to treat but to stick them in a concrete and steel cage. More prisoners means more low-pay and expendable firefighters who’s crime was to be born the wrong color or class in the age of mass incarceration. I don’t bring this up to denigrate those risking themselves to save lives and homes, whether a prisoner or not, but to point out that this is not how a community organizes itself for it’s members, this is the logic of capital and thus streams value to the top of the pyramid.
My heart goes out to those who suffer at the hands of these fires. Let’s fight for futures where we are better prepared, where we don’t employ slave labor to fight them, and everyone has what they need to live in true community, which means true accountability to the impact of our survival on the non-human environment with which we share this awesome world.