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.
This week we air the second half of Bursts conversation with Kevin Tucker. Kevin is an anarcho-primitivist, author and publisher of Black & Green Review. This week we air Kevin’s views about tribal-bro-ism in the white supremacist and macho approach to historical misappropriation, upcoming issues of the journal Black & Green Review, Collapse, Rewilding versus Revolution and more. For a free look at some of Kevin’s writings, visit theanarchistlibrary.org, and to check out his publishing project, journals and books you can visit blackandgreenpress.org
For part one of Bursts’ conversation with Kevin, you can visit our noblogs site!
If you found this conversation interesting, you may enjoy the interviews Bursts conducted with two other anarcho-primitivists on the show over the years. Check out his chats with Layla Abdel-Rahim pt 1 (Layla begins about 40 minutes in) & pt 2 as relates to her philosophy and her book “Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams” and with John Zerzan on the subject of anti-civilization anarchism more widely.
“White Lives Matter” rally in Shelbyville TN, October 28th, Editorial
Online platform The Tennseean has recently been reporting of several white nationalist rallies (called White Lives Matter rallies) that are planned for October 28th in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro TN among perhaps one other town. These spots were chosen by the event organizers, most visibly Brad Griffin, who writes under the alias Hunter Wallace on the blog Occidental Dissent, because of the state’s Republican and red status coupled with a mistrust of law enforcement in what they’re calling “more Democratic towns”. According to a statement that they released on Saturday, The National Socialist Movement, a pro-white organization based out of Detroit, MI, said the group’s “street action” would be broadening its scope to include other small TN towns in the vicinity of Nashville. This same statement claims participation by other groups such as League of the South and the Traditionalist Workers Party. It’s not known how many people will be attending at this time, though the organizers are predictably posturing that it will be a well attended event. The stated purpose of these events is to protest the changing demographic of middle TN, silence from the White House regarding a fatal church shooting in Antioch last month (in which the perpetrator started his early life in Sudan but was a US citizen) and probably some other white nationalist nonsense as well.
According to interviews posted a couple of days ago by WCVS, residents of both Shelbyville and Murfreesboro are both angered at this groups’ presence and confused about why their hometown was chosen. Many statements include disgust at the very message of white nationalism and white lives matter. It’s believed by residents that these groups are outside agitators who are descending on them to disrupt their town and their already scheduled community events, and by doing so are making implicit assumptions about their way of life and of thinking.
All the organizing information is attempting to draw a clear link between these events and the by now internationally famous events in Charlottesville Virginia of August 12 this year, even though that day was a clear loss for those on the side of the alt right. Despite claims, also by the organizers, that the event “will not be violent”, police are gearing up in those cities to prepare for the rallies. Just last night (October 7th), in that same city of Cville, Richard Spencer showed his face and formed a 30 strong, 10 minute long torch march around the doomed Lee Monument (scheduled for removal) in Emancipation Park, the site of their previous defeat. Predictably, police were heavy allies to the Nazis and escorted them away under police protection. If you are disgusted by this, you can call the folks at the CPD and ask them why they’re still helping Neo Nazis do their thing. They can be reached at 434-970-3280. In this post Cville landscape of frenzied and often disorganized white nationalist activity, it is perhaps important to keep these things in our sights and oppose them as best we can.
The exact location of the event has not yet been released, but it might be reasonable to assume that the information will be posted on Griffin’s blog a day or two beforehand. For more information about developments, keep eyes on your favorite anarchist and antifascist news sources!
You can see here the article from which much of this information was pulled.
This week Bursts spoke with Kevin Tucker, anarcho-primitivist, author and publisher of Black & Green Review. We had a rather lengthy conversation, so we’ve split the conversation up. This is the first portion, in which Kevin talks about anarcho-primitivism, domestication, civilization, anthropology and the scientific method, human development, agriculture and more.
In the future episode you can hear his views about tribal-bro-ism in the white supremacist approach to historical misappropriation, upcoming issues of Black & Green Review, Collapse, Rewilding versus Revolution and more. For a free look at some of Kevin’s writings, visit theanarchistlibrary.org, and to check out his publishing project, journals and books you can visit blackandgreenpress.org
Today’s episode premiers October 1st, which is the date of the #CatalanReferendum for independence in that northern region within the bounds of Spain. In the leadup, the Spanish government has violently repressed the efforts to hold this election and the news we’re seeing today is no different. If you’d like to hear a chat I had earlier this week with an English-speaking anarchist who has long resided in Catalunya about Catalan nationalism, autonomy, cultural differences between that region and central Spain, some history and some forecasts of where this referendum and repression may go (always critical of the State and Capital), check out our downloadable podcast.
Also, keep an ear out for an upcoming series of podcast miniepisode ‘s featuring William Budington and Bursts chatting about digital security and safer practices with our devices. We’ve got a couple coming out about practices with Burner Phones and strengths and weaknesses of wrangling with the Signal app for end to end encrypted texts from Open Whisper Systems.
Defend J20: Call in Day for US Attorney Liu
This Monday October 2nd is the last day for a concerted call in effort to urge the US Attorney to drop the charges against the J20 defendants.
You can join the defend j20 crew in welcoming brand new US Attorney Liu to office with a flood of phone calls demanding that the J20 charges be dropped! Sign up at call.usattorneyliu.org to reserve your time slot. The fine folks there will send you an email with more details and a suggested call script. Her number is 202-252-7566, or if you cannot call in you can send a letter to the Judiciary Center Building, 555 Fourth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20530.
October 19th Call for Solidarity
There has been a formal call for solidarity from antifascists around the south to oppose an appearance by the by now internationally infamous white supremacist Batman villan Richard Spencer. It has been officially confirmed that this piece of white bread is going to be spewing pseudo intellectual and only marginally intelligible xenophobic racism at University of Florida in Gainesville on October 19th, which is in just over 2 and a half weeks from now.
You can see the entire formal call for solidarity, plus some important context that includes recent history and what to be prepared for, at It’s Going Down.
You can get in touch if you want to endorse this call and are planning on being there in solidarity by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Support Herman Bell!
“Black Panther Party political prisoner Herman Bell was viciously assaulted by guards at Great Meadow Correctional Facility (Comstock) on September 5, 2017. While being “escorted” by a guard back to his housing unit, a guard struck Herman, age 69, in the face causing his glasses to drop to the floor. He pushed Herman against the wall, Herman stumbled and fell to the ground. The guard then continued viciously hitting and kicking Herman. Very soon about 5 other guards arrived and joined in the violent attack, hitting and kicking Herman all over his body.
Herman Bell has now been charged with “assault on staff.” Defying common sense, they allege that Herman, for no apparent reason, slapped the guard escorting him. He did this, they claim, in a location out of the view of all inmates but in the presence of other guards. He is now in the Special Housing Unit (box) at Five Points Correctional Facility where he was transferred after the incident.
Herman Bell has not had a disciplinary violation in over 20 years. He had been scheduled to begin a three day family visit with his wife a few days after the incident, their first such visit in over 2 1/2 years. In addition he is to appear before the parole board, for the 8th time, in February 2018.
At this time, we are encouraging everyone to take the time to write to Herman or send him a get-well card, so that the authorities know we are concerned for Herman. Further requests for actions of support will be posted soon.
His new address is:
Herman Bell 79 C 0262
Five Points CF
6600 State Route 96
Caller Box 119
Romulus, N.Y. 14541
Friends and family are also encouraging supporters to email Commissioner Anthony Annucci, to let him know that folks are keeping tabs on Mr. Bell’s situation. Commissioner Annucci’s email address is: Anthony.Annucci@doccs.ny.gov
Comrade Malik, a tireless writer and organizer who’s been very active in exposing unsafe conditions at the Eastham Unit in Texas, is facing retaliation from prison staff, and is asking supporters to email the Texas Ombudsman to prevent any further action being taken against him. You can find out more information at Action Needed to Fight Retaliation at the Eastham Unit!
Support Shaka Shakur and Angaza Bahar
At the Wabash Valley Correctional Institute in Indiana, Shaka Shakur, who is a political prisoner, defended himself against mistreatment by guards, and another, Angaza Iman Bahar (Jimmy Jones), who helped alert the outside world to the situation, are both facing disciplinary charges.
Wabash Valley Correctional has been getting a reputation for “a culture of sadism [in which] guards take pride and find humor in their mistreatment of inmates, especially Black and New Afrikan inmates whom they expose to every kind of abuse and humiliation.” IDOC Watch are asking people to call in so the prison knows that they both have outside support.