The Final Straw Radio is a terrestrial radio show and podcast started in 2009 featuring information by, for and about anarchists and other anti-authoritarians. The show airs weekly on Sundays from 2-3pm EST out of Asheville, NC, USA.
This week, Bursts was joined by Pat Boyle, a collective member at Unicorn Riot (more about them later in this post), radical independent media project. We chatted about crypto-currency, Bitcoin in particular, technologies and strategies involved in the implementation of crypto-currency, recent comings to light of increased wealth coming via Bitcoin into the hands of far right racists and ecological impacts of crypto-mining.
As to the far right, we referenced an article from IdaVox and one from Mic.com, as well as the twitterbot @NeoNaziWallets that can be visited to track transactions with the bitcoin wallets of well-known white supremacists.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange trading of Bitcoin was brought up a few times, and it was just introduced to the Private, or secondary, Market of the NASDAQ.
This week we spoke with members of The Base, which is an anarchist space in New York City, about the newly formed Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement NYC Community Bail Fund. In this episode we talk about the concept of bail and its origins, what folks have happen to them from the moment of arrest to the moment bail is set, what it means to have an explicitly abolitionist bail fund, the intricacies of the corporate bail bond system, and many many other topics! We end with a surprise follow up question to our previous interview about Burn Down the American Plantation, a text which our guests authored and put out earlier in 2017. To hear that previous interview, you can go to our blogpost about it and listen for free!
It was announced today that members of Hudson Valley Earth First! is in the second day of a tree-sit to stop the Valley Lateral Pipeline in Wawayanda, New York. From their press release:
On December 8th, 2017, Millennium Pipeline Company started clearing trees for the Valley Lateral Pipeline, which would connect fracked natural gas from the existing Millennium Pipeline to the scandal-ridden, toxic Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Power Plant. Courts and government
will never protect the land, but these brave beings have put their lives on the line to save endangered species and sacred wilderness.
Day 2: We have a direct update from one of our treesitters:
“Cut trees leading toward wetlands and eagles nest and to wetlands and farm fields and forests where I hear cutting. Pretty quiet where I am. Swaying in the breeze a bit this morning. Trying to keep snow from getting in warm bags and that’s working well. This fight is only beginning and this is the first known actual treesit in the Hudson valley ever. We need more affinity groups willing to take action against these projects and their world. CPV. Millennium. Legoland and that which destroys this bioregion. Minisink Lenape indigenous land.”
If this 7.8 mile pipeline is completed, it would run through ecosystems which contain, and have the potential to contain, endangered species such as the Bald Eagle(a mating pair is known to live 30 feet from the right-of-way), the Indiana Bat, and the Bog Turtle. Additionally, if the CPV plant is fueled, the pollution from the plant release tons of chemicals known to increase cancer and asthma rates in nearby areas.
This pipeline is the bottleneck to stopping this plant. Aides to Gov. Cuomo and CPV executives go to trial in January over a bribery scandal. Also, if the pipeline is stopped before August 2018, the CPV plant will likely go bankrupt and this beautiful bioregion will be spared from further ecological destruction. After nearly 6 years of fighting this project, we are running out of options.
Tree sits are a form of aerial blockade where individuals rig themselves in trees or sit on a small platforms hoisted into trees to prevent the cutting of that tree. Additionally the rigging of the treesitter’s platform can be attached to other trees to protect an entire area of forest. This tactic relies upon the unwillingness of a logger/company to take human life in the pursuit of economic enterprise, like the building of an unnecessary and polluting pipeline. Tree sits can be long term endeavors, and Hudson Valley Earth First! is prepared to stay in the trees as long as it takes to protect the wild!!
If you’re in the Asheville area, stay tuned the next two weeks during Words To Live By at 1pm on 103.3 wsfm-lp, before The Final Straw, where we will air radio shows from the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts and radios, of which we are a proud member. Tell your friends!
Also in Asheville, at 7pm at the County Jail on New Years Eve there will be a noise demonstration against the current jail, against the proposed new women’s facility and for a world without incarceration. If you bring noisemakers and signs, it’s hoped that participants can get the attention of folks on the outside to the failure of the carceral state to bring justice, only the immiseration of marginalized individuals and their communities while lining the pockets of the state and capital. And to reach out to those on the inside to let them know that we’re thinking of them. Here‘s where you can find the flyers!
Error451 tech podcast
If you haven’t yet, we’d like to invite you to check out our ongoing new podcast series entitled Error451. An html451 error delineates a page being unavailable due to political censorship, a reference to Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451. Well, our occasionally weekly podcast features Bursts chatting with different folks about tech security issues from an anarchist perspective.
This week, rather than our usual guest, William Budington from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, we’ll be joined by Pat Boyle from Unicorn Riot to talk about crypto-currencies like Bitcoin, the increased usage to enrich the far-right and how we can fight back. You can find this on Wednesday, alongside past issues of Error451 and this here Final Straw Radio show at thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org!
This week, William Budington chats with Bursts about the recent exposé published by Yael Grauer at The Intercept about research by Exodus and Yale Research Group leading to the findings that hundreds of common apps available from the Android Google Play Store contain clandestine tracking apps, allowing for the scooping up of the data a phone user gives off throughout their use of the device. Ever wonder why a free flashlight app needs permission to access your microphone? Here’s why!
We also chat a bit about F-Droid, a platform for free and open-source apps outside of the Play Store, many designed at increased transparency of device usage.
At one point, Bursts brings up criticisms aired about the F-Droid repository by Moxie Marlinspike, a founder of Open Whisper Systems, which makes the Signal App for free end-to-end encryption. William is kind enough to explain what the concerns come from and his views on the subject.
This week we feature two segments. The first is a roundtable discussion with producers from various audio projects around North America that focus on prisoner struggles and amplifying incarcerated voices. In the chat you’ll hear from me, two producers of The Prison Radio show on CFRC radio in Kingston, Ontario, a producer of the Prison Radio Show on CKUT from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and a producer of the June11 audio series released this last year and revving to mark the day in solidarity with Marius Mason and other long term anarchist and ecological prisoners.
Follow-Up with Walid Zazai on Manus Island
The second conversation is an update from Walid Zazai, the 24 year old Afghani man being held on Manus Island off of the coast of Papua New Guinea. Walid has been in detention for 4 years now awaiting resettlement at the pleasure of the government of Australia. We spoke with Walid two weeks ago after the Manus Regional Processing Centre in which he was living had been closed and he and roughly 450 other refugees stayed in protest of their longtime lack of freedom of movement and the violence they feared from PNG security forces and locals on the island. More coverage of the struggle immigrants against the Australian border authorities and other updates from the Oceania can be found on the long running Anarchist radio show based there, Subversion1312. Subversion1312 is also a recently added member of the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts.
Now For Some Fun Events
If you’re in the Asheville area today (December 3rd 2017), at 5pm at Firestorm Books and Coffee, Blue Ridge ABC will be hosting it’s monthly letter writing session, where you can swing by, find out about political prisoners in the U.S., write to some with upcoming birthdays and meet other local radicals. After that, tonight at 8pm at the Lazy Diamond, 98-A, North Lexington Ave in downtown Asheville, comrades will be hosting a Radical Trivia night to benefit the 2nd Asheville Carolina Anarchist Bookfair, or ACAB2018, planned for this summer. Alone or in teams, you are invited to test your wits on subjects of Black Liberation, Anarchist History, Queer Resistance and more. A cash prize will go to the winning team or individual.
This week on the occasionally-weekly tech podcast from The Final Straw, Error451, Bursts and guest William Budington, a tech security expert, talk about Net Neutrality. The context is that it’s back in the news as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai appears to be pushing for the revocation of the 2015 FCC decision to declare the Internet a Title II public utility in U.S. law. The upside of this is that access to un-inhindered Internet is then supposedly enshrined in the law as a public good. The current make up of the court includes 3 Republicans (including Pai) and 2 Democrats, so if a vote happens in mid-December along party lines, the Title II status may be revoked, possibly allowing for tiered access, which would possibly allow internet service providers and comms giants who are the gatekeepers to the web to throttle access to lower-paying services or outright deny access to certain sites and services.
We chat about how Tiered Access looks in countries like Portugal, the very curious padding of at least 1.1 million online submissions to the FCC’s Open Comment period misrepresenting U.S. voters perspectives on Net Neutrality and the FCC’s apparent disinterest in investigating the stunt.
William suggests that one action listeners can take immediately, which sadly is far from a direct action is to lobby congresspeople to block the move by Chairman Pai and protect the Internet as it is. He suggests visiting BattleForTheNet.Com and petitioning the powers that be via their suggestions. As far as a wider lense of what we might do to increase autonomy and integrity in our information technologies, William suggests listeners check out and start playing with Mesh Networking technologies. Mentioned in the episode are People’s Open in Oakland, CA, USA & Friefunk in Germany
This week we spoke with Eleanor Goldfield, who is an activist on the far left and a proponent of creative activism, a stance that centers creative approaches to direct action with the aim of leading people to interrogate their own politics on an emotional and psychological level. From her website: “Creative Activism is outreach and change through the mediums that appeal to all people and all of people – their emotions, conscience and intellect, in that order. It places itself at the intersection of pop culture and politics, bringing the two together.”
We talk about different approaches to politics and direct action, as well as her new book Paradigm Lost; Radical Verse and Visuals for the Shift, which is a collection of her original spoken word poetry accompanied by mixed media artwork from around a dozen artists. We also talk about the book and her upcoming performance date in Asheville on December 9th at Firestorm Books and Coffee!
To see more of Eleanor Goldfield’s work, including links to the musical project Rooftop Revolutionaries, information about the media project Act Out! (available on occupy.com and Free Speech TV) and many more writings, you can visit artkillingapathy.com.
The radio version has some material cut due to length, though the podcast version has all those pieces included back in. To see that version, plus archives of this show, you can visit thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org.
Announces for Asheville
Next Sunday, December 3rd, Blue Ridge ABC does it’s monthly letter writing night at Firestorm Books & Coffee from 5:30 til 7:30pm. Paper, pens, stamps, envelopes and the addresses and info on political prisoners in the U.S., particularly those having upcoming birthdays, are all available for free! Come on by and send someone behind bars some kind words.
After that at 8pm you can join folks across town for a game of Radical Trivia. This event is 21 and up, happening at the Lazy Diamond bar at 98-A N. Lexington Ave, there’ll be some potluck food for sharing and a cash prize for the winning team or person. To form a team and get on the roster, you can drop an email to jtheophilos@gmail or sign up at the night of. This event will benefit the 2018 Asheville Anarchist Bookfair happing in the summer. Various levels of knowledge are welcome and topics will span a few categories.
In perfect timing for holiday driving many will be doing in the U.S., we’re releasing episode 3 of Error451, The Final Straw’s occasionally weekly tech security podcast with William Budington. This episode is about GPS navigation on mobile devices and ways to use it without disclosing your information to service providers.
Oh, hand here’s a link to one of those Motherboard chat logs about Mr. Robot.
This week on the Final Straw we feature 2 interviews.
Walid, an asylum seeker held at the Manus Regional Process Center, Papua New Guinea
First up, you’ll hear a conversation that Bursts had with a refugee seeking asylum in Australia. His name is Walid, he is 24 years old and from Afghanistan. Manus Regional Processing Centre, where Walid is being held alongside nearly 450 other men, is a facility on Papua New Guinea on the PNG Lombrum Naval Base. The processing center, from here out called Manus for short or MRPC, was run up until October 31st by the Spanish multinational company Grupo Ferrovial on behalf of the Australian Government as a way of off-shoring the housing of people seeking asylum. The center was closed October 31st after the Papuan Supreme Court determined the facility unconstitutional in breech of the promise of personal liberty.
So, the Australian government withdrew it’s medical workers, shut off electricity and water and food shipments. However, the residents of MRPC have refused to be resettled into other facilities in PNG due to fears of physical harm by members of the PNG Defence Forces, as is alleged to have happened in April of this year, as well as violence coming from local gangs wielding machetes and other weapons. The population of the island is just short of 6,000 people and locals have expressed concern that resettlement would affect their economy greatly. In the conversation, Walid mentions two fellows from the MRPC who were found recently hung by their necks in the jungle near the Processing Centre as a proof of danger the refugees face if they leave the premises.
The Obama administration had agreed in 2016 to resettle many of Australia’s asylum seekers. However, do you remember that first presidential phone call that Trump made, where he ended by saying it was a stupid deal and it was the worst conversation ever? That was #45 chatting with Australia’s Prime Minister Turnbull about the resettlement deal for refugees on Nauru and Manus Islands. Cancelling that at the time fed into the issues in PNG & Australia’s national politics with the refugees being caught in the middle as pawns. The U.S. has now apparently changed it’s tune about the Asylum seekers, having applied for whatever “extreme vetting” it was seeking and has taken in 24 of the men and resettling them.
I will admit to being a bit ignorant of the situation in Manus that people like Walid are facing, but what I do understand is this: borders are imprisoning some of the most marginalized people fleeing dangerous situations and holding them in dire circumstances. The men at the Manus Regional Processing Centre are refusing to leave for fear of their lives and in hopes of reaching a safer space and are being starved by bureaucracy. And many Australians are voicing a desire to resettle these people on the mainland.
We at the Final Straw wish the residents of MRPC the best of luck and solidarity and will continue to air their words as we receive them.
Aaaaalso, a big big big thanks to Linda from Subversion1312 podcast for helping us make this contact with Walid and with some pointers on the questions. Definitely check out their work, it’s (under various names) one of the longer running English-language anarchist radio shows and is jam packed
Sara Falconer and Daniel McGowan on the 2018 Certain Days Calendar for Political Prisoners
Secondly, we are airing an interview presented recently by the Which Side media collective with Sara Falconer and Daniel McGowan about the 2018 Certain Days Calendar for Political Prisoners. Jordan Halliday and Jeremy Parkin host the interview, and range along a wide array of ideas and topics.
From the show notes “The calendar is a joint fundraising and educational project between outside organizers in Montreal and Toronto, and three political prisoners being held in maximum-security prisons in New York State: David Gilbert, Robert Seth Hayes and Herman Bell. The initial project was suggested by Herman, and has been shaped throughout the process by all of our ideas, discussions, and analysis. All of the members of the outside collective are involved in day-to-day organizing work other than the calendar, on issues ranging from refugee and immigrant solidarity to community media to prisoner justice. We work from an anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, feminist, queer and trans positive position.”
If you’d like to hear The Final Straw’s conversation with Herman Bell’s daughter in law Dr Kihana Ross which details the incident mentioned in the interview plus some more about his case, you can visit our website.
Whichside Podcast is a member of the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts, of which we are as well. Check out our website for a steady stream of up to date anarchist audios and keep an eye out for our mobile app coming soon.
Audios of Interest:
Just a heads up, if you missed it. we launched our occasionally weekly intro to tech security podcast series, Error451 this week with a conversation on safer approaches to burner phones. Check it out and keep an ear out for more!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
– Infolora, Zurich: the struggle against the expansion of the deportation prison Bässlergut, in Basel
– Radio Fragmata, Athens: the case of 2 Political Prisoners
– 1431 am, Thesalonika: workers issues
– Dissident Island, London: 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