Category Archives: activism

Indigenous Space and Decolonizing Prison Abolition

Indigenous Space and Decolonizing Prison Abolition

(Sean Swain starts at 05min, 12 sec)

Ni Frontiers Ni Prison

(starts 12min, 08sec)

Download Episode Here

Today we have a two part show! In the first part we are presenting a conversation with someone from Ni Frontiers Ni Prison, which is a group in so called Canada that is resisting the proposed construction of a new migrant prison in Laval, a town just outside of Montreal. This is a transcript of the original audio, read for the show by Grier, shout out to him! In this interview we talk about the prison and what it would mean for people who’d be most affected by it, the general rise of far right sentiment in so called Canada, and many more topics.

The interviewee names the place they are based as occupied Tio’tia:ke (jo-jahg’-eh), which is the original indigenous name for so called Montreal, the colonizer name. The naming of indigenous land will continue throughout the interview with various locations in the name of decolonization, though Tio’tia:ke is the one which will be the most prominent.

As an audio note to all those paying attention, a fridge turns on midway through the interview then turns back off nearing the end, we’ve tried to minimize the background noise but it’s still somewhat noticeable.

Music for the intro and outro by A Tribe Called Red with Stadium Pow Wow.

Contact

To get in touch with this group you can email them at nifrontieresniprisons@riseup.net and for updates and further ways to get involved you can find them at facebook.com/nifrontiersniprison, or follow the link to visit the clearing house of information and pieces about this resistance. If you would like a zine copy of the transcript to this show, you can email us at thefinalstrawradio@riseup.net or thefinalstrawradio@protonmail.com.

Some links to historical events mentioned by our guest relating to Canada’s’ treatment of immigrants and refugees:

Chinese Head Tax“, a policy which “meant to discourage Chinese people from entering Canada after the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway”, a government project which I conjecture used a bunch of precarious and immigrant labor in order to complete.

Komagata Maru Incident, the historic entry denial of a group of Indian refugees seeking entry into Canada on the Japanese steamship Komagata Maru in 1914, resulting in the death of 20 Sikh people at the hands of the then occupying British government.

None Is Too Many” policy for Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust, an anti Semitic stance that put people who were fleeing Nazi terror in further danger and possible death.

Robert Free on the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center

(starts at 38min, 04sec)

Next we’ll hear an interview with Robert Free, a long-term Seattle, WA resident and Tewa (pronounced tay-oh-wa) Native American. We discuss the history of the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center, a cultural and resource center for urban Native Americans in Seattle and the surrounding communities. The Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center was established after a series of protests and occupations in 1970 of Fort Lawton, an army base that had previously occupied the park. Robert Free discusses the influencing factors of that time, some of the finer points of the occupations, as well as the implications of protesting and occupation on stolen native land.

More info on the Daybreak center can be found at https://unitedindians.org/daybreak-star-center/

Some of the names and events mentioned in this chat you may recognize from our February 17th, 2019, episode of The Final Straw when we had the pleasure to speak with Paulette D’auteuil, about the case of long-term American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier. More info on Peltier’s case can be found at whoisleonardpeltier.info

. … . ..

Next week we hope to bring you a conversation with support crew for incarcerated former military whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who is now imprisoned for refusing to testify before a Grand Jury. More on her case can be found at https://xychelsea.is including links for donating towards her fundraising goal for legal costs aiming at 150 thousand smackeroos.

. … . ..

Free Masonique Saunders!

From her support website:

On December 7, 2018, Columbus police murdered 16 year old Julius Ervin Tate Jr.. On December 13, they arrested his 16 year old girlfriend, Masonique Saunders, charging her with the murder they committed.

Masonique is being charged with aggravated robbery and felony murder, and is currently being held in juvenile detention. The police have alleged that Julius attempted to rob, and pulled a gun on a police officer, and that Masonique was involved in said robbery. Felony murder means that if you commit a felony and someone dies as a result of that crime you can be charged with their murder.

We believe that these charges are unjust, and demand the freedom of this 16 year old Black girl and justice for the family of Julius Tate!

To help Masonique and her family, donate to her GoFundMe.

Donate to the Tate family here.

BRABC events

A quick reminder, if you’re in the Asheville area this coming week, Blue Ridge Anarchist Black Cross is hosting two events. On Friday, April 4th from 6:30 to 8pm at Firestorm, (as we do every first Friday of the month) BRABC will show the latest episode of Trouble, by sub.Media. Episode 19 focuses on Technology and Social Control. After the ½ hour video we’ll turn chairs around and have a discussion of the film for those who’d like. Then, on Sunday, April 6th from 5-7pm as BRABC does every first Sunday of the month, we’ll be hosting a monthly letter writing event. We’ll provide names, addresses, backstories, postage and stationary.

Prisoners we’ll focus on are longterm political prisoners from Black liberation, to Earth and Animal Liberation, to anti-police violence activists caught up in prison whose birthdays are coming up or who are facing severe repression. Or, just come and write a letter you’ve been meaning to write to someone else. It’s a nice environ for that sort of thing.

Extinction Rebellion week of action

The movement to halt and roll back human driven climate change called Extinction Rebellion is planning some upcoming events in the so-called U.S. in line with a worldwide call for action over the week of April 15-22nd. Check out https://extinctionrebellion.us/rebellion-week for info and ways to plug in. If you’re in the L.A. area, see our shownotes for a fedbook link to some of their upcoming events. And remember, practice good security culture by not giving up as little info as possible. Keeping your info more secure today ensures your ability to fight with less hindrance tomorrow!

Marius Mason moved

Anarchist political prisoner Marius Mason has been moved to a prison in Connecticut, a change viewed as a success by his supporters as he’s closer to family by hundreds of miles. If you’d like to write him a letter to welcome him to his new place, consider writing him at the following site, but make sure to address it as follows:

Marie (Marius) Mason 04672-061
FCI DANBURY
Route 37
Danbury, CT 06811

Fire at the Highlander

Now, here’s a statement by the Highlander Research and Education Center outside of New Market, TN, about the fire early on March 29, 2019:

“Early this morning, officials responded to a serious fire on the grounds of the Highlander Research and Education Center, one of the nation’s oldest social justice institutions that provides training and education for emerging and existing movements throughout the South, Appalachia, and the world.

As of 6am, the main office building was completely engulfed and destroyed. One of ten structures on approximately 200 acres, the building housed the offices of the organization’s leadership and staff. Highlander’s staff released the following statement:

“Highlander has been a movement home for nearly 87 years and has weathered many storms. This is no different. Several people were on the grounds at the time of the fire, but thankfully no one was inside the structure and no one was injured.

“While we are physically unhurt, we are saddened about the loss of our main office. The fire destroyed decades of historic documents, speeches, artifacts and memorabilia from movements of all kinds, including the Civil Rights Movement. A fuller assessment of the damage will be forthcoming once we are cleared to enter the remains of the building.

“We are grateful for the support of the many movements who are now showing up for us in this critical time. This has been a space for training, strategy and respite for decades and it will continue to be for decades to come.

Fire officials are working to determine the cause as quickly as possible and we are monitoring the investigation closely.” –Ash-Lee Woodward Henderson and Rev. Allyn Maxfield-Steele, Co-Executive Directors, Highlander Research and Education Center.

Highlander has played a critical role in the Civil Rights Movement, training and supporting the work of a number of movement activists: Rosa Parks prior to her historic role in the Montgomery Bus Boycot, members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Septima Clark, Anne Braden, Martin Luther King Jr., James Bevel, Hollis Watkins, Bernard Lafayette, Ralph Abernathy and John Lewis.”

Highlander will provide ongoing updates via their fedbook page and questions can be directed to Chelsea Fuller, chelsea@teamblackbird.org.

Police Killing of Danquirs Franklin

On March 25, 2019, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Wende Kerl shot and killed Danquirs Franklin in the parking lot of the Burger King on Beatties Ford Rd in Charlotte. Police narratives posit that Mr Franklin was armed and posing a threat, while eye witnesses say that Danquirs Franklin interceded against an armed man bothering an employee and that the armed man ran away before the police arrived, who then shot the first black man they encountered. Friends at Charlotte Uprising have been holding vigil and fundraising for Danquirs Franklin’s family as the police’s actions leave his child fatherless. More can be found at the Charlotte Uprising twitter and fedbook pages. Rise In Power, Danquirs.

. … . ..

Show playlist.

Charles E. Cobb, Jr, on “This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed”

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“You may be nonviolent, but I’m not gonna let these white people kill you”. A presentation with Charles Cobb on This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed.

This week we are very pleased to present a presentation done some months ago at Firestorm Books with Charles E. Cobb, Jr.  Charles Cobb is a journalist, writer, and current senior analyst at allAfrica.com, which is “is a voice of, by and about Africa – aggregating, producing and distributing news and information from over 140 African news organizations and our own reporters to an African and global public.” Cobb has had a long career full of landmark moments, for example being the first Africa correspondent for NPR and being the first Black staff writer for National Geographic Magazine, among many other achievements.

In this presentation, done on April 2nd 2018, Cobb talks about his 2014 book “This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed”, which details his work from 1962 to 1967 for the SNCC (the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), the most influential youth and student organization during the Civil Rights Movement. He also fills in a much overlooked gap in the understanding of the Civil Rights Movement, that is, the lived experiences of Black people living in the rural South at this time, gives his insights on embedding in communities for social justice purposes, and draws lessons from those insights as they pertain to the current Movement for Black Lives. In this talk he is being interviewed by Carol, who is a long time comrade and friend.

Announcements

Week of International Support in Lead Up to Nationwide Prison Strike

A call from a variety of groups to make some noise for the upcoming prison strike, kicking off on August 21st, 2018. This is a challenge to every anarchist, abolitionist, rebel and determined fighter against prison society and white supremacy in Amerikkka:

‘Between Monday, July 16 and Saturday, July 21, we’re calling on you to help unleash a concerted and spectacular array of solidarity actions before the upcoming prison strikes! Prepare now, bring mayhem everywhere! As you likely know, prisoners will strike from August 21st to September 9th. They anticipate guards and administrators to respond with violent reprisals, media distortions, and extended lockdowns. Defending the strikes from the outside is an essential component of its success. Don’t wait; retaliation has already started and as August 21st approaches we expect to see transfers, preemptive lockdowns, and more. Outside support efforts, in collaboration with imprisoned rebels, have already begun. Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, IWOC, and other organizations are building phone trees, publishing call-outs, and mounting pressure campaigns. Another thing outside supporters can do is promote and set a stage for the strike. From July 16-21, we want to make an opening act that warms up the public consciousness and media landscape.

If we’re successful, it will also be a loudspeaker for the prisoners’ call, blaring it past the censors, the mailroom pigs, and the dense walls of isolation and silence that prevent prisoners from knowing what’s cooking in other states or facilities until it’s already served up cold. The challenge before us is to do things so spectacular, creative, and unexpected that the mainstream media cannot neglect them. Hashtag: #prisonstrike2018. Use any means necessary to break that media blockade: take the streets, paint the town, disrupt the status quo, hack a site, get things lit, or go ahead and chuck your anarchist purity, resort to wooing celebrity endorsements, buying clever ads, or schmoozing your way into the news. Remember, the radical and independent outlets most likely to cover our activities exist mainly online.

We need to leverage that coverage to force the big old media (the kind that gets into prisons: TV, radio, print editions of newspapers) to report this news due to fear-of-missing-out. The goal: get the phrase “Nationwide Prison Strike: 8/21-9/9” printed or spoken on the largest platform so prisoners can see it and no one outside can ignore it. So get out there and surprise us! Overwhelm amerikkka’s hostile media environment and get the word into prisons large and small across the nation. ‘

For downloadable Sticker and Poster Graphics:
https://supportprisonerresistance.noblogs.org/nationalprisonstrike2018/

Groups endorsing the 2018 Nationwide Prison Strike:
Jailhouse Lawyers Speak
Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee
The Fire Inside Collective
Millions for Prisoners
The People’s Consortium

Asheville Prison Strike Info Session

If you’re in the asheville area, Tuesday the 17th from 5-7:30pm at Firestorm, Blue Ridge ABC is holding an info session about the prison strike. There’ll be an introduction workshop to writing to prisoners followed by news about the strike, propaganda to take home and brainstorming on outreach methods we can take to get word flowing on the outside and support those rumblings on the inside. This event is open to anyone who’s interested in uplifting prisoner voices.

Intl Week of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners

In other prison-related news, here’s an announcement about the August 23- 30th 6th Annual Week of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners.  From https://solidarity.intenational/ :

We are coming back with global week of solidarity with anarchist prisoners. Since last year, a lot has changed in our countries, but the general tendency is going in the worse direction with more repressions applied against anarchists not only in Europe but worldwide. With this in mind, we are calling for sixth annual week of solidarity!

Last year lots of people sent us their reports from different parts of the world and we hope that this year the tradition will grow even bigger. We need to support our comrades! Use this week to spread the information about anarchists behind bars. Don’t have prisoners in your country? No worry, support prisoners from other countries in your region or use those days to raise awareness of repression mechanisms and how anarchist communities can fight against them!

Build up security culture, support your local anarchist prisoners and fight back.

Do not hesitate to continue sending your reports to tillallarefree@riseup.net!

Nobody is free till all are free!

Eric King’s Partner Needs Help

In other anarchist prisoner related topics, the partner of Eric King has just suffered some major tragedies in her life and could use some help. She was recently in a car accident from which she’s recovering but now lacks a vehicle for her day to day work life, the childcare of Eric and her two kids, and her weekly visitations of him in prison. On top of that and her partner serving a sentence on which he has 5 more years, Eric’s partner was also just diagnosed with thyroid cancer. If you have any extra dough you can toss to her, there’s a go fund me page where she’s soliciting donations. This can be found at gofundme.com.

The Texas prison system is trying terrorist-jacket politicized prisoner Malik Washington!

Politicized prisoner Malik Washington was cleared for removal from Ad-Seg by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s state classification committee last month.  He has spent the past two years in solitary confinement on a bogus riot charge, which TDCJ has since admitted was not for actual rioting, but for organizing fellow prisoners to engage in work stoppages during the 2016 nationwide prison strike.
But as soon as Malik got to his new unit, he was informed that his clearance had been revoked, and that he was heading back to Ad-Seg.  He was given no explanation of why, but his support network did some digging, and found out that the classification committee is claiming to have “received additional information” from the Fusion Center in Texas, causing a determination that “it was in the best interest of the department that he not be released from Ad-Seg.”
 
Fusion Centers bad news; they are based in the Department of Homeland Security and deal with anti-terrorism intelligence gathering, which, as we know, means manufacturing evidence to label people associated with the anti-authoritarian left, and others, as terrorists.
Fusion Centers are shadowy, unaccountable arms of the repressive state apparatus, and are quickly becoming one of state’s new favorite tools.  What just happened to Malik is a signal that TDCJ is upping its repression of anarchist-identified prisoners, Muslims, and those engaged in black liberation struggle.
Please share this info with any media contacts you have; urge them to investigate Fusion Centers, and to ask questions about what kind of information they collect, how it is fact-checked, and how this data collection contributes to political repression–and urge them to dig into Malik’s situation!
Write to Malik at:
Keith H. Washington
#1487958
McConnell Unit
3001 South Emily Drive
BeevilleTX 78102

Sean Swain update

To check in about last week’s ask about Sean Swain’s condition, we have yet to hear anything back from Sean, the prisoner who has for the last 4 years been doing a weekly segment on our radio show. Sean had been missing from the ODRC database of prisoners and not showing up as a transfer to another prison but the day after last week’s episode of our show it was brought to our attention that Sean was now back in the Ohio database’s website. Anyone with clues about Sean’s condition and state of being, please drop us a line at thefinalstrawradio@riseup.net.

Red Fawn Fallis sentenced to 57 months in jail

In May, Michael “Little Feather” Giron was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison for actions taken to defend pipeline resistance camps from police assault. Several other water protectors still face federal charges, with potential sentences of decades in prison, stemming from their participation in the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline.Indigenous Water Protector Red Fawn Fallis, a political prisoner arrested during the movement to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, was sentenced today in federal court by Judge Daniel Hovland. Fallis was sentenced to 57 months (4.75 years) in federal prison. She will receive a credit of 18 months ‘time served’ taken off of her sentence, from time spent in North Dakota jails before trial proceedings began. Fallis is expected to serve a total of 39 months in prison followed by 3 years probation.

In January 2018, Fallis entered a non-cooperating plea agreement in which prosecutors agreed to seek a sentence of less than seven years. In exchange, she pleaded guilty to charges of ‘Civil Disorder’ and ‘Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition by a Convicted Felon.’

Red Fawn and her supporters had previously maintained her innocence, and had stated that Fallis accepted the plea deal under the assumption that she would not receive a fair trial due to prosecutors withholding evidence.

Judge Hovland had forbidden Fallis’ defense team from mentioning treaty rights or other issues related to her arrest at anti-pipeline protests near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s reservation border.

The case against Red Fawn had centered around allegations she fired a gun during her arrest on October 27, 2016, when a massive police and military raid seized indigenous treaty lands on behalf of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The gun allegedly fired by Fallis was later revealed to have belonged to Heath Harmon, an undercover FBI informant who was romantically involved with Red Fawn at the time of her arrest.

Before she was sentenced by Judge Hovland, Red Fawn Fallis told the court,

“No matter where I go from here I am going to continue going forward…I wanted to move forward in a positive way away from Heath Harmon and the things he tried to put on me while I was trying to push him away.” – Red Fawn Fallis

Sharing Is Caring

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You can find our stuff up on twitter, fedbook, instagram, mastadon, youtube & reddit, plus our most recent show is always up on soundcloud.

Post-Scarcity, Privilege and Walking Away: A Chat with Cory Doctorow

Walkaway by Cory Doctorow
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Cory Doctorow on Post-Scarcity & Sci-Fi

This week, we present an interview that Bursts conducted with the sci-fi and picture book author, technologist and social critic Cory DoctorowCory is an editor of the blog BoingBoing, a fellow at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and his most recent book is entitled Walkaway, out from Head of Zeus and TOR books.  The novel plays with themes of open source technologies, class society, post-scarcity economics, ecological remediation, drop-out culture and liberatory social models. It was released a few days ago in paperback, along with matching re-issues of his other adult sci-fi novels.

For the hour, they chat about themes from the book, sharing, trans-humanism, imagination and monsters.  To find more work by Cory, check out his blog craphound.com.  You can also find him on twitter, free writings on Project Gutenberg, his content on archive.org, or his podcast.

Due to technical difficulties, we have no Sean Swain segment this week.  We hope this will be remedied next episode.

For a slightly longer version of this episode, make sure to check out the podcast version.

Stay tuned mid-week for a podcast special interview with an anarchist from Indonesia about May Day in Yogyakarta and the repression that has followed.  Also, if you haven’t been checking our podcast feed, you’re missing out.  We have been regularly releasing extra content mid-week including our 8th Anniversary episode with interviews of hosts of two Channel Zero Network podcasts.  You’ll also find two episodes of #Error451, our sometimes-weekly tech security podcast from an anarchist perspective.

Announcements

If you’re in Asheville this week, consider attending the Another Carolina Anarchist Bookfair benefit show at the Odditorium on Haywood Road on the West Side. The show starts at 9pm, it features the music of Kortriba, Mother Marrow, Lynathrope and a special battle set of the project Fatal Comfort versus the stylings of FUNK JAMz. If you visit the ACAB table, you could be one of the first one of your friends to grab an ACAB2018 poster hot off the presses or ACAB2018 tshirt, both designed by super awesome local artists. Proceeds from the entry, shirts and posters go to pay for the local anarchist bookfair taking place between June 21st and 24th. More info on the bookfair at acab2018.noblogs.org

Also, this Friday Blue Ridge Anarchist Black Cross will be hosting it’s monthly presentation of the short documentary series, TROUBLE, by sub.Media. This month we’ll watch the second episode of two on the topic of gentrification and resistance to it. The film will be 30 minutes and then followed by a discussion with prompt questions suited to the Asheville’s specific brand of problems. The show starts at 6:30 and will last roughly an hour. Invite your friends!

playlist

Eleanor Goldfield on Paradigm Lost and Creative Activism

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Interview with Eleanor Goldfield

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.

Playlists here

UNCA Radical Rush and Supporters of Comrade Malik Washington

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For a 59 minute long, radio clean version for syndication purposes, please visit the archive.org collection.

Interviews

UNCA Radical Rush

In this two parter episode, firstly we chatted with Beck, a University of North Carolina Asheville student and fellow organizer this year’s Radical Rush Week, which builds off of the model of the UNControllables of UNC and their Disorientation. The hope of the event is to introduce opportunities to spark conversations and relationships to radical organizing initiatives on campus and introduce new students to local projects around the Asheville area. You can find more about this on fedbook by visiting “UNCA Radical Rush”, and find flyers for the week of events at UNCA and around the community including:
Tuesday, the 19th Radical Reflections of Students Past;
Wednesday, the 20th Tranzmission Prison Project & Asheville Prison Books Program packaging event;
Thursday, the 21st Sex, Drugs & Self Defense;
Friday, the 22nd Marathon of TROUBLE mini-documentaries;
Saturday, the 23rd Herbalism as a Tool for Resiliency and Resistance;
Saturday night DACA Solidarity Benefit Show

Supporters of Comrade Malik Washington

Secondly, our comrade and sometimes contributor Disembodied Voice shares several short interviews with members of politicized prisoner Keith Malik Washington’s support team.

Comrade Malik, as he is known to his friends and supporters, is currently in solitary confinement in Texas at Eastham Unit, where he was placed as retaliation for coordinating a work stoppage during last year’s nationwide prison strike on September 9th. In addition to his work around the End Prison Slavery movement, Malik is a member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee of the IWW and the Deputy Chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party prison chapter, and is active in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign.

Malik has an extensive network of support nationally and even internationally, both within and outside of the anarchist community. The interviews we will share today show the diversity of backgrounds, motivations, and stories that go into forming a support network for those engaged in revolutionary struggle while incarcerated, which is to say, from behind enemy lines. The conversations cover a wide range of topics, including a look at the range of issues prison activists like Malik work around; the kinds of relationships prison activists form with their supporters on the outside; the importance of being in solidarity across identities and political labels; and what a revolutionary abolitionist movements means to the people doing this work.

As Malik would say: DARE TO STRUGGLE. DARE TO WIN. ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE.

You can view Malik’s work at comrademalik.com and write to him directly at:

Keith ‘Comrade Malik’ Washington
TDC#: 1487958
Eastham Unit
2665 Prison Road #1
Lovelady, TX 75851

The audio for these interviews is a bit rough because the interviews were done somewhat on the fly. Stay tuned (look for?) a transcript of these interviews in order to make comprehension a bit easier! It should come out sometime within the next two weeks.

B@d News!

Dear listeners, we would like to invite you to give a listen to the newest edition of the International Anarchist Radio Network’s monthly podcast, B(A)D News: Angry Voices From Around The World, fresh for September 2017. This 4th episode, available at our website, is about 45 minutes of updates from projects based in the UK, Chile, Greece, the Aegean Sea, Germany, El Salvador and from us!

Additionally,

Feel free to give a listen to ARadio Berlin’s Charlottesville reportback episode, done with none other than your host William Goodenuff. This was geared toward an international audience, so the news may not be new to a US based listening crowd, but if you want to hear why one of your hosts has been a lil absent for a sec, this is why. Everything’s fine tho, and I’ll be back to opine over the airwaves next week.

Show playlist is here.

Tech Security, Doxxing, Encryption

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For a 59 minute long, radio clean version for syndication purposes, please visit the archive.org collection.

The Main Event

This week Bursts spoke with William Budington, a digital security expert, about various topics under that heading. We spoke about: encryption for texting, email and mobile devices operating systems; about anonymity on the internet; safer practices with social media; doxxing; and more.

The conversation was ranging and a bit thick at times due to Bursts very specific style of posing questions. Thusly, the notes will be very long with lots of links embedded for further reading on the topic, posted in the Further Reading section below. If there are other topics around security that you’d like to hear discussed on this show, drop us an email at thefinalstrawradio@riseup.net and we’ll mull it over. This chat was by no means the end of a conversation. The practices and tools we talked about here are meant to keep you SAFER, but can’t promise your safety. But hopefully some of these words can get more of us to take our digital hygiene more seriously!

Announcements

Political Prisoner Herman Bell Assaulted

We received this notice after the show aired, but hope that folks read these notes and get this info. Herman Bell is one of the New York 3, the same group of defendants as Jalil Muntaqim, who we featured an interview with in our last episode:
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. This same guard then repeatedly punched Herman about the face, head and body. Responding to a commotion, 5-6 other guards arrived and joined in the assault. One of them was able to knee Herman in the chest causing two cracked ribs. Another guard took out a bottle of mace and sprayed it all over Herman’s face, eyes and mouth.

Herman was then taken to the prison infirmary. X-rays have confirmed fractured ribs. Herman’s left eye is damaged from the mace and blows. He has bruises to his body and is suffering headaches, a sign of a possible concussion.

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 was 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.

Herman has, however, been the target of guard harassment due to his political background. Visitors report that guards processing them and in the visiting room comment that they are visiting a “cop killer” or “terrorist”. Some guards have been seen passing around the book “Badge of the Assassin” written by Herman’s prosecutor.

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 paying attention and are concerned for Herman. Stay tuned for updates as we develop this campaign.

Herman Bell’s new address is:

Herman Bell #79C0262
Five Points Cor. Fac.
P.O. Box 119
Romulus, N.Y. 14541​

2018 Certain Days Calendar

I’d like to quickly announce that the 2018 Certain Days: Freedom For Political Prisoners Calendar has just been posted as ready for pre-order. The calendar is a joint fundraising and educational project between outside organizers in Montreal, Toronto, and New York, in partnership with three political prisoners being held in maximum-security prisons in New York State: David Gilbert, Robert Seth Hayes and Herman Bell. The proceeds from Certain Days 2018 will be divided among these groups: Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association (Palestine), Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) and other groups in need. More info on the project and where to sign up is at certaindays.org

T-Shirt Designs

For all you artistically minded listeners out there, who would like to see their art worn by people (potentially) all over the world, The Final Straw is looking for tshirt desgins! If you like the show, or love it, or just think it’s ok-ish but like to make designs then this challenge is for you.

We will be accepting submissions until the (end of November), and lest you think this is a one way street, the winner of this challenge will recieve a special prize from each of us (Bursts and William) of a personal and one of a kind mixtape which will include all sorts of audio goodies. Runners up will also get prizes, so never fear there’s no heirarchy here.

Want in?? Just email your submission and any relevant info to thefinalstrawradio@riseup.net and keep your ears peeled for the winner announcement.

Show Notes begin in vain

For a starter on COINTELPRO, check out the wikipedia page on the topic.

The Whisper Systems (Signal) case referenced concerning user data disclosure to government is explained by WS folks. Also, here’s a link to Weapons of Math Destruction, the book by Cathy O’Neil that William references.

Doxxing

Anti-Repression Committee in the Bay deals with, among other things, doxxing by the far right in order to build charges against anti-racists.
Discord Chat logs leaked from the Far Right prior to and after #Charlottesville on Unicorn Riot.
Oh Crap! What Now? digital security page
Time to Beef Up Defense Against Far Right Doxxing
Equality Labs released this dope guide to safer practices which overlaps with a lot of the interview and links presented here
In case it’s too late, check out Crash Override Network‘s guide to post-Doxxing mitigation

Bigger Toolkits

That One Privacy Site
The EFF‘s Security Self Defense Guide
Riseup‘s offerings on safer practices and tools

Device Safety

Your Phone is a Cop part one and two
On the topic of vulnerability markets, zerodium.com/program.html got brought up.

Specific Tools

PGP
Enigmail for is an add-on to the Thunderbird email client that makes creating a pgp key set easier.
The Onion Router (TOR) produced this really great package for safer browsing called the Torbrowser package.
TAILS is a portable operating system so you can operate a computer and leave less traces
Signal is a phone app for end-to-end encryption available for iphones, android phones and desktops.
HTTPSEverywhere is a useful add-on for your web browser

VPNs

One VPN intro, including links to clients you can use, can be found at riseup

VPN services to check out
https://www.mullvad.net/
https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/

Online Presence

One tool mentioned to help minimize your online presence is DeleteMe by ABINE.com

Data Brokers you may want to scrub yourself from include:
Spokeo
BeenVerified
PeekYou
PeopleFinders

Various other nefarious tech the state and non-state actors may deploy

IMSI catchers, or phone spoofers, include the name-brand Stingray. The ACLU has this little site that allows you to see what law enforcement agencies they know to have (and probably use) them!
In reference to the Automatic License Plate Readers mentioned by William, here’s an article on the subject

Playlist here

Special: Assata on autonomous Hurricane Relief on the Gulf Coast

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This is a The Final Straw Radio mini-episode and we just had a quick conversation with Assata, an activist and member Yellow Hammer Alternative, an Alabama-based far left autonomous mutual aid group. We talked about relief work done by Assata’s group around Hurricane Harvey, in Mobile with Food Not Bombs and in the run-up to Hurricanes Irma and Jose. More about Assata’s group can be found at theyellowhammeralternative.com and you can make donations to their and others efforts in the gulf at https://www.youcaring.com/hurricane-Irma-direct-action

Confronting the suit & tie White Nationalists: Nashville ARA organizing against the AmRen Conference

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Nashville Anti Racist Action about the upcoming American Renaissance Conference in Burns, Tennessee from July 28th to 30th, 2017. AmRen, as it’s called, is a yearly conference that sprange from Jared Taylor’s suit and tie nazi thinktank journal by the same title and is being held on state land in Tennessee and anti-racists plan to make the “white identitarians” uncomfortable to say the least. For the hour we talk about anti-racist organizing in the South, about the upcoming “Unite The Right” convergence in Charlottesville, Virginia and more. Here’s the fedbook page for Nashville ARA, and here’s another state-wide coalition in Tennessee, TARN.

As an aside, big ups to the crowds that overwhelmed the KKK in Charlottesville on July 8th. The Klan had to be escorted by State Police to even escape the throngs of counter-demonstrators. NPR reports 50 Klan showed up, over 1,000 counter protesters and 23 anti-racists arrested, other reports include word of police brutalizations and felony charges. Here’s a fundraising page for those arrested.

One resource we would like to point folks to if they’re seeking to get involved with anti-racist and antifa groups over the internet, considering the honeypot and disinformation tactics being taken by the far right is Antifa checker, which vets social media sites for antifa and ARA groups and has social media presences on twitter, facebook and more.

Here’s an article about last year’s AmRen with a history of Jared Taylor and other organizers behind NPI, AmRen, Paleo-Conservatism, “Racial Realism,” “Identitarianism,” “Racialist,” Sam Dickson and more buncombe.

For an interview from 2012 with Daryl Lamont Jenkins on AmRen & a lot of these topics, check out our archives.

Announces

Interview w/ Your Hosts at It’s Going Down

If you wanna learn more about your hosts, get a blow by blow of the anarchist radio conference that happened in Greece earlier this year, and hear some A++ trolling, you can hear an interview that we did with members of the anarchist, anti authoritarian news platform It’s Going Down! You can hear this interview in alls it’s glory by going to http://itsgoingdown.org and searching “From LaZAD with Love“. Tell us what you think by writing to us at thefinalstrawradio@riseup.net!

Dane Powell sentencing and J20 Solidarity

As many of you have probably heard already, the first of the J20 defendants was sentenced recently to 4 months of a 36 month sentence followed by 2 years of supervised probation. From a fundraising support statement: “Dane Powell is a father, veteran, water protector, and active community member, but will now forever be known as the first political prisoner of the Trump era.” He is famous for pulling children and elderly folks out of the range of police chemical weapons on January 20th, and was arrested and held for days in DC lockup after having been profiled and dragged from a car on the 21st. You can read and listen to a fabulous interview that he did with the Bloc Party on It’s Going Down, in which he talks about his reasons for taking a non cooperating plea deal and how he has been talking about all of this with his children, among many other topics. The interview links to other support sites and articles by co defendants. You can also see detailed reporting on his sentencing, along with helpful context, on Unicorn Riot

Dane Powell has been sentenced, but his address is yet to be released. Once it is available, we will point folks to that information because the importance of getting mail while in prison cannot be overstated. If you would like to donate to his support fund, which will go to his commissary and support for his family while he’s inside, you can visit his fundraising support site here

This also seems like a good time to mention that CrimethInc is calling for an upcoming week of solidarity with J20 defendants. From their website “July 20 marks six months from the initial actions and arrests during Donald Trump’s inauguration, and on July 27, a motion to dismiss the charges will be argued in court. The case has finally begun to receive the media attention it warrants; with this court date approaching and the cases underway, this is a crucial time for a second Week of Solidarity. Send report-backs, photographs, and inquiries to J20solidarity@protonmail.com.”

More information can be had at crimethinc.com.

NC Defend J20 benefit events

As relates to the recent shout out for fund and awareness raising solidarity events for the upcoming week of Solidarity from July 20th-27th, 2017, we’d like to highlight a few North Carolina events:
July 20th, at Firestorm in Asheville, there will be a free showing of TROUBLE #4, from subMedia, about repression and movement building as well as #2 of Channel (A)!, a collection of anarchist representations in popular media. This starts at 6:30pm.
On July 22nd, there’ll be a benefit concert in Asheville starting at 6pm with a bbq and bake sale and suggested donations. Bands include: Mutual Jerk (from Atlanta), Poor Excuse, Clyde Conwell & a SECRET SPECIAL GUEST (I really hope it’s performers from “Now Thats’ What I Call Kerkhophony Vol 1”). Look for the address for this show on http://ncj20defense.com soon
On July 25th at the Nightlight in Chapel Hill, NC, at 9pm there’ll be benefit concert for the J20 defendants. Bands include: Institute, Drugecharge, Decoy & Dead On The Vine.
More on events around the world for the week of solidarity can be found at http://defendj20resistance.org/ and a good writeup with updates on the subject is up from crimethinc

Denver Fundraising

From Denver, there’s a call out for fundraising for folks who caught charges counter-demonstrating the Islamophobic antics of “ACT for America” last month. They have some quite humorous shirts, particularly for our insurrectionary herbalists of the Laurel Luddite variety, as a fundraiser on a fundly page.

Update from Keith “Comrade Malik” Washington

Another update from Keith “Malik” Washington, a spokespersyn for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement:

Prisoners located in Lovelady, Texas, have filed their § 1983 Federal Civil Complaint in the Eastern District of Texas – Lufkin Division. TDCJ has the largest state prison system in the United States. Most of the 110 prison units are not air conditioned, and toxic water supplies are becoming a pervasive and systemic problem. At Eastham Unit, multiple prisoners have been diagnosed with h. pylori disease from the water. Due to the Heat Index, especially in the summer, prisoners must drink this contaminated water that’s causing h. pylori. The prison store known as the commissary sells us “hot pots” which heat water but don’t boil it. If we alter our Hot Pots in order to make them boil, they get confiscated and we are given a disciplinary case for contraband.

This issue raises 8th Amendment concerns, and the US Supreme Court has held that unsafe conditions that pose an unreasonable risk of serious dangers to a prisoner’s future health. Several prisoners have been diagnosed with h. pylori disease which destroys the lining of the stomach. There is no known cure.
Malik, in a recent statement from which we’re selectively quoting, and which is available at https://comrademalik.com/, goes on to compare the governments utter disregard for the prison population in Texas Department of Correction’s jurisdiction, mainly made up of poor white, black, native, latinx and other marginalized peoples, to that of the administration in Flint, Michigan. In particular, the sick and the elderly are endangered by this while wards of the state in what may rightly be considered cruel but sadly maybe not so unusual circusmstances. The main prisoner involved in the case is a jailhouse lawyer named William Wells and the case can be found as: William Wells et al. Vs Bryan Collier et al. Cause #9:17-cv-80

For those of you who don’t know, Bryan Collier is the Executive Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).
If you’d like to learn more, send Malik some mail at:
Keith ‘Comrade Malik’ Washington, TDC# 1487958, 2665 Prison Road #1, Lovelady, TX 75851
And check out his writing on the support fedbook page or his website: http://comrademalik.com

Houston Anarchist Bookfair

Also related to Texas, we’d also like to inform folks that submission periods have begun for the Houston Anarchist Bookfair! The bookfair will be taking place on Sunday, September 24, 2017
From their www.generosity.com page, which can be found by visiting that site and entering in the phrase “Houstan Anarchist Bookfair”:
“Houston Anarchist Black Cross will host a one-day convergence to network, grow, and celebrate anarchist and anti-authoritarian projects in Texas and the surrounding region, and we need help to make it happen!

This gathering will be entirely free as part of our commitment to accessibility, and because of this we need lots of help with funding from those who can support us. The event itself will be free, we will be providing lots of services at the bookfair for free with the help of volunteers, it is free to table or present a workshop, and we want to be able to help as many folks from out of town as possible with their travel expenses and housing needs. This event will have books, publishers, distros, zinesters, exciting workshops, and discussion to celebrate and expand our southern radical communities of resistance!

Money raised will go towards booking and renting our space, bringing people in from out of town, feeding people who attend the bookfair, buying supplies to set up the space, and funding accessibility for the space. If you’re planning on coming to the bookfair, or coming to table or present a workshop, or are generally excited about this radical southern space happening, and you can help us raise the funds to make this event happen and keep it free, we need your help!
Solidarity, Feed The Possums, All that good stuff 🙂
-Houston ABC”

This’ll be the first anarchist bookfair in Houston since 2011! If you’d like to participate in the bookfair more directly, they’ve opened up the submissions period for vendors and presenters, and they’ve put up a page for reaching out if you have housing or accessibility needs for the bookfair. Those links and more can be found at the events website, https://houstonanarchistbookfair2017.wordpress.com or reach the organizers at htxanarchistbookfair2017@gmail.com!

Playlist

No More Deaths: Border Abolition And More

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This week William spoke with Maria and Jeff, who are two long term members of the humanitarian aid group based in Arizona called No More Deaths. This group does solidarity work with those who are crossing the border in that region, as well as advocacy, legal work, and work which runs along many other vectors of solidarity. We will speak about the group and how each member got involved, the exact nature of the work and some media myths that the group gets leveled at them, along with the rise in repression that No More Deaths has faced in recent weeks, culminating in highly militarized raid on Bird Camp, a remote outpost that serves as a clinic, on Thursday, June 15. We will go on to discuss the strategy behind Border Patrol’s surveillance and repression of those who are crossing and aid workers, and will talk about asks for assistance that the group is thinking of.

You can visit NMD online at nomoredeaths.org, plus follow them on Facebook and Twitter if you want to keep up with calls for solidarity and with updates on their situation.

Those titles that Maria mentioned for further reading if folks want to learn more about the border and how it got that way are:

No Wall They Can Build, out recently by CrimethInc.
– The Insurgent Southwest here
– Designed to Kill via CrimethInc as well
The Disappeared Report
– Dispaches from the Borderland thru the anarchist media collective It’s Going Down here

The first musical track in this episode is by Calle 13 with “Pa’l Norte”. They are a Puerto Rican hip hop group that often tackles themes that are oppositional to the border, border patrol, and FBI. The episode closes with a track from an Argentinian atmospheric metal band called Ruinas​/​Raíces with Dos Colores Fundiéndose which is the first track off their title album that just came out in April. You can find them on the blog Red and
Anarchist Black Metal
.

Playlist

Burn Down the American Plantation: a conversation with folks from The Base

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Burn Down the American Plantation

For this episode, we are featuring a conversation that William had with some members of The Base, a social and political space in Brooklyn, about a book they co authored called Burn Down the American Plantation, which outlines a potential revolutionary praxis that coincides with the history and present of black liberation, radical self defense, building a revolutionary society, the formation of the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement, and many other topics. This book is just out from Combustion Books, and a free pdf can be found at Revolutionary Abolition

Announcements
Oppose Islamophobia
The Islamophobic right in the U.S. has called for a “National March Against Sharia” for June 10th with knuckledraggers in about 20 cities signed up to participate according to Proud Boy Magazine. Needless to say, there will be opportunities for those of us with enough brain power to realize that the U.S. is in no danger of EVER becoming a state run by Sharia law and that this is nothing but a poorly masked call to increase violence against our friends, neighbors and families of African and Asian descent and who also who may be Muslims. If you plan to oppose the ACT! for America events in your area, check out the article on Antifascist News to find where the nearest to you will be. It’s suggested that if you are planning to attend, keep your identity safe, travel with friends, park away from the event and share emergency information with your buddies. For those in Western North Carolina, Raleigh may be the nearest place of engagement.

In the wake of continued violence by Islamophobic elements of the right, including the recent stabbing deaths of two and injury of a third anti-racist who stepped up to try to stop the harassment of two women of color wearing head scarfs on Portland public transit, it’s imperative for those who oppose bigotry in all of its forms and want to do something about it take care of ourselves and know how to fight back.

Haymaker Popular Fitness and Self-Defense: podcast special release
In this vein, stay tuned for our online release alongside this episode of our interview with organizers with the Haymaker Popular Fitness and Self-Defense gym project in Chicago. Their indiegogo campaign is nearing it’s end, so we wanted to help give it a little push and get them some more donations. In the interview we spoke about building the muscles and self-confidence to fight off stranger attacks, as well as this project as an attempt to empower those struggling against intimate violence, we talk about queering workout spaces and concepts of violence. To check out more about their fundraising and watch their demo video by finding their page on indiegogo. This segment will become an episode in the near future. https://haymakergym.org

JUNE 11th: Day of solidarity with eco and anarchist prisoners
June 11th is next Sunday, y’all. Check out https://June11.org for a list of events in your area. We had announced a concert here in Asheville but due to circumstances beyond our control we’ll be holding instead a vegan cookout at Firestorm Books and Coffee at 610 Haywood Rd from 3:30-6pm including presentations on prison realities for queer and trans folks, long term eco and anarchist prisoners cases and the history of the greenscare. Alongside of this we’ll be showing the documentary, “Better This World,” about the frame up on terrorism charges of Bradley Crowder and David McKay, two young activists by the megalomaniacal former leftist turned right-wing crackpot Brandon Darby during the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN.

Also, check out this awesome benefit tape of country and folk music.

Aaaaand, this awesome series of podcasts have been coming out from June 11th organizers about prisoners and prisoner support in the run up to J11 this year: Grace chats on Jeremy Hammond; Supporters on Eric King; Josh Harper on incarceration and prisoner support; CLE4 and Nicole & Joseph interview; Leslie James Pickering on J11

Queer Cafeteria: Know Your Host!
Queer Cafeteria is a companion podcast to Fed Up Fest, which is a queer music festival in chicago this year. You can hear your host – among many other folks – talk about class and queerness / transness, hear me swear A LOT, and hear some really fantastic music from queer and trans artists from all over singing about all sorts of things the kids are talking about. You can hear this episode at their soundcloud and hit up queer cafeteria on facebook by searching the name. You can keep in touch with fed up fest at the Fed Up Fest website

Playlist