In this podcast special, I spoke with Antti, Antti is a member of Moscow Anarchist Black Cross, which does anti-repression work for anarchists and anti-authoritarian antifascists. Many members of Moscow ABC are now living abroad and doing their work from there due to intense repression by the government of Russia and it’s client states.
For March 11-18 there has been a call out for international solidarity with Russian anarchists and anti-fascists facing repression, and Moscow ABC has specifically called for solidarity on March 18th, which is the first round of elections for the Russian Presidency. During this hour, Antti will speak about the cases of anarchists repressed in Penza, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Crimea, Sebastopol and elsewhere as well as the situations of imprisoned Russian anarchist and anti-fascists. For more information on the work of Moscow ABC, organizing and resistance in Russia, check out the website avtonom.org
If you like what you hear on The Final Straw, please consider making a donation to us via Patreon to help us expand our reach and increase the quality of this podcast. Other donation methods will follow soon. We won’t create a content paywall for our materials, but any dough you can share would be appreciated!
This week on The Final Straw, Bursts presents a conversation with Kristian Williams about his recently published book, Between The Lie & The Bullet: Essays on Orwell, published by AK Press. Kristian is maybe best known for authoring Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America.
For the hour we speak about Kristian’s reading of Orwell, the importance of intellectual honesty, weaknesses in modern Anarchist engagements with ideas and facts on the ground and other topics stemming from the book. A slightly longer version of this conversation will be available in our podcast, which can be downloaded from our website. More writings & interviews by
Kristian can be found at KristianWilliams.com.
We’d like to apologize for the strange sound during most of Kristian’s portions. This’ll be present in upcoming interviews, it’s a technical difficulty that hopefully we’ll have sorted quite soon. Thanks for bearing with us!
First, we air a portion of Ursula K. Le Guin’s acceptance speech from the 2014 National Book Awards, where she received the Lifetime Acheivement award. Ursula K. Le Guin, wrote fantasy and sci-fi for 77 years of her life, contributing many books such as The Dispossessed, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Word for World is Forest & The Earthsea Series. She died on Monday, January 22nd at the age of 88. Her fiction touched on many themes, including anarchism, taoism, gender, environmentalism, sociology, anthropology and psychology. Her official website is here. The full video this was pulled from, including the introduction by Neil Gaiman can be found here.
The third and fourth portion of CKUT’s Prison Radio Show interviews with former Black Panther and BLA Political Prisoner of War Jalil Muntaqim. In the third segment, Jalil speak about being incarcerated during the Attica Uprising, the ideas of Intercommunalism, Internationalism and Nationalism, as well as the idea of revolution. In the final portion, Jalil speaks on spirituality and politics, ISIS and a message to rappers. More of his writings and info on his case can be found at freejalil.com
Support Kevin Rashid Johnson!
We are nearing the end of the second week of #OperationPUSH!, which is described in a statement released by participants, as a work stoppage or “laydown” in at least eight prison facilities around the state of Florida. The beginning of this plan coincided with Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday on January 15th 2018, in protest of the deplorable conditions in FL prisons. This comes hot on the heels of the September 9th prison strike which took place in 2016 on the 45th anniversary of Attica, and disrupted operations in dozens if not hundreds of prisons across the country. This is being called the largest prison strike in US history, and was followed by several subsequent strikes all over the country. It has been difficult to get information about OperationPUSH!; FL prisons are being predictably recalcitrant and have also been imposing communication blackouts for even suspected participants.
However, there has been one major insight into this situation in the form of an article by Kevin Rashid Johnson entitled Florida Prisoners are Laying It Down. In this article, Rashid (who is a prison journalist and self taught paralegal) describes conditions within Florida prisons in detail, including the high cost of goods in the commissary coupled with the fact of forced and unpaid labor, up to and including a culture of abuse and neglect by prison staff. In retaliation, Rashid has been thrown into an unheated cell, with no working toilet and with a window that cannot properly close, making the temperature equal to the subzero environment outside.
This is a clear sign of retaliatory torture, and surely is what Rashid calls “a true emergency”. It is urgently requested that people call the prison to advocate for and demand the immediate cessation of this abuse on the part of the prison!
Warden Barry Reddish
Florida State Prison
Raiford, FL 32083 904-368- 2500
The demands are:
Move Johnson (#158039) to a properly climate controlled cell with working toilet
Immediately allow Mr. Johnson to make phone calls to his attorneys
Stop retaliating against him for reporting on conditions within your prisons.
A little heads up about media worth checking out. This week, It’s Going Down aired a podcast interview with an anarchist in the U.S. who’s from Turkey about the Turkish assaults on Afrin, one of the cantons of Rojava, the autonomous Kurdish region in Northern Syria. Afrin is administered by the Democratic Confederalist PYD and defended by the YPG & YPJ militias. The interview covers some of the history as relevant to anarchists, some of the developments of Rojava through the Syrian Civil War, their alliance with the United States and Rojava’s relationship with Turkey and other states involved in the proxy wars in the region. This interview is well worth a listen, and hopefully can aid you in organizing reading groups, fundraisers or demonstrations in your area in support of Rojava and it’s tenuous experiment.
An Update from Us!
Just a little heads up, too, we’re messing with our podcast a little bit, not so much in format but more so in distribution. So, we set up a soundcloud with the three latest episodes and all of the episodes in our podcast stream are now up youtube though the videos only plays our show as you’d hear with the episode image as the background. If those platforms are your deal, swing by and follow us. I’d also like to remind y’all that we’re up on itunes. If you go into that blasted program and rate our content and write reviews, it fucks with the algorithms and will make the show visible to wider audiences.
Also, I’d like to reiterate what we say in the introduction to the show, that we have a free edition of the show that’s 59 minutes in length and falls within the requirements of the FCC here in the U.S. for radio broadcast. If you have a community or college radio station in your area and you’d like to hear us up on the airwaves, getting into folks’ cars, houses, jail cells, work places or whatever by the magical accident of radio science, check out our Radio Broadcasting link at our website, hit us up on social media or email us to get the ball rolling. In addition, we suggest getting some friends together to petition the local radio overlords to get us on their station.
Finally, just to remind y’all, we love hearing feedback and show suggestions. Finding a different person or persons every week to fill an hour with interesting content is hard work, and cues from y’all really helps us plug away at this volunteer endeavor. As always, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Today William talked with two anarchist healthcare workers in Asheville, NC about the Trump administration’s censorship of language regarding the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2018 budget proposal documents. In this short episode we talk about what this means, some recent context for similar censorship, how CDC budget documents affect people’s everyday lives, and recommendations for how to move forward.
Unfortunately the taping of another show made it into the background of this minisode, sorry about that. If you listen closely you might learn something about the latest game.
To read more about this recent censorship, you can get online and type something along the lines of “CDC list of banned words” into your web browser for some more background context.
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, 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.
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 email@example.com
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.
This segment is a conversation Bursts had on Monday, September 25th with an Anglophone anarchist who has lived in Catalunya, within the Spanish borders, for some years now. This conversation comes as there is an intense escalation in the region with government officials from the semi-autonomous region of Catalunya declaring that Sunday, October 1st there will be a public and binding referendum on Catalan independence from the Spanish state. On the other side of the escalation has been the declaration of the referendum illegal by the central government in Madrid, intervention by militarized national police against print shops suspected of printing ballots and political activists and politicians in the region who may engage in carrying out the referendum. Barcelona has seen frequent crowds surround the intervening national police, the local police are sitting on the fence, the Spanish military is on stand-by and tensions are rising.
For the hour, we chat about about the machinations of government officials on both sides, electoral Leftist reactions in the region, pressure from the E.U. & banks for de-escalation, the scrambling of the Catalan bourgeoisie, anarchist engagements or lack there of and what possible outcomes of this may be.
The old man singing at the beginning and end of this episode is Chicho Sanchez Ferlosio, a Barcelona-based anarchist singer-songwriter who recorded this song “Malditos Elecciones” late in his life, for the documentary “Buenaventura Durruti, anarquista.”