ROAR Conference 2019 + Spencer Sunshine on Fascism
[Sean Swain at 2m40s]
This week on the show, we feature two segments.
First up, an organizer with the Revolutionary Organizing Against Racism, or ROAR Conference shares perspectives on the upcoming conference, May 18 & 19, 2019 on stolen Ohlone land in the so-called Bay Area. More info on ROAR Conference at roar-conference.com
[ROAR starts at 9m32s]
Then I spoke with journalist and anti-racist activist Spencer Sunshine about various far right and racist tendencies such as traditionalism and third-positionism, in relation to the current landscape of anti-fascist struggle in Turtle Island and in particular tendencies suspected in relation to the demolition of a building at the Highlander Education and Research Center in New Market, TN at the end of March, 2019. More writings by Spencer can be found at spencersunshine.com, at his fedbook author page or on twitter by searching the username @transform6789.
[Spencer Sunshine starts at 30m47s]
On Friday, April 12th at 8pm there was a ruckus noise demo outside the Dekalb County Jail where prisoners had been able to get out word of physical violence out of camera-view by guards, black mold conditions and more against the mostly indigent, mostly POC prisoner population in this Atlanta Jail. You can hear an interview with the mother of two prisoners mistreated in that jail who got the word out about conditions on IGD’s This Is America #68 from April 12, 2019. At the noise demo, at least two people were arrested and there’s a fundraiser up to help cover legal costs. You can find that fundraiser and kick in by visiting atlsolidarity.org
Immigrant Solidarity Rally, Asheville
Listeners in the Asheville area, on Monday April 15th there’ll be a demonstration in front of the Federal Building at 115 Patton Ave in downtown to mark the year anniversary of the 2018 ICE raids against our communities. The demo will be organized by CIMA, or Companeros Inmigrantes de las Montanas en Accion, and will focus on the continued danger faced by our undocumented loved ones, friends and families. This is also in opposition to HB370 currently in process at the state level that would force collaboration between sheriff departments and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. CIMA urges people to show up in force.
Asheville Black Mama Bail Out Benefit
Also, on Saturday, April 27th at show o’clock at The Bottle Shop next to Firestorm Books, Blue Ridge ABC will be hosting a benefit for Black Mama Bail Out efforts organized by Southerners On New Ground. The show will feature performances by XOR, Kangarot, Nomadic War Machine and more. Check out the flyer and more up at brabc.blackblogs.org
. … . ..
This week on The Final Straw Radio, we’re sharing an interview with two members of Rural Organizing And Resilience, or ROAR, an anti-racist and mutual aid organization that’s based in Madison County, North Carolina. Madison County is just north of Asheville and VERY Appalachian, with a small population that’s sparsely populated in remote hollers and small towns. For the hour, Matt & Janet talk about anti-racist organizing, community efforts, misconceptions about rural people and Appalachians in particular, radical history, harm reduction and material outreach efforts ongoing in Western North Carolina. You can find out more about their project and contact them via their website, https://ruralorganizing.wordpress.com
Also, BRABC’s monthly showing of the Trouble mini-doc continues this Friday 12/7 with an episode on radical approaches to mental wellness. This’ll also happen at Firestorm books and Coffee, 610 Haywood Rd. You can check out all of the Troubles up at https://sub.media. This is the last episode of the season and they put out a special request for support, so check out the other stuff on their site while you’re there.
Asheville Service Workers Assembly Night Out
9pm, Monday, December 17 at the Crow and Quill bar, the Asheville Service Workers Assembly will host a Service Worker’s Night w/ The Carolina Catskins!
Come on out and meet your fellow service workers!
They’re hoping to create a space where folks can hangout and discuss shared struggle in a service work dependent economy, in a town that exploits us.
Charlottesville, VA: The Trial of James Alex Fields
James Alex Fields, the neo-nazi who drove into a crowd, injuring many and killing Heather Heyer on August 12th, 2017 in Charlottesville, VA, is currently facing trial. If you’re in the area, show up and offer support to the survivors of his attack. Also, you can keep up on the trial by following @socialistdogmom on twitter or listen to their very compact podcast on the subject.
Jeremy Hammond Needs Support
Jeremy Hammond, anarchist hacker behind bars for the Stratfor Hack has been placed in solitary confinement and is facing transfer for a supposed altercation with a guard. Now he’s missing his college classes inside, classes that would allow him to be housed at a lower security level, and is facing a possible punitive transfer which would further disconnect him from that college degree he’s working towards. His supporters are asking folks to write him letters and cards to check in with him, not to send in magazines or books and not to write to the Warden.
You can write Jeremy at
Jeremy Hammond, #18729-424
P.O. Box 1000
Milan, MI 48160
Jason Renard Walker Beaten For His Writing
Jason Renard Walker, has continued to face harassment by prison guards at the Ellis Unit in response to an article he penned about harassment he was facing from guards at the Ellis Unit for the November issue of the SF Bay View Newspaper. He was beaten by one guard as others stood by and watched. He’s been facing repression since at least 2016 when he voiced support for the Nationwide Prison Strike and has vocally resisted repressive measures by his captors in Texas. He’s seeking attention and legal support from the outside. We’re linking to his writeup of his experience published on the SF Bay View website.
I am contacting you as I have seen reports that inmate Jason Renard Walker, #1532092, has been attacked by staff at the Ellis Unit, and that he is now being threatened with a false disciplinary charge to try and distort the facts of the issue. I demand that there is a full independent review of all relevant surveillance footage, including any CCTV recordings from the cafeteria on the morning of November 23rd 2018 and the portable camera that was used to record Mr. Walker being escorted to his cell following the incident. Mr. Walker and all the members of staff involved, especially officers Pollock and Williford, should be given polygraph tests to determine whose version of events is more truthful, and all relevant witnesses should be interviewed. Mr. Walker reports that an inmate known as Fishtrap, along with another inmate who lives in B4, witnessed the entire scene.
Please be aware that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice may be held legally responsible for any harm that comes to Mr. Walker while he is in TDCJ’s custody.
Write to Jason at:
Jason Renard Walker #1532092 Ellis Unit 1697 FM 980 Huntsville, TX, 77343
TFSR Webstore Open
Finally, we just wanted to mention that The Final Straw has opened a webstore for our merch. So, if you don’t feel like sustaining us on a regular via our patreon but want to grab up some of our stickers, buttons, tshirts and more from us, check out https://thefinalstrawradio.bigcartel.com
We are also in the midst of an effort to pick up more radio stations that’ll air us, slogging through contacts state by state and reaching out to as many community radios as we can to offer our show for free and reach more remote areas with the voices we share on these broadcasts. If you have a suggestion, reach out to us via social media or find our contact at our website. The best method is for community radio stations to hear from a community member that we are wanted on their airwaves, so consider reaching out to your local station and passing on our broadcasting link, with all of the pertinent information for how to get ahold of our weekly, anarchist radio show!
Actually Finally Finally
We’d like to point listeners to an awesome piece of swag. With all of this craze around a certain NHL mascot and all of the deep critiques swirling upon their meaning and who owns them, some friends have designed a pretty sweet Gritty antifascist shirt. We usually wouldn’t shill anarcho-consumerism so hard, but it really is the season, no?
This week, we share some more perspectives on prison, stretching back decades. You’re about to hear the second half of our conversation from earlier this year with Ray Luc Levasseur. Mr. Levasseur is a longtime activist, Vietnam War vet, revolutionary and former political prisoner in the U.S. Ray was a reputed founder of the Sam Melville / Jonathan Jackson Unit, later known as the United Freedom Front which conducted sabotage, expropriations and attacks against profiteers and symbols of American Imperialism and oppression abroad. After 9 years of activity in the group and living underground, members of the group were apprehended and became known as the Ohio 7. Ray was paroled in 2004, about 20 years after his arrest. We aired the first half of my conversation with Ray back in March where he talked about his time underground, his relationship with Tom Manning and the resistance Tom has given and repression Tom has faced as an aging prisoner in the Federal System for the death of a cop he claims to be innocent of.
This hour, Ray talks about his introduction into political organizing in 1968 after returning from the Vietnam War. Ray joined an anti-racist, anti-Vietnam War and pro-Labor organization called Southern Student Organizing Committee in Clarksville, TN. He was incarcerated in 1969 for a drug charge (he was selling weed to supplement his G.I. Bill), and repressed as an anti-racist prisoner and organizer, and began to put the pieces together about criminalization, capitalism and white supremacy. He talks about his time at Brushy Mountain, where Convict-Lease (the transition of forced labor after slavery) prisoners had been forced to mine coal, and where Ray was held on death row. Ray later talks about the activities of the Marxist guerrilla group, the Sam Melville / Jonathan Jackson Unit, 1975-1978. From 1982 to1984, the United Freedom Front (UFF) began bombing and bank robbery activities for which members were convicted and served time in Prison, again with Tom Manning and Jan Laaman still inside. Ray then responds to our question about his views as a long-term anti-racist organizer about the resurgence of street-level fascist and racist organizing in recent history, and inform us about engaging as anti-racists in support of the Indigenous Penobscot nation’s resistance to the Penobscot river being commercialized. Finally, Ray mentions Sacco and Vanzetti being brought up in his trial statements, so I’ll link to those statements here.
We apologize for the quality of audio during this interview, we were having technical difficulties with our new audio setup when this was recorded.
The #August21 – September 9th #PrisonStrike is in full bloom with participation around the U.S. among immigrant detainees, folks in County, State and Federal facilities as well as prisoners in Halifax, Nova Scotia putting out a solidarity statement. Rather than list out all of the inside and outside solidarity, again we’ll point y’all to https://prisonstrike.com, where you’ll find links to IWOC, IGD, Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, SuwariMi and other resources and clearinghouses where press releases, images, posters, interviews, updates and call outs are being collected, tools for you to use to amplify and spread this prison strike. And check out this audio postcard that someone produced for the ears of prisoners. Share it with someone inside if you can!
There’s also a request for a phonezap for Monday the 27th in support of Hunger Striking prisoners at the North West Detention Center in Tacoma, WA. In solidarity with the #August21 Nationwide Prison Strike and in their own struggle, undocumented prisoners at NWDC began this hunger strike on Tuesday the 21st. You can call Acting ICE Field Director, Bryan S. Wilcox at 206 835 0650 ext. 2 and Assistant Field Director for ICE Detentino William Penaloza at 253 779 6000 ext. 1, wait for the message and then dial 4 to get through. It’s requested that you tell them to meet the hunger strikers demands and that GEO cease and desist in retaliating against the hunger strikers. More at incarceratedworkers.org/
Last Monday, August 20th , the Silent Sam statue to confederate soldiers from UNC Chapel Hill was removed by anti-racist students and community members and now Neo-Confederate goons are rattled. Saturday, August 25th there was a rally with racists waving Stars and Bars in Chapel Hill and scuffled with anti-racists. A number of anti-racists were arrested and released at the Monday event, then 3 warrants were set for people in the Triangle and more arrests occurred at the rally today. When fundraising sites are up, we’ll be sure to pass on that information. In response to the monument coming down, one in a line of monuments in New Orleans, Memphis, Charlottesville, Richmond and even little old Asheville, Neo-Confederates are up in arms. There is a call up for a counter to the League of the South demo in Elizabethton, TN, on September 29th. More info on that can also be found in future episodes of this show.
And here’re a few announcements we stole from crimethInc’s latest Hotwire!
“I am calling on behalf of Sean Swain, inmate #243–205. I am a friend of Sean. I am calling to request the ODRC grant Mr. Swain’s appeal regarding his most recent disciplinary record, drop the charges, and lower his security level from 5b to 2. Mr. Swain is not a physical security risk, and there is no reason to keep him at such a high security rating where he will be unable to get the programming he needs to be eligible for rehabilitation and parole. Thank you for your consideration.”
Also of note, we’re sorry to share with you that alleged Earth Liberation Front activist Joseph Dibee, was captured by the Cuban state and handed over to the FBI. Joseph is being charges with arson and conspiracy charges related to ELF actions taken almost 20 years ago. Here’s a crimethInc article about his case. You can send letters of care and encouragement to Joseph. DO NOT write about his case or reference anything illegal. Write him here:
Joseph Dibee #812133
Multnomah County Detention Center
11540 NE Inverness Drive
Portland, Oregon 97220
Zurich Tattoo Circus
Anarchists in Zurich, Switzerland will be hosting a Tattoo Circus there from august 31 to September 2, to raise money for political prisoners and the Anarchist Black Cross. Find out more at TattooCircusZurich.noblogs.org.
Hace un año: Charlottesville (EEUU) y el asesinato de Heather Heyer
El 11 y 12 de agosto de 2017 fascistas de diferentos tipos organizaron una manifestación en Charlottesville, Virginia, que llamaron Unite the Right, unificar la derecha. Antifascistas y otra gente organizaron una contraprotesta y lograron parar ese evento tan horrible. Sin embargo un fascista entró con su vehículo a la contraprotesta, lesionando más de una docena de personas y matando a Heather Heyer en el proceso. Ahora es el primer aniversario.
Hace un año tuvimos la oportunidad de hablar con un compa de los Estados Unidos (de The Final Straw) que participó en la protesta antifascista. Hablamos del evento Unite the Right como tal, pero también de los diferentes tipos de fascistas allí, de la contraprotesta antifascista, del trágico asesinato de Heather Heyer así como de la infraestructura médica y de apoyo de trauma en pie por activistas antifascistas. También tocamos el tema del debate en los Estados Unidos sobre el autoarmamiento así como las perspectivas desde aquí.
This week we are featuring a recording from an Anti-Repression panel that took place in Denver in October of this year. The sound quality is affected by a fan system that the venue had running, but the words are well worth hearing.
For the hour, we’ll hear words from a few perspectives of resistance in the U.S. currently. First, we hear from Danica from occupied territory of Portland about work around anti-colonial antifa resistance and self-defense in the North West. Next up, Firehawk talks about work in un-ceded Pueblo, Colorado, about working with femme, queer & trans prison rebels, Unstoppable zine and The Fire Inside project. Montana talks about autonomous relief work in Houston after Hurricane Harvey and the slow-disaster that is white supremacist capitalism in Texas. We hear from Jude talking about the J20 conspiracy cases coming out of the Inauguration, the court case moving forward and up til a few weeks ago. Finally, we hear from Jess who has been working with Water Protectors doing legal collective work up in so-called North Dakota mostly around #StandingRock with a very in-dept report-back on wider repression and specific case details.
A few updates are worth mentioning in the J20 case since Jude spoke on this panel: the first defendant convicted, Dane Powell, has been released and there is a linked support site for his post-release; two of the riot charges have been dropped down from Felony to Misdemeanor; & the first court dates have been moved forward to November 15th and info about how to help with court support can be found at Its Going Down.
As stated above, 2 of the initial 8 felony charges (‘engaging in riot’ and ‘conspiracy to riot’) have been dropped to misdemeanors, thus shaving decades from the potential sentences of the defendants. We here at The Final Straw suggest that Judge Leibovitz use a secure tor browser and visit https://dropj20.org to learn more about ending this expensive, insulting and dangerous act of political persecution that is the J20 case.
This week William got to speak to two people about the anti KKK demo in Charlotesville VA on July 8th, plus about the resistance to a Unite the Right gathering proposed for Charlotesville on August 12th. We speak about what went down on J8, plus things to keep in mind for A12 and who all may be attending the event.
Here is some intro text from our guests that lays the groundwork for some of the things we will speak about:
In the wake of the Charleston Massacre in 2015, the Confederate flag saw a drastic change in social tolerance, and its removal from public institutions sparked widespread reaction from scores of White Southerners, even leading to further terrorizing and violence. Donald Trump’s campaign and election saw these fires stoked further, now emboldening the more explicit White Supremacist dialogue that so many had attempted to distance the flag from a year earlier.
In late April of 2017, the city council of Charlottesville, Virginia voted to remove its statues depicting Confederate generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, and rename the downtown parks that hosted them as Justice Park and Emancipation Park, respectively. Local Confederate advocates such as the VA Flaggers and politicians like Corey Stewart had already inserted themselves into the dialogue, but they did not stop when the City’s decision was cast.
With the assistance of local white activists a court injunction was filed to challenge and halt the removals, and only a few weeks later, White Power figureheads from across the U.S. descended on Charlottesville’s parks unannounced for a day of rallies and photo-ops, in a calculated move to insert themselves into the conflict. Since May, the people of Charlottesville have been dogged by intermittent rallies, harassment, stalking, threats, and outright violence from these forces, all the while fighting to resist this fascist creep.
Just two weeks ago, on July 8th, the infamous Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan held a rally in Justice Park. Many from the city and across Virginia assembled for a peaceful counter-demonstration that sought to block the Klan from entering the park. This time, the police led a violent and one-sided escalation against those protesting white supremacy that included 23 arrests.
As the far-right and so-called Alt-Right’s campaign in Charlottesville continues, August 12th has been set for what they hope to be a culminating event, a rally to “Unite the Right” in Emancipation Park.
With a special guest line-up featuring the worst of the worst, they are counting on even greater numbers of alt-righters, Neo-Nazis, white nationalists, neo-confederates, militia groups, and even biker gangs to converge from all corners of the country, with aims not only of unification but of violent retribution against those who oppose them.
A call to action for A12 resistance and detailed information chronicling this struggle, including how to support those arrested on July 8th, can be found at solidaritycville.com, and you can contact Defend.Cville@protonmail.com for more. Use #DefendCville and #TheNewKKK for news and conversation before, during, and after A12; and most importantly, show up to support Charlottesville and help send these Nazis packing!
98FM podcast coming out soon
Keep an ear out for a special podcast segment we’ll release this week about 98Fm, Radiozones Of Subersive Expression in Athens Greece. This is the squatted pirate radio station we were going on and on about during the interview on Its Going Down. Well, as you may have heard on B(A)D News: Angry Voices From Around The World #2 last week, they’ve been having some issues with the Telecommunication Ministry, the police, a commercial pirate station and the University where they squat. So, we chat about it for about 45 minutes and they tell us about what’s going on in Greece these days. Take a peek at our website mid week for this interview.
Updates from Comrade Malik Washington
Now a quick announcement from the dungeons of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice:
Comrades incarcerated in the “Ad-Seg”–that is, solitary confinement”–block at the Eastham Unit in Texas are reporting that mentally ill prisoners who are unable to care for their own physical health and hygiene are being utterly neglected by prison COs, and even by mental health personnel supposedly tasked with oversight functions at the prison.
Comrade Kado is an occupant of the Ad-Seg unit who has seen this neglect firsthand, related in a recent communication that his concern for one particular individual on the block has become acute. He writes, “It is known that this man is mentally ill. If engaged directly in conversation, he is able to respond, although only in very short sentences. He knows he is from Nebraska, and that he is here for “trespassing too much”… when asked why he’s in solitary, he states “they want me to do work and it’s too hard” or “the guards yellin’ all the time, I get upset”.
Each time Comrade Kado tried to engage the prison staff about getting some assistance for this man, who had been living for months in his own filth, in a roach-infested cell, he was ignored or told he can’t advocate for fellow inmates. Well-known prison activist and human rights advocate Comrade Malik Washington, who also resides on this unit, similarly tried to speak out on behalf of this person, and he, too, was promptly told to mind his own business.
A major concern is that this man could become ill from the deadly heat people in Texas prison are regularly exposed to; this is a concern for ALL Texas prisoners, but especially those who no longer (or maybe never did) possess the cognitive ability to advocate for themselves. As Comrade Malik writes, “[This man] lives only 3 cells away from me. He has no fan and really doesn’t know or understand how to ask for one, so he suffers more than the normal prisoner in ad seg…And yet from the senior warden all the way down to the lowest-ranking correctional officer, no-one sees the importance or urgency of obtaining a fan for this mentally ill humyn being!”
Officials at Eastham will not succeed in destroying solidarity amongst imprisoned people. Comrades Kado and Malik will continue speaking out for their fellow incarcerated brothers and sisters–and they need our help!! Take a minute to call Bryan Collier, Executive Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, at (512) 463-9988, to tell him that mentally ill prisoners need to be properly cared for. And if you want to learn more about this pressure campaign and about prisoner advocacy, write to Comrade Kado at:
Dare to struggle! Dare to win! All power to the people!
J20 Week of Solidarity
This is the week of solidarity with the over-200-people arrested during the protests against the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20th, known as the J20 defendants. Among the ways to get involved, one could thrown a fundraiser, attend a fundraiser, do graffiti, drop a banner, have an info-session to teach people about it, re-socialize your local Fox News outlet and read a statement on the air, plaster your social media, talk to your awkward manarchist uncle Jerry, and otherwise raise awareness that might support the support lawyers in their attempt on July 27th to get the charges against the J20 defendents dismissed. More info on events ongoing can be found at defendj20resistance.org.
Za in NYC with the Wobs for J20
If you’re in New York and wanna have some pizza about this, the New York City General Defense Committee of the Industrial Workers of the World is organizing a pizza dinner as a benefit of the over 200 people who were arrested in Washington D.C. on Inauguration Day. Here’s a fedbook post for the event, and here’s where the funds are being collected if you can’t make it but wanna give.
WHEN: Saturday, August 5, 2017 from 4 P.M. to 4 A.M.
WHERE: Rebecca’s, 610 Bushwick Ave., Brooklyn NY 11206
Fire Inside Zine & Tour
From FireInside.noblogs.org, we read an announcement about Firehawk & Ben’s upcoming rust-belt tour with a zine compiling the experiences of prisoners of the September 9th #PrisonStrike from last year in the prisoners own words, as well as info about the August 19th Millions for Prisoner Justice march this year.
July 25th day of International Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners
Tuesday, July 25th, marks the 3rd Annual International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners. In the aftermath of the fiery protests against the G20—and the arrests of hundreds of comrades—we are again reminded that the embers of direct action need long-term prisoner support in order to keep the flame of resistance strong. Some forty G20 protesters remain in prison in Hamburg and need our solidarity.
Longtime Sacramento activist and indigenous elder Mike Williams is one of three people of color who face charges stemming from the antifascist mobilization which shut down a neo-Nazi rally in June of 2016. Only one neo-Nazi, William Planer, is facing charges, and he was only arrested after vandalizing a synagogue in Denver, CO. Mike is currently facing massive charges and a high bail. Please support him here and share the fundraising link far and wide along with this article to raise awareness of his case.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
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.”
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
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 🙂
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 email@example.com!
This is a podcast version of the second part of the 2016 North American Anarchist Black Cross Former Political Prisoners Panel. The first part can be found here.
In this, the question and answer portion, we hear from Sekuo Kombui, Kazi Toure, John Tucker and Daniel McGowan about their thoughts on incarceration in the U.S., steps forward in resistance, violence in struggle and sources of hope among other things. For info on these prisoners, check out the above link for short bios.
Here we present the first half of the Former Prisoner Panel of the 2016 North American Anarchist Black Cross Conference. During the hour, you’ll hear words from Sekou Kombui, Daniel McGowan, John Tucker, Kazi Toure. These speeches will be prefaced by some brief introductions, the texts of which can be found below.
Sekou is a former political prisoner who survived 47 years of incarceration. Throughout the 1960’s, Sekou participated in the Civil Rights movement, organizing youth for participating in demonstrations and marches across Alabama, and providing security for meetings of the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Sekou became affiliated with the Black Panther Party in 1967 in Chicago and New York. While in Detroit, he became a member of the Republic of New Afrika, before returning to Birmingham. Back in Alabama, Sekou coordinated community organization activity with the Alabama Black Liberation Front, the Inmates for Action (IFA) Defense Committee and the Afro-American People’s Party in the mid 1970’s. Sekou was also a soldier in the Black Liberation Army (BLA) during these years before his capture.
In 1975, Sekou was falsely arrested and charged with the murder of two white men: a KKK official from Tuscaloosa and a multimillionaire oil man from Birmingham. There was absolutely no evidence against him, only coerced testimony from individuals who subsequently recanted their statements. The judge refused to allow the recanted statements to be stricken from Sekou’s record. Sekou continued the fight throughout his time in Prison. On June 30th, 2014, Sekou was released on parole.
Daniel is an environmental and social justice activist from New York City. He was charged in Federal court on counts of arson, property destruction and conspiracy, all relating to two actions in Oregon in 2001, claimed by the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). McGowan was facing a minimum of life in prison if convicted when he accepted a non-cooperation plea agreement. His arrest is part of what the US government dubbed Operation Backfire; a coordinated, multi-state sweep of over 15 activists by the federal government who have charged the individuals with practically every earth and animal liberation action in the Pacific Northwest left unsolved. Many have considered this round up indicative of the government’s ‘Green Scare’ focus which has activists being arrested and threatened with life in prison. Many of the charges, including Daniel’s, were for crimes whose statute of limitations were about to expire. Daniel was released from prison on December 11, 2012.
John was one of five anti-fascists arrested in May 2012, after an altercation between white supremacists and antifascists in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park that left ten injured fascists, three of which needed hospitalization. The case of the Tinley Park 5 received an overwhelming amount of public support. Despite the fact that the meeting was organized by violent white supremacist organizations including the National Socialist Movement, Council of Conservative Citizens, and Ku Klux Klan, the state showed their cozy relationship with white supremacy by refusing the accused antifascist activist bail or a plea deal comparable to any other criminal defendant in Cook County. In January 2013 the Tinley Park Five accepted a non-cooperating plea deal. John Tucker was released in February 2014. As of September 2014, all of the TP5 are released.This audio will air soon as a radio episode.
As a member of the United Freedom Front (UFF), Kazi was imprisoned for his role in 20 bombings combating Apartheid in South Africa and United States Imperialism in Central America. The UFF has been called “undoubtedly the most successful of the leftist [guerrilla groups] of the 1970s and ’80s” and struck powerful blows to South African Airways, Mobil, IBM, Union Carbide, & various courthouses and US Military targets. Toure was convicted on federal charges of possession of firearms, and Seditious Conspiracy—conspiring to overthrow, put down, destroy by force and violence the US government. He is one of few, if any, New Afrikans to be charged of this act.
We have an hour long conversation with organizers of the June 26th antifascist resistance in Sacramento, CA, that routed the attempted organizing on the Capitol Steps by white nationalist groups, the Traditionalist Workers Party and the Golden State Skinheads (among other groups). The TWP & GSS rally was an attempt to take symbolic space and inspire further and more public demonstrations by these and affiliated groups however the 40 members who showed up were quickly routed by the diverse antifa numbering 400 or so. In the ensuing fracas, 9 antifa were hospitalized, most serious among them for stab wounds. During the hour long podcast, hear 3 organizers talk about medic preparation, what the event looked like, media responses, post-confrontation security for those hospitalized and more. It’s well worth noting that money is still being raised to help cover medical costs of those injured on June 26th. To help, you can visit https://rally.org/June26th .