Welcome to a podcast special release of The Final Straw’s interview of two members of The Haymaker, a gym project underway in Chicago, IL. The Haymaker’s principles of unity are as follows:
As organizers, we believe in Autonomy, Strength, and Solidarity. Because we believe in autonomy, we know that we must learn to fight our enemies without relying on institutions that disempower us and macho gym cultures that weaken us. We must learn to fight for ourselves. Because we believe in strength, we know that we must be stronger than those who want us to suffer or wipe us out completely. We must learn to be unafraid as we become a force capable not only of self-defense, but of social transformation. Because we believe in solidarity, we know that our personal transformation is at once collective transformation and that an injury to one is indeed an injury to all. We will learn how to keep each other safe as we become dangerous together.
If you want to toss them some duckets, find their indiegogo. If you’re inspired to work on something like this in your town, hit them up at email@example.com or on the fedbook or twitter by their handle @haymakerchi. This audio will make it into a full episode coming up soon.
So, if you feel like passing the hat or holding a fundraiser or hitting up Daddy Warbucks himself, George Soros, for them please do.
If you enjoyed this episode and you get our show from the itunes library, drop us a review, rate us 5 stars and help spread this show. Also, if you like hearing our podcast and want our interviews to make it to the cars, trucks, jail cells, basement apartments and everywhere else in your area, consider hittin us up and help us figure out how to get on your local community radio. Our shows are an hour weekly, are free for stations and people to download and are radio clean. Right now we’re airing in Columbus (OH), Asheville (NC), Olympia (WA), Santa Rosa (CA) & Fairbanks (AK). Why not YOUR home town?
This week William spoke with a member of Eastern Kentucky Antifa about the upcoming resistance to the Traditionalist Workers Party’s event in Pikeville KY. This group, along with The Nationalist Socialist Movement, The American Freedom Party, League of the South, The Iron March Forums, and other groups which it is accurate to call neo-Nazi are converging to form The Nationalist Front.
They will gather on Friday, April 28th on private land for camping, a series of speakers, and trainings. The following day, they are planning to rally in front of the courthouse in Pikeville, KY at 2:00pm EST. They plan to retreat to the location where their camping and the conference is being hosted to hold an after party as well as a “secret event.” In this short interview, we talk about what to expect from this event, some of the history of fascist and proto fascist activity in rurual KY, and things that resisters should keep in mind.
One thing that we did not mention is that phone reception is very spotty in this area, so if you are going you should come having printed off paper maps beforehand. You can see an excellent article on this by going to It’s Going Down
After this interview we will hear some new antifascist, antiracist metal from The Dark Skies Above Us Collective out of Greece.
ANNOUNCEMENT If you’re listening in Asheville come out to a queer country show and corn dog pop up to benefit the Tranzmission Prison Project, a decade long running project which sends free books and resources to LGBTQ incarcerated folks. This event will be on Wednesday April 19th at the Double Crown at 375 Haywood Rd Asheville NC, food starts at 6 music at 8 come out! You can get in touch with Tranzmission by writing them at firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing PO Box 1874, Asheville NC 28806.
This week we spoke with James. James is involved in anti-fascist and anti-repression work. Over the hour we spoke about the election of Donald Trump, the need for resistance in the face of a rising autonomous ethno-nationalism in the form of the alt-right and other formations, liberal ideas of the CIA and deep-state saving us from “ourselves,” autonomous community building and self-defense and more.
Here are a number of texts that James suggests readers check out to be better informed:
This week we spoke with members of Central PA Antifa about antifascist organizing in Pennsylvania, about some of the racial and socioeconomic aspects of that place, and many more topics but mainly about the National Socialist Movement counter protest that folks are calling for on November 5th in Harrisburg. We talk about the logistics of the event and what sorts of things to expect and what sorts of solidarity folks are asking for. To hear another interview with Central PA Antifa you can visit our comrades at itsgoingdown.org and follow the links to their podcast called the IGDcast. To learn more about Central PA Antifa you can get up with them on facebook, on which you can search Central PA Antifa, or follow them on Twitter @centralpaantifa. There is also a blog at: https://centralpaantifascist.wordpress.com/
Playlist is here: http://www.ashevillefm.org/node/17929
I wanted to do some announcements regarding the prison strike, but honestly so many amazing things have been going on it would be impossible to do them justice in the time we have for this segment. In brief, at Holman Prison in Atmore Alabama, where many rebels are part of the Free Alabama Movement, it was reported a few days ago that most if not all of the prison guards there had quit their jobs, either giving their notice or walking off entirely, in solidarity with the strikers. This is a huge piece of news, and I am not aware of it ever having happened before on such a large scale. It was also announced the other day that prisoners in the strike and refused to let guards lock them up and refused to go to their jobs. This is also a tremendous piece of news, it is clear that the prison strike is still going strong though it should come as no surprise that it is being quelled in mass media, which have even reported that it has fizzled out. The opposite is true. Keep your eyes on It’s Going Down, Support Prisoner Resistance, Mask Magazine, and the Portland Anarchist Black Cross among other anarchist news sources for more real updates. You can also help by writing to those who have been targeted in this strike, you can find a list of prison rebels on the IWOC page.
in this episode we are presenting two segments, firstly is a conversation recorded with Keith from ATL Antifa about the fast approaching occurrence of Hammerfest, which is a far right music festival, which is suspected to be taking place in Drake Town, Georgia about an hour outside of Atlanta. In this interview, we speak about how ATL Antifa got started, whether or not Trump’s presence on the political stage has emboldened far right / white supremacist activity, some vague tactical advice for dealing with suspected far right activity, police ties with the KKK, some history about and advice about dealing with Hammerskins, some other struggles that are going on in Atlanta and the surrounding towns and much more. To get in touch with them, visit https://afainatl.wordpress.com/
or you can get super current updates on their twitter @AFAINATL
The second segment is a short interview with a member of the organizing committee for the upcoming Anarchist Black Cross conference. In this conversation we talk about the history of the ABC, how the prison strike is informing this years conference and much more.
Playlist is here: http://www.ashevillefm.org/node/17706
This week, we’ll be featuring a short roundup of some of the events inside and outside of the prison walls during the beginning of the Prisoner Work Strike that started on September 9th in the United Snakes with the goal of ending Prison Slavery in U.S. prisons. After that we’ll hear the last half hour of Gil O’Teen’s conversation with Guy McGowan Steel Steward, an American anarcho-communist about his joining the Rojava Revolution alongside Kurdish and other folks in Northern Syria. This portion, they discuss nationalism and national identity in Rojava, the draft, the decision to adopt Federalization within Rojava and more. This is within the context of recent Turkish incursions into the Kurdish regions of northern Syria which have led to deaths among civilians and YPG/YPJ forces of the Kurdish Resistance. These deaths include foreign fighters who’ve joined the Rojava struggle. Happily, Guy is not among those dead. There is an interesting discussion and an homage to american anarchist fighter Jordan MacTaggart, an interview with Rojava Solidarity NYC, plus much much more in the latest episode of The Ex-Worker podcast, available at http://crimethinc.com/podcast that I suggest folks check out and share with friends.
Background and Inside Resistance
As many of you are probably aware, Friday September 9th kicked off the largest and most coordinated prisoner work stoppage in the US in all history, on the 45th anniversary of the Attica Prison uprising. Organized in conjunction with incarcerated members of the Free Alabama Movement (FAM) and the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), this work stoppage is turning a bright spotlight on the continuing condition of slavery in the United States, a slavery upon which this country’s economy is cripplingly dependant. Prisoners are also forced to be responsible for running the actual prisons themselves, working in the laundry, cafeteria, and so on, pretty much in any non-administrative capacity you can think of. I don’t think it should go without saying that much of this labor goes unwaged, though the on average 13 cents an hour that inmates get paid is nothing compared to the exorbitant costs of goods in prison stores.
Friday kicked off the actual strike, but resistance from within prison got started well before then with fires being set at Lincoln Correctional Center in Lincoln, Nebraska on September 6th, a 4 dormitory wide riot at Holmes prison in Bonifay, Florida on the 7th which hopped from dorm to dorm in the facility keeping just ahead of the CO’s attemts to quell the rebellion, creating a Whak-A-Mole type situation that I’m sure the prison officials just loved. Also on the 7th inmates at the infamous military detention center Guantanamo Bay remain on hunger strike to protest their indefinite detentions, many of whom were captured as part of the xenophobic and racist governmental response to September 11th, 2001, 15 years ago today.
September 9th at noon saw a complete work stoppage at Holman Correctional in Atmore, Alabama where our comrade Michael Kimble is held captive. There is no incidents yet from prison officials, and guards and COs were forced to perform all tasks. Sit down strikes and work stoppages were also held in Bonifay, FL in the aforementioned Holmes Prison, amid the ashes of the fires set only two days prior. In Troy VA, there was a work stoppage at a women’s facility, and all across this state of North Carolina prisoners refused to report to their jobs. At a women’s facility in California 10 or so brave souls refused to work and effectively shut the whole prison down because of fear of a riot. Disturbances were reported at Gulf and Mayo prisons in Florida, and three guards were injured in scuffles at Tecumseh Prison in Nebraska.
Yesterday saw a continuation of resistance in Nebraska at a women’s facility, from all over South Carolina, and continuing resistance in Atmore. Solidarity from overseas has been flying in fast and furious, with statements from prisoners in Greece, Australia, Lithuania, and Sweden among many others.
Repression of those who are striking has mostly consisted of prison lockdowns and targeting of people who have been designated the “ringleaders”. It will be very important for people to recieve solidarity from those on the outside in order for this resistance to continue. Keep your eyes on itsgoingdown.org and the live updates at http://maskmagazine.com for current info and calls for backup. You can visit the IWOC at iwoc.org for a list of concrete anti-repression tactics to share with those who are incarcerated and otherwise.
Local Events, Arrests, and Donations to the Legal Fund
Now, let’s take a gander at some of the events we were able to find that took place outside of the prison walls, per se, around the U.S. and around the world.
A full narrative of outside support events would take a very long time, which is a good thing, so we’re going to read through some highlights starting local to get the attention of the folks locally on this. We’ll be giving precedence to two local struggles in which arrests occurred. If folks from elsewhere have an experience they want to share, send us an email at email@example.com or add it to the growing lists of solidarity by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
First off, let’s begin with Western North Carolina.
This text is from a fundraising site to cover legal costs :
“In the early afternoon of Septmeber 9th, comrades held a banner outside of the Avery Mitchell Correctional Facility in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. This was an attempt to offer support to any of the 816 prisoners at the facility involved in prison functions who may have chosen to withhold their labor as part of the wider strike against prison society. 5 arrests were made and trespassing charges were issued.
Later that afternoon in downtown Asheville, and following a #NoDAPL solidarity march and protest at TD Bank, there was a march through downtown in support of striking prisoners. 60-70 folks banged pots and pans, held banners and signs, passed out leaflets and chanted “Brick By Brick, Wall By Wall, We Will Make Your Prisons Fall” and other classics. Police followed the march blaring requests to get out of the street and eventually attempted to push the marchers onto the sidewalk with their vehicles. Attempts to engage the Friday night drum circle into hitting the pavement fell on deaf ears as folks made their way towards the Buncombe County Detention Facility. While passing by the local Goombay festival, flyers were distributed and a group of folks backstage answered our chants of “Our Passion for Freedom…” with their own melodious note of “Freedom”. A few minutes later and a few blocks away, 3 of ours were arrested, accused of blocking traffic and one with an additional charge of resisting arrest. By midnight the 3 were out.
Everyone is out and no more money for bail is required, but support for legal defense, court fees and lawyers is necessary, and we are asking for your help
At moments like these it is so crucial that we support people doing work to sustain the struggle for racial justice & prison abolition. This allows us to create stronger movements where we can all continue to be leaders in these fields and help a build stronger sense of community, especially in the south. We are all in this together and we need to continuously show up for each other, not just in the streets but in ways that allow us to continue to sustain our lives and our passions for the movement.
We believe that no one should go through this alone, especially marginalized folks who are brave enough to put themselves in these front lines. We are so proud of the North Carolina communities right now.”
You can connect to that fundraiser at: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/legal-support-for-wnc-sept-9-solidarity-activists
Folks in Atlanta took the streets on Friday, September 9th, in the face of serious police repression. From http://atlblackcross.org comes this information:
“Today marks the beginning of the national prison strike. Prisoners all over the country are going on strike and refusing to cooperate with the unjust prison system. They are demanding decent pay for work, decent food and living conditions, and an end to inhumane practices like solitary confinement.
In Atlanta, supporters marched through Midtown and disrupted several corporations which profit from prison slavery. Wendy’s, McDonalds, Aramark, and Starbucks all got a visit. When the march got to Starbucks, police made several violent arrests, using pepper spray and slamming people to the pavement. At one point, police even tried to run marchers over with a squad car.
We are working hard to make sure all the protesters get free as soon as possible, so everyone can continue doing the important work of supporting the ongoing prison strike.” As of this morning, Sunday, September 11th (make a wish!), all defendants are out but are facing some stupidly hefty charges. One demonstrator apparently was taken during their arrest to a police precinct women’s bathroom and choke slammed against the wall for being a part of copwatch in Atlanta. FTP!
More on the Atlanta cases and how to support them can be found at https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/bail-out-prison-strike-supporters
International solidarity with the strike has been tremendous, with banner drops, graffitti and actions ranging far and wide. Here are a few instances of international solidarity, this is by no means a complete list. You can see more information about this, plus photos and full statements at It’s Going Down.
* Horgoš, Serbia: Banner drop in support of prison strike.
* Brisbane, Australia: Solidarity action with US prisoners.
*Melbourne, Australia: Info table with literature about US prisons and the prison strike, along with collected donations.
* Melbourne, Australia: Anarchist demonstration outside US Consulate.
* Malmö, Sweden: Solidarity demonstration.
* Athens, Greece: Demonstration outside Korydallos women’s prison.
* Leipzig, Germany: Rally outside US Consulate.
* Montreal, Canada: Dinner and film screening in solidarity with prisoner rebellion.
* Melbourne, Australia: Noise demo at youth jail.
* Barcelona, Spain: Graffiti messages of support written on McDonald’s.
Playlist is here: http://www.ashevillefm.org/node/17496
This week we had an interview with Dezeray about her participation in the recent Cleveland Republican National Convention protests. We talk about how it was to be there and what kinds of things this event could say about anarchist organizing in the US. If you would like to see more accounts from anarchist perspectives on this event, you can visit https://itsgoingdown.org/ and follow the links to the RNC. If you would like to support the arrestees, you can visit the Ohio National Lawyer’s Guild page at https://ohionlg.com/
If you have anything to add about this event from your perspective and wish to share it with us (either for or not for broadcast on the radio), feel free to email us at the shows email address, or you can email William directly at email@example.com
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 .
The first segment is a short conversation with members of NYC Antifa, an antifascist group in New York City. In this conversation we talk a bit about the history of this day of solidarity plus the state of fascism in the US and abroad. This conversation was transcribed and re-recorded to protect the folks’ identities. To learn more about this, you can visit https://nycantifa.wordpress.com/, and to donate to the international defense fund you can visit https://intlantifadefence.wordpress.com/about-2/
A large portion of this episode is a conversation with a member of Keep
Hoods Yours. Keep Hoods Yours, or KHY, is a radical graffiti crew based
in the SF Bay Area that organizes against gentrification, against sexual
predators in the scene, against racism and more. During the
conversation, we’ll hear about the rebel cultural car events called
Sideshows, the police killing of Richard
Perkins: https://itsgoingdown.org/rises-east-responses-police-killing-richard-perkins/during one of these Sideshows, KHY participation in
uprisings against the Ferguson verdict, resistance to Fast Agent and
poning of Kenny Truong and the shutdown of racist, gentrifying business
“Locals Corner” in the Mission District. You can find KHY on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/keephoodsyours/ or in the
streets. Keep an eye out for this interview in an upcoming issue of
Rolling Thunder Magazine.
On July 25th at 9 am Luke O’Donovan will walk out of Washington State Prison after serving two years there. We are thrilled to see our friend free from behind prison walls. He is in high spirits and very excited to be released. As many of you who have been in touch with him know, he has occupied his time with a rigorous workout routine, lots of reading, and correspondence with all those who took the time to communicate with him.
Unfortunately he will not be allowed to return to his home and life in Atlanta. Due to the judge adding a banishment condition to his probation, Luke will have to move all the way to the West Coast for the next eight years, or until the conditions of his probation are changed. Moving forward, here are some ways to continue to support Luke as he starts life on strict probation.
Money– Luke will need money in order to cover his living expenses while he gets on his feet and moves his belongings and life to the West Coast. He will also need money to cover the probation and drug testing fees that he will be subject too. You can donate or set up recurring donations by visiting their paypal site:
Care Packages– Luke will need lots of little things, like clothes to rebuild his wardrobe, delicious vegan food, and other items that you are not allowed to have in prison. If you would like to send a care package please email firstname.lastname@example.org to work out details on where and what to send.
Solidarity and Support- Throughout Luke’s case and subsequent imprisonment the support and solidarity he has gotten has been overwhelming. From the solidarity marches and actions to the mountain of mail and the hundreds of postcards sent to the judge we have been thrilled by all those who have taken action for him. Once things are more clear we will begin trying to get his banishment condition appealed, check back for updates. For now any and all actions are appreciated. As Luke’s new living situation isn’t worked out yet we can’t provide contact info at this time, but email us at email@example.com if you want to get in touch.
Luke is set to be free from prison, but there is still a lot to do. Thanks everyone for your past and future support.
This week’s episode features a conversation with Antii, a member of Moscow Anarchist Black Cross about the call-out for solidarity with Russian anarchists and anti-fascists. This starts off with a description of the cases of: Dmitry Buchenkov (accused of participating in anti-Putin protests in Bolotnaya square on May 6th, 2012); Alexei Gaskarov (accused of anti-police violence and riotting in anti-Putin protests in Bolotnaya square in 2012); Alexei Sutuga (a Siberian street-level antifascist accused of brawling with neo-nazis); Ilya Romanov (anarchist former prisoner accused of attempted terrorism to stop the development of Kulibinsky park in Nizhny Novgorod); Alexander Kolchenko (Crimean antifascist accused of attempting to resist the Russian takeover of the region formerly of Ukraine); & Elizaveta Tsvetkova (accused of hate-crimes against police for posting up anti-police leaflets). Each of these prisoners are inside because of their activism and are considered political prisoners locked in the Putinist prison system.
During the hour Antii, who was exiled from Russia, talks about the cases of these 6, a more general context of anarchist and antifa action in Russia these days and about the prison system Russia.
The original callout can be found up at the Autonomous Action in English, Spanish and other languages here: http://avtonom.org/en/news/anarchist-black-cross-moscow-1st-10th-july-2016-join-international-days-solidarity-russian
Kara Wild is an artist, comrade and resilient force of nature, currently being detained in France for her alleged participation in a protest against draconian labor reforms and police repression. She is a trans woman and is currently being held in a mens jail without access to hormones. She is also a U.S. citizen and has been denied bond because French authorities consider her a flight risk.
On May 18th, thousands of people converged in Paris to defy an ongoing siege of police violence and to oppose a new neoliberal labor reform. During one of these marches a police car was attacked and set on fire. Kara was brutally arrested in connection to this incident more than a full week later, at a separate event. She is currently being accused of attempted voluntary manslaughter of a person holding public office, destruction of property, group violence and participating in a masked armed group.
Kara is among 6 people currently facing charges in connection to this incident. To make matters worse, Frances Prime Minister, Manuel Valls is vowing to execute unrelenting punishment, in order to set an example and de-mobilize protests.
You can learn more about this situation and donate to Kara Wild’s support effort by visiting the website https://freekarawild.org/
Eric King was sentenced to 10 years in prison this last week. His sentencing statement and updates can be found here: https://supportericking.org/2016/06/28/statement-from-the-eric-king-support-crew-regarding-his-sentencing/