Category Archives: Antifa

Announcement from Asheville Anti-Racism and an interview on LGBT+ anarchist struggle in Berlin

LGBT and Anarchist Struggle in Berlin

Asheville AntiRacism
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We open with an announcement from Asheville Anti-Racism, which is a far-right-watch group here in Asheville. There is a benefit show tonight (4/17/2016) at the Odditorium in Asheville, NC to raise funds for an anti-fascist, anti-KKK march just outside of Atlanta, GA next Saturday the 23rd. Every year, fascists march on Stone Mountain in Georgia, and every year there is anti-fascist presence. Let’s make this a year to remember!

Announcements

A few prison updates from the U.S.:

Since April 4th, prisoners in at least 4 Texas prisons have been on strike for better conditions and an end to slavery and human rights abuses. This strike is but the latest in a nationwide mass movement inside prisons for dignity and freedom. Minimum wage in Texas prisons is 00/hr. Access to medical care requires a $100 medical copay.

Striking prisons have been put on lockdown in an attempt to “conceal the strike” and the battle of wills is being daily tested by the inhumanity of the administration. No lights, two peanut butter sandwiches a day, no phone, mail or visitation from the outside world. And likely far worse.

Since the strike’s inception, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice TDCJ) has been trying to contain the strike and paint the strikers as causing harm to inmates and families. Threatening additional lockdowns, forced transfers, violence. Even a statewide lockdown.

The Incarcerated Workers Organzing Committee, IWOC, believes TDCJ’s actions to be an intentional, routine tactic. “They are trying to change who the enemy is,” said Nick Onwukwe, Co-Chair of IWOC and a former prisoner. “Trying to get you believe the enemy isn’t the slave master, it’s the slave who sits down and says – enough.”

Increasingly lockdowns are becoming reality. Already there are additional lockdowns at Jester III, Dalhart, and Beto, partial lockdowns at Coffield and Allred, and a confirmed order for lockdown at Michael for this morning, April 16th. Is the strike spreading? Will TCDJ’s tactics backfire? We may be at a tipping point.

IWOC and prisoners, family & supporters are requesting shows of solidarity from the outside. If you hate slavery in the U.S. under the guise of the Prison Industrial Complex there are a few suggestions on getting involved: contact family and friends in prison and clue them in to the strikes; organize a local group to engage folks in jail and prison and hear their concerns; talk to your neighbors, church-mates, schoolmates, coworkers who may have folks on the inside and talk about what’s going on; join the call in campaigns or demonstrate outside a facility.

More info from the IWW Incarcerated Workers’ Organizing Committee (IWOC) can be found at their webpage, iwoc.noblogs.org, and they can be reached at : 816-866-3808 or iwoc@riseup.net Visit the site to find phone numbers and addresses to direct grievances about the treatment of Texas prisoners and continued conditions of enslavement in the U.S. prison complex

In related news, on April 9, 2016 3 prisoners at David Wade Correctional Center in Homer, Louisiana went on hunger strike. The three were also on what is called “extreme suicide,” which is where they place you in FULL RESTRAINTS (chains) – that is, shackles and handcuffs attached to a waist chain. This is done for days at a time. They are also on “strip” –dressed only in a paper gown.

The torturous punitive conditions here at David Wade Correctional Center have gone on long enough. The sadistic practices by security and the administration are a violation of human rights and decency.

The administration has admitted to the infliction of corporal punishment against prisoners on lockdown. Just now as I write, they sprayed a prisoner while he was on his knees and struck him several times. They also sprayed and beat another prisoner who is mentally ill and has been on . for over a year. He has also been on food loaf for a long time.

A letter from a prisoner at DWCC in Homer suggested “Please call if you can – just a phone call will spook them. Thank you!:
Department of Corrections Secretary James M. LeBlanc, 225-342-6740
Deputy Secretary Eugene Powers, 225-342-6744
Undersecretary Thomas Bickham, 225-342-6739”

For more information on this, you can visit http://sfbayview.com/2016/04/urgent-call-to-support-tortured-hunger-stri…

Finally, notes from 2 prisoners in the North Carolina prison system requesting help:

Kevin Cox is a politically active prisoner struggling at the moment just to be able to receive mail and contact from the outside. He asked that this statement be shared with anyone who might care to help call in to the prison. Since he wrote this, he’s been transferring to Marion CI,
but is still facing the same issues.

Greetings, Shalom Aleyka, Salaam Alaykum, Amani,

My name is Kevin Cox #1217063. I’m a political prisoner who’s being housed in Bertie Correctional Institution, in Windsor, NC. Since my incarceration I’ve dedicated my life to the struggle by fighting for the rights of prisoners, human rights for all oppressed people and rights for LGBTQ. Also I’m a dedicated member of the Black liberation movement and a member of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party [distinct from the New Black Panther Party], which is a legal aboveground political organization. At Bertie Corrections, I’m being treated like a ‘slave’ because of my political beliefs, my continuous activism in educating prisoners and my refusal to be submissive to Bertie Correction’s oppressive rules and regulations, which correlates to division, miseducation, provoking Black on Black violence, and racism.

As a result of my resistance, they [officers and staff] have stopped the flow of mail that comes from outside support such as family, friends, and comrades, have prevented me from recieving books, pamphlets, and newspapers, and have even denied me my “due process right” to be notified of the censorship of my property. The SRG [Security Risk Group] intelligence officers read my mail, that is stamped “legal,” without my being present, when my legal mail usually refers to my criminal case, law suits, etc. And the SRG officers are trying to “SRG” me, after I adamantly disavowed and denied any affiliation with any SRG group.

I’m telling you this because I need your help. I want to start a telephone/fax campaign to the administration demanding that they quit these egregious tactics that violate my constitutional rights.

Marion CI (Ask for Lt. Daniel Merrill and Cpt. Michael Long)
(828) 659-7810

NC Director of Prisons
George Solomon, (919) 838-4000

Jimmy Milton is an active voice in prison struggle at Bertie Ci, and has faced repeated violation of religious rights as a Hebrew-Israelite. He has not been provided Kosher meals, was not allowed to participate in Passover, and has not been able to order relevant religious materials. According to Jimmy, “I’ve already filed my grievance here at the facility and my next step is my hunger strike. The people I need for you to call and speak to are as follows:

Bertie CI Superintendant Herring or Asst. Superintendant Clark (252) 794-8601

More info on prisoner resistance in the U.S. and how to engage it can be found at http://supportprisonerresistance.noblogs.org

Also, for a first hand account by anarchist prisoner Michael Kimble who’s warehoused in the Alabama prison system, on the recent riots and ongoing struggles of prisoners there as well as organizing by the Free Alabama Movement, check out http://anarchylive.noblogs.org

This week we air an interview which was recorded at the latest international anarchist radio conference in Berlin this year. This interview is with an anarchist who is very active in LGBTQI struggle in that city, and we speak about the history of feminism and trans activism in Berlin as well as the problem of trans-misogyny in feminist and queer scenes, plus many more topics. You can see more about what our guest is talking about at http://www.transinterqueer.org/

This audio was made at a long standing leftist and anarchist space called Friedel 54, which is gearing up to fight an impending eviction. You can see more about this at https://friedel54.noblogs.org/, which is in German but gets run through a translator pretty well.

2 views on migrant struggle in Germany + the E.U.

Migrant Movements in E.U.

http://oplatz.net/
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In this hour we’ll be hearing two perspectives on migrant struggles in the EU, Germany in particular, dating back to roughly 2012. The first we’ll hear is Adam Bahar. Adam is an immigrant from Sudan who currently works on emergency phone networks connecting Coast Guards with migrants cross the sea in distress. In the second, we hear from Adams interviewer, a Berlin-based German-born no-border activist about their experiences. We tried to cut overlapping information to decrease redundancy but there will be a little overlap in order to make space for both differing experiences expressed.

In this first interview Adam Bahar talks about his participation in migrant struggles, including taking part in the public migrant march in 2012 from Wurzburg to Berlin, the tent occupation of Oranienplatz in Berlin by 150 migrants for a year and a half followed by the squatting of an empty school building. In German, the word Lager is used as a storage place, also used for the camps or shelters where asylum seeking refugees are kept isolated from the rest of the German population. Another word that may be difficult for listeners to understand is Adams phrasing of Guardsea, comparable to Coast Guard. Adam also talks about the cooperation between corrupt African governments and the German government either in their business of dictatorship or the deportation of Africans back to their continent of origin.

For the rest of the hour we’ll be hearing part of an interview conducted by myself and William with the activist who held the conversation with Adam in the first half hour. Here, our German friend talks a little more about the occupation of Oranienplatz from 2012-2014 in Kreutzberg, Berlin and more generally we discuss the Shengen Zone for the understanding of non-regional audience members. Later, they speak about their understanding of border situations in the Balkans as they’ve been closing down and thoughts about relationships between richer countries and the intolerable situations in the poorer nations from whence come many of the refugees.

Thanks to our buddies affiliated with Anarchistisches Radio Berlin for helping us out with setting up these recordings. More content from them at http://aradio.blogsport.de

Announcements

Prison Resistance Updates

First, a couple of announcements. Here’s a wrap up of prisoner resistance activities this week around the U.S., followed by a few specific prisoner updates.

Momentum is growing behind the bars. After two intense rebellions in four days at Holman prison in Atmore, Alabama last month things have really heated up. Prisoners in Texas called for and initiated a state wide series of work strikes on April 4th, the Free Alabama Movement announced a shutdown of ADOC for the month of May and prisoners across the country announced and called for a nationally coordinated strike and protest this September.

Reports from Texas prisoners are still coming in, but at least 7 facilities participated enough to get locked down by prison authorities. There have been a lot of threats and harassment by staff reported, but no specific reprisals or people targeted as leaders, yet.

On Saturday, April 9th outside supporters gathered for solidarity events across the country, including, Austin, Houston, Phoenix, the Bronx, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Providence, Denver, Tucson, Minneapolis and Fayetteville Arkansas, as well as a protest at Holman prison in Alabama by the Mothers and Families of the Free Alabama Movement.

These events were either protests at corporations that profit from prison slavery, or workshops and planning sessions about prison slavery and supporting the growing wave of prisoner resistance. Supporters hope to see this tide continue to rise leading up to the September 9th work-stoppage, since attention from the outside is essential to protect striking or otherwise rebellious prisoners from violent reprisals.

The Incarcerated Worker’s Organizing Committee of the IWW is heavily involved in support efforts. You can keep up to date by following their website at http://IWOC.noblogs.org or by monitoring and signing up for the email list at http://SupportPrisonerResistance.net.

on twitter:
#SupportPrisonerResistance
#EyesOnTexas

Alvaro Luna Hernandez (Xinachtli)

Supporters of Alvaro Luna Hernandez sent this message:

“Alvaro is in dire need of immediate, practical solidarity from all who support his emancipation from unjust incarceration and cruel punishment.

Alvaro’s Recent Hardship
In these past few weeks it has come to our attention that Alvaro is enduring multiple forms of inadequate and cruel treatment by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).

He is in need of dire medical attention; the TDCJ has placed him in more inhospitable holding conditions; the TDCJ has confiscated and stolen from him; the TDCJ has limited his mail correspondence; and when in transport to Lubbock, TX, the TDCJ transported him with—what you will certainly agree is—little to no regard for his health or comfort.”

Therefore, Alvaro’s supporters are urging you to email or call relevant TDCJ authorities by Thursday, April 14th, 2016 (at midnight) to protest these conditions and demand immediate improvements. More information at http://FreeAlvaro.net

Playlist

Daryle Lamont Jenkins on the far right in the U.S. and an update on the Menard hunger strike

Daryle Lamont Jenkins & Menard Hunger Strikes

http://onepeoplesproject.com/
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This week we’re speaking with Daryle Lamont Jenkins of One People’s Project based in Philadelphia, PA. Mr Jenkins is a writer, activist, and committed anti fascist. This hour we’ll speak about the state of fascism in the US and how to approach dealing with fascists and racists in your community. We talk about the One People’s Project, its history, and its goals. Keep an eye out for their new website at http://idavox.com/ to be up next month. You can see our previous interview with Mr. Jenkins at The Final Straw’s website

To write to the One People’s Project, address letters to:

One People’s Project
PO BOX 42817
Philadelphia, PA 19101

For more about Ida B. Wells you can visit the wikipedia article about her.

For information about the TORCH Antifa Conference in November 2015 you can visit their website

And for more about the 0161 Festival in England, you can visit their facebook link

. … . ..

Here is an update on the hunger strike in Menard:

Some of you will remember the hunger strike in
January-February 2014 by prisoners in Administrative Detention at the Menard Correctional Center in Menard, Illinois. During and after the hunger strike, several of the hunger strikers were sent to prisons as far away as California, Virginia, West Virginia, and New Mexico. Others remain in Administrative Detention at Menard. Many of the 2014 hunger strikers wanted to know why they were there, and they wanted to know what they had to do to get out of Administrative Detention. Although the Illinois Department of Corrections now issues some notices, the notices still don’t answer those questions.

The following information is drawn from letters received in
September 2015 from prisoners in Administrative Detention at Menard, compiled by Alice Lynd.

Here in A.D., everything is still the same. No one is being released and we are still not getting meaningful hearings. We are still not getting any written reasons or any new info relied on for the basis of the Committee’s decision for our continued placement in A.D. We are still getting the same vague memos.

We now only get 1 day a week of out-of-cell exercise (yard). We are in our cells 24 hrs. a day, 6 days a week. We are being excessively confined in our cells. We are still not allowed to participate in any educational programs. Our mail is not being picked up or passed out 5 days a week, as they are supposed to.

We don’t see any end to this indefinite isolation/solitary confinement. Due to these issues and more, we are going to go on hunger strike once again. *We will be declaring a hunger strike on September 23, 2015. *We will feel very thankful for your help in spreading the word.

*Our core demands are:*

We demand an end to long term solitary confinement.

We demand minimum due process at Administrative Detention Review Hearings by providing inmates with written reasons, including new information relied upon, for Committee’s decision for our continued placement in A.D. and be allowed to grieve all adverse decisions. As it stands, the basis of the Committee’s votes are kept secret.

We demand more access to outside recreation for the sake of our physical and mental health. As it stands, we are confined indefinitely to these cages for 6 days out of the week, with the exception of one 5 hour day. This is unbearable.

We demand that meaningful educational programs be implemented to encourage our mental stability, rehabilitation, and social development for the sake of ourselves and our communities that we will one day return to.

We demand access to more visiting privileges. For most of our families traveling to Menard is like traveling to another state. Considering the distance, 2 hour visits behind plexiglass is insufficient. We should be allowed 5 or 6 hours. Moreover, our family members, including inmates, should be provided the human dignity and decency to purchase food items and refreshments from vending machines after traveling such great distances. This would benefit one’s social development, as well as benefit prison staff environment.

We ask the public’s help by calling the warden, the Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections, and the Governor on September 23, 2015, and so forth, to check on our welfare.

Warden Kimberly Butler, 618-826-5071
Menard Correctional Center
711 Kaskaskia Street
Menard, IL 62259

Director John Baldwin, 217-558-2200
Illinois Department of Corrections
1301 Concordia Court
P. O. Box 19277
Springfield, IL 52794-9277

Governor Bruce Rauner, 217-782-0244
Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706

We will stay on hunger strike as long as possible in order to hopefully bring some change to our conditions. We thank you for any kind of support you can give us.

. … . ..

Playlist here

“Feminism in the Crisis” at Connecting European Struggles Conference; Julnel of Ü on anti-fascist Black Metal and social organizing

Feminism In The Crisis + Antifa Black Metal

http://connectingeuropeanstruggles.tumblr.com/
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This week we feature two segments concerning struggles in Europe:

Firstly, we speak with Linus. Linus is a member of an autonomous socialist group based in Malmö, Sweden, and is an organizer of the upcoming Connecting European Struggles conference in Malmö. The theme of the CES conference this year is “Gender and Crisis” and invites anti-state & anti-capitalist individuals and groups from around and beyond Europe to attend from September 18-25th to have discussions, watch films, attend presentations and engage towards a more integrated system of autonomous action and ideas. Bursts and Linus discuss the conference, the prior year’s, Crisis Politics, feminism, anti-capitalism, reaction and more. More on the conference can be found at http://connectingeuropeanstruggles.tumblr.com

Next, Bursts chats with Julnel, a member of Ü, an anarchist black metal band from Potenza, in Basilicata, southern Italy. Julnel is a founder of the The Black Metal Alliance anti-hate metal and punk collective, as well as a founder of Dark Skies Above Us Collective and Ü has contributed music to benefit compilations for both of those collectives as well as Crust or Die distro.

Recipients of the benefit funds, earned by selling albums of donated songs by similarly anti-nationalist, anti-racist, feminist, pro-LGBT (and so on) metal and punk projects and include: http://caravana43.com; Emilio (anti-fa resistor beaten by a crowd of fascists) and Dordoni Social Center in Cremona which was attacked in January of 2015 by hooligans from CasaPound; Eric McDavid; http://www.womenonwaves.org providing info, contraceptives, safe and legal abortions and more by sailing ships into intl waters around coastal countries where abortion access is prohibited; and 350.org.

These collectives (DSAU/BMA/CoD) include bands from Europe, North America, Australasia and South America. We spend about 20 minutes talking about uses of subcultures like punk and metal to engage politically by both revolutionary (for instance, RABM) and reactionary ideologies (in particular RAC & NSBM).

There is no Sean Swain segment for this week, but stay tuned for our next episode which will feature a conversation on the No New Animal Labs tour and initiative out of Washington State to stop the building of an animal testing lab at UW and fight against animal testing. We’ll also be speaking with a supporter of Jessica Burlew, an 18 year old girl diagnosed as schizoeffective and autistic, who has been held in isolation in Estrella Jail in Phoenix, Arizona, since January, 2014. She is being charged with 2nd degree murder for the accidental death of Jason Ash, a 43 year old man who was sexually exploiting her as a 16 year old. http://freejessieb.org/

Announcements

The following is an update on the Resist 450 event in St. Augustine Florida, which was written on Tuesday September 8th and posted to the EarthFirst! Newswire at http://earthfirstjournal.org/newswire. It should be stated that all who were arrested are now free, but the bail fund website is still active and accepting donations.

From EarthFirst!: Six people were arrested today for demonstrating against the celebration of the 450th anniversary of the Spanish invasion of so-called Saint Augustine, Florida. Arrestees are being held at the St Johns County Jail with misdemeanor charges. So far, three have been released. The support team does not have enough support to bond out all arrestees. Donations to the legal/bail fund can be sent to https://www.everribbon.com/ribbon/donate/22383

Tribal elders and the Council of the Original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation Aboriginal Peoples called for resistance demonstrations months ago. The Council asked Saint Augustine city officials not to glorify the rape, torture, displacement, enslavement, and genocide that accompanied European colonization but they were repeatedly ignored.

“Acts of genocide and crimes against humanity conducted on our ancestors by Spain is nothing to honor, glorify, commemorate or celebrate,” said clan and spiritual leader Bobby C. Billie. Billie led tradition prayers in defiance of a reenactment of a colonial landing this morning.

Other protesters took to the water. To the chagrin of haughty actors dressed in shiny hats and other aristocratic regalia, protesters held signs and chanted from kayaks, canoes, and pool floaties in the water surrounding the rowboat and forcing the boat back several times and finally reaching land with reenactors only under heavy police boat escort. More picketers disrupted the opening countdown ceremonies. They delivered messages like “celebrating 450 is celebrating genocide,” “heal the past,” “no honor no pride” and “conquest is not discovery.”

Police officers singled out and arrested four canoers participating in the water protest. On land, officers arrested two other people who interrupted a procession of dignitaries and escorted away others who called attention to the grotesque nature of the festivities.

Protester Libelula commented

“Today’s demonstrations seek to unmask St Augustine’s romanticized version of conquest as a vile glorification of the horrific and heinous acts committed against the original people’s of this territory by the Spanish Conquistadors. I’m from an indigenous background and celebrations like this one are not only offensive but also attempt to erase indigenous people’s suffering. This makes our demands for emancipation and dignity invisible. This is a blatant celebration the murder, rape, and torture of the original peoples of Turtle Island. It’s important to not let this go unchallenged.”

From Denver Anarchist Black Cross

Anarchists across the US have been taking part in events to raise funds for the Anarchist Black Cross in cities from Denver, New York, and LA. The events, called ‘Running Down the Walls’ raise funds for the ABC Warchest, which goes to help ABC Chapters send money and literature to political prisoners across the US. The runs are conducted in US cities and inside prison walls, building solidarity between incarcerated prisoners and those on the outside. Bill Dune, anti-authoritarian political prisoner imprisoned for an attempted 1979 prison break from the King County Jail in Seattle,Washington wrote on the occasion:

“Running Down The Walls has become a fine and honored tradition on our side of the barricade. I could run like the wind in past RDTWs even where I ran alone because the sense of solidarity took away the pain of physical exertion and of distance from my community – from you all. This year, unfortunately, I will be unable to physically run with you. I’ve been relegated to FCI Herlong’s dungeon because in the agency of repression’s mythology, an anonymous note purports that I’m planning to run from them. It was most likely written by a person of the porcine persuasion actually worried I might be planning more litigation. But so it goes in life with big brother! I will be with you this day nevertheless, if not in person, in mind, in heart, in solidarity as you – as we – run, walk, roll, move however we can down the road to revolution. See you closer to the finish line!”

To write to Bill Dunne, address letters to:

Bill Dunne #10916-086
FCI Herlong
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 800
Herlong, CA 96113

To donate to Running Down the Walls, go to http://www.youcaring.com/u-s-political-prisoners-406831

Ashker v. Governor of California

The Final Straw sees fit to mention a court decision – which we wouldn’t normally do, this being a somewhat anti-state anarchist radio show – but this little number highlights a few things which interest us and relates back to the interviews we conducted in 2011 & 2013 around the hunger strikes that spread up from California prisons to include prisoners in other states and even Canada in solidarity against solitary confinement. The case in question is called Ashker v. Governor of California, and it is a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of prisoners held in the Security Housing Unit, or SHU, at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison who have spent a decade or more in solitary confinement. The case was settled by the Governor’s office on September 1st, 2015.

From The Center For Constitutional Rights at https://ccrjustice.org:

“The case charges that prolonged solitary confinement violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, and that the absence of meaningful review for SHU placement violates the prisoners’ rights to due process. The legal action is part of a larger movement to reform conditions in SHUs in Calfornia’s prisons that was sparked by hunger strikes by thousands of SHU prisoners in 2011 and 2013; the named plaintiffs in Ashker include several leaders and participants from the hunger strikes. The case is part of the Center for Constitutional Rights broader efforts to challenge mass incarceration, discrimination, and abusive prison policies.”

From https://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com

“This settlement represents a monumental victory for prisoners and an important step toward our goal of ending solitary confinement in California, and across the country. California’s agreement to abandon indeterminate SHU confinement based on gang affiliation demonstrates the power of unity and collective action. This victory was achieved by the efforts of people in prison, their families and loved ones, lawyers, and outside supporters.”

This case represents to us a huge and interesting step in our United States, which happens to be the country with the most percentage of incarcerated citizens in the world. Prison visibility in the media is at unprecedented levels, from the prison themed TV show “Orange is the New Black” to NPR coverage of prison strikes and the deleterious effects that incarceration and solitary confinement has on people. Since this particular case could not have occurred so successfully in a more apathetic social environment – support from families and on social media have been instrumental to any steam its gained – it yet again highlights to us the importance of sticking to your guns, to having strong solidarity with your comrades, friends, family, and neighbors, wherever and whenever it makes sense. So listeners, keep on talking to each other. It could lead in some great directions.

They ran the KKK out of town, in fact (exclamation point)


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A reminder to listeners with graphic skills. We here at The Final Straw have gotten some great submissions for sticker, poster and merch designs for the show but would love to see what else y’all could throw our way. If you have an idea or an image that could include the: show name, ashevillefm.org/the-final-straw and some kind of thematically related title (like, A Weekly Anarchist Radio Show) or imagery. You can email designs to bursts@ashevillefm.org or mailed to:
The Final Straw c/o AshevilleFM
864 Haywood Rd
Asheville, NC 28806

If you’re in the Asheville area, consider volunteering at AshevilleFM, WSFM-LP. It’s a great chance to learn skills, share skills, make friends and more. Whether you want to end up behind the mic or behind a table, drop us a line at volunteer@ashevillefm.org or, better, fill out the application at visiting http://www.ashevillefm.org/volunteer.

This week we spoke with John, an anti-racist insurrectional anarchist who grew up in the U.S. South. John discusses the anti-klan rally that happened on July 18th in Columbia, SC, what he saw, implications, who was there and why. Next week’s episode we’ll discuss media representations of the rally, such as positing it as a showdown between the KKK and the “Black Panther Party” (meaning in actuality the New Black Panther Party, an organization unconnected to the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense around during the 60’s and 70’s). We’ll also talk about violent opposition to racists and the concept of the New South. If you CAN’T wait to hear that, check out our podcast file version of this episode, which will bring you one and a half hours of the conversation plus our regular announcements, Sean Swain segment and some dirty south jams.

OR, here’s a youtube video that friends made for the audio. For those in the radio audience, the second portion of our conversation with John will be aired next week along with other material.

Please note that John wished us to inform y’all that he’s the kinda guy who doesn’t do interviews normally and was nervous, so his laughter during serious points is not a sign of levity or lack of seriousness, but more of a sign of discomfort.

In relation to today’s episode, those with internet access may choose to visit the new anarchist news site, http://itsgoingdown.org, to check out a story entitled “all the news you didn’t even know was going down.” That story describes and links to examples across Canada and the U.S. of events over the recent past of people defacing confederate monuments, protesting the cops in response to deaths in detention, the shortcomings of labor unions and the fight for $15, Recent arrests in Oakland of 2 folks accused by the FBI and charged under the Animal Enterprise and Terrorism Act for freeing Minks and so much more.

From http://anarchistnews.org we get this headline:
“Turkish-based anarchist group Anarşi İnisiyatifi (Anarchy Initiative) are calling on the global anarchist community to hold worldwide demonstrations outside Turkish consulates on July 26, 2015 at 7PM in response to the government of Turkey’s complicity in the Suruç, Massacre. 32 young people were murdered in the suicide bombing committed by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/Daesh) including 2 anarchist comrades: Alper Sapan from Anarşi İnisiyatifi Eskişehir and Evrim Deniz Erol. The 32 comrades from various socialist, communist and anarchist youth groups were planning to cross the border from Turkey / North Kurdistan into Kobane in Rojava to deliver gifts for the war-affected children of the city and to participate in the reconstruction of war-ravaged Kobane.” Short notice, but there ya go. http://www.anarchistnews.org/content/anarchy-initiative-call-worldwide-solidarity-demonstrations-against-turkish-state-july-26

On a separate tip, the main topic of our conversation on the last episode, anarchist prisoner Eric King of Kansas city, will be having a birthday on August 2nd. Drop him a line, share some of your own poetry, make friends… whatever.
You can write Eric at:
Eric King
#27090045
CCA Leavenworth
100 Highway Terrace
Leavenworth, KS 66048

Also, he has an amazon wishlist where you can buy books online and get them shipped to this voracious reader. Details on that or direct deposits into his commissary can be found at http://supportericking.wordpress.com

Michael Kimble is a self described black, gay anarchist who is currently serving a life sentence in a maximum security facility in Alabama for the self defense killing of a “white, homophobic, racist bigot”. Mr. Kimble is a writer and is part of the Free Alabama Movement, which is a group that organizes against prison work conditions by putting together work strikes and work stoppages around the state of Alabama. More about them at http://freealabamamovement.wordpress.com

Michael Kimble has a parole date set for December of this year, and it’s been a long time in coming! Stay tuned for any support that he needs, as well at to read his writings, at http://anarchylive.noblogs.org

Receiving mail while incarcerated has been shown to be very important, firstly to help combat the brutal isolation which prison forces people to undergo and secondly to demonstrate to prison officials that people’s cases do not go unnoticed. To write Michael Kimble, address your letters to:

Michael Kimble
#138017
3700 Holman Unit
Atmore, AL 36503

On Wednesday, July 22, Tyler Lang plead guilty (in a non-cooperating plea agreement) to a single count of conspiring to travel in interstate commerce with the purpose of damaging an animal enterprise. Specifically, Tyler’s charges stem from the mink release and vandalism of a fur farm carried out by him and Kevin Olliff (aka Kevin Johnson) in August of 2013.

Tyler, like Kevin, faces a maximum of 5 years in prison and 3 years of supervised release. He also faces the possibility of hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and restitution. Tyler is currently not in custody, though his sentencing has been set for November 9th, 2015 at the Federal Courthouse in Chicago, IL. Please stay tuned for info on court support at that time! A show of community support for Tyler in the courtroom on that day would help lift his spirits and keep him strong. You can see updates and information about his and Kevin’s case at http://supportkevinandtyler.com

August 8th 2015 marks 37 years of unjust imprisonment for the MOVE 9, who are part of the MOVE organization founded by John Africa. The MOVE organization is a multi faceted group whose tenants include: anti slavery, anti racism, anti industry, anti colonialsm, and pro-revolutionary-ism among many others. The MOVE 9 are a group of men and women who have been in prison since August 8, 1978, following a massive police attack on them at their home in the residential neighborhood of Powelton Village in Philadelphia. The government and Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on their house, killing 11 people, including 5 children. One officer died in this attack, and it’s since been proven that none of the MOVE 9 were responsible. Despite this evidence they are still held captive by the state.

On Saturday August 1st there is a call for support at a community town hall meeting to demand the Justice Dept take action to investigate the case and wrongful imprisonment of the MOVE 9. This meeting will take place in Philadelphia, PA from noon to 4PM the African American Museum located on 701 Arch Street Downtown Philadelphia. Topics to be covered will include: the destruction of the house, the beating of Delbert Africa, the trial of the MOVE 9, and the illegal practices of the Pa Parole Board.

For more information about this organization and about the MOVE 9’s case, people can go to http://www.onamove.com

To hear our past episodes on the case of the MOVE 9 click here.

As a final little heads up to folks in the listening audience, I’d suggest you check out the July 9th 2015 episode of the blogtalk Free Alabama Movement podcast. The show is produced by prisoners within the Alabama and Mississippi prison system and connects them with the folks on the outside and folks incarcerated across the U.S. This episode features a convo between members of FAMM, Imam Siddique Abdullah Hasan of the Lucasville Death Row prisoners currently held at OCF Youngstown, as well as Alex, of Prison Legal News newsletter. You can find links to this episode and tons of other interviews and resources up on the site http://supportprisonerresistance.noblogs.org.

Anarchist prisoner Eric King; NAABC Conference; Trouncing KKK in Columbia, SC

supportericking.wordpress.com
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This week we spoke with a supporter of Eric King. Eric is a 28 year old vegan anarchist in Kansas City, Missouri, who’s facing possibly life plus 20 years in federal prison for allegedly attempting to molotov a Senator’s office. No one was inside the building or in danger of direct injury. He has been held in Solitary confinement at CCA Leavenworth in Kansas for 6 months as a July 14th due to his potential life sentence. Eric’s trial has been pushed back to October 26th,

2015. More on Eric’s case can be found at http://supportericking.wordpress.com . We also speak about the upcoming North American Anarchist Black Cross conference which is currently in it’s fundraising phase. The NAABC conference brings together advocates of political prisoners, prison abolitionists and other troublemakers once a year in order to better share skills and network. More on fundraising for this event can be found at http://www.youcaring.com/north-american-political-prisoners-366217

Click here for a firsthand account of anti-KKK actions that occurred Saturday, July 18th in Columbia, South Carolina that we received and wanted to share.

Interesting video and pictures from this event can be found at It’s Going Down, a new anarchist news site focusing mostly on North American struggles.

Now, an update from the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee about the complaints of forced medicalization and medication of concerned prisoners at SECC outside of Charleston, Missouri. Sadly, time constraints made it so we couldn’t announce this in the episode, but here it is anyway:

“Update 7-15-15 ~ FINALLY!! A month and a half after receiving the first letter of complaint about psychological and medical torture, we received a letter from one of the people involved saying that things are getting better and they are working their way off the forced medication now. Many, many thanks to everyone who has participated in this calling campaign. This would not be getting better without all of your help. Please continue to stay in touch with us by liking the IWOC fakebook page here https://www.facebook.com/incarceratedworkers

Also from IWOC:

“You may be familiar with Ricky Kidd’s case of innocence and his request to have DNA from the crime scene tested is being considered in Jackson County Courts. To find out about his case you can go to http://freerickykidd.com

In the meantime, Ricky is fighting another battle with the MO Department of Corrections that could lead to losing a leg or even his death. Ricky is a diabetic and has a soft tissue sore that has gotten into the bone of his leg and created a condition that is potentially life threatening. He was diagnosed with Osteomyelitis about four months ago, a condition that if it had been properly treated at the time would have healed by now. The proper treatment is a 6 week course of very strong antibiotics administered via an IV. The DOC has been giving Ricky an Oral antibiotic every other week and now the infection has moved from the tissue to the bone and is putting him at risk of losing his leg. The medical personnel have told him his situation is dire and must be properly addressed immediately as there is not only the risk of amputation but a risk of death if this infection migrated to his bloodstream.

Please call the Missouri Department of Corrections at 573-751-2389 and request to speak to Adrian Hardy in the Medical Division. You must reference Ricky Kidd # 528343, he is housed at Crossroads Correctional Center. They probably will not transfer you and will tell you that Harriett Clark is the contact person for this case. Register your concern and then call again the next day. We cannot allow this innocent man to be maimed or killed by the DOC by neglect or malfeasance.

Please forward this to your friends, associates and State Representatives, as well as post to FB where you can. We need a flood of calls to help get Ricky proper treatment.

Find out more about Osteomyelitis at this link – Osteomyelitis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment at http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/osteomyeltis-treatment-diagnosis-symptoms

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Here is that account of the KKK getting trounced in South Carolina on July 18th:

“Yesterday in Columbia SC the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan assembled in order to protest the removal of the Confederate flag from the state house. I’m told that their permit was originally set to accomodate 100-200 people. However, this pathetic organization has dwindled in numbers since its heyday in the 1920s, and there were fewer than 75 klan present at any given time. This event happened on the same day as an anti-colonial and antiracist event was held in Tuscon to protest an islamophobic and white supremacist group, and is happening in the wake of a resurgence of white supremacist rhetoric and actions in this country. People came out in droves and showed the racists that they are not welcome in Columbia, or anywhere!

Despite the almost 100 degree weather and at least the 100 cops, paramilitary, and state troopers swarming the grounds, I’d say that there were at least 2,000 anti racists, anti-fascists, and community members present ranging from concerned clergy to the much maligned out of town anarchists of all races. I was in a group of caucasian folks and non black people of color, and it felt vibrantly good to show our faces in the midst of this crowd, which I’d say consisted primarily of black people of all ages and the remaining third were folks of other races. The solidarity in the crowd was palpable, with people starting conversations with strangers, helping others out with water, and looking out for each other in the face of police violence.

When I rolled up to the event, the anti conf flag counter rally on the other side of the state house was starting to wrap up. This seemed to be mostly made up of New Black Panther Party and Nation of Islam members. The KKK harrassed these people with racial slurs when they themselves paraded up minutes later through a funnel of their cop protectors, brandishing confederate flags and Nazi swastikas and screaming “white power”.

They were instantly met with jeers and heckling from their numerous enemies, which reached such a pitch that it made one of the racists burst into tears. At one point, one racist got separated from his group and was surrounded by the crowd, which screamed at him to go the fuck home and things like that. One man got arrested at this point and carted off to the crowd yelling “let him go”.

The KKK then stood in the baking sun on the steps of the state house for about an hour. They roasted in the heat and waved their flags behind a phalanx of their pig handlers, all the while making pitiful attempts to engage the antiracist crowd, which had them outnumbered almost 27 to one. Some of their sympathizers who were dressed in confederate flag apparel were chased off the premesis during this time, including one homophobic preacher and one Nazi peace police who was attempting to verbally shame people into leaving the racists alone. Several of the klan passed out from heatstroke during this time, including one old racist who had to be carried away by the cops wrapped up in a confederate flag.

The police cut their flag waving rally short by an hour due to the numbers of antiracists, which were growing steadily. The real fun began when the klan began to move out to the parking garage where their vehicles were being guarded by even more police. The cops attempted to hoodwink the crowd into focusing on one exit of the garage, while the klan was exiting out of another around the back. When the crowd got wind of this, we took to the streets and ran around the building to confront the klan as they drove out of town. They mostly had their windows up, staring forward and looking beaten. One klansdude however became so enraged at the verbal attacks he was recieving that he drove his SUV into a pole, crushing the front end of the car which leaked radiator fluid all over the pavement. The cops were unprepared for this, and the car was surrounded by antiracists who pounded on the windows and hurled rocks at the damaged vehicle. The cops then forceably surrounded the car and drove the antiracists back. Several people got detained briefly by the police and then violently unarrested by their comrades at this point. After about half an hour of tussling between cops and antiracists, a perimeter was established around the car and it drove away amid more heckling.

After this time the crowd marched back up to the state house, where the few remaining klan supporters were confronted and driven out of Columbia. I’m not sure how many people got arrested, but I think it was at least 5 people, for disorderly conduct and assaulting an officer. I’d urge people to keep up with that news, and help with people’s bail however they can. Since this happened on a Saurday, I think people should be out by Monday.

Throughout all of this, it seemed very clear that the crowd had pinpointed their real enemies as being the police. While people were mad about the klan they were even angrier at the cops for protecting these Nazi racist scum. The weak attemts by cop sympathizers on the AR side to focus the crowd’s anger at solely the KKK were entirely unsuccessful. I think that this event will be one in a series of many active and vibrant displays of anti racist and anti white supremacist actions in this country. I hope that people are staying safe and keeping their friends close.

Toward a world without racism, without police, without jail cells, and without the klan.
Solidarity from a comrade in Columbia, South Carolina.”

Che Café still stands & Confrontations with Nazis in Olympia, WA

http://thechecafe.blogspot.com/
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This week we have three segments for the audience.

First, we bring you segment from Sean Swain, an anarchist prisoner in the Ohio prison system. You won’t be hearing Sean’s voice on this recording despite Sean having his communication reinstated. The segment is about calls by members and supporters of the Free Alabama & Mississippi Movement of incarcerated workers for a boycott of McDonalds due to some of their exploitation of prison labor. More on FAMM can be found at https://freealabamamovement.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/f-a-m-s-step-3-mcdonalds-initiative-s-to-p-the-school-to-prison-pipeline/

Next, William spoke with folks involved in the struggle to save the Che Café, a social space present on the University of California in San Diegos La Jolla campus. The Che Café is a 25 year running co-op space and venue that is now in danger of eviction by the University and is currently squatting their location. Check out the website for The Che Café http://thechecafe.blogspot.com. What you’ll hear is an anonymized version of the conversation for the safety of those in struggle with the campus. Thanks to the folks at the Ex-Worker for putting us in contact with the folks at the Café. You can find the text from William’s conversation later in this post.

Finally, Bursts & William spoke with an anarchist resident of Olympia, Washington about the shooting of Bryson Chaplin & Andre Thompson, two unarmed young Black men by Officer Ryan Donald of the Olympia PD and some events that followed. Chaplin & Thompson, in two incidents on the night of the 20th of May, shot and seriously injured the men for allegedly trying to steal beer from a convenience store. The men were shot in the back, Bryson Chaplin being left paralyzed from the waist down. Over the next few days, rallies took place under the monicer of Black Lives Matter with hundreds entering the streets of Olympia. In response pro-cop rallies under the name of Blue Lives Matter (not a pro-smurf movement, sadly), in small numbers, countered the anti-murder demonstrations. As time went on, White Supremacists became more visible in attendance, which the police tried to distance themselves officially from. As more White Supremacists, some openly carrying guns, attended these events an Anti-Fascist march was called for. This escalated into the night of May 30th when police held back their presence and the anti-fascist march collided with the White Supremacists, including armed Citizens Patrols Militia members, Neo Nazis, and Third Positionists. As conflict ensued, the racists were chased from the streets of Olympia for the night and their manifestation has been resisted by Anti-Fa patrols. We spend a good portion of the hour talking about police power, institutional White Supremacy, anti-fascist organizing and some of the potential pitfalls of de-centering struggle away from a critique of institutional power and towards the fringe reactionaries.

Related-ly, there has been a call-out for folks to engage in the July 25th 2015 International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners. From the call-out:

“Antifascists fight against those who—in the government or in the streets—dream of imposing their fascist and other Far Right nationalist nightmares on the rest of us. Throughout the world, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, and racist bigotries are on the rise. Antifas are on the frontline in confronting these reactionary politics, and we will not forget our comrades imprisoned in the course of this struggle.”

More can be found at nycantifa.wordpress.com

Also, to relate this to local issues to Asheville North Carolina, well-known character from the so-called National Youth Front, Daxter Reed has been attempting to recruit at our local community college, ABTech as well as around town and in the punk and metal scene. The goofball even tried to show up at the May Day rally holding a sign for NYF and was summarily run off. It should be made apparent that these nazis and their foolish antics are not welcome here.

First, though, The Final Straw is soliciting folks in the audience with design skills to submit sticker and poster designs to us. We’re hoping these stickers and posters can make their way out to bookfairs, conventions, manifestations and the walls and un-smashed windows of the world, widening our audience and spreading some audio-anarchy further. We’re looking for the designs to include the show name, our website at thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org and either imagery or words pointing to the nature of the show. If you have a design, you can send a mockup or completed version to thefinalstrawradio(at)riseup(doot)net in pdf format. Designers of chosen images will receive some free swag from the Anarchyland.

Playlist

Script from Che Café conversation
William Goodenuff : First of all will you talk about the history of the che cafe?

Che Cafe : The Che café actually started as the Coffee Hut in the late 1960s. The project to build the café cost 15k and was funded by student fees alone. It was the first student center at UCSD that was both student funded and student run. It hosted and continues to host discussions that facilitate brainstorming of marginalized/non-main stream issues (race, social justice, climate change, non-hierarchical forms of student government, etc…)
CC : It had two main roles:
CC : 1) it was the campus social center where student group of all political persuasions and interests hung out and had discussions
CC : 2) the collective is an incubator for cutting edge, non-mainstream thought, and gave birth to innovative ideas and practices
CC : it’s also important because it’s a safe space where all students were and still are welcome to hang out
CC : especially at a time where oppressed peoples where facing violence. One example was where people in the lgbt+ community were facing violence. The Che held a series of lgbt sponsored non-sexist dances in the 80’s, providing a safe place where it didn’t exist elsewhere

WG : Gotcha, I wanna talk about safer space in a minute, but just to give some context will you describe the space for listeners who have never been there, is it more like a show space or do people live there too? Is it still a cafe?

CC : Do you want us to describe the space as it is currently or also as it has been historically?

WG : I was thinking more in terms of how it is today, just how it looks and feels to be there for the benefit of folx who haven’t seen it.
WG : But also if historical cues make sense I’d be into hearing that!

CC : Before the occupation, it was more of a hardcore punk venue for music. But with the occupation, it has expanded to become so much more

WG : What occupation do you mean?

CC : Well, the UCSD administration is trying to evict and destroy the Che Café. They served the eviction on march 23rd and we’ve been occupying the Che in resistance since then. 93 days and counting.

WG : Oh shit I didn’t know that there was an occupation!
WG : How has it changed since then?

CC : Regarding the events we’ve had since the occupation
CC : we’ve expanded our programming tremendously
CC : we’ve had political meetings. For example, hosting the IWW
CC : We’ve also had workshops, like zine making workshops, feminist workshops, vegan cooking workshops. And something called Fem Fest, which is a feminist centered festival. Speakers from all over have come to speak at the Che. We’ve hosted workshops with Synchronized Cycle, a feminist bike collective. We’ve had circle discussions talking about issues affecting the people. We had music events, such as Che Fest, which was an all day music festival. Bands played inside and outside, upwards of 20 bands played. Hardcore and Indie and Surf Punk.

We’ve also had movie nights, ranging from light hearted movies to serious documentaries, with discussions after documentaries, student film nights, documentaries made here, queer/feminist film nights

As far as music shows, for awhile, we stopped doing shows because we thought it would help our case with the university. The strategy killed momentum but it made us less of a threat. When we started doing shows again, the university started threatening us again. We had university security watching us.

We’ve painted the Che, touched up Mario Terero. He painted a lot of the murals. He’s a well known Chicano muralist and did some of the murals on the building. Students have also painted murals. One member of the collective wants to do a mural of a lot of Chicana feminist writers that have a lot of influence on the Chicano identities. The Che has always been a place for marginalized peoples, including Chicano people.

We’ve done record swaps, there aren’t many all-ages record swaps in the area. The Che has always been a space for all ages to be included.

There have also been open mic nights and poetry readings. This has been a recent thing that a lot of people have gotten more and more engaged with. We have prominent poets in San Diego and Los Angeles who will be featuring at the Che on July 24th

There’s also something that happens called the Co-op prom or Safe Space Prom: Co-op prom happens every year for all the members of all the co-ops on campus. Co-op members are super connected and this is yet another form of social bonding for us that can happen in a safe space with lots of political unity.

We also have Meatless Mondays: They’re nice because they get a lot of students to come to the Che. It’s really nice to have students out here. We used to sell vegan donuts and coffee. A lot of people who wouldn’t normally come would come and ask questions and talk to us about the space.
We’ve even had a play produced here called Sodom and Gomorrah

WG : Is the Che Cafe on UCSD campus itself? I’ve never been to San Diego.

CC : Yes, it is located in Revelle College. Revelle was the first college in this campus system, and currently there are 6 colleges in the UCSD system

WG : Gotcha, I think it’s really rad that it’s been a place for marginalized folks for so long. I’ve definitely known folks who held that space as really important for a long time.
WG : Is it ok if I go off script for one question?

CC : sure

WG : Without compromising your security/safety, has there been much solidarity with the Che from within the student population? Acts of support etc?

CC : The majority of occupiers have been students and there were also graduate students from UCSD that participated as well as outside help from UCSD alumni.
CC : as far as acts of support there have been minor acts like chalking and banner drops by students in support of the Che, as well as petitions etc

WG : Word.
WG : How often has UCSD issued eviction notices to the Che? And since the Che is not the only cooperative, does it similarly target other collective spaces on campus?

CC : I don’t have the exact number of times that the University has tried to get rid of the space but in its 49 years, it has been at least 10-15 times. We can give you a more accurate number if you like…?

WG : Gotcha. No worries on exact figures. I just wanted to get a sense of the extent that the University was trying to evict the space, and it seemed to me that they’d tried fairly often.

CC : Yeah, the Master space agreement for all of the other collectives on campus expire at the end of 2016, which is worrisome.

WG : Really quickly, what is the Master Space Agreement?

CC : the MSA is basically the agreement that (after much effort) allowed for these spaces to have the level of autonomy that they currently hold from the university, and it includes details on rent, etc. Kind of like a lease but a little more involved.

CC : To go back to the question of other evictions or threatened evictions, aside from collective spaces UCSD has in the last decade alone shut down CLICS ( a humanities library which was also occupied), Graffiti Hall, Porter’s pub, University Art Gallery, and the Ceramics Center

WG : That’s a crazy amount of resources shut down!
WG : What do you think the universities are trying to do? Is it a question of resources or control?

CC : Well, leading to why the university is trying to do, it might help to consider that the Che is physically located on the fringe of campus rather than prime real estate, it’s on the borders of a much more developed and built-up campus, but along with the cooperatives it is one of the few remaining establishments on UCSD run entirely by student and community members in the midst of a transformation of the university into a morass of private corporations and centrally-run “student” centers
CC : if you look at the corporate donor list for UCSD, it looks like you lined up a 100 NASCAR drivers
CC : There’s been a lot of construction on UCSD campus and two of the companies doing that are corporate donors not to mention that UCSD gets 2.5 billion dollars in funding from the Department of Defense, there’s an entire research center dedicated to drones and a bunch of other surveillance research is done here, and a lot of military research in general

WG : Holy shit! I had no idea about all of that.
WG : That definitely puts the eviction attempts in a totally new light, thanks for going into that.
WG : So as per the Master Space Agreement, the Che is a relatively autonomous space from UCSD?

CC : yes
CC : But the attack on collective and social spaces is not isolated to just UCSD. It has been happening elsewhere. We were talking to someone who went to UC Davis and the same stuff that has been happening here has also been happening there It’s systematic. And from what we heard, they’ve been trying to shut down the co-ops at UC Davis repeatedly

WG : That’s so brutal.
WG : What will it mean for the students if the Che gets shut down?

CC : If the Che gets shut down, that means the university will likely increase the pressure on all the other co-ops because the Che getting shut down would set a precedent.
CC : And like we said before, the Che has a long history of being an alternative community and social space for alternative and marginalized students and community members in general. It still very much is this for the community, despite pressure from the University. If we lose the Che, marginalized students and community members will lose a space that’s important to diversity of thought and expression. Keep in mind that the Che is a very long time part of the UCSD campus, even before it called the Che, back to the 60’s and 70’s.
CC : In addition, without this space, it will be harder for marginalized students and community members to resist against university policies.

WG : For sure. This is such a brutal example of how expression and politics are being increasingly curtailed by institutions.

CC : Yeah, it’s all about control. About shifting the university from a public to private model through any means necessary for the UC system in general.

WG : Agreed! It certainly looks that way to me.

CC : Additionally, an interesting note is that the current head of the UC system, Janet Napolitano, used to be the secretary of homeland security.

WG : Thaaaat just totally blows me away.
WG : You’ve already outlined the political and cultural place that the Che holds on campus, but could you talk about what it means for students to have a safe space within the context of the university?

CC : Could you clarify that question please?

WG : The question may actually be redundant, now that I come to think of it. I was wanting to get a sense of how large a part the Che played within the student body of holding safer space for folks, but I actually think we’ve touched on that sufficiently?

CC : Oh yeah, we can touch on that question
CC : The Che as it is today is unfortunately unknown to most of the students because the campus is so spread out.
CC : the Che, before it was even the Che, used to be the center of student life at UCSD during the 60’s and 70’s, being in the middle of the Revelle College.
CC : But there’s been purposeful expansion since then that has made it harder for students to gather in autonomous spaces, but the Che is still one of the main punk and anarchist spaces in San Diego.

WG : Wait, on of the main anarchist spaces in all of San Diego??
CC : Yeah! In my experience, I haven’t seen many other anarchist spaces in this town, the Che seems to be the main nexus for anarchists in the city

WG : Gotcha.

CC : Social spaces on campus have really shifted from autonomous student spaces to corporate spaces like the Price Center (*note: this is the largest so called “student” center in the country and hosts many capitalist ventures like fast food restaurants and a movie theater, it has over 30,000 visitors a day).
CC : And we have important safe spaces on campus like the Woman’s Center, the LGBT Center, the Black Resource Center, and other important spaces, but none of these spaces are as autonomous as the Che. They’re politically progressive where we’re more anarchist, and are unfortunately more beholden to the University

WG : Yeah, that makes total sense. It’s so important to have spaces for anarchist folk.

CC : yeah, basically

WG : Did you get a chance to read the statement from the Hobo space in Bologna? If so, do you have any words for those folx?

CC : Yeah, we read that statement
CC : And we definitely stand in solidarity with the students and community members resisting in Bologna
CC : We shouldn’t just defend and preserve the existing autonomous spaces but expand and open up more of these sort of spaces. The stronger the network of autonomous spaces for anarchists and radicals, the easier we’ll be able to resist against Power. We encourage the leftist, radical, and anarchist to defend existing spaces and open up more of these spaces by any means necessary.

WG : Totally agreed. I know they’ll take strength from that.
WG : Is there a way for people who aren’t in your area to help with the struggle concerning the Che?

CC : Yeah, definitely.

WG : And is there a way for folks to keep apprised of how y’all are doing? A website?

CC : Oh yeah, we have a facebook page, which is facebook.com/che.cafe.collective
CC : And the Che has a webpage which is thechecafe.blogspot.com
CC : and in regards to support
CC : People should get involved more with the struggle for the Che and the co-ops. Join the occupation if you can. Put pressure on the administration in whatever ways you can. Donations also help with legal funds, and we have a paypal account. You can reach us at checafe@gmail.com. We need more support from the media. If you’re in the media, contact us. Spread the word that we’re still alive and still fighting. Encourage people to come to meetings. Help us occupy. The more people who resist with us, the better. If you have an event you want to do, you’re welcome to do it in the space as long as you put it through the collective process. Send resources like vegan food and books and anything else. Volunteers to help clean up are also really appreciated.

CC : Also, Pressure the vice chancellor and the chancellor to stop evicting the Che.
CC : We have a meeting with the Chancellor on July 15th and the more support we have at that meeting, the better.

WG : Let me know how it goes and I can report in on the radio. Also are there contact details for the VC and the chancellor?

CC : Yeah, we definitely will keep you updated, and the web page with all that contact info is chancellor.ucsd.edu/cabinet

WG : Gotcha. That’s all the questions I have, do y’all have anything else you wanted to close on?

CC : In regards to that, it’s important that we fight for these spaces because it’s in these spaces where we’re more free: free of the majority of the power dynamics of our society.
CC : and fighting for these spaces ultimately will lead us into fighting against Power itself so we can ultimately abolish authority and power and live a free life where we decide what we want do, no one else deciding for us, no politician or boss, but us living lives of true joy.

WG : Totally agreed! Thanks so much for taking the time to have this interview! Keep us posted, stay safe. Solidarity to yall.

WV Prisoners + the Water Crisis / Hip Hop + Antifa in GreeceWV Prisoners & the Water Crisis / Hip Hop & Antifa in Greece

http://storiesfromsouthcentralwv.com/
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This week’s episode is LITERALLY packed solid. We start off with an announcement about the case of Luke O’Donovan’s trial beginning on August 11th at 9AM at the Superior Court of Fulton County, 136 Pryor Street, S.W., Suite C-640, Atlanta, GA. Luke’s support is asking for folks who want to get his back to show up in court attire and be present for the court date. Luke is facing 5 attempted homicide charges stemming from injuring the 5 men attacking him as he was being queer bashed in Atlanta on New Years of 2013. More info and the callout can be found at http://LetLukeGo.wordpress.com

Next, a quick announcement about an upcoming benefit for and presentation about the 5E3, three anarchists (Amelie, Fallon and Carlos) accused of using molotov cocktails to damage a Nissan dealership and the Ministry of Communication and Transportation in Mexico City on the 5th of January. A supporter of the 5E3 will be speaking about their case on Sunday, August 10th at Rosetta’s Kitchen (Upstairs) at 8pm. August 10th is also known as Prisoner’s Justice Day and witnesses yearly hunger strikes across the convict race serving time across Canada in remembrance of all prisoners who’ve died of unnatural causes while incarcerated. More info at http://fuegoalascarceles.wordpress.com/in-english-information/

Our first segment (after Sean’s words of wisdom) is a conversation with D, an anarchist and prison abolitionist from West Virginia to update us about the Elk River chemical spill from January of this year. We talk about the West Virginia Clean Water Hub and the project it recently spawned, Voices From South Central WV. Voices from South Central is working to amplify the voices of prisoners at the main jail in Charleston, WV. The project began as a way of gauging and presenting (in prisoners own words) the effects of the water crisis on those incarcerated and how the administration dealt with health effects it caused and worked (or didn’t) to provide clean water to those they jailed.
http://storiesfromsouthcentralwv.com/
For our past coverage of the spill, check out:
http://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/?s=west+virginia

Finally, we air another great segment from Anarchistisches Radio Berlin. This time A-Radio speaks with members of the Greek political Hip Hop group Social Waste. The discussion ranges from chat about the development of Hip Hop in Greece, where it overlaps with politics, immigrant solidarity, anti-capitalism and anti-fascism as currently practiced in Greece.

Olga + Kuba on Anarchism and Squatting in Poland today

https://www.rhythms-of-resistance.org/
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This week, Olga and Kuba speak with William about anarchism in Poland and their experience of living in Canada. Olga is from Poznan, a city in Western Poland where anarchists have been able to open 2 squats in the city center, and a member of the musical network, Rhythms of Resistance. Kuba is a member of Tektura collective, Autonomous Social Center “Cicha4″ collective and Rhythms of Resistance Lublin, based out of Lublin.

The conversation, sprouting from Olga and Kuba’s presentation at the 2014 Montreal Anarchist Bookfaire, ranges from talking about squatting, resistance to the rise of nationalism, intersections of anarchism with feminism and queer existence, and homogeneity all within the context of modern Poland.

Due to the length of the conversation, it didn’t make sense to include Sean Swain’s commentary for this week, however his Bastille Day message to the world can be found here: http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/76396

Euromaidan: An Ukrainian Anarchosyndicalist perspective on these protests

Image of nationalists and pro-Euro activists in Kiev in early December
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In late November of 2013, Kiev and other parts of Ukraine saw the building of spontaneous plaza occupations and street demonstrations against President Yanukovych apparent decision to stall steps towards integrating Ukraine into the European Union. The protests, known as Euromaidan or EuroPlaza in Ukrainian, called on the ruling government to move forward with the integration, fearing that the stalling was a sign that the Ukraine was giving in to pressure from the competing Customs Union (made up of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan) which had been courting Ukrainian participation. The protests are ongoing, despite the signature of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych into a deal with Russia for promised purchases of billions of dollars of Ukrainian products and a 30% discount on Russian Natural Gas. Euromaidan have been compared in scale, and sadly in lack of critical debate about issues among the populace, to the 2004 Ukrainian Orange revolution which saw the rising to power of those who would become the status quo today.

This week on the Final Straw, we’ll be speaking with Denys. Denys is an organizer and activist with the Kiev Local of the Autonomous Worker’s Union, a Revolutionary Syndicalist turned Anarchosyndicalist organizing and propaganda group in the capital of the Ukraine. We’ll spend the hour discussing the political system in that country, the spectrum of parties, influence of media and oligarchs and radical groups on the far left and far right. Later on in the hour, Denys will address his philosophy, Anarchosyndicalism via Synthesist Anarchism, and what the AWU in Kiev and elsewhere has been able to achieve. More on the AWU can be found at avtonomia.net .

We’ll also speak briefly about a protest in Kiev in solidarity with struggling workers in Kazakhstan on the anniversary of the Zhanaozen Massacre of December 16, 2011.

A partial transcript is now available for this episode thanks to folks at Rev-News & Nihilist.li