This week on The Final Straw, Bursts presents a conversation with Kristian Williams about his recently published book, Between The Lie & The Bullet: Essays on Orwell, published by AK Press. Kristian is maybe best known for authoring Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America.
For the hour we speak about Kristian’s reading of Orwell, the importance of intellectual honesty, weaknesses in modern Anarchist engagements with ideas and facts on the ground and other topics stemming from the book. A slightly longer version of this conversation will be available in our podcast, which can be downloaded from our website. More writings & interviews by
Kristian can be found at KristianWilliams.com.
We’d like to apologize for the strange sound during most of Kristian’s portions. This’ll be present in upcoming interviews, it’s a technical difficulty that hopefully we’ll have sorted quite soon. Thanks for bearing with us!
First, we air a portion of Ursula K. Le Guin’s acceptance speech from the 2014 National Book Awards, where she received the Lifetime Acheivement award. Ursula K. Le Guin, wrote fantasy and sci-fi for 77 years of her life, contributing many books such as The Dispossessed, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Word for World is Forest & The Earthsea Series. She died on Monday, January 22nd at the age of 88. Her fiction touched on many themes, including anarchism, taoism, gender, environmentalism, sociology, anthropology and psychology. Her official website is here. The full video this was pulled from, including the introduction by Neil Gaiman can be found here.
The third and fourth portion of CKUT’s Prison Radio Show interviews with former Black Panther and BLA Political Prisoner of War Jalil Muntaqim. In the third segment, Jalil speak about being incarcerated during the Attica Uprising, the ideas of Intercommunalism, Internationalism and Nationalism, as well as the idea of revolution. In the final portion, Jalil speaks on spirituality and politics, ISIS and a message to rappers. More of his writings and info on his case can be found at freejalil.com
Support Kevin Rashid Johnson!
We are nearing the end of the second week of #OperationPUSH!, which is described in a statement released by participants, as a work stoppage or “laydown” in at least eight prison facilities around the state of Florida. The beginning of this plan coincided with Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday on January 15th 2018, in protest of the deplorable conditions in FL prisons. This comes hot on the heels of the September 9th prison strike which took place in 2016 on the 45th anniversary of Attica, and disrupted operations in dozens if not hundreds of prisons across the country. This is being called the largest prison strike in US history, and was followed by several subsequent strikes all over the country. It has been difficult to get information about OperationPUSH!; FL prisons are being predictably recalcitrant and have also been imposing communication blackouts for even suspected participants.
However, there has been one major insight into this situation in the form of an article by Kevin Rashid Johnson entitled Florida Prisoners are Laying It Down. In this article, Rashid (who is a prison journalist and self taught paralegal) describes conditions within Florida prisons in detail, including the high cost of goods in the commissary coupled with the fact of forced and unpaid labor, up to and including a culture of abuse and neglect by prison staff. In retaliation, Rashid has been thrown into an unheated cell, with no working toilet and with a window that cannot properly close, making the temperature equal to the subzero environment outside.
This is a clear sign of retaliatory torture, and surely is what Rashid calls “a true emergency”. It is urgently requested that people call the prison to advocate for and demand the immediate cessation of this abuse on the part of the prison!
Warden Barry Reddish
Florida State Prison
Raiford, FL 32083 904-368- 2500
The demands are:
Move Johnson (#158039) to a properly climate controlled cell with working toilet
Immediately allow Mr. Johnson to make phone calls to his attorneys
Stop retaliating against him for reporting on conditions within your prisons.
A little heads up about media worth checking out. This week, It’s Going Down aired a podcast interview with an anarchist in the U.S. who’s from Turkey about the Turkish assaults on Afrin, one of the cantons of Rojava, the autonomous Kurdish region in Northern Syria. Afrin is administered by the Democratic Confederalist PYD and defended by the YPG & YPJ militias. The interview covers some of the history as relevant to anarchists, some of the developments of Rojava through the Syrian Civil War, their alliance with the United States and Rojava’s relationship with Turkey and other states involved in the proxy wars in the region. This interview is well worth a listen, and hopefully can aid you in organizing reading groups, fundraisers or demonstrations in your area in support of Rojava and it’s tenuous experiment.
An Update from Us!
Just a little heads up, too, we’re messing with our podcast a little bit, not so much in format but more so in distribution. So, we set up a soundcloud with the three latest episodes and all of the episodes in our podcast stream are now up youtube though the videos only plays our show as you’d hear with the episode image as the background. If those platforms are your deal, swing by and follow us. I’d also like to remind y’all that we’re up on itunes. If you go into that blasted program and rate our content and write reviews, it fucks with the algorithms and will make the show visible to wider audiences.
Also, I’d like to reiterate what we say in the introduction to the show, that we have a free edition of the show that’s 59 minutes in length and falls within the requirements of the FCC here in the U.S. for radio broadcast. If you have a community or college radio station in your area and you’d like to hear us up on the airwaves, getting into folks’ cars, houses, jail cells, work places or whatever by the magical accident of radio science, check out our Radio Broadcasting link at our website, hit us up on social media or email us to get the ball rolling. In addition, we suggest getting some friends together to petition the local radio overlords to get us on their station.
Finally, just to remind y’all, we love hearing feedback and show suggestions. Finding a different person or persons every week to fill an hour with interesting content is hard work, and cues from y’all really helps us plug away at this volunteer endeavor. As always, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This week William and Disembodied Voice had the chance to interview Walidah Imarisha, who is an Oregon based writer, educator, public scholar and spoken word artist about her book Angels With Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison, and Redemption, her 2016 book out from AK Press and IAS, which highlights three distinct experiences that are all in different degrees tangential to the realities inherent to the prison industrial complex.
This book just won the Creative Non-Fiction Award in the state of Oregon earlier in 2017. In this interview we got to touch on a wide array of topics, mostly centered on Angels With Dirty Faces but also on accountability processes and what might have to change in order for them to feel more effective, her relationship to anarchism, and some upcoming projects and appearances.
We also get to touch on the book Octavia’s Brood, a compilation of speculative fiction that Imarisha co edited with Adrienne Maree Brown, who also wrote the book Emergent Strategy.
Resist Package Restrictions for Those Incarcerated in New York State!
The thugs who run the NYS prison system (NYS DOCCS) has issued a new directive (4911A) that describes new, draconian package rules that they are testing in 3 facilities as a ‘pilot program’.
Currently, at most facilities, family and friends can drop off packages at the front desk when visiting- packages that include fresh fruit and vegetables that supplement the high carb/sugar, meager diet provided by DOCCS.
These new rules are problematic in a lot of ways including:
1) Packages can be ordered only from approved vendors.
2) Fresh fruit and vegetables are not allowed.
3) Family and friends cannot drop off packages while visiting. All packages must be shipped through the vendor.
4) Each person is limited to ordering three packages a month for him or herself and receiving three packages a month from others. Each package cannot be more than 30 pounds. Of the 30 pounds per package, only 8 pounds can be food.
5) Allowable items will be the same in all facilities. (No more local permits.)
6) There are far fewer items allowed than before and of the items that are allowed, far less variety. This includes additional restrictions on clothing.
7) The pilot rules are not clear about how books, media, religious items and literature, or other items subject to First Amendment protection will be treated. This could mean that groups like NYC Books through Bars will not be able to send free books to the 52,000 people in the prison system.
The pilot program implements an “approved venders only” package system. This means that only packages from approved vendors will be accepted. The vendors appear to be companies that specialize in shipping into prisons and jails. There are currently five approved vendors identified on the DOCCS website. This amounts to a cash grab for these companies.
The pilot program is starting at three facilities: Taconic, Greene, and Green Haven. Those facilities will stop accepting packages from non-approved vendors on
January 2, 2018.
We have to make this package directive unworkable. These new rules are cruel- eliminating fresh fruit and vegetables and creating massive profits for the vampire companies that will fill the niche.
2-Get in touch with your people in NYS Prisons and let them know about this. Inform them, send them the info. Massive non-cooperation on the part of NYS prisoners will play a huge role in this.
3- Flood the electeds with postcards. Send one to Governor Cuomo and one to Anthony Annucci, the acting commissioner of DOCCS. It costs 34 cents.
Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Acting Commissioner Anthony Annucci
Building 2, State Campus
Albany, NY 12226
Some sample text:
Dear Governor Cuomo,
This holiday season is about giving, not taking away. I object to the new DOCCS package rules.
(Your relationship to people in prison, if applicable)
Dear Acting Commissioner Annucci,
The new DOCCS package pilot punishes innocent families. Having a loved one in prison is already expensive and difficult—the new rules make it worse. Rescind the package pilot!
(Your relationship to people in prison, if applicable)
4) Write a letter to both of these people (address above)
5)Call Cuomo’s office and leave a message about it. You won’t have to talk to anyone. Just leave your message. 518-474-8390
For a 59 minute long, radio clean version for syndication purposes, please visit the archive.org collection. For a full version, click the link under the picture on the left.
This week I had the opportunity to speak with Margaret Killjoy about her new novella The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion, which is coming out on August 15th from Tor.com. In this interview we will talk about how she got into writing genre fiction, how writing has shaped her politics, about the book itself, and about fighting a battle on a cultural front, among many other things.
If you are interested, you can come to a book release event that Killjoy will be doing at Firestorm Books and Coffee on August 15th at 7pm! You can pre-order a copy of this book from your local bookstore or from Red Emmas, an online anarchist source.
You can find more of her writings at her website, Birds Before The Storm, alongside some of music and artwork!
NC Resists a Grand Jury, Solidarity with Katie Yow!
On Monday, July 31st, people will gather in Greensboro at 9am at the Federal Courthouse, 324 W. Market St in order to support Katie Yow, who is refusing to comply with a Federal Grand Jury convening there to which she’s been subpoena’d.
And here’s an update from Katie on what she’s learned about the fgj:
“We have now learned more from the Assistant US Attorney about the subject of the federal grand jury to which I have been subpoenaed. This grand jury is looking into what the government has described as a bombing at the GOP headquarters in Hillsborough, NC this past fall. The AUSA has also indicated that they are interested in “other people” and “other events.” I don’t know anything relevant to a criminal investigation of the alleged incident at the GOP headquarters. The broad nature of the government’s interest in other information makes clear the way that this and other grand juries are used as fishing expeditions to attempt to coerce testimony on 1st amendment protected information. This is one of the many ways grand juries are used to repress social movements, and one of many reasons why we resist them.
Whatever new information we may learn about this grand jury, I will continue to refuse to cooperate. We didn’t have to know what this grand jury was about to know what we are about. Our values are long held, they are nurtured through both triumph and incredible loss, and they cannot be compromised. My resistance to this grand jury is the easiest decision I have ever made, even if the consequences may be difficult. I will continue to refuse to comply with this subpoena, and I have every faith in my community’s ability to support me in doing so.”
If yr feeling it, show up in Greensboro on Monday to show support!
If you are in Asheville on Wednesday, you are invited to attend a workshop at Firestorm Books and Coffee (610 Haywood Rd) at 7pm entitled “What Is A Grand Jury?” The discussion will be presented by the Scuffletown Anti Repression Committee.
Smashing the Fash, Every Day
Keep your eyes on your favorite anarchist news source for updates on resisting AmRen in Tennessee, which is going on today and tomorrow (7/30 and 7/31). For context, you can hear an interview that Bursts did about this resistance by searching “AmRen” on our blog. Also, keep your eyes peeled for information on resisting the far right in Charlottesville on August 12th by following the #NoNewKKK
This week, we air our conversation with Shon Meckfessel. Shon is a longtime anarchist and activist from Sacramento, CA. He has penned numerous articles and the book “Suffled How It Gush: A North American Anarchist in the Balkans.” In this interview we talk about his most recent book, “Nonviolence Ain’t What It Used To Be: Unarmed Insurrection and the Rhetoric of Resistance.” We spend the hour chatting about concepts of Nonviolence in the U.S. and how they’ve developed, the threat and use of violence in and by anti-capitalist and anti-racist social movements. The chat moves through Lockean Liberalism, Insurrectionalism, Ghandian-Kingian non-violence, Anarchism, Nihilism and more.
It was a fun chat and we talked in some real depth that we couldn’t fit into this one hour. So, we made a podcast episode that’s just over an hour PLUS another hour-long podcast of the secondary materials. The second part will soon end up as an episode as well.
At one point we talk about Rojava (the Kurdish-led, Bookchin influenced anti-capitalist revolution being run in parts of Turkey and Syria) & the Syrian Revolution and anti-authoritarian participation in it. I mention an interview that subMedia did with Robin Yassin-Kassab, a co-author of Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War,
On April 7th there will be a MARATHON BENEFIT DAY for two things, the first being a show at the Odditorium on Friday April 7th to benefit the fast approaching Asheville Anarchist Bookfaire, keep in touch with the event and request housing at https://acab2017.noblogs.org. The second will be a dance party across town at the Lazy Diamond to benefit IGNITE! NC’s efforts for May Day organizing. All door proceeds will go toward direct action training led by one of the co-organizers of the Charlotte uprising. DJd by Lamar B. and DJ Malinalli.
On April 15th, shake/run/play it out with folks at Anarchist Field Day in Asheville NC! Festivities will begin at 1pm and go til 7pm at the West Asheville Park at 198 Vermont Ave. Athletes and non athletes of all levels welcome, as well as kids!
On April 15th in Berkley CA, there will be a bloc party and cookout to oppose an alt right gathering in MLK Civic Center Park from 10am to 2pm. There will be speakers and events, bring food and games to share if you can! It’s also suggested that folks bring discreet face coverings to help keep your and others identities safe from fascist and alt right creeps, who love to doxx and harrass people over the internet.
It may come as a surprise to some that we are at the VERY BEGINNING of a week of resistance to the Trump administration and everything it stands for and has empowered. From April 1st thru 7th, actions, informational events, film screenings, and benefits will all take place across so-called North America and beyond. The purpose of the week of action is simple: to come together and push back against a wave of repression that has been growing in the United States and accelerated by the coming to power of the Trump administration.
You can check this article for more on this subject, and either plug into existing events in your area or start planning one of your own!
Free Jennifer BabyGirl Gann!
Jennifer Gann is a trans woman and anarchist prison rebel who has been held captive since 1990. While serving a seven year sentence for robbery, she became politicized during the 1991 Folsom Prison Food Strike and survived more than a decade of torture in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay SHU. She was convicted of the non-violent prison offenses and given multiple 25 year-to-life sentences under the “Three Strikes” law, but now qualifies for a sentence reduction under California’s Proposition 36 and early release under the newly enacted Prop. 57, which Governor Grown supported.
She is currently asking for help in raising just under 3 grand for a case evaluation, which will help her lawyer put together a game plan for fighting her conviction and sentence. Currently, she only has $300 saved and needs at least $1,000 for the down payment on the NLPA legal consulting fee. Donations of any amount are appreciated and can be sent to her online legal fundraiser, by cashier’s check, or money order(marked “for Jennifer Gann”) sent to:
National Legal Professional Associates
Margaret A. Robinson Advocacy Center
11802 Corney Rd., Ste. 150
Cincinnati, OH 45249
You can donate to this lovely and powerful person here
This week we are re-broadcasting an episode which originally aired in early May 2015 with Jesse Cohn who is the author of the book Underground Passages: Anarchist Resistance Culture 1848-2011, published by AK Press. In the book, Jesse explores trajectories in literature, cartoons, comics, music, poetry, drama produced at times by and or for or just conspicuously consumed by anarchists in europe, north and south america and asia during that time period. More info on the book can be found at https://www.akpress.org/
Stay tuned next week for a conversation with an anarchist who has spent a bunch of time in struggle at Standing Rock about their experiences and moving forward with an explicitely anti colonialist approach to resource extraction resistance.
But first here are some announcements
“Imperial Wizard” kicks it!
To start off with some good news, yesterday February 11th the bloated corpse of KKK Imperial Wizard Frank Ancona was fished out of the Missouri River, apparently after having been there for a hot minute. This piece of human garbage white supremacist is the bonehead who was credited with saying that Ferguson protesters, showing their rage at the police murder of Mike Brown, had awakened a “sleeping giant” in the KKK and claimed unlimited violence in “retaliation”. Who’s sleepin now, Frankie? In whatever way this death occured, here’s hoping that KKK will follow their leader in this ultimate act.
Support NC #DisruptJ20 arrestees
On January 20, 2017, tens of thousands of people converged in Washington, D.C. for the #disruptJ20 protests opposing the inauguration of Donald Trump. A combination of blockades, marches, and festive demonstrations made it clear around the world that the people do not recognize Trump’s authority or support his policies.
In response, D.C. police went on a rampage, shooting pepper spray, tear gas, and concussion grenades indiscriminately at protesters, including children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. In one instance, police cordoned off an entire block and mass arrested 257 people, including dozens of North Carolinians.
This attack on political dissent is intended to create a chilling effect to keep protesters out of the streets so that Trump can move forward with his divisive agenda. We owe it to the arrestees to support them through the legal process so they can get adequate representation and as fair a hearing as possible.
A group of North Carolinian community organizers created the NC J20 Legal Defense Fund to quickly and efficiently support the arrestees from North Carolina. Please join us in donating, and spread the word to everyone who cares about civil discourse and the future of our world.
If you are a North Carolinian arrested at #disruptJ20 and are not yet in touch with us, email email@example.com
We cannot accept donations in individual’s names, but all donations will be used to provide legal support to #disruptJ20 arrestees from North Carolina.
You can donate at http://ncj20defense.com/
Antifa Sacramento medical support
From Antifa Sacramento:
One of the six antifascists who was stabbed by Neo-Nazis at the capitol building in Sacramento on June 26th, 2016 still has thousands of dollars in medical bills to pay. An artist has made a beautiful print to support this person, and it is now being sold to continue fundraising for this brave individual’s remaining medical bills. They are 5 dollars each, and printed on 7×8 cardstock. If you would like one, please head over to the website https://antifasac.noblogs.org/donate/, make a donation, and email the crew to let them know how many cards you’d like and what address we should mail it to.
Thank you for the support!
Herbal Clinic at la ZAD
From comrades at la ZAD, the autonomous occupation resisting the building of an airport in in Notre Dame des Landres outside of Paris, France:
We’re a group of people who have been working with medicinal plants on the ZAD for the past 6 years. We’ve made a collective medicinal plant garden and do wild harvesting to stock a small apothecary of dried plants that we distribute at the non-market or out of a house. Some of us do first aid in demos or everyday on the ground, and others do education like plant walks and workshops.
In an effort to have more collective autonomy in healthcare, we would like to be able to do consultations, both individual and group. The idea is to have one day a week for free price individual consultations, and another for people to come and learn together, combining different people’s knowledge while having access to plants, to figure out common acute illnesses. However, to have enough medicine for 300 people all year long, would mean full time in the garden and probably bitter burnout. Which is why we are asking for money.
Just this week a group in solidarity finished building a cabin where we can dry, process, and store plants, and do consultations and workshops. We’re able to get access to bulk tinctures that are super cheap (€2 an oz.!!!) and plan to distribute medicine at free or indicated price so that we can make some of the money back and the clinic can fund itself and time can be spend gardening instead of having to beg for money all the time. Money raised will go primarily towards tinctures and dried plants, but also to bottles, tools and machines, and menstrum for making more medicine.
Please help us out! Also if you can donate dried plants or medicine get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
This time we are rebroadcasting an episode which originally aired in March 2015 with the two authors of the book “The Inspection House”, Emily Horne and Tim Maly. In this interview we talk about the book, the idea of the panopticon, the concept of security theater as a psychologically repressive tool and much more. We decided that now would be a good time to rebroadcast this particular episode because, what with a bunch of comrades and heros ramping up in righteous ways on various fronts, it might be a good idea to re-introduce this idea of panoptic surveillance with an eye to helping spark conversations in yalls communities about security culture and keeping safe in the midst of a high key surveillance state. It’s believed that under Trump, the surveillance will only get more nightmarish and more fascistic, however we can and will adapt to this newer state of affairs.
If you are listening in Asheville, there is a protest called for at 4pm TODAY at the Atlanta airport – which is the busiest in the country – in response to Trump’s ban on Muslim people from countries including Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. This has led to folks with greencards getting detained and questioned in airports all over the U.S. If you can make the drive and want to be a part of the already massive resistance, please do!
Be advised that protesting at airports is a different ballgame than in the streets, the presence of homeland security makes the possibility of being detained for lengthy periods without access to legal aid more likely. Keep yourself and your crew safe by making sure no one gets lost or separated.
Sean Swain on Hunger Strike
Sean Swain continues his hunger strike against his unfair treatment at the hands of the Ohio Department of Corrections at Warren Corruptional in Lebanon, Ohio. For those who don’t know Sean, here’s some background.
Sean Swain went to prison in 1991 for defending himself during a home invasion. He was dating and living with a woman and her kids when her abusive ex-partner and father of the kids was released from prison and came to confront Sean, who he saw as a usurper. When dude kicked in the door to the apartment Sean defended himself from what he saw was an attacker with a weapon and stabbed the man. Sean had no prior record. The home invader was related to court officials and so the case was made and Sean Swain was convicted.
As time went on, Sean became politicized in prison, developed anarchist critiques and began publishing zines with the help of outside groups like Anarchist Black Cross. As time went on, Sean became a thorn in the side of the administration of his prisons by developing and implementing skills as a jailhouse lawyer, adept at filing lawsuits on behalf of himself and other prisoners against deplorable conditions.
In 2012, Sean was charged with being an organizer with the Army of the 12 Monkeys, a guerrilla sabotage movement in the Ohio Prison system that spread ideas of resistance among prisoners and organized conflagrations in institutions. Sean denied his participation with what he called a self-styled Maoist organization, though he expressed appreciation of the content. Due to this conviction, Sean was shuttered away in super duper uber mega ultramax prisons. This is when our relationship with Sean began.
Since January 19th, 2014, we’ve aired mostly weekly installments of a segment by Sean called “You Are The Resistance”, in which Sean talks about his time inside, his ideas, shares his humor at the illogical world of politics and what he calls Swivelization and more. You can find these segments linked from Sean’s support site, http://seanswain.org, alongside his writings and updates on his case.
Sean is currently being held in a suicide cell, away from general population at Warren CI in Lebanon, Ohio, as I mentioned. He has refused to speak to administrators and refused food since December 26th of 2016, only taking water. This is worrisome as he’s no spring chicken, he’s hunger struck before, and according to word that got out a few days ago he’s dropped in weight by 28 pounds and has crossed the 30 day threshold, increasing the danger of organ and bone damage due to lack of nutrients.
Sean is striking because administration keeps throwing unwarranted charges his way and isn’t providing him with functioning means of communication with his aging parents and his supporters.
Here’s what you can do, dear listeners: you could annoy the Deputy Warden of Operations at Warren CI by calling him at 513 932 3388 extension 2005 and requesting that he seee to the repair of all broken phones at the institution holding Sean and a regular schedule of maintenance be established.
You can also call Warden’s Assistant Greg Kraft (513) 932-3388 ext. 2010 and request that they retract the charge of extortion that’s been placed on Sean and that they stop messing with our boy.
Stay Dangerous, Swainiacs, and let’s get Sean outta the hole and back on the mac n cheese.
Legal Defense for J20 Protesters
Various community defense funds have sprung up around getting support moneys to folks facing charges from arrests in Washington DC while protesting the Inauguration of Donald Kampf, I mean Trump on January 20th. On that day at around 11AM, a group of over 200 folks were kettled at the intersection of 12th & L (12L!), including journalists, medics, legal observers from the NLG & ostensibly protesters. While the kettle was valiantly charged and briefly broken, the majority of these folks inside were arrested and face felony riot charges. Likely, most of these charges will be dropped AAAAND a suit against the city and USPP and other law enforcement that kept kettled folks out in the 40 degree weather over the course of 7 hours is pending. But, check out our blog post for various fundraisers to get moneys to friends across North Carolina, in PA, Virginia, and other places who could use help covering lost wages, legal fees and travel costs outside of what’s being offered by the DisruptJ20 crew.
J20 New Orleans Arrestee Support Durham DisruptJ20 Legal Fund Pittsburghers arrested in DC Richmond Antifa of the Seven Hills defense fund
Keep your eyes out for more defense initiatives, this is by no means a complete list.
Richard Spencer got clocked and everyone loves it!
Philly antifa is also pre-emptively raising money to support the person who sucker punched alt-right pundit and nazi saluter Richard Spencer in the head on January 20th in the streets of DC. While conducting an interview and being heckled by folks around him, Richard Spencer was just reaching for his trusty Pepe the frog pin to explain the meme to the cameras when, irony of irony, he was about to become one himself. While the puncher has yet to be unmasked, don’t think that the state and autonomous right don’t want to make a trophy of them.
During a protest against a speaking engagement by over-rated, pro-genocide & anti-semetic alt-right yackjob and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, a right winger shot an unarmed antifascist IWW organizer. The shooter later turned himself in, claiming self defense, and was released by Seattle police. The Wobbly who was shot is apparently not filing charges and is requesting dialogue. If you’d like to offer medical support to the shot antifascist, you can find a fundraising page at https://www.crowdrise.com/medical-fundraiser-for-iww-and-gdc-member-shot-in-seattle
Worshiping Power: An Anarchist View of Early State Formation
This week Gil O’Teen spoke with Peter Gelderloos, who is an anarchist and an author. His books include “The Failure of Nonviolence”, “Consensus”, “Anarchy Works”, and most recently “Worshiping Power: An Anarchist View of Early State Formation”, which is being released two days from now (January 10th 2017) from AK Press. Gil and Peter discuss the ideas in Worshiping Power, how states usually take root, the insidiousness of democracy, the concept of how salvation religions intertwine with the state, and much more.
Don’t forget about the presentation at Firestorm Books and Coffee entitled “Preparing for the Trump Era: An Anarchist Viewpoint” starting at 7pm on Tuesday January 10th. The presenters will explore various approaches to self-organization and self-defense, drawing on the principles of mutual aid and direct action. If you feel lost or uncertain about how to organize in these increasingly crazy times, come to this and get some ideas!
J20 in Asheville
And here in Asheville on January 20th (INAUGURATION DAY) there is a day of activities being planned starting with a meetup and march at Pritchard Park at 10am on the 20th. After that in West Asheville, there will be free food, healing space, workshops, and a dance party/benefit in the evening. To plug in and see the most recent info, you can visit http://j20asheville.noblogs.org or you can plug in on fedbook by searching “J20 Day of Resistance & General Strike”
This week, we’re replaying an interview that Bursts conducted with Ron Sakolsky in March of 2016. Ron had just recently published Breaking Loose: Mutual Acquiescence or Mutual Aid? From the original posting: “Ron is a poet, an anarchist, a surrealist, a pirate radio broadcaster and author and more. Recently, Little Black Cart published a small book by Ron Sakolsky entitled Breaking Loose: Mutual Acquiescence or Mutual Aid? The essay is an anarcho-surrealist critique in which Ron levels a challenge to readers to move past (or break free) from the limitations we internalize from engaging with and within (as well as with others within) the systems of domination. In the conversation, Ron revisits the essay, breaks down some terminology and eggs the listener on to exercise their imagination and act from places of inspiration to apply direct action against the status quo. The essay it’s built off of can be found in Modern Slavery #1.
During the hour, we discuss that book, we chat about radio and Ron’s 30 years of radio experience starting in college radio in IL, later involved in the pirate station called Black Liberation Radio, publishing and promoting the building of micro-broadcast transmitters, and currently with Radio Tree Frog in the forests of Coast Salish Territories AKA British Colombia. He contributed to and edited the titles Seizing The Airwaves: A Free Radio Handbook (AK Press, 1998) and Islands of Resistance: Pirate Radio in Canada (New Star Books, 2010). A sample of featuring mostly content from the “Old Pal” show on Tree Frog radio is found here: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=tree+frog+radio&t=ffsb&ia=videos&iai=CACQMFIi9Pk ”
To hear more of our archives, dating back to 2010, check out thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org
Jerry Jai Williams
Later this week, District Attorney Todd Williams plans to announce whether or not he will be indicting Sgt. Tyler Radford for the murder of 35 year old Asheville resident Jerry Williams (no relation), who was a children’s book author and father of 5. The particulars of this meeting will hopefully be made public later this week. For those who are unaware of this case, Williams was murdered in early July this year at the Deaverview apartment complex after police were called regarding an unrelated domestic dispute. In response to Jai, or Jerry, being killed by law enforcement and the discrepencies between stories of witnesses and the police narrative, Asheville experienced its first of many vigorous protests under the auspices of Black Lives Matter. It is expected that the DA, who recently received a 900 page report on the case from the State Bureau of Investigation, will deliver a non-indictment announcement, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for calls for solidarity from the Williams family and for community responses. You can also call the DA’s office to express your opinion at (828) 259-3410.
There is urgent need for folks to call prison administrators at Limestone Correctional Facility, where Kinetic Justice (who was one of the main organizers of the September 9 #PrisonStrike) has been transferred in order to isolate and endanger him. He was brutally beaten on December 2, and continues to fear for his life.
WE NEED TO SHOW THE PRISON THAT THERE ARE MANY EYES AND EARS ON THE OUTSIDE KEEPING TRACK OF KINETIK!
Here are the numbers to call, and the script provided by IWOC:
Call Limestone Prison Warden Christopher Gordy 256-233-4600
Call Commissioner Jeff Dunn & Ass Comm Grant Culliver 334-353-3883 email@example.com
Call Gov Robert Bentley 334-242-7100
Call Department of Justice firstname.lastname@example.org
Say this, “I am calling to demand that you release Robert Early Council from solitary confinement and move him out of Limestone Correctional Facility immediately. He was brutally beaten on December 2nd and continues to fear for his life.”
You can read about Kinetik’s work at the Free Alabama Movement’s website freealabamamovement.com
GRAND JURY RESISTANCE AT STANDING ROCK
On or around December 3rd, 2016 a water protector at Oceti Sakowin received a summons to appear before a federal grand jury that has been convened in relation to the resistance of water protectors. What we know about grand juries is that they have a long history of being used to target those in resistance to the state and engaged in political or revolutionary movements. The purpose of this grand jury and all grand juries that target revolutionary people and communities is to cause division, manufacture prisoners of war, create paranoia and suspicion amongst comrades. We will not be intimidated and resistance to this is only strengthening our resolve to kill this black snake and all the others.
Water protectors stand in resistance to this grand jury and all tools of state repression, be it on the ground through Morton County’s violent tactics or in the shrouded secrecy of a grand jury courtroom.
Indigenous people, water protectors, legal workers, revolutionaries and comrades from across the camps are actively organizing resistance to this grand jury. Camp wide education efforts are already underway as well as reaching out through our networks of solidarity that know no borders in order to spread the word.
If you have been contacted by federal law enforcement or have been served with a subpoena related to water protector activities or the resistance at Standing Rock please contact the Water Protector Legal Collective at (605) 519-8180. Grand juries rely on the isolation and fear that can come with a subpoena. The first step of resistance is seeking solidarity and support!
And for many other fantastic resources regarding grand juries and grand jury resistance, you can visit itsgoingdown.org and search the article Grand Jury Resistance at Standing Rock #NoDAPL Grand Jury Resistance at Standing Rock
Oakland March in response to Gentrification & #Ghostship
In Oakland, there’s a call for a March on Monday entitled: Honor the dead! Fight for the living!
Resist the destruction of all that allows us to survive and sometimes thrive. Let us mourn and rage together against a world that tears us apart, slowly in the form of ongoing gentrification, development, deportation, and imprisonment – or swiftly through tragedy that could have been prevented.
From Libby to Trump, they don’t care about us, let’s show them we don’t need them! It’s not about the artists. It’s about all of us trying to survive in Oakland. Poor people, people of color and queer people have been fighting for their existence for decades.
Communal warehouses are only one of our most recent dwellings where sometimes we get to imagine what another life could look like.
Defend tent cities and takeover vacant buildings! Fight landlords! We demand a moratorium on all evictions and affordable housing for all!
Monday, December 12th, 6pm at Grand Lake Theater @ Grand Ave and Lake Park Ave next to Lake Merritt
FBI Spying & Rule 41
Also of note, the December 9th episode of On The Media, a podcast produced by NPR’s WNYC studios with a progressive focus on media production in the U.S. and politics, had a really good interview with Rainey Reitman, the Activism Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The OTM interview, the second interview of the episode, focused on the recently passed updates to Rule 41 of the U.S. Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, giving permission for the FBI to hack computers outside the jurisdiction in which the warrant was granted, often specifically where encryption or another means of obscuring or securing the information is being used. Check out that episode at http://www.wnyc.org and more work and analysis of digital freedom and surveillance from our friends at the Electronic Frontier Foundation can be found at https://eff.org, alongside toolkits for staying safer in the interwebs
To friends we’ve met, and to those we have yet to meet, I’d like to wish everyone a happy May Day. As we’ll hear in the following hour, this day has a long celebrated history. From its many European pagan roots as a celebration of fertility as the fruits of the spring planting season began to… uh, spring forth. Then on to the repressive winter that fell early on May 3rd and 4th of 1886 in Illinois with, first, the killing of workers striking for an 8 hour work day at the McCormick Works and then the repression of anarchist and socialist workers and organizers following the bombing at Haymarket Square in Chicago of that same year. From there to the taking up of May 1st as International Workers Day by struggling groups around the world and the U.S. adoption of a sanctioned Labor Day in September of the year.
To divide an international working class, The U.S. government, oppressors of that May Day 1886 sanctioned a Labor Day to be celebrated in September, declared the first of May both Law Day (an obvious testament to Irony in respect to the Haymarket 8, all jailed and 4 executed) and, for some, it’s celebration as Americanism Day. Whatever that means. In 2006 & 2007, immigrants rights marches were seen on and around May Days that, for many, re-sparked the importance of this day. The protests and festivals swelled to numbers nearly unmatched in the history of protest on Turtle Island, and were accompanied by school and work walkouts and boycott days.
The rest of the hour will feature songs that made myself and William, cohost of The Final Straw, feel a bit in the spirit of the day. Whether you’re out there today taking direct action, in repose from the horrors of wage slavery, resisting the carceral state, gardening, dancing around a May Pole or otherwise celebrating the possibilities of this year to come when, hell, we might as well end this system of exclusion and extraction: We wish you a fire on your tongue, love in your heart and free land beneath you.