This week on The Final Straw Radio, I’m happy to share a conversation with Rozalinda, Pura and Lynn from La Villita Red de Solidaridad or the Little Village Solidarity Network in so-called Chicago, IL. LVSN, in the English-language acronym, is an autonomous community organizing project based in La Villita or Little Village neighborhood and networks with other residents of the area. If you’re listening to the podcast or online version of this episode, just an fyi that there is cursing, but compared to putting babies in jails which offends more?
In the first hour, LVSN members talk about organizing on the ground against Heartland Alliance, a 501c3 non-profit running baby jails for federal funding (they call them shelters) around Chicago, in coalition with the Chicago Catholic Arch-Dioecese. Soon, at our website, on youtube, spotify and other sites we offer a 2 hour version of this conversation, including our Sean Swain segment and LVSN comrades’ words directed at people resisting detention facilities around the country.
LVSN also speaks about the case of Jose, a young father who was in these facilities and faces deportation currently from Texas where his family is. Information about Jose’s case and how to support him can be found, alongside more info about the work of LVSN, on their fedbook page and twitter account or at their website, lvsolidaridad.com.
In an update to Jose’s situation, he has gotten a stay of deportation. You can donate to his case via the lvsn venmo (@lavillitasolidaridad) or paypal to email@example.com. You can see and hear Jose in his own words in testimony on vimeo talking about what kids on the inside experience noise demos outside and the sense of desperation of the youth inside. And here is another of Jose describing the experience of staff attempting to extract information about his loved ones by Heartland Staff, in particular how it’s experienced by children in the jails.
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Keep an eye out in our podcast stream, website and social media for a link to the latest episode of BADNews, angry voices from around the world. BADNews is a 2 and a half year-running, collaborative, monthly anarchist news show in English with participation by anarchist radio and podcast projects from around Europe and all over the so-called Americas, North, South and Central. Find our back episodes up at a-radio-network.org.
Taking Down Racist Monuments and Growing New Worlds
This week on TFSR, we’re featuring two audios from affiliates of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Maya Little & Dwayne Dixon talking about resisting neo-Confederate monuments in the so-called U.S. south, in particular the statue called “Silent Sam” that was toppled August 20th, 2018.
First, we’ll hear graduate student worker and anti-racist activist Maya Little speak about their research into the racist history of the constructed landscape and neo-confederate symbols in and around Chapel Hill and Carrboro, North Carolina. Maya also speaks about the recent resistance to the the specific statue called Silent Sam at UNC Chapel Hill and the far right and cop repression faced by students and anti-racist activists to push for and eventually enact it’s removal. Maya can be found on twitter at @readkropotkin and contributes writing to the project @CuddlePotMag. Within a few days of the broadcast, we hope to have links to the pictures spoken about in Maya’s presentation and to integrate those into the youtube post of this episode. This audio was recorded at the 2019 North American Anarchist Studies Network conference in Atlanta.
Then, Dwayne Dixon, an adjunct professor of cultural anthropology at UNC and an anti-racist activist talks about personal experiences of coming up in a white, military family in the U.S., experiences of struggle against white supremacists and their symbols in the so-called US south in recent years and the inspirational strength of those struggles interlacing and expanding into ecological defense work, disaster response and the building of autonomous, anti-capitalist community infrastructures. Dwayne is also involved in the community defense group, Piedmont Redstrings, as well as Take Action Chapel Hill and @DefendUNC on twitter.
If you listened on the radio, you can find a longer version of the show (including Sean Swain’s segment and a few announcements) as a podcast up at our website and various streaming platforms.
New Broadcasters in VT & OR!
We’re excited to announce that The Final Straw can now be heard on Fridays from 6-7am on WGDR, 91.1fm out of Goddard College in Plainfield, VT as well as in Eugene, OR on KEPW 97.3FM on Saturdays from 9-10pm local time. Hello, new listeners, we’re proud to be in your ears. Please reach out to us if you have concerns, critiques or suggestions.
Today we air three segments. First, audio about Likhts’amisyu Summer Camp in so-called B.C., Canada [4min 50sec]. Then, two Palestinian activists talk about the project “Eye On Palestine” [14min 42sec]. Finally, we share audios from the A-Radio Network show, BADNews, with words from struggles in Serbia [49:42] and the UK [53:50]. Sean Swain’s segment for this week is available separately.
Eye On Palestine
Today we’re very pleased to present some audio from two Palestinian comrades, Iman Eloghonemi who is an Austrian born Palestinian living in Vienna, and S, who a prisoner rights advocate, about their work doing consciousness raising and advocacy. Because of time differences and schedules, we recorded our interview over text to voice prints about a month ago, so there will be some dated material in the interview but William believes it is relevant even now. In this interview we talk about their work and recent projects, the social media project Eye on Palestine (on Instagram and Facebook) which Iman co-runs, and issues such as how we talk about anti Zionism, anti Semitism, and apartheid as it could relate to Palestinians.
When we were first talking about doing this interview, there had just been a massive hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails and prisons. It ended a couple of days before the interview took place, but the main demands of the strikers were: the institution of landline phones in prison, and releasing those held in solitary confinement (many of whom are children).
Some other issues in Israeli prison also come up in S’s segments, the use of electronic signal jammers is one which has been a central problem for some time. The prison puts these in place, ostensibly to prevent the use of so called contraband cell phones, even though prolonged exposure to these devices causes health problems from headaches to certain forms of cancer. It’s our understanding that these jammers have not yet been removed from facilities.
Another central issue that S brings up is the rationing of drinking water given to prisoners. It’s our understanding that prisoners don’t have access to tap water in Israeli facilities, and the land in question is characterized by its long, hot, dry summers. It’s common for prisons all around the world to not have any form of indoor climate control, and if you’re being held in a small room with many other people for long hours at a time, you could imagine why rationing water would turn into a huge issue.
Likhts’amisyu Summer Camp
Also as part of this episode, we’d like to present some words from the Likhts’amisyu Summer Camp. We hear from two people from the Likhts’amisyu clan about an autonomous camp and climate research center being constructed on Parrot Lake in Likhts’amisyu territory.
To keep up with this project, you can visit https://likhtsamisyu.com , email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. You can also visit our show notes for links, to the registration form for the summer camp, and also to the video that this audio was pulled from, with permission from the participants (links below).
Finally, we feature 10 minutes from the latest BADNews: Angry Voices From Around The World episode. More episodes, including one due out in the next week, up at https://a-radio-network.org
On Tuesday, June 11th 2019, the day in solidarity with
Marius Mason and other longterm anarchist prisoners, Firestorm and Blue Ridge ABC will be showing a couple of films and a vegetarian potluck from 6pm til 8pm. We invite you to come by, eat, share, watch, chat and celebrate the fierceness of comrades the state fears so much they have to stick them in cages.
Also, if you’re looking for more audio, check out our episode released June 7th with an anarchist in Italy about the hunger strike of Silvia and Anna in L’Alquila prison against the torturous, solitary conditions there. Also, for June 11th, keep an ear out for a podcast special featuring Michael Kimble, Sean Swain, a song dedicated to Marius Mason, an anarchist supporter of Eric King and Robcatt, an editor of the journal Fire Ant, coming out in a few days. We interviewed all of these folks about Fire Ant, prisoner support and community. Both can be found at our website soon if not now at thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org.
This week we share an interview I conducted a few months back with two folks, Inman and Bleep, about community armed self defense. They talk about their experiences of handling firearms, lessons learned from their visibly armed presence at the Charlottesville Unite The Right protest in 2017, wider ideas of community self-defense beyond open carrying firearms (like engaging in like unarmed self-defense, infrastructure for food and health autonomy). The guests also talk about skills expanded and muscles flexed in Appalachian and southern participation in autonomous disaster relief in the last few years, some resources and ideas to keep in mind or steal if your group is thinking about training in firearms or medic’ing and more.
There’s a lot cut from the radio version, so if you’re listening live, we suggest you check out the online edition up at thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org where you can stream any of our shows or subscribe to our podcast.
Blue Ridge ABC events upcoming
If you’re in Asheville on Sunday, June 2nd, you can join Blue Ridge ABC for their monthly political prisoner letter writing night from 5-7pm at Firestorm Books. No experience is requred. And on Friday, June 7th from 6:30 to 8:30 instead of Trouble, BRABC will be showing the documentary “The Bail Trap” and having a discussion about it afterwards.
Today William talked with two anarchist healthcare workers in Asheville, NC about the Trump administration’s censorship of language regarding the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2018 budget proposal documents. In this short episode we talk about what this means, some recent context for similar censorship, how CDC budget documents affect people’s everyday lives, and recommendations for how to move forward.
Unfortunately the taping of another show made it into the background of this minisode, sorry about that. If you listen closely you might learn something about the latest game.
To read more about this recent censorship, you can get online and type something along the lines of “CDC list of banned words” into your web browser for some more background context.
This is a The Final Straw Radio mini-episode and we just had a quick conversation with Assata, an activist and member Yellow Hammer Alternative, an Alabama-based far left autonomous mutual aid group. We talked about relief work done by Assata’s group around Hurricane Harvey, in Mobile with Food Not Bombs and in the run-up to Hurricanes Irma and Jose. More about Assata’s group can be found at theyellowhammeralternative.com and you can make donations to their and others efforts in the gulf at https://www.youcaring.com/hurricane-Irma-direct-action
This week, we’re airing the formerly only podcast conversation I had with organizers of the Haymaker Gym project in Chicago, IL. Haymaker is an explicitly anti-fascist and feminist self-defense initiative.
If you want to help out the Haymaker project, until August 14th they have a fund raising page up at launchgood.com and search for “Haymaker self defense.” If you want to encounter the folks from the gym and get involved in some of the startup events, you can run into them at the Breakaway Autonomous Social Center at 2424 S Western Ave Chicago, IL and more info on that project can be found here.
NC Resists the Grand Jury, Donate to Katie Yow!
In July of 2017, long-time activist Katie Yow received a subpoena to testify before a grand jury in North Carolina. The subject of this grand jury has been revealed to be what the government has described as a bombing at the GOP headquarters in Hillsborough, NC this past fall. Katie has expressed no knowledge of any relevant information to this alleged event, yet is continuing to resist the inquiries of this proceeding.
Grand juries are not regular trials, but rather operate in secrecy where normal rules of evidence do not apply. The prosecutor runs the proceedings and no judge is present. This type of proceeding has been used as tools of the State to isolate, divide, and destroy social movements since the 1960’s. They have been used to sow distrust and coerce information from the Chicano, Puerto Rican, and Black liberation movements, the anti-war movement, and more recently the environmental, animal rights, and anarchist movements. They are currently especially being wielded against anarchists, anti-fascists, and indigenous water protectors who struggled at Standing Rock.
But we have powerful tools as well, those of resolute silence, courageous refusal, and fierce solidarity. In honor of her principles and the different world we struggle for together, Katie is refusing to cooperate with this witchhunt.
In addition to legal support, navigating the possibility of an unknown amount of jail time, away from work, can be expensive. Please consider making a donation to support Katie’s refusal to participate in the grand jury by going to the support page.
Regular listeners to The Final Straw, and anyone who’s clued in to southern antifascism, will be aware that there is opposition planned to a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville Virginia next Saturday, August 12th. For any folks still feeling uncertain of what is going on and who will be there, there is an excellent article on It’s Going Down about the specifics of all the Neo Nazi, white nationalist, and all around bonehead alt righters who may be showing their miserable faces in Cville on the 12th, plus some context for why these fashies are dragging themselves out from behind their computer screens in the first place.
You’ll get to read about such charmers as the Traditionalist Worker Party, Identity Europa, plus Neo Nazi Jason Kessler, local to Cville, who is one of the brains behind this march in the first place, plus many others.
If you can’t make Charlottesville but will be in the Asheville area, consider Pansy Fest. Pansy Fest is a new queer and trans DIY music and arts fest in Asheville, NC, August 11-12th. Proceeds will go towards two beneficiaries: Beloved House and Southerners on New Ground. If you are local and you would like to help with support functions (set-up, tear-down, stage management, local housing, etc) you can contact the organizers at email@example.com.
On August 11th, at Static Age Records in downtown Asheville at 7pm there’ll be a show who’s lineup includes Bryan Estelle, Crooked Ghost, Sister Mantos and many more.
On August 12th, from 12-3pm at Firestorm Books & Coffee in West Asheville, there’ll be workshops and a band panel. At 7pm at the Odditorium another show will ensue with bands including Brief Awakening, Laser Beams, Ghastly & Cloudgayzer. More info at http://pansyfestavl.com/
Dearest Asheville (and surrounding area) Queers!
“Glitter and Bone is a radical queer collective hosting what is, basically, a big party. We have no official status as an event or an organization, nobody makes a profit or gets paid. We ask for donations only to cover our expenses. The dis-organizers are queer/trans folx who are concerned about emotional, psychological and physical safety of queer and trans people at skills events, and want to create a safe space for our queer/trans community to learn skills, be in the wilderness, and thrive.
Registration begins at noon on Friday, August 18. Event begins Friday evening, 7pm, and ends Sunday afternoon, 6pm. Glitter and Bone provides rustic camping, composting outhouses, and water/soap for handwashing and meal clean up. We do not have showers. Meals are not provided, but a large, rustic communal kitchen area will be maintained, with both open fire and camp stove cooking. Pack for a typical weekend of camping, bring whatever food and supplies you would bring for that. Please see the specific list of what to bring below. For folx unfamiliar with rustic camping, we provide support in finding a good camp spot, pitching a tent, understanding the bathroom situation, learning how to cook over an open fire, etc. No judgement here, we want more queers in the wilderness!
We need everyone’s help to make this happen! All Glitter and Bone participants will be asked to volunteer a few hours to help out at the
event. Here is a list of jobs to help you think in advance about what you would like to do. If you feel drawn to providing some leadership in a particular area, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org”
You can get in touch with G&B at that email, keep in touch with them on tumblr at their tumblr, and link up w them on the Fedbook by searching their name!
Asheville Solidarity Rally with Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March on Washington DC
The 13th Amendment of the US Constitution still allows slavery, creating an increasing population of caged people who provide free or near-free labor to stockholders of the Prison Industrial Complex and profiteers of mass incarceration. As a result, American jobs are lost and job-seekers are victimized because private industry cannot compete with involuntary servitude.
Therefore, citizens of Asheville North Carolina invite you to a Solidarity Rally with Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March on Washington DC. There, we will peacefully assemble to let Congress know, it is time to end slavery once and for all, delete the exception clause in the 13th Amendment authorizing prison slavery, and stop profiteering in its tracks – because all workers deserve living wages.
All Asheville and Buncombe County residents are invited–especially our elected representatives and those running for office this election season. Voters, your constituents, want to know where you stand on this matter.
When: August 19th at 11:30 AM
Where: Pack Square Park (In front of City Hall)
This event is organized by Asheville Black Lives Matter, Blue Ridge Anarchist Black Cross (BRABC), and Zamani Refuge African Cultural
Center, with more endorsements forthcoming.
Welcome to a podcast special release of The Final Straw’s interview of two members of The Haymaker, a gym project underway in Chicago, IL. The Haymaker’s principles of unity are as follows:
As organizers, we believe in Autonomy, Strength, and Solidarity. Because we believe in autonomy, we know that we must learn to fight our enemies without relying on institutions that disempower us and macho gym cultures that weaken us. We must learn to fight for ourselves. Because we believe in strength, we know that we must be stronger than those who want us to suffer or wipe us out completely. We must learn to be unafraid as we become a force capable not only of self-defense, but of social transformation. Because we believe in solidarity, we know that our personal transformation is at once collective transformation and that an injury to one is indeed an injury to all. We will learn how to keep each other safe as we become dangerous together.
If you want to toss them some duckets, find their indiegogo. If you’re inspired to work on something like this in your town, hit them up at email@example.com or on the fedbook or twitter by their handle @haymakerchi. This audio will make it into a full episode coming up soon.
So, if you feel like passing the hat or holding a fundraiser or hitting up Daddy Warbucks himself, George Soros, for them please do.
If you enjoyed this episode and you get our show from the itunes library, drop us a review, rate us 5 stars and help spread this show. Also, if you like hearing our podcast and want our interviews to make it to the cars, trucks, jail cells, basement apartments and everywhere else in your area, consider hittin us up and help us figure out how to get on your local community radio. Our shows are an hour weekly, are free for stations and people to download and are radio clean. Right now we’re airing in Columbus (OH), Asheville (NC), Olympia (WA), Santa Rosa (CA) & Fairbanks (AK). Why not YOUR home town?
This week we spoke with James. James is involved in anti-fascist and anti-repression work. Over the hour we spoke about the election of Donald Trump, the need for resistance in the face of a rising autonomous ethno-nationalism in the form of the alt-right and other formations, liberal ideas of the CIA and deep-state saving us from “ourselves,” autonomous community building and self-defense and more.
First, we spoke with Kamau Franklin, who is a radical activist, the political editor for the online publication Atlanta Blackstar, and former attourney based out of Atlanta, GA. We are speaking today about Ungovernable, which is a radical organizing platform rooted in anti state Black and POC autonomy, how it began, its directives and ideals, and how to best move forward in this political moment among many other things.
From their website:
“We pledge to create a resistance movement that makes Trump unable to govern our oppression; unable to deceive the people, to make the people accept his reign of hatred. We refuse to give hatred a chance to govern, a chance to roll back civil and human rights, a chance to deport millions of people, a chance to create camps and registries for Muslims, a chance to expand the prison industrial complex, a chance to expand its drone wars, or a chance to turn back the gains won by our struggles.”
To learn more about Ungovernable, you can visit their website at https://www.ungovernable2017.com/, also you can hit them up on fedbook by searching “Ungovernable 2017 and Beyond”, our guest has also invited people to message him on the FB too, you can do that by searching his name spelled Kamau Franklin.
Repression in Turkey
The second segment is an interview conducted by audio comrades from the Slovenian anarchist radio project called Crna Luknja with a member of the Turkish anarchist group DAF & an editor of their newspaper, Meydan.
As we announced recently on the show, the main editor of Meydan, Hüseyin Civan, has just been sentenced to 15 months in prison in relation to 3 articles in their December 2015 issue dealing with the struggles of Kurdish minorities and the resistance they offer to the Turkish state’s slow genocide.
The conversation was published on January 5th of 2017. Though most of Crna Luknja’s interviews are conducted in Slovenian, they do produce interviews in English when it’s the common language shared with their guests. More content from Crna Luknja can be found here
First, though a few quick, mostly prisoner announcements:
Sean Swain, an anarchist prisoner who’s generally got a featured segment on this show and has for 3 years as of this week, has been on hunger strike at Warren Correctional Institution in Ohio since December 26th and has been placed in a suicide cell.
Although details are still murky, we know that Sean has been without food since December 26th. He was charged with extortion of a deputy warden and had begun a disciplinary process when he began his hunger strike and was placed in a suicide cell.
We know that the prison is recognizing his hunger strike and following the associated procedures, which include taking him to the medical unit every day and weighing him and taking his vital signs. It is unclear whether they are attempting to negotiate with him in any way.
Please take a moment to write a letter of encouragement to Sean and to call the following prison administrators and encourage them to negotiate with Sean and help him end this hunger strike as quickly as possible.
Deputy Director of Operations Casey Barr (513) 932-3388 ext. 2005
Warden’s Assistant Greg Kraft (513) 932-3388 ext. 2010
Updates on Sean can be found at http://seanswain.org
There are pushes by the support crews in these last days of the Obama presidency to request clemency or commutations for the sentences of long standing political prisoners here in the U.S. The few that we’ve caught wind of specifically are the following:
Leonard Peltier, an indigenous activist and prisoner in his 70’s is continuing to serve in federal prison as his health declines despite his denial of guilt in the shooting death of 2 fbi agents during the raid on the American Indian Movement’s encampment on the Pine Ridge Reservation in North Dakota in 1975. The case has been hotly debated since it was held, with many contesting the possibility of Peltier’s guilt. Recently, one of his prosecutors from that case said that it was time to let him go due to his age and health. More on his case can be found at http://whoisleonardpeltier.info
Reach out to US AG:
The Honorable Loretta Lynch
U.S. Department of Justice
Comment Line: +1 202 353 1555
Contact form: https://www.justice.gov/doj/webform/your-message-department-justice
Chelsea Manning is a former intel analyst for the U.S. Military who was convicted of sharing documentation of military abuses with Wikileaks and is serving a 35 year sentence. She is also a Trans Woman who transitioned inside of military prison and because of her poor treatment on the inside has been very depressed and attempted suicide. There is hope that in his last days, Obama may commute her sentence for trying to do the right thing and to protect against the increased cruelty of the upcoming regime. Visit chelseamanning.org for details on how to support her