This week, we’re excited to present a conversation with Saralee Stafford and Neal Shirley, editors and authors of a new book out from AK Press entitled “Dixie Be Damned: 300 years of Insurrection in the American South”. The book is a study of Maroon, Indigenous, White, Black, worker, farmer, slave, indentured, women and men wrestling against institutions of power for autonomy and self-determination. All of this in a region stereotyped to be backwards, slow, lazy, victimized and brutal. The editors do a smash-bang job of re-framing narratives of revolt by drawing on complex and erased examples of cross-subjectivity struggles and what they can teach us today about current uprisings in which we participate.
Throughout the hour we explore some of the examples that became chapters in the book, critiques of narrative histories and academia and what new ways forward might be towards an anarchist historiography. Keep an ear out for Saralee and Neal’s book tour, coming to a bookspace near you.
This week on The Final Straw, we feature an update from Sean Swain, who’s just been moved along with other people in his security level at Ohio State Prison in Youngstown to SOCF Lucasville. Information on his new call-in campaign can be found at: http://seanswain.org/support-sean-resisting-harassment-at-socf/
His new address is:
P. O. Box 45699
1724 State Rt. 728
Lucasville, Ohio 45699
For the majority of the episode, a comrade in Greece has provided us with interviews concerning the resistance to the gold extraction and refining destroying Mt Skouries in Chalkidiki, Greece. The mining and refining are going to line the pockets of the Vancouver-headquartered company called Eldorado Gold Corporation. Resistance to this mining in Northeastern Greece has been in it’s current phase since 2006.
First, we’ll hear portions of our friend’s conversation with a young activist and her mother at a blockade on Skouries about some of the economic alternatives locals are trying to create to remove reliance on mining jobs that destroy their land, air and water. They also speak about the resistance as it’s developed over the years and some of the methods Eldorado Gold Corp has been trying to implement to drain the water-table in the mountain in order to aid the mining process.
Next, our friend speaks with Heli and a friend about more of the history of resistance to the mining there, changes in organizing that’ve occurred, waves of repression by the Greek State. They’ll also touch briefly on expectations (or the lack thereof) among the residents of that region of the current leftist Syriza regime’s political will to stop the destruction of the environment around Skoures. The Syriza Party’s Energy Minister, Panagiotis Lafazanis, has pledged to do everything it can within the law to block the Skouries mining by Eldorado Gold Corp.
Prior to the main portion of this week’s episode, we hear a Sean Swain segment and also Ben Turk comes on to talk about difficulties Sean’s currently facing (for instance beginning a hunger strike on Monday due to shenanigans by officials at OSP, where Sean is being held, and possibly JPAY (the company that contracts communication with Ohio’s DRC) that have limited his communications again.
The majority of this week’s episode is a conversation with incarcerated members of the Free Alabama & Mississippi Movements. The FAMMC (now including inmates in California as well) is an inmate-drive non-violent, civil disobedience movement with the goal of bettering the situations of prisoners, challenging the profits of prison corporations and departments of correction, ending the impunity of wardens and guards and abolishing the “new slavery” of mass incarceration in the U.S.
Due to the poor connection with the guests, some of the audio is difficult to hear, so a transcript should be posted in a few days at ashevillefm.org/the-final-straw where this post can be found and later at thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org (oh yeah? where is that, now?)
Melvin Ray (aka Bennu Hannibal Ra(y)-Sun) at St. Clair Correctional Facility/SCCF and R.EARL (aka Kinetic Justice Amun) at Holman/HCF near Atmore, AL, two founders of the Free Alabama Movement along with a member of the Free Mississippi Movement break down mass incarceration, the forms of struggle they’re taking, the economic underpinning to prison labor and prison privatization, issue of sanitation, diet, cost to inmates and family of incarceration, assault and rape in Women facilities, networking across state borders… M & Kinetic also talk about the recent lock-downs at their facilities.
An upcoming way for folks around the country to get involved in this movement is to share the information of the FAMMC with folks on the inside and try to help them to get involved in the movement. Keep up on the upcoming pushes to protest at and outside of prisons around Alabama, Mississippi and more by checking out their facebook and twitter pages. These groups are planning to focus demonstrations and campaigns against McDonalds Restaurants (which use prison labor to make it’s burger patties, uniforms and more) and other businesses that are all around us that contract prisoner labor to make a profit.
These folks run a weekly (often up to 3 times a week) podcast-radio show called The People’s Platform that can be listened to and called into when live or found as archives. More on this show can be found at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/freealabamamovement
A recent report about the violence (sexual and otherwise) perpetrated by officials against the prisoners at the Juliet Tutwiler Women’s Facility in Alabama (at which the current warden of St. Clair, Curtis Davenport, who’s overseen this rise of violence was once an official), check out this US DOJ report from January of last year: http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/spl/documents/tutwiler_findings_1-17-14.pdf
“This week features a conversation with attorney, educator and trans activist, Dean Spade about his new book, “Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the limits of law”, just out from South End Press. Normal Life is a finalist for the 2012 Lambda Literary Awards. Follow Mr. Spade’s writing at http://www.deanspade.net/”
In the conversation, we discuss “mainstreaming” efforts by liberal LGBTQI organizations towards pressing for same-sex marriage, removal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, hate crimes legislation and other reformist measures in the U.S. Dean contrasts these efforts and visions with abolitionism. We also discuss calls for justice in the wake of the killing of Trayvon Martin, attempts to reform aspects of the Prison Industrial Complex and discuss Foucaultian models of power in society.
Following the interview, we featured tracks from Skaphe, Youth Avoiders, Oblivionation and more for the last half of an hour.
Today’s show features an interview with the Portland-based author and activist, Kristian Williams. Williams speaks on his first book, Our Enemies in Blue (a history of policing in America), on recent articles about community policing and the counterinsurgency training shared between the U.S. military and domestic law enforcement agencies and the growing movement calling for the abolition of police in the United States, and the Pacific Northwest in particular).
Do you feel insecure with your living situation? Rents always on the rise while wages stagnate? Getting priced out of your neighborhood? Want some ideas on how you might strike back and who against?
This week, Bursts spoke with James Tracy about gentrification and displacement in San Francisco and elsewhere. In his recent book, Dispatches Against Displacement maps some of James’ nearly 25 year struggles around housing rights in SF, mostly in The Mission District, as well as larger histories of the struggle to grow and sustain communities on commodified lands. James is a co-founder of the San Francisco Land Trust, former member of the Mission Anti-displacement Coalition and other groups. We discuss Dot-Com, Tech 2.0, Urban Renewal, Spatial Displacement and more.
Calais is a port city in France that sits as the major nexus of migrants attempting to leave the French (and thus European) mainland to reach the U.K. in seek of asylum. These migrants are fleeing the effects of imperialism (sometimes war, always capital) in their home countries. They hail from Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan, Chad, Nigeria, Sudan and many other places and seek peace and stability in the EU. The irony is that the EU, like the U.S., is a major exporter of the troubles the migrants seek to escape. In many ways, the “immigration crisis” in the U.S. mirrors the reality of the “immigration crisis” in the EU.
This week’s episode of the Final Straw features a conversation with Greta, a No Border Activist living in the UK about struggles of immigrants in Calais, where over the last 2 months there have been raids that have netted hundreds of migrants seeking to leave the mainland and land in the UK with expectation of receiving a refugee status. Greta tells us about the immigration structure of the EU’s Shengen Zone (of which the UK is not a part), about the recent raids and squat evictions in Calais, and the new squat “Impasse de Saline” outside of the city. She also touches on the plight of immigrants in the UK. http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/
The second half of the episode features a segment recorded by our audio-comrades at A-Radio Berlin, entitled “Europe and beyond: the resistance against mega-projects”. From the A-Radio blog:
“We present an interview with Bogdan, an activist from Rumania. The main topic is the recent 4th Forum against unnecessary imposed mega-projects, a network of major struggles against infrastructure, mining and fracking projects (in Europe an beyond). The last meeting took place in May in Rosia Montana, Rumania. The preparation, the subject of the involvement of political parties in such movements as well as the future perspective of this particular coordination are at the heart of the interview, but it also gives a quick overview of the development of the local struggle against the proposed biggest open-cast gold mining project in Europe.”
More at http://aradio.blogsport.de/
Before we announce the show, we want to announce our presentation of
Sean Swain’s voice on our show for the first time in 8 weeks. Sean’s
GTL (GlobalTelLink, privatized prison phone company) and JPay (private company Sean’s critiqued before which handles, among other things, emails/commisary and other profitized elements of incarceration) accounts were suspended by the OSP administration, the office of Governor Kasich & the Ohio Highway Patrol/State Police. During those 8 weeks, Sean’s segments on The Final Straw (which were ostensibly a reason for his blackout) never stopped, as Sean smuggled scripts out of the Super-Duper-Uber-Mega-Ultra-Max in Youngstown. Congrats, Sean!
This week we play part two of Mel Bazil’s presentation from the 2014 Montreal Anarchist Bookfaire. He covers an array of concepts. He talks about the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, Decolonization, infrastructure, false alternative energies and capitalism.
Mel also touches on the ideas around self-knowledge, Free Prior and Informed Consent between individuals and communities (http://unistotencamp.wordpress.com/free-prior-and-informed-consent-protocol/), and the framework of human/indigenous Rights versus Responsibilities to
the earth and to each other and to ourselves. This broadcast comes on the day that Mr. Bazil and other people struggling with the Unist’ot’en Action Camp expected an injunction against the action camp by the B.C.
government. Anarchists have been invited over the years to build relationships and struggle alongside this community and project, which brings interesting questions of overlaps and differences between anarchism(s) and indigenous cultures in resistance.
Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network is a gateway for outside anarchists and activists to get involved in helping at Unist’ot’en: http://forestaction.wikidot.com/
This audio is from an almost hour and a half presentation that Mel gave on Saturday the 24th of May at the Montreal Anarchist Bookfaire, entitled “Anarchy, Indigenous Sovereignty, and Decolonization.” Many thanks to CKUT Radio in Montreal for sharing this content with the Final
Straw. More info on CKUT can be found at www.ckut.ca
This week on the show we interview Bay Area author Alden Wood about his book “Crime Thought; Theorizing CrimethInc.” published in 2012 by Little Black Cart.
In this interview we discuss the anarchist publishing project CrimethInc., which has been active and extremely prolific since the early 1990’s. It serves as an entry point for many people who are just becoming acquainted with anarchism as a political ideology. We discuss CrimethInc.’s successes and shortcomings as a unified front of political analysis, as well as possible jumping off points for people interested in exploring anarchism further.
This week’s show features an interview with Charles W. Johnson, an editor and contributor to the new edition “Markets Not Capitalism: Individualist Anarchism Against Bosses, Inequality, Corporate Power, and Structural Poverty”, just out from Autonomedia Press.
Charles is a market anarchist writer from Auburn, Alabama. He is a member of Occupy Auburn, a Research Associate at the Molinari Institute and an alumnus of Auburn University. He has published the Rad Geek People’s Daily weblog at radgeek.com since 2001, and is a frequent speaker and columnist on radical responses to the economic crises, stateless social activism and the philosophy of anarchism.
We discuss definitions of Capitalism, critiques from Left Libertarians and possible market alternatives. We also touch on racism, regulation, and class struggle.
Charles will be speaking about this new compilation at Firestorm Books and Cafe, 48 Commerce St in Asheville at 6pm on Thursday, March 15 (Tyrannicide Day).