Category Archives: Durham

Charlotte Uprising: Repression and Resistance Go On

Download this Episode

This week, we have a few goodies for y’all!

First, we’ll feature some words that friends in central NC recorded of Elijah. Elijah was born and raised in Durham, NC, who was imprisoned in Alabama. Elijah was among many who showed up to resist a threatened march in Durham by the KKK after people began rising up and taking down white supremacist statues last falls. Elijah talks about incarceration, guilt, organizing and about getting out.

Secondly, William reads a statement about possible evictions by police beginning tomorrow on la ZAD (Zone A Defendre) in Notre Dame-de-Landes, Brittany, France. See the text below.

Finally, we are happy to be sharing a conversation that Bursts recently had with glo merriweather, ash williams & jamie marsicano. The three reside in occupied Waccamaw Siouan and Catawba territory, also known as Charlotte, North Carolina. glo, ash & Jamie speak about the events that led up to the Charlotte Uprising of 2016, the tumult after the police murder of Keith Lamont Scott, the police killings of black and brown bodies in the U.S., gender and state violence and resistance, the killing of Justin Carr, the police accusation of Rayquan Borum for that death and the repression being faced by glo merriweather and others at the hands of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police. You can find out more about the work ash, Jamie & glo are doing by visiting the Charlotte Uprising FedBook, website or twitter.  glo has a trial date coming up on May 7th.  One way you can show support for them is to visit gofundme and donate to GetGloGoing!

On this episode, we’re gonna try a new thing with our announcements, by putting them at the end. Let us know what y’all think of this experiment. Keep listening after the final episode for some events we want to feature.

Evictions on la ZAD

Some months ago in January of this year, it was announced that the French government was abandoning the airport construction in Notre Dame Des Landes. As many listeners know, the defense project which is known world wide as the ZAD (Zone a Defendre or Defended Zone) has been the decades long collaboration between anarchists and anti authoritarians with farmers who have lived on the land for generations. In that time, the ZAD has become more than a defense project, it has evolved into a vibrant community with its own unique infrastructure, home to many people from many experiences and unregulated by the government.

This morning we got word that evictions are scheduled to be underway on the ZAD starting tomorrow. It may come as no surprise that the original decision to abandon the airport did not come without its own price tag, and conditions stipulating the boundaries and terms of continued occupation were leveled at residents. These conditions were a clear attempt on the part of the French government to regulate this community of resistance through manipulation and back channels, it was seen as such and people on the ZAD began preparing for eviction. There are currently 2500 riot police on the ZAD itself, with 1500 more standing by in nearby cities, and the much photographed barricade road has been taken by the police.

What is not currently clear is how the international community can help materially. This situation is still unfolding, and we are sure that there will be explicit calls for aid and for solidarity in days and weeks to come.

What is clear us is that the government feels the threat of intentional communities very sharply, feels threatened by communities and trends it cannot control. We have seen it time and time again from ZAD to Standing Rock to resistance to the Mountain Valley Pipeline: what does it say about government when a group of people defending the land provokes such an extreme response? We think there is something worth exploring here however it makes sense, with whatever tools you and your community may have.

To learn more about the ZAD, you can visit http://zad.nadir.org

To hear interviews that The Final Straw has conducted about this topic over the years, you can visit our website.

Stay tuned to your favorite anarchist news sources for updates and further analysis on this situation!

Sean Swain Update

Sean’s off of hunger strike.  We got news last week after the episode aired that he was on due to his communications being messed with.  But, he’s back to eating and ranting and out of segregation.  Get ready to hear more from here next week.  If you miss the sound of his voice, check out his segments dating back to February of 2014 at archive.org

Announcements:

Punk Jeopardy in Asheville for J20 Defendants

This Tuesday, April 10th from 7-10pm at the Lazy Diamond bar in Asheville, there’ll be Punk Jeopardy  to benefit J20 defendants. From the flyer: “Come out and show your support for the homies who went hard protesting trumps inauguration! Come out, drink, hang and test your knowledge of punk culture. Prizes for winners! Donations at the door.”

25th Anniversary of the Lucasville Uprising

The 25th anniversary of the Lucasville Uprising is upon us, with folks still facing the death penalty for actively trying to bring a peaceful resolution. We hope to bring you more reflections on the events of April 1992 soon. More info and ways to get involved can be found here.

Certain Days 2019, Call for Submissions

There’s a call out for art submissions for the 2019 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar. The theme for 2019 is ‘Health/Care,’ reflecting on the overlapping topics of health, care/caring, and healthcare. They are looking for 12 works of art and 12 short articles to feature in the calendar, which hangs in more than 3,000 homes, workplaces, prison cells, and community spaces around the world. They encourage contributors to submit both new and existing work. They’re also seek submissions from prisoners – please forward to any prison-based artists and writers. The deadline for art submissions is May 18th 2018. Check our show-notes for this episode for the full submissions request.

Stockholm Anarchist Bookfair

The 2018 Stockholm Anarchist bookfair will take place on June 2nd and third. They are launching a new fundraising campaign for the bookfair. The campaign will run from the first of April to the 13th of May on the Firefund radical crowdfunding platform. It is a crowdfunding campaign so they need as many people and organizations as possible to spread the word. They would appreciate it greatly if your group could share the link to the campaign as well as to their website in your own social media. Thank you for the help and we look forward to seeing you at bookfair.

Firefund campaign link: https://www.firefund.net/bookfair

playlist

Inside Outside Alliance on deaths in Durham County Jail, NC & medical neglect

amplifyvoices.com
Download This Episode

This week we feature a conversation with Steve, a member of the Inside Outside Alliance, a group in Durham working to amplify the voices of prisoners, foster better connections with their family and loved ones on the outside and raise awareness (in the words of the prisoners and their families) of problems in the Durham County Jail with an eye towards holding the Sheriff’s Dept & local government accountable. More on this project at http://amplifyvoices.com. This week we speak about the un-reported deaths in jail of Matthew McCain (January 2016), Dennis McMurray (January 2015) and briefly about the death of Raphael Marquis Bennett (August 2015). There is also a conversation on medical neglect (in Matthew’s case, he claimed he was not getting proper treatment for his diabetes and epilepsy).

Also mentioned is the work going on around different parts of North Carolina to get communities aroused against the recent snatching up with intent to deport latino youth by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during it’s recent spate of raids against folks accused of entering the U.S. from Central America in the past few years. These include: A student on his way to school in Durham, named Wildin David Guillén Acosta; Edwin Alvarez-Gálvez of Raleigh & Santos Padilla-Guzman of Cary are 3 of the so-called NC 6. Here’s an article students in Durham avoiding school for fear of ICE and words from teachers and admins at the schools expressing how dangerous they feel it is for the community. One organization on facebook working to keep folks informed on the raids can be found here.

——————————-

This is an update from our frieds at No New Animal Lab:
From their website http://nonewanimallab.com

On January 29th, No New Animal Lab, with representation from the Civil Liberties Defense Center, filed an anti-SLAPP Special Motion to Strike against injunctions filed on behalf of two executives of Skanska USA. Skanska and its key decision makers have been the subject of a year-long protest campaign, organized under the banner of No New Animal Lab, for their $90 million contract to build a large, underground animal research lab for the University of Washington (UW).

Skanska executives at the corporation’s Portland office filed for injunctions against four activists and “No New Animal Lab” in an attempt to stifle the growing national protests. Such lawsuits are known as “SLAPPs” (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) and are often used by corporations against protest movements in an attempt to chill dissent and disrupt campaign organizing. Rather than outright criminalizing protest activity, corporations attempt to exploit the legal system, dragging grassroots activists through frivolous civil court proceedings and draining and redirecting both time and material resources. SLAPPs exist to shrewdly muzzle movements that seek to hold corporations and their executives accountable and are backdoor attempts to legislate unreasonable restrictions upon speech and assembly.

“The campaign against Skanska is about challenging power–the power to callously decide the fate of thousands; the power to construct lives of suffering, captivity, and pain; and the power to evade accountability through the impersonal structure of corporations,” said a spokesperson for No New Animal Lab. “When you challenge power, you get a response. These SLAPP injunctions are just that–a response from Skanska, one of the largest corporations of its kind. The No New Animal Lab campaign interprets these lawsuits as a measure of its effectiveness.”

The No New Animal Lab campaign has grown substantially in the last year, and the pressure against Skanska is at an all-time high. In mid-January, hundreds of people from all over the country converged in New York to protest the company’s U.S. headquarters and CEO and President Richard Cavallaro, and Skanska’s largest U.S. investor, the Vanguard Group.

One way you can help right now is to make a DONATION to the campaign. Every penny goes directly to grassroots organizing and helping with legal costs. Support means everything in moments like these. To donate to this cause, and to learn more about this campaign, you can go to the website http://nonewanimallab.com and click on the red Donate tab on their page.

To hear the interview that we conducted with members of this campaign, you can visit http://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org and search “no new animal lab”.

———————————————-

We finish up the show with three musical tracks from CrustWithSprings.blogspot.de and R-A-B-M.blogspot.com:

First we’ll hear a very new band called Baeden from Sydney Austrailia with track one off their 2015 demo entitled “iphone versus crusty slice”

Second is track one from Gudsforladt, which is a one person project from salem, mass. the track is off their 2016 self titled release.

Thirdly we’ll hear Wrang which is a black metal band from the Netherlands. This track is called eulogy to impermanence and is off their 2015 demo
================================
Playlist: http://www.ashevillefm.org/node/15307

Luke O’Donovan on State Repression & pt 2 of “Running the Klan out of Columbia”

http://durhamantirepression.net
Download This Episode

This week we continue our conversation with John, an anti-racist anarchist living in the U.S. South about thoughts and memories concerning the July 18th 2015 counter-demonstration to the KKK in Columbia, South Carolina. John also talks a bit about what he knows of the 1997 KKK march in Asheville, North Carolina and their subsequent patookis whoopin by the general population of Asheville.

But before we get there, we’ll hear some announcements, an important announcement by Anarchist Prisoner Sean Swain. After those portions, we’ll hear an interview conducted by a member of the Durham Anti-Repression committee of anarchist prisoner Luke O’Donovan. Luke is in the middle of a 2 year sentence for defending himself against 5 homophobic attackers at a New Years Eve party in Atlanta at the opening of 2013. More on his case at http://letlukego.wordpress.com

For farther flung listeners, if you’d like to hear this show on a station in your area, you can simply email us for requests at thefinalstrawradio@riseup.net and we can get a conversation started about making it happen.

On a separate note, for years the Iron Rail Book Collective has been one of the most socially transformative projects in New Orleans and has been part of a vibrant and growing anarchist culture in the city. Some of you may be familiar with it from the NASSN conference in New Orleans or the New Orleans Anarchist Bookfair. When the police closed the Iron Rail down through selective enforcement of code violations and forced it out of its long-time site several years ago this seriously set back liberatory politics in the city. There is a fundraising campaign going on to get a house in the Upper 9th Ward as a new home for the Iron Rail. A mere $4000 will secure the site and help start renovations. We would appreciate any help possible to get this important anarchist project reestablished. Please go to http://crowdrise.com/ironrail for information on the Iron Rail and the fundraising campaign.

A new insturrectional anarchist audio site has been launched called Resonance Audio Distro. On it you can find links to anarchist news sources in English, as well as a growing pool of recorded essays and zines. You’ll find such titles as “3 Positions against Prison” by August O’Clairre, “On The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism” by Fredy Perlman, “Revolutionary Solidarity: A Critical Reader for Accomplices” and more. Check it out at:
https://resonanceaudiodistro.wordpress.com/

Also, the political prisoner birthday calendar for august 2015 is out! If you or someone you know would like to write political prisoners on their birthdays, you can view and download the pdf of this document at prisonbooks.info. These lovely rabble rousers would also like to announce that their comprehensive zine entitled How To Start a Prison Books Collective has been updated and is available for download and distro at that same address, http://prisonbooks.info.

If you’d like to learn more about the situation in Syria and the continuing repression by ISIS, you can give a listen to #’s 36 and 39 of the Ex Worker podcasts put out by CrimethInc. These give specific information on and interviews with participants of the Rojava Revolution. You can listen to all their podcasts at http://crimethinc.com/podcast and some more updates on the situation of PYD/PKK/International Brigade fighters can be found about repression in Turkey and Iraq.

Stay tuned next week on The Final Straw, same time same place, for an interview with organizers of the Resist 450 event to take place in St Augustine Florida in September of this year. The city of St Augustine – one of the oldest cities as we know them in the US – is slated to commemorate the 450th anniversary of colonization by Pedro Menendez and Juan Ponce de Leon. We’ll speak with Bobby C. Billie and Shannon Larsen of the Resist 450 Coalition about the history of this event and indigenous struggles in St. Augustine. More at http://resist450.wordpress.com

From SeanSwain.org
In Sean’s words…
“I signed my transfer notice yesterday. I wrote everybody and gave them the Trumbull address. I got packed up today. Then the warden notified me that Central Office Anonymous Coward cancelled my transfer. Now I missed commissary and commissary won’t let me shop. I don’t even have soap.
Please let everyone know I’m not at Trumbull…”

We already sorted out the commissary issue, what we need now, is to get at the root of this, and so many other problems with SOCF. That means we need a concerted effort to address that Central Office Anonymous Coward: Trainwreck Trevor Clark.
Wanna help ruin Trevor Clark’s career? We hope so.

Here’s the deal: ODRC Counsel Trevor Matthew Clark is a sociopath who runs the ODRC torture program with his FBI buddies on speed dial, and he recently used his sock-puppet co-workers to harass Ben Turk and Ihsan purging them from Sean’s visiting list because Trevor Clark doesn’t like online postings. He also cancelled Sean’s transfer to lower security at the last minute. He wants to pull the plug on seanswain.org and turn Sean into his personal cat toy to swat around whenever feels like it. F this Ahole. It’s time for him to get disbarred, lose his job, and spend the rest of his miserable existence sleeping in his car. We can make that happen. It’s OUR world, and this creep is just mismanaging it.

THE PLAN
We gotta swamp the right hierarchs with a million phone calls and letters. The more calls the better. Is that reformist? Well, yeah. But the direct action alternative doesn’t seem to be happening, so let’s do what’s do-able.
Trainwreck is an attorney, so if he loses his license, he loses his job and loses his power to mess with people. He ends up at a job asking you if you want fries with that.” So the right people to contact are:
Columbus Bar Association
175 South Third Street, Suite 1100
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 221-0754
For suggestions on talking points, more updates as they come and more of Sean’s writings, check out http://seanswain.org

Lockback at the Durham County Jail

http://amplifyvoices.com/This week Bursts spoke with Steve from the Inside/Outside Alliance in Durham, NC. IOA is made up of folks with incarcerated family in the Durham County Jail, friends and concerned community members and they work to amplify and organize inside and outside (hence the name) of the jail walls to challenge the punishment those on the inside are facing.

In April of this year, Lt. Col. Natalie Perkins (who serves as Detention Director for the Durham Sheriff Michael D. Andrew’s Dept) decided to cut people’s access to out-of-cell time from up to 6 hours a day to 2 hours a week and limit their time out at the same time. This means that prisoners could maybe expect to take a shower and make a 2AM call to their family/lawyer once a week. The reasons for this change have shifted over the months from costs to potential danger to prisoners and Detention Officer’s safety. The end result is an increased pressure on the mental health of the inmates, leading a greatly increased number of suicide attempts (so much so that the Sheriff’s dept just requested funds to make the cells more suicide-proof rather than decrease the pressure on those they imprison).

Alongside of this is the increased cost and decreased quality of services available to those incarcerated at DCJ due to privatization of aspects. Aramark‘s medical services have doubled the rate for medical visits from $10-$20 each. Food under another service by Aramark has down-shifted from 3 hot meals to 2 sandwiches daily. The facility is contractually obliged to provide a certain number of inmates for Aramark to feed and to extract labor from in serving and cleaning up after their food services. And if an inmate’s too hunger after their 4pm dinner of a sandwich, they are certainly free to buy junk food from the Aramark canteen if they have money in their commissary (via I-Care & FreshFavorites, both brands of Aramark). TouchPay services for putting money on an inmate’s commissary account charges a $5 and some cent fee each time you use it and the DCJ has drastically cut back the hours of the fee-free window with a teller to help you make the transaction.

On top of all of this, the jail doesn’t allow inmates to have pencils (ostensibly in case they become improvised weapons), so the only time that they can write to family, friends or their lawyers is during that 2 hour window a week. Their only way of making complaints is a receipt-free service using their TPay console, the same as they use to check their commissary.

The extractive and frighteningly Kafka-esque circumstances at this facility, one which like most in the United States disproportionately incarcerates poor people and people of color is certainly not one of a kind. To check out the work that folks at Inside/Outside and the inmates at Durham County Jail are doing, check out their website and listening page at http://amplifyvoices.com

In the last ten minutes we hear 2 aggressive musical tracks. Firstly, Ast from their recent split with Ancst (both German anarchist Black Metal projects) we hear the track Von Einem Ende.

Finally, we close out hearing Human Wreck with Liquid Savior from their album, Catch 22. Human Wreck is from Athens, Greece.

Playlist: http://www.ashevillefm.org/node/12686

Download This Episode