This week Bursts spoke to Leslie James Pickering about a range of different subjects. Mr. Pickering worked for the North American Earth Liberation Front Press Office (NAELFPO), acting to spread the message and communiques of the ELF, from 1997 to 2002. Obviously, he experienced heavy state oppression during that period of time. And recently, it’s become apparent that the state hasn’t forgotten him.
Leslie James Pickering is no longer allowed to enter Canada (despite no relevant arrests in the last decade and a half) and has found that he’s got a “Mail Cover” via the Post Office where his mail is photocopied and tracked by an as yet unidentified Law Enforcement Agency. He’s also had friends on the West Coast contacted by the Buffalo (NY) FBI Office and asked if Leslie has enemies or do direct action and business contacts of Leslie’s have been subpoenaed to Grand Juries around Burning Books Radical Bookstore. Leslie is an owner of that radical bookstore in Buffalo, which carries books, zines and hosts political events and via which, according to the FBI, Leslie is “stirring up the youth.”
We spend most of the hour talking about government surveillance in his case in particular and in general in the U.S. and also about the prosecution of Jeremy Hammond. Leslie shares some thoughts on parts the forgotten history of radical resistance in the U.S. In particular, he talks about his recent book on the Evan Mecham Eco Terrorist International Conspiracy (EMETIC), a predecessor to the ELF, as well as his earlier book on a radical, white, working class radical named Sam Melville who bombed government and capital centers in New York and inspired the Weather Underground. Melville, who’s the focus of Pickering’s book “Mad Bomber Melville”, went on to organize at Attica before and die during the Attica Prison uprising in 1971. In Pickering’s view, the importance of recognizing and learning from radical history allows us to better strategize for current and future struggles.
Lastly, we briefly touch on the story of Martin Sostres, who’s ideological journey brought him from Nation of Islam through Black Nationalism to Anarchism. Sostre was framed up on drug charges in order to silence his organizing and shut down his bookstore in Buffalo, NY, in 1967 and served 10 years before having his case overturned. Martin Sostre now lives in New York City. There was a 1974 documentary about his case called “Frame-Up!: The Imprisonment of Martin Sostre” (Pacific Street Films). The film HAS been available for streaming at christiebooks.com, alongside MANY other films in many languages.
This weeks episode features 2 conversations. The first is an interview with Ed Mead, editor of CA Prison Focus newsletter, an ex-con and a media outreach person as re the CA prisoner hunger and work strikes beginning tomorrow, July 8, 2013. If you’ll recall, there were hunger strikes that spread throughout dozens of prisons around the western portions of the United States. The main demands of many of the prisoners included more an end to collective punishment, ending the debriefing/snitching system, ending long-term solitary confinement, provide adequate and nutritive food and other things. William of the Final Straw discusses the demands and plans of the current campaign and solidarity actions that are planned to coincide with Mr. Mead. https://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/
The second half of the episode is a conversation with Krow of Penokee Defense. Krow talks about the area she lives in in Northern Wisconsin, the Penokee Hills, and the danger being posed by a potential iron-ore/taconite pit mine as well as the spectrum of resistance that project has faced and how folks across the country can contribute to pressuring the company to give up the project and save this beautiful and important place. https://penokeedefenders.wordpress.com/ http://www.alecwc.org/
This week’s show features a conversation with Jenny, who works with Sacramento Prisoner Support. Jenny and Bursts discuss the case of Eric McDavid, a Green Anarchist prisoner in the U.S., in terms of the green scare and the upcoming June 11 Day of Solidarity with Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners.
Briefly, Eric and two other activists were entrapped by a government informant who went by the name, Anna. Anna, over a series of months, attempted to pressure the 3 to plan and execute radical actions to save the earth, paid for all of the means, even plied Eric with romance. Despite the fact that the 3 kept walking away from actions proposed by Anna, the FBI raided them and convicted Eric of conspiracy (the younger Lauren Weiner and Zach Jensen took a plea and turned on Eric).
We discuss Eric’s health, how to support Eric and other prisoners, increased use of conspiracy and terrorism charges by the State, how to support each other when repression happens and how to resist bullies pushing bad ideas!
This week we speak with Toby and Ben, two organizers with Root Force about industrial civilization and organizing in solidarity with indigenous communities against the spread of capitalist infrastructure projects in Latin America. We talk about La Parota Dam in Mexico, Anillo Periférico Highway in El Salvador and Corridors of the Future across North America.
Root force aims to stop the spreading of those infrastructure projects (bridges, dams, highways, factories…) that allow for the spread of neoliberal capitalism into comparatively less “developed” environments in hopes of helping protect environments and their stewards and force an economic retraction of imperial projects of the north.
Also, Bursts speaks to Bella about Marius Mason, long term ecological, animal rights, labor and anarchist activist. Marius is also serving a 22 year sentence. Bella also talks about the upcoming day of Solidarity with Marius Mason, Eric McDavid and Other Longterm Anarchist Prisoners on June 11th. We also talk about the despicable snitch, Frank Ambrose (more info on the below sites).
This week’s show features a conversation with Will Potter about political repression against accused Anarchists in the Pacific Northwest. Later, we’ll speak with Bryan of Katuah Earth First! about his participation in a recent action in West Virginia against Mountain Top Removal.
Our first segment of this weeks show is a conversation with Will Potter, award-winning journalist, author and blogger at www.greenisthenewred.com about the JTTF & FBI raids on suspected Anarchists in the Pacific Northwest and the series of Grand Juries now being convened around participation in the May 1st protests in Seattle of this year.
Also, we’ll be speaking with Bryan, a member of Katuah Earth First!, based out of Asheville. Bryan was arrested on July 28th during a non-violent direct action under the banner of Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival (RAMPS). This action briefly shut down and brought attention to the Mountain Top Removal style of strip mining being used at the Hobet mine, operated by Patriot Coal in Lincoln County, West Virginia. We talk about the Katuah bioregion, Fracking in North Carolina and getting involved to save our landbase.
In recognition of June 11th as a Day of Solidarity with Long Term Anarchist Prisoners, this week’s The Final Straw (now 1-2pm EST on Fridays) will present the second of two shows on the Green Scare. I’ve interviewed supporters of Marius Mason and Eric McDavid, both victims of the Green Scare serving 20 year sentences and, also, Anarchists.
The first was an interview with Will Potter, author of Green is the New Red and is archived on archive.org
This week we’re speaking with Jesse, a Midwest organizer of June 11th Solidarity about the history of June 11th and the importance of being out here for the folks in there. We’ll also be speaking with Sarah on Marius Mason’s struggle as well as with Jennie from Sacramento Prisoner Support, which handles the case of Eric McDavid. Both Marius and David are anarchists facing around 20 years each for crimes that either: a.) didn’t harm anyone; b.) didn’t ever happen (Eric was convicted of conspiracy despite lacking intent). Both cases involve snitches cooperating with the law enforcement. Both cases concern people taking action (or thinking about it) to defend the earth.
This week’s show features two conversations around the fbi, prisons and Anarchists.
The first is with Will Potter, author of Green is the New Red and blogger at greenisthenewred.com . Will is an award winning, independent journalist based out of Washington, D.C. Our conversation revolves mostly around the recent case of Anarchists in Cleveland entrapped into plotting destruction of infrastructure by the FBI and an informant.
The second conversation is with Ian This show is also in preparation for the upcoming June 11th International Day of Solidarity with Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners. Ian updates us on Marius Mason and Eric McDavid, two of the main focuses of his recent tour of the U.S. called Never Alone, in run-up for June 11th. Ian also speaks about security culture, revolutionary solidarity and growing cultures of resistance, as well as updates us on the cases of Pax in Portland (accused of property destruction) and the Grand Jury in the S.F. Bay Area.
This week’s show features a conversation with Ian Coldwater, a co-founder of the Coldsnap Legal Collective, about Conspiracy Trials, Grand Juries, Security Culture and technology. We discuss some of the trials that have come up against Anarchists, Animal and Earth defenders and other radicals over the last 8 years in the U.S. and Canada with an eye towards what we can learn in order to increase our safety as activists and radicals.
As the June 11th day of Solidarity with long-term anarchist political prisoners approaches, The Final Straw will be addressing the Green Scare over the next two shows.
I’m happy to bring you an interview with Will Potter, author of the new book, “Green is the New Red” and founder of http://www.greenisthenewred.com , a blog where Will follows the suppression of free speech and activists working to end animal cruelty and the destruction of our natural environment.
Next week, The Final Straw will bring you an interview with members of the support committees for long-term anarchist political prisoners Marie Mason and Eric McDavid (respectively).
Soundtrack for this week’s episode was taken from Filastine’s album, Burn It, which was pressed by CrimethInc to benefit the legal defenses of victims of Operation Backfire and the Green Scare.
Free all prisoners!
For more info on these shows, check out: