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.
This week, William interviewed Heather Doyle, an activist involved with S.E.E.D. coalition, a mid-Atlantic-bsed activist grouping whose name stands for Stopping Extraction & Export Destruction. Heather talks about her recent harassment and assault at the hands of the Culver County Sheriff’s dept, that dept’s collusion and payoff by the Dominion corporation and more. Dominion is behind the liquified natural gas containment storage & export facility being protested by S.E.E.D. activists, which they claim endangers all of the surrounding, rural residents in case of emergency. The protests have also focussed on the role of Culver County’s facility and Dominion in the extraction from Marcellus shale gas and other nasty petroleum extraction projects and the dangers of it’s shipping via pipelines and trains across Turtle Island. More on S.E.E.D. can be found at https://seedcoalition.wordpress.com/
Heather should have the beginning of her jury trial on May 3rd & 4th in the Culver County circuit court in Maryland and is looking for court support.
This week we start off with a dispatch from Sean Swain, read by William. Sean is an anarchist prisoner we’ve featured commentary from over the past 2 years. Sean Swain has been under media block for the past few months, so his commentary here has been sparse. In this segment he addresses his media silencing and his bid for presidency of the U.S. in 2016. More of Sean’s writings at seanswain.org
Paul Z. Simons on Rojava, pt3
For the meat of the episode, we feature part three of Bursts conversation with Paul Z. Simons about his experience of the Rojava Revolution going on in northern Syria. The Rojava Revolution began in 2012, as an outgrowth from the insurgency of the PKK and other Kurdish groups in Turkey that’s been locked in an off-and-on civil war for 30 years. Paul, a post-left anarchist from the U.S. talks about his experiences in Rojava in October of this year of their multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, feminism revolution.
The Rojava Revolution has been described as anti-state, anti-capitalist, feminist and ecological, however in the conversations Bursts has had on what’s gone on in Rojava with students of it, little has come out in terms of how the Rojava experiment has been ecological or anti-capitalist. So, in this conversation Paul and Bursts spoke about Paul’s understanding of economic models, property rights, modes of exchange in Rojava as well as discussions of it’s war-time and long-view approaches towards ecology in Rojava.
The first two parts of this interview can be found here.
In 2012, a power vacuum formed in parts of northern Syria as a result of the civil war. These areas, part of the lands inhabited by Kurdish peoples,soon became a testing ground for an implementation of an anti-state communalism influenced in part by an American former Anarchist turned Communalist named Murray Bookchin. Bookchin’s thought helped to shape the ideas of Abdullah Ocalan, ideological leader of the Kurdish Worker’s Party, PKK, in neighboring Turkey. The people participating in what’s been branded The Rojava Revolution are organizing administration and defense based from the neighborhood councils. Popular militias are attempting to fight external enemies like the Syrian military of Bashar Al-Asaad and ISIL/Daesh as well as the internal structures which hold in most societies such as patriarchy, class division and xenophobia. Anarchists, anti-capitalists of all stripes from around the world, feminists, ecologists… these peoples and more around the world are among those engaging with the 3-year-runnning experiment of Rojava.
This week’s episode features the first of three segments of conversation with Paul Z Simons,a post-left anarchist and co-editor of Modern Slavery Magazine. Paul, writing under the name El Errante, documented his recent tripto the Rojava region in Northern Syria. This first episode will not be followed up immediately by another episode on the subject, however we are making the second and third episodes content availablealongside of this one online. If you’re in a hurry to hear the complete conversation on his observations of institutions and organizing On The Ground in Rojava, follow this link for part II and this link for part III. These segments will make their way into radio versions in the near future.
Bursts and Paul talk about Democratic Confederalism, gender, ecology, international intervention, religion, ethnicity, anti-capitalism, competing tendencies, holding tensions, international fighters and much much more
To follow the links that our guest mentioned in this interview, just click these websites below!
To see more of Paul Z. Simon’s work, you can visit this website
Next week on The Final Straw, you’ll hear a conversation with an anarchist in Spain about recent and continued repressions of anarchists in that country. Updates on that situation can be found at https://efectopandora.wordpress.com/category/english/ and for past episodes of The Final Straw check here.
At Grand Valley Institute for Women (GVI), a federal prison in Kitchener, Ontario there has been a recent crackdown against LBTQ2+ prisoners and/or prisoners in relationships amongst themselves. Intimate relationships between prisoners are being attacked by a clique of guards acting without apparent direction or oversight from the Corrections Canada administration. We need your support with a call-in campaign to end these practices.
Harassment of prisoners includes throwing them in solitary as punishment for being in a relationship, threatening them with transfers to remote parts of the country, separating partners by placing them in different parts of the prison, and laying spurious institutional charges that can lead to being locked in the maximum security unit.
Most troublingly, guards have been using physical intimidation and invasions of personal space to harass prisoners who speak up against these practices.
The prisoners have been organizing in response to these attacks, but have faced increasing repression for their efforts.
Outside support right now can make a major difference in putting a check on the repression of prisoner relationships and dissent among prisoners.
To protest this treatment, it’s asked that people call Grand Valley Institute for Women at (519) 894-2011. For more guidance about how to conduct this phone call and for updates on this situation you can visit the website https://gviwatch.wordpress.com/
In the first segment of the episode, William spoke with Anne Peterman of the Global Justice Ecology Project, following up on the GE Trees Action Camp which took place in late September outside of Asheville. To hear the previous interview you can go to http://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org and search GE Trees, and to learn more about GJEP and to donate to Anne and Ruddy’s legal defense, you can go to http://nogetrees.org
The bulk of the hour we’ll hear the second half of the Former Prisoner Panel proceeding the North American Anarchist Black Cross conference in Denver, 2015.
Firstly, you’ll hear from Jerry Koch, an anarchist who was incarcerated over 9 months for refusing to testify before a grand jury (for a second time) in New York, as he talks about his incarceration and his release. Following this, a question and answer period in which you’ll hear responses from Jerry Koch, Eric McDavid, Kazi Toure, Lynn Stewart, Mark Cook & Jihad Abdulmamut.
Eric McDavid is a green anarchist who served 10 years of a 20 year sentence before release in January of 2015.
Lynn Stewart is a movement who served 2.5 years of a 10 year sentence, released due on compassionate grounds due to terminal cancer.
Kazi Toure is a formerly incarcerated member of the marxist guerrilla group United Freedom Fighters/Ohio 7.
Jihad Abdulmumit is national chairperson for the Jericho Movement and spent 23 years in prison for involvement in the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army.
Mark Cook was a social prisoner who founded a Panther Chapter in prison and became involved in the George Jackson Brigade.
In this presentation, the panelists speak about experiences of re-entry, trauma of incarceration, support they’ve received, experiences behind the bars and critiques of how prisoners are supported. This event was hosted by Denver Anarchist Black Cross (http://denverabc.wordpress.com)
We lacked time to announce this benefit for Stephanie Wilson, a dear friend who was struck by a car while attempting to render care to a dog who’d been previously hit by another vehicle. The benefit is to raise medical funds for Stephanie. More info here: https://www.youcaring.com/stephanie-wilson-454345
This week William speaks with Ruddy Turnstone of the Global Justice Ecology Project and BJ Mcmanama of the Indigenous Environmental Network about the issue of Genetically Engineered trees, their ecological and social impacts, and of the Action Camp to take place just outside of Asheville NC on September 24th-27th. The Action Camp has a registration deadline very soon so if you wish to participate in this amazing event, go to http://nogetrees.org to register! You can email our guest, Ruddy Turnstone, at ruddy(at)globaljusticeecologyproject(dot)org for particulars and for info on how to subscribe to GJEP’s newsletter. For more on the Indigenous Environmental Network, you can visit http://ienearth.org.
We have just learned from Eddien’s Public Defender that he in fact can be bailed out despite violating his probation. His bail is $50K so we need $5K to bond him out. Eddien is currently doing okay in jail, but strongly wants to be bailed out and desires that all money be used for that first and later for his legal defense.
Eddien was initially charged with 2nd degree felony assault and battery by a mob as well as 3rd misdemeanor assault and battery. He also has the additional charge of Breach of Peace of a High and Aggravated Nature for allegedly breaking the windows of a KKK member’s pick up truck.
Eddien was one of six arrested at an anti-KKK demonstration on July 18th in Columbia, SC. On that day around 2,000 people showed up to confront the Klan, whose rally was cut short out of concerns for “public safety.” In a historic show of opposition, a rowdy and diverse crowd of gangs, black nationalists, anarchists, and various anti-racists humiliated the Klan and their Nazi counterparts and literally chased them out of town. A short zine about the demonstration can be found on http://ruinsofcapital.noblogs.org/.
Robert “Skinny” Mahone
(Trigger Warning: violent genital damage below)
In other news, Robert “Skinny” Mahone is being tortured by staff at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (Home to the Lucasville Uprising). Skinny has been abused by staff before, this is a continuation of that abuse. In the past Skinny has had his genitals pepper sprayed without reason, now he is being forced to wear the same dirty clothes for weeks while he is attempting to heal from a broken jaw.
What is being asked of everyone who reads this to do is very simple.
1. Buy a .50 cent stamp
2. Trace your hand onto a piece of paper
3. Mail it to Robert ‘Skinny’ Mahone at:
Robert Mahone #255-225
P.O. Box 45699
Lucasville, OH 45699
Supporters are choosing this course of action to let Skinny know that he is not alone, and even more importantly to let the staff at SOCF know that he is not alone and that we will know if something happens to him. Prisons are able to do what they want to prisoners largely based on the fact that they are isolated and no one pays attention. But there are lots of us, and we pay very close attention. “
We also have some words of wisdom from anarchist prisoner Sean Swain on banks: what are they anyway, really? how many of them are there? are they edible, yes or no? Stay tuned, as always, for answers.
We close out the show with some anarchist and anarchist leaning metal from the last couple of years.
On next weeks episode of The Final Straw, Bursts’ll be speaking with organizers involved in the Connecting European Struggles Conference in Malmö, Sweden from September 18-20th, 2015. The theme for the conference is “Feminism In The Crisis” and will be bringing together autonomous, anti-capitalist struggles from around Europe to discuss austerity, gender, immigration, care work, health care and much more. More info in many languages can be found at connectingeuropeanstruggles.tumblr.com or on their facebook page.
This week we spoke with Bobby C. Billie and Shannon Larsen of the Resist 450 Coalition. This coalition is set up to protest the so called “450th Commemoration” Celebration to be held in St Augustine FL at the beginning of September, which will mark the 450th anniversary of the settling of that city by Juan Ponce de Leon and Pedro Menendez, colonizers from Spain. In this interview we talk about indigenous struggle in St Augustine, the Doctrine of Discovery, the Action Camp which will occur on September 5th thru 8th, and more! To get involved with the Action Camp, or to donate to this cause, you can see all the information you’ll need at http://resist450.org
Additionally this week also we have audio from our comrades at ARadio Berlin! Anarchist Radio Berlin, which can be found at http://aradio.blogsport.de, did this interview with a UK-based organizer from the Reclaim the fields initiative, and they talk about the planned international camp in North-Wales, the relationship of food sovereignty and the prison system, and the topic of prison abolition as such.
You can send these folks feedback and comments at: aradio-berlin(at)riseup(dot)net Thanks to these comrades for sharing this audio! Stay tuned for more from ARadio Berlin next week.
In a bit of news, the trial of the Tarnac 10 is set to begin soon, minus the charges of “Terrorist Association.” The Tarnac case stems back to 2009 in Tarnac, France, the site of a farm commune on which 9 folks were arrested and accused of attempting sabotage on a high speed rail line. The case allegedly also linked the arrested, including Julian Coupat and Yildune Lévy, to the publishing group, The Invisible Commitee. The Invisible Commitee, which recently published “To Our Friends” is in the lineage of Tiqqun magazine, of which Coupat was a founder. http://www.anarchistnews.org/content/tarnac-eight-sent-trial-without-designation-terrorist-organization
A Virginian Anarchist by the name of Stephen Loughman was arrested a week after attending the anti-KKK rally in Columbia, SC, on July 18th. Stephen’s cellphone was dropped and he was arrested when he attempted to pick it up from the department of Sheriff Leon Lott. Stephen Loughman’s being accused attempting to incite hatred against the KKK, yelling profanity at the white supremacists and being in traffic. He’s being smeared in local media and by the Sheriff of being a career troublemaker who was attempting to incite the crowd to riot. He sounds like a pretty stand-up guy to us. You can find out more and support Stephen by visiting http://gofundme.com/e6b3tukuc . More at https://itsgoingdown.org/virginia-anarchist-arrested-week-sc-anti-klan-rally-support-needed/
Sean Swain speaks his piece on the recent drug delivery via drone, which occurred on July 29 at the Mansfield Correctional Institution some 65 miles southwest of Cleveland, OH. It contained almost a quarter of an ounce of heroin, over 2 ounces of marijuana and more than 5 ounces of tobacco. Sean speculates as to what other uses drones might have, and leaves us with words to ponder.
This week we spoke with members of Maharlika Integral Emergence, a collective in Davao. Davao is a large city in the south east of the archipelago of Maharlika, also known as The Philippines. We talk for the hour on the emergence of anarchism in this country, anti-colonial indigenous struggle, anarcho-punk, eco-resistance, green and post-anarchism, permaculture, anti-extraction and land struggles and more. Maharlika Integral Emergence is a collective in Davao working with communities to promote self-care, explore autonomy, build alternatives to the deadly duo of State and Capital and it’s ecocidal path. We apologize for the quality of the audio, at times it becomes difficult to hear the collective members due to tech issues. Check out ashevillefm.org/the-final-staw to find the blog entry for this episode which includes hyperlinks to some of the projects and publications coming out of Maharlika. For instance, here’s a pdf about projects that that MIE are involved in.
But first, a couple of announcements. If you’re in the Asheville area, we’d like to remind you that tonight, Sunday the 12th at 5pm is the grande-opening of Firestorm Cafe & Books at it’s new location at 610 Haywood Road at the intersection of Haywood Rd & State St in West Asheville. From their facebook event:
“It’s been sixteen months since we closed our doors at 48Commerce Street… We’re ready to start the next chapter! Join our seven year old workers co-operative for a day long celebration, featuring free coffee and other give-aways plus a 5pm local author showcase!
Located directly across State Street from Sunny Point Cafe, our new store features a unique selection of books for young folks and adults alike. Curious readers will find not only the rich assortment of titles on gardening, green living and political radicalism, for which our co-op is already known, but also an expanded inventory of children’s books, classics and speculative fiction.”
More at http://firestorm.coop
Relatedly, there’s a squatted anarchist social and community space working around some of the same causes as MIE. The space is called Feral Crust and in Manila operate a squatted infoshop, school and garden in a small squatted neighborhood. To contact them for more questions, drop them a line at feralcrust(aaat)riseup(dot) net
We’d also like to mention that AshevilleFM is currently at the Big Crafty Festival in Asheville from noon-6pm today, come check out the booth and sign up to be a volunteer!
Also an update on the occupation at the Che Cafe on the campus of the University of California at San Diego:
“On JULY 15 at 2 PM there will be a meeting with UCSD Chancellor Khosla.
For the FIRST TIME, representatives of the Che Cafe Collective and CCSN will meet with Khosla to see if he will call off the eviction. Che supporters are calling for a big crowd to rally outside the meeting. It’s requested that you come if you can and spread the word! Directions to Office of the Chancellor at www-act.ucsd.edu/maps/ enter search for “Office of the Chancellor”. Address is University Center 107, and it’s located facing the UCSD Town Square just south and west of Price Center.”
We here at The Final Straw are soliciting sticker/poster/logo design to provide fascinating swag for our listeners! The design must include our web address, show name & imagery reflecting the nature of the radio show. Chosen artists will receive gifts of t-shirts and other anarchy goodies. You can email your designs in pdf form to bursts(attt)ashevillefm(ddot)org or a physical copy can be sent to:
The Final Straw
864 Haywood Rd,
Asheville, NC 28806
A reminder: The Klu Klux Klan has called for a rally at the steps of the state capitol of South Carolina in Colombia on Saturday the 18th at 3pm. Folks are planning a counter-demonstration on the day to make it known that these jokers are not welcome in the streets. Check out http://columbiascdemocallout.tumblr.com/ for more info, or follow them on their twitter handle, @antiracistSC. From their site:
“On Saturday, July 18th, the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan will assemble on the statehouse grounds in Columbia, SC. And we will confront them.
This rally is part of a recent wave of anti-Black terror, from the Charleston massacre to the arson of Black churches, that has strategically sought to build upon a white racist backlash against the #BlackLivesMatter, anti-police uprisings of the past year.
We call upon all those who can #BlackLivesMatter activists, community organizers, anti-racists, anarchists and other radicals, and anyone else furious with racism and the police—to converge on Columbia, confront the Klan, and defy their message of white supremacy. History has shown—from the armed standoff against a lynch mob in Columbia, TN, in 1946 to the 1958 Battle of Hayes Pond, from the Deacons for Defense to the armed defiance of Monroe, NC’s NAACP chapter, from the 1979 Greensboro Massacre to the 1997 confrontation with the Klan in downtown Asheville, NC—that we must oppose white supremacist organizing actively and physically, in our streets and neighborhoods.
The KKK is only a small group, whose ability to inflict racist violence actually pales in comparison to that of structures of oppression like the police, the economy, and the state. But the sentiment that groups like the KKK hold runs deep through the currents of whiteness in this country, and is a major obstacle to our struggles against these larger structures. Explicit manifestations of white supremacy like the Klan are one way that the state will seek to contain the #BlackLivesMatter organizing and anti-police riots of the last year; at this historic juncture, a large Klan rally in the South cannot go unchallenged.
Bring banners, bring a friend, and bring your anger and rage against the white supremacy that courses through the veins of this society. See you in Columbia.”
Along the lines of last week’s announcement of great audio projects to check out outside of asheville, I’d suggest folks interested in a fantastic North American prison related show give a listen to The Prison Radio Show on CKUT, out of McGill University in Montreal. The show airs on the second Thursday of every month between 5-6 pm CST as part of CKUT News’s Off The Hour & the fourth Friday of every month between 11am and 12pm CST. More at http://prisonradioshow.wordpress.com
Also for a great look at audio anarchy in the Philippines – and to see what this week’s guests typically work on – you can check out the pirate radio station RADYO ITIM at https://radyoitim.wordpress.com/, or at 107.9FM if you are listening in Davao.
Out of Middleton, Connecticut & Wesleyan University, WESU hosts a show called Anarchy On Air, a student anarchist collective radio show featuring interviews, panels, action updates and more. This show was formerly incarnated as The Horizontal Power Hour. This show More can be found at http://anarchyonairwesu.tumblr.com/ and it can be heard 2nd/4th Tuesdays 4:00-4:55 pm EST
Anarcho-primitivist & philosopher John Zerzan cohosts the weekly, years running, hour-long radio show Anarchy Radio on 88.1 KWVA at the University of Oregon, Eugene. Check out archives of the show at http://johnzerzan.net/radio to hear him and cohosts discuss recent news around technology, school shootings, alienation, ecological destruction and ideas. The show airs Tuesday’s at 7pm PST and express your views by calling 541-346-0645 during the live broadcast.
This week’s show, we rebroadcast an interview from 2013 with Krow, aka Katie Kloth, followed by updates on the 2-week old hunger strike at OSP Youngstown, the release of the 5e3 prisoners in Mexico & recent metal, deathrock and punk from around the world.
Krow is an anarchist, environmental and indigenous rights activist. At the time of the original interview, Krow had been facing charges stemming from a protest where eco-activists found workers from Global Taconite, a mineral mining company attempting to extract iron ore from the hills of Iron County, Wisconsin, secretly test-drilling. Krow was charged with throwing a worker’s camera away and minor assault which was caught on a video. A link to the video will be included in this episode’s blog post.
Krow was sentenced to 9 months in jail this January, 2015. In addition, according to the Ashland Daily Press, Krow will have five years of probation with the felony charge and two years with the misdemeanor including a work release where they’ll be pressed to work a full-time job as a way of normalizing them and their activities. Otherwise known as domestication. Krow is now also facing charges from District Attorney Martin Lipske of bail jumping for allegedly participating in an anniversary protest in a “forbidden zone” in the Penokkee range controlled by Global Taconite along with 45 other people. Lipske appears to have it out for Krow, who had initially filed charges could have resulted in a 15 year sentence for Krow.
You can write to Krow at:
Iron County Jail
300 Taconite Street
Hurley, WI 54534
Also this hour we announce the recent news of the release of Amelie, Carlos & Fallon from prison in Mexico on March 13th. They were charged with a molotov attack January 5th of 2014 on a Nissan dealership and the neighboring government offices of the Mexican Department of Transportation and Communication and had faced serious charges relating to terrorism because people were in the government office at the time. The 3 collectively were known as the 5e3. Amelie and Fallon, both Quebecoise, were deported back to Canada. We’re happy that they’ve been able to rejoin their friends and loved ones and that Carlos Lopez Martin with his child.
To hear some words from Amelie & Fallon while they were imprisoned in Mexico, check out our website.
Translations of their letters can be found here: http://waronsociety.noblogs.org/?tag=5e3
On Monday March 16th, over 30 supermax prisoners at Ohio State Penitentiary went on hunger strike. Warden Jay Forshey and OSP staff are refusing to meet their demands or negotiate with them. Some of the hunger strikers have not even been met and consulted with regarding their demands. Eleven prisoners remain on hunger strike and are committed to staying through to the end, if necessary.
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.