This week, The Final Straw features content recorded by comrades in France of some reactions and reminiscences on the moments leading up to the death of Remi Fraisse and what followed. Context, Remi was a 21 year old resister who participated in the ZAD du Testet who was killed by a concussion grenade shot by police that exploded at the base of his neck on October the 25th. The ZAD du Testet is a land defence project in southern France against the construction of the Sivens Dam. The death of Remi has been marked by protests around France and around the world and has contributed to public discussions about militarization of police in France. A part of the ZAD movement’s reaction has been a public call for demonstrations on the 22nd of November around the world for Remi and against the police state.
This week’s episode features a conversation with Paul and Camille from the ZAD du Testet. ZAD du Testet, as they will explain, is a land occupation in the southwestern department of Tarn, France. Farmers, residents and activists are struggling to stop the building of a dam that would flood the lands of some farmers for the purpose of irrigating other farmer’s lands in order to facilitate the growing of large amounts of corn, probably for animal agriculture. The flooding would also destroy the wetlands of that area and destabilize the ecology further. Taking the model of the ZAD, or Zone a defendre against the building of an airport in Notre Dame de Landes in eastern france of which we’ve spoken a lot on this show, the people struggling against the dam in Testet have been occupying the lands slated for deforestation in relation to the dam building and have recently been evicted from their occupation.
This week’s episode is LITERALLY packed solid. We start off with an announcement about the case of Luke O’Donovan’s trial beginning on August 11th at 9AM at the Superior Court of Fulton County, 136 Pryor Street, S.W., Suite C-640, Atlanta, GA. Luke’s support is asking for folks who want to get his back to show up in court attire and be present for the court date. Luke is facing 5 attempted homicide charges stemming from injuring the 5 men attacking him as he was being queer bashed in Atlanta on New Years of 2013. More info and the callout can be found at http://LetLukeGo.wordpress.com
Next, a quick announcement about an upcoming benefit for and presentation about the 5E3, three anarchists (Amelie, Fallon and Carlos) accused of using molotov cocktails to damage a Nissan dealership and the Ministry of Communication and Transportation in Mexico City on the 5th of January. A supporter of the 5E3 will be speaking about their case on Sunday, August 10th at Rosetta’s Kitchen (Upstairs) at 8pm. August 10th is also known as Prisoner’s Justice Day and witnesses yearly hunger strikes across the convict race serving time across Canada in remembrance of all prisoners who’ve died of unnatural causes while incarcerated. More info at http://fuegoalascarceles.wordpress.com/in-english-information/
Our first segment (after Sean’s words of wisdom) is a conversation with D, an anarchist and prison abolitionist from West Virginia to update us about the Elk River chemical spill from January of this year. We talk about the West Virginia Clean Water Hub and the project it recently spawned, Voices From South Central WV. Voices from South Central is working to amplify the voices of prisoners at the main jail in Charleston, WV. The project began as a way of gauging and presenting (in prisoners own words) the effects of the water crisis on those incarcerated and how the administration dealt with health effects it caused and worked (or didn’t) to provide clean water to those they jailed. http://storiesfromsouthcentralwv.com/
For our past coverage of the spill, check out: http://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/?s=west+virginia
Finally, we air another great segment from Anarchistisches Radio Berlin. This time A-Radio speaks with members of the Greek political Hip Hop group Social Waste. The discussion ranges from chat about the development of Hip Hop in Greece, where it overlaps with politics, immigrant solidarity, anti-capitalism and anti-fascism as currently practiced in Greece.
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/
This week’s episode features a short interview with a member of the No-TAV struggle in the Italian Alps. For decades the residents of Val di Susa in northern Italy (near Turin) have been struggling to stop the development of a 30 mile long tunnel through the mountains, across the border to Lyon, France. The project is a European Union one that is one wing of a larger international commercial venture web of restricted transit for goods that EU is attempting to push through. The actual tunneling threatens, among other things, to release enough uranium and asbestos into the air and shallow water-table of Val di Susa and surrounding areas that even the EU estimates that the damage will be measurable and irreparable.
We speak about what shapes the resistance has taken, how anarchists and others have engaged at varying times, and the repression faced from the government. Currently, there are arrests and incarcerations and investigations concerning, among other activities, a night-time raid in 2012 of the militarized construction site of the TAV which was arsoned and effectively shut down for a period of time afterwards. Some of the vocal anarchist and activist arrestees are facing terrorism charges based on Italy’s EU-adopted laws concerning resistance to government projects. The new definition basically posits that those who effectively make it so the government can’t do something (good or bad) and the EU wants it to happen, the national government is pressed to prosecute. More on the case can be found at http://actforfree.nostate.net/?s=tav
This week’s episode features a workshop by Mel Bazil, an indigenous Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en organizer, sovereigntist, and anarchist of the Unist’ot’en Action Camp. For folks in the listening audience, Unist’ot’en is located on unceded native lands in so-called British Colombia, Canada. More about the Unist’ot’en Action Camp can be found at unistotencamp.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 we’ll be presenting the first of two parts of Mel’s presentation, the second will be aired in coming weeks and linked together on the Final Straw website soon.
Firstly though, an announcement about the health of longterm political prisoner, Kevin “Rashid” Johnson. The following text was found at http://rashidmod.com, where one can seek further updates on the situation.
This week’s episode features a couple of announcements about the upcoming June 11th Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason, Eric McDavid and Longterm Anarchist and Eco Prisoners. For info on the cases of Eric & Marius and other folks needing support, along with ideas of what solidarity might look like, check out http://june11.org
Here in Asheville, there will be a 4pm picnic at Carrier Park where folks will talk about June 11th, Eric & Marius’s cases, solidarity and prison realities. Food will be present, but bring your own sides to share, especially if you have dietary restrictions.
At 9pm on June 11th, there’ll be a show at the Odditorium. The benefit requests a $5-20 donation. Bands include Aneides and Uninhabitable from Asheville, Burnt Books from South Carolina and Harsh Words from Georgia. Items’ll be raffled off and there’ll be plenty of info available and folks to chat with. On Fakebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1452424341665913/
For more events in your town, check out june11.org. Also announced was the online art exhibition curated by the Earth First! Prisoner Support Project and featuring the work of 23 different artists, many of whom are eco-prisoners. Check out http://neveraloneart.org for flyers and more info. It’ll be up and online from June 11th to June 30th.
Bursts read a statement by Sean on this episode concerning the U.S. economy and the role that counterfeiting money plays in it. Very informative, as always.
Following the announcements, we heard Cervidae, Ancient Oak, Deafest and more! Check out the playlist here
Next, Sean Swain talks about the defendants of the Lucasville Uprising case.
The main segment is a discussion with Sonny, a German anarchist involved in resistance to the operation and spreading of the Lignite Carbon mine and subsequent destruction of the nearby environment by RWE. Sonny talks about the resistance there, the displacement of animals, devastation of the landscape and the eviction of 55,000 people over the years from local villages to expand the mine.
This week’s discussion happened as news came from the Hambacher resistors that the state was in the process of evicting the forest defenders. On 3/29/13 Sonny and I got back together to talk about updates on the situation. https://hambachforest.blogsport.de
This week, we featured a segment by Sean Swain on sovereignty and consent of the ruled. We’ve begun archiving Sean’s segments under the title “You Are The Resistance” on archive.org, and those can be found linked as they come out on http://seanswain.org
This was followed by a conversation with Emily who does support work the NATO3 about what’s happened in the trial and what the next steps appear to be as sentencing approaches. Great news is that defendants Brent Betterly, Jared Chase & Brian Jacob Church were found Not Guilty of all of the terrorism charges, however they still each have felonies that stuck. Check out more at http://freethenato3.wordpress.com
Next, we speak with Johanna of Keeper of the Mountains Foundation, a grassroots group out of West Virginia that looks to the effects of Mountain Top Removal and coal extraction and burning on the environment, economy and people in Appalachia. Johanna shares some info on the recent Duke Energy Coal Ash Pit spill on the Dan River, near the North Carolina-Virginia border and what impacts can be expected from the 82,000 tons of toxic ash getting into a water source that provides for roughly 50,000 human animals, and uncounted non-humans and other life. http://www.mountainkeeper.org/
Finally, we’ll hear An Unearthly Sacrament by the Marin-County-California-based metal project Radagast, their only release thus far. That’ll be followed (really finally) by Destroyed By Ourselves from Katahajime from Allentown, PA.
First, we hear Sean Swain, anarchist prisoner in Ohio’s super-duper-mega-ultra-uber max prison at Youngstown talk about accusations of Utopianism thrown at him for his anarchism.
Secondly, we speak with author, activist and advocate Staughton Lynd. Mr. Lynd speaks with us about the ongoing hunger strike at Menard Correctional Facility’s administrative segregation units in Illinois. The strikes are in response to prisoner complaints of lack of heat and hot water in the freezing facility that was built in the 1870’s, leaks around the windows, rodent infestations and the lack of transparency around how people get put into the hole or get out of it. Upon initiating the hunger strike, prisoners (in particular Armando Velasquez who was witness being beaten, thrown down stairs and stomped by correctional officers/screws) have faced threats of force, including forced feeding for which Illinois law does not require court orders. You can find out more by contacting the Alice and Staughton Lynd at salynd(aat)aol (d ot)com. Also, check out articles at The SF Bay View on the subject.
If you care to call/write officials to press for an end to the torture:
Warden Rick Harrington, (618) 826-5071, P.O. Box 711, Menard IL 62794-9277
Illinois Department of Corrections Director Salvador Godinez, (217) 558-2200, ext. 2008, P.O. Box 19277, Springfield IL 62794-9277
Gov. Pat Quinn, (217) 782-0244, http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/Pages/ContacttheGovernor.aspx, 207 State House, Springfield IL 62706
The final portion of the episode is an interview with ecological and social activist, Yaroslav Nikitenko. Yaroslav has been involved for years in the struggle to save Khimki forest, the only old growth forest in the Moscow area, from development by a public-private construction project between Russian government, companies and VINCI construction (out of France). Yaroslav argues a lack of transparency by government, profit not surprisingly overshadowing concerns for peoples lives or the environment, neo-nazi thugs hired for home invasions and street attacks on journalists and activists working to speak out about Khimki and about how people can do solidarity work with those struggling to save this forest. Yaroslav also did solidarity work for incarcerated members of Pussy Riot, some of whom were involved in social struggles including the defense of Khimki. President Putin, prior to the Sochi Winter Olympics, released a number of political prisoners including members of the feminist punk band, Pussy Riot (albeit 2 month before their release). Lastly, Yaroslav shares his perspectives on the #euromaidan protests threatening the Ukrainian government, threats from the far-right in that nation, and his own fears as a Russian of the Ukrainian civil society coming further under Russian political sway. http://khimkiforest.org