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
The first will be the 2nd in our hopefully ongoing presentation of audio essays by anarchist prisoner Sean Swain, currently held in isolation at Ohio State Prison in Youngstown Ohio for alleged involvement in the Army of the 12 Monkeys, a nascent prisoner guerilla sabotage movement in Ohio prisons which is spreading every wider. Sean Swain denies involvement in the group and a self-identified member of that movement denies his involvement yet he’s been convicted of it despite any evidence and is now serving 23 hours a day in solitary, without human contact. We’ll be featuring mostly weekly segments by Sean from inside prison until the fascist running dogs at OSP shut off our communication. Here Sean gives his bid in hopes of being elected not the next governor of Ohio in 2014, but the last. Check out some of his writings at http://seanswain.org
This week’s episode of the Final Straw features a conversation with Cami, a resident of the ZAD (Zone À Défendre or Zone To Defend) speaks about experiences of living on, defending, struggling on and with the project and the people in Western France and against the police, airport expansion and fascists.
Backstory: Notre-Dame-des-Landes (NDDL) in western France has been the target of the French government and private corporations like Vinci Construction for the building of new infrastructure. Plans have been brewing for 40 years to build a new, larger airport in the area, to expand the bus systems, build a high speed train out to the airport from the nearby city of Nantes and expand the port at Saint-Nazaire. The struggle, for many of the members of the farming communities around NDDL, has been about saving their countryside from gentrification, from preserving their generations-old ways of life, their homes, their agency in what happens to their homes so that it’s not just people in Paris and Nantes who reshape their world. For many others it’s about preserving some of the last remaining undeveloped lands in the area, resisting the expansion of the Metropolis and the way of life that it brings and even in making their own way of life with others while resisting eviction and learning new ways of struggle.
Much media coverage of the ZAD has worked to build a myth around the project that it’s hunky-dory heroism and everyday revolution. While those things exist there, the story is not so clean cut. This hour we’ll also be speaking about internal problems of sexism, racism, interpersonal violence, drug use, valorization of certain forms of struggle, homophobia… the same crap we have to deal with everywhere, sadly. Cami also talks about how people on the ZAD have tried to work through these problems. While also struggling against the occasional neo-fascist incursion from the outside.
We have hopes at the Final Straw that this will be the first of a few shows that focus on communities resisting development by Vinci, a company that destroys ecology, builds prisons and greenwashes around the world. Vinci is also the main holder of contracts with the Moscow government in relation to the development of old growth Khimki Forest to build a road and a village for the rich as well as Combe Haven in the U.K. Also, in the Atlanta, GA, USA they’ve been awarded (under the sub-subsidiary Hubbard Construction) the Northwest Corridor contract, worth $600 million, which will bring 30 miles of toll highway to that city.
(The following note is apparently up for dispute, according to some sources…)
2 days ago Vinci was seeing red in Bristol, UK, due to an arson at some of their offices by Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI) (http://325.nostate.net/?p=9416)
The portions of the interview talking about Insurrectional theory, Radio Klaxtion (pirate radio on the ZAD), fascist attacks on the ZAD, immigrant solidarity, ability and the ZAD, films about the ZAD, and some of the music created through resistance by folks at the ZAD… don’t appear here due to lack of time. They’ll be linked on our afm blog page and eventually on thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org
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 week’s show features two interviews. The first is a conversation is with Mark of Croatan Earth First! about the recent visits by JTTF/FBI to anti-fracking activists on the East Coast, climate-change activists on the West Coast and and GJ-targetted Anarchist communities in NYC.
The second conversation takes place between our friend, Wren Awry (AFM news hour) and Dustin Steele about Dustin’s work with the Beards Fork Health Survey to gather information on the health effects of surface mining in West Virginia with an eye toward mutual aid.
The last half of the show features new songs from Bellicose Minds (PDX), Anniversary (D.C.), Wiccans, and Criminal Damage. And more!
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).
This week we speak with Ukrop, an anarchist, antifascist activist, and maker of the documentaries “Antifascist Attitude” & “Actions vs. Repressions”. This is part 1 of a two part interview, in which they talk about the history and context of Nazi influence in formerly-Soviet Russia and the rise of radical anti-fascism. Ukrop also discusses how the internet effected punk and anarchist subculture in Russia in the 1990’s and the first decade of the 21st century. In the conversation we cover overlaps between police and prisons and nazi’s as well as how the education system in that country feeds into nationalism and capitalism.
To keep updated about ongoing things in Russia, check out the following websites:
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.