Enough is Enough spoke with many refugees during their visit to Lesvos, and The Final Straw is happy to release this interview.
Here we will hear from Amin (his name was changed for safety), a Pakistani man detained for 9 months for absolutely nothing. He went to the registration office of the #Moria camp to renew his papers, something refugees have to do regularly. Instead of new papers he was suddenly detained without any explanation why. He was first kept in a jail on Lesvos and then transferred to Athens where he was imprisoned again. After 9 months he was brought back to Lesvos and released. He doesn’t know why he was detained and he doesn’t know why he was released again. This is not a single case we spoke with other refugees which didn’t want to be interviewed but had similar experiences. Amin came to Moria almost 2 years ago and is still not allowed to leave the island.
For more anti-capitalist and antifascist reporting and reposting, check out Enough is Enough on their various social media platforms.
This week we’ll feature a recording produced by our friends at Anarchistisches Radio Berlin of a debate that took place at the Congress of the International Of Anarchist Federations (IFA). The debate concerned the No Border camp that activists from different places had participated in in the area of Thessaloniki, Greece in July of 2016. The No Border camp was a site of active solidarity with people travelling into Europe across the Mediterranean Sea and against reacitonary and state attempts to block their freedom to move across borders. The debate about the No Border camp that took place at the IFA Congress included 2 participants from the Greek Anarchist Political Organization, Federation of Collectives, 2 participants from the Slovenian Federation of Anarchist Organizations (FAO) and one from Federation of German-speaking Anarchists. More audio from A-Radio Berlin can be found at http://aradio.blogsport.de and the site for the No Border Camp can be found at http://noborder2016.espivblogs.net/
IFA request for solidarity with DAF in Turkey
Here’s an announcement from the International of Anarchist Federations (IFA) as regards solidarity for the DAF, an anarchist formation affiliated with IFA based in Turkey. The Final Straw featured 2 interviews with members of the DAF in past months that can be found at thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org. This can be taken in context, not only of the attempted Coup and following repression of all who might question the AKP and Erdogan government, but also in the context Turkey committing troops and armor across the border into Syria where Kurdish militia have been fighting I.S. and, more recently, the Assad regime’s troops. This stands as a concern as the Rojava Democratic Confederalist project with which many anti-authoritarian anti-capitalists have aligned themselves is considered related to forms of struggle in the Kurdish regions around Bakur in Turkey which the Erdogan government has resumed repression and tensions are escalating. Here’s the IFA announcement:
Since the coup in Turkey and the imposition of the state of emergency, we have seen increased repression of many groups and movements operating there. This is not only aimed at the organisers of the coup, but a wide repression of democratic, socialist, kurdish groups and including our anarchist comrades of the DAF (Devrimci Anarsist Faaliyet / Revolutionary Anarchist Action). —- On two occasions, in 2010 and 2012, DAF has already been investigated by the state as a terror organisation but these cases were dropped. Now, because of the state of emergency, the ability of DAF to organise is even more difficult.
Their newspaper Meydan has been closed down and three new investigations have been started. This has also had serious economic impact for DAF.
In recent years DAF has been involved in many struggles including Gezi Park and supporting the kurdish revolutionary process in Rojava and Bakur including refugee support. They are involved in workers’ and youth movement activities, ecological actions and anti-militarism, opposing patriarchy and supporting the LGBTI movement, and have been developing practices of collective living and economy and self-organisation.
IFA has already been involved in the solidarity movement with Rojava in many respects and in close cooperation with DAF. Now, due to the changed situation in Turkey, we must expand our support to DAF in more concrete ways. We also have to be vigilant of the real possibility of increased repression of DAF and the wider anarchist movement in the region and to be able to respond rapidly with strong solidarity actions. IFA is committed to this and we call on all friendly organisations to join us and also provide financial solidarity to DAF.
The Hammerskin Nation, a long-running white supremacist organization, has announced that their major “Hammerfest” national gathering will be held in Georgia this October 1st. Hammerskin organizers plan to bring several bonehead (racist “skinhead”) musical acts into Georgia, including one band travelling from Finland to play the event. White supremacist speakers are also scheduled — one of these speakers being a prominent up-and-coming leader in the white power movement. The early October event will draw Hammerskin Nation members and supporters from across the country, as well as militants from other parts of the white power movement.
As Hammerfest approaches, Atlanta Antifascist Notes will be one source for updates and reporting. For briefer time-sensitive updates, keep your eyes on twitter.com/afainatl
For more information on this event and the Hammerskins in general, you can look up this article on Atlanta AntiFascist notes at https://afainatl.wordpress.com/2016/08/24/neo-nazi-hammerfest-gathering-planned-for-georgia-october-1st/ or on their Twitter, mentioned above.
Please also be advised to use caution if you are planning a counter event, the Hammerskins are known for being crazy messed up violent boneheads, so stay safe out there and have each others backs.
Asheville September 9th updates
And don’t forget, if you’re in the Asheville area that on Friday, September 2nd, 2016 at 7pm there will be a discussion at Firestorm Books and Coffee of the upcoming September 9th National Prisoner Work Strike and how folks on the outside can offer solidarity. More info on the strike can be found at http://supportprisonerresistance.noblogs.org
Relatedly, there is a march scheduled to start at 5pm on Friday September 9th here in Asheville from Aston Park in downtown to the jail. Bring sign-making goods and friends.
Music In This Episode
We finish up with a track from CONTRA//HISTORIA with Ataca from their 2016 album. “Caminando sobre las ruinas de la naturaleza”. Contra Historia is from Xalapa, in the state of Veracruz in Mexico.
In this hour we’ll be hearing two perspectives on migrant struggles in the EU, Germany in particular, dating back to roughly 2012. The first we’ll hear is Adam Bahar. Adam is an immigrant from Sudan who currently works on emergency phone networks connecting Coast Guards with migrants cross the sea in distress. In the second, we hear from Adams interviewer, a Berlin-based German-born no-border activist about their experiences. We tried to cut overlapping information to decrease redundancy but there will be a little overlap in order to make space for both differing experiences expressed.
In this first interview Adam Bahar talks about his participation in migrant struggles, including taking part in the public migrant march in 2012 from Wurzburg to Berlin, the tent occupation of Oranienplatz in Berlin by 150 migrants for a year and a half followed by the squatting of an empty school building. In German, the word Lager is used as a storage place, also used for the camps or shelters where asylum seeking refugees are kept isolated from the rest of the German population. Another word that may be difficult for listeners to understand is Adams phrasing of Guardsea, comparable to Coast Guard. Adam also talks about the cooperation between corrupt African governments and the German government either in their business of dictatorship or the deportation of Africans back to their continent of origin.
For the rest of the hour we’ll be hearing part of an interview conducted by myself and William with the activist who held the conversation with Adam in the first half hour. Here, our German friend talks a little more about the occupation of Oranienplatz from 2012-2014 in Kreutzberg, Berlin and more generally we discuss the Shengen Zone for the understanding of non-regional audience members. Later, they speak about their understanding of border situations in the Balkans as they’ve been closing down and thoughts about relationships between richer countries and the intolerable situations in the poorer nations from whence come many of the refugees.
Thanks to our buddies affiliated with Anarchistisches Radio Berlin for helping us out with setting up these recordings. More content from them at http://aradio.blogsport.de
Prison Resistance Updates
First, a couple of announcements. Here’s a wrap up of prisoner resistance activities this week around the U.S., followed by a few specific prisoner updates.
Momentum is growing behind the bars. After two intense rebellions in four days at Holman prison in Atmore, Alabama last month things have really heated up. Prisoners in Texas called for and initiated a state wide series of work strikes on April 4th, the Free Alabama Movement announced a shutdown of ADOC for the month of May and prisoners across the country announced and called for a nationally coordinated strike and protest this September.
Reports from Texas prisoners are still coming in, but at least 7 facilities participated enough to get locked down by prison authorities. There have been a lot of threats and harassment by staff reported, but no specific reprisals or people targeted as leaders, yet.
On Saturday, April 9th outside supporters gathered for solidarity events across the country, including, Austin, Houston, Phoenix, the Bronx, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Providence, Denver, Tucson, Minneapolis and Fayetteville Arkansas, as well as a protest at Holman prison in Alabama by the Mothers and Families of the Free Alabama Movement.
These events were either protests at corporations that profit from prison slavery, or workshops and planning sessions about prison slavery and supporting the growing wave of prisoner resistance. Supporters hope to see this tide continue to rise leading up to the September 9th work-stoppage, since attention from the outside is essential to protect striking or otherwise rebellious prisoners from violent reprisals.
Alvaro Luna Hernandez (Xinachtli)
Supporters of Alvaro Luna Hernandez sent this message:
“Alvaro is in dire need of immediate, practical solidarity from all who support his emancipation from unjust incarceration and cruel punishment.
Alvaro’s Recent Hardship
In these past few weeks it has come to our attention that Alvaro is enduring multiple forms of inadequate and cruel treatment by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).
He is in need of dire medical attention; the TDCJ has placed him in more inhospitable holding conditions; the TDCJ has confiscated and stolen from him; the TDCJ has limited his mail correspondence; and when in transport to Lubbock, TX, the TDCJ transported him with—what you will certainly agree is—little to no regard for his health or comfort.”
Therefore, Alvaro’s supporters are urging you to email or call relevant TDCJ authorities by Thursday, April 14th, 2016 (at midnight) to protest these conditions and demand immediate improvements. More information at http://FreeAlvaro.net
This week we feature two segments concerning struggles in Europe:
Firstly, we speak with Linus. Linus is a member of an autonomous socialist group based in Malmö, Sweden, and is an organizer of the upcoming Connecting European Struggles conference in Malmö. The theme of the CES conference this year is “Gender and Crisis” and invites anti-state & anti-capitalist individuals and groups from around and beyond Europe to attend from September 18-25th to have discussions, watch films, attend presentations and engage towards a more integrated system of autonomous action and ideas. Bursts and Linus discuss the conference, the prior year’s, Crisis Politics, feminism, anti-capitalism, reaction and more. More on the conference can be found at http://connectingeuropeanstruggles.tumblr.com
Next, Bursts chats with Julnel, a member of Ü, an anarchist black metal band from Potenza, in Basilicata, southern Italy. Julnel is a founder of the The Black Metal Alliance anti-hate metal and punk collective, as well as a founder of Dark Skies Above Us Collective and Ü has contributed music to benefit compilations for both of those collectives as well as Crust or Die distro.
Recipients of the benefit funds, earned by selling albums of donated songs by similarly anti-nationalist, anti-racist, feminist, pro-LGBT (and so on) metal and punk projects and include: http://caravana43.com; Emilio (anti-fa resistor beaten by a crowd of fascists) and Dordoni Social Center in Cremona which was attacked in January of 2015 by hooligans from CasaPound; Eric McDavid; http://www.womenonwaves.org providing info, contraceptives, safe and legal abortions and more by sailing ships into intl waters around coastal countries where abortion access is prohibited; and 350.org.
These collectives (DSAU/BMA/CoD) include bands from Europe, North America, Australasia and South America. We spend about 20 minutes talking about uses of subcultures like punk and metal to engage politically by both revolutionary (for instance, RABM) and reactionary ideologies (in particular RAC & NSBM).
There is no Sean Swain segment for this week, but stay tuned for our next episode which will feature a conversation on the No New Animal Labs tour and initiative out of Washington State to stop the building of an animal testing lab at UW and fight against animal testing. We’ll also be speaking with a supporter of Jessica Burlew, an 18 year old girl diagnosed as schizoeffective and autistic, who has been held in isolation in Estrella Jail in Phoenix, Arizona, since January, 2014. She is being charged with 2nd degree murder for the accidental death of Jason Ash, a 43 year old man who was sexually exploiting her as a 16 year old. http://freejessieb.org/
The following is an update on the Resist 450 event in St. Augustine Florida, which was written on Tuesday September 8th and posted to the EarthFirst! Newswire at http://earthfirstjournal.org/newswire. It should be stated that all who were arrested are now free, but the bail fund website is still active and accepting donations.
From EarthFirst!: Six people were arrested today for demonstrating against the celebration of the 450th anniversary of the Spanish invasion of so-called Saint Augustine, Florida. Arrestees are being held at the St Johns County Jail with misdemeanor charges. So far, three have been released. The support team does not have enough support to bond out all arrestees. Donations to the legal/bail fund can be sent to https://www.everribbon.com/ribbon/donate/22383
Tribal elders and the Council of the Original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation Aboriginal Peoples called for resistance demonstrations months ago. The Council asked Saint Augustine city officials not to glorify the rape, torture, displacement, enslavement, and genocide that accompanied European colonization but they were repeatedly ignored.
“Acts of genocide and crimes against humanity conducted on our ancestors by Spain is nothing to honor, glorify, commemorate or celebrate,” said clan and spiritual leader Bobby C. Billie. Billie led tradition prayers in defiance of a reenactment of a colonial landing this morning.
Other protesters took to the water. To the chagrin of haughty actors dressed in shiny hats and other aristocratic regalia, protesters held signs and chanted from kayaks, canoes, and pool floaties in the water surrounding the rowboat and forcing the boat back several times and finally reaching land with reenactors only under heavy police boat escort. More picketers disrupted the opening countdown ceremonies. They delivered messages like “celebrating 450 is celebrating genocide,” “heal the past,” “no honor no pride” and “conquest is not discovery.”
Police officers singled out and arrested four canoers participating in the water protest. On land, officers arrested two other people who interrupted a procession of dignitaries and escorted away others who called attention to the grotesque nature of the festivities.
Protester Libelula commented
“Today’s demonstrations seek to unmask St Augustine’s romanticized version of conquest as a vile glorification of the horrific and heinous acts committed against the original people’s of this territory by the Spanish Conquistadors. I’m from an indigenous background and celebrations like this one are not only offensive but also attempt to erase indigenous people’s suffering. This makes our demands for emancipation and dignity invisible. This is a blatant celebration the murder, rape, and torture of the original peoples of Turtle Island. It’s important to not let this go unchallenged.”
Anarchists across the US have been taking part in events to raise funds for the Anarchist Black Cross in cities from Denver, New York, and LA. The events, called ‘Running Down the Walls’ raise funds for the ABC Warchest, which goes to help ABC Chapters send money and literature to political prisoners across the US. The runs are conducted in US cities and inside prison walls, building solidarity between incarcerated prisoners and those on the outside. Bill Dune, anti-authoritarian political prisoner imprisoned for an attempted 1979 prison break from the King County Jail in Seattle,Washington wrote on the occasion:
“Running Down The Walls has become a fine and honored tradition on our side of the barricade. I could run like the wind in past RDTWs even where I ran alone because the sense of solidarity took away the pain of physical exertion and of distance from my community – from you all. This year, unfortunately, I will be unable to physically run with you. I’ve been relegated to FCI Herlong’s dungeon because in the agency of repression’s mythology, an anonymous note purports that I’m planning to run from them. It was most likely written by a person of the porcine persuasion actually worried I might be planning more litigation. But so it goes in life with big brother! I will be with you this day nevertheless, if not in person, in mind, in heart, in solidarity as you – as we – run, walk, roll, move however we can down the road to revolution. See you closer to the finish line!”
To write to Bill Dunne, address letters to:
Bill Dunne #10916-086
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 800
Herlong, CA 96113
The Final Straw sees fit to mention a court decision – which we wouldn’t normally do, this being a somewhat anti-state anarchist radio show – but this little number highlights a few things which interest us and relates back to the interviews we conducted in 2011 & 2013 around the hunger strikes that spread up from California prisons to include prisoners in other states and even Canada in solidarity against solitary confinement. The case in question is called Ashker v. Governor of California, and it is a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of prisoners held in the Security Housing Unit, or SHU, at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison who have spent a decade or more in solitary confinement. The case was settled by the Governor’s office on September 1st, 2015.
“The case charges that prolonged solitary confinement violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, and that the absence of meaningful review for SHU placement violates the prisoners’ rights to due process. The legal action is part of a larger movement to reform conditions in SHUs in Calfornia’s prisons that was sparked by hunger strikes by thousands of SHU prisoners in 2011 and 2013; the named plaintiffs in Ashker include several leaders and participants from the hunger strikes. The case is part of the Center for Constitutional Rights broader efforts to challenge mass incarceration, discrimination, and abusive prison policies.”
“This settlement represents a monumental victory for prisoners and an important step toward our goal of ending solitary confinement in California, and across the country. California’s agreement to abandon indeterminate SHU confinement based on gang affiliation demonstrates the power of unity and collective action. This victory was achieved by the efforts of people in prison, their families and loved ones, lawyers, and outside supporters.”
This case represents to us a huge and interesting step in our United States, which happens to be the country with the most percentage of incarcerated citizens in the world. Prison visibility in the media is at unprecedented levels, from the prison themed TV show “Orange is the New Black” to NPR coverage of prison strikes and the deleterious effects that incarceration and solitary confinement has on people. Since this particular case could not have occurred so successfully in a more apathetic social environment – support from families and on social media have been instrumental to any steam its gained – it yet again highlights to us the importance of sticking to your guns, to having strong solidarity with your comrades, friends, family, and neighbors, wherever and whenever it makes sense. So listeners, keep on talking to each other. It could lead in some great directions.
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
In late November of 2013, Kiev and other parts of Ukraine saw the building of spontaneous plaza occupations and street demonstrations against President Yanukovych apparent decision to stall steps towards integrating Ukraine into the European Union. The protests, known as Euromaidan or EuroPlaza in Ukrainian, called on the ruling government to move forward with the integration, fearing that the stalling was a sign that the Ukraine was giving in to pressure from the competing Customs Union (made up of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan) which had been courting Ukrainian participation. The protests are ongoing, despite the signature of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych into a deal with Russia for promised purchases of billions of dollars of Ukrainian products and a 30% discount on Russian Natural Gas. Euromaidan have been compared in scale, and sadly in lack of critical debate about issues among the populace, to the 2004 Ukrainian Orange revolution which saw the rising to power of those who would become the status quo today.
This week on the Final Straw, we’ll be speaking with Denys. Denys is an organizer and activist with the Kiev Local of the Autonomous Worker’s Union, a Revolutionary Syndicalist turned Anarchosyndicalist organizing and propaganda group in the capital of the Ukraine. We’ll spend the hour discussing the political system in that country, the spectrum of parties, influence of media and oligarchs and radical groups on the far left and far right. Later on in the hour, Denys will address his philosophy, Anarchosyndicalism via Synthesist Anarchism, and what the AWU in Kiev and elsewhere has been able to achieve. More on the AWU can be found at avtonomia.net .
We’ll also speak briefly about a protest in Kiev in solidarity with struggling workers in Kazakhstan on the anniversary of the Zhanaozen Massacre of December 16, 2011.
A partial transcript is now available for this episode thanks to folks at Rev-News & Nihilist.li