This week William spoke with a member of Eastern Kentucky Antifa about the upcoming resistance to the Traditionalist Workers Party’s event in Pikeville KY. This group, along with The Nationalist Socialist Movement, The American Freedom Party, League of the South, The Iron March Forums, and other groups which it is accurate to call neo-Nazi are converging to form The Nationalist Front.
They will gather on Friday, April 28th on private land for camping, a series of speakers, and trainings. The following day, they are planning to rally in front of the courthouse in Pikeville, KY at 2:00pm EST. They plan to retreat to the location where their camping and the conference is being hosted to hold an after party as well as a “secret event.” In this short interview, we talk about what to expect from this event, some of the history of fascist and proto fascist activity in rurual KY, and things that resisters should keep in mind.
One thing that we did not mention is that phone reception is very spotty in this area, so if you are going you should come having printed off paper maps beforehand. You can see an excellent article on this by going to It’s Going Down
After this interview we will hear some new antifascist, antiracist metal from The Dark Skies Above Us Collective out of Greece.
ANNOUNCEMENT If you’re listening in Asheville come out to a queer country show and corn dog pop up to benefit the Tranzmission Prison Project, a decade long running project which sends free books and resources to LGBTQ incarcerated folks. This event will be on Wednesday April 19th at the Double Crown at 375 Haywood Rd Asheville NC, food starts at 6 music at 8 come out! You can get in touch with Tranzmission by writing them at firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing PO Box 1874, Asheville NC 28806.
This week Bursts spoke with Jude, a member of the Tilted Scales Collective, about the collective’s new book, A Tilted Guide to Being a Defendant out from Combustion Books.
In this interview, they speak about the Tilted Scales Collective, which is “a small collective of dedicated legal support organizers who have spent years supporting and fighting for political prisoners, prisoners of war, and politicized prisoners in the occupied lands of Turtle Island (i.e., the so-called united states).” from their website, and about the book which is a comprehensive run down for people facing legal charges and how to cope with handling them.
The Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons (FTP) is a collaboration with the Abolitionist Law Center. FTP’s mission is to conduct grassroots organizing, advocacy and direct action to challenge the prison system
which is putting prisoners at risk of dangerous environmental conditions, as well as impacting surrounding communities and ecosystems by their construction and operation. At this time, FTP is focused on opposing the construction of a new federal prison in Letcher County, Kentucky.
FTP is inspired by the abolitionist movement against mass incarceration and the environmental justice movement, which have both been led by the communities of color who are hardest hit by prisons and pollution.Both these movements also have long histories of multi-racial alliances among those on the front lines of the struggle and those who can offer support and solidarity, which we aim to build on.
FTP has been informed by the ongoing research and analysis of the Human Rights Defense Center’s Prison Ecology Project, as well as the work of the Earth First! Prisoner Support Project and http://June11.org
FTP has just announced that their 2017 convergence will be from June 2-5th in Denton/Fort Worth Texas. It will include speakers, panels, workshops, protests and cultural activities, including an art show and hip-hop performances.
Some proposed topics are:
– Mapping Toxic Prisons
– The History and Future of June 11
– Building Mult-Racial Alliances Against Incarceration
– EJ Lessons from the Pipeline struggles
Environmentalists know Texas as the financial headquarters of oil and gas empire that controls the nation’s political system, where fights against pipelines like Keystone XL and Trans-Pecos have captured the attention of the nation.
Prison abolitionists know Texas as home to one of the most brutal and corrupt state prison systems in the country, where extreme heat is coupled with tainted water, and vocal participants from the September prisoner strike like Keith ‘Malik’ Washington sit in long term solitary confinement, subjected to both.
In the first, Bursts spoke with Queen Tahiyrah about the hunger strike being engaged by Imam Siddique Abdullah Hasan and Jason Robb, two death row inmates put there by their attempt to resolved the hostage taking involved in the 1993 Lucasville Prison Uprising. During the uprising, Jason Robb and Hasan acted as negotiators for the prisoners as representatives of the Aryan Nation prison gang and Muslim prisoners, respectively, at the facility. More on their case can be found at http://lucasvilleamnesty.org. Check out Queen Tahiyrah’s podcast, entitled SiGnOtHeTiMeS. We apologize that the beginning of Queen Tahiyrah’s interview sounds crappy – that was a technical fail on our part – but it clears up after
about 2 minutes.
In the second segment, Bursts chatted with Franklin López about Submedia, the importance of anarchist media production, his upcoming anarchist hip hop podcast, and the new short documentary series they’re about to start releasing entitled Trouble. Trouble is available for public showings, so find yourself a venue in town, contact Frankie and company via https://submedia.tv/get-in-touch/, pass word of the event in town via flyers and word of mouth and antisocial media and make some friends where you’re at!
The first episode will focus on diversity of tactics at Stand Rock with a focus on the Red Warrior Camp. More work by Frankie can be found at https://submedia.tv. Oh, and there’s an announcement of a podcasting network looming on the horizon (Channel Zero Network). More to come on that in future episodes.
Benefit Shows: Help our comrades arrested at J20!
If you’re in Asheville or the surrounding area, there is a benefit show TONIGHT (March 12) at the Odditorium at 1045 Haywood Rd in West Asheville. Proceeds will benefit our comrades who were arrested during the inauguration protests in DC earlier this year.
Also, next Monday the 20th there will be a dance party to benefit J20 arrestees, come dance to mod, punk, and all the classics new and old with DJ Murphy Murph! This will be at the Lazy Diamond at 98-A N Lexington Ave in downtown Asheville.
Rebel! Rebuild! Rewild! call for submissions
The Rebel! Rebuild! Rewild! Collective has put out a call for submissions of texts about strategic lessons that can be learned from the resistance at Standing Rock. As one phase of the resistance has ended and another has begun, the idea is to compile experiences and analyses and reflect on the lessons learned from this game-changing moment in movement history.
This project is mostly for the benefit of those who were not present at Standing Rock but who might participate in something similar in the future.
The plan is to publish a compilation of thoughtful strategic analyses, both online and in print. However, seeing as it might not be possible to publish everything that people submit, the plan is to put an unedited version of everything that folks submit onto a wordpress site sometime in the future.
The call is to write about anything you’d like to, but some leading questions are:
Which actions were most effective?
Which actions were least effective?
Do you have any insights on dynamics between indigenous and
non-indigenous water protectors?
What was unifying?
What was divisive?
What can we learn from the tactics of DAPL, the police, and the state?
What can we learn from the legal battle?
What message would you like to pass on to future water protectors?
Please submit writing to email@example.com. Submissions can be signed with your legal name, an alias, or be anonymous. Please include whatever information about yourself that you consider relevant.
This week we spoke with Romina and César, who are two members of the Black Rose Anarchist Federation in LA. We talk about what it’s like organizing in an Especifist federation model of anarchism, about anarcho-communism, and tensions and points of unity between non federation and federation organizing. We wanted to interview these folks in order to present another model of possible engagement, for folks who perhaps are looking for ways to plug in. This conversation is somewhat introductory, and we welcome any feedback you have. To see more on this project, you can visit http://www.blackrosefed.org/
Tonight, Sunday the 5th of March from 5 to 7:30pm at Firestorm in Asheville, join Blue Ridge Anarchist Black Cross for an evening of solidarity in the form of letter writing for long term political
prisoners: people who are locked up for their activism and resistance to systems of domination and oppression. Supplies will be provided as well as copies of the March 2017 prisonbooks Political Prisoner birthday calendar. More info can be found at https://brabc.noblogs.org
On Thursday, March 23rd, check out the Tranzmission book packaging party, also at Firestorm. Tranzmission prison project is an all volunteer, books-and-zines-to-prisoners project that focuses on getting materials to incarcerated LGBTQI prisoners. This event starts at 6pm.
On Sunday March 12th at the Odditorium in Asheville, there’ll be a benefit for folks facing charges attached to the J20 Inauguration protests in DC this January. The door is at 8pm, it’s a sliding scale
donation and an all-ages show. Bands include: Gullible Boys; Mother Moses; Maitland +more TBA
Water Crisis in PA Prisons
Since August of 2016, Mumia Abu-Jamal and other Inmates at the State Correctional Facility in Mahanoy, Pennsylvania, have been plagued with unsafe drinking and bath water.
For several months now, inmates have complained about brown, oily water in both the showers and the faucets of their cells. This has been an on-and-off problem from August 2016 to this very day. One of the inmates at SCI Mahonoy, Lorenzo Cat Johnson, when asked of the matter, stated that one week the water seems good and another week, when run, the water seems to go from the color gray to the color brown.
As recently as last week in a conversation with MOVE Political Prisoner Edward Africa, Eddie was asked what he did for water and he stated that he obtained his water from a hot water filter that was on his cell block.
So other than the alternative to obtain a little water from a hot water filter, men are being forced to shower and wash in brown water. Eddie stated that the only time inmates can get bottled water is when they are on a visit in the visiting room. All the while, prison staff are being provided bottled water at SCI Mahanoy and are being told not to drink the water because it’s unsafe.
Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is suffering from a very serious skin condition due to Hepatitis C, is required to take specialized baths in the prison infirmary, but has not been able to take these baths due to the water hazard. Grievances have been filed on this matter, but to no avail–the water situation has not been resolved.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
On March 6, 2017 there will be a National Day of Action aimed at both Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel.
The power is in the hands of the people; the only way to make these officials respond is through massive public pressure, so we are upping the ante.
From 9 am to 12 noon, folks are being asked to call, fax, and tweet
the office of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.
This week we thought we’d take a teeny break from politics and scream it out with some new and not so new anarchist and antifascist punk, metal, new wave, and more. We’ll be back next week with an anarchist take on updates at Standing Rock and how to keep anti extraction momentum going, plus strategies on how best for non indigenous folks to be accomplices in indigenous struggles.
For music, as we have in the past, we tip our hats generously to the good folks at Red And Anarchist Black Metal & The Dark Skies Above Us for continuing to offer space for aggressive and not-so-aggressive anti-racist, antifascist, feminist, ecological, anti-capitalist, and generally anti-authoritarian music from around the world!
Rattler is a Water Protector who is currently being held pre-trial on federal felony charges produced through a grand jury indictment. Rattler’s home is at Pine Ridge and he comes from a long legacy of struggle that he continued at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline and it’s world. Please support Rattler as he fights these charges brought against him by the federal government. Rattler would love to receive your letters and cards of support.
Rattler loves fantasy fiction and Dungeons and Dragons material. He’d appreciate something to read while he is inside.
Bismarck, ND 58502-1416
Red Fawn Fallis is still being held pre-trial on federal charges as well. Red Fawn has shown her dedication to the water, the earth and all that is sacred. Her spirits remain high despite the ways in which the state hopes to squash her. Please send your support to Red Fawn through letters!
Red Fawn Fallis
Stutsman County Correctional Center
205 6th st. SE, Ste 201
Jamestown, ND 58401
Charles Jordan has been held in Morton County Jail since November 17th, 2016 on three state felony charges. He was initially ineligible for bond and his current conditions of release set by the court are unable to be met at this time. His brutal arrest is not the only time Morton County Sheriffs enacted such violence on Water Protectors. We have received reports of continued mistreatment while in custody including lack of medical services and hygiene access for weeks at a time. Please send Charles a letter letting him know that he is not alone!
Morton County Correctional Center
205 1st Ave. NW
Mandan, ND 58554
We will be posting this information on our blog, and you can check out It’s Going Down for this and similar news and info.
Petition Gov. Cuomo not to restrict visiting hours
We really need to ramp up the pressure on this horrible visiting
restriction Cuomo is about to jam in there. This is an issue that
affects all of our fellow Certain Days editors, David Gilbert, Seth
Hayes and Herman Bell, and thousands of other people in NY state
Governor Cuomo has just proposed to limit visiting at New York State
maximum security prisons to 3 days a week instead of the current 7.
If passed, this measure will be awful for thousands of people and
The Governor talks a bunch of crap about compassion and reducing
mass incarceration, but this proposal will seriously escalate
suffering and family disruption. Under the current 7-day system,
weekend visitors (many are women with young children) often wait 2-3
hours to see their loved ones. With reduced days, the wait will be
longer, the visitor rooms more crowded, the visiting days and hours
even more limited. This will be terrible for everyone and impossible
Please email and write these people below and remind them how
important visiting is and how this proposal is wrong on all levels.
This week we spoke with an autonomous participant in CrimethInc. about the work of that collective around elections, about their views on the recent election of Donald J. Trump as president of the U.S.A., voter turnout, anarchist perspectives on elections, democracy, and about building on-the-ground resistance to not only this new administration but the autonomous far right that’s attempting to emerge more and more these days. More from CrimethInc., including their recent audio-zines and the ex-worker podcast can be found at http://crimethinc.com
The callout for protests at the 2017 Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC can be found: http://www.crimethinc.com/blog/2016/11/11/no-peaceful-transition/
Former Political Prisoner Panel 2016 pt1
The Final Straw recently released the first half of the Former Political Prisoners Panel discussion from the 2016 North American Anarchist Black Cross conference in Denver as a podcast. That included introductions by former Black Liberation Army and Black Panther member Sekou Kombui who served 47 years in prison, former United Freedom Front militant Kazi Toure, former Earth Liberation Front member Daniel McGowan and anti-fascist activist John Tucker who was imprisoned as one of the Tinley Park 5. Check it out by visiting: https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/2016/11/13/naabc-former-political-prisoners-panel-2016-pt-1/
The Presidential Election
As of today, Sunday November 13th, it seems like there has been one thing on our minds since Tuesday. People have been expressing their rage at this election in many different ways around the US, the first four days saw protests ranging from less militant rallies to night marches, burning effigies, and highway shutdowns. Here in Asheville there were four days worth of protests, one of which rallied 150 people who blocked a major intersection in downtown for a good while and held its ground by the Vance Monument, built for the slaveowning KKK member Zebulon Vance who was one of Asheville’s so called white founders.
Moving forward will look like a lot of different things, already we have seen at least three autonomously called for general strikes to occur around and on the inauguration on January 20th, and the amount of assemblies and strategy building infrastructure on the anarchist left is growing by leaps and bounds! If you are part of organizing and you do not see yourself represented elsewhere, please feel free to write to us at thefinalstrawradio( at)riseup.net or to William personally at stormwater( at)riseup.net with what you are doing, how it’s going, what you hope to see come out of it, all that jazz. We will be happy to broadcast it, or not if you would prefer. Also, stay tuned to this and other audio projects for more ideas on how to engage.
Crushing Intolerance music this episode
In the last portion of the episode, we’ll be hearing two tracks from the newest Crushing Intolerance compilation by The Black Metal Alliance, which is a collection of metal artists promoting equal rights for all life. This is comp #4. First off, here’s Arete with Beneath The Pond. Arête is Melancholic Mountain Black Metal from the Rocky Mountains, the Appalachian Mountains, and the Black Hills. Finally, this is Seeds In Barren Fields with The Epitaph of the Vain and the Forgotten. SIBF is a Swedish metal band. Money from the compilation Crushing Intolerance IV goes to Canadian and Swedish chapters of No One Is Illegal a migrant justice movement rooted in anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, ecological justice, Indigenous self-determination, anti-occupation & anti-oppressive communities. More on the comp at https://blackmetalalliance.bandcamp.com/
Here we present the first half of the Former Prisoner Panel of the 2016 North American Anarchist Black Cross Conference. During the hour, you’ll hear words from Sekou Kombui, Daniel McGowan, John Tucker, Kazi Toure. These speeches will be prefaced by some brief introductions, the texts of which can be found below.
This audio will air soon as a radio episode.
For more info on political prisoners in the U.S., check out http://denverabc.wordpress.com or http://nycabc.wordpress.com
Sekou is a former political prisoner who survived 47 years of incarceration. Throughout the 1960’s, Sekou participated in the Civil Rights movement, organizing youth for participating in demonstrations and marches across Alabama, and providing security for meetings of the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Sekou became affiliated with the Black Panther Party in 1967 in Chicago and New York. While in Detroit, he became a member of the Republic of New Afrika, before returning to Birmingham. Back in Alabama, Sekou coordinated community organization activity with the Alabama Black Liberation Front, the Inmates for Action (IFA) Defense Committee and the Afro-American People’s Party in the mid 1970’s. Sekou was also a soldier in the Black Liberation Army (BLA) during these years before his capture.
In 1975, Sekou was falsely arrested and charged with the murder of two white men: a KKK official from Tuscaloosa and a multimillionaire oil man from Birmingham. There was absolutely no evidence against him, only coerced testimony from individuals who subsequently recanted their statements. The judge refused to allow the recanted statements to be stricken from Sekou’s record. Sekou continued the fight throughout his time in Prison. On June 30th, 2014, Sekou was released on parole.
Daniel is an environmental and social justice activist from New York City. He was charged in Federal court on counts of arson, property destruction and conspiracy, all relating to two actions in Oregon in 2001, claimed by the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). McGowan was facing a minimum of life in prison if convicted when he accepted a non-cooperation plea agreement. His arrest is part of what the US government dubbed Operation Backfire; a coordinated, multi-state sweep of over 15 activists by the federal government who have charged the individuals with practically every earth and animal liberation action in the Pacific Northwest left unsolved. Many have considered this round up indicative of the government’s ‘Green Scare’ focus which has activists being arrested and threatened with life in prison. Many of the charges, including Daniel’s, were for crimes whose statute of limitations were about to expire. Daniel was released from prison on December 11, 2012.
John was one of five antifascists arrested in May 2012, after an altercation between white supremacists and antifascists in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park that left ten injured fascists, three of which needed hospitalization. The case of the Tinley Park 5 received an overwhelming amount of public support. Despite the fact that the meeting was organized by violent white supremacist organizations including the National Socialist Movement, Council of Conservative Citizens, and Ku Klux Klan, the state showed their cozy relationship with white supremacy by refusing the accused antifascist activist bail or a plea deal comparable to any other criminal defendant in Cook County. In January 2013 the Tinley Park Five accepted a non-cooperating plea deal. John Tucker was released in February 2014. As of September 2014, all of the TP5 are released.This audio will air soon as a radio episode.
As a member of the United Freedom Front (UFF), Kazi was imprisoned for his role in 20 bombings combating Apartheid in South Africa and United States Imperialism in Central America. The UFF has been called “undoubtedly the most successful of the leftist [guerrilla groups] of the 1970s and ’80s” and struck powerful blows to South African Airways, Mobil, IBM, Union Carbide, & various courthouses and US Military targets. Toure was convicted on federal charges of possession of firearms, and Seditious Conspiracy—conspiring to overthrow, put down, destroy by force and violence the US government. He is one of few, if any, New Afrikans to be charged of this act.
This week we spoke with members of Central PA Antifa about antifascist organizing in Pennsylvania, about some of the racial and socioeconomic aspects of that place, and many more topics but mainly about the National Socialist Movement counter protest that folks are calling for on November 5th in Harrisburg. We talk about the logistics of the event and what sorts of things to expect and what sorts of solidarity folks are asking for. To hear another interview with Central PA Antifa you can visit our comrades at itsgoingdown.org and follow the links to their podcast called the IGDcast. To learn more about Central PA Antifa you can get up with them on facebook, on which you can search Central PA Antifa, or follow them on Twitter @centralpaantifa. There is also a blog at: https://centralpaantifascist.wordpress.com/
Playlist is here: http://www.ashevillefm.org/node/17929
I wanted to do some announcements regarding the prison strike, but honestly so many amazing things have been going on it would be impossible to do them justice in the time we have for this segment. In brief, at Holman Prison in Atmore Alabama, where many rebels are part of the Free Alabama Movement, it was reported a few days ago that most if not all of the prison guards there had quit their jobs, either giving their notice or walking off entirely, in solidarity with the strikers. This is a huge piece of news, and I am not aware of it ever having happened before on such a large scale. It was also announced the other day that prisoners in the strike and refused to let guards lock them up and refused to go to their jobs. This is also a tremendous piece of news, it is clear that the prison strike is still going strong though it should come as no surprise that it is being quelled in mass media, which have even reported that it has fizzled out. The opposite is true. Keep your eyes on It’s Going Down, Support Prisoner Resistance, Mask Magazine, and the Portland Anarchist Black Cross among other anarchist news sources for more real updates. You can also help by writing to those who have been targeted in this strike, you can find a list of prison rebels on the IWOC page.
in this episode we are presenting two segments, firstly is a conversation recorded with Keith from ATL Antifa about the fast approaching occurrence of Hammerfest, which is a far right music festival, which is suspected to be taking place in Drake Town, Georgia about an hour outside of Atlanta. In this interview, we speak about how ATL Antifa got started, whether or not Trump’s presence on the political stage has emboldened far right / white supremacist activity, some vague tactical advice for dealing with suspected far right activity, police ties with the KKK, some history about and advice about dealing with Hammerskins, some other struggles that are going on in Atlanta and the surrounding towns and much more. To get in touch with them, visit https://afainatl.wordpress.com/
or you can get super current updates on their twitter @AFAINATL
The second segment is a short interview with a member of the organizing committee for the upcoming Anarchist Black Cross conference. In this conversation we talk about the history of the ABC, how the prison strike is informing this years conference and much more.
Playlist is here: http://www.ashevillefm.org/node/17706
This week, we’ll be featuring a short roundup of some of the events inside and outside of the prison walls during the beginning of the Prisoner Work Strike that started on September 9th in the United Snakes with the goal of ending Prison Slavery in U.S. prisons. After that we’ll hear the last half hour of Gil O’Teen’s conversation with Guy McGowan Steel Steward, an American anarcho-communist about his joining the Rojava Revolution alongside Kurdish and other folks in Northern Syria. This portion, they discuss nationalism and national identity in Rojava, the draft, the decision to adopt Federalization within Rojava and more. This is within the context of recent Turkish incursions into the Kurdish regions of northern Syria which have led to deaths among civilians and YPG/YPJ forces of the Kurdish Resistance. These deaths include foreign fighters who’ve joined the Rojava struggle. Happily, Guy is not among those dead. There is an interesting discussion and an homage to american anarchist fighter Jordan MacTaggart, an interview with Rojava Solidarity NYC, plus much much more in the latest episode of The Ex-Worker podcast, available at http://crimethinc.com/podcast that I suggest folks check out and share with friends.
Background and Inside Resistance
As many of you are probably aware, Friday September 9th kicked off the largest and most coordinated prisoner work stoppage in the US in all history, on the 45th anniversary of the Attica Prison uprising. Organized in conjunction with incarcerated members of the Free Alabama Movement (FAM) and the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), this work stoppage is turning a bright spotlight on the continuing condition of slavery in the United States, a slavery upon which this country’s economy is cripplingly dependant. Prisoners are also forced to be responsible for running the actual prisons themselves, working in the laundry, cafeteria, and so on, pretty much in any non-administrative capacity you can think of. I don’t think it should go without saying that much of this labor goes unwaged, though the on average 13 cents an hour that inmates get paid is nothing compared to the exorbitant costs of goods in prison stores.
Friday kicked off the actual strike, but resistance from within prison got started well before then with fires being set at Lincoln Correctional Center in Lincoln, Nebraska on September 6th, a 4 dormitory wide riot at Holmes prison in Bonifay, Florida on the 7th which hopped from dorm to dorm in the facility keeping just ahead of the CO’s attemts to quell the rebellion, creating a Whak-A-Mole type situation that I’m sure the prison officials just loved. Also on the 7th inmates at the infamous military detention center Guantanamo Bay remain on hunger strike to protest their indefinite detentions, many of whom were captured as part of the xenophobic and racist governmental response to September 11th, 2001, 15 years ago today.
September 9th at noon saw a complete work stoppage at Holman Correctional in Atmore, Alabama where our comrade Michael Kimble is held captive. There is no incidents yet from prison officials, and guards and COs were forced to perform all tasks. Sit down strikes and work stoppages were also held in Bonifay, FL in the aforementioned Holmes Prison, amid the ashes of the fires set only two days prior. In Troy VA, there was a work stoppage at a women’s facility, and all across this state of North Carolina prisoners refused to report to their jobs. At a women’s facility in California 10 or so brave souls refused to work and effectively shut the whole prison down because of fear of a riot. Disturbances were reported at Gulf and Mayo prisons in Florida, and three guards were injured in scuffles at Tecumseh Prison in Nebraska.
Yesterday saw a continuation of resistance in Nebraska at a women’s facility, from all over South Carolina, and continuing resistance in Atmore. Solidarity from overseas has been flying in fast and furious, with statements from prisoners in Greece, Australia, Lithuania, and Sweden among many others.
Repression of those who are striking has mostly consisted of prison lockdowns and targeting of people who have been designated the “ringleaders”. It will be very important for people to recieve solidarity from those on the outside in order for this resistance to continue. Keep your eyes on itsgoingdown.org and the live updates at http://maskmagazine.com for current info and calls for backup. You can visit the IWOC at iwoc.org for a list of concrete anti-repression tactics to share with those who are incarcerated and otherwise.
Local Events, Arrests, and Donations to the Legal Fund
Now, let’s take a gander at some of the events we were able to find that took place outside of the prison walls, per se, around the U.S. and around the world.
A full narrative of outside support events would take a very long time, which is a good thing, so we’re going to read through some highlights starting local to get the attention of the folks locally on this. We’ll be giving precedence to two local struggles in which arrests occurred. If folks from elsewhere have an experience they want to share, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or add it to the growing lists of solidarity by emailing email@example.com.
First off, let’s begin with Western North Carolina.
This text is from a fundraising site to cover legal costs :
“In the early afternoon of Septmeber 9th, comrades held a banner outside of the Avery Mitchell Correctional Facility in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. This was an attempt to offer support to any of the 816 prisoners at the facility involved in prison functions who may have chosen to withhold their labor as part of the wider strike against prison society. 5 arrests were made and trespassing charges were issued.
Later that afternoon in downtown Asheville, and following a #NoDAPL solidarity march and protest at TD Bank, there was a march through downtown in support of striking prisoners. 60-70 folks banged pots and pans, held banners and signs, passed out leaflets and chanted “Brick By Brick, Wall By Wall, We Will Make Your Prisons Fall” and other classics. Police followed the march blaring requests to get out of the street and eventually attempted to push the marchers onto the sidewalk with their vehicles. Attempts to engage the Friday night drum circle into hitting the pavement fell on deaf ears as folks made their way towards the Buncombe County Detention Facility. While passing by the local Goombay festival, flyers were distributed and a group of folks backstage answered our chants of “Our Passion for Freedom…” with their own melodious note of “Freedom”. A few minutes later and a few blocks away, 3 of ours were arrested, accused of blocking traffic and one with an additional charge of resisting arrest. By midnight the 3 were out.
Everyone is out and no more money for bail is required, but support for legal defense, court fees and lawyers is necessary, and we are asking for your help
At moments like these it is so crucial that we support people doing work to sustain the struggle for racial justice & prison abolition. This allows us to create stronger movements where we can all continue to be leaders in these fields and help a build stronger sense of community, especially in the south. We are all in this together and we need to continuously show up for each other, not just in the streets but in ways that allow us to continue to sustain our lives and our passions for the movement.
We believe that no one should go through this alone, especially marginalized folks who are brave enough to put themselves in these front lines. We are so proud of the North Carolina communities right now.”
You can connect to that fundraiser at: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/legal-support-for-wnc-sept-9-solidarity-activists
Folks in Atlanta took the streets on Friday, September 9th, in the face of serious police repression. From http://atlblackcross.org comes this information:
“Today marks the beginning of the national prison strike. Prisoners all over the country are going on strike and refusing to cooperate with the unjust prison system. They are demanding decent pay for work, decent food and living conditions, and an end to inhumane practices like solitary confinement.
In Atlanta, supporters marched through Midtown and disrupted several corporations which profit from prison slavery. Wendy’s, McDonalds, Aramark, and Starbucks all got a visit. When the march got to Starbucks, police made several violent arrests, using pepper spray and slamming people to the pavement. At one point, police even tried to run marchers over with a squad car.
We are working hard to make sure all the protesters get free as soon as possible, so everyone can continue doing the important work of supporting the ongoing prison strike.” As of this morning, Sunday, September 11th (make a wish!), all defendants are out but are facing some stupidly hefty charges. One demonstrator apparently was taken during their arrest to a police precinct women’s bathroom and choke slammed against the wall for being a part of copwatch in Atlanta. FTP!
More on the Atlanta cases and how to support them can be found at https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/bail-out-prison-strike-supporters
International solidarity with the strike has been tremendous, with banner drops, graffitti and actions ranging far and wide. Here are a few instances of international solidarity, this is by no means a complete list. You can see more information about this, plus photos and full statements at It’s Going Down.
* Horgoš, Serbia: Banner drop in support of prison strike.
* Brisbane, Australia: Solidarity action with US prisoners.
*Melbourne, Australia: Info table with literature about US prisons and the prison strike, along with collected donations.
* Melbourne, Australia: Anarchist demonstration outside US Consulate.
* Malmö, Sweden: Solidarity demonstration.
* Athens, Greece: Demonstration outside Korydallos women’s prison.
* Leipzig, Germany: Rally outside US Consulate.
* Montreal, Canada: Dinner and film screening in solidarity with prisoner rebellion.
* Melbourne, Australia: Noise demo at youth jail.
* Barcelona, Spain: Graffiti messages of support written on McDonald’s.
Playlist is here: http://www.ashevillefm.org/node/17496