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 feature two segments. The first is a roundtable discussion with producers from various audio projects around North America that focus on prisoner struggles and amplifying incarcerated voices. In the chat you’ll hear from me, two producers of The Prison Radio show on CFRC radio in Kingston, Ontario, a producer of the Prison Radio Show on CKUT from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and a producer of the June11 audio series released this last year and revving to mark the day in solidarity with Marius Mason and other long term anarchist and ecological prisoners.
Follow-Up with Walid Zazai on Manus Island
The second conversation is an update from Walid Zazai, the 24 year old Afghani man being held on Manus Island off of the coast of Papua New Guinea. Walid has been in detention for 4 years now awaiting resettlement at the pleasure of the government of Australia. We spoke with Walid two weeks ago after the Manus Regional Processing Centre in which he was living had been closed and he and roughly 450 other refugees stayed in protest of their longtime lack of freedom of movement and the violence they feared from PNG security forces and locals on the island. More coverage of the struggle immigrants against the Australian border authorities and other updates from the Oceania can be found on the long running Anarchist radio show based there, Subversion1312. Subversion1312 is also a recently added member of the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts.
Now For Some Fun Events
If you’re in the Asheville area today (December 3rd 2017), at 5pm at Firestorm Books and Coffee, Blue Ridge ABC will be hosting it’s monthly letter writing session, where you can swing by, find out about political prisoners in the U.S., write to some with upcoming birthdays and meet other local radicals. After that, tonight at 8pm at the Lazy Diamond, 98-A, North Lexington Ave in downtown Asheville, comrades will be hosting a Radical Trivia night to benefit the 2nd Asheville Carolina Anarchist Bookfair, or ACAB2018, planned for this summer. Alone or in teams, you are invited to test your wits on subjects of Black Liberation, Anarchist History, Queer Resistance and more. A cash prize will go to the winning team or individual.
This week on the Final Straw we feature 2 interviews.
Walid, an asylum seeker held at the Manus Regional Process Center, Papua New Guinea
First up, you’ll hear a conversation that Bursts had with a refugee seeking asylum in Australia. His name is Walid, he is 24 years old and from Afghanistan. Manus Regional Processing Centre, where Walid is being held alongside nearly 450 other men, is a facility on Papua New Guinea on the PNG Lombrum Naval Base. The processing center, from here out called Manus for short or MRPC, was run up until October 31st by the Spanish multinational company Grupo Ferrovial on behalf of the Australian Government as a way of off-shoring the housing of people seeking asylum. The center was closed October 31st after the Papuan Supreme Court determined the facility unconstitutional in breech of the promise of personal liberty.
So, the Australian government withdrew it’s medical workers, shut off electricity and water and food shipments. However, the residents of MRPC have refused to be resettled into other facilities in PNG due to fears of physical harm by members of the PNG Defence Forces, as is alleged to have happened in April of this year, as well as violence coming from local gangs wielding machetes and other weapons. The population of the island is just short of 6,000 people and locals have expressed concern that resettlement would affect their economy greatly. In the conversation, Walid mentions two fellows from the MRPC who were found recently hung by their necks in the jungle near the Processing Centre as a proof of danger the refugees face if they leave the premises.
The Obama administration had agreed in 2016 to resettle many of Australia’s asylum seekers. However, do you remember that first presidential phone call that Trump made, where he ended by saying it was a stupid deal and it was the worst conversation ever? That was #45 chatting with Australia’s Prime Minister Turnbull about the resettlement deal for refugees on Nauru and Manus Islands. Cancelling that at the time fed into the issues in PNG & Australia’s national politics with the refugees being caught in the middle as pawns. The U.S. has now apparently changed it’s tune about the Asylum seekers, having applied for whatever “extreme vetting” it was seeking and has taken in 24 of the men and resettling them.
I will admit to being a bit ignorant of the situation in Manus that people like Walid are facing, but what I do understand is this: borders are imprisoning some of the most marginalized people fleeing dangerous situations and holding them in dire circumstances. The men at the Manus Regional Processing Centre are refusing to leave for fear of their lives and in hopes of reaching a safer space and are being starved by bureaucracy. And many Australians are voicing a desire to resettle these people on the mainland.
We at the Final Straw wish the residents of MRPC the best of luck and solidarity and will continue to air their words as we receive them.
Aaaaalso, a big big big thanks to Linda from Subversion1312 podcast for helping us make this contact with Walid and with some pointers on the questions. Definitely check out their work, it’s (under various names) one of the longer running English-language anarchist radio shows and is jam packed
Sara Falconer and Daniel McGowan on the 2018 Certain Days Calendar for Political Prisoners
Secondly, we are airing an interview presented recently by the Which Side media collective with Sara Falconer and Daniel McGowan about the 2018 Certain Days Calendar for Political Prisoners. Jordan Halliday and Jeremy Parkin host the interview, and range along a wide array of ideas and topics.
From the show notes “The calendar is a joint fundraising and educational project between outside organizers in Montreal and Toronto, and three political prisoners being held in maximum-security prisons in New York State: David Gilbert, Robert Seth Hayes and Herman Bell. The initial project was suggested by Herman, and has been shaped throughout the process by all of our ideas, discussions, and analysis. All of the members of the outside collective are involved in day-to-day organizing work other than the calendar, on issues ranging from refugee and immigrant solidarity to community media to prisoner justice. We work from an anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, feminist, queer and trans positive position.”
If you’d like to hear The Final Straw’s conversation with Herman Bell’s daughter in law Dr Kihana Ross which details the incident mentioned in the interview plus some more about his case, you can visit our website.
Whichside Podcast is a member of the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts, of which we are as well. Check out our website for a steady stream of up to date anarchist audios and keep an eye out for our mobile app coming soon.
Audios of Interest:
Just a heads up, if you missed it. we launched our occasionally weekly intro to tech security podcast series, Error451 this week with a conversation on safer approaches to burner phones. Check it out and keep an ear out for more!
This week we are presenting two anarchist voices regarding DACA, among many other things. DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and has been in the news recently because of a stay on this program by the current administration.
I should say that these two interviews were conducted separately, and I am trying something different regarding their presentation, namely weaving the two of them together in the way that seemed to make the most sense to me so as to present all the information in the most succinct way, all in the same place, while still trying to preserve the arcs of both interviews. I’m still not really sure how I feel about this radio tactic, and I’m seeking opinions from listeners if you feel moved to shoot me an email via email@example.com.
The two interviews were very different, and from slightly different
perspectives though the two interviewees were both anarchists and both living in North Carolina. We talk about DACA and its histories, some psychological and logistical impacts of this stay on affected communities, and the mental calisthenics involved in being an anarchist while living in a world so saturated by the state and all it entails.
If you enjoyed this presentation, both of the interviews in their entirety including my replies and questions are on The Final Straw
Radio’s archive.org collection for anyone to listen to. Just visit
archive.org and search The Final Straw Radio Collection and navigate to the post entitled “DACA interviews, full versions”.
The interviewers recommend getting in touch with regional
organizations for solidarity and resources where possible. CIMA operates out of Asheville, and stands for Compañeros Inmigrantes de las Montañas en Acción, which is “a regional network connecting and strengthening organizations that empower Latino communities in Western North Carolina. At one point about 25 organizations actively participate in the coalition.” You can follow them on the web at http://cimawnc.org/ and email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today we are airing an interview conducted with Lupe Gonzalo of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in Immokalee, Florida. This is is a worker-based human rights organization which seeks to promote awareness of social responsibility, human trafficking, and gender-based violence at work and in corporations, seeking to boost the voices of some of the more marginalized workers in the US. We talk about the ciw, how it got started, and about hurricane relief after Hurricane Irma. We also touch on some political differences and points of unity with anarchism. This interview was conducted in translation from Spanish into English, with Patricia of the Alliance for Fair Food doing translation. If anyone would like the full interview just in Spanish, please write to us and we will provide that audio!
If you would like to learn more about the Coalition of Imokalee Workers, and to donate to hurricane relief efforts, you can visit their online fundraising page
Then comes part two of Prison Radio’s interview with Jalil Muntaquim, who is former member of the Black Panther party and the Black Liberation Army and is one of the longest held political prisoners in the world. While incarcerated, Jalil has become a father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Jalil graduated with a BS in Psychology and a BA in Sociology in 1994. He has written several books, arguably most notable being We Are Our Own Liberators, his most recent being a book of poems entitled Exiting the Prism.
In Asheville on Wednesday, there’ll be a protest against Duke Energy, which proposed to the NC Utilities Commission to raise electricity rates 15%, raising $200 million a year to pay for the cleanup costs of their coal ash dumps and build new infrastructure to keep us dependent on ecocidal fossil fuels. NCUC is holding a public hearing from 7-10pm at the downtown courthouse in Asheville, with a rally starting at 5pm and marching towards the courthouse. You can find a fedbook event for a training to help you get more comfortable with presenting during public comment period.
“Eyewitness to Charlottesville” at UNCA
Also in Asheville this Wednesday, Sept 28th at UNCA here in Asheville, there’ll be a presentation from 6-8pm. Location to be determined, but you can find more at fedbook by searching for “Eyewitness to Charlottesville.” The presenters are from the (shudder) International Socialist Organization (ISO) from Raleigh, a UNCA student and member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), and members of the Carolina Mountain John Brown Gun Club, formerly Redneck Revolt.
Trouble #6 at Firestorm
BRABC will be airing Trouble #6 on Friday the 29th at 7:30pm. This episode of the short-documentary series from sub.Media is focusing on Counter-Insurgency. The showing is free and will be followed by a discussion with questions crafted by sub.Media on the topic. The flyer for the event can be found here.
On September 8, 2017, an FBI agent attempted to visit a comrade in western North Carolina. They visited a house, and the person there stepped outside to talk to the agent, who repeatedly asked if the comrade in question lived there. The person at the house did not engage with those questions, and instead insisted on a card from the agent that a lawyer could call later. The agent said it was regarding a case being handled by another office.
This comes at a time when Anarchists have been standing up to a grand jury and other FBI harassment across the state of North Carolina. The person who the FBI agent was seeking secured legal representation. On September 13, 2017, their lawyer called a number the agent wrote down, and the FBI specified that they were actually looking to speak with the person’s child, a minor. The FBI said that they were seeking the original person because a legal guardian had to be present for the agent to talk to the minor. During that call the agent stated she wanted to ask about graffiti on a car related to a case being investigated by the FBI Field Office in Raleigh, NC. The minor in question has now secured legal representation. Nobody above is speaking to the FBI.
We cannot just hope that harassment like this stops. Get educated on how to protect yourself if the FBI shows up. If you are approached by the FBI, refuse to answer their questions. Know your rights! Please read If An Agent Knocks for more information. We cannot let them intimidate us and raise fear and distrust.
This week William spoke with Maria and Jeff, who are two long term members of the humanitarian aid group based in Arizona called No More Deaths. This group does solidarity work with those who are crossing the border in that region, as well as advocacy, legal work, and work which runs along many other vectors of solidarity. We will speak about the group and how each member got involved, the exact nature of the work and some media myths that the group gets leveled at them, along with the rise in repression that No More Deaths has faced in recent weeks, culminating in highly militarized raid on Bird Camp, a remote outpost that serves as a clinic, on Thursday, June 15. We will go on to discuss the strategy behind Border Patrol’s surveillance and repression of those who are crossing and aid workers, and will talk about asks for assistance that the group is thinking of.
You can visit NMD online at nomoredeaths.org, plus follow them on Facebook and Twitter if you want to keep up with calls for solidarity and with updates on their situation.
Those titles that Maria mentioned for further reading if folks want to learn more about the border and how it got that way are:
The first musical track in this episode is by Calle 13 with “Pa’l Norte”. They are a Puerto Rican hip hop group that often tackles themes that are oppositional to the border, border patrol, and FBI. The episode closes with a track from an Argentinian atmospheric metal band called Ruinas/Raíces with Dos Colores Fundiéndose which is the first track off their title album that just came out in April. You can find them on the blog Red and
Anarchist Black Metal.
This week we spoke with two Asheville area anarchists, May and Julie, about THE ELECTION of all things. We talked about anarchist strategy in this day and age, the tactic of a general strike and what might prevent or incite some folks’ participation, some things which are missing from anarchist and other discourse right now, the role of social media, and much much more. If you are listening to an hour long version of this conversation and want to hear more, please consider checking out the podcast version of this show, which is available via iTunes by searching The Final Straw Radio in the iTunes store or on any podcatcher device, or via our website thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org.
Here is the reading list that May mentioned at the end of the interview, for people who are interested in further ideas:
*Taking Sides: Revolutionary Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism (ed. Cindy Milstein, available as a free e-book, along with two other pertinent titles, from AK Press until 11/30 http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/…)
*Pacifism as Pathology (Ward Churchill)
*Nonviolence Ain’t What It Used to Be (Shon Meckfessel)
After the election of Trump as POTUSA, cities around the U.S. have seen huuuuge protests. Portland, OR, in particular has seen over week of intense protracted street action in which people faced off with police and reactionaries in the streets. As such there have been many arrests and some are facing felony charges. There is a request for assistance in fund raising for arrest support.
Mateen Abdul Shaheed is a 20 year old youth of color who was arrested on a felony warrant and is currently being held on alleged charges of 6 accounts of criminal mischeif in the first degree, which is a class c felony in relation to ongoing events in Portland.
Please consider raising some funds and donating to a PDX-ABC gofundme
This is a great time to start developing regular fundraising strategies to support resistance and up our game. For ideas on soli-parties you could hold to raise funds and where you can raise awareness, drop us an email at email@example.com or check out fundraising needs at itsgoingdown.org
This week, we spoke with Bruno Y Hinojosa-Ruiz, a co-director of CIMA, Companeros Inmigrantes de las Montanas en Accion, about some immigration situations in Western NC, organizing here and the case of Elmer Reynoso-Reynoso, a Guatemalan-born resident of Weaverville who was recently released from detention after public outcry and pressure.
Bo Brown support
First, we would like to briefly announce that long time revolutionary and former political prisoner Bo Brown has just been diagnosed with a condition which is very similar to Parkinson’s Disease. She has always worked tirelessly against racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia, and has brought awareness and attention through all means to the plight of the prisoner. Since being in prison is an experience which is designed to follow everyone for their entire lives, let’s help this comrade with her current situation.
For more information and to donate, you can visit:
Milo Yiannopoulos, hater to appear at WCU
On Wednesday, October 12th Alt-Right, anti-muslim, anti-semite, anti-feminist, white nationalist Milo Yiannopoulos is speaking at Western Carolina University. He’s being sponsored by the College Republicans at WCU in Cullowhee, about an hour drive west of Asheville. To get there, one can travel West on i-40 for about 25 minutes then out US-74 South for 35 minutes. It would be a pity if this stop on the “Dangerous Faggot Tour” were to be disrupted by anti-racists. Just sayin.
His website is here
This week’s episode features a conversation with Tyler Durden of Portland Anarchist Black Cross (http://pdxabc.org) & the Portland Industrial Workers of the World (http://portlandiww.org/) about the upcoming September 9th National Prisoner Work Stoppage across the United States. September 9th, the 45th anniversary of the Attica Prison Uprsing in 1971 and is an effort by prisoners in local, state, federal & immigration facilities around the country to address issues around the nature of their confinement, racial and class disparities in incarceration, under-and-un-payed (in some states, forced) labor often described as legalized slavery. Over the hour, we talk about organizing efforts and how to clue in to the strikes as they start this week.
A few quick announcements for this episode…
Call for Anti-DAPL Solidarity Actions
There is a call-out for acts of solidarity with the folks resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline. As we spoke about a couple of episodes ago in Gil’s interview with LaDonna Brave Bull Allard who owns the land where the Sacred Stone Camp is held, resistance to the pipeline designed to carry crude oil from source through 3 states to Illinois and cross the Missouri River a number of times continues to grow. Indigenous peoples and their supporters are gathering for nonviolent, direct action protests to block the pipeline’s construction and the threat it poses to the soil, animals, plants and that longest river in North America, the Missouri. From https://nodaplsolidarity.org comes the calll for #NoDAPL Global Weeks of Solidarity Action from September 3-17th. That site offers suggestions of places to target for protest. nodaplsolidarity.org also offers suggestions of banks and businesses maybe in your area that are funding the pipeline and that could be a nice place to visit to express one’s distaste for the pipeline.
Plug into Sept 9 actions nationwide
If you’re in the U.S. and looking to plug into a supporting prisoner struggle in your area, check out https://itsgoingdown.org/spreading-strike-solidarity-actions-across-north-america-september-9th/ for a partial and growing list of events nationwide. If you’re planning a public event not up there, email it into info(at) itsgoingdown(dot)org for other to see.
Asheville Sept 9 action
Here in Asheville, folks will meet at Aston Park, at the corner of South French Broad and Hilliard in Downtown, at 5:30 to discuss a solidarity march. Bring banners, noisemakers, signs and so forth.
Coyote Acabo , an anti-racist activist from Olympia, WA has a rough road ahead of him and could really use some support. He is currently serving 13 days on an anti-police graffiti case, and has another 22 days to serve in the very near future on a case where he was convicted of throwing a rock at a truck belonging to a neo-nazi. That’s a neo-nazi that showed up with many others to counter an anti-police brutality protest that Coyote was a part of.
Last year, Olympia saw a lot of spirited marches and demonstrations in protest of an Olympia police officer shooting two young black men, Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin. In response to the very understandable anti-police brutality demonstrations that were going on at that time, neo -nazis were showing up to disrupt the protesting which at times even meant neo-nazis attacking the protesters.
Well, Coyote has a third case that he is currently dealing with, and for that case his trial starts on September 19th where he is being charged with felony assault. In this case he is being accused of pepper spraying a counter protester who grabbed someone who was a part of an anti- police brutality protest that Coyote was a part of.
Coyote is now in the city jail in Olympia, WA and money is being raised that will go towards phone calls , commissary, and to help his family out while he is locked up.
Visit the crowd funding site, here: https://rally.org/supportcoyoteacabo to learn more about how you can donate to the support fund. Also, please pass it around as well. Solidarity from near and far is so important in times like these.
Call for International Solidarity Oct 8-9, 2016, with the ZAD at NDdL in France
“the entire zone is due for evictions to start the construction of this absurd airport. Prime minister Valls has promised a “Rendez-Vous” this October to evict everyone who is living, working, building and farming on the zone.
On October 8th, tens of thousands of people will gather on the zad to demonstrate that the determination of the movement is as strong as ever. Honouring farmers struggles from the past, we will come with wooden walking batons and leave them on the zone, as a sign of the commitment to come back and pick them up again if necessary. We will also raise a barn, built by dozens of carpenters during the summer, which will be used as a base, should evictions happen.
We are calling on all international groups and movements to either come to the zone on October 8th or show their solidarity with the zad through actions directed at the French government or multinational Vinci in their own towns and cities on that day.
The airport will never be built. Life on the zad will keep on flourishing!”
Future updates can be found at http://zad.nadir.org
This week we feature an interview with Freddy, who is a member of the autonomous youth collective in Belgrade, Serbia known as Koko Lepo. We speak about the origins of the collective as growing out of a self organized kindergarten primarily for Roma children, about solidarity between anarchists and Roma people in Belgrade, about some history of the region, and about the complex nature of solidarity itself.
It should be mentioned though, that due to a very unfortunate technical error, we lost the final 13 or so minutes of this interview, many apologies both to you – dear listeners – and to our guest. Just to give you a broad picture of what we talked about, we touched a bit more on the complex nature of actual solidarity, and made the point that sometimes so called “real” solidarity can look somewhat ordinary or boring. We also spoke more about the tour that Freddy just concluded with a stop in Asheville, and about challenges that the various audiences brought to the talks he did, in particular the question of race, racism, and ally complexes. Our guest brought up the point that there have been various conversations about this topic in the US that have not happened – or have not happened in the same way – as they have in Belgrade. He was particularly excited to engage with American audiences about this issue, and said a lot of really cool and poignant things which we are unfortunately unable to share with you. Though if you would like to write to this project you can email them at kokolepo(aat)riseup.net and get in touch with them on facebook by searching kokolepoav
However, all of this perhaps gives us the opportunity to share more in depth than we may originally have been able some of the musical projects that our guest recommended. It also bears mentioning that mutual aid in the form of money donations most often happen for this project in the form of music shows, punk, metal, hardcore, or other varieties. If you feel so moved to, please feel free to make a solidarity show in your town!
The first project we’ll share is a Roma language hip hop project called Lord Kastro with Djelem Djelem. The next is a track from a hardcore project called Katma, the singer of which is one of the co-founders of the original kindergarten. The third is another track from Gipsy Mafia (an antifa Roma hip hop group, a track from which opened up the show as well) with “Ava Kari”.
Here is an update from comrades in Czech Republic:
On Friday 5-27-2016 in Pankrác remand prison anarchist Martin Ignacák accused of terrorism went on hunger strike. He did this because on 4-29-2016 the City court in Prague ruled in favour of his release from remand and the state’s attorney appealed this decision to the High court in Prague. On friday 5-27-2016 the High court in Prague extended the remand. Therefore the anarchist has decided to protest by going on hunger strike and has stopped taking in nutrition and liquids. This type of hunger strike threatens the life of the hunger striker after a week.
During the year long investigation of the preparation of a supposed terrorist attack the imprisoned anarchist has exhausted all legal options, to achieve objective procedure of the respective organs active in the criminal proceedings. None of them were taken into account. This is why he now chose this radical form of expression, to draw attention to this manipulated police case. ” I consider the approach of the investigators and the police to be very problematic, it is a threat to the freedom of every human being, a threat to freedom of speech, a threat to activism that tries to lead to a better world , and this doesn’t just involve anarchists.”
Martin has been prosecuted in the so called Fénix case since April 2015, in which 5 people altogether were accused of the preparation and the failure to notify of a terrorist attack on a train. Martin is the only one who has been in remand prison this whole time and his detention has now been extended after the intervention of the state’s attorney. As a reason for the extension of remand the state’s attorney used the testimony of a police agent who infiltrated the anarchist movement in 2014. From his testimony the state’s attorney drew the conclusion that Martin might attempt to escape to Spain. Another reason, according to him, was that Martin ” is connected to the so called Sít revolucních bunek/ The Network of Revolutionary Cells (SRB) and therefore also to similar organizations abroad.” The police spoke about SRB when they began Fénix and provided information to the media. ” Any connections between the 5 attacks ascribed to SRB and all the detained and accused have been refuted. The investigators themselves have ruled it out” says Martin.
At the moment Martin is the second longest detained prisoner in the Pankrác remand prison. For 13 months he has been living there under conditions that negatively affect his psychological and physical state. For example he has been refused food free of animal products, which means he practically doesn’t have access to hot food. Friends, who have come to visit him have been mentioned by name in the indictment. Police from the Department for combating organized crime have started to collect information on Martin’s sister, only because she tries to support her brother in whichever way she can.
For Martin parole would mean that after 13 long months he would again see his friends, family, nature, that he wouldn’t be exposed to emotional deprivation and physical hardship.
Update Sunday, May 29th: Martin’s sister Pavla B. joined her brother in the protest and this morning she has started hunger strike herself as well.
For more information follow https://antifenix.noblogs.org/
Our past interviews on AntiFenix can be found here: https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/?s=antifenix