Category Archives: J20

J20 Court Updates + Perspectives on the SESTA-FOSTA

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In this week’s episode of The Final Straw Radio, we have three segments on two subjects. This week there’ll be no Sean Swain segment due to technical difficulties, but we hope to be hearing his clarion call towards dancing around the ashes of swivelization next week.

In part one, I spoke with Friday, a former J20 defendant and a supporter of the remaining 59 facing charges. We talk about the arrests, the case so far, what we saw come out of the first trial group in November of last year and the upcoming trail date set for April 17th, 2018. On Monday and Tuesday, April 2nd and 3rd there will be a call-in campaign for the for U.S. Attorney Liu to #DropJ20 and on Tuesday, April 10th there is a call for a day of solidarity with the J20 defendants. More info on that can be found in this episodes show notes or up at defendj20resistance.org alongside printable pdf’s plus ideas for solidarity actions alongside the #’s and scripts for the call-in campaign.

In part two of this episode, we’ll be airing a statement from episode 24 of the Hotwire. Here, you’ll hear LX, an anarchist and sex worker in the Midwest, where they’ll talk about their perspectives about the impacts of the laws, as well as views of recent struggles among strippers in NYC, NOLA & RVA, tools sex workers have made for themselves to share information, as well as words of encouragement for sex workers and ways that non-sex-workers can offer solidarity . You can find a full transcript of what LX has to say, alongside the rest of the Hotwire episode which we recommend giving a gander and listen, at their website.

Following LX’s breakdown of the law and some of the views around it, you’ll hear William Budington in the inaugural episode of season 2 of the occasionally weekly tech podcast from an anarchist perspective, #error451. William (a tech expert and trainer who is employed at the Electronic Frontier Foundation) breaks down the development of SESTA (which has been folded into the now-passed FOSTA (or Fight Online Sex Trafficking)) ACT, which awaits Trumps signature. The bills posed as anti-sex or human trafficking laws, however William argues, as do many groups who fight against sex trafficking in the U.S. plus consensual sex workers and their advocates, that FOSTA will hurt adults engaging in erotic services and drive them into the shadows where they in fact face more dangers, that FOSTA will take tools from their hands in keeping safer, and that even the US Department of Justice has warned that the Act will making finding and prosecuting actual human traffickers much, much harder.

Though there’ll be some overlap in what is said between William and LX, we wanted to keep the two presentations intact.

A few links that both folks mentioned to pay attention to include: Tits And Sass ; SWOP ; Tech Dirt #157 ; Strippers organizing in NOLA ; Desiree Alliance ; Survive The Club ; An informative IGD article we pulled some links from with MORE INFO.

A quick announcement about former black panther and political prisoner, Herman Bell. Herman has been in prison for 45 years for the killing of two police officers during his time with the Black Liberation Army. He has expressed remorse for the killings and family members of one dead cops has expressed that they want Herman released. He has been granted parole to be released on April 17th but there has been a pushback by the Policeman’s Benevolent Association in NY state and they’ve been backed by Mayor deBlasio and Governor Cuomo in attempting to block Herman’s release. If you want to help press back, you can:

Here are THREE THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW to keep the pressure on in support of Herman Bell::

  • CALL New York State Governor Cuomo’s Office NOW
    518-474-8390

  • EMAIL New York State Governor Cuomo’s Office
    https://www.governor.ny.gov/

    • Script for phone calls and emails:
      “Governor Cuomo, my name is __________and I am a resident of [New York State/other state/other country]. I support the Parole Board’s decision to release Herman Bell and urge you and the Board to stand by the decision. I also support the recent appointment of new Parole Board Commissioners, and the direction of the new parole regulations, which base release decisions more on who a person is today than on the nature of their crime committed years ago. Returning Herman to his friends and family will help the heal the many harms caused by crime and decades of incarceration. The Board’s decision was just, merciful and lawful, and it will benefit our communities and New York State as a whole.”

  • TWEET at Governor Cuomo: use the following sample tweet:
    “.@NYGovCuomo: stand by the Parole Board’s lawful & just decision to release Herman Bell. At 70 years old and after more than 40 years of incarceration, his release is overdue. #BringHermanHome.” 

Before we start, we want to share the great news that we can now be heard Mondays at 8pm on the airwaves of KRJF-LP on 92.3FM in Santa Rosa, California! Hella hello, buddies!! We also can be heard on air Sundays on WSFM-LP in Asheville (NC), Mondays on KWRK in Fairbanks (AK) and KWTF in Bodega Bay (CA), Tuesdays on KOWA-LP in Olympia (WA) and Sundays at WCRS in Columbus (OH). If you are hearing this show and want it up on your local airwaves, please consider visiting our website and clicking the Radio Broadcasting link for details and ideas about how you can make that happen. The more stations our free radio show airs on, the more people get to hear the voices we’re presenting.

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Operation PUSH: Strikes in FL Prisons

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This week, Disembodied Voice spoke with Karen, a member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee in Gainesville, Florida.  People imprisoned across the state of Florida are gearing up for a work strike and boycott of prison profit centers such as commissary beginning on January 15, and the Gainesville IWOC chapter has been a crucial node of support on the outside.

DV spoke with Karen to get the scoop on what to expect from the upcoming strike, the demands of folks who are participating, the broader context of the movement to end prison slavery, and how folks inside and outside are organizing to counter brutal conditions in Florida prisons and beyond.

Links:

YouCaring Donations to send 1000+ zines publicizing the strike into prisons statewide

Gainesville IWOC fedbook

Fight Toxic Prisons website & fedbook

SPARC Network fedbook

Announcements

#AVLJ20: Build and Fight 2018

But first, here is an announcement regarding the very first anniversary of January 20th, 2017, upon which day over 200 people were kettled an arrested on L and 12th streets by DC police for allegedly protesting the inauguration of Donald Trump. This case has become a rallying example of the United State’s eagerness to punish even a glimmer of dissent against the established regime. The first 6 of the initial defendants have just been acquitted of all charges, charges which would have amounted to many decades behind bars had they gone through, but there are still over 180 defendants awaiting trial, and there is a long road ahead in terms of support and resistance.

From crimethinc.com:

“We propose to use the week of J20 2018 to reconnect with our networks, revitalize our spaces, organize new projects, hold special events, and bring people together to build our movements.

Autonomous spaces include infoshops, community centers, and bookstores. But an autonomous space can also be a public place you make a habit of gathering in or a territory you share and defend. Open spaces offer a way for people who are freshly curious about our movements to plug in, pick up literature, and begin fostering relationships.

Towards this end, we are encouraging people to organize on the week of J20:

Community events involving putting in work at autonomous spaces. This could mean fixing the bathroom or repainting the walls, or it could mean soliciting people to bring supplies, books, and other materials to add to the space. Let this be an opportunity for the community surrounding the space to strengthen and expand the physical infrastructure.

Block parties and celebrations around the space, reconnecting the wider community that uses and interacts with it and bringing in new people.

Fundraising events to support the space—this could include speaking events, film showings, and more.”

To that end, right here in Asheville, we’re kicking off a week of rebellious activities with a Haywood Road block party to share food, fun, and knowledge. This is a free event open to everyone so bring your friends and let’s talk about where we want to go from here!

Schedule Local of Events

Saturday, January 20th, 2017 (fedbook listing)

  • 3pm-6pm (@ Firestorm)
    Workshops, including “Uprooting White Supremacy in Appalachia,” an interactive presentation by Holler Network
  • 6pm-7pm (@ Firestorm)
    Community vegetarian potluck
  • 7pm-9pm (@ Firestorm)
    Workshops, including a presentation by The Callisto Collective
  • 9pm-Late (@ Local 604 Bottle Shop)
    DJ dance party

Throughout the Week:

Sunday, J21
Documentary Film Night (@ Static Age-Records [fedbook])

Tuesday, J23
Karaoke Fundraiser (@ The Lazy Diamond [fedbook])

Friday, J26
Trouble” Screening (@ Firestorm)

A list of local participating groups is as follows:
Asheville Industrial Worders of the World (fedbook)
Asheville Prison Books (fedbook)
Blue Ridge Anarchist Black Cross (website or fedbook)
Callisto Collective
Firestorm Books and Coffee
Holler Network (fedbook)
J20 Defendants (DefendJ20Resistance)

Jude & Betty of DefendJ20 Give Updates as 1st Trial Block Finishes

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DefendJ20 Updates on 1st Trial Block

This week, we air a conversation recorded on Friday, after the final arguments in the case of the first trial group of the J20 arrestees, the 194 people facing as many as 60 years in Federal prison for the property damage that occurred on January 20th, 2017, in Washington D.C.  during the inauguration of Donald Trump.  The march was advertised as an Anti-Fascist and Anti-Capitalist protest against the incoming administration.  The march started with as many as 500 participants and ranged 16 city blocks, often chased by police spraying super soaker-style guns filled with OC pepper spray, stingball grenades, concussion grenades and swinging batons.  At the intersection of 12th & L, people were pushed into a kettle where many were forced to sit in the January cold and mist for over 6 hours without water, without medication or professional medical aid, in clothing soaked in OC spray, having to relieve themselves outside and among other people. The property damage  at the center of this case amounted to 5 chain businesses windows.  And now the trial is moving forward, drawing 6-8 defendants to D.C. at a time, this first group’s trial lasting 4 weeks thus far (plus however long jury deliberation will take).  The trials have led to pressures on individuals, relationships, loss of employment and income, legal and other huge costs and threaten to pave a path in this administration and beyond of the criminalization of participation in street demonstrations in the U.S.  The attempts at criminalizing street medics and journalists, as well, for being present also poses a dangerous precedent.

For the hour, we spoke with Betty Rothstein of DefendJ20Resistance and Jude Ortiz of DefendJ20Resistance and the Titled Scales Collective, about how the case is going as this first trial group finishes up it’s defense and the prosecution fires it’s last shots.

More on the case and how to offer support can be found at DefendJ20Resistance.Org , by signing up for their email newsletter and listening to their regular podcast updates on the trial.  They are also on twitter, fedbook and instagram.

Playlist pending

Anti-Repression Panel from the NAABC Conference 2017

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Anti-Repression Panel from Denver

This week we are featuring a recording from an Anti-Repression panel that took place in Denver in October of this year. The sound quality is affected by a fan system that the venue had running, but the words are well worth hearing.

For the hour, we’ll hear words from a few perspectives of resistance in the U.S. currently. First, we hear from Danica from occupied territory of Portland about work around anti-colonial antifa resistance and self-defense in the North West. Next up, Firehawk talks about work in un-ceded Pueblo, Colorado, about working with femme, queer & trans prison rebels, Unstoppable zine and The Fire Inside project. Montana talks about autonomous relief work in Houston after Hurricane Harvey and the slow-disaster that is white supremacist capitalism in Texas. We hear from Jude talking about the J20 conspiracy cases coming out of the Inauguration, the court case moving forward and up til a few weeks ago. Finally, we hear from Jess who has been working with Water Protectors doing legal collective work up in so-called North Dakota mostly around #StandingRock with a very in-dept report-back on wider repression and specific case details.

A few updates are worth mentioning in the J20 case since Jude spoke on this panel: the first defendant convicted, Dane Powell, has been released and there is a linked support site for his post-release; two of the riot charges have been dropped down from Felony to Misdemeanor; & the first court dates have been moved forward to November 15th and info about how to help with court support can be found at Its Going Down.

As stated above, 2 of the initial 8 felony charges (‘engaging in riot’ and ‘conspiracy to riot’) have been dropped to misdemeanors, thus shaving decades from the potential sentences of the defendants. We here at The Final Straw suggest that Judge Leibovitz use a secure tor browser and visit https://dropj20.org to learn more about ending this expensive, insulting and dangerous act of political persecution that is the J20 case.

– — – —

Show playlist here.

Defend J20 Resistance & Hamburg G20 Invite (Welcome To Hell)

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In this week’s episode we feature two interviews. In the first, we spoke with Em, a supporter of the mass arrestees from the January 20th inauguration of Donald Trump in Washington DC earlier this year. We also speak with Jay, who was one of the arrestees. The two share first and secondhand experiences of the arrests, detention, denial of medication, rough rides and arraignment that accompanied those arrested at 12th & L that day. We also talk about where the court case is now and how to support the over 230 people kettled as Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kerkhoff and other state agents attempt to give everyone 80 years in prison for alleged property destruction. More info on the effort at https://defendj20resistance.org

To hear some interesting and entertaining musical approaches to resisting the repression of the J20 arrestees, check out https://kerkhophony.bandcamp.com/releases . Some of these tracks will be featured in the podcast version of this show, up soon at https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org

In the second portion, I chatted with anarchists in Hamburg, Germany about the upcoming protest against the G20 summit that is scheduled there between July 6th and 8th. The guests speak about the history of resistance in Hamburg, the state ramping up repression, it’s impacts on marginalized folks living there and on the planned protests and how to get involved. More info on this initiative can be found at https://g20tohell.blackblogs.org/2017/02/11/english/
Our blog and podcast will also host links and audio from a few songs in German meant to bring folks out into the streets of Hamburg. Here’s a video for one.

If you’re listening still on June 11th, happy day of Solidarity with Long Term Eco & Anarchist Prisoners, Marius Mason and beyond! Whatever your solidarity looks like, don’t get caught. Local events can be found at june11.org. Don’t forget to submit your anonymized and proxied exploits to june11@riseup.net. Also, check out the awesome series of interviews with prisoners, former prisoners and their supporters done by the June 11th crew that are up at It’s Going Down by searching for june 11th.

Announcements

Kevin “Rashid” Johnson
New Afrikan Black Panther, Kevin “Rashid” Johnson is a long term prison organizer and published author. Rashid is being retaliated against for his prison organizing. According to the blog PAPS Texas, “He had a shank planted on him which was used as an excuse to take away his legal materials and typewriter.

Please call the following numbers.

William Clements Unit
(806) 381-7080 – ask to speak to the warden’s office or if unavailable to property
open 24/7

Region V Director
Phone: 806-296-4500 or FAX 806-296-4521
Ask for Captain Ramirez
Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Ombudman’s office
Phone: (936) 437-4927
Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m
Follow up by emailing: ombudsman@tdcj.texas.gov”

more info, including a script you can borrow from and more in-depth descriptions of what happened to Rashid can be found at http://rashidmod.com

Editorial

As in many locations yesterday (June 10th 2017), Raleigh NC saw immense opposition to the Anti-Sharia Law marches, for the most part called for by Act for America which is a far right islamophobic group that alleges that the US is slipping into Sharia Law via whatever wingnut influence they think is going on. Like pretty much everything in this vein, this notion belies an extremely poor understanding of what Sharia is and how it functions, basically transforming it into yet another proxy for islamophobia and “patriotic”, white supremacists zealotry in the mouths of racists. Yesterday saw (as I mentioned before) nationwide opposition to this farce, with battles from Seattle and Portland to our very own North Carolina, where the anti-racist crew outnumbered the racists by about 4 to 1, demoralizing them into an early dispersal and hopefully a lowered self esteem. Keep your eyes peeled for updates and report backs on your favorite anarchist news sites, like It’s Going Down!

To editorialize for a second, at the start of this Pride month 2017 there were seemingly a lot of LGBTQ people joining the Act for America shindig in the name of protesting the alleged homophobia and misogyny under Sharia. As a gay person myself, I would say to any LGTBTQ individual who joined Act for America yesterday that you need look no further than your own home country to see brutal and systemic attacks against women and queer folks any day of the week without resorting to otherising and racist rhetoric to express your so called rage at homophobia. And before you start crying, wringing your hands, and trying to derail this statement, it’s true that patriarchy and homophobia exist everywhere, it would be ridiculous to say otherwise. That’s not what I’m talking about tho. What you did yesterday and what you are continuing to do by joining the right is lending them another facet by which they justify their own bigotries (plus I daresay expressing your own as well), and by lending them numbers. What in any case is the point of protesting this phenomenon, which the right neither understands nor knows how to interpret, other than to oppress an already beleaguered demographic of people in the States?

In closing, I’ll say that make no mistake that the far right will throw you under the bus at the first opportune moment. They historically always have. So if you like that kind of thing, then knock yourself out. If not, check your shit and examine who is telling you what, why, and at what cost to you.

Playlist