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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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
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
Phone: (936) 437-4927
Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m
Follow up by emailing: email@example.com”
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
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.
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.
This week’s show features a conversation with Arianna Staiger, daughter of long term eco-anarchist prisoner in the U.S., Marius Mason. Marius Mason is serving 22 years for destruction of a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) research facility at the University of Michigan as well as pieces of logging equipment. Marius was a part of the so-called Green Scare, the FBI and U.S. government’s hunt and repression of eco-activists. In Marius’ case his ex-husband, Frank Ambrose, was coerced into snitching on Marius about their eco-defense activities in exchanged for a partially deferred sentence. Marius is also a trans man, who transitioned while incarcerated, and is being held in women’s facility. Marius is frequently put into isolation for his continued organizing around issues of trans prisoners and access to vegan food.
This conversation is taking place on the weekend before the annual June 11th day of Solidarity with long term Marius Mason and other long term eco and anarchist prisoners. June 11th, formerly the day of solidarity with Jeff “Free” Leurs, has for years now been an opportunity for discussion, organizing, fundraising and active solidarity with those on the other side of the bars, in hopes of continuing their struggles towards a world without bars and without cages. More on June 11th, the prisoners involved and the like can be found at http://june11.org/
In this hour, Arianna, who was 16 at the time of Marius’ arrest, talks about her relationship with him, about activism, music, incarceration, family and time. We’ll hear some of Arianna’s music in this hour, but if you want to hear a more complete interview, including more of Arianna’s music, check out our podcast version of the show . If you’d like to check out Arianna’s music, you can visit http://soundcloud.com/ariannastyger
This week in Asheville, there will be 2 June 11th events. On Friday, June 10th at French Broad River Park at 6:30pm there’ll be a potluck bbq with some free and benefit materials available, plus food and conversation on prisons, longterm prisoners and solidarity. And probably tempeh.
On Saturday, June 11th at 6:30pm at Firestorm Books and Coffee there will be a showing of the Critical Resistance documentary, “Visions of Abolition: From Critical Resistance to a New Way of Life” followed by a discussion of the prison industrial complex and prison abolitionism. This event is free, bring some friends.
If you can make it to Washington D.C., this week there will be actions against the Bureau of Prisons and other targets, as well as community gatherings in parallel with June 11th against the ecological and health damages caused by prisons, in particularly focusing on actions against the construction of a prison on a Kentucky former mountain top removal site. For more info, check out our interview with folks from Fight Toxic Prisons or check out http://fighttoxicprisons.wordpress.com
Before we get going with our Sean Swain segment and the interview, a few quick announcements:
Update on Detroit Eviction Defense
On June 2nd, we released a podcast episode with folks from Detroit Eviction Defense about the situation of Jennette Shannon, a single mom from Detroit who was facing eviction and which DED hoped to stave off through active solidarity. Sadly, on June 4th the house was overwhelmed by Sheriffs, movers & Bailiff and the ground was lost. To check out the podcast, follow this link.
More updates to come on how to support Jennette and those injured during the defense as well as plans for the future at http://detroitevictiondefense.org
Fundraising for Jennette & her son can be found here: https://www.youcaring.com/jennette-shannon-and-her-16-year-old-son-580529
. … . ..
Alexander CI in Taylorsville, NC
Several inmates being held at Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville, NC have recently gone on hunger strike in protest of their conditions of confinement. They are on strike due “the denial of medical treatment, the denial of food and officers spitting in food trays, the denial of adequate materials to clean their cells, the denial of recreation, sexual and racial discrimination against African-Americans in restrictive housing (seg), and the constant denial of incoming mail.”
The prisoners on strike are Stanley Corbett, Jr., Jermaine Spellers, and Andrew S.
The inmates are also protesting the recent beatings of prisoners in facility “blind spots,” areas where no cameras are present. This includes the beating of Brian K McKoy on 2/3/2016, Johnathan Toolin on 3/22/2016, Karl Covington on 1/5/2016, Devin Hyman on 2/4/2016, and Robert McFadden on 4/1/2016.
This protest comes at a time of increase prisoner organizing, which includes recent riots at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama, mass hunger strikes in Michigan facilities, work stoppages at multiple
facilities in Texas, and the announcement of a national, coordinated prisoners’ strike on the 45th anniversary of the Attica uprising on September 9th.
A National Mobilization is being planned in Sacramento in several weeks and we need your help to make it possible.
In the past year, the anarchist movement has seen the rise of the far-Right and the growth of white nationalism and fascism, not only in the US but throughout the world. From Neo-Nazis marching to support the police in Olympia, mass shootings carried out by white nationalists, to people almost getting shot in Minneapolis outside of a protest encampment, to everyone from the KKK and the militia movement coming back in a real way.
On Sunday, June 26th, the Traditionalist Worker Party, headed by white power rising star Matthew Heimbach will be leading the Neo-Nazi gangs that make up the Golden State Skinheads (GSS) in an “Anti-Antifa” rally at the State Capitol. They will be joined by members of the KKK, the National Socialist Movement, and skinhead groups such as Blood and Honor. We believe that this will be the largest west coast white power mobilization in many years. As Heimbach stated on a recent podcast, “If we can do it here, we can do it anywhere.”
In response, there is a call for people to shut down the rally starting at 9 AM sharp on the west steps of the state capitol in Sacramento. The permit for the fascist rally starts at 11 am and they are planning on arriving at the West steps of the capital at 12 Noon.
If you are not able to attend, we ask that we please help us by:
1.) Share this with trusted comrades and tell those that might want to be a part of such a mobilization.
2.) Helping spread the word on social media and on any media project you have, by sharing online flyers and images about the upcoming showdown and also inviting people on the facebook event, for which the guest list is private. The event will be linked in our blog post at ashevillefm.org.
3.) Look out for opportunities to donate to the bail support fund and convergence space, to help those that may be arrested.
This summer is looking like it is going to be a hot one. From Native blockades against fracking, bloody battles outside of Trump and Hilary rallies, the upcoming RNC and DNC, and the ongoing local struggles happening all around us. We hope that the mobilization on the 26th is another part of a wider push towards becoming more of a force against capital, the State, white supremacy and patriarchy, and industrial destruction.
This episode of The Final Straw is served in three portions, all concerning prisons and prisoners.
Before the segments begin, a couple of announcements concerning upcoming events in Asheville, North Carolina for the days surrounding June 11th and the International Day of Solidarity with Long Term Anarchist and Eco Prisoners. These events include a Books to Prisoners open house at Downtown Books & News on Thursday the 11th at 3:30, a showing of a documentary about Mumia Abu-Jamal at 7:30pm at Firestorm that night and a dance party and pie auction on the night of the 13th at the Odditorium. Facebook pages exist for these events, with details listed.
Also in there is mention of the call-out for Monday the 8th & every Friday to protest the Durham County Jail’s refusal to allow prisoners there the chance to get out of their cells for more than 2 hours a week. For more info on this struggle against the so-called Lockback, check out http://amplifyvoices.com
First among the segments, following commentary by Sean Swain, we’ll hear an up date on his situation from his friend and supporter, Ben Turk. Sean’s outgoing communication has been blocked, so his segment has had to go underground. This is in repsonse to Sean speaking up for another prisoner and using his outside support network to press the prisons after a racist attack by guards on a fellow prisoner at Lucasville. More at http://seanswain.org
Following that, we hear from Jenny of Sacramento Prisoner Support about the call-out for the upcoming June 11th International Day of Solidarity with Eric McDavid, Marius Mason & Long Term Anarchist and Eco Prisoners. Jenny tells us about the history of June 11th, talks about differences in the circumstance of June 11th for this year, and other aspects of prisoner support. More info on June 11th can be found at http://june11.org
Finally, we talk to Brianna Peril & Tommy Powell from the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee & the Missouri Innocence Project (respectively) about prisons in Missouri and what appears to be the psychiatrization and forced drugging of inmates at the SouthEast Correctional Center (SECC) outside of Charleston, Missouri, and this week’s call-in-campaign to pressure the jailers to stop the process and bring more transparency to the situation. More about the call-in can be found on the fakebook page for the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/405416019661232/
Linked from there is the fakebook page for IWOC.
The page for Midwest Innocence Project, affiliated with the MO Innocence Project can be found here: http://themip.org/
The episode is capped by a sludge metal track by General Grievous. More info in the playlist.
“On Saturday, January 10th 2015 Phil Africa, revolutionary, John Africa’s First Minister of Defense, and beloved brother, husband and father, passed away under suspicious circumstances at the State Correctional Institution at Dallas, PA. On Sunday, January 4th Phil Africa wasn’t feeling well and went to the prison infirmary. Though he wasn’t feeling well, other inmates saw Phil Africa walking, stretching and doing jumping jacks. Hearing that Phil was in the infirmary MOVE members drove up to visit him and were denied a visit by the prison. While they were visiting with Delbert Africa, Phil was secretly transported to Wilkes Barre General Hospital where he was held in total isolation, incommunicado for five days.”
from OnAMOVE.com’s statement on the death of Phil Africa. More can be found by following that link.
This week, The Final Straw spoke with Kevin Price about the medical emergency that William Phil Africa of the MOVE9 was undergoing and lack of transparency on the part of his captors at SCI-Dallas in Pennsylvania. Phil Africa was suffering from diarrhea and vomiting and his supporters and family were not being clearly communicated with in terms of his whereabouts or his state of well-being for days on end. Phil was moved to Wilkes Barr General Hospital and his supporters were told he wasn’t there for days until public pressure on the prison officials and hospital employees forced them to acknowledge his presence there. Arguing HIPPA, they refused to comment on his status or allow him to call his wife (Janine of the MOVE9) or the MOVE organization until enough calls and twitter pressure occurred that Janine was allowed to speak with Phil on Thursday. This conversation was recorded on Saturday, January 10th 2015.
Just before The Final Straw airtime (January 11th, 2015), we caught wind of the news that Phil had died. Our sympathies go out to his supporters and loved ones.
We’re deciding to air a slightly modified version of this episode for a few reasons. Though this effort won’t bring attention to help save Phil’s life from the horrors of prison, it stands as a testament to his work and that of the other defendants in the MOVE9 case. It discusses the corruptions of the police, prisons and courts (particularly in PA in this case) and the struggles and injuries suffered by the MOVE organization over the years. The fact of Phil’s death brings extra weight to the argument that prisons kill, that imprisonment is a political punishment, that aging prisoners have special needs that prisons (even if they were to work “humanely”) don’t have the infrastructure and don’t function to sustain the healthful life of prisoners, particularly those who’re aging and have special needs. This is, among many others, a case of Medical Injustice, torture and murder.
Firstly, though we announce that Eric McDavid, long time anarchist prisoner of the Green Scare in the U.S. has been released after 9 years in prison. His petitioning of the courts and activists on the outside have revealed information that the prosecution denied him information that may have exonerated him of his accused “crimes”. More info at http://supporteric.org/eric-is-free/
Also on this episode, we feature audio from Črna Luknja (Black Hole), an anarchist radio show from Slovenia and airing on Student Radio in which they speak to “P” in Barcelona, Spain, about the recent series of raids and repressions against anarchists around that country. The raids and repression has been dubbed Operation Pandora and has ostensibly centered around the publication of a book entitled “Contra la Democracia” (Against Democracy), which breaks an arcane law against the current order which remains on the law books from the era of Francisco Franco’s dictadura. https://efectopandora.wordpress.com/category/english/
More from Black Hole at: http://radiostudent.si/dru%C5%BEba/%C4%8Drna-luknja/
Finally, we air audio from A-Radio Berlin. In this segment, A-Radio interviews a member of Belarus Anarchist Black Cross about current situations for radicals and refugees in Belarus, Ukraine, & Russia, as well as how those ABC’s work together. More from A-Radio at http://aradio.blogsport.de
This week’s episode features a couple of announcements about the upcoming June 11th Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason, Eric McDavid and Longterm Anarchist and Eco Prisoners. For info on the cases of Eric & Marius and other folks needing support, along with ideas of what solidarity might look like, check out http://june11.org
Here in Asheville, there will be a 4pm picnic at Carrier Park where folks will talk about June 11th, Eric & Marius’s cases, solidarity and prison realities. Food will be present, but bring your own sides to share, especially if you have dietary restrictions.
At 9pm on June 11th, there’ll be a show at the Odditorium. The benefit requests a $5-20 donation. Bands include Aneides and Uninhabitable from Asheville, Burnt Books from South Carolina and Harsh Words from Georgia. Items’ll be raffled off and there’ll be plenty of info available and folks to chat with. On Fakebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1452424341665913/
For more events in your town, check out june11.org. Also announced was the online art exhibition curated by the Earth First! Prisoner Support Project and featuring the work of 23 different artists, many of whom are eco-prisoners. Check out http://neveraloneart.org for flyers and more info. It’ll be up and online from June 11th to June 30th.
Bursts read a statement by Sean on this episode concerning the U.S. economy and the role that counterfeiting money plays in it. Very informative, as always.
Following the announcements, we heard Cervidae, Ancient Oak, Deafest and more! Check out the playlist here
This week’s show features a conversation with Jenny, who works with Sacramento Prisoner Support. Jenny and Bursts discuss the case of Eric McDavid, a Green Anarchist prisoner in the U.S., in terms of the green scare and the upcoming June 11 Day of Solidarity with Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners.
Briefly, Eric and two other activists were entrapped by a government informant who went by the name, Anna. Anna, over a series of months, attempted to pressure the 3 to plan and execute radical actions to save the earth, paid for all of the means, even plied Eric with romance. Despite the fact that the 3 kept walking away from actions proposed by Anna, the FBI raided them and convicted Eric of conspiracy (the younger Lauren Weiner and Zach Jensen took a plea and turned on Eric).
We discuss Eric’s health, how to support Eric and other prisoners, increased use of conspiracy and terrorism charges by the State, how to support each other when repression happens and how to resist bullies pushing bad ideas!
Also, Bursts speaks to Bella about Marius Mason, long term ecological, animal rights, labor and anarchist activist. Marius is also serving a 22 year sentence. Bella also talks about the upcoming day of Solidarity with Marius Mason, Eric McDavid and Other Longterm Anarchist Prisoners on June 11th. We also talk about the despicable snitch, Frank Ambrose (more info on the below sites).
In recognition of June 11th as a Day of Solidarity with Long Term Anarchist Prisoners, this week’s The Final Straw (now 1-2pm EST on Fridays) will present the second of two shows on the Green Scare. I’ve interviewed supporters of Marius Mason and Eric McDavid, both victims of the Green Scare serving 20 year sentences and, also, Anarchists.
The first was an interview with Will Potter, author of Green is the New Red and is archived on archive.org
This week we’re speaking with Jesse, a Midwest organizer of June 11th Solidarity about the history of June 11th and the importance of being out here for the folks in there. We’ll also be speaking with Sarah on Marius Mason’s struggle as well as with Jennie from Sacramento Prisoner Support, which handles the case of Eric McDavid. Both Marius and David are anarchists facing around 20 years each for crimes that either: a.) didn’t harm anyone; b.) didn’t ever happen (Eric was convicted of conspiracy despite lacking intent). Both cases involve snitches cooperating with the law enforcement. Both cases concern people taking action (or thinking about it) to defend the earth.