This week, we’re excited to present a conversation with Saralee Stafford and Neal Shirley, editors and authors of a new book out from AK Press entitled “Dixie Be Damned: 300 years of Insurrection in the American South”. The book is a study of Maroon, Indigenous, White, Black, worker, farmer, slave, indentured, women and men wrestling against institutions of power for autonomy and self-determination. All of this in a region stereotyped to be backwards, slow, lazy, victimized and brutal. The editors do a smash-bang job of re-framing narratives of revolt by drawing on complex and erased examples of cross-subjectivity struggles and what they can teach us today about current uprisings in which we participate.
Throughout the hour we explore some of the examples that became chapters in the book, critiques of narrative histories and academia and what new ways forward might be towards an anarchist historiography. Keep an ear out for Saralee and Neal’s book tour, coming to a bookspace near you.
Prior to the main portion of this week’s episode, we hear a Sean Swain segment and also Ben Turk comes on to talk about difficulties Sean’s currently facing (for instance beginning a hunger strike on Monday due to shenanigans by officials at OSP, where Sean is being held, and possibly JPAY (the company that contracts communication with Ohio’s DRC) that have limited his communications again.
The majority of this week’s episode is a conversation with incarcerated members of the Free Alabama & Mississippi Movements. The FAMMC (now including inmates in California as well) is an inmate-drive non-violent, civil disobedience movement with the goal of bettering the situations of prisoners, challenging the profits of prison corporations and departments of correction, ending the impunity of wardens and guards and abolishing the “new slavery” of mass incarceration in the U.S.
Due to the poor connection with the guests, some of the audio is difficult to hear, so a transcript should be posted in a few days at ashevillefm.org/the-final-straw where this post can be found and later at thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org (oh yeah? where is that, now?)
Melvin Ray (aka Bennu Hannibal Ra(y)-Sun) at St. Clair Correctional Facility/SCCF and R.EARL (aka Kinetic Justice Amun) at Holman/HCF near Atmore, AL, two founders of the Free Alabama Movement along with a member of the Free Mississippi Movement break down mass incarceration, the forms of struggle they’re taking, the economic underpinning to prison labor and prison privatization, issue of sanitation, diet, cost to inmates and family of incarceration, assault and rape in Women facilities, networking across state borders… M & Kinetic also talk about the recent lock-downs at their facilities.
An upcoming way for folks around the country to get involved in this movement is to share the information of the FAMMC with folks on the inside and try to help them to get involved in the movement. Keep up on the upcoming pushes to protest at and outside of prisons around Alabama, Mississippi and more by checking out their facebook and twitter pages. These groups are planning to focus demonstrations and campaigns against McDonalds Restaurants (which use prison labor to make it’s burger patties, uniforms and more) and other businesses that are all around us that contract prisoner labor to make a profit.
These folks run a weekly (often up to 3 times a week) podcast-radio show called The People’s Platform that can be listened to and called into when live or found as archives. More on this show can be found at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/freealabamamovement
A recent report about the violence (sexual and otherwise) perpetrated by officials against the prisoners at the Juliet Tutwiler Women’s Facility in Alabama (at which the current warden of St. Clair, Curtis Davenport, who’s overseen this rise of violence was once an official), check out this US DOJ report from January of last year: http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/spl/documents/tutwiler_findings_1-17-14.pdf
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 an interview with Charles W. Johnson, an editor and contributor to the new edition “Markets Not Capitalism: Individualist Anarchism Against Bosses, Inequality, Corporate Power, and Structural Poverty”, just out from Autonomedia Press.
Charles is a market anarchist writer from Auburn, Alabama. He is a member of Occupy Auburn, a Research Associate at the Molinari Institute and an alumnus of Auburn University. He has published the Rad Geek People’s Daily weblog at radgeek.com since 2001, and is a frequent speaker and columnist on radical responses to the economic crises, stateless social activism and the philosophy of anarchism.
We discuss definitions of Capitalism, critiques from Left Libertarians and possible market alternatives. We also touch on racism, regulation, and class struggle.
Charles will be speaking about this new compilation at Firestorm Books and Cafe, 48 Commerce St in Asheville at 6pm on Thursday, March 15 (Tyrannicide Day).
This week’s episode of the Final Straw features a conversation on a divisive and spectacular tactic that for many outside of the movement defines what an anarchist is: the black bloc. We speak to a comrade who was present in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin on May Day of 1987 when thousands of autonomous activists (of the Autonomen movement of which our guest was and is a member) and erected burning barricades while physically resisting the state. This date is pointed to by many as the beginning of the tactic as it’s practiced in it’s modern form. We also talk about beginnings of the Autonomen, how it differed from other movements before and after, gender and class in the inflammatory May Day riots in Berlin and more.
This episode was made possible by the comrades at A-Radio Berlin who translated our questions, conducted the interview and sent us transcripts and even overdubbed the audio. Much thanks. Check out their project, as they do at times produce content in English, Spanish and French in addition to their work in German.
China Martens has published Future Generation, a zine about radical parenting since 1990 (published as a book by Atomic Books in 2007). Vikki Law has worked to get the voices of women in and out of prison around by producing Tenacious: Art and Writing by Women in Prison and the recently republished Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women. China and Vikki are authors, editors, anarchists, activists and also, mothers.
This week we speak to Vikki Law and China Martens about the newly published book, Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities (PM Press, 2012), which they edited and contributed to. We talk about multigenerationality in struggle as well as intersections of age, class, gender and race.
This week’s show features the second part of my conversation with Maria about anarchist perspectives on the student strikes in Montreal,
Quebec. Maria continues to draw the history of this last year of student strikes that have developed into a nascent social strike and talks about the call to help block the start of the next semester in early August of this year
The second half of this episode features music from and about the struggle of Miners against the bosses and the state and for survival and self-determination. The playlist can be found here.
This week we’re speaking with Dr. George Katsiaficas, author and contributor to over a dozen books on Peoples Movements and the elucidator of the Eros Effect. For over a decade, Dr. Katsiaficas has been studying the culture and history of South Korea and it’s culture and has just published the first volume of a two part series on People’s uprisings in Asia, entitled “Asia’s Unknown Uprisings: South Korean Social Movements in the 20th Century” from PM Press.
For more of Dr. Katsiaficas’ writing, check out his website at www.eroseffect.com
This week’s show will be a conversation with Saro Lynch-Tomason and Kila Donovan, members of the Asheville May Day Choir about music, resistance, history and the upcoming May Day celebrations in Asheville. Saro and Kila are also members of the band, Red Wind. The show features in-studio renditions of some beautiful resistance songs that we’ll be hearing this year. The two jamboree shows will be a benefit for Blair Pathways.
This week’s show features a conversation with Dr. Benjamin Noys, editor of a new book entitled “Communisation and its Discontents”. Communisation theory evolved out of post-68 ultra-left communism and today is being explored and promoted by authors and journals like Riff-Raff, Theorie Communiste, End Notes, Sic and Tiqqun. This show is a short introduction to the theories and plays with the problematics of communisation including gender, terminology, identity, and activity.
The text of the book is available online for free at Libcom:
Related projects that may be of interest include:
LibCom’s archive of communisation texts (http://libcom.org/tags/communisation)
Tiqqun & Invisible Committee related (http://libcom.org/tags/tiqqun)