This week we feature a conversation with Steve, a member of the Inside Outside Alliance, a group in Durham working to amplify the voices of prisoners, foster better connections with their family and loved ones on the outside and raise awareness (in the words of the prisoners and their families) of problems in the Durham County Jail with an eye towards holding the Sheriff’s Dept & local government accountable. More on this project at http://amplifyvoices.com.
This week we speak about the un-reported deaths in jail of Matthew McCain (January 2016), Dennis McMurray (January 2015) and briefly about the death of Raphael Marquis Bennett (August 2015). There is also a conversation on medical neglect (in Matthew’s case, he claimed he was not getting proper treatment for his diabetes and epilepsy).
Also mentioned is the work going on around different parts of North Carolina to get communities aroused against the recent snatching up with intent to deport latino youth by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during it’s recent spate of raids against folks accused of entering the U.S. from Central America in the past few years. These include: A student on his way to school in Durham, named Wildin David Guillén Acosta; Edwin Alvarez-Gálvez of Raleigh & Santos Padilla-Guzman of Cary are 3 of the so-called NC 6. Here’s an article students in Durham avoiding school for fear of ICE and words from teachers and admins at the schools expressing how dangerous they feel it is for the community. One organization on facebook working to keep folks informed on the raids can be found here.
On January 29th, No New Animal Lab, with representation from the Civil Liberties Defense Center, filed an anti-SLAPP Special Motion to Strike against injunctions filed on behalf of two executives of Skanska USA. Skanska and its key decision makers have been the subject of a year-long protest campaign, organized under the banner of No New Animal Lab, for their $90 million contract to build a large, underground animal research lab for the University of Washington (UW).
Skanska executives at the corporation’s Portland office filed for injunctions against four activists and “No New Animal Lab” in an attempt to stifle the growing national protests. Such lawsuits are known as “SLAPPs” (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) and are often used by corporations against protest movements in an attempt to chill dissent and disrupt campaign organizing. Rather than outright criminalizing protest activity, corporations attempt to exploit the legal system, dragging grassroots activists through frivolous civil court proceedings and draining and redirecting both time and material resources. SLAPPs exist to shrewdly muzzle movements that seek to hold corporations and their executives accountable and are backdoor attempts to legislate unreasonable restrictions upon speech and assembly.
“The campaign against Skanska is about challenging power–the power to callously decide the fate of thousands; the power to construct lives of suffering, captivity, and pain; and the power to evade accountability through the impersonal structure of corporations,” said a spokesperson for No New Animal Lab. “When you challenge power, you get a response. These SLAPP injunctions are just that–a response from Skanska, one of the largest corporations of its kind. The No New Animal Lab campaign interprets these lawsuits as a measure of its effectiveness.”
The No New Animal Lab campaign has grown substantially in the last year, and the pressure against Skanska is at an all-time high. In mid-January, hundreds of people from all over the country converged in New York to protest the company’s U.S. headquarters and CEO and President Richard Cavallaro, and Skanska’s largest U.S. investor, the Vanguard Group.
One way you can help right now is to make a DONATION to the campaign. Every penny goes directly to grassroots organizing and helping with legal costs. Support means everything in moments like these. To donate to this cause, and to learn more about this campaign, you can go to the website http://nonewanimallab.com and click on the red Donate tab on their page.
To hear the interview that we conducted with members of this campaign, you can visit our site.
We’d love to extend a loving thank you to the folks who attended and put on the benefit for The Final Straw last night at the Odditorium including the staff of that place, Ashley for putting the show together, the bands (being Asherah, Autarch, Desperate Measures and Lacrymosa), AshevilleFM staff who tabled, Asheville Anti-Racism and the lovely faces who attended. The show was a smash-bang success!
Anti-Fenix, CZ Republic
For the majority of this show, we spoke with Sascha and Igor who live in Prague about Operation Fenix, which began in April 2015 when the police of the Czech Republic commenced an operation against the anarchist, anti-authoritarian and animal liberation movement. During the course of this wave of repression, there were a number of house raids during which equipment was confiscated, and it has since come to light that agent provocateurs were used heavily in the arrests which took place. In this interview, we talk about how anarchists in Prague are handling this scrutiny, as well as ways to combat divide and conquer tactics used by cops, how the media is weaponized against anarchists, and what someone might do about these things.
We also present an update on the land occupation near the town of Notre Dame des Landres in France called la ZAD, which is a long running resistance against the building of an airport which would devastate the ecology of the area, destroy farmland, and evict many long term residents. This is specifically an update on the State of Emergency which has been declared and the call to action being requested. Included in the show is a statement read for us by a comrade in Asheville.
You can find the text of the post here, at the end of this posting.
But first, here is an announcement from the North American ABC network:
In February 2017, political prisoner Zolo Azania will finally be released from prison. He will have served 35 years, 27 were on death row. During his final year inside, Zolo wants to participate in the Indiana Dept. of Corrections (IDOC) Work Release Program.
As Zolo says: “I want to be moved into some type of viable program so that I can gain additional life skills in preparation for my re-entry into the community.”
The IDOC should grant Work Release to Zolo based on the person he is today, his record of good behavior, his re-entry needs, and Indiana’s commitment to rehabilitation. However, the IDOC has denied Work Release for Zolo, apparently based on the fact that he was convicted of murder– 34 years ago.The IDOC’s denial of access to Work Release for Zolo is unfair and unwarranted!
PLEASE CALL, EMAIL OR WRITE TO COMMISSIONER BRUCE LEMMON, INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND SAY:
(1) Offer Zolo the kind of re-entry plan he deserves: Work Release (WR)
(2) After 34 years Zolo needs WR to gain skills and money necessary for re-entry
(3) Zolo is a model prisoner and has shown a commitment to better himself
(4) Evaluate Zolo based on who he is today, not on his 34-year old conviction
COMMISSIONER BRUCE LEMMON
Address: 302 West Washington Street, Room E-334
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
To find more information about this issue, and for access to a sample letter to send to Commissioner Bruce Lemmon, you can visit http://www.zoloazania.org and if you like you can call the number 773.425.6716 to contact supporters.
Jared “Jay” Chase of NATO3
The following is an excerpt from an article entitled
*Last member of ‘Nato 3’ may die in prison from Huntington’s Disease*
by Kevin Gosztola
Jared Chase is the last member of the “NATO 3,” who remains in prison. Chase suffers from Huntington’s disease and faces additional charges for an alleged aggravated battery against a prison guard. He is set to go on trial
in April. If convicted, there is a significant chance Chase could die in prison because of how his imprisonment has compounded the effects of this neurodegenerative disease.
In May 2012, Chicago hosted a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) meeting to discuss policies in the Afghanistan War. A number of activists traveled to the city to protest NATO, including Chase, Brian Jacob Church
and Brent Betterly. They became known as the “NATO 3” after they were targeted by undercover Chicago police and arrested on May 16. The state of Illinois accused the “NATO 3” of making explosives.
The Illinois State’s Attorney Office quickly labeled the young men “terrorists” in a criminal complaint and charged them with state terrorism offenses. On February 7, 2014, after a lengthy trial in which the key role of undercover cops became even more apparent, a jury acquitted the “NATO 3” of all terrorism charges. But they were found guilty of arson-related offenses and “mob action” charges.
In April 2014, a judge sentenced Church to five years in prison, Betterly to six years, and Chase to eight years for arson offenses. The judge allowed prosecutors to present evidence against Chase related to the alleged aggravated battery incident involving the spraying of urine and feces on a guard, even though the state intended to pursue a separate trial.
“He’s Dying Before My Eyes”
Betterly, who was released from prison in April 2015, was last with Chase while they were beat up by guards during their arrival at the Stateville prison’s receiving center. After sentencing, they were put on the same bus and moved to the prison. Guards from the Illinois Department of Corrections awaited their arrival, which resulted in a “pretty violent interaction,” according to Betterly.
During a recent pretrial hearing on December 7, 2015, Chase showed up to court with a black eye and a swollen face. Betterly said he’s lost a considerable amount of weight, perhaps fifty pounds. Supporters are terribly concerned about his health.
“He’s dying before my eyes. That’s not embellishment at all,” Betterly declared. “The charge he carries now—it carries a minimum of three years. He won’t survive it.”
Betterly noted the prisons are not capable of taking care of diseases “that are generally serious but treatable.” A disease like Huntington’s is “probably something they don’t encounter much. They completely have no idea how to care for somebody with Huntington’s. They’re not equipped to do it. He’ll die. If he’s found guilty and sentenced to even the minimum, he won’t make it. That’s my opinion.”
Chase is in solitary confinement at the Pontiac Correctional Center, a facility where a number of violent and/or mentally ill inmates are incarcerated.
State prosecutors allege that on October 4, 2013, Chase sprayed “human aste” on a Cook County prison guard, Officer Trevor Hapanionek. He was charged with four different charges for one alleged act.
Multiple Cook County guards testified during sentencing about the basic details of what they claim happened on October 4, but Dr. Kathleen Shannon, a neurologist who had assessed Chase, testified that his misconduct against
guards was likely a result of Huntington’s disease.
Shannon informed the court the disease makes it difficult for a person to avoid outbursts. It makes one easily irritable and can lead to mania. On average, a person who develops the disease can die in 17 years. A person
usually goes through multiple stages of disability until spending the final 8 years of their life in a nursing home or hospice care.
It is hereditary. Chase’s dad died from the disease, and according to Shannon’s best estimate, the onset of Huntington’s disease began in 2008.
To read the rest of this article and find out ways to support Jared Chase and get him the medical attention he needs to save his life, check out the links at http://freethenato3.wordpress.com
“People continue to mobilize, and there is a big demonstration planned for February 27th and callouts for decentralized action everywhere to call for an end to the airport project for once and for all. There is also a call for donations for legal fees! It seems that whatever decision is made, will come from president Hollande. The new president of the region and the prime minister are vocal about their desire for a ZAD eviction, but have repeatedly implied that it’s not their decision. The eviction attempt with military force in October of 2012 backfired in that it brought awareness of the struggle to the general public and made the State look both cruel and weak- through images of robocops dragging people from their homes, but also images of police running away from things being thrown at them or while being charged, and ultimately withdrawing. It seems that the State doesn’t want to risk losing face again, especially as the “socialist” party is wildly unpopular and it’s a year away from a presidential election. So a legal eviction that makes it financially unsustainable for people to stay in their homes looks softer, but is just as violent. It would also not only separate and take some meaning from the movement, but leave the squatters more vulnerable to attack if the people living there are less diverse. That’s why this trial is being resisted as much as would be a military-style eviction attempt (which may follow anyway). *Note* the trial results were delivered January 25th, and the 4 farms are immediately evictable, while 8 of the 11 families have a delay until March 26th , at which point it’s illegal to cut trees and thus start work on the project. Also, there were no daily fines given, so the legal responsibility is now on the government to evict by force. The farmers and many of the residents have declared their refusal to leave willingly.
Here is what’s been going on these past weeks.
Two weeks ago, on Saturday, January 9th, 20,000 cyclists and pedestrians took over the ring road in Nantes, leaving from 6 points and converging on a bridge (that is a major axis of the region) for a banquet. The demo was organized in ten days to protest the eviction trial of families and farmers who live legally in the area since a long time, and supported by simultaneous actions in 40 other cities. If carried out, the legal eviction process would impose massive fines and seizure of land, homes and livestock. A group of farmers, called COPAIN, decided to occupy the bridge with a group of around 500 supporters until they received a confirmation from the president that he would keep his engagements (taken in 2012 during the presidential election following an anti-airport hunger strike). The government’s response was to send military police and ambulances (as a threat tactic), and it was decided to pack down the camp and make a “strategic retreat”, whilst being watered with cannons and tear gas.
Monday, Jan 11th there were surprise blockades in five points around Nantes to continue to demand that there be no evictions before the end of the legal appeals process against the airport. 80 tractors and several hundred people took part, and the blockades were mainly well received by the population. There is a communique saying, “imagine if there were actual evictions- nobody would be able to go to work anymore”. At the end of the day, as three farmers were going back to their farm for the 7pm milking, they met a police blockade, which they passed around on the sidewalk. Further on, they met another police blockade, and some military police were lightly injured by the tractors as they tried to pass. The three were arrested and have trials at the end of Febuary where they risk up to 2 years in prison and to lose their drivers liscences, and their tractors have been impounded.
Tuesday the 12th an “Operation Snail” was proposed, where people drive really slowly on important axes of circulation to make a moving blockade. There were many actions- 9 different convoys in the region. Plus communiques from 8 different cities, where there were blockades and occupations of ring roads, police headquarters, and courthouses. 19 people are arrested and 19 cars impounded. There is a callout for donations and expropriations for legal fees and getting their cars back. Vinci (the airport contractor) builds pay parking lots and toll roads, so there are some actions to physically open the barriers and ask for donations to support the struggle from people who come through.
Wednesday, January 13th was the trial of the landowners and renters, with 2-3 thousand people present, with some famous leftist politicians trying as always to recuperate the struggle. The decision will be delivered on Monday, January 25th. Well over 20 solidarity actions happen across france, from roadblocks to tags to marches to farmers union rallies in the basque country. People are doing legal support and prepping for the demo, 40 farmers go to the vehicle impoundment to try to reclaim the tractors.
Actions have continued almost every day all over the country. Last Saturday was a demonstration to block the nearby city of Rennes, and there have been blockades of other major cities. There has also been a major media push to both separate the ZAD occupation movement from the anti-airport movement, and label the entirety and diversity of ZAD occupants as scary foreign-born black clad monsters who are incapable of passing windows without breaking them. Some local right wing people have made up a petition calling for the eviction of the ZAD whether the airport project is cancelled or not. Tomorrow (Monday) is the results of the trial, where the families and farmers find out if they are immediately evictable, if there is a delay, or if the trial is sent to another court to see if the trial is legal.
The farms and families are now legally evictable, and a farmer group have demonstrated that they will encircle the farms and chain their tractors together if there is an eviction attempt. This weekend is a work weekend- in response to the call by the state for subcontractor offers to start work on the project, the ZAD has called for people to come continue work on our counter projects, by building a collective climbing wall, a place to dry and store medicinal plants and do consultations, and pour a new concrete floor, amoung the 30-some projects proposed for this weekend. This week the city halls in Nantes and Rennes saw simultaneous image makeovers during demonstrations the night of the verdict. The hacker group Anonymous shut down access to the ruling Socialist Party website to protest the state of emergency and eviction trial results at Notre dame des Landes, 7 construction trucks from Eurovia (a subsidiary of VINCI) were burned in solidarity with the ZAD and against the state of emergency, and there were many creative demonstrations across france. RDV the 27th of February to call for an end to politicians dodging a clear answer, and an end to the airport (and the world that goes with it!) for once and for all.”
This week we feature two segments concerning struggles in Europe:
Firstly, we speak with Linus. Linus is a member of an autonomous socialist group based in Malmö, Sweden, and is an organizer of the upcoming Connecting European Struggles conference in Malmö. The theme of the CES conference this year is “Gender and Crisis” and invites anti-state & anti-capitalist individuals and groups from around and beyond Europe to attend from September 18-25th to have discussions, watch films, attend presentations and engage towards a more integrated system of autonomous action and ideas. Bursts and Linus discuss the conference, the prior year’s, Crisis Politics, feminism, anti-capitalism, reaction and more. More on the conference can be found at http://connectingeuropeanstruggles.tumblr.com
Next, Bursts chats with Julnel, a member of Ü, an anarchist black metal band from Potenza, in Basilicata, southern Italy. Julnel is a founder of the The Black Metal Alliance anti-hate metal and punk collective, as well as a founder of Dark Skies Above Us Collective and Ü has contributed music to benefit compilations for both of those collectives as well as Crust or Die distro.
Recipients of the benefit funds, earned by selling albums of donated songs by similarly anti-nationalist, anti-racist, feminist, pro-LGBT (and so on) metal and punk projects and include: http://caravana43.com; Emilio (anti-fa resistor beaten by a crowd of fascists) and Dordoni Social Center in Cremona which was attacked in January of 2015 by hooligans from CasaPound; Eric McDavid; http://www.womenonwaves.org providing info, contraceptives, safe and legal abortions and more by sailing ships into intl waters around coastal countries where abortion access is prohibited; and 350.org.
These collectives (DSAU/BMA/CoD) include bands from Europe, North America, Australasia and South America. We spend about 20 minutes talking about uses of subcultures like punk and metal to engage politically by both revolutionary (for instance, RABM) and reactionary ideologies (in particular RAC & NSBM).
There is no Sean Swain segment for this week, but stay tuned for our next episode which will feature a conversation on the No New Animal Labs tour and initiative out of Washington State to stop the building of an animal testing lab at UW and fight against animal testing. We’ll also be speaking with a supporter of Jessica Burlew, an 18 year old girl diagnosed as schizoeffective and autistic, who has been held in isolation in Estrella Jail in Phoenix, Arizona, since January, 2014. She is being charged with 2nd degree murder for the accidental death of Jason Ash, a 43 year old man who was sexually exploiting her as a 16 year old. http://freejessieb.org/
The following is an update on the Resist 450 event in St. Augustine Florida, which was written on Tuesday September 8th and posted to the EarthFirst! Newswire at http://earthfirstjournal.org/newswire. It should be stated that all who were arrested are now free, but the bail fund website is still active and accepting donations.
From EarthFirst!: Six people were arrested today for demonstrating against the celebration of the 450th anniversary of the Spanish invasion of so-called Saint Augustine, Florida. Arrestees are being held at the St Johns County Jail with misdemeanor charges. So far, three have been released. The support team does not have enough support to bond out all arrestees. Donations to the legal/bail fund can be sent to https://www.everribbon.com/ribbon/donate/22383
Tribal elders and the Council of the Original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation Aboriginal Peoples called for resistance demonstrations months ago. The Council asked Saint Augustine city officials not to glorify the rape, torture, displacement, enslavement, and genocide that accompanied European colonization but they were repeatedly ignored.
“Acts of genocide and crimes against humanity conducted on our ancestors by Spain is nothing to honor, glorify, commemorate or celebrate,” said clan and spiritual leader Bobby C. Billie. Billie led tradition prayers in defiance of a reenactment of a colonial landing this morning.
Other protesters took to the water. To the chagrin of haughty actors dressed in shiny hats and other aristocratic regalia, protesters held signs and chanted from kayaks, canoes, and pool floaties in the water surrounding the rowboat and forcing the boat back several times and finally reaching land with reenactors only under heavy police boat escort. More picketers disrupted the opening countdown ceremonies. They delivered messages like “celebrating 450 is celebrating genocide,” “heal the past,” “no honor no pride” and “conquest is not discovery.”
Police officers singled out and arrested four canoers participating in the water protest. On land, officers arrested two other people who interrupted a procession of dignitaries and escorted away others who called attention to the grotesque nature of the festivities.
Protester Libelula commented
“Today’s demonstrations seek to unmask St Augustine’s romanticized version of conquest as a vile glorification of the horrific and heinous acts committed against the original people’s of this territory by the Spanish Conquistadors. I’m from an indigenous background and celebrations like this one are not only offensive but also attempt to erase indigenous people’s suffering. This makes our demands for emancipation and dignity invisible. This is a blatant celebration the murder, rape, and torture of the original peoples of Turtle Island. It’s important to not let this go unchallenged.”
Anarchists across the US have been taking part in events to raise funds for the Anarchist Black Cross in cities from Denver, New York, and LA. The events, called ‘Running Down the Walls’ raise funds for the ABC Warchest, which goes to help ABC Chapters send money and literature to political prisoners across the US. The runs are conducted in US cities and inside prison walls, building solidarity between incarcerated prisoners and those on the outside. Bill Dune, anti-authoritarian political prisoner imprisoned for an attempted 1979 prison break from the King County Jail in Seattle,Washington wrote on the occasion:
“Running Down The Walls has become a fine and honored tradition on our side of the barricade. I could run like the wind in past RDTWs even where I ran alone because the sense of solidarity took away the pain of physical exertion and of distance from my community – from you all. This year, unfortunately, I will be unable to physically run with you. I’ve been relegated to FCI Herlong’s dungeon because in the agency of repression’s mythology, an anonymous note purports that I’m planning to run from them. It was most likely written by a person of the porcine persuasion actually worried I might be planning more litigation. But so it goes in life with big brother! I will be with you this day nevertheless, if not in person, in mind, in heart, in solidarity as you – as we – run, walk, roll, move however we can down the road to revolution. See you closer to the finish line!”
To write to Bill Dunne, address letters to:
Bill Dunne #10916-086
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 800
Herlong, CA 96113
The Final Straw sees fit to mention a court decision – which we wouldn’t normally do, this being a somewhat anti-state anarchist radio show – but this little number highlights a few things which interest us and relates back to the interviews we conducted in 2011 & 2013 around the hunger strikes that spread up from California prisons to include prisoners in other states and even Canada in solidarity against solitary confinement. The case in question is called Ashker v. Governor of California, and it is a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of prisoners held in the Security Housing Unit, or SHU, at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison who have spent a decade or more in solitary confinement. The case was settled by the Governor’s office on September 1st, 2015.
“The case charges that prolonged solitary confinement violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, and that the absence of meaningful review for SHU placement violates the prisoners’ rights to due process. The legal action is part of a larger movement to reform conditions in SHUs in Calfornia’s prisons that was sparked by hunger strikes by thousands of SHU prisoners in 2011 and 2013; the named plaintiffs in Ashker include several leaders and participants from the hunger strikes. The case is part of the Center for Constitutional Rights broader efforts to challenge mass incarceration, discrimination, and abusive prison policies.”
“This settlement represents a monumental victory for prisoners and an important step toward our goal of ending solitary confinement in California, and across the country. California’s agreement to abandon indeterminate SHU confinement based on gang affiliation demonstrates the power of unity and collective action. This victory was achieved by the efforts of people in prison, their families and loved ones, lawyers, and outside supporters.”
This case represents to us a huge and interesting step in our United States, which happens to be the country with the most percentage of incarcerated citizens in the world. Prison visibility in the media is at unprecedented levels, from the prison themed TV show “Orange is the New Black” to NPR coverage of prison strikes and the deleterious effects that incarceration and solitary confinement has on people. Since this particular case could not have occurred so successfully in a more apathetic social environment – support from families and on social media have been instrumental to any steam its gained – it yet again highlights to us the importance of sticking to your guns, to having strong solidarity with your comrades, friends, family, and neighbors, wherever and whenever it makes sense. So listeners, keep on talking to each other. It could lead in some great directions.
This week William speaks with Ruddy Turnstone of the Global Justice Ecology Project and BJ Mcmanama of the Indigenous Environmental Network about the issue of Genetically Engineered trees, their ecological and social impacts, and of the Action Camp to take place just outside of Asheville NC on September 24th-27th. The Action Camp has a registration deadline very soon so if you wish to participate in this amazing event, go to http://nogetrees.org to register! You can email our guest, Ruddy Turnstone, at ruddy(at)globaljusticeecologyproject(dot)org for particulars and for info on how to subscribe to GJEP’s newsletter. For more on the Indigenous Environmental Network, you can visit http://ienearth.org.
We have just learned from Eddien’s Public Defender that he in fact can be bailed out despite violating his probation. His bail is $50K so we need $5K to bond him out. Eddien is currently doing okay in jail, but strongly wants to be bailed out and desires that all money be used for that first and later for his legal defense.
Eddien was initially charged with 2nd degree felony assault and battery by a mob as well as 3rd misdemeanor assault and battery. He also has the additional charge of Breach of Peace of a High and Aggravated Nature for allegedly breaking the windows of a KKK member’s pick up truck.
Eddien was one of six arrested at an anti-KKK demonstration on July 18th in Columbia, SC. On that day around 2,000 people showed up to confront the Klan, whose rally was cut short out of concerns for “public safety.” In a historic show of opposition, a rowdy and diverse crowd of gangs, black nationalists, anarchists, and various anti-racists humiliated the Klan and their Nazi counterparts and literally chased them out of town. A short zine about the demonstration can be found on http://ruinsofcapital.noblogs.org/.
Robert “Skinny” Mahone
(Trigger Warning: violent genital damage below)
In other news, Robert “Skinny” Mahone is being tortured by staff at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (Home to the Lucasville Uprising). Skinny has been abused by staff before, this is a continuation of that abuse. In the past Skinny has had his genitals pepper sprayed without reason, now he is being forced to wear the same dirty clothes for weeks while he is attempting to heal from a broken jaw.
What is being asked of everyone who reads this to do is very simple.
1. Buy a .50 cent stamp
2. Trace your hand onto a piece of paper
3. Mail it to Robert ‘Skinny’ Mahone at:
Robert Mahone #255-225
P.O. Box 45699
Lucasville, OH 45699
Supporters are choosing this course of action to let Skinny know that he is not alone, and even more importantly to let the staff at SOCF know that he is not alone and that we will know if something happens to him. Prisons are able to do what they want to prisoners largely based on the fact that they are isolated and no one pays attention. But there are lots of us, and we pay very close attention. “
We also have some words of wisdom from anarchist prisoner Sean Swain on banks: what are they anyway, really? how many of them are there? are they edible, yes or no? Stay tuned, as always, for answers.
We close out the show with some anarchist and anarchist leaning metal from the last couple of years.
On next weeks episode of The Final Straw, Bursts’ll be speaking with organizers involved in the Connecting European Struggles Conference in Malmö, Sweden from September 18-20th, 2015. The theme for the conference is “Feminism In The Crisis” and will be bringing together autonomous, anti-capitalist struggles from around Europe to discuss austerity, gender, immigration, care work, health care and much more. More info in many languages can be found at connectingeuropeanstruggles.tumblr.com or on their facebook page.
Sunday, September 6th at 1:00pm
Firestorm Books & Coffee (610 Haywood Rd)
Less than eight months ago, a small but determined group of people wrote the words ‘No New Animal Lab’ in black paint across a flannel bed sheet. Although they were preparing late into the night, the full impact of their efforts would last well beyond.
The following morning, the University of Washington Board of Regents prepared to approve the construction of the Animal Research and Care Facility (ARCF). This move came after a lawsuit against the Regents for hosting private dinner meetings in violation of Washington’s Open Public Meetings Act. It was under this shroud of secrecy that the Regents developed and approved the ARCF contract with Skanska USA. As a hollow gesture towards accountability and transparency, UW decided to produce this sham re-vote to skirt public criticism. As the Regents prepared to approve project construction, the group unfurled the bed sheet banner and began a disruption.
That day marked the beginning of No New Animal Lab, a grassroots campaign to stop the University of Washington and construction giant Skanska USA from building a new underground animal lab that will expand the number of animals that the UW can torture and kill by thousands.
Since then, the campaign has transformed from that first small disruption into a high-profile campaign that spans over a dozen cities, multiple countries, and two continents and that employs a diversity of tactics, letter writing, petitions, public comment, office protests and disruptions, home protests, mass demonstrations, and direct action. The campaign’s dynamic tactics, expanding momentum, accumulating pressure, and radical foundations have awoken and inspired the animal liberation movement.
Now with the arrival of summer, No New Animal Lab campaign is launching a national tour to escalate pressure even further against the University of Washington and Skanska.
The No New Animal Lab Tour will take the campaign across the U.S. with two goals in mind to stop the lab and to build a movement. Through workshops and protests that will span the country, we will build a network, foster organizational skills and resources, and bring pressure to the University of Washington and Skanska like they’ve never seen before. The tour will end in Seattle, with a second March on University of Washington of hundreds of people. We will travel from coast to coast, we will take to the streets, we will stop this lab from being built, and we will build a grassroots movement for animal liberation.
The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee is now a Standing Committee of the IWW, and as such, our officers will be elected this fall via referendum. We have grown to 576 members and need your support.
We are looking for FWs to run, nominate others, start local organizing groups, and otherwise get involved, especially those who have been incarcerated or with personal ties to the prison system.
See the different officer positions available here: Inreach (to prisons), Outreach (to IWWs and allies), Media/Literature, Newsletter Editor, and Fundraiser. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Spread the word!
Unist’ot’en camp on high alert
From Earth First! Newswire via It’s Going Down
“The Unist’ot’en Camp has sent out a message letting their supporters know that they are on high alert and could use more help.
Unist’ot’en Camp and community currently remains on high alert. We have multiple sources of information that indicate towards police escalation and/or other forced trespass. We write this to inform our networks that we are on high alert and if you don’t hear from us within 24 hours, it means we are unable to get word out. Let others know that we continue to peacefully assert our laws and our jurisdiction on Unist’ot’en yintah.
The Unist’ot’en have maintained vigilance for a number of years against several pipeline projects slated to pass through their lands carrying tar sands oil to the coast for export. Arguably the most environmentally destructive project in the world, the Alberta Tar Sands are destroying the Boreal Forest in order to perpetuate unsustainable fossil fuels development in Canada and around the world.
The tar sands are also causing cancer and illness in First Nations’ communities, and the pipelines threaten to devastate native forests and fresh water systems, thus continuing the systematic genocide of First Nations in North America.
To learn how to join in solidarity, check out the Unist’ot’en Solidarity Brigade. “
This week on The Final Straw we feature a short interview by our komrades at Anarchistisches Radio Berlin with anonymized organizers of the International Week in Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners, which is called for August 23rd-30th of 2015. More info on that can be found at http://tillallarefree.noblogs.org
After that we’ll be playing some recent metal and punk tracks from around the world. Much of this was gleaned from R-A-B-M, a site featuring global perspectives and music from across the Loud spectrum. Red & Anarchist Black Metal, as a site, hosts political commentaries and musical projects of anti-capitalist, ecological, anti-state, feminist and other common sense pursuasions… or at least projects that’re good and reject NSBM & RAC trajectories. More can be found at http://R-A-B-M.blogspot.com
But first in news:
Earlier this week Sean was unexpectedly transferred to Warren Correctional. It seems he wasn’t given enough notice to send word out to supporters, so we’re not sure what’s up with this. Warren is a primarily level 3 institution, so Sean also likely had his security level reduced.
It is located near Cincinnati, so anyone there, in Bloomington, or in Columbus are now closer than they used to be. Sean loves visitors (and is more down to earth in person than his writings would suggest) so if you’d like to hang out in a big room with uncomfortable chairs, lots of sad people who are happy to see each other and vending machines that provide the best food half the people in that room can get, fill out some visitation forms and write Sean a letter letting him know you’d like to come.
His new address is:
P.O. Box 120
5787 State Route 63
Lebanon, Ohio 45036
Chelsae Manning, who is currently serving a 35 year sentence at the maximum security US Disciplinary Barracks in Ft Leavenworth after disclosing to WikiLeaks nearly three-quarters of a million classified or unclassified but sensitive military and diplomatic documents while she was in the military, is facing indefinite solitary confinement. The charges that have been brought up against Chelsae are very clearly the product of institutional intimidation, and they include: having literature pertaining to trans issues (Manning is a transgender woman), spilling food onto the floor, and being in the possession of an expired tube of toothpaste.
From her support page: “This is a disturbing attempt to silence Chelsea’s voice. Chelsea has been very active while in prison, speaking out through her twitter account about issues of government transparency, transgender rights, and the prison system. She’s been writing a regular column for The Guardian, and even wrote a bill to reform the Espionage Act and protect journalism.These absurd charges against Chelsea, and the outrageous threat of indefinite solitary confinement, are clearly an attempt to silence Chelsea’s important voice and cut her off from the outside world.We have to make sure this attempt to silence Chelsea not only fails, but backfires”. And we here at The Final Straw agree!!
To write to Chelsae, you can address letters to:
CHELSEA E. MANNING 89289
1300 NORTH WAREHOUSE ROAD
FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS 66027-2304
And to donate funds, read updates on her case, and to see guidelines for sending her mail, you can visit the very comprehensive website http://www.chelseamanning.org
Columbia, SC native, Eddien Patterson was arrested during the July 18 anti-KKK demonstration in South Carolina (which we at The Final Straw reported here: http://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/2015/08/03/they-ran-the-kkk-out-of-town-in-fact-exclamation-point/). He was initially charged with 2nd degree felony assault and battery by a mob as well as 3rd misdemeanor assault and battery. Eddien was on probation at the time of arrest and now is serving ten months for violating the probation. He is currently being held at the Richland County jail.
On July 29 Eddien was given the additional charge of Breach of Peace of a High and Aggravated Nature for allegedly breaking the windows of a KKK members pick up truck. Currently we are trying to find a lawyer for Eddien, but he has requested that money be added to his books and desires to receive letters.
EXTREME HEAT IN TX PRISONS by Malik Washington:
The next audio was a lengthy letter dated July 20th from Keith “Malik” Washington. Keith ‘Malik’ Washington is living in the Wallace Pack Unit in Navasota, Texas. He reports on human rights abuses in the Texas prison system. Known to his friends as Comrade Malik, his life mission is to serve the people and create conditions in the United States in which all humyn beings have access to freedom, justice and equality! More on his observations, his case and the contents of the letter on Extreme Heat conditions at Wallace Pack Unit (and the retaliation for complaint against 3 inmates there) at http://comrademalik.com
And finally, we’d like to suggest another source for what’s called “alternative media” aka media for all you trouble makers out there. The website http://www.unicornriot.ninja/ boasts a bunch of awesome looking videos and articles about current events which would be of interest to anarchist leaning folx.
From the website:
“Unicorn Riot is your commercial-free not-for-profit media alternative. We operate independent of government/corporate funding and are currently accessible to anyone with an internet connection.
The purpose of Unicorn Riot is to amplify the voices and images of marginalized people and further the understanding of dynamic social struggles in communities around the world. We produce media in order to educate and expose the root causes of social conflict in today’s globalized world.
Unicorn Riot is comprised of independent journalists and multimedia artists working together from around the world who are committed to providing uncensored alternative media supported by the viewers themselves.”
This track is “a gospel of the flesh” by SEEDS IN BARREN FIELDS from Gothenburg, Sweden, which formed in 2007. They focus on themes of anarchism and environmentalism and are out on Lundr Records. This track is off their July 19th, 2015 release Let The Earth Be Silent After Ye.
AMESTIGON is from Lower Austria, and they formed in 1995 and are still going strong. They focus on Satanism and the Occult among other themes and are out on the lable World Terror Committee. Right now we’re hearing the track, 358 which is off the band’s full length album “Thier”, which was released in May of this year.
PALE CHALICE from San Francisco, formed in 2008 and out on the label Gilead Media. We’re hearing Shaking Nerves & Vacuous Spheres from their June 16th, 2015 release, Negate The Infinite & Miraculous.
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.
This being the first episode of The Final Straw Radio to broadcast on WSFM-LP 103.3 in Asheville, North Carolina: here’s a little intro, plus new Swain segment on his silencing and then an hour of neo-goth rock, post punk, punk & metal from aaaaalllll over the world.
This week’s episode is a reading from a request for solidarity with hunger striking anarchist prisoners in Chile ( Juan Flores, Nataly Casanova, Guillermo Durán and Enrique Guzmán). More info (and a the communique that was read from) at AnarchistNews.Org
There are two announcements at the start of this episode concerning health developments and request for public action on behalf of longstanding prisoners and former Black Panthers. Following those, we feature new death rock by BÖRN from Iceland (playing at Static Age in AVL on May 9th), doom by Thou and more.
First, Mumia Abu-Jamal is an imprisoned journalist, former Panther and supporter of MOVE members while they faced repression in Philly in the 70’s and early 80’s. He was accused of killing a cop while driving his cab in 1981. He is not getting enough medical treatment for his recently diagnosed diabetes (including a specific diet to help him cope and medication) and related skin disorder. More information and a call to action on his behalf can be found at http://www.freemumia.org
Robert Seth Hayes is a former Panther and BLA member who is accused of killing a cop in NYC in 1973. He suffers from many, worrying and chronic health problems including poorly controlled diabetes and weight loss, much like Mumia. Supporters are requesting that people call in on April 27-28th to a number of officials in NY to get him medical treatment and stop this punishment. There’s also a fax-in day on April 29th and 30th on his behalf. More info at http://powmedicaljustice.com/call-fax-in-for-seth