We have an hour long conversation with organizers of the June 26th antifascist resistance in Sacramento, CA, that routed the attempted organizing on the Capitol Steps by white nationalist groups, the Traditionalist Workers Party and the Golden State Skinheads (among other groups). The TWP & GSS rally was an attempt to take symbolic space and inspire further and more public demonstrations by these and affiliated groups however the 40 members who showed up were quickly routed by the diverse antifa numbering 400 or so. In the ensuing fracas, 9 antifa were hospitalized, most serious among them for stab wounds. During the hour long podcast, hear 3 organizers talk about medic preparation, what the event looked like, media responses, post-confrontation security for those hospitalized and more. It’s well worth noting that money is still being raised to help cover medical costs of those injured on June 26th. To help, you can visit https://rally.org/June26th .
We open with an announcement from Asheville Anti-Racism, which is a far-right-watch group here in Asheville. There is a benefit show tonight (4/17/2016) at the Odditorium in Asheville, NC to raise funds for an anti-fascist, anti-KKK march just outside of Atlanta, GA next Saturday the 23rd. Every year, fascists march on Stone Mountain in Georgia, and every year there is anti-fascist presence. Let’s make this a year to remember!
A few prison updates from the U.S.:
Since April 4th, prisoners in at least 4 Texas prisons have been on strike for better conditions and an end to slavery and human rights abuses. This strike is but the latest in a nationwide mass movement inside prisons for dignity and freedom. Minimum wage in Texas prisons is 00/hr. Access to medical care requires a $100 medical copay.
Striking prisons have been put on lockdown in an attempt to “conceal the strike” and the battle of wills is being daily tested by the inhumanity of the administration. No lights, two peanut butter sandwiches a day, no phone, mail or visitation from the outside world. And likely far worse.
Since the strike’s inception, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice TDCJ) has been trying to contain the strike and paint the strikers as causing harm to inmates and families. Threatening additional lockdowns, forced transfers, violence. Even a statewide lockdown.
The Incarcerated Workers Organzing Committee, IWOC, believes TDCJ’s actions to be an intentional, routine tactic. “They are trying to change who the enemy is,” said Nick Onwukwe, Co-Chair of IWOC and a former prisoner. “Trying to get you believe the enemy isn’t the slave master, it’s the slave who sits down and says – enough.”
Increasingly lockdowns are becoming reality. Already there are additional lockdowns at Jester III, Dalhart, and Beto, partial lockdowns at Coffield and Allred, and a confirmed order for lockdown at Michael for this morning, April 16th. Is the strike spreading? Will TCDJ’s tactics backfire? We may be at a tipping point.
IWOC and prisoners, family & supporters are requesting shows of solidarity from the outside. If you hate slavery in the U.S. under the guise of the Prison Industrial Complex there are a few suggestions on getting involved: contact family and friends in prison and clue them in to the strikes; organize a local group to engage folks in jail and prison and hear their concerns; talk to your neighbors, church-mates, schoolmates, coworkers who may have folks on the inside and talk about what’s going on; join the call in campaigns or demonstrate outside a facility.
More info from the IWW Incarcerated Workers’ Organizing Committee (IWOC) can be found at their webpage, iwoc.noblogs.org, and they can be reached at : 816-866-3808 or email@example.com Visit the site to find phone numbers and addresses to direct grievances about the treatment of Texas prisoners and continued conditions of enslavement in the U.S. prison complex
In related news, on April 9, 2016 3 prisoners at David Wade Correctional Center in Homer, Louisiana went on hunger strike. The three were also on what is called “extreme suicide,” which is where they place you in FULL RESTRAINTS (chains) – that is, shackles and handcuffs attached to a waist chain. This is done for days at a time. They are also on “strip” –dressed only in a paper gown.
The torturous punitive conditions here at David Wade Correctional Center have gone on long enough. The sadistic practices by security and the administration are a violation of human rights and decency.
The administration has admitted to the infliction of corporal punishment against prisoners on lockdown. Just now as I write, they sprayed a prisoner while he was on his knees and struck him several times. They also sprayed and beat another prisoner who is mentally ill and has been on . for over a year. He has also been on food loaf for a long time.
A letter from a prisoner at DWCC in Homer suggested “Please call if you can – just a phone call will spook them. Thank you!:
Department of Corrections Secretary James M. LeBlanc, 225-342-6740
Deputy Secretary Eugene Powers, 225-342-6744
Undersecretary Thomas Bickham, 225-342-6739”
Finally, notes from 2 prisoners in the North Carolina prison system requesting help:
Kevin Cox is a politically active prisoner struggling at the moment just to be able to receive mail and contact from the outside. He asked that this statement be shared with anyone who might care to help call in to the prison. Since he wrote this, he’s been transferring to Marion CI,
but is still facing the same issues.
Greetings, Shalom Aleyka, Salaam Alaykum, Amani,
My name is Kevin Cox #1217063. I’m a political prisoner who’s being housed in Bertie Correctional Institution, in Windsor, NC. Since my incarceration I’ve dedicated my life to the struggle by fighting for the rights of prisoners, human rights for all oppressed people and rights for LGBTQ. Also I’m a dedicated member of the Black liberation movement and a member of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party [distinct from the New Black Panther Party], which is a legal aboveground political organization. At Bertie Corrections, I’m being treated like a ‘slave’ because of my political beliefs, my continuous activism in educating prisoners and my refusal to be submissive to Bertie Correction’s oppressive rules and regulations, which correlates to division, miseducation, provoking Black on Black violence, and racism.
As a result of my resistance, they [officers and staff] have stopped the flow of mail that comes from outside support such as family, friends, and comrades, have prevented me from recieving books, pamphlets, and newspapers, and have even denied me my “due process right” to be notified of the censorship of my property. The SRG [Security Risk Group] intelligence officers read my mail, that is stamped “legal,” without my being present, when my legal mail usually refers to my criminal case, law suits, etc. And the SRG officers are trying to “SRG” me, after I adamantly disavowed and denied any affiliation with any SRG group.
I’m telling you this because I need your help. I want to start a telephone/fax campaign to the administration demanding that they quit these egregious tactics that violate my constitutional rights.
Marion CI (Ask for Lt. Daniel Merrill and Cpt. Michael Long)
NC Director of Prisons
George Solomon, (919) 838-4000
Jimmy Milton is an active voice in prison struggle at Bertie Ci, and has faced repeated violation of religious rights as a Hebrew-Israelite. He has not been provided Kosher meals, was not allowed to participate in Passover, and has not been able to order relevant religious materials. According to Jimmy, “I’ve already filed my grievance here at the facility and my next step is my hunger strike. The people I need for you to call and speak to are as follows:
Bertie CI Superintendant Herring or Asst. Superintendant Clark (252) 794-8601
Also, for a first hand account by anarchist prisoner Michael Kimble who’s warehoused in the Alabama prison system, on the recent riots and ongoing struggles of prisoners there as well as organizing by the Free Alabama Movement, check out http://anarchylive.noblogs.org
This week we air an interview which was recorded at the latest international anarchist radio conference in Berlin this year. This interview is with an anarchist who is very active in LGBTQI struggle in that city, and we speak about the history of feminism and trans activism in Berlin as well as the problem of trans-misogyny in feminist and queer scenes, plus many more topics. You can see more about what our guest is talking about at http://www.transinterqueer.org/
This audio was made at a long standing leftist and anarchist space called Friedel 54, which is gearing up to fight an impending eviction. You can see more about this at https://friedel54.noblogs.org/, which is in German but gets run through a translator pretty well.
In this hour we’ll be hearing two perspectives on migrant struggles in the EU, Germany in particular, dating back to roughly 2012. The first we’ll hear is Adam Bahar. Adam is an immigrant from Sudan who currently works on emergency phone networks connecting Coast Guards with migrants cross the sea in distress. In the second, we hear from Adams interviewer, a Berlin-based German-born no-border activist about their experiences. We tried to cut overlapping information to decrease redundancy but there will be a little overlap in order to make space for both differing experiences expressed.
In this first interview Adam Bahar talks about his participation in migrant struggles, including taking part in the public migrant march in 2012 from Wurzburg to Berlin, the tent occupation of Oranienplatz in Berlin by 150 migrants for a year and a half followed by the squatting of an empty school building. In German, the word Lager is used as a storage place, also used for the camps or shelters where asylum seeking refugees are kept isolated from the rest of the German population. Another word that may be difficult for listeners to understand is Adams phrasing of Guardsea, comparable to Coast Guard. Adam also talks about the cooperation between corrupt African governments and the German government either in their business of dictatorship or the deportation of Africans back to their continent of origin.
For the rest of the hour we’ll be hearing part of an interview conducted by myself and William with the activist who held the conversation with Adam in the first half hour. Here, our German friend talks a little more about the occupation of Oranienplatz from 2012-2014 in Kreutzberg, Berlin and more generally we discuss the Shengen Zone for the understanding of non-regional audience members. Later, they speak about their understanding of border situations in the Balkans as they’ve been closing down and thoughts about relationships between richer countries and the intolerable situations in the poorer nations from whence come many of the refugees.
Thanks to our buddies affiliated with Anarchistisches Radio Berlin for helping us out with setting up these recordings. More content from them at http://aradio.blogsport.de
Prison Resistance Updates
First, a couple of announcements. Here’s a wrap up of prisoner resistance activities this week around the U.S., followed by a few specific prisoner updates.
Momentum is growing behind the bars. After two intense rebellions in four days at Holman prison in Atmore, Alabama last month things have really heated up. Prisoners in Texas called for and initiated a state wide series of work strikes on April 4th, the Free Alabama Movement announced a shutdown of ADOC for the month of May and prisoners across the country announced and called for a nationally coordinated strike and protest this September.
Reports from Texas prisoners are still coming in, but at least 7 facilities participated enough to get locked down by prison authorities. There have been a lot of threats and harassment by staff reported, but no specific reprisals or people targeted as leaders, yet.
On Saturday, April 9th outside supporters gathered for solidarity events across the country, including, Austin, Houston, Phoenix, the Bronx, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Providence, Denver, Tucson, Minneapolis and Fayetteville Arkansas, as well as a protest at Holman prison in Alabama by the Mothers and Families of the Free Alabama Movement.
These events were either protests at corporations that profit from prison slavery, or workshops and planning sessions about prison slavery and supporting the growing wave of prisoner resistance. Supporters hope to see this tide continue to rise leading up to the September 9th work-stoppage, since attention from the outside is essential to protect striking or otherwise rebellious prisoners from violent reprisals.
Alvaro Luna Hernandez (Xinachtli)
Supporters of Alvaro Luna Hernandez sent this message:
“Alvaro is in dire need of immediate, practical solidarity from all who support his emancipation from unjust incarceration and cruel punishment.
Alvaro’s Recent Hardship
In these past few weeks it has come to our attention that Alvaro is enduring multiple forms of inadequate and cruel treatment by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).
He is in need of dire medical attention; the TDCJ has placed him in more inhospitable holding conditions; the TDCJ has confiscated and stolen from him; the TDCJ has limited his mail correspondence; and when in transport to Lubbock, TX, the TDCJ transported him with—what you will certainly agree is—little to no regard for his health or comfort.”
Therefore, Alvaro’s supporters are urging you to email or call relevant TDCJ authorities by Thursday, April 14th, 2016 (at midnight) to protest these conditions and demand immediate improvements. More information at http://FreeAlvaro.net
This week’s episode is LITERALLY packed solid. We start off with an announcement about the case of Luke O’Donovan’s trial beginning on August 11th at 9AM at the Superior Court of Fulton County, 136 Pryor Street, S.W., Suite C-640, Atlanta, GA. Luke’s support is asking for folks who want to get his back to show up in court attire and be present for the court date. Luke is facing 5 attempted homicide charges stemming from injuring the 5 men attacking him as he was being queer bashed in Atlanta on New Years of 2013. More info and the callout can be found at http://LetLukeGo.wordpress.com
Next, a quick announcement about an upcoming benefit for and presentation about the 5E3, three anarchists (Amelie, Fallon and Carlos) accused of using molotov cocktails to damage a Nissan dealership and the Ministry of Communication and Transportation in Mexico City on the 5th of January. A supporter of the 5E3 will be speaking about their case on Sunday, August 10th at Rosetta’s Kitchen (Upstairs) at 8pm. August 10th is also known as Prisoner’s Justice Day and witnesses yearly hunger strikes across the convict race serving time across Canada in remembrance of all prisoners who’ve died of unnatural causes while incarcerated. More info at http://fuegoalascarceles.wordpress.com/in-english-information/
Our first segment (after Sean’s words of wisdom) is a conversation with D, an anarchist and prison abolitionist from West Virginia to update us about the Elk River chemical spill from January of this year. We talk about the West Virginia Clean Water Hub and the project it recently spawned, Voices From South Central WV. Voices from South Central is working to amplify the voices of prisoners at the main jail in Charleston, WV. The project began as a way of gauging and presenting (in prisoners own words) the effects of the water crisis on those incarcerated and how the administration dealt with health effects it caused and worked (or didn’t) to provide clean water to those they jailed. http://storiesfromsouthcentralwv.com/
For our past coverage of the spill, check out: http://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/?s=west+virginia
Finally, we air another great segment from Anarchistisches Radio Berlin. This time A-Radio speaks with members of the Greek political Hip Hop group Social Waste. The discussion ranges from chat about the development of Hip Hop in Greece, where it overlaps with politics, immigrant solidarity, anti-capitalism and anti-fascism as currently practiced in Greece.
This week, Olga and Kuba speak with William about anarchism in Poland and their experience of living in Canada. Olga is from Poznan, a city in Western Poland where anarchists have been able to open 2 squats in the city center, and a member of the musical network, Rhythms of Resistance. Kuba is a member of Tektura collective, Autonomous Social Center “Cicha4″ collective and Rhythms of Resistance Lublin, based out of Lublin.
The conversation, sprouting from Olga and Kuba’s presentation at the 2014 Montreal Anarchist Bookfaire, ranges from talking about squatting, resistance to the rise of nationalism, intersections of anarchism with feminism and queer existence, and homogeneity all within the context of modern Poland.
This’ll be followed by an interview with Deedee, a member of Saving Our Families, a network of those with loved-ones in the Prison Industrial Complex, based out of Indiana. Deedee is also a supporter of Control Unit Prisoners on hunger strike at Westville Correction Facility in Indiana about the strike and the atrocious food distribution, run by Aramark Corrections Services based out of Philly PA. More info can be found at http://dignityatwestville.wordpress.com
And, finally, we’ll present the last portion of the ZAD interview we started with last week. http://zad.nadir.org
Also, we announce that we’re now available at 106.5LPFM in Olympia Washington on KOWA. Tune in on Saturday nights at 9pm to hear us!
In late November of 2013, Kiev and other parts of Ukraine saw the building of spontaneous plaza occupations and street demonstrations against President Yanukovych apparent decision to stall steps towards integrating Ukraine into the European Union. The protests, known as Euromaidan or EuroPlaza in Ukrainian, called on the ruling government to move forward with the integration, fearing that the stalling was a sign that the Ukraine was giving in to pressure from the competing Customs Union (made up of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan) which had been courting Ukrainian participation. The protests are ongoing, despite the signature of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych into a deal with Russia for promised purchases of billions of dollars of Ukrainian products and a 30% discount on Russian Natural Gas. Euromaidan have been compared in scale, and sadly in lack of critical debate about issues among the populace, to the 2004 Ukrainian Orange revolution which saw the rising to power of those who would become the status quo today.
This week on the Final Straw, we’ll be speaking with Denys. Denys is an organizer and activist with the Kiev Local of the Autonomous Worker’s Union, a Revolutionary Syndicalist turned Anarchosyndicalist organizing and propaganda group in the capital of the Ukraine. We’ll spend the hour discussing the political system in that country, the spectrum of parties, influence of media and oligarchs and radical groups on the far left and far right. Later on in the hour, Denys will address his philosophy, Anarchosyndicalism via Synthesist Anarchism, and what the AWU in Kiev and elsewhere has been able to achieve. More on the AWU can be found at avtonomia.net .
We’ll also speak briefly about a protest in Kiev in solidarity with struggling workers in Kazakhstan on the anniversary of the Zhanaozen Massacre of December 16, 2011.
A partial transcript is now available for this episode thanks to folks at Rev-News & Nihilist.li
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.
This week’s show features the second half of the conversation with Ukrop. Ukrop is a longtime anarchist, antifascist activist and documentarian from Moscow. This show features conversations about the rise of the new “Cossacks” movement in Russia, a rural militia with anti-Semitic and xenophobic perspectives receiving support from the government. We also talk about who participates in Antifa in Russia, specifically relationships between the Antifa movement and Feminist movements, LGBTQ movements and Immigrant populations.
This week we speak with Ukrop, an anarchist, antifascist activist, and maker of the documentaries “Antifascist Attitude” & “Actions vs. Repressions”. This is part 1 of a two part interview, in which they talk about the history and context of Nazi influence in formerly-Soviet Russia and the rise of radical anti-fascism. Ukrop also discusses how the internet effected punk and anarchist subculture in Russia in the 1990’s and the first decade of the 21st century. In the conversation we cover overlaps between police and prisons and nazi’s as well as how the education system in that country feeds into nationalism and capitalism.
To keep updated about ongoing things in Russia, check out the following websites: