Category Archives: North Carolina

UNControllables: UNC Chapel Hill anarchist student group on organizing, austerity & community

UNControllables

https://www.facebook.com/carolinaUNControllables
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This week, Bursts spoke with members of the University of Chapel Hill-based student group called The UNControllables. Created in 2012, the UNControllables regularly present anarchist, feminist, anti-racist and anti-authoritarian presenters from around the world to speak to the student body and members of the community, organize around student issues, incarceration, reproductive health, and much more. For the hour, members of the group talk about what they’ve done and upcoming events they’ll be hosting, in particular an upcoming event with CeCe McDonald, a Black Trans Woman & LGBTQ activist who went to prison for defending herself against a hate attack by a white man with a swastika tattoo on his chest and served about 19 months. She’ll be at UNC Chapel Hill at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture & History for free on Monday, March 21st at 7pm. Check the UNControllables’s fedbook page for details and updates.

A major focus of the discussion is the student and faculty opposition to the incoming president of the UNC systems, Margaret Spellings (#SpellCheck) this Tuesday at 11AM. The UNControllables knew of students at 7 of the 17 universities in the UNC system where student walkouts would lead to teach-ins and or protests around privatization of education and university services, threats to the continued cultures of Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) and Native Universities in the UNC system. Spellings past as former Secretary of Education under President George W. Bush and was a prime mover in the No Student Left Behind project, a former Senior Advisor at the Boston Consulting Group, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a former Board member of the University of Phoenix (facing lawsuits by former students), advisor to Ceannate (a for-profit student loan collection agency)… wow. There’s also a discussion of current relations between UNC system and faculty, adjuncts and employees in these times of growing precarity. Aramark Industries, which provides “services” within the many prisons, detention centers and jails around the U.S. produces the food at UNC Chapel Hill, interestingly.

Some faculty and adjuncts in the UNC system have been organizing under the name of Faculty Forward – NC.

We also present a couple of announcements:

Anarchist prisoner Eric King has accepted a non-cooperating plea deal, which he;ll sign on March 3rd. If you’re in Kansas City, MO & want to attend his hearing on Thursday at 1:30pm (or for other updates on his case) check out http://supportericking.wordpress.com

A request for letters supporting parole for accused former Black Liberation Army militant and New Afrikan activist and accupuncturist, Dr. Mutulu Shakur (written by the doctor) is up on http://mutulushakur.com along with information of his recent denial of release after serving 30 years since his arrest on February 12th, 1986.

Thursday, March 3rd at 6pm at Firestorm , 610 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806, the Political Prisoners Letter Writing Night will be holding a do-over for the January 22nd Trans Prisoner Day of Solidarity letter-writing night that was cancelled due to snow storms. Envelopes, paper, pens & postage will be provided. Check out the facebook event put on by Tranzmission Prison Project for more details.

Finally, there is a request for folks to seign a petition to Attorney General Loretta Lynch on behalf of Eddie Africa of the Move 9 following his 2 year hit during his recent parole hearing. The petition demands a federal investigation into the injustice and endangerment faced by the Move 9 To check it out, go to http://causes.com/campaigns/92454-free-the-move-9

Playlist

Breaking Loose: a conversation with Ron Sakolsky

Ron Sakolsky on Surrealism & Anarchy

http://littleblackcart.com/books/anarchy/breaking-loose
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This week’s episode features a conversation with Ron Sakolsky. Ron is a poet, an anarchist, a surrealist, a pirate radio broadcaster and author and more. Recently, Little Black Cart published a small book by Ron Sakolsky entitled Breaking Loose: Mutual Acquiescence or Mutual Aid? The essay is an anarcho-surrealist critique in which Ron levels a challenge to readers to move past (or break free) from the limitations we internalize from engaging with and within (as well as with others within) the systems of domination. In the conversation, Ron revisits the essay, breaks down some terminology and eggs the listener on to exercise their imagination and act from places of inspiration to apply direct action against the status quo. The essay it’s built off of can be found in Modern Slavery #1.

During the hour, we discuss that book, we chat about radio and Ron’s 30 years of radio experience starting in college radio in IL, later involved in the pirate station called Black Liberation Radio, publishing and promoting the building of micro-broadcast transmitters, and currently with Radio Tree Frog in the forests of Coast Salish Territories AKA British Colombia. He contributed to and edited the titles Seizing The Airwaves: A Free Radio Handbook (AK Press, 1998) and Islands of Resistance: Pirate Radio in Canada (New Star Books, 2010). A sample of featuring mostly content from the “Old Pal” show on Tree Frog radio is found here: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=tree+frog+radio&t=ffsb&ia=videos&iai=CACQMFIi9Pk

But first this announcement:

From The International Coalition to Free The Angola 3 we have some breaking news on Albert Woodfox, aka Shaka Cinque. From Friday, April 19, 2016:

“Just moments ago, Albert Woodfox, the last remaining member of the Angola 3 still behind bars, was released from prison 43 years and 10 months after he was first put in a 6×9 foot solitary cell for a crime he did not commit. After decades of costly litigation, Louisiana State officials have at last acted in the interest of justice and reached an agreement that brings a long overdue end to this nightmare. Albert has maintained his innocence at every step, and today, on his 69th birthday, he will finally begin a new phase of his life as a free man.

In anticipation of his release this morning, Albert thanked his many supporters and added: “Although I was looking forward to proving my innocence at a new trial, concerns about my health and my age have caused me to resolve this case now and obtain my release with this no-contest plea to lesser charges. I hope the events of today will bring closure to many.”

Over the course of the past four decades, Albert’s conviction was overturned three separate times for a host of constitutional violations including prosecutorial misconduct, inadequate defense, racial discrimination in the selection of the grand jury foreperson, and suppression of exculpatory evidence. On June 8th, 2015, Federal Judge James Brady ordered Albert’s immediate release and barred the State from retrying Albert, an extraordinary ruling that he called “the only just remedy.” A divided panel of the 5th Circuit Court of appeals reversed that order in November with the dissenting Judge arguing that “If ever a case justifiably could be considered to present ‘exceptional circumstances’ barring re-prosecution, this is that case.” That ruling was on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court when news of his release broke.

On behalf of the Angola 3 – Albert Woodfox, Robert King, and in memory of Herman Wallace – we would like to sincerely thank all the organizations, activists, artists, legal experts, and other individuals who have so graciously given their time and talent to the Angola 3’s extraordinary struggle for justice. This victory belongs to all of us and should motivate us to stand up and demand even more fervently that long-term solitary confinement be abolished, and all the innocent and wrongfully incarcerated be freed.”

For our 2014 interview with Malik Rahim about the case of the Angola 3, check out our blog

Playlist

Inside Outside Alliance on deaths in Durham County Jail, NC + medical neglect

Inside Outside Alliance in Durham

amplifyvoices.com
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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.

Announces

No New Animal Lab

This is an update from our frieds at No New Animal Lab:
From their website http://nonewanimallab.com

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.

Music

We finish up the show with three musical tracks from CrustWithSprings.blogspot.de and R-A-B-M.blogspot.com:

First we’ll hear a very new band called Baeden from Sydney Austrailia with track one off their 2015 demo entitled “iphone versus crusty slice”

Second is track one from Gudsforladt, which is a one person project from salem, mass. the track is off their 2016 self titled release.

Thirdly we’ll hear Wrang which is a black metal band from the Netherlands. This track is called eulogy to impermanence and is off their 2015 demo

Playlist

G.E. Trees Action Camp, Sept 24-27 in Asheville + announcements then metal

Ruddy on GE Trees Action Camp

nogetrees.org
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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.

But first, a few announcements:

Free Eddien

From http://FreeEddien.wordpress.com:

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.

You can donate to Eddien’s defense/bail fund at FreeEddien.wordpress.com. Benefits of any kind are welcome–if you want to get in touch with us about any details shoot us an email at free(d0t)eddien(at )gmail(dot)com.

Background:
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
SOCF
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. “

More information available at:
https://www.facebook.com/events/722696497862815/

Sean Swain

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.

Next Week

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.

Playlist

Lockback at the Durham County Jail

http://amplifyvoices.com/
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This week Bursts spoke with Steve from the Inside/Outside Alliance in Durham, NC. IOA is made up of folks with incarcerated family in the Durham County Jail, friends and concerned community members and they work to amplify and organize inside and outside (hence the name) of the jail walls to challenge the punishment those on the inside are facing.

In April of this year, Lt. Col. Natalie Perkins (who serves as Detention Director for the Durham Sheriff Michael D. Andrew’s Dept) decided to cut people’s access to out-of-cell time from up to 6 hours a day to 2 hours a week and limit their time out at the same time. This means that prisoners could maybe expect to take a shower and make a 2AM call to their family/lawyer once a week. The reasons for this change have shifted over the months from costs to potential danger to prisoners and Detention Officer’s safety. The end result is an increased pressure on the mental health of the inmates, leading a greatly increased number of suicide attempts (so much so that the Sheriff’s dept just requested funds to make the cells more suicide-proof rather than decrease the pressure on those they imprison).

Alongside of this is the increased cost and decreased quality of services available to those incarcerated at DCJ due to privatization of aspects. Aramark‘s medical services have doubled the rate for medical visits from $10-$20 each. Food under another service by Aramark has down-shifted from 3 hot meals to 2 sandwiches daily. The facility is contractually obliged to provide a certain number of inmates for Aramark to feed and to extract labor from in serving and cleaning up after their food services. And if an inmate’s too hunger after their 4pm dinner of a sandwich, they are certainly free to buy junk food from the Aramark canteen if they have money in their commissary (via I-Care & FreshFavorites, both brands of Aramark). TouchPay services for putting money on an inmate’s commissary account charges a $5 and some cent fee each time you use it and the DCJ has drastically cut back the hours of the fee-free window with a teller to help you make the transaction.

On top of all of this, the jail doesn’t allow inmates to have pencils (ostensibly in case they become improvised weapons), so the only time that they can write to family, friends or their lawyers is during that 2 hour window a week. Their only way of making complaints is a receipt-free service using their TPay console, the same as they use to check their commissary.

The extractive and frighteningly Kafka-esque circumstances at this facility, one which like most in the United States disproportionately incarcerates poor people and people of color is certainly not one of a kind. To check out the work that folks at Inside/Outside and the inmates at Durham County Jail are doing, check out their website and listening page at http://amplifyvoices.com

In the last ten minutes we hear 2 aggressive musical tracks. Firstly, Ast from their recent split with Ancst (both German anarchist Black Metal projects) we hear the track Von Einem Ende.

Finally, we close out hearing Human Wreck with Liquid Savior from their album, Catch 22. Human Wreck is from Athens, Greece.

Playlist

Dixie Be Damned: a regional history of the South East through an Insurrectional Anarchist lense

http://www.akpress.org/dixie-be-damned.html
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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.

Playlist

Tranzmission presents on Queer realities in prison

 http://tranzmissionprisonproject.tumblr.com/
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This week’s episode features a presentation by members of Tranzmission Prison Project, an Asheville-based group. TPP is described on their tumblr as “Prison abolitionists against Queer & Trans* incarceration “. This is a recording of group members presenting their LGBTQQIA Prisoner Realities workshop recently at Warren Wilson College.

Trigger warning: This episode discusses sexual assault, solitary confinement and other torturous punishments.

For more info on this project, check out:
http://www.tranzmissionprisonproject.org/

NATO3 Trial winds down + Coal Ash spill in North Carolina (February 9, 2014)

0206_coal_630x420
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This week, we featured a segment by Sean Swain on sovereignty and consent of the ruled. We’ve begun archiving Sean’s segments under the title “You Are The Resistance” on archive.org, and those can be found linked as they come out on http://seanswain.org

This was followed by a conversation with Emily who does support work the NATO3 about what’s happened in the trial and what the next steps appear to be as sentencing approaches. Great news is that defendants Brent Betterly, Jared Chase & Brian Jacob Church were found Not Guilty of all of the terrorism charges, however they still each have felonies that stuck. Check out more at http://freethenato3.wordpress.com

Next, we speak with Johanna of Keeper of the Mountains Foundation, a grassroots group out of West Virginia that looks to the effects of Mountain Top Removal and coal extraction and burning on the environment, economy and people in Appalachia. Johanna shares some info on the recent Duke Energy Coal Ash Pit spill on the Dan River, near the North Carolina-Virginia border and what impacts can be expected from the 82,000 tons of toxic ash getting into a water source that provides for roughly 50,000 human animals, and uncounted non-humans and other life. http://www.mountainkeeper.org/

Finally, we’ll hear An Unearthly Sacrament by the Marin-County-California-based metal project Radagast, their only release thus far. That’ll be followed (really finally) by Destroyed By Ourselves from Katahajime from Allentown, PA.

Luke O’Donovan; Police murders coast to coast

andy-lopez
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This week’s episode features three, that’s right, three whopping conversations.

Firstly, we hear from Luke O’Donovan about his case. Luke is an Anarchist in the Atlanta area who defended himself against a queer bashing last New Years at a party. Luke suffered multiple wounds inflicted by knives as well as beating which sent him to the hospital. He’s facing 5 charges of aggrivated assault with a deadly weapon for injuring the people attacking him, who’d earlier called him a faggot repeatedly. Each of those 5 charges could carry a twenty year sentence.

After that, we’ll hear from Rafi, an organizer in Durham North Carolina, about the spate of police murders of young men of color in that city. Particularly we’ll talk about the case of Jesus Chuy Huerta, a 17 year old latino man shot in the back of a patrol car while handcuffed that the police are claiming was self-inflicted.

Finally, we’ll hear from Jess who’s been organizing alongside youth in Santa Rosa, California since the shooting death by Sheriff’s there of 13 year old Andy Lopez for having a toy gun. The fatal shooting of Andy Lopez fell
on October 22nd of this year. For those who don’t know, October 22nd is a day when many people in the United States remember those killed and imprisoned by police and protest against police violence.

You can find out more about Luke’s case at http://letlukego.com

To help Jesus “Chuy” Huerta’s family with funeral costs, check out their We Pay

Some impressive video of kids facing off with the riot cops as referenced by Jess in her portion can be found here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYXqfiiupg0

And here’s a song about Andy Lopez:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xafj-qvi-d4

When THE MAN knocks, health in the coal fields of West Virginia and METAL/PUNK!

FBI cartoon
freeze…
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This week’s show features two interviews. The first is a conversation is with Mark of Croatan Earth First! about the recent visits by JTTF/FBI to anti-fracking activists on the East Coast, climate-change activists on the West Coast and and GJ-targetted Anarchist communities in NYC.

The second conversation takes place between our friend, Wren Awry (AFM news hour) and Dustin Steele about Dustin’s work with the Beards Fork Health Survey to gather information on the health effects of surface mining in West Virginia with an eye toward mutual aid.

The last half of the show features new songs from Bellicose Minds (PDX), Anniversary (D.C.), Wiccans, and Criminal Damage. And more!

http://www.croatanearthfirst.com
http://www.jerryresists.net
http://ccrjustice.org/if-agent-knocks-%28-booklet%29
https://www.nlg.org
https://nopoliticalrepression.wordpress.com/
http://www.sals.info/

Playlist