This week we spoke with Eleanor Goldfield, who is an activist on the far left and a proponent of creative activism, a stance that centers creative approaches to direct action with the aim of leading people to interrogate their own politics on an emotional and psychological level. From her website: “Creative Activism is outreach and change through the mediums that appeal to all people and all of people – their emotions, conscience and intellect, in that order. It places itself at the intersection of pop culture and politics, bringing the two together.”
We talk about different approaches to politics and direct action, as well as her new book Paradigm Lost; Radical Verse and Visuals for the Shift, which is a collection of her original spoken word poetry accompanied by mixed media artwork from around a dozen artists. We also talk about the book and her upcoming performance date in Asheville on December 9th at Firestorm Books and Coffee!
To see more of Eleanor Goldfield’s work, including links to the musical project Rooftop Revolutionaries, information about the media project Act Out! (available on occupy.com and Free Speech TV) and many more writings, you can visit artkillingapathy.com.
The radio version has some material cut due to length, though the podcast version has all those pieces included back in. To see that version, plus archives of this show, you can visit thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org.
Announces for Asheville
Next Sunday, December 3rd, Blue Ridge ABC does it’s monthly letter writing night at Firestorm Books & Coffee from 5:30 til 7:30pm. Paper, pens, stamps, envelopes and the addresses and info on political prisoners in the U.S., particularly those having upcoming birthdays, are all available for free! Come on by and send someone behind bars some kind words.
After that at 8pm you can join folks across town for a game of Radical Trivia. This event is 21 and up, happening at the Lazy Diamond bar at 98-A N. Lexington Ave, there’ll be some potluck food for sharing and a cash prize for the winning team or person. To form a team and get on the roster, you can drop an email to jtheophilos@gmail or sign up at the night of. This event will benefit the 2018 Asheville Anarchist Bookfair happing in the summer. Various levels of knowledge are welcome and topics will span a few categories.
This week, we air 2 interviews, one about the case of the Cleveland 4 and one with members of Unicorn Riot.
pt 1: The Cleveland 4
Firstly, we speak with Amanda Shemkes. Amanda does legal support for members of the Cleveland 4. The Cleveland 4, or CLE4, are 4 anarchists who're serving around a decade in Federal prisons in the U.S. on charges of terrorism. Back story is that Brandon Baxter, Connor Stevens, Doug Wright, Joshua "Skelly" Stafford and Anthony Hayne (Anthony took a cooperating plea deal) were arrested on April 30th in 2012 for attempting to blow up a bridge with the provocation of an FBI informant named Shaquille Azir. The young anarchists had coalesced during Occupy Cleveland as a group after encamping together, being involved in food distribution and activism and were targeted and entrapped by Azir who escalated their talk of direct action to the bombing plot and provided them with work, housing, drugs, alcohol, access to (fake) explosives and more. Brandon Baxter, Connor Stevens, Doug Wright and Skelly all received sentences of around a decade each with terrorism enhancements promising lifetime probation. Amanda talks about their case, their time inside, government attacks on social movements and how to support Brandon, Connor, Doug & Skelly, the Cleveland 4. More on their case can be found at http://cleveland4solidarity.org
Also of note, Connor Steven's birthday is coming up on December 17th, so send him a bday card! Same day is Chelsae Manning's bday, actually… on that note, why not visit PrisonBooks.Info to see political prisoner birthdays for this month and sign up to receive the monthly calendar that the Prison Books Collective puts out? No good reason, I reckon.
pt 2: Unicorn Riot
Following that, we speak with volunteers with the non-profit, radical media outlet Unicorn Riot. Founded in 2014, UR has expanded from it’s Minneapolis base to be present on the ground at struggles around the U.S. covering events as they unfold with the words of the people involved, documenting the brutality of the state’s reactions and bravery in the streets and the fields of those resisting. As a platform, UR distributes regular tv episodes, podcasts and features small news briefs as well as a presence on social media. UR’s coverage of the uprisings in Minneapolis around the killings and lack of justice in the killings of Jamar Clark & Philando Castille and more recently of the struggles of Water Defenders at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota have gone viral, increasing solidarity and pressed mainstream media outlets to expand their coverage of these violent government interventions. In this second half of the episode, the plucky media rebels share their views on activism and journalism, on media paradigms, their project and some of the resistance it’s participated in. http://www.unicornriot.ninja
A quick postscript
Patrick misspoke a couple of times during the interview that we didn’t catch. Corrections are: 1.) When describing the drone rules on Standing Rock, he meant to refer to no-fly rules from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and not the FCC (which oversees broadcast restrictions and allowances in the U.S.); 2.) When Patrick talks about Niko being flagged down by police to broadcast a police statement over Unicorn Riot, it was actually during the Justice for Jamar Clark struggle, not in the aftermath of the killing of Philando Castille.
Also, a real cool journalistic tool that the UR folks shared was this site, called MuckRock. Check it out!
This week Sean Swain shares his thoughts on Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution in light of Fidel’s death last week. More from Sean at http://seanswain.org
Lots got trimmed from this episode due to time constraints, so check out that podcast version at thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org
Tomorrow, Monday December 5th in Asheville there’s a prayer and vigil in Soldarity with Standing Rock as regards the struggle to stop the expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline we’ll be talking about later in the episode. Folks are meeting at 6pm at Pack Square. Bring an offering.
Also, big ups to the folks who went out to face off the kkk motorcade on Saturday the 3rd in Danville, VA & Pelham, NC. This time the KKK got their own stabby after the fact.
Of note, our hearts here at the final straw go out to those suffering the devastating effects of the fire at the ghostship warehouse on Friday December 2nd during a 100% Silk party. According to the most recent KGO-7 news out of San Francisco at 2pm EST on Sunday the 4th of December, 24 victims have been found inside the warehouse. A list of missing people has been compiled in an article on heavy.com. Not all of those pictured are known to be among the victims of Friday’s fire. To donate to relief funds, visit youcaring.com.
This week we feature an interview conducted by an Audio Cadre of ours on the West coast with Brooke, an anarchist who participated in the Foreclosure Defense Group that sprang from Occupy Oakland in March of 2012. During the hour, they speak about the history of that group, it’s strengths and weakness and lessons around cross-race and cross-class organizing around displacement in Oakland based on some of the models worked out by SolNet, the Seattle Solidarity Network. For an extended version of the conversation, check out the podcast version of the show.
If you’re in Asheville on Friday, December 18th, there will be a free event you can check out at Firestorm Books and Coffee at 8pm. From the description:
“The ZAD is a large scale land occupation near Notre-Dame-des-Landes, France. It was squatted in 2009 at the invitation of local citizen and farming associations, who had been resisting the imposition of an airport, highway, high speed train, and tram line since 1972. Since then, the anti-airport movement has depassed traditional limitations of “issue-based struggles” with a strong critique of capitalist and hierarchical systems (including and especially the State), and links and shared projects with a wide diversity of people, to the point where the divisions between squatter, farmer, local, have become blurred.
After a massive police operation in 2012, “Operation Cesar”, the zone of 8 miles square has been free of State intervention, and has become known as a “zone outside the law”. Zadistas have created our own infrastructures and are autonomous in many ways. Some things work less well, like conflict resolution, but overall the occupation is settled into the territory and is planning for the long term, together with the “locals” and “farmers” involved in the struggle and those living close by. At the moment, however, the French prime minister is threatening to evict the ZAD and begin work on the airport early 2016. Ironically, they are waiting until just after the COP 21 in Paris (while billing the airport as “good for the environment”).”
In this hour Peter discusses the arguments in “The Failure…”, surmises the efficacy of nonviolent civil disobedience mass movements since the end of the Cold War, looks at some of the main and most visible supporters of the NVCD and what a more verdant struggle might look like.
This week’s show features an interview with Adesina, Jude and Emily, three folks doing support work for the NATO5. The NATO3 consist of Brent Betterly, Jared Chase, and Brian Church who were arrested in a house raid orchestrated by Chicago PD and with the use of two undercover infiltrators known as Mo and Gloves, during May of 2012 as Chicago prepared for the protests against the NATO Summit. The 3 are being charged with 11 felony counts including terrorism. With the addition of Sebastian Senakiewicz (Sabi) and Mark Neiweem (Miggs) who were picked up seperately, they are collectively known as the NATO5.
The conversation with support people introduces the case to listeners, talks about the ongoing use of conspiracy and infiltration in the United States of movements of dissent and the creation of the threats by the U.S. government that it simultaneously claims to be protecting the population from as it further expands the prison culture that is America. We talk a bit about the Gulf Port 7, Eric McDavid and the Cleveland 4, cases over the last decade focusing on Anarchists in the U.S. that included police infiltration and false imprisonment on terror-related charges.
This week’s show features a conversation with Hannah Dobbz about their new book, Nine-Tenths of the Law: Property and Resistance in the United States. Hannah was also the creator of the documentary “Shelter: A Squatumentary”. We talk about squatting in the U.S., homesteading, market values, views on squat resistance in other countries from the U.S. and more. The latter half of the show features a musical selection from the metal and gothy end of the spectrum.
This week’s show features a conversation with William Munger, co-editor and contributor to the upcoming AK Press book, Life During Wartime (2013). We talk about the application of Counterinsurgency praxis by law enforcement domestically in the U.S. and what that looks like in it’s varying forms.
What is COIN (Counterinsurgency)? How is it being applied to movements and communities in the United States? How do we resist it? These are among the topics covered during the conversation.
Among other things, Will’s research has focused on the case study of the relationship and dialogue developed between law enforcement in Salinas, California and the Monterey, California-based Naval Postgraduate School. This relationship has allowed NPS to conduct the beginnings of a proxy-war on the local Latino populations with a focus on eradicating gang networks. Will’s essay, “Social War in the Salad Bowl” won a grant from the Institute for Anarchist Studies this last year.
This week’s conversation features a discussion of the case of the Cleveland 4, anarchists arrested in Ohio on April 30th for allegedly attempting to blow up a bridge. But the case isn’t so simple as idealists independently taking direct and spectacular action against infrastructure. As members of Cleveland 4 Justice (the support group for the defendants) share with us information about the accused, what is known about the alleged infiltrator sent by the FBI to facilitate a terror case (Shaquille Azir), and the significance of the timing of the arrests to coincide with May Day celebrations worldwide and the reawakening of the Occupy Movement in the U.S., we see a widened scope of intrigue and entrapment that fits into a bigger picture of corrupt government and self-serving security services.
This week’s show features a conversation with Aragorn! Aragorn is an author based out of the Bay Area who is responsible for numerous essays on anarchism, nihilism and indigeneity; was an editor of Anarchy: a Journal of Desire Armed, and currently helps to publish The Anvil Review. More recently, Aragorn hass been working with Ardent Press and edited a compilation on anarchism and the occupy movement entitled “Occupy Everything”, available from Little Black Cart. I spoke with Aragorn earlier this week about the book and about anarchism in occupy related projects of the past and future around the world.
Correction to my audio intro to Aragorn!: Aragorn! was not an editor at Green Anarchy Magazine, but did contribute content.
This week’s show features two conversations around the fbi, prisons and Anarchists.
The first is with Will Potter, author of Green is the New Red and blogger at greenisthenewred.com . Will is an award winning, independent journalist based out of Washington, D.C. Our conversation revolves mostly around the recent case of Anarchists in Cleveland entrapped into plotting destruction of infrastructure by the FBI and an informant.
The second conversation is with Ian This show is also in preparation for the upcoming June 11th International Day of Solidarity with Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners. Ian updates us on Marie Mason and Eric McDavid, two of the main focuses of his recent tour of the U.S. called Never Alone, in run-up for June 11th. Ian also speaks about security culture, revolutionary solidarity and growing cultures of resistance, as well as updates us on the cases of Pax in Portland (accused of property destruction) and the Grand Jury in the S.F. Bay Area.