This week on the Final Straw, we’re featuring two main events, both themed around the Prison Strike ongoing across Turtle Island until at least September 9th.
First, an interview we conducted with Kevin “Rashid” Johnson. Rashid is a co-founder of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party and is the Minister of Defense from within it’s Prison Chapter. He is the author of two books available from Kersplebedeb, Defying the Tomb & Panther Vision, both collections of Rashid’s art and essays on capitalism, racism, imperialism and his view of a road towards liberation. Rashid is a Maoist and presents some interesting arguments in his writings. In this interview, Rashid talks briefly about his own case, his politicization behind bars, organizing the NABPP-PC, it’s split from the New Black Panther Party, cross-racial class organizing, the #PrisonStrike and more. We hope to be able to bring more of Rashid’s voice in the future. To check out his writing and and his quite literally iconic art, check out rashidmod.com. And at the moment you can write to Rashid at the following address:
Kevin Johnson #1007485 Sussex 1 State Prison 24414 Musselwhite Dr. Waverly, VA 23891
Next, we’ll hear an audio post-card that some friends put together, interspersing words of encouragement and audio from a noise demonstration outside Hyde prison in Eastern North Carolina on August 20th. Prisoners at Hyde CI met the outside supporters in the yard and from across lines of razor wire they unfurled three banners with simple statements: “parole”; “better food”; & “In Solidarity”. To read an article about the noise demo, see some pictures and hear about NC specific demands, check out the article, “Community Shows Support as NC Prisoners Rally With Banners“ on ItsGoingDown. Make some noise!
To close out the hour, we will hear some words of encouragement to striking prisoners in #Amerikkka from comrades incarcerated in #Klanada!
If you’re in Asheville today (Sunday September 9th), consider dropping by Firestorm at 610 Haywood Rd at 5pm to join #BlueRidgeABC for the monthly political prisoner letter writing night. Supplies will be free as well as info on writing prisoners, names and addresses, and comradery.
This week, we are airing a conversation that William had a few weeks ago with Wriply Bennet and Ashley Braxton, two members of the Black Pride 4. The Black Pride 4 are four black queer and trans people with accomplices who were arrested during a Pride parade on June 17, 2017.
The four were arrested after leading a silent protest that obstructed the Stonewall Columbus Pride parade in downtown Columbus Ohio. With tape over their mouths and with linked hands, the BP4 were hoping for seven minutes of silence, one for each of the times a Minnesota cop shot Philando Castile during a routine traffic stop in 2016. The cop was found not guilty of second-degree manslaughter on June 16, 2017, a day before the Columbus parade in question. This action was furthermore calling attention to the then count of 14 murders that year of black trans women.
Their arrest made national headlines and was heavily spectacularized in the media. Subsequent to their arrest they were forced to face trial and were each charged with various things, all on very shaky legal grounds. At this time are not being made to be incarcerated, though the lengthy probations and other legal hoops are severely disrupting their lives.
In this conversation, we got to talk about the problems with Pride as being apace which heavily favors white elites and police officers to thedetriment of the community it claims to support, the impossible situation of protesting while Black, the racial and socio-economic situation of Columbus’ LGBTQIA scene, and much much more!
To support Wriply in her work and to see her art, you can hit her up on Facebook bysearching her name, Wriply Marie Bennet, or by searching her artist’ spage on FB by its name, Art and Short Stories by Wriply Marie Bennet.
You can donate to Community Pride here, the same one which our guests spoke about. There you can read a bunch about its mission and background, as well as keep up on updates about this event.
You can also follow @blackqueercolumbus on Instagram to learn more and for further updates, and many thanks to them and to our guests for helping make this interview possible!
For another really great interview by our guests, you can listen to the episode by the radio show On Resistance entitled “In Their Own Words”, which you can find on SoundCloud.
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To close out the hour, we will hear two tracks, the first by Angel Haze entitled A Tribe Called Red and the last by Mhysa entitled Spectrum. Thanks to all the people who gave me music recommendations for this episode!
Bursts spoke with a comrade y’all might recognize, a Camille who lives on the ZAD, or Zone To Defend in Notre Dame De Landes, Britanny, France. Camille and Bursts spoke in January upon the announcement of the French government’s decision to cancel the building of an airport to replace the one in Nantes. After literally decades of struggle, and nearly a decade of squatting and on and off fighting of the cops who attempted to evict the community, the ZAD protests won. Sort of.
Camille and Bursts spoke on Friday the 13th, 2018, about the ultraviolence of the police in their destruction of 30 squats, profuse use of rubber bullets, tanks, tear gas, stun grenades and flash bangs, the resistance and injuries to ZADistes, farmers and elders who’ve come in to support, the recent article re-posted up on AnarchistNews.org accusing Appelistes of a beating, and other mostly depressing topics. Here’s the ZAD legal team response.
As of Saturday the 14th, there were 30 additional injuries in 3 hours reported officially by medics due to police violence (our guest calls this a conservative estimate).
Some other coverages we think are worth checking out to get some images and video of the proceedings and keep up on events as they unfold are:
First, we’ll feature some words that friends in central NC recorded of Elijah. Elijah was born and raised in Durham, NC, who was imprisoned in Alabama. Elijah was among many who showed up to resist a threatened march in Durham by the KKK after people began rising up and taking down white supremacist statues last falls. Elijah talks about incarceration, guilt, organizing and about getting out.
Secondly, William reads a statement about possible evictions by police beginning tomorrow on la ZAD (Zone A Defendre) in Notre Dame-de-Landes, Brittany, France. See the text below.
Finally, we are happy to be sharing a conversation that Bursts recently had with glo merriweather, ash williams & jamie marsicano. The three reside in occupied Waccamaw Siouan and Catawba territory, also known as Charlotte, North Carolina. glo, ash & Jamie speak about the events that led up to the Charlotte Uprising of 2016, the tumult after the police murder of Keith Lamont Scott, the police killings of black and brown bodies in the U.S., gender and state violence and resistance, the killing of Justin Carr, the police accusation of Rayquan Borum for that death and the repression being faced by glo merriweather and others at the hands of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police. You can find out more about the work ash, Jamie & glo are doing by visiting the Charlotte Uprising FedBook, website or twitter. glo has a trial date coming up on May 7th. One way you can show support for them is to visit gofundme and donate to GetGloGoing!
On this episode, we’re gonna try a new thing with our announcements, by putting them at the end. Let us know what y’all think of this experiment. Keep listening after the final episode for some events we want to feature.
Evictions on la ZAD
Some months ago in January of this year, it was announced that the French government was abandoning the airport construction in Notre Dame Des Landes. As many listeners know, the defense project which is known world wide as the ZAD (Zone a Defendre or Defended Zone) has been the decades long collaboration between anarchists and anti authoritarians with farmers who have lived on the land for generations. In that time, the ZAD has become more than a defense project, it has evolved into a vibrant community with its own unique infrastructure, home to many people from many experiences and unregulated by the government.
This morning we got word that evictions are scheduled to be underway on the ZAD starting tomorrow. It may come as no surprise that the original decision to abandon the airport did not come without its own price tag, and conditions stipulating the boundaries and terms of continued occupation were leveled at residents. These conditions were a clear attempt on the part of the French government to regulate this community of resistance through manipulation and back channels, it was seen as such and people on the ZAD began preparing for eviction. There are currently 2500 riot police on the ZAD itself, with 1500 more standing by in nearby cities, and the much photographed barricade road has been taken by the police.
What is not currently clear is how the international community can help materially. This situation is still unfolding, and we are sure that there will be explicit calls for aid and for solidarity in days and weeks to come.
What is clear us is that the government feels the threat of intentional communities very sharply, feels threatened by communities and trends it cannot control. We have seen it time and time again from ZAD to Standing Rock to resistance to the Mountain Valley Pipeline: what does it say about government when a group of people defending the land provokes such an extreme response? We think there is something worth exploring here however it makes sense, with whatever tools you and your community may have.
Stay tuned to your favorite anarchist news sources for updates and further analysis on this situation!
Sean Swain Update
Sean’s off of hunger strike. We got news last week after the episode aired that he was on due to his communications being messed with. But, he’s back to eating and ranting and out of segregation. Get ready to hear more from here next week. If you miss the sound of his voice, check out his segments dating back to February of 2014 at archive.org
Punk Jeopardy in Asheville for J20 Defendants
This Tuesday, April 10thfrom 7-10pm at the Lazy Diamond bar in Asheville, there’ll be Punk Jeopardy to benefit J20 defendants. From the flyer: “Come out and show your support for the homies who went hard protesting trumps inauguration! Come out, drink, hang and test your knowledge of punk culture. Prizes for winners! Donations at the door.”
25th Anniversary of the Lucasville Uprising
The 25th anniversary of the Lucasville Uprising is upon us, with folks still facing the death penalty for actively trying to bring a peaceful resolution. We hope to bring you more reflections on the events of April 1992 soon. More info and ways to get involved can be found here.
There’s a call out for art submissions for the 2019 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar. The theme for 2019 is ‘Health/Care,’ reflecting on the overlapping topics of health, care/caring, and healthcare. They are looking for 12 works of art and 12 short articles to feature in the calendar, which hangs in more than 3,000 homes, workplaces, prison cells, and community spaces around the world. They encourage contributors to submit both new and existing work. They’re also seek submissions from prisoners – please forward to any prison-based artists and writers. The deadline for art submissions is May 18th2018. Check our show-notes for this episode for the full submissions request.
Stockholm Anarchist Bookfair
The 2018 Stockholm Anarchist bookfair will take place on June 2nd and third. They are launching a new fundraising campaign for the bookfair. The campaign will run from the first of April to the 13th of May on the Firefund radical crowdfunding platform. It is a crowdfunding campaign so they need as many people and organizations as possible to spread the word. They would appreciate it greatly if your group could share the link to the campaign as well as to their website in your own social media. Thank you for the help and we look forward to seeing you at bookfair.
For this episode, we are featuring a conversation that William had with some members of The Base, a social and political space in Brooklyn, about a book they co authored called Burn Down the American Plantation, which outlines a potential revolutionary praxis that coincides with the history and present of black liberation, radical self defense, building a revolutionary society, the formation of the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement, and many other topics. This book is just out from Combustion Books, and a free pdf can be found at Revolutionary Abolition
Announcements Oppose Islamophobia
The Islamophobic right in the U.S. has called for a “National March Against Sharia” for June 10th with knuckledraggers in about 20 cities signed up to participate according to Proud Boy Magazine. Needless to say, there will be opportunities for those of us with enough brain power to realize that the U.S. is in no danger of EVER becoming a state run by Sharia law and that this is nothing but a poorly masked call to increase violence against our friends, neighbors and families of African and Asian descent and who also who may be Muslims. If you plan to oppose the ACT! for America events in your area, check out the article on Antifascist News to find where the nearest to you will be. It’s suggested that if you are planning to attend, keep your identity safe, travel with friends, park away from the event and share emergency information with your buddies. For those in Western North Carolina, Raleigh may be the nearest place of engagement.
In the wake of continued violence by Islamophobic elements of the right, including the recent stabbing deaths of two and injury of a third anti-racist who stepped up to try to stop the harassment of two women of color wearing head scarfs on Portland public transit, it’s imperative for those who oppose bigotry in all of its forms and want to do something about it take care of ourselves and know how to fight back.
Haymaker Popular Fitness and Self-Defense: podcast special release
In this vein, stay tuned for our online release alongside this episode of our interview with organizers with the Haymaker Popular Fitness and Self-Defense gym project in Chicago. Their indiegogo campaign is nearing it’s end, so we wanted to help give it a little push and get them some more donations. In the interview we spoke about building the muscles and self-confidence to fight off stranger attacks, as well as this project as an attempt to empower those struggling against intimate violence, we talk about queering workout spaces and concepts of violence. To check out more about their fundraising and watch their demo video by finding their page on indiegogo. This segment will become an episode in the near future. https://haymakergym.org
JUNE 11th: Day of solidarity with eco and anarchist prisoners
June 11th is next Sunday, y’all. Check out https://June11.org for a list of events in your area. We had announced a concert here in Asheville but due to circumstances beyond our control we’ll be holding instead a vegan cookout at Firestorm Books and Coffee at 610 Haywood Rd from 3:30-6pm including presentations on prison realities for queer and trans folks, long term eco and anarchist prisoners cases and the history of the greenscare. Alongside of this we’ll be showing the documentary, “Better This World,” about the frame up on terrorism charges of Bradley Crowder and David McKay, two young activists by the megalomaniacal former leftist turned right-wing crackpot Brandon Darby during the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN.
Also, check out this awesome benefit tape of country and folk music.
Aaaaand, this awesome series of podcasts have been coming out from June 11th organizers about prisoners and prisoner support in the run up to J11 this year: Grace chats on Jeremy Hammond; Supporters on Eric King; Josh Harper on incarceration and prisoner support; CLE4 and Nicole & Joseph interview; Leslie James Pickering on J11
Queer Cafeteria: Know Your Host!
Queer Cafeteria is a companion podcast to Fed Up Fest, which is a queer music festival in chicago this year. You can hear your host – among many other folks – talk about class and queerness / transness, hear me swear A LOT, and hear some really fantastic music from queer and trans artists from all over singing about all sorts of things the kids are talking about. You can hear this episode at their soundcloud and hit up queer cafeteria on facebook by searching the name. You can keep in touch with fed up fest at the Fed Up Fest website
This week, we present a conversation with a member of CNA-DF, or Anarchist Black Cross of Mexico City. During the hour she speaks about the work of CNA-DF, prison in Mexican society, anti-prison organizing versus prison abolitionism, transformative justice, counter-repression and prisoners the CNA is working to support.
Specific prisoners CNA-DF supports include: Alvaro Sebastian (Oaxacan teacher); Fernando Bárcenas (accused of burning the Mexico City Xmas Tree in 2013 during anti-fare increase demonstration in Mexico City. Publishes Cimarron newspaper, involved in punk rock, alternative health care, horizontal education and organizing in prison.); Luis Fernando Sotelo (accused of burning a bus during day of global action in solidarity with the Ayatzinopa 43, Normalista students disappeared by the Mexican State. Sotelo has received a 33 year sentence for damage to the bus. Recently on hunger strike, in prison 2 years now); Abraham Cortés (13 years for attempted murder of a cop, arrested during October 2nd memorial demonstration in Mexico City of the 1968 massacre of hundreds of demonstrating students. Recently on hunger strike w Fernando Bárcenas against: 1. Prisons, calling to revolt against the state; 2. in solidarity with the #PrisonStrike starting Sept 9 in the U.S.; 3. And against the Bárcenas & Cortés); & Miguel Ángel Peralta Betanzos (from Oaxaca, accused of attempted murder of politicians in opposition with communal indigenous council of his community).
Raids at Standing Rock
After a series of violent raids which saw over 100 people arrested, the most recent on October 27th at Standing Rock and other camps resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline, there has been a call for renewed and amped up solidarity for this resistance. This could include coming to North Dakota and fighting the pipeline and joining the struggle, organizing where you live and taking action against banks, the Army Corp. of Engineers, and politicians backing the project, and sending money and supplies to the encampment. Already solidarity actions are taking places, such as the occupation of buildings, solidarity demonstrations, and more.
To get more ideas of what solidarity could mean, and where to send supplies and funds if you are able, you can visit https://nodaplsolidarity.org and click the tab “Support the Camps”.
Kinetic Justice of FAM transferred
Kinetic Justice of the Free Alabama Movement has been transferred out of Holman Prison in Alabama to Kilby Correctional Facility and from there to Limestone Corrections, known among Alabama prisoners to be a “bully unit,” where prisoners deemed disruptive are brutalized. This occurred one day before he was reportedly scheduled to meet with an advocate from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SLPC). This is in clear retaliation on the part of the prison system, and is an attempt to silence a dissenting voice which has been very important both in FAM and in the Prison Strike. In response, Kinetic is ending the first week of a hunger strike, to protest his treatment and bacaause he doesn’t trust Limestone to not tamper with the food they give him.
Keep your eyes on the free alabama movement’s webpage at http://freealabamamovement.com/ for updates on Kinetic’s situation and how to help. You can also follow them on twitter @freealamovement, you can also follow Freedom for Kinetic @for_kinetic
Anti-Nazi march in Harrisburg, PA
Lastly tho not leastly, DON’T FORGET that Saturday the 5th of Novemeber will see resistance to a National Socialist Movement rally (or more plainly, neo nazi) in Harrisburg PA. The NSM is teaming up with the Traditionalist Worker Party for this charade in the so called “heart of democracy”, the TWP being the same boneheads who were responsible for drawing knives in Sacramento this past summer. Central PA Antifa and related anti racists are calling for as much support as possible at this event, to help run the nazis out of town.
You can get up with this situaiton by connecting with Central PA Antifa on facebook by searching their name, you can also donate to them by visiting:
you can also get super up to date information by following them on twitter @centralpaantifa
Asheville Prison Books Cover Band Show
If you’re going to be around Asheville tonight, Sunday October 30th, and want to get your ghoul on for a good cause, consider visiting the Prison Books Cover Band benefit. For over a decade now, punks have been showing up and rocking out to raise funds for Asheville Prison Books, a 501c3 non-profit that sends literature to prisoners. Cover bands include SubHumans, Green Day and many, many more. The show starts at Toy Boat on 101 Fairview Rd, just off Sweeten Creek Road.
This week we had an interview with Dezeray about her participation in the recent Cleveland Republican National Convention protests. We talk about how it was to be there and what kinds of things this event could say about anarchist organizing in the US. If you would like to see more accounts from anarchist perspectives on this event, you can visit https://itsgoingdown.org/ and follow the links to the RNC. If you would like to support the arrestees, you can visit the Ohio National Lawyer’s Guild page at https://ohionlg.com/
If you have anything to add about this event from your perspective and wish to share it with us (either for or not for broadcast on the radio), feel free to email us at the shows email address.
**There will be a vigil commemorating the death of Tamir Rice TODAY in Asheville, 3pm at Carrier Park, on the 1 year anniversary of his death. This 14 year old African American boy was gunned down without consequences to the cops who killed him. People will be meeting at 3pm, at the end of this show at Carrier Park off of Amboy road.. Come and support Black Lives Matter and demand justice. Please spread the word and bring flowers and signs against the death of Black people by Law Enforcement in the U.S.
This week on the show you’ll hear an interview that Bursts conducted with a comrade living in Spain regarding Operation Pandora and Operation Pinata, two government initiatives specifically designed to target and incriminate anarchists. In this interview, they get into how these initiatives operate, the real life implications of targeted governmental oppression, security culture and much more! To learn a little more about this topic you can visit http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net and search “Pandora, Pinata, and Beyond”.
First though, you’ll hear some words from Nyki Kish, incarcerated at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. This is a segment of a reading of Nyki’s 4th recent blog entry concerning persecution of non-cis-heteronormative prisoners at GVI. We announced about this last episode. There’s a call-in-campaign ongoing to get the GVI to stop the repression. More information and updates on the Grand Valley Institution for Women and struggles there, check out https://gviwatch.wordpress.com/ and join the call-in campaign by dialing 519-894-2011, requesting to speak to the acting warden at GVI and inquiring why they are criminalizing LBTQ2+ prisoners. Or you could fax 519-894-5434 with similar requests. The warden has announced the allowance of a LBTQ2+ group to be formed among prisoners there, but the campaigners suggest continuing to call and fax to see if they follow through and what comes next.
As we reported last week, Chelsae Manning was facing indefinite solitary confinement on some pretty seriously trumped up charges. After over 100,000 people signed a petition on her behalf she is now no longer facing solitary, but has been found guilty of all the four things she was being investigated for, and these are: 1 having an expired tube of toothpaste, 2 asking to speak to her attourney, 3 having an issue of Vanity Fair magazine, and 4 maybe accidentally knocking a packet of mustard onto the floor.
From her support page:
“We won an important victory by keeping Chelsea out of “indefinite solitary confinement;” however, this ruling of guilty on all four absurd charges is not without significant ramifications.
“Now these convictions will follow me through to any parole and clemency hearings, forever. I was expecting to be in minimum custody in February, but now years have been added to that,” Chelsea explained (via phone) after her recent hearing.
“As Chelsea’s lawyer, I am horrified and angry about these convictions. This was a star chamber where Chelsea had to defend herself in secret. These convictions will not silence her. She will only be stronger and we will fight that much harder in her appeal to overturn her convictions and her sentence,” declared Chelsea’s lead attorney Nancy Hollander.”
At this time, it’s horrifyingly clear to us at The Final Straw that if it weren’t for all the petition signatures and media coverage of this issue that Chelsae would indeed be thrown into solitary confinement indefinitely. So, keep it up everyone! It’s extremely important for people to keep talking about this issue. Also, funds are needed to keep her legal defense going, they are only a few bux short! You can see info about this case and how to give support at http://www.chelseamanning.org
At least 9 people were arrested after St. Louis police shot and killed an African-American 18 year old man, Mansur “Man-Man” Ball Bey, who was fleeing police while they attempted to serve a search warrant in the northern party of the city. In the wake of the killing, crowds poured into the street, where they were met with military police tanks and tear-gas. People cursed the police, burned American flags, erected barricades, and chanted “Black Lives Matter”. This is just one of the protests that have occurred since the year anniversary of Michael Browns murder at police hands in Ferguson, Missouri.
More information and personal commentary on this event can be found at the excellent news website http://itsgoingdown.org
From anarchist prisoner Michael Kimble’s support page and blog at http://anarchylive.noblogs.org on the situation of the Holman 3:
“St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville, Alabama is the subject of a class action lawsuit filed by the Alabama Justice Initiative on behalf of prisoners housed at St. Clair. The focus of the lawsuit is the extremely violent atmosphere at the prison, the violent assaults inflicted upon prisoners by high-ranking and low-ranking guards. There has been a long train of assaults on prisoners by guards.
On June 17, 2015, prisoners at St. Clair called a halt to the unchecked assaults: by retaliating against two guards who were assaulting a prisoner. A crowd of prisoners beat the two guards, who have a long history of assaulting prisoners. Seventeen prisoners were swept up in the haste to quell the rebellion. Prison officials don’t know what prisoners took part in the rebellion. All seventeen prisoners were placed in segregation. Of the seventeen, three were transferred to Donaldson Max. in Bessemer, Alabama and three were transferred to Holman Max., and eleven are still at St. Clair.
The three prisoners – Brandon Lee, Johnathan Mallory, and Jamie Montgomery – transferred to Holman’s segregation unit, have not been charged and/or received any disciplinary write up for any institutional rule violation, but are continually being refused release to general population.
We need everyone that reads this to call the Warden at Holman prison and the Commissioner of the Alabama Dept. of Corrections, and demand that Brandon Lee, Johnathan Mallory, and Jamie Montgomery be immediately released into general population due to the fact that none of them have been charged with any rule infraction at St. Clair or Holman.
Call the below listed phone numbers. Continually call them until we get results.
Warden Walter Myers
Commissioner William G. Sharp, Jr
to reach him by phone, dial 334-353-3883
or to fax him stuff you can use 334-353-3967”
From the Denver ABC website https://denverabc.wordpress.com/:
In summer 2013 members of several Anarchist Black Cross (or ABC) groups discussed the necessity of introducing an International Day for Anarchist Prisoners. For listeners who are unaware, the ABC is a long standing anarchist model for political prisoner support and also serves as an educational engine on issues pertaining to the prison industrial complex. Given there are already established dates for Political Prisoners Rights Day or Prison Justice Day, we found it important to emphasise the stories of our comrades as well. Many imprisoned anarchists will never be acknowledged as ‘political prisoners’ by formal human-rights organisations, because their sense of social justice is strictly limited to the capitalist laws which are designed to defend the State and prevent any real social change. At the same time, even within our individual communities, we know so little about the repression that exists in other countries, to say nothing of the names and cases involving many of our incarcerated comrades.
This is why we have decided to introduce an annual Week for Anarchist Prisoners on August 23-30, starting on this very day! We chose August 23 as a starting point, because on that same day in 1927 the Italian-American anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in prison. They were convicted of murdering two men during an armed robbery at a shoe factory in South Braintree, Massachusetts, United States. Their arrest was a part of a bigger anti-radical campaign led by the American government known as the Palmer Raids. The State’s evidence against the two was almost totally non-existent and many people still today believe that they were punished for their strong anarchist beliefs.
Given the nature and diversity of anarchist groups around the globe, we have proposed a week of common action rather than a single campaign on a specific day making easier for groups to be able to organise an event within a longer target period.
Therefore, we call on everyone to spread the information about the Week for Anarchist Prisoners among other groups and communities and think about organising event(s) in your city or town. The events can vary from info-evenings, screenings and benefit concerts to solidarity and direct actions.
This month is also historically significant as a yearly marker of anti-prison, anti-racist and anti-capitalist struggle in the U.S., known as Black August. Black August began in commemoration of the murder of Jonathan Jackson, George Jackson, William Christmas, James McClain and Khatari Gaulden in the California Penal system between 1970 and 1971. “Yogi Bear” aka Hugo Pinell was a prisoner convicted of participating in the attempted uprising on August 21st 1971 at San Quentin in which George Jackson died. After suffering decades in the Pelican Bay SHU, he was recently released into general population and was killed by white prisoners. He served 50 years behind bars and struggling against the racist prison system. He is gone but not forgotten.
Also pulled from DenverABC.wordpress.com:
PKK and PAJK political prisoners in Turkey are now on the sixth day of their indefinite hunger strike.
On August 15, prisoners accused of being members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Kurdistan Women’s Liberation Party (PAJK) started an indefinite hunger strike with three demands. The day coincided with the anniversary of the first armed action of the PKK.
The prisoners are demanding that the Turkish state end its ongoing isolation of jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, who has been unable to meet with anyone from the outside since April. They are also calling for the bodies of YPG and YPJ fighters to be allowed entry to Turkey for burial by their families and for the “political genocide” operations against Kurds to come to an end.
The political prisoners have announced via their lawyers that they will continue their hunger strike until their demands are met. There will be a support action for the prisoners today outside the women’s prison in the Bakırköy neighborhood of Istanbul.
This week we continue our conversation with John, an anti-racist anarchist living in the U.S. South about thoughts and memories concerning the July 18th 2015 counter-demonstration to the KKK in Columbia, South Carolina. John also talks a bit about what he knows of the 1997 KKK march in Asheville, North Carolina and their subsequent patookis whoopin by the general population of Asheville.
But before we get there, we’ll hear some announcements, an important announcement by Anarchist Prisoner Sean Swain. After those portions, we’ll hear an interview conducted by a member of the Durham Anti-Repression committee of anarchist prisoner Luke O’Donovan. Luke is in the middle of a 2 year sentence for defending himself against 5 homophobic attackers at a New Years Eve party in Atlanta at the opening of 2013. More on his case at http://letlukego.wordpress.com
For farther flung listeners, if you’d like to hear this show on a station in your area, you can simply email us for requests at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get a conversation started about making it happen.
On a separate note, for years the Iron Rail Book Collective has been one of the most socially transformative projects in New Orleans and has been part of a vibrant and growing anarchist culture in the city. Some of you may be familiar with it from the NASSN conference in New Orleans or the New Orleans Anarchist Bookfair. When the police closed the Iron Rail down through selective enforcement of code violations and forced it out of its long-time site several years ago this seriously set back liberatory politics in the city. There is a fundraising campaign going on to get a house in the Upper 9th Ward as a new home for the Iron Rail. A mere $4000 will secure the site and help start renovations. We would appreciate any help possible to get this important anarchist project reestablished. Please go to http://crowdrise.com/ironrail for information on the Iron Rail and the fundraising campaign.
A new insturrectional anarchist audio site has been launched called Resonance Audio Distro. On it you can find links to anarchist news sources in English, as well as a growing pool of recorded essays and zines. You’ll find such titles as “3 Positions against Prison” by August O’Clairre, “On The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism” by Fredy Perlman, “Revolutionary Solidarity: A Critical Reader for Accomplices” and more. Check it out at: https://resonanceaudiodistro.wordpress.com/
Also, the political prisoner birthday calendar for august 2015 is out! If you or someone you know would like to write political prisoners on their birthdays, you can view and download the pdf of this document at prisonbooks.info. These lovely rabble rousers would also like to announce that their comprehensive zine entitled How To Start a Prison Books Collective has been updated and is available for download and distro at that same address, http://prisonbooks.info.
If you’d like to learn more about the situation in Syria and the continuing repression by ISIS, you can give a listen to #’s 36 and 39 of the Ex Worker podcasts put out by CrimethInc. These give specific information on and interviews with participants of the Rojava Revolution. You can listen to all their podcasts at http://crimethinc.com/podcast and some more updates on the situation of PYD/PKK/International Brigade fighters can be found about repression in Turkey and Iraq.
Stay tuned next week on The Final Straw, same time same place, for an interview with organizers of the Resist 450 event to take place in St Augustine Florida in September of this year. The city of St Augustine – one of the oldest cities as we know them in the US – is slated to commemorate the 450th anniversary of colonization by Pedro Menendez and Juan Ponce de Leon. We’ll speak with Bobby C. Billie and Shannon Larsen of the Resist 450 Coalition about the history of this event and indigenous struggles in St. Augustine. More at http://resist450.wordpress.com
“I signed my transfer notice yesterday. I wrote everybody and gave them the Trumbull address. I got packed up today. Then the warden notified me that Central Office Anonymous Coward cancelled my transfer. Now I missed commissary and commissary won’t let me shop. I don’t even have soap.
Please let everyone know I’m not at Trumbull…”
We already sorted out the commissary issue, what we need now, is to get at the root of this, and so many other problems with SOCF. That means we need a concerted effort to address that Central Office Anonymous Coward: Trainwreck Trevor Clark.
Wanna help ruin Trevor Clark’s career? We hope so.
Here’s the deal: ODRC Counsel Trevor Matthew Clark is a sociopath who runs the ODRC torture program with his FBI buddies on speed dial, and he recently used his sock-puppet co-workers to harass Ben Turk and Ihsan purging them from Sean’s visiting list because Trevor Clark doesn’t like online postings. He also cancelled Sean’s transfer to lower security at the last minute. He wants to pull the plug on seanswain.org and turn Sean into his personal cat toy to swat around whenever feels like it. F this Ahole. It’s time for him to get disbarred, lose his job, and spend the rest of his miserable existence sleeping in his car. We can make that happen. It’s OUR world, and this creep is just mismanaging it.
We gotta swamp the right hierarchs with a million phone calls and letters. The more calls the better. Is that reformist? Well, yeah. But the direct action alternative doesn’t seem to be happening, so let’s do what’s do-able.
Trainwreck is an attorney, so if he loses his license, he loses his job and loses his power to mess with people. He ends up at a job asking you if you want fries with that.” So the right people to contact are:
Columbus Bar Association
175 South Third Street, Suite 1100
Columbus, Ohio 43215
For suggestions on talking points, more updates as they come and more of Sean’s writings, check out http://seanswain.org