Category Archives: Political Prisoner

Support Herman Bell & a discussion on the Signal App

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For a 59 minute long, radio clean version for syndication purposes, please visit the archive.org collection.

Support Herman Bell

First this week, we had the opportunity to speak with Dr Kihana Mariah Ross, who is the daughter in law of Herman Bell, a former member of the Black Panther Party and a political prisoner who is currently clocking 44 years behind bars. We will speak about recent developments in his case, plus some historical context, and actionable items moving forward.

To learn more about Herman Bell and to read some of his writings, you can visit freehermanbell.org. To send him a card – and be aware that his 70th birthday is on January 14th and his upcoming parole hearing is in February 2018 – you can write to him at

Herman Bell 79 C 0262
Shawangunk CF
P.O. Box 700
Wallkill, NY 12589-0700

How Best to use Signal?

In the second segment of today’s episode, we’ll air another conversation with William Budington, a digital security expert and trainer about the Signal end-to-end text encryption app for smart phones and desktops. Signal, produced by WhisperSys, is an easy to use, free means for folks to avoid one type of surveillance in their day to day communication. The ubiquitous, normalized use of encryption shields the purpose of the use, obscuring whether the practice is to shield illegal activity or not. In the conversation we talk about the human failure side of communication, as well as the informational leakage possibilities of the devices we use to engage Signal app. If you really enjoy the pie-baking/Betty Crocker metaphor, don’t despair, it doesn’t end with this segment. Check out more on this topic in our occasional series, Error-451.

Stay tuned soon for a conversation with William about burner phones and more. If you have a topic about digital security, devices and programs, surveillance or related topics, leave us a suggestion at thefinalstrawradio@riseup.net ! If you want our pgp key, check our website.

Editorial

Now, it’s my turn for a brief editorial, dear listeners. This is Bursts. I grew up in a part of so-called California known as Sonoma County, lands stolen from the Pomo and the Miwok peoples first by the Spanish, then by Mexico and Russia and then the U.S. I lived there from the mid-1980’s through 2009 and consider it my home in a way I could no other place. The rolling hills, the foggy mornings, the Coastal Live Oak groves, the nasty but 100 year old Eucalyptis groves, the early evening sky that turns a goldish orange into purple, the Manzanita, the people, the ocean breeze coming out from Bodega. These are things that I remember fondly from the deeply damaged yet still beautiful biome I called home for most (and definitely the more formative years) of my life.

This has been a year for spectacular disasters around this hemisphere, with a record 10th hurricane now appearing in the Carribean and southern U.S., 2 major earthquakes rocking Mexico and now the fires in Northern and Southern California. The fires in the north, which I’ve been paying more attention to because they QUITE literally bring home to me a sense of devastation I still haven’t been able to digest from this distance, have been whipped up by winds, a seasonal dryness out of the ordinary and fed by the aftermath of a wet winter that created a ton of easy-to-burn fuels. California has long been racked by fires, but never this many deaths and never have they consumed large parts of cities as they have with Santa Rosa. Thousands of homes have been turned to ash, monuments standing over a hundred years are cinders, human and non-human animals have been killed, damaged and displaced. California is yet another part of the world feeling the first hand effects of anthropogenic climate change, after years of over-taxing it’s water levels with large scale and animal and food agriculture, it’s manicured industrial lawns, the barely regulated weed industry booming, the building of human settlements in the middle of deserts and the idea promoted by high levels of industry and state that as the 6th largest economy in the world it could buy itself climate chaos. Day by day, year by year, this is proven more and more a delusion. But I digress.

I’d like to give a shout out to the brave folks doing search and rescue in my home away from home, the neighbors who look out for each other, that roused each other from sleep to escape the fire storms, who shelter and feed each other. Also to the fire professionals who are working to fight back the fires. An element of this that is under reported, of course, is the fact that over a thousand prisoners of the state of California and it’s included counties, are putting their lives on the line for $1 to $2.56 a day to train and then fight these blazes. That can be compared to the $31.85 an hour of the median hourly wage for non-inmate firefighters. I would like to bring this up because as the climate becomes more chaotic and the ever-tighter squeeze of austerity capitalism turns further and further away from more sustainable and stable incomes like unionized firefighters this continues a nasty trend.

Putting prisoners on the fire lines to fight the blazes, while more deadly for them than other modes of work, arguably offers them a potentially more meaningful and lucrative engagement with community service. This also fuels the profit motive of governments bent on incarcerating mostly poor communities of color, often people with chemical dependencies and neuro-divergencies the state can’t be bothered to treat but to stick them in a concrete and steel cage. More prisoners means more low-pay and expendable firefighters who’s crime was to be born the wrong color or class in the age of mass incarceration. I don’t bring this up to denigrate those risking themselves to save lives and homes, whether a prisoner or not, but to point out that this is not how a community organizes itself for it’s members, this is the logic of capital and thus streams value to the top of the pyramid.

My heart goes out to those who suffer at the hands of these fires. Let’s fight for futures where we are better prepared, where we don’t employ slave labor to fight them, and everyone has what they need to live in true community, which means true accountability to the impact of our survival on the non-human environment with which we share this awesome world.

If you’d like to help by sending some money to autonomous organizing for relief in Sonoma County, consider visiting https://generosity.com/emergencies-fundraising/northbay-iww-fire-relief-fund

Playlist

UNCA Radical Rush and Supporters of Comrade Malik Washington

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For a 59 minute long, radio clean version for syndication purposes, please visit the archive.org collection.

Interviews

UNCA Radical Rush

In this two parter episode, firstly we chatted with Beck, a University of North Carolina Asheville student and fellow organizer this year’s Radical Rush Week, which builds off of the model of the UNControllables of UNC and their Disorientation. The hope of the event is to introduce opportunities to spark conversations and relationships to radical organizing initiatives on campus and introduce new students to local projects around the Asheville area. You can find more about this on fedbook by visiting “UNCA Radical Rush”, and find flyers for the week of events at UNCA and around the community including:
Tuesday, the 19th Radical Reflections of Students Past;
Wednesday, the 20th Tranzmission Prison Project & Asheville Prison Books Program packaging event;
Thursday, the 21st Sex, Drugs & Self Defense;
Friday, the 22nd Marathon of TROUBLE mini-documentaries;
Saturday, the 23rd Herbalism as a Tool for Resiliency and Resistance;
Saturday night DACA Solidarity Benefit Show

Supporters of Comrade Malik Washington

Secondly, our comrade and sometimes contributor Disembodied Voice shares several short interviews with members of politicized prisoner Keith Malik Washington’s support team.

Comrade Malik, as he is known to his friends and supporters, is currently in solitary confinement in Texas at Eastham Unit, where he was placed as retaliation for coordinating a work stoppage during last year’s nationwide prison strike on September 9th. In addition to his work around the End Prison Slavery movement, Malik is a member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee of the IWW and the Deputy Chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party prison chapter, and is active in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign.

Malik has an extensive network of support nationally and even internationally, both within and outside of the anarchist community. The interviews we will share today show the diversity of backgrounds, motivations, and stories that go into forming a support network for those engaged in revolutionary struggle while incarcerated, which is to say, from behind enemy lines. The conversations cover a wide range of topics, including a look at the range of issues prison activists like Malik work around; the kinds of relationships prison activists form with their supporters on the outside; the importance of being in solidarity across identities and political labels; and what a revolutionary abolitionist movements means to the people doing this work.

As Malik would say: DARE TO STRUGGLE. DARE TO WIN. ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE.

You can view Malik’s work at comrademalik.com and write to him directly at:

Keith ‘Comrade Malik’ Washington
TDC#: 1487958
Eastham Unit
2665 Prison Road #1
Lovelady, TX 75851

The audio for these interviews is a bit rough because the interviews were done somewhat on the fly. Stay tuned (look for?) a transcript of these interviews in order to make comprehension a bit easier! It should come out sometime within the next two weeks.

B@d News!

Dear listeners, we would like to invite you to give a listen to the newest edition of the International Anarchist Radio Network’s monthly podcast, B(A)D News: Angry Voices From Around The World, fresh for September 2017. This 4th episode, available at our website, is about 45 minutes of updates from projects based in the UK, Chile, Greece, the Aegean Sea, Germany, El Salvador and from us!

Additionally,

Feel free to give a listen to ARadio Berlin’s Charlottesville reportback episode, done with none other than your host William Goodenuff. This was geared toward an international audience, so the news may not be new to a US based listening crowd, but if you want to hear why one of your hosts has been a lil absent for a sec, this is why. Everything’s fine tho, and I’ll be back to opine over the airwaves next week.

Show playlist is here.

Jalil Muntaqim (pt1) + New Anarchist Punk and Metal

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The haps:

This week we’ll be taking a little break. We’ll be sharing a short interview conducted by friends of ours at Prison Radio at CKUT from the studios of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec in so-called Canada. This interview is the first of a few with Jalil Muntaqim, incarcerated since 1971 as an accused member of the Black Liberation Army. In the interview, he talks about his conviction, about the Counter Intelligence Program of the FBI (COINTELPRO) used against the Black Panthers, and the participation of the Policeman’s Benevolent Association and Fraternal Order of Police in pressing to withhold parole from Jalil and others of the New York 3. More segments speaking with Jalil about his case and his attempt to build power in supporting Jalil in his bid for parole while resisting the efforts of the racists at the BPA & FOP’s to make him die in prison.

Here’s a link to the film Jalil references, Legacy of Torture.

Then we will have some brand new releases which were posted on the blog Red and Anarchist Black Metal!

Playlist here

Free Kara Wild plus Conflict in Movement

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Interview

This week, we’re featuring two segments.

Kara Wild

The first conversation is with a supporter of Kara Wild. Kara is an anarchist, a trans woman, an artist and is currently incarcerated and awaiting trial in France for participation in the Nuit Debout protests that swept across France in 2016 against changes to labor laws in that country. Kara was arrested on May 16, 2017 and will finally be going to trial Sept 19-22nd and so could use some immediate support. More information on Kara’s case can be found at freekarawild.org.
* Here’s a little background on the Aachen robbery case referenced in the interview.
* And here’s a guide to writing to Lisa of the Aachen Case
* Solidarity to Aachen from International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces
* Info about the Kalimero Solidarity Group
* An article about Damien’s release
* An article about Damien being beaten
* Kara retracts her apology that she was weaseled into giving to the judge by her previous lawyer. She really regretted it and after Krem was arrested, she decided to retract her apology.

To write to Kara:
BRAULT, David (Kara) #428682,
MAH de Fleury, 7 Ave des Peupliers,
91705, Fleury Merogis, Cedex, FRANCE

Conflict in Movement

Next, we do something a little experimental. We present a conversation with a member of an anti-authoritarian movement in Europe. We don’t say what movement. We talk about conflict internal to their movement, but we don’t name the parties involved. The conversation was conducted from an anti-authoritarian perspective, in the interest of creating heterogeneous communities of struggle. The purpose of this recording is to promote a mental exercise on the part of the listener to plug in their own experiences in movements with many different trajectories inside of it. The anonymous nature of the conversation was in part to not contribute to internal conflict to the movement, conflict is better addressed between parties involved than with an outside party (our radio show) who’s interest may not be the same as the movement. I hope that this conversation is helpful, for all of it’s purposeful vagueness.

Announcements

Katie Yow

If you are in Asheville, there will be a benefit for North Carolina grand jury resister Katie Yow on Tuesday the 29th of August at the Double Crown on Haywood Road in West Asheville. There will be bbq of the vegan and non vegan sorts, plus a great lineup of bands including Margaret Killjoy’s Nomadic War Machine, Snake Musk and Wyatt Yurth and the Gold Standard.

Yow, who is a social worker with a professional past in education, has been an anarchist for over half her life. Her commitment to resist this grand jury shows a bravery in the face of the kinds of trauma and isolation that only the state can instill, yet she has named this resistance as “the easiest decision I have ever made”.

Stay tuned for an interview with Katie Yow and a supporter on next week’s Final Straw!
For more information on Yow, updates on her resistance, and many resources on grand juries and grand jury resistance, you can visit https://ncresiststhegrandjury.com/

Cvill, AVL, and Calls for Solidarity

It’s been a week and a day since the events in Charlottesville, and for me it is a bit difficult to know what to say. There have been many excellent report backs – from Solecast, It’s Going Down, CrimethInc Ex Worker, and Radical Underground podcast – definitely check those out for in depth analysis and on the ground perspectives from anarchists and antifascists. Since Cville there have been very well publicised resistances to fascism and ongoing white supremacy in Durham, Boston, and right here in Asheville where four brave community members attempted the removal of a plaque commemorating Robert E. Lee at downtown’s Vance Monument. These four folks put themselves and their safety on the line to fight white supremacy and racist, revisionist history by engaging in this act. If you want to read a statement from these folks or donate to their legal fund, you can visit youcaring.com and search for “Asheville Monument Removal Legal Fund”.

Activity seems relentless right now, with elements on both sides galvanized by recent events, marches and calls to action are coming fast and furious. It is important to mobilize, but mobilize wisely, in the spirit of complete honesty about your capacities and energy. We cannot fight longterm unless we fight alongside all our comrades, support those who put themselves or are on the frontlines, and help prioritize all levels of antifascist engagement and accompliceship.

With that in mind, I want to say that if you are interested in keeping up with these calls or solidarity keep your eyes on itsgoingdown.org for announcements and updates.

One that’d like to mention right now are a call for solidarity in Phoenix AZ. This is a “call for an anti-fascist & anti-colonial contingent against Trump’s rally on Tuesday, August 22 at 6pm at the Phoenix Convention Center.

We will converge, in the spirit of solidarity and hostility to the current order, and as a physical body ready to act in self-defense and mutual protection of each other from cops, fascists, and liberal/radical ‘peace police.'”

This rally is a reaction to Trump’s suspected decision to pardon former AZ sheriff Joe Arpaio who was recently found guilty of criminal contempt for defying a state judge’s order to stop traffic patrols targeting suspected undocumented immigrants. Those patrols were kept in place by Arpaio for 17 months after the order was issued. This same sherrif rose to infamy for his intentionally cruel and sadistic treatment of incarcerated people.

This rally will be held on Tuesday, August 22 at 6pm at the Phoenix Convention Center at 100 N. 3rd St. in downtown Phoenix. It’s recommended that people arrive and look for the black flags.

For a complete anti colonial antifascist analysis of this day and the liberal response to it, you can visit “Phoenix, AZ: Call for an Anarchist Anti-fascist & Anti-colonial Presence Against all Presidents”

Vouched Fundraising Efforts

As always, keep vigilant about sources of fundraising! White nationalists are capitalists too, they will coopt anything including revolutionary momentum on the far left.

If you are in a position to donate, you can look at the sources below, all of which will directly benefit those who fought and were injured in Cville:

* ASH Medical funds: https://fundly.com/defendcville

* Richmond Medic Collective Funds: https://www.paypal.me/rivercitymedics

* ASH General: https://fundly.com/ash-general-fund

* Seven Hills Autonomous Queers gen funds: https://fundly.com/help-queers-defend-charlottesville-2

* Alexis Noelle and her 14-year-old daughter: https://www.youcaring.com/alexismorrisnoellemorris-903027

* Natalie Romero: https://www.gofundme.com/natalie-romero-medical-fund

* Dre Harris: https://www.gofundme.com/i-was-beaten-by-white-supremacists

* Star Peterson: https://www.youcaring.com/starpeterson-903042

* Two UVA students: https://www.youcaring.com/vayouthinvolved-902691

NYC GDC & MACC benefit for CVille

On August 12th in Charlottesville, many IWW and GDC members from across the country were present. Members of Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Committee, or MACC, from New York City also had members present at the vehicular manslaughter that occurred that day. The NYC GDC and MACC stand in solidarity with all those who oppose the growing wave of fascism around the world. Cowardly attacks will only strengthen our resolve to fight back and defend ourselves. An injury to one is an injury to all!

To support all those injured by fascist violence in Charlottesville, NYC GDC of the IWW as well as MACC are holding a fundraiser and screening of the latest episode of “Trouble” by SubMedia at Rebecca’s, at 610 Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn on Sunday, August 27th from 8pm to 10pm. “Trouble” is a new monthly documentary series that broadcasts first-hand accounts of struggles for community self-defense. Previous episodes have explored topics like water protectors fighting the construction of the DAPL pipeline at Standing Rock, anti-fascist organizing, solidarity efforts for refugees and resistance to state repression. SubMedia has encouraged groups to host screenings of the show to bring communities together and provoke discussion of tactics, struggles and movement dynamics.

The best defense against fascism is a strong and supportive community, based on principles of mutual aid, solidarity and self-defense. Heather Heyer will live in our hearts forever!

If you’d like, here’s the fedbook event

Support Eric King and interview with Dawn Ray’d (UK based anarchist black metal band)!

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This episode will include two segments, firstly Bursts speaks with a longtime supporter of vegan anarchist prisoner Eric King, who was accused in 2014 of attempting to firebomb a government officials office in Kansas City. They speak about his case, veganism in prison, and steps moving forward with his support. Also about the fast approaching June 11th day of solidarity with anarchist prisoners, as well as for the first international day of solidarity with Eric on June 28th 2017 and the ideas and visions surrounding that . You can keep up with Eric’s situation by going to supportericking.org.

Secondly William speaks with two members of the Liverpool based anarchist black metal project Dawn Ray’d, who have just kicked off a tour of the US with one date in Asheville on June 1st at the Odditorium. We talk about anarchism and black metal, what the two have to offer each other, and about the political situation in Liverpool as it relates to music culture, and many other topics.
Their tour dates are:
Fri May 26th in Cincinnati,
Sat May 27th in Pittsburgh,
Sun May28th in NYC,
Mon May 29th Philadelphia,
Tues May 30th in DC,
Wed May 31st in Richmond,
Thurs June 1st in Asheville,
Fri June 2nd in Atlanta,
Sat June 3rd in New Orleans,
Sun June 4th in Houston,
Mon June 5th in Dallas,
Tues June 6th in Tulsa,
Wed June 7th in Columbia,
Thur June 8 in the Quad Cities,
Fri June 9th in Milwaukee,
and finally Sat June 10th in Detroit

You can hear all their music on bandcamp for free.

Playlist pending.

I Don’t Know About Yall, But I’m in it to Win it: a conversation with Black Rose Anarchist Federation in L.A.

blackrosefed.org
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This week we spoke with Romina and César, who are two members of the Black Rose Anarchist Federation in LA. We talk about what it’s like organizing in an Especifist federation model of anarchism, about anarcho-communism, and tensions and points of unity between non federation and federation organizing. We wanted to interview these folks in order to present another model of possible engagement, for folks who perhaps are looking for ways to plug in. This conversation is somewhat introductory, and we welcome any feedback you have. To see more on this project, you can visit http://www.blackrosefed.org/

Announces

Events

Tonight, Sunday the 5th of March from 5 to 7:30pm at Firestorm in Asheville, join Blue Ridge Anarchist Black Cross for an evening of solidarity in the form of letter writing for long term political
prisoners: people who are locked up for their activism and resistance to systems of domination and oppression. Supplies will be provided as well as copies of the March 2017 prisonbooks Political Prisoner birthday calendar. More info can be found at https://brabc.noblogs.org

On Thursday, March 23rd, check out the Tranzmission book packaging party, also at Firestorm. Tranzmission prison project is an all volunteer, books-and-zines-to-prisoners project that focuses on getting materials to incarcerated LGBTQI prisoners. This event starts at 6pm.
http://avlcommunityaction.com/

On Sunday March 12th at the Odditorium in Asheville, there’ll be a benefit for folks facing charges attached to the J20 Inauguration protests in DC this January. The door is at 8pm, it’s a sliding scale
donation and an all-ages show. Bands include: Gullible Boys; Mother Moses; Maitland +more TBA
https://www.facebook.com/events/844030912404007/

Water Crisis in PA Prisons

Since August of 2016, Mumia Abu-Jamal and other Inmates at the State Correctional Facility in Mahanoy, Pennsylvania, have been plagued with unsafe drinking and bath water.

For several months now, inmates have complained about brown, oily water in both the showers and the faucets of their cells. This has been an on-and-off problem from August 2016 to this very day. One of the inmates at SCI Mahonoy, Lorenzo Cat Johnson, when asked of the matter, stated that one week the water seems good and another week, when run, the water seems to go from the color gray to the color brown.

As recently as last week in a conversation with MOVE Political Prisoner Edward Africa, Eddie was asked what he did for water and he stated that he obtained his water from a hot water filter that was on his cell block.

So other than the alternative to obtain a little water from a hot water filter, men are being forced to shower and wash in brown water. Eddie stated that the only time inmates can get bottled water is when they are on a visit in the visiting room. All the while, prison staff are being provided bottled water at SCI Mahanoy and are being told not to drink the water because it’s unsafe.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is suffering from a very serious skin condition due to Hepatitis C, is required to take specialized baths in the prison infirmary, but has not been able to take these baths due to the water hazard. Grievances have been filed on this matter, but to no avail–the water situation has not been resolved.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

On March 6, 2017 there will be a National Day of Action aimed at both Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel.

The power is in the hands of the people; the only way to make these officials respond is through massive public pressure, so we are upping the ante.

From 9 am to 12 noon, folks are being asked to call, fax, and tweet
the office of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.

(P) (717) 787-2500
(F) (717) 772-8284
(Twitter) @GovernorTomWolf

From 1 to 3 pm, folks are being asked to call, email, and tweet
Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel.

(P) (717) 728-2573
(Email) Ra-crpadocsecretary@pa.gov
(Twitter) @DOCSecretary

These Are the Demands:

(1) Inmates at SCI Mahanoy are provided immediately with clean water both
for their bathing and other personal needs.

(2) An environmental Protection Agency testing of the water at both SCI
Mahonoy and SCI Frackville.

(3) Bottled water be provided immediately to inmates in all Correctional
Facilities across Pennsylvania.

Let’s keep the pressure on to get clean water for the men and women
across Pennsylvania’s state prisons.

For more info, people can go to
http://www.freemumia.com/
http://www.bringmumiahome.com

Sabal Trail Pipeline Resistance in Florida and Antipolitika newspaper in ex-Yugoslavia

https://sabaltrailresistance.wordpress.com
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Sabal Trail Resistance
This week we’re sharing a conversation we had with Karrie and Niko, two folks involved in the initiative called Sabal Trail Resistance. The immediate goal of Sabal Trail Resistance is to block the Sabal Trail Pipeline, actually a series of 3 pipelines meant to run through Georgia, Alabama and Florida, carrying pressurized natural gas. We spend about a half an hour of this episode chatting about the route, who’ll be effected, the companies behind the pipeline, environmental racism, decolonization and other related topics.

Coming up, they plan a weekend of action February 23-27, including an action against prisons and in solidarity with longterm Indigenous political prisoner, Leonard Peltier.

More on their project can be found at https://sabaltrailresistance.wordpress.com and http://stopsabaltrail.com

antipolitika
After that, we’re spreading a 10 minute interview between comrades at FrequenzA out of Hamburg, Germany, published in English at the end of January. From https://frequenza.noblogs.org:
“The interview is about the first issue of ‘antipolitika’, released in summer 2016 with the topic antimilitarism. The anarchist newspaper consists of statements and articles from ex-yugoslavia and greece and is dedicated towards a broader public.”

Updates on Sean Swain
Before these words from anarchist prisoner Sean Swain, we have a quick update on his dietary situation. We’ve just gotten word that Sean resumed eating on his 50th day of hunger strike. He is still not being given a halal diet in line with his practice of Islam, and neither are other Muslim prisoners in Ohio, but he’s said that the administration is considering the move. He’s achieved the other demands that he was hungerstriking for. If you’d like to see Sean and other adherents to Islam in Ohio prisons during this age of increasing Islamophobia be able to at least eat according to their faith’s dietary practices, give a call to Ohio Governor, John “JWow” Kasich. You can call JWow at 614 466 3555, that’s The Honorable Governor of Ohio, John Kasich at 614 466 3555. You can also write to him via
Governor Kasich
77 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43215-6117
And request that Sean Swain, prisoner #243-205 who’s being held at Warren Correctional, be allowed to eat according to his faith.

Announcements

Reporting ICE Raids on Social Media
As many of yall are aware, there has been a lot of concern and fear regarding Immigration and Customs Enforcement (or ICE) checkpoints recently. Given the rising tide of overt xenophobia and racism in this country, these concerns are valid, and there has been a lot in the way of confirmed raids and detentions by ICE. However, the use of social media in these situations is something that can both help and hurt the situation, both being an effective way to broadly communicate an issue and a platform for a whole lot of unsubstantiated claims and rumors.

In an effort to battle this aspect of social media use, I’d like to plug a resource that DRUM put out some time ago. DRUM stands for Desis Rising Up and Moving, and they are a NYC based group which “is a multigenerational, membership led organization of low-wage South Asian immigrant workers and youth in New York City.

Founded in 2000, DRUM has mobilized and built the leadership of thousands of low-income, South Asian immigrants to lead social and policy change that impacts their own lives- from immigrant rights to education reform, civil rights, and worker’s justice. Our membership of over 2,400 adults, youth, and families is multigenerational and represents the diaspora of the South Asian community – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Guyana, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad.”

They have put out a very useful resource entitiled “A Brief Guide for Reporting Raids on Social Media”, which we will link to directly in our blog. Basically it cautions against the spreading of unsubstantiated information and provides a step by step guide for what to do if you witness something:

http://www.drumnyc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/ABriefGuideforReportingRaidsonSocialMedia.docx.pdf

To see more about DRUM you can visit http://www.drumnyc.org/

Support Krow
From our comrades at supportkrow.org:

On February 4, while supporting the No DAPL struggle, Krow (Katie Kloth) was assaulted and arrested by a Bureau of Indian Affairs officer (there is video of the incident below). She was walking on a public road, away from the Sacred Stone camp, when she was chased down by the officer. It is believed that she was specifically targeted because of her ongoing involvement and visibility within the No DAPL resistance, which had resulted in two arrests on misdemeanor charges previous to this incident. Krow was also known at Standing Rock for being an advocate for creating a unified front in fighting the pipeline.

Krow has been charged with violation of felony probation and is being held at Morton County Correctional Center. The probation is from previous charges in Wisconsin stemming from an environmental protest against mining in the Penokee Hills in 2013, for which she served nine months in jail. After a recent bail reduction hearing, Krow was assigned a cash-only bail of $100,000. The stipulations of the judge require that the bail be paid in full. Even if the full bail is paid, it is likely that Morton County would refuse to release Krow. We are currently working with lawyers and legal teams in North Dakota and Wisconsin to figure this out. Donations to support Krow will go towards paying lawyers, commissary, postage, travel for supporters visiting Krow, and/or bail. Krow has stated that she wants the bail paid.

We fear for Krow’s safety and well-being, especially in light of her assault and the severe mistreatment other water protectors have received in this particular facility.

Krow is an activist, artist, forager, sustainable farmer, biologist, and amazing person loved by many within the environmental movement. We need to show her as much solidarity and support as we can at this vital time. In Krow’s own words, “We must negate state repression by protecting ourselves and land-bases therein; we must not give our people up, and recognize that to be in solidarity with one another is more akin to the idea of ‘harmony’ than ‘unity.’ Harmony implies that we can all do different things within the same song, and still find conclusion together.”

Whether you are a direct action environmental activist or simply support the No DAPL struggle and protection of the land and all of its people, join us in supporting Krow, in solidarity with all things wild and free.

Contact Krow’s support team at supportkrow[at] riseup.net
You can also donate to Krow’s legal fund at http://supportkrow.org/

Resisting Snitching in Berkeley
From the Anti Repression Committee in Oakland:

ARC is aware that UC Berkeley PD is circulating images of individuals who they claim are associated with the Berkeley anti-Milo protest on February 1. They are actively seeking information about these individuals, and are asking anyone with information to contact them.

We want to remind everyone NOT to assist UC Berkeley PD in their investigation, EVEN IF it seems like the information you give is harmless. Remember that even minor information, like identifying a “witness,” can be used to increase surveillance of activist communities. Police use this kind of information to map activist networks and harass them. In the current political climate, the state is looking for ways to clamp down on dissent and resistance. Let’s not help them do that.

Remember that you have NO LEGAL OBLIGATION to talk to police or FBI if contacted about the protest. They may try to make you feel intimidated, but you ALWAYS have the right to remain silent. If you are contacted by phone, email, letter, or in person, either ignore the correspondence, or tell the officer that you decline to speak with them.

If you are contacted, immediately call the National Lawyers Guild at 415-285-1041 so that they can give you legal advice, and also so that they can be aware of police/FBI activities.

Finally: DO NOT post or circulate the UC Berkeley PD webpage with pictures of individuals. We do not want to signal boost anything that will increase surveillance and targeting of our communities.

NC J20 Defense
As always, you can help support our comrades who got kettled in DC by donating to http://ncj20defense.com/

Playlist: http://www.ashevillefm.org/node/19229

The Cleveland 4 & Unicorn Riot

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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

Announcements
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.

Playlist: http://www.ashevillefm.org/node/18417

NAABC Former Political Prisoners Panel 2016, pt 2


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This is a podcast version of the second part of the 2016 North American Anarchist Black Cross Former Political Prisoners Panel. The first part can be found here: https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/2016/11/13/naabc-former-political-prisoners-panel-2016-pt-1/

In this, the question and answer portion, we hear from Sekuo Kombui, Kazi Toure, John Tucker and Daniel McGowan about their thoughts on incarceration in the U.S., steps forward in resistance, violence in struggle and sources of hope among other things. For info on these prisoners, check out the above link for short bios.

This will air soon as a regular radio episode

New York City Anarchist Black Cross

Run Down The Walls 2016 NYC
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This week on the Final Straw, we air a conversation Bursts, me, I… hi… had with a member of New York City Anarchist Black Cross, heretoforth known as nyc-abc. For a good portion of the hour we speak about this activists views on anarchist support for prisoners and long term liberation prisoners. We also talk about the work that NYC-ABC does including: prisoner-writing nights; the Running Down The Walls event coordinated with numerous folks on the outside and incarcerated comrades; their recently unvailed Project FANG ( with help from Sac Prisoner Support)which sets aside regular visitation funds for animal and earth liberation prisoners and their loved ones; their U.S. Political Prisoner graphic guide updated monthly; and more. You can find out more about NYC-ABC on their website at http://nycabc.wordpress.com, or find them on the various and insidious social media platforms out there.

For the last 10 minutes, here is a musical track to get you into the holiday spirit, and to beckon some much-needed rains in this area to put out the fires: Klarträumer, meaning Lucid Dream. This is Deluge from their album, Aether. Deluge is from Metz, Lorraine in France. More from them and other awesome dark and heavy music with good politics can be found at http://thedarkskiesaboveus.blogspot.com

2016 Former Political Prisoner Panel pt2 Podcast
Also of note, in a few days we’ll be releasing the second half of the Former Political Prisoner Panel from the 2016 North American Anarchist Black Cross conference in Denver. This year we heard from Sekuo Kombui, Daniel McGowan, Kazi Toure and John Tucker. To hear the first portion and check out brief bio’s of these folks visit: https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/2016/11/13/naabc-former-political-prisoners-panel-2016-pt-1/

IWOC call for support for James Shelby
When you have a minute (literally, one minute) please call WMCC Prison
Warden Sherie Korneman in Missouri at (816) 632-1390 and say, “I am
calling to do a wellness check on James Shelby, prisoner number 41244,
my friend told me his life is in danger to medical negligence. If he was
not sent back to the hospital after November 14th, he needs to be taken
immediately.”

Again, that name and number is Warden Sherie Korneman at (816) 632-1390.

#NoDAPL: Standing Rock camp threatened with eviction
As many of you have probabaly heard, the Standing Rock camp for resisting the Dakota Access pipeline has recently been issued an eviction notice to take effect on December 5th (though they are *generously* granting people a so called “free speech zone” well away from the camp and sacred lands). Updates from the camp have been flying out fast in recent weeks, most notably having to do with the police and army’s use of force essentially being tantamount to torture and brutality. In the wake of the eviction notice, there had been a call from standing rock for a broadening of tactics for people wanting to stand in solidarity with water protectors. To that end, there is a collection of names and addresses of people directly related to the Dakota access pipeline which you can use as you see fit; the authors of the peice are very clear to state that they do not endorse so called “illegal activity, but that the list is for education and outreach purposes only”. However, I think that it is also safe to say that people should use their discretions when coming up with any actions they would like to see happen.

You can see this full article, plus the list of names and addresses, check out: https://itsgoingdown.org/nodapl-indigenous-land-defense-strategic-solidarity-pressuring-power-capital/

Portland organizing
Please help to build Portland’s movement total and collective liberation! Please donate now! Many people have been outraged by the election, Standing Rock, Prison Industrial Complex, white supremacy and capitalism in general. We are all fed up and need to take a stand. The left movement in general is grossly underfunded and inhibits our ability to control the narrative with social media and of course trumping the corporate media. Many activists are getting arrested and charged for all kinds of things. We need to keep our communities safe.
However the movement needs funds to actually move forward and fix this whole system and not because it’s broken! It’s because we need to build something new! Not fix broken things. It was never a broken system and was meant to do exactly what it was doing! Please help!
Help spread the word!

you can donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/support-fund-antitrump-activists

Playlist: http://www.ashevillefm.org/node/18336