Category Archives: Prisons

End Prison Slavery: National Prison Strike 2018, Aug 21st- Sept 9

August 21st – September 9th, 2018 National Prison Strike

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This week Bursts had two conversations, both focusing on the upcoming Prisoner Strike from August 21st to September 9th, 2018, one with a member of IWOC and one with a Amani Sawari, a media liaison for some of the prisoners who called for the strike.

The viewpoints expressed by the two guests are at time contradictory and at others redundant but it felt better to keep their voices mostly intact rather than weave them to create a streamlined narrative.

Amani Sawari

In part one, Amani Sawari will speak about the prison strike, the need to increase opportunities for release and civic engagement by prisoners and former prisoners in the face of historical disenfranchisement and she’ll also read some statements and demands from the prisoner-organizers. Her info on the upcoming strike and resources can be found at sawarimi.org.

Brooke, Oakland IWOC

Then we’ll hear from Brooke, an organizer with the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee of the IWW. Brooke is based in Oakland, CA. He’ll talk about IWOC and their role and views of prison organizing, labor organizing, and the upcoming strike. More from IWOC can be found at inarceratedworkers.org.

announcements

J20 Update

As many listeners have no doubt heard, the remaining 38 j20 defendants got their charges dropped the other day without prejudice! This means that the cases could theoretically be opened again at any time, thought this is thought to be pretty unlikely. This is a historical moment, not only for the courts who were staggeringly unable to rise to this occasion – humiliating themselves at pretty much every possible turn – but also for anarchists everywhere. This whole long, difficult year and a half forged bonds that are all the more strong for having gone through the fire together, which can and no doubt will experience similar oppressions, difficulties, and tough breaks with the same finesse and resilience which was demonstrated here. To anyone listening who was personally affected by this, you are an inspiration. Now we get to celebrate, and now we get to feel the extent of our power.

Sean Swain?

If you’re missing the voice of Sean Swain like we are, Here’s a little plug with his voice to get those juices flowing.

Now, please consider giving a call to Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Director Gary Mohr at 614-387-0588 or calling Warren Correctional Warden Chae Harris at 513-932-3388 (Fax: 513-933-0150) and asking about Sean’s whereabouts and restrictions to his communication. If you find out anything interesting, maybe that we haven’t learned yet about his silence, drop us an email at thefinalstrawradio@riseup.net or at his support email, seanswain@riseup.net.Thanks a lot!

. … . ..

Playlist

After 25 Years… : Two Perspectives on the Lucasville Uprising by The Final Straw Radio

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25 Years After Lucasville; Two Perspectives on the Uprising

This week is the 25th anniversary of the longest prison uprising in US history in which lives were lost. The rebellion, which lasted 11 days, took place at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, more commonly know as “Lucasville,” in April 1993. The disturbance broke out on L Block, which housed over 400 people. Over the course of the uprising one correction officer being held hostage and nine prisoners were killed.

The most immediate cause for the riot was a group of Muslim prisoners’ refusal to take a tuberculosis test which was going to be administered in a form that would have violated their religious beliefs. But serious grievances had simmered under the surface at Lucasville for many years, and ultimately the prisoners’ demands far exceeded Muslims’ opposition to TB shots, addressing concerns about conditions of confinement held by the entire inmate population.

After 11 days a negotiated surrender ended the siege. Prisoners gave up control of L Block in return for the state’s concession to a “21 point plan” responding to their demands. Afterwards, authorities engaged in widespread retaliation, including the targeting of five individuals who were perceived as leaders for capital offenses. To this day, the Lucasville 5, as they are called, sit on death row for murders that numerous investigations have proven they did not commit. Prisoners still facing repercussions for the Lucasville Uprising include: Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Jason Robb, George Skatzes, Bomani Shakur & Greg Curry.
To reflect on the Lucasville uprising 25 years later, Disembodied Voice spoke with two individuals who were involved in the event in very different ways. First, we hear from Mosi Paki, who was present on L Block during the rebellion and served 19 years, most of it in isolation, after the siege ended. We will then hear from attorney Niki Schwartz, who represented prisoners during their negotiation of the 21 point plan that ended the siege of Lucasville.
You can visit http://lucasvilleamnesty.org/ for more information and for updates on how to get involved.
To hear past episodes we’ve aired with interviews of former Lucasville Uprising prisoners or other topics, check out our site.
An Update on ICE Raids Near Asheville
This is from an official press release which came out this morning regarding continuing activity concerning ICE raids in Asheville NC:

News began to arrive early this morning that ICE was continuing their activity throughout Buncombe County. Local organizers have been monitoring unmarked vehicles that have been driving through West Asheville neighborhoods and the surrounding areas. Due to these mobilization efforts, no one has been detained.

CIMA and the WNC Sanctuary Movement encourage community members who fear for their safety to remember your rights. You may refuse to open your door or let ICE agents in unless the agent has a warrant signed by a Judge. If they have a warrant, you may ask for them to slide it under your door, and it must have both your correct legal name on it as well as your correct address in order for it to be valid. Only a court and /or Judge warrant is enough to enter your premises. Do not lie or show false documents and do not sign any papers without speaking to a lawyer. You may also ask for an interpreter.

Consider coming out and supporting members of affected communities this evening at the Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte’s immigration forum, “For You Were Once a Stranger in the Land of Egypt – Immigration: Why We Care and What We Can Do.” The forum is being held this afternoon, April the 15th at 5:00 pm at St. Eugene Catholic Church. Mayor Esther Manheimer and Sheriff Van Duncan are invited to attend. Come voice your concern about ICE ripping families apart in our community. We appreciate your support and for more information please follow the CIMA (Compañeros Inmigrantes de las Montañas en Acción) and Nuestro Centro Facebook pages online.

If you have any information which would contribute to helping keep affected communities safer in the Asheville Area, the hotline to call is 1-888-839-2839. Please make sure that the information you have is both verified and up to date if you call this number! You can also check out CIMA or Nuestro Centro NOT on fedbook.

Update for Herman Bell’s Parole

The hearing began around 3pm. The Judge relayed at the outset that he did not plan to issue a decision today, and that the temporary restraining order would remain and not be lifted until a decision was rendered. The Judge also asked that the hearing be focused primarily on standing. The question is whether a member of the victim’s family (Diane Piagentini) has “standing” in court and in this case. Without standing, the case cannot go forward. Each side then had around 10 minutes to give their arguments on that issue, which they did.

Again, no decision was rendered, and there wasn’t much indication of how the Judge would rule. The Judge did say that he understood the urgency of the case and that Herman‘s liberty was at issue, and that he would begin making a determination on Monday.

June 11th is Every Day

The folks who are organizing the worldwide day of action and solidarity with Marius Mason and all long term anarchist prisoners have released their announcement for the scope and prisoners (including ones in Germany, Chile, Greece, and the U.S.) alongside a message for this year. We’re just going to excerpt the very end of the call-up here, but here’s the end of it and you can find the whole thing at june11.noblogs.org

June 11th is an idea, not just a day. June 11th is every day. And ideas are bulletproof. Let’s breathe life into the rest of the year and renew the celebration of anarchist prisoners’ lives by carrying on their struggles alongside them.

In short: It’s a call-out, so we’re calling on you! June 11th is what you make of it. Follow your heart and fill the world with beautiful gestures. There is no action that is too small or too grand.

Playlist here.

Charlotte Uprising: Repression and Resistance Go On

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This week, we have a few goodies for y’all!

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.

To learn more about the ZAD, you can visit http://zad.nadir.org

To hear interviews that The Final Straw has conducted about this topic over the years, you can visit our website.

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

Announcements:

Punk Jeopardy in Asheville for J20 Defendants

This Tuesday, April 10th from 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.

Certain Days 2019, Call for Submissions

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 18th 2018. 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.

Firefund campaign link: https://www.firefund.net/bookfair

playlist

Expropriations and Internal Exile: Ray Luc Levasseur on Tom Manning, SCAR, and the Ohio 7

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For this week’s episode, Bursts spoke with Ray Luc Levasseur, longtime activist, Vietnam War vet, revolutionary and former political prisoner in the U.S. Ray was a reputed founder of the Sam Melville / Jonathan Jackson Unit, later known as the United Freedom Front which conducted sabotage, expropriations and attacks against profiteers and symbols of American Imperialism and oppression abroad. After 9 years of activity in the group and living underground, members of the group were apprehended and became known as the Ohio 7. Ray was paroled in 2004, about 20 years after his arrest.

Here we present half of our interview with Ray, which covers some of his political development. The other portion of this interview will air soon.

Now, though, we’ll hear about Ray’s organizing with prisoners after his own political incarceration for organizing and possession of small portions of marijuana for sale, the organizing of SCAR (Statewide Correctional Alliance for Reform), meeting Tom Manning, the process of going underground and why they chose this route and the formation of the underground movement later known as the SM/JJU. Then, Ray speaks about the case of his still incarcerated co-defendants, Jaan Laaman, and in more detail about co-defendant Tom Manning. Tom has been kept off and on in solitary confinement for very long periods of time, has been summarily transferred, has received inadequate medical care for the injuries of incarceration and aging inside of prisons. He was producing artwork until 2010 when he almost lost his leg due to an injury while being held in Florida. He was recently transferred from the Medical Facility at Butner, NC, to USP Hazelton in West Virginia. Tom Manning has only recently been able to start drawing again because he finally relieved some medical care relieving some of his pain & there’ s an art room at Hazelton with some supplies.
If you’d like to correspond with Tom, you can write him at:

Thomas Manning #10373-016
USP Hazelton
Post Office Box 2000
Bruceton Mills, West Virginia 26525

If you want to check out Tom’s art while monetarily supporting him, consider getting “For Love And Liberty”

We’ll have more info on the case of Jaan Laaman, the other mem

ber of the UFF still in prison soon. Jaan’s birthday is coming up on March 21st, so send him a birthday greeting if you want.
Jaan Laaman #10372-016
USP McCreary
Post Office Box 3000
Pine Knot, Kentucky 42635

To keep up on support for Tom, Jaan and other political prisoners in the U.S., check out the for The National Jericho Movement Fedbook page, or signing up for the Freedom Archives Political Prisoner News list.  Also, you can check out 4StruggleMag, which Jaan helped to found.

If you’re in NYC, the National Jericho Movement (website & fedbook) is having it’s 20th anniversary gathering on March 24th (as Ray mentions in the chat). Here’s a link to the JerichoNYC page for more details.

Playlist

Jalil Muntaqim on Revolution, Spirituality & more + Remembering Le Guin

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This Week’s Content

First, we air a portion of Ursula K. Le Guin’s acceptance speech from the 2014 National Book Awards, where she received the Lifetime Acheivement award.  Ursula K. Le Guin, wrote fantasy and sci-fi for 77 years of her life, contributing many books such as The Dispossessed, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Word for World is Forest & The Earthsea Series.  She died on Monday, January 22nd at the age of 88.  Her fiction touched on many themes, including anarchism, taoism, gender, environmentalism, sociology, anthropology and psychology. Her official website is here. The full video this was pulled from, including the introduction by Neil Gaiman can be found here.

The third and fourth portion of CKUT’s Prison Radio Show interviews with former Black Panther and BLA Political Prisoner of War Jalil Muntaqim. In the third segment, Jalil speak about being incarcerated during the Attica Uprising, the ideas of Intercommunalism, Internationalism and Nationalism, as well as the idea of revolution.  In the final portion, Jalil speaks on spirituality and politics, ISIS and a message to rappers.  More of his writings and info on his case can be found at freejalil.com

Support Kevin Rashid Johnson!

We are nearing the end of the second week of #OperationPUSH!, which is described in a statement released by participants, as a work stoppage or “laydown” in at least eight prison facilities around the state of Florida. The beginning of this plan coincided with Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday on January 15th 2018, in protest of the deplorable conditions in FL prisons. This comes hot on the heels of the September 9th prison strike which took place in 2016 on the 45th anniversary of Attica, and disrupted operations in dozens if not hundreds of prisons across the country. This is being called the largest prison strike in US history, and was followed by several subsequent strikes all over the country. It has been difficult to get information about OperationPUSH!; FL prisons are being predictably recalcitrant and have also been imposing communication blackouts for even suspected participants.

However, there has been one major insight into this situation in the form of an article by Kevin Rashid Johnson entitled Florida Prisoners are Laying It Down. In this article, Rashid (who is a prison journalist and self taught paralegal) describes conditions within Florida prisons in detail, including the high cost of goods in the commissary coupled with the fact of forced and unpaid labor, up to and including a culture of abuse and neglect by prison staff. In retaliation, Rashid has been thrown into an unheated cell, with no working toilet and with a window that cannot properly close, making the temperature equal to the subzero environment outside.

This is a clear sign of retaliatory torture, and surely is what Rashid calls “a true emergency”. It is urgently requested that people call the prison to advocate for and demand the immediate cessation of this abuse on the part of the prison!

Please call:

Warden Barry Reddish
Florida State Prison
Raiford, FL 32083
904-368- 2500

The demands are:

  • Move Johnson (#158039) to a properly climate controlled cell with working toilet
  • Immediately allow Mr. Johnson to make phone calls to his attorneys
  • Stop retaliating against him for reporting on conditions within your prisons.

You can keep up with this situation by visiting fightoxicprisons.wordpress.com or go to Kevin Rashid Johnson’s support website at rashidmod.com

Interview on Afrin from It’s Going Down

A little heads up about media worth checking out. This week, It’s Going Down aired a podcast interview with an anarchist in the U.S. who’s from Turkey about the Turkish assaults on Afrin, one of the cantons of Rojava, the autonomous Kurdish region in Northern Syria. Afrin is administered by the Democratic Confederalist PYD and defended by the YPG & YPJ militias. The interview covers some of the history as relevant to anarchists, some of the developments of Rojava through the Syrian Civil War, their alliance with the United States and Rojava’s relationship with Turkey and other states involved in the proxy wars in the region. This interview is well worth a listen, and hopefully can aid you in organizing reading groups, fundraisers or demonstrations in your area in support of Rojava and it’s tenuous experiment.

An Update from Us!

Just a little heads up, too, we’re messing with our podcast a little bit, not so much in format but more so in distribution. So, we set up a soundcloud with the three latest episodes and all of the episodes in our podcast stream are now up youtube though the videos only plays our show as you’d hear with the episode image as the background. If those platforms are your deal, swing by and follow us. I’d also like to remind y’all that we’re up on itunes. If you go into that blasted program and rate our content and write reviews, it fucks with the algorithms and will make the show visible to wider audiences.

Also, I’d like to reiterate what we say in the introduction to the show, that we have a free edition of the show that’s 59 minutes in length and falls within the requirements of the FCC here in the U.S. for radio broadcast. If you have a community or college radio station in your area and you’d like to hear us up on the airwaves, getting into folks’ cars, houses, jail cells, work places or whatever by the magical accident of radio science, check out our Radio Broadcasting link at our website, hit us up on social media or email us to get the ball rolling. In addition, we suggest getting some friends together to petition the local radio overlords to get us on their station.

Finally, just to remind y’all, we love hearing feedback and show suggestions. Finding a different person or persons every week to fill an hour with interesting content is hard work, and cues from y’all really helps us plug away at this volunteer endeavor. As always, you can email us at thefinalstrawradio@riseup.net

Playlist

Walidah Imarisha on Angels With Dirty Faces, Accountability Processes, and more

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This week William and Disembodied Voice had the chance to interview Walidah Imarisha, who is an Oregon based writer, educator, public scholar and spoken word artist about her book Angels With Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison, and Redemption, her 2016 book out from AK Press and IAS, which highlights three distinct experiences that are all in different degrees tangential to the realities inherent to the prison industrial complex.

This book just won the Creative Non-Fiction Award in the state of Oregon earlier in 2017. In this interview we got to touch on a wide array of topics, mostly centered on Angels With Dirty Faces but also on accountability processes and what might have to change in order for them to feel more effective, her relationship to anarchism, and some upcoming projects and appearances.

We also get to touch on the book Octavia’s Brood, a compilation of speculative fiction that Imarisha co edited with Adrienne Maree Brown, who also wrote the book Emergent Strategy.

More about Imarisha, her work, and upcoming events can be found at http://www.walidah.com/

Resist Package Restrictions for Those Incarcerated in New York State!

The thugs who run the NYS prison system (NYS DOCCS) has issued a new directive (4911A) that describes new, draconian package rules that they are testing in 3 facilities as a ‘pilot program’.

Currently, at most facilities, family and friends can drop off packages at the front desk when visiting- packages that include fresh fruit and vegetables that supplement the high carb/sugar, meager diet provided by DOCCS.

These new rules are problematic in a lot of ways including:

1) Packages can be ordered only from approved vendors.
2) Fresh fruit and vegetables are not allowed.
3) Family and friends cannot drop off packages while visiting. All packages must be shipped through the vendor.
4) Each person is limited to ordering three packages a month for him or herself and receiving three packages a month from others. Each package cannot be more than 30 pounds. Of the 30 pounds per package, only 8 pounds can be food.
5) Allowable items will be the same in all facilities. (No more local permits.)
6) There are far fewer items allowed than before and of the items that are allowed, far less variety. This includes additional restrictions on clothing.
7) The pilot rules are not clear about how books, media, religious items and literature, or other items subject to First Amendment protection will be treated. This could mean that groups like NYC Books through Bars will not be able to send free books to the 52,000 people in the prison system.

The pilot program implements an “approved venders only” package system. This means that only packages from approved vendors will be accepted. The vendors appear to be companies that specialize in shipping into prisons and jails. There are currently five approved vendors identified on the DOCCS website. This amounts to a cash grab for these companies.

The pilot program is starting at three facilities: Taconic, Greene, and Green Haven. Those facilities will stop accepting packages from non-approved vendors on
January 2, 2018.

We have to make this package directive unworkable. These new rules are cruel- eliminating fresh fruit and vegetables and creating massive profits for the vampire companies that will fill the niche.

WE CAN ORGANIZE TO ROLL THESE RULES BACK.

Some ideas how:

1-Sign the petition- share it with your address book, share it on twitter, share it on Facebook. It takes two seconds.
https://diy.rootsaction.org/…/no-package-restrictions-for-n…

2-Get in touch with your people in NYS Prisons and let them know about this. Inform them, send them the info. Massive non-cooperation on the part of NYS prisoners will play a huge role in this.

3- Flood the electeds with postcards. Send one to Governor Cuomo and one to Anthony Annucci, the acting commissioner of DOCCS. It costs 34 cents.

Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Acting Commissioner Anthony Annucci
NYS DOCCS
Building 2, State Campus
Albany, NY 12226

Some sample text:

Dear Governor Cuomo,
This holiday season is about giving, not taking away. I object to the new DOCCS package rules.
From,
(Your Name)
(Your relationship to people in prison, if applicable)

Dear Acting Commissioner Annucci,
The new DOCCS package pilot punishes innocent families. Having a loved one in prison is already expensive and difficult—the new rules make it worse. Rescind the package pilot!
From,
(Your Name)
(Your relationship to people in prison, if applicable)

4) Write a letter to both of these people (address above)

5)Call Cuomo’s office and leave a message about it. You won’t have to talk to anyone. Just leave your message.
518-474-8390

6) Email
Cuomo: http://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form
Annuci anthony.annucci@doccs.ny.gov

7) Tweet at Cuomo
@NYGovCuomo

8) Write your NYS Senate and Assembly reps as well:

9) Get media to cover it especially outfits like Democracy Now and the Marshall Project.
stories@democracynow.org
pitches@themarshallproject.org

——-

Show playlist here.

Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement on the RAM-NYC Community Bail Fund

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Interview with RAM-NYC

This week we spoke with members of The Base, which is an anarchist space in New York City, about the newly formed Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement NYC Community Bail Fund. In this episode we talk about the concept of bail and its origins, what folks have happen to them from the moment of arrest to the moment bail is set, what it means to have an explicitly abolitionist bail fund, the intricacies of the corporate bail bond system, and many many other topics! We end with a surprise follow up question to our previous interview about Burn Down the American Plantation, a text which our guests authored and put out earlier in 2017. To hear that previous interview, you can go to our blogpost about it and listen for free!

To support this initiative and for more information, you can go to fundedjustice.com.

To connect with our guests, you can email them at revolutionaryabolitionistmovement@protonmail.com or search that name on any of the social media platforms commonly in use (Twitter: @RevAbolitionNYC , Facebook: RevAbolitionistNYC )

Further reading on our current bail system is as follows:

From the New York Times

From The Nation

Announcements

It was announced today that members of Hudson Valley Earth First! is in the second day of a tree-sit to stop the Valley Lateral Pipeline in Wawayanda, New York.  From their press release:

On December 8th, 2017, Millennium Pipeline Company started clearing trees for the Valley Lateral Pipeline, which would connect fracked natural gas from the existing Millennium Pipeline to the scandal-ridden, toxic Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Power Plant.  Courts and government
will never protect the land, but these brave beings have put their lives on the line to save endangered species and sacred wilderness.

Day 2: We have a direct update from one of our treesitters:
“Cut trees leading toward wetlands and eagles nest and to wetlands and farm fields and forests where I hear cutting. Pretty quiet where I am. Swaying in the breeze a bit this morning. Trying to keep snow from getting in warm bags and that’s working well. This fight is only beginning and this is the first known actual treesit in the Hudson valley ever. We need more affinity groups willing to take action against these projects and their world. CPV. Millennium. Legoland and that which destroys this bioregion. Minisink Lenape indigenous land.”

For More Updates and Photos Hudson Valley Earth First! Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/HVEarthFirst/

If this 7.8 mile pipeline is completed, it would run through ecosystems which contain, and have the potential to contain, endangered species such as the Bald Eagle(a mating pair is known to live 30 feet from the right-of-way), the Indiana Bat, and the Bog Turtle. Additionally, if the CPV plant is fueled, the pollution from the plant release tons of chemicals known to increase cancer and asthma rates in nearby areas.

This pipeline is the bottleneck to stopping this plant. Aides to Gov. Cuomo and CPV executives go to trial in January over a bribery scandal. Also, if the pipeline is stopped before August 2018, the CPV plant will likely go bankrupt and this beautiful bioregion will be spared from further ecological destruction.  After nearly 6 years of fighting this project, we are running out of options.

Tree sits are a form of aerial blockade where individuals rig themselves in trees or sit on a small platforms hoisted into trees to prevent the cutting of that tree. Additionally the rigging of the treesitter’s platform can be attached to other trees to protect an entire area of forest. This tactic relies upon the unwillingness of a logger/company to take human life in the pursuit of economic enterprise, like the building of an unnecessary and polluting pipeline. Tree sits can be long term endeavors, and Hudson Valley Earth First! is prepared to stay in the trees as long as it takes to protect the wild!!

Asheville Area

If you’re in the Asheville area, stay tuned the next two weeks during Words To Live By at 1pm on 103.3 wsfm-lp, before The Final Straw, where we will air radio shows from the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts and radios, of which we are a proud member. Tell your friends!

Also in Asheville, at 7pm at the County Jail on New Years Eve there will be a noise demonstration against the current jail, against the proposed new women’s facility and for a world without incarceration. If you bring noisemakers and signs, it’s hoped that participants can get the attention of folks on the outside to the failure of the carceral state to bring justice, only the immiseration of marginalized individuals and their communities while lining the pockets of the state and capital. And to reach out to those on the inside to let them know that we’re thinking of them.  Here‘s where you can find the flyers!

Error451 tech podcast

If you haven’t yet, we’d like to invite you to check out our ongoing new podcast series entitled Error451. An html451 error delineates a page being unavailable due to political censorship, a reference to Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451. Well, our occasionally weekly podcast features Bursts chatting with different folks about tech security issues from an anarchist perspective.

This week, rather than our usual guest, William Budington from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, we’ll be joined by Pat Boyle from Unicorn Riot to talk about crypto-currencies like Bitcoin, the increased usage to enrich the far-right and how we can fight back. You can find this on Wednesday, alongside past issues of Error451 and this here Final Straw Radio show at  thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org!

Playlist here.

Prison-related Audio Project Roundtable & an update from Walid on Manus Island

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

Prison-Related Audio Roundtable

This week we feature two segments. The first is a roundtable discussion with producers from various audio projects around North America that focus on prisoner struggles and amplifying incarcerated voices. In the chat you’ll hear from me, two producers of The Prison Radio show on CFRC radio in Kingston, Ontario, a producer of the Prison Radio Show on CKUT from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and a producer of the June11 audio  series released this last year and revving to mark the day in solidarity with Marius Mason and other long term anarchist and ecological prisoners.

Follow-Up with Walid Zazai on Manus Island

The second conversation is an update from Walid Zazai, the 24 year old Afghani man being held on Manus Island off of the coast of Papua New Guinea. Walid has been in detention for 4 years now awaiting resettlement at the pleasure of the government of Australia. We spoke with Walid two weeks ago after the Manus Regional Processing Centre in which he was living had been closed and he and roughly 450 other refugees stayed in protest of their longtime lack of freedom of movement and the violence they feared from PNG security forces and locals on the island. More coverage of the struggle immigrants against the Australian border authorities and other updates from the Oceania can be found on the long running Anarchist radio show based there, Subversion1312. Subversion1312 is also a recently added member of the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts.

Now For Some Fun Events

If you’re in the Asheville area today (December 3rd 2017), at 5pm at Firestorm Books and Coffee, Blue Ridge ABC will be hosting it’s monthly letter writing session, where you can swing by, find out about political prisoners in the U.S., write to some with upcoming birthdays and meet other local radicals. After that, tonight at 8pm at the Lazy Diamond, 98-A, North Lexington Ave in downtown Asheville, comrades will be hosting a Radical Trivia night to benefit the 2nd Asheville Carolina Anarchist Bookfair, or ACAB2018, planned for this summer. Alone or in teams, you are invited to test your wits on subjects of Black Liberation, Anarchist History, Queer Resistance and more. A cash prize will go to the winning team or individual.

This episodes playlist

Anti-Repression Panel from the NAABC Conference 2017

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Anti-Repression Panel from Denver

This week we are featuring a recording from an Anti-Repression panel that took place in Denver in October of this year. The sound quality is affected by a fan system that the venue had running, but the words are well worth hearing.

For the hour, we’ll hear words from a few perspectives of resistance in the U.S. currently. First, we hear from Danica from occupied territory of Portland about work around anti-colonial antifa resistance and self-defense in the North West. Next up, Firehawk talks about work in un-ceded Pueblo, Colorado, about working with femme, queer & trans prison rebels, Unstoppable zine and The Fire Inside project. Montana talks about autonomous relief work in Houston after Hurricane Harvey and the slow-disaster that is white supremacist capitalism in Texas. We hear from Jude talking about the J20 conspiracy cases coming out of the Inauguration, the court case moving forward and up til a few weeks ago. Finally, we hear from Jess who has been working with Water Protectors doing legal collective work up in so-called North Dakota mostly around #StandingRock with a very in-dept report-back on wider repression and specific case details.

A few updates are worth mentioning in the J20 case since Jude spoke on this panel: the first defendant convicted, Dane Powell, has been released and there is a linked support site for his post-release; two of the riot charges have been dropped down from Felony to Misdemeanor; & the first court dates have been moved forward to November 15th and info about how to help with court support can be found at Its Going Down.

As stated above, 2 of the initial 8 felony charges (‘engaging in riot’ and ‘conspiracy to riot’) have been dropped to misdemeanors, thus shaving decades from the potential sentences of the defendants. We here at The Final Straw suggest that Judge Leibovitz use a secure tor browser and visit https://dropj20.org to learn more about ending this expensive, insulting and dangerous act of political persecution that is the J20 case.

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Show playlist 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