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.
. … . ..
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!
This week we spoke with Eleanor Goldfield, who is an activist on the far left and a proponent of creative activism, a stance that centers creative approaches to direct action with the aim of leading people to interrogate their own politics on an emotional and psychological level. From her website: “Creative Activism is outreach and change through the mediums that appeal to all people and all of people – their emotions, conscience and intellect, in that order. It places itself at the intersection of pop culture and politics, bringing the two together.”
We talk about different approaches to politics and direct action, as well as her new book Paradigm Lost; Radical Verse and Visuals for the Shift, which is a collection of her original spoken word poetry accompanied by mixed media artwork from around a dozen artists. We also talk about the book and her upcoming performance date in Asheville on December 9th at Firestorm Books and Coffee!
To see more of Eleanor Goldfield’s work, including links to the musical project Rooftop Revolutionaries, information about the media project Act Out! (available on occupy.com and Free Speech TV) and many more writings, you can visit artkillingapathy.com.
The radio version has some material cut due to length, though the podcast version has all those pieces included back in. To see that version, plus archives of this show, you can visit thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org.
Announces for Asheville
Next Sunday, December 3rd, Blue Ridge ABC does it’s monthly letter writing night at Firestorm Books & Coffee from 5:30 til 7:30pm. Paper, pens, stamps, envelopes and the addresses and info on political prisoners in the U.S., particularly those having upcoming birthdays, are all available for free! Come on by and send someone behind bars some kind words.
After that at 8pm you can join folks across town for a game of Radical Trivia. This event is 21 and up, happening at the Lazy Diamond bar at 98-A N. Lexington Ave, there’ll be some potluck food for sharing and a cash prize for the winning team or person. To form a team and get on the roster, you can drop an email to jtheophilos@gmail or sign up at the night of. This event will benefit the 2018 Asheville Anarchist Bookfair happing in the summer. Various levels of knowledge are welcome and topics will span a few categories.
This segment is a conversation Bursts had on Monday, September 25th with an Anglophone anarchist who has lived in Catalunya, within the Spanish borders, for some years now. This conversation comes as there is an intense escalation in the region with government officials from the semi-autonomous region of Catalunya declaring that Sunday, October 1st there will be a public and binding referendum on Catalan independence from the Spanish state. On the other side of the escalation has been the declaration of the referendum illegal by the central government in Madrid, intervention by militarized national police against print shops suspected of printing ballots and political activists and politicians in the region who may engage in carrying out the referendum. Barcelona has seen frequent crowds surround the intervening national police, the local police are sitting on the fence, the Spanish military is on stand-by and tensions are rising.
For the hour, we chat about about the machinations of government officials on both sides, electoral Leftist reactions in the region, pressure from the E.U. & banks for de-escalation, the scrambling of the Catalan bourgeoisie, anarchist engagements or lack there of and what possible outcomes of this may be.
The old man singing at the beginning and end of this episode is Chicho Sanchez Ferlosio, a Barcelona-based anarchist singer-songwriter who recorded this song “Malditos Elecciones” late in his life, for the documentary “Buenaventura Durruti, anarquista.”
For this week we are featuring two interviews from listeners and past contributors.
August 19th Protest in Solidarity with Prisoners
The first interview is an excerpt of a longer interview that Disembodied Voice did with with a supporter of Malik Washington about the august 19th demo in Washington to end prison slavery, the millions for prisoners march. they talk about how the march came to be and what kinds of goals the organizers might have in mind. they also discuss a rationale for approaching what might be called “reformist” tactics from an anarchist perspective, and how pathways to social change can have multiple layers.
For more information on this event, you can visit https://amendthe13th.org/ and also check out the Asheville solidarity march with this event as well on August 19th at 11:30 AM in front of Pack Square, facebook event here
Resisting LNG storage in Tacoma, WA
The next conversation, Jules holds a conversation with Roxanne Murray who is an indigenous activist involved in struggles against a Liquified National Gas storage facility proposed in the Port of so-called Tacoma, WA, which is both notably on a fault-line and first for such a populated area.
One correction for the interview, at one point it’s mentioned that the company has “12 gallon tanker trucks” when actually it’s meant that they have “12,000 gallon tanker trucks”.
They talk about lng and lng facilities, also the process by which this is extracted and some of the specifics of how fracking works, differences between this struggle and that at Standing Rock, as well as the timeline for this resistance plus many more topics.
Just a heads up, keep an ear out on our site for the August episode of B(A)D News: Angry Voices from Around The World. This is our monthly, english-language podcast from the International Anarchist Radio Network. It’ll also show up in our podcast feed, if you want to subscribe to that.
Also, Channel Zero Network finally dropped this last week! Check out our 24/7 audio stream of anarchist podcasts. Check it out at https://channelzeronetwork.com/
ACP State Regulatory Public Comment Period
“Join us Friday Aug. 18th to tell the NC Dept of Environmental Quality to reject the 401 water quality certification for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The construction of the ACP threatens our wetlands, streams, rivers, springs and wells. Additionally it will destroy sites sacred to the Lumbee and Tuscarora peoples, and sieze people’s family farms for the private gain of energy companies like Duke Energy and Dominion. The fracked gas that the ACP will bring to market will create greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to constructing 20 new coal plants or adding 14 million cars to the road.
In the meantime please submit a public comment to the DEQ by Aug 19th telling them to reject the ACP:
Mail your own comments to:
1617 Mail Service Center,
Raleigh, NC, 27699-1617.
Email your own comments to: PublicComments@ncdenr.gov (include “ACP”
in the email’s subject line)”
To learn more about Smoky Mountain Eco Defense you can visit smed.blackblogs.org/. For more information on the ACP, you can listen to an interview that Bursts did with Whitney, who spoke about the logistical and environmental impacts the pipeline would have plus the impact on human and non human life, plus some of the context to its resistance.
Reminder: Asheville Solidarity Rally with Millions for Prisoners Human Rights
March on Washington DC
On August 19th at 11:30 AM at Pack Square Park (In front of City Hall), folks will be gathering to show resistance to the continuation of slavery in the exception clause to the 13th Amendment of the U.S. constitution and in solidarity with prisoners and the rally by iamweubuntu.com in D.C.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to spread word about another Anarchist statement against intimidation tactics by Federal Law enforcement in North Carolina. Jayden Savino, who currently lives in Asheville, published their statement on EF!J on Saturday the 12th stating that “The FBI is attempting to make myself and my community feel isolated and fearful. Unfortunately for the FBI, this harassment has done the opposite for myself, my community, and my family. This type of FBI repression is not a new phenomenon, and the state’s efforts to target activists and dismantle movements is as American as genocide. While it is unclear what exactly is being investigated, I will continue to embody my solidarity with the resilient herstory of state repression resistors, along with those who will continue to resist after my time. There is no greater betrayal or humiliation to our movement and the Earth than to cooperate with the state.” The Final Straw would love to extend a warm hug to Jaydan and all of our support.
A quick post-script to this introduction: Many of our listeners may be aware of the huge and tragic events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, on May 11th and 12th, 2017. In the near future, we’ll be bringing some voices from that struggle against the United The Right rally attempted by such groups as The Proud Boys, chapters of the Ku Klux Klan, National Socialist Movement, League of the South, Vanguard America, and other ass-hats of the far right and alt-right. A few writeups are already showing up on ItsGoingDown.org and are worth a read. I would like to take a moment to raise my voice in praise of the people that showed up in Charlottesville despite the dangers, to the affinity groups and collectives and individuals who stood in the muggy, Virginia summer heat to face off against 500 literal fascists weilding torches on the night of the 11th around the Robert E. Lee statue, who came to those activists aide. I want to raise my voice in honor of the people who came out despite the terror of the night before to face off against these same 500 or so cowards and turned them running, who saw through transparent arguments of “free speech” meant to confuse the liberals. We wish to send love to those who pushed back against the fash, to the clergy who bore witness in the face of such a threat, to the neighbors who fought for their city against this horde of white supremacists, who cared for the injured, who loved their neighbors by defending them, housing them, healing them. Around the world, shows of solidarity are going up, with Heather Herey who was brutally murdered by an alleged Vanguard America member from Ohio who drove into a crowd of protestors, and in doing so injured about 20 more. And also, I want to raise my voice for those who struggled against the police, the police who may not have protected the fash as much this day but who are institutionally on the side of authoritarianism and still know what side their bread is buttered on. Our liberation will never come with the handshake of a cop.
If you have a few dollars burning a whole in your pocket and want to help out the folks in Charlottesville as they cover legal, medical and other costs, you can visit http://solidaritycville.com/donate/ for ideas.
Solidarity from us, friends and comrades, we will win.
This week William got to speak to two people about the anti KKK demo in Charlotesville VA on July 8th, plus about the resistance to a Unite the Right gathering proposed for Charlotesville on August 12th. We speak about what went down on J8, plus things to keep in mind for A12 and who all may be attending the event.
Here is some intro text from our guests that lays the groundwork for some of the things we will speak about:
In the wake of the Charleston Massacre in 2015, the Confederate flag saw a drastic change in social tolerance, and its removal from public institutions sparked widespread reaction from scores of White Southerners, even leading to further terrorizing and violence. Donald Trump’s campaign and election saw these fires stoked further, now emboldening the more explicit White Supremacist dialogue that so many had attempted to distance the flag from a year earlier.
In late April of 2017, the city council of Charlottesville, Virginia voted to remove its statues depicting Confederate generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, and rename the downtown parks that hosted them as Justice Park and Emancipation Park, respectively. Local Confederate advocates such as the VA Flaggers and politicians like Corey Stewart had already inserted themselves into the dialogue, but they did not stop when the City’s decision was cast.
With the assistance of local white activists a court injunction was filed to challenge and halt the removals, and only a few weeks later, White Power figureheads from across the U.S. descended on Charlottesville’s parks unannounced for a day of rallies and photo-ops, in a calculated move to insert themselves into the conflict. Since May, the people of Charlottesville have been dogged by intermittent rallies, harassment, stalking, threats, and outright violence from these forces, all the while fighting to resist this fascist creep.
Just two weeks ago, on July 8th, the infamous Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan held a rally in Justice Park. Many from the city and across Virginia assembled for a peaceful counter-demonstration that sought to block the Klan from entering the park. This time, the police led a violent and one-sided escalation against those protesting white supremacy that included 23 arrests.
As the far-right and so-called Alt-Right’s campaign in Charlottesville continues, August 12th has been set for what they hope to be a culminating event, a rally to “Unite the Right” in Emancipation Park.
With a special guest line-up featuring the worst of the worst, they are counting on even greater numbers of alt-righters, Neo-Nazis, white nationalists, neo-confederates, militia groups, and even biker gangs to converge from all corners of the country, with aims not only of unification but of violent retribution against those who oppose them.
A call to action for A12 resistance and detailed information chronicling this struggle, including how to support those arrested on July 8th, can be found at solidaritycville.com, and you can contact Defend.Cville@protonmail.com for more. Use #DefendCville and #TheNewKKK for news and conversation before, during, and after A12; and most importantly, show up to support Charlottesville and help send these Nazis packing!
98FM podcast coming out soon
Keep an ear out for a special podcast segment we’ll release this week about 98Fm, Radiozones Of Subersive Expression in Athens Greece. This is the squatted pirate radio station we were going on and on about during the interview on Its Going Down. Well, as you may have heard on B(A)D News: Angry Voices From Around The World #2 last week, they’ve been having some issues with the Telecommunication Ministry, the police, a commercial pirate station and the University where they squat. So, we chat about it for about 45 minutes and they tell us about what’s going on in Greece these days. Take a peek at our website mid week for this interview.
Updates from Comrade Malik Washington
Now a quick announcement from the dungeons of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice:
Comrades incarcerated in the “Ad-Seg”–that is, solitary confinement”–block at the Eastham Unit in Texas are reporting that mentally ill prisoners who are unable to care for their own physical health and hygiene are being utterly neglected by prison COs, and even by mental health personnel supposedly tasked with oversight functions at the prison.
Comrade Kado is an occupant of the Ad-Seg unit who has seen this neglect firsthand, related in a recent communication that his concern for one particular individual on the block has become acute. He writes, “It is known that this man is mentally ill. If engaged directly in conversation, he is able to respond, although only in very short sentences. He knows he is from Nebraska, and that he is here for “trespassing too much”… when asked why he’s in solitary, he states “they want me to do work and it’s too hard” or “the guards yellin’ all the time, I get upset”.
Each time Comrade Kado tried to engage the prison staff about getting some assistance for this man, who had been living for months in his own filth, in a roach-infested cell, he was ignored or told he can’t advocate for fellow inmates. Well-known prison activist and human rights advocate Comrade Malik Washington, who also resides on this unit, similarly tried to speak out on behalf of this person, and he, too, was promptly told to mind his own business.
A major concern is that this man could become ill from the deadly heat people in Texas prison are regularly exposed to; this is a concern for ALL Texas prisoners, but especially those who no longer (or maybe never did) possess the cognitive ability to advocate for themselves. As Comrade Malik writes, “[This man] lives only 3 cells away from me. He has no fan and really doesn’t know or understand how to ask for one, so he suffers more than the normal prisoner in ad seg…And yet from the senior warden all the way down to the lowest-ranking correctional officer, no-one sees the importance or urgency of obtaining a fan for this mentally ill humyn being!”
Officials at Eastham will not succeed in destroying solidarity amongst imprisoned people. Comrades Kado and Malik will continue speaking out for their fellow incarcerated brothers and sisters–and they need our help!! Take a minute to call Bryan Collier, Executive Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, at (512) 463-9988, to tell him that mentally ill prisoners need to be properly cared for. And if you want to learn more about this pressure campaign and about prisoner advocacy, write to Comrade Kado at:
Dare to struggle! Dare to win! All power to the people!
J20 Week of Solidarity
This is the week of solidarity with the over-200-people arrested during the protests against the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20th, known as the J20 defendants. Among the ways to get involved, one could thrown a fundraiser, attend a fundraiser, do graffiti, drop a banner, have an info-session to teach people about it, re-socialize your local Fox News outlet and read a statement on the air, plaster your social media, talk to your awkward manarchist uncle Jerry, and otherwise raise awareness that might support the support lawyers in their attempt on July 27th to get the charges against the J20 defendents dismissed. More info on events ongoing can be found at defendj20resistance.org.
Za in NYC with the Wobs for J20
If you’re in New York and wanna have some pizza about this, the New York City General Defense Committee of the Industrial Workers of the World is organizing a pizza dinner as a benefit of the over 200 people who were arrested in Washington D.C. on Inauguration Day. Here’s a fedbook post for the event, and here’s where the funds are being collected if you can’t make it but wanna give.
WHEN: Saturday, August 5, 2017 from 4 P.M. to 4 A.M.
WHERE: Rebecca’s, 610 Bushwick Ave., Brooklyn NY 11206
Fire Inside Zine & Tour
From FireInside.noblogs.org, we read an announcement about Firehawk & Ben’s upcoming rust-belt tour with a zine compiling the experiences of prisoners of the September 9th #PrisonStrike from last year in the prisoners own words, as well as info about the August 19th Millions for Prisoner Justice march this year.
July 25th day of International Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners
Tuesday, July 25th, marks the 3rd Annual International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners. In the aftermath of the fiery protests against the G20—and the arrests of hundreds of comrades—we are again reminded that the embers of direct action need long-term prisoner support in order to keep the flame of resistance strong. Some forty G20 protesters remain in prison in Hamburg and need our solidarity.
Longtime Sacramento activist and indigenous elder Mike Williams is one of three people of color who face charges stemming from the antifascist mobilization which shut down a neo-Nazi rally in June of 2016. Only one neo-Nazi, William Planer, is facing charges, and he was only arrested after vandalizing a synagogue in Denver, CO. Mike is currently facing massive charges and a high bail. Please support him here and share the fundraising link far and wide along with this article to raise awareness of his case.
This week, we spoke with Whitney about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline, two pipelines flowing through mid-Appalachian and the mid-Atlantic region on Turtle Island and both connect Transco pipeline in Pennsylvania County, VA. The pipelines are 48 inches in diameter and are made for transporting dangerous compressed and pressurized natural gas through many watersheds, towns and farmlands. In addition to fears of contamination of waterways and soil, through possible leaks and explosions, many people are concerned the pipeline will be carry gas for export , not even for domestic consumption.
Whitney is also involved in an upcoming podcast series to inform folks in Virginia about the history and aspects of the pipelines to be released in the run-up to the decisions by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on whether or not these projects can move forward.
As of now, there is no website address for our guest’s podcast, but their podcast’s mission statement is as follows:
“‘End of the Line’ is a pre-recorded podcast created by local Richmonders, following the developing story of two proposed pipelines in Virginia – the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Over the past year, the subject of fossil fuel “pipelines” has reached a high point of saturation in the national consciousness. While the nation watched major milestones unfold around the rejection of Keystone XL by President Obama and Standing Rock’s struggle to protect water against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, resistance to pipelines in Virginia has been building as well. Residents and landowners in mostly rural parts of the state have taken on an uphill battle to try and stop two high pressure natural gas pipelines from going through their land as well as some of Virginia’s most treasured places.
Featuring the voices of those directly affected by the proposed infrastructure, this ongoing series will examine every aspect of the local pipeline struggle, episode by episode, starting at the very beginning and working our way to the present. Through voices of those on the frontlines, we will touch on issues such as eminent domain, energy policy, industry influence on local politics, environmental impacts, and the mental health aspect of how residents are coping with this tremendous burden. Our goals are to provide listeners with the stories of Virginians who have been and are currently resisting both proposed natural gas pipelines and build a wider audience of people throughout our region who may not be familiar with all that has occurred since the summer of 2014 when the pipelines were first introduced. The built-in question we will be posing to listeners is the same many landowners are facing, “Are these pipelines a ‘done deal’?” To that end, as our episodes begin to meet up in real time with the decision-making process at state and federal levels, “End of the Line” will continue to report on developments as the pipeline saga unfolds”.
We will announce a website for this project as soon as we know!
Other, regional upcoming events related to the ACP & MVP pipelines may consider attending include the following: Beyond Extreme Energy will be putting on a convergence in Washington DC from April 26-28th. BXE was a co-sponsor of the walk across NC areas that may be affected by the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline. More info on the conference and other stuff by BXE can be found at http://beyondextremeenergy.org Delaware River Keepers have compiled “People’s Dossiers” on shortcomings of studies in the economic and environmental harms of the ACP & MVP by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or FERC. http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/ongoing-issues/peoples-dossier-ferc-abuses-economic-harms
Another site of interest worth check out is http://www.apppl.org for the Alliance of People to Protect the Places we Live.
If you’re in the South East (or wherever), you are cordially invited to attend the 1st Another Carolina Anarchist Bookfaire, also known as ACAB2017 from May 5-May 7th in Asheville, North Carolina. The weekend of events kicks off with an a welcome table at firestorm books at 610 Haywood Rd from 3pm until 6pm with a schedule of events and ways to plug in. There are multiple musical events Friday and Saturday night. Featured speakers include Shon Meckfessel, Jude Ortiz of Tilted Scales Collective, members of the crimethInc collective as well as from the Water Protectors Anti-Repression Crew and a special appearance by author and activist Ward Churchill. Vendors over the weekend will include PM Press, AK Press, Little Black Cart, Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness, Combustion Books and many more. Consider the daytime events to be all ages. Check out https://acab2017.noblogs.org/ for updates and info.
This week William spoke with a member of Eastern Kentucky Antifa about the upcoming resistance to the Traditionalist Workers Party’s event in Pikeville KY. This group, along with The Nationalist Socialist Movement, The American Freedom Party, League of the South, The Iron March Forums, and other groups which it is accurate to call neo-Nazi are converging to form The Nationalist Front.
They will gather on Friday, April 28th on private land for camping, a series of speakers, and trainings. The following day, they are planning to rally in front of the courthouse in Pikeville, KY at 2:00pm EST. They plan to retreat to the location where their camping and the conference is being hosted to hold an after party as well as a “secret event.” In this short interview, we talk about what to expect from this event, some of the history of fascist and proto fascist activity in rurual KY, and things that resisters should keep in mind.
One thing that we did not mention is that phone reception is very spotty in this area, so if you are going you should come having printed off paper maps beforehand. You can see an excellent article on this by going to It’s Going Down
After this interview we will hear some new antifascist, antiracist metal from The Dark Skies Above Us Collective out of Greece.
ANNOUNCEMENT If you’re listening in Asheville come out to a queer country show and corn dog pop up to benefit the Tranzmission Prison Project, a decade long running project which sends free books and resources to LGBTQ incarcerated folks. This event will be on Wednesday April 19th at the Double Crown at 375 Haywood Rd Asheville NC, food starts at 6 music at 8 come out! You can get in touch with Tranzmission by writing them at firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing PO Box 1874, Asheville NC 28806.
This week, we air our conversation with Shon Meckfessel. Shon is a longtime anarchist and activist from Sacramento, CA. He has penned numerous articles and the book “Suffled How It Gush: A North American Anarchist in the Balkans.” In this interview we talk about his most recent book, “Nonviolence Ain’t What It Used To Be: Unarmed Insurrection and the Rhetoric of Resistance.” We spend the hour chatting about concepts of Nonviolence in the U.S. and how they’ve developed, the threat and use of violence in and by anti-capitalist and anti-racist social movements. The chat moves through Lockean Liberalism, Insurrectionalism, Ghandian-Kingian non-violence, Anarchism, Nihilism and more.
It was a fun chat and we talked in some real depth that we couldn’t fit into this one hour. So, we made a podcast episode that’s just over an hour PLUS another hour-long podcast of the secondary materials. The second part will soon end up as an episode as well.
At one point we talk about Rojava (the Kurdish-led, Bookchin influenced anti-capitalist revolution being run in parts of Turkey and Syria) & the Syrian Revolution and anti-authoritarian participation in it. I mention an interview that subMedia did with Robin Yassin-Kassab, a co-author of Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War,
On April 7th there will be a MARATHON BENEFIT DAY for two things, the first being a show at the Odditorium on Friday April 7th to benefit the fast approaching Asheville Anarchist Bookfaire, keep in touch with the event and request housing at https://acab2017.noblogs.org. The second will be a dance party across town at the Lazy Diamond to benefit IGNITE! NC’s efforts for May Day organizing. All door proceeds will go toward direct action training led by one of the co-organizers of the Charlotte uprising. DJd by Lamar B. and DJ Malinalli.
On April 15th, shake/run/play it out with folks at Anarchist Field Day in Asheville NC! Festivities will begin at 1pm and go til 7pm at the West Asheville Park at 198 Vermont Ave. Athletes and non athletes of all levels welcome, as well as kids!
On April 15th in Berkley CA, there will be a bloc party and cookout to oppose an alt right gathering in MLK Civic Center Park from 10am to 2pm. There will be speakers and events, bring food and games to share if you can! It’s also suggested that folks bring discreet face coverings to help keep your and others identities safe from fascist and alt right creeps, who love to doxx and harrass people over the internet.
It may come as a surprise to some that we are at the VERY BEGINNING of a week of resistance to the Trump administration and everything it stands for and has empowered. From April 1st thru 7th, actions, informational events, film screenings, and benefits will all take place across so-called North America and beyond. The purpose of the week of action is simple: to come together and push back against a wave of repression that has been growing in the United States and accelerated by the coming to power of the Trump administration.
You can check this article for more on this subject, and either plug into existing events in your area or start planning one of your own!
Free Jennifer BabyGirl Gann!
Jennifer Gann is a trans woman and anarchist prison rebel who has been held captive since 1990. While serving a seven year sentence for robbery, she became politicized during the 1991 Folsom Prison Food Strike and survived more than a decade of torture in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay SHU. She was convicted of the non-violent prison offenses and given multiple 25 year-to-life sentences under the “Three Strikes” law, but now qualifies for a sentence reduction under California’s Proposition 36 and early release under the newly enacted Prop. 57, which Governor Grown supported.
She is currently asking for help in raising just under 3 grand for a case evaluation, which will help her lawyer put together a game plan for fighting her conviction and sentence. Currently, she only has $300 saved and needs at least $1,000 for the down payment on the NLPA legal consulting fee. Donations of any amount are appreciated and can be sent to her online legal fundraiser, by cashier’s check, or money order(marked “for Jennifer Gann”) sent to:
National Legal Professional Associates
Margaret A. Robinson Advocacy Center
11802 Corney Rd., Ste. 150
Cincinnati, OH 45249
You can donate to this lovely and powerful person here
In the first segment we talk to Noelle about the case of Janye Waller. Janye is a young Black revolutionary from Oakland, California, who was the only person convicted of property destruction after the 2014 demonstrations in the Bay following the non-acquittal of pigs the murders of Michael Brown & Freddie Gray. Noelle is a supporter of Janye Waller and believes that Janye’s conviction was a clear case of railroading and racial profiling against a community activist. Janye is now finishing up a 2 year sentence with one year off for good behavior. The interview was held in February of 2017, and Janye is set to be released in coming months, then he’s out on parole. You can find out more about his case and donate to his post-release fund at https://rally.org/supportjanye and updates can be found on his support fedbook page and to find out more about some projects Janye was involved with in Oakland, check out the site for El Qilombo
You can write to Janye in the near future by addressing letters to:
Janye Waller #ba2719
P.O. Box 2500,
Susanville, CA 96127-2500
Anarchist Observations of the Struggle at Standing Rock
In the second segment William speaks with Noah, who is a well established movement medic, anarchist, and participant in #NoDAPL at Standing Rock, about his experiences there and analyses of how this resistance was organized and how it developed. This interview was recorded days before media saw the images of the Sacred Stone Camp burning and having been disbanded, so many of the modes and tenses that we employ are not what we might given the current position of the camps. We talk about a wide ranging set of topics, from what worked in the camps to what the failings were, and how resistance to extraction industries could look moving forward.
A transcription of this second conversation is available down this post.
Shortly there’ll be a posted end to a call for submissions for presenters, workshops and bands at the first annual Asheville Another Carolina Anarchist Bookfaire up on the website, but we announce it here. Submission deadline is April 1st, 2017. Spots are filling up fast. Check out the website for updates and we hope to see you there!
TROUBLE showing at Firestorm, March 24th @ 7pm
That about says it. First episode of TROUBLE, which was chatted about in our last episode as the new video series by subMedia will be showing at Firestorm Books & Coffee at 7pm on Friday the 24th of March!
TFSR: So we’re here to talk about Standing Rock and I’m sure that folks have heard about it if they have been keeping at least half an eye on the news, but for those who haven’t, would you mind giving a brief overview of what the struggle is and what has been happening there?
NOAH: So the Dakota Access Pipeline is a large pipeline that would carry heavy crude oil to refineries in Illinois before getting sent out of the country for foreign consumption. The pipeline is routed to pass just upstream from the Standing Rock Reservation’s water intake, which is part of their concern, as well as the pipeline route
as gone through a number of sacred sites causing the desecration of burial sites and other old religious sites. Back in August (2016) when construction got close to the Missouri River crossing by the Standing Rock reservation, the Sacred Stone Camp, which had been in existence since April, had made a bigger call for support in which many folks responded and that’s when the first arrests took place, lead largely by women and youth from Standing Rock and other Indigenous women and youth. Here you saw some very strong images of women running out onto the Cannon Ball Ranch to block construction equipment which was some of the first real civil disobedience, as well as the Horse Nations coming to just be presented to the law enforcement that was there, but the law enforcement ended up being scared by the presentation of the Horse Nations and so they kinda backed off and fled. That was some very strong imaging right off the bat there.
I arrived not long after that and helped provide medical support for some of the non-violent civil disobedience and just in camp at large, based out of the Red Warrior Camp. Red Warrior Camp was one of the few organizations that really took a strong lead in actual civil disobedience that stopped pipeline construction and were it not for the Red Warrior Camp, Indigenous People’s Power Project, some of the crews, some of the other bands of the Lakota Nations
really stepping up and taking that direct action to the pipeline construction, that pipeline would be said and done by now. And we certainly wouldn’t have cost Dakota Access the millions upon 2millions of dollars we’ve cost them in lost time, delayed contracts and stock price as well as the divestments from the banks which with Seattle and some Native reservations have totaled well over $3billion
worth of money withdrawn from Wells Fargo and punitive response from people. So the divestment is going to leave a lasting mark on these banks’ psyches and their shareholders’ psyches when they think about funding more of these projects.
TFSR: Absolutely, and it seems like along with the actions that have been taken at the various camps, the relationships between the various camps has been also very important to have outreach via social media and awareness being spread in a grassroots way, because mainstream media was very slow seemingly to pick up on
struggles going on at Standing Rock. Do you have anything to say about media blackouts there or anything like that? What has the process been for getting word out?
N: Well certainly it’s been led by some grassroots media projects that have been around since the start of the Sacred Stone Camp. Folks with Unicorn Riot have been there throughout the course of much of this which certainly is where I first started getting my media from
as they did intermittent updates on the Sacred Stone Camp from it’s start and through several stages of it well before Standing Rock or NoDAPL became a more common phrase. I think it was also very important for the largest camp at the Oceti Sakowin camp, the Seven Fire Council Camp, which was kind of just an overflow camp.
TFSR: Was that the youth camp?
N: The International Youth Council had a tipi in that camp for a while, but they were also holding space at Sacred Stone Camp and the Rose Bud Camp. The camps can be confusing when you’re there, and have been confusing. I’m sure it’s particularly hard to keep track of when you’re watching from afar. Sacred Stone Camp is Ladonna Bravebull Allard and her family’s land, which was started
by Ladonna and some other matriarchs from the area and the youth runners back in the start of April. And it was the Dakota Youth Runners who started getting a lot of attention from the long-distance runs they did.
It also needs to be pressed that there have been folks in that region who have been organizing in anticipation of the Keystone XL pipeline coming through Lakota territory that allowed for some of the groups within this larger mass to come together quickly and in an organized manner and show greater levels of discipline and training because we had been training together. We were under the leadership
of Lakota matriarchs and other Lakota elders who understood from the get-go that as these pipelines were coming through, we needed to be able to have a common language around how we fight and how we resist with non-violent civil disobedience. And so folks are familiar, folks understand that there are different roles. If your role is
media for the day, or medic, or police liason, that’s your role for that day and you need to stick to it and if that’s not your role, then you need to not try and make that your role.
So that’s why when the camp was significantly smaller than when it was 12,000 people between the camps, when there were only a few hundred folks in camp there was more effective direct action to stop the pipeline than when there were all these folks who came to stand with Standing Rock but there were no plans to use that mass of people effectively or an unwillingness to utilize any of those plans
on the parts of some.
TFSR: Is that just because the camp got so unruly with the size, or do you feel that people were kind of not respecting any directives that were being told to them?
N: No, as I’ve seen it put on the internet, that there was a problem with “peace-chiefs” trying to lead during a war situation. And so there were folks who, in the language I would use, didn’t respect others’ diversity of tactics. And so there were folks who would interfere with Warriors and Water Protectors on the frontline and cause division and even go so far as to utilize spiritual abuse and manipulation to interrupt actions that were happening, or not allow actions to happen or prevent them from happening in very vague ways, like getting outside folks to try and scream at people that “Elders said no!” And what they meant was Dave Archambault and the tribal council might not be happy with what’s going on. But there are a number of different elders in the camp because there
are many different tribes and nations in the camp, but not everyone listens to the same elders. Folks are taught to listen to their elders. The Lakota are not a monolithic group, they disagree with each other. Sometimes the grandmas and aunties would be there telling folks to hold the line while others would be telling them to go back to
camp and pray. To some extent because the camp grew so fast and there wasn’t space made for an all-nations council of any sort, these rifts and problems became rather challenging at times because there was so much to do just in camp life and preparing for the change of the seasons and to try and train and utilize huge numbers of people
who were rolling over every few days as well as deal with mountains of supplies coming in.
It all became very challenging, and then you have a real separation of leadership of folks who are contracted by the tribe to help, or were from larger non-profits who largely operated out of the casino rather than the camp. So you have that disconnect of folks who weren’t involved in the camps but were considered leadership for one reason
or another, which made things very challenging all in all. When the information about what’s happening in camp gets through games of telephone, you end up with a lot of rumor and heresy added in, or misinformation, and that can be seen by how often facebook says the camp is being raided when we’re not.
TFSR: As an anarchist, I feel almost single-mindedly fixated on this idea of what you were talking about in regards to a non-respect of a diversity of tactics and trying to parse out where a rhetoric of non- violence is coming from. We talk a lot about how liberals have sort of co-opted the idea of non-violence to weaponize it against radical struggle basically, or to weaponize it as a way to take the wind out of sails of radical struggle. I would imagine that this rhetoric of non-violence is a bit different given the layers of colonization and disenfranchisement that people are experiencing. Do you have any words about that?
N: There’s certainly a real challenge for anyone who’s not Lakota or Native to understand the nuance and the history between the Indian Re-Organization Act, Tribal Councils versus the Traditional Treaty Councils. It’s important especially for outsiders to err on the side of listening to the folks who are directly hosting them in these situations and not be overtly disrespectful to local communities. Now that doesn’t mean that local communities are unified in their
response, and that’s not really our place as outsiders to really dive right into the middle of it and stir it up. I have been working with some folks who were out there for several years so those were the folks I took my lead from because they are traditional Lakota and Dakota Matriarchs. So with that, there was a division of folks who believed in the courts and believed in that being the primary route
and would at times spread disinformation about how the action of folks locking down to equipment or shutting down work sites was going to negatively impact these civil court proceedings. If anything they gave these civil court proceedings the time they needed to get denied, but there hasn’t been a win from the courts in this battle that I’m aware of. So if we were relying solely on those means, the
pipeline would have been built by now.
The spark of inspiration that that has come out of Standing Rock would not have been if it weren’t for folks who understand that prayers have to be met half-way. We can’t just pray and expect things to stop, and similarly we have to understand robust histories. You hear this ongoing colonized myth that First Nations Peoples were completely passive or pacifistic when that’s simply not true. It’s well known that many Nations and many people were almost
always armed and prepared to defend their homelands and their territory and their way of life from settler-colonial populations. Part of this myth comes from those boarding schools; it comes from this western narrative that says “It was the white folks that freed the slaves!” and “It was the white folks who were benevolent enough to give these Natives the reservations!” rather than things like, the
6Lakota slaughtered a whole division of the cavalry at the battle of Greasy Grass and killed Custer and took that flag, and that was part of writing the treaty. Red Cloud’s wars and the Big Powder Bluff were the reasons for those treaties, the Northern Cheyenne; the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota’s fierce resistance to the U.S. incursions
and these settler/colonial incursions are what created these treaties. It’s also what provoked the U.S. into using genocidal tactics such as slaughtering all the buffalo and stripping Natives from their culture to send them to boarding school, so they could re-write those narratives
and send those kids back to those cultures with this wrong narrative.
And so with that you have this Christian idea of forgiveness that is pressed, or of understanding, and I personally hope that those cops and law enforcement come to some dawning of understanding that their ways are bad. But until that happens I have no sympathy for them or no forgiveness for their behaviors until they seek it. And so
it’s something that personally baffles me, especially coming from a medic’s perspective and seeing the grievous injuries that we’ve seen out there. That folks want to negotiate with these people or work with them to get into that system. It’s one of those things, some folks who don’t want the (Water) Protectors to continue resisting are
legitimately scared that those cops are going to kill one of us. And that’s a very real possibility but it also disrespects a lot of those folks’ agency, who understand that they may die in this struggle. And that if the state is going to go through such measures and allow their law enforcement to utilize these munitions, these so-called less-than-lethal munitions in reckless ways, then yeah they may end up killing someone but you know if they kill a Water Protector whose got their hands up and are in prayer, isn’t that that non-violent Ghandian King-esque nonviolence that they’re talking about? Let them harm us to the point that the moral imperative becomes so overwhelmingly against them that they have to give up? That they don’t have the will to beat you any longer?
TFSR: Also in a time when we have this new president now who is actively seeking to criminalize so-called peaceful protesters? Seeking any kind of legitimacy from the state doesn’t make a whole hell of a lot of sense, but what also makes a lot of sense is taking leadership from people who are most effected and also keeping in mind that that’s a non-homogenous group of people. It’s a very complicated
situation, it seems like it’s very difficult to know where to draw the line while also maintaining your own political integrity in all of this as well, to be a whole human being.
You mention that you are a movement medic, and you have spoken about your experiences at Standing Rock, but I was wondering if there was anything that you wanted to add about your involvement at the camp?
N: My involvement at the camp has largely been as a medic in support of the Water Protectors, so I’ve both worked to help increase the medic capacity and continue to work to try and help us stay coordinated and functioning in a way that allows us to provide the best level of care that we can. I have also gone out on a number of the direct actions to support Water Protectors and have dealt with some injuries and elements and the volumes, which were pretty staggering at times. November 20th when they just kept using water cannons on folks, both speaks to the heart and willingness of the water protectors but from the medic’s perspective we saw over 300 patients that night.
Several folks were severely injured; Sophia Wilansky nearly lost her arm that night, and other folks have lost permanent vision from that night, and the level of PTSD that has been inflicted on folks in these situations or the potential for it.
Similarly when the Sacred Ground Camp on the Easement was raided on October 27th, they literally just lined up and whooped on folks all day. We’re seeing the Miami Model play out in rural settings. Sheriff Laney from Cass County and Sheriff Meyer from Morton County I’m sure will retire real soon and go on the law enforcement and security speaking tour, to pop up at every pipeline and give advice
on how to deal with these “damn eco-terrorist protestor types.”
TFSR: And there has been a whole lot of law enforcement there from day one it seems, right?
N: Not from day one, I mean Morton County I think employs 33 or 39 sheriffs total. (*laughter*) And the North Dakota State Police and Highway Patrol could only muster so many folks, but now law enforcement from nine other states, federal agencies like the ATF and Border Patrol have been deployed out there. There is I believe just more than 500 North Dakota National Guardsmen who are activated presently. There is now quite the policing apparatus as was on display when the Last Child Camp was raided and shut down. They had over six armored vehicles out that day.
TFSR: It feels important to analyze police responses to struggles like this in order to get a psychological hold on to what the hell is going on, and we’ve been seeing a lot of media recently about the struggle, and many different approaches from total erasure to pretty heartfelt support. I’m wondering what your opinions are about how you see
this struggle informing future struggles and how you see this one particularly continuing, or if it’s too early to say?
N: I think at the very least what has happened out there in the treaty territories has brought a new level of what it looks like to be brave in the face of the state for folks. And it’s behaviors it can be pointed to as strong definitive attempts at non-violent action that we’ve already seen. At the Piñon Pipeline, there was one action out there and they
cancelled it. At the Trans-Pecos Pipeline, there have been a couple of actions already and they’ve shut down work. Mississippi Stand went after other sections of the Dakota Access Pipeline down in Iowa, we’re seeing folks starting to really resist the Sabal Pipeline, Spectra Pipeline, Lancaster PA is starting to openly build camps and openly express how we aren’t paid outside agitators, here’s the local teacher. These are local folks who are stepping up and saying “Oh heck no, can we do this here?” I think it’s important as we do this that we need to understand that there is a space for specifically prayerful things, and there is a space specifically for the prayer war, and there is a space for the more confrontational direct action tactics, but these are not the same space.
And I think it needs to be stressed that the Water Protectors and Warriors never went back to the camp and were like “Ya’ll are praying wrong! Ya’ll need to go pray over there! Ya’ll need to pray like this!” That is what some of the folks who use spirituality like Christians do, they use it as a manipulation tactic. They use spirituality much like
Christians say “You have to pray like we pray here.” Even to otherLakota, who were taught differently. That caused some real tensions, and there’s some real beef that I can’t claim to fully understand that I know. There’s family members who don’t like each other over that stuff, because folks called and asked for Warriors to come and those same folks, when they saw what Warriors did and what Water Protectors do to actually stop pipelines, they got scared. Either pressure got put on them through back-channels, or they realized that they would not be able to
control the narrative. So they pass a number of rules or any number of authorities on folks to say “You can’t do that this way!” Which certainly rubbed a number of folks the wrong way, when no one could really say where these decisions were coming from.
TFSR: Before I ask the next question I want to be really explicit about what you mean by prayer. This is non-Christian explicitly?
N: Yeah, this is explicitly Lakota spirituality, whose homelands we were on, Lakota treaty territory, Lakota and Dakota lands, and there were some basic modicums that were asked of folks to respect, things like don’t take pictures of the sacred fires, or put stuff in the sacred fires unless you’ve gotten permission. If you have a uterus and you’re on your moon, then to stay away from ceremony, stay out of the kitchen, just some cultural norms there. Up at big camp, there were folks from many nations operating in many different ways. There was some kind of manipulation of that that happened that was used as a point of leverage to dishearten and disrupt some of the youth and some of the frontline folks. Part of that is intergenerational difference, part of that is that older folks were raised in a time when native youth were being snatched and taken to boarding camps. A certain amount of hiding was the safest way to do things, which some of the folks with the International Youth Council and some of the other youth that have been leading this understand. They love and respect their elders but they also recognize that it is a different day and that these adults who are coming in to leadership roles who have listened to their elders and gone and gotten those educations and have been getting told for years that they need to step up and lead. When this happened in camp, there were folks that came up and criticized them. There were other elders that wouldn’t chastise folks in public, would openly support folks for not trying to take a lead role but were there as an elder to both support and be a resource.
There was a lot of issues around white folks telling Lakotas to stay in a prayerful way. There are Warriors that I know who are Pipe-Carriers, they don’t carry their pipes to the frontline, they are very spiritual and prayerful people, and for people to accuse them of not being in a prayerful way while they’re going to risk their freedom and personal wellbeing for the future generations, for the water, for the air, for the commons like that, for all of us, to challenge those folks’ spiritual intentions and spiritual actions, especially if you don’t even understand their spiritual practice, is both disrespectful and the added attitude of an agent-moderator. That’s some stuff that could be portrayed by folks intentionally trying to upset affective action.
TFSR: Do you feel like this is an analysis that is spreading? I have seen a little bit of analysis of what you’re talking about right now being disseminated over news channels and social media and whatnot, but do you see this spread of, for the lack of a better word on my part, this discussion of a diversity of tactics being disseminated to other anti-extraction struggles?
N: You know it’s hard to say, I’ve largely stayed put in North Dakota for the past several months. But a lot of folks from different struggles came through and I can’t speak for them because they saw what they saw with their own eyes, depending on when and where they were in those camps they could have seen drastically different things and been told drastically different stories as to what was happening at that moment, what had happened up until that moment and where things were going to go. But I do think folks are waking up and I think the intersectionality of struggles that is becoming more present is what will allow this discussion of diversity of tactics to really come more to the forefront. I don’t think it needs to be a discussion, I
think it just needs to be a respect that happens. And with different groups that aren’t in a position to lose privilege from where they’re at, have that freedom of nothing left to lose, whereas privileged folks, largely a lot of white folks, but settler-colonialist folks who have more access to stuff, pull their punches. They have a real tendency to pull their punches in these situations, or paid-organizers pull their punches because finishing off a campaign definitively leaves them without work or without the control of an organization that they had. Whereas, folks whose hearts are true, who really are committed to that land, that water and that future, and getting everyone free as soon as we can now, they’re gonna be more willing to not view a broken window or some damaged bulldozers as violence when they see people starving, people going hungry, people being incarcerated, unarmed protestors, etc. We have people who are facing decades (in prison time) for a lockdown. We have this aggressive set of policing tactics that are being deployed against us that, like it or not, folks
need to create that big crowd for some more direct action to happen out of so that it can be done safely and non-violently, or the options that will be left will be groups that don’t come out in public and only see violence as an option and not getting caught, if non-violently praying and getting arrested can get someone 10-20 years (in prison). It’s going to push folks in that hardcore direction, and it’s more a question of if we can do the outreach and the education that the bulk of the dissidents of society come with us, rather than cling to law and order as the main goal of society rather than evolution or something like that.
TFSR: You mentioned the intersectionality of struggle a little while ago, and one of the last questions that I have is that is struggle an inappropriate word? Just to go off script for a moment…
N: It definitely is a struggle. We’re all tired and hurt and sore. It’s a damn struggle, convincing folks to support, folks having to win that support through footage of them standing in prayer getting the crap beat out of them by multi-state law enforcement, that’s a struggle, that’s a fight.
TFSR: For real! Then this struggle has generated a lot of momentum it seems, at least within anarchism, around anti-extraction industries and there was a lot of momentum prior to this, but this feels somewhat different. Also one thing that I find really exciting is that it has generated a lot of discussion about meshing these two discussions of anti-extraction struggle with an explicit anti-colonialist discussion as well. Would you talk about whether you see this as being something new, and a bit about the importance of intertwining these two analyses?
N: I think the intersectionality starts becoming to be real obvious when you look at things like the current immigration raids versus the fact that Flint still isn’t a priority of our federal government, to get them clean drinking water. The fact that the state of North
Dakota has spent $23 million and counting on policing costs to get a pipeline put in that’s not going to create much revenue or jobs or anything for that state. There’s a need to kind of recognize the continual looting of this land by financial interests of various sorts, that is the base injustice. Folks who want to tweak or modify the system, I feel are failing to appreciate the toxicity of what this American system was built on, that it is built on stolen land, that it is built with stolen hands, and much of this profit. I’ve done a lot of work in labor and class stuff, and there’s a temptation to say “Oh this is a class thing” and “the value of our labor is being taken from us” but even the labor that we’re taking on is being stolen from the land
of folks who were the first inhabitants here. None of that is possible, a lot of the anarchist and revolutionaries will fight for everyone and forget the Native people, and so I think that it is crucial that how we start thinking about these struggles brings into the anti-colonial decolonizing mindset and the support and leadership of folks who are still strong in their indigeneity, to avoid tokenizing folks because “Hey you’re Native, we’re gonna put you in charge” even if someone was raised Christian and they don’t know much about where they come from. The importance of that indigeneity, those are the folks that have that understanding of living with the land and living as
part of an eco-system, and they have that appreciation of the land and the creatures that all vie for us.
And so when we talk about the pollution and damage done by these extreme industries, we need to look at that damage done and that cultural genocide that’s been done against folks who just want, like many Indigenous cultures around the world who lived as part of the land they were on, and were thankful for that land, for providing for them, as opposed to the Christian concept of dominion over the
land, which is an interesting interpretation of being good stewards. I think that the need for those intersections, the need for Black Lives Matter and how powerful it was to have folks like Chairman Fred Hampton Jr come out with folks and all the 300+ Nations that came out and showed their solidarity and numerous white folks from different organizations that came and showed solidarity, saw in a lot
of ways how that camp was operating in a good humble way, and there was no need for money for most things. If you’re doing work, there’s kitchens that will feed you, and a lot of folks took that shit like it was Burning Man and just came and took and were culture-vultures on the whole thing and were fetishizing Natives in resistance and were just working on their photo or art project or wanting to
come up and tell the tale. Are you Native? You probably shouldn’t be telling that tale, you should help and empower these Native youth who are trying to tell their tales right now.
And I think that’s some of the importance of intersectionality is these recognitions that there are going to be folks who just know how to do it better because they were raised that way. It’s like the damn tipis that didn’t budge in the windstorms, and everyone’s tents that gotten flattened out. There’s some stuff that local folks will just know, and when we’re talking about these rural places and when we’re talking about taking Indigenous leadership or local leadership in place, is we have to recognize that just because you may be educated, or a permaculture demi-god to folks out there, that doesn’t actually translate to that bio-region, and if that doesn’t translate to pragmatic
things that folks can do, if you’re just gonna come and say you should do it all in this way, it’s that same problem. It’s not looking at the intersections, it’s presenting “this is the way it should be done. This is the model we have, this is how we’ve been doing. We fail most of the time, but this is the model of how we do this.”
TFSR: That also calls into question really challenging people to actually fully examine why they’re doing something. Are you going to Standing Rock because you want to work on your photo project? Are you going to be updating your instagram about it? or are you going to actually have as real solidarity with people and struggle as
you can have?
N: And there’s the question there about a lot of conditional allies out there. I’ve seen their facebook comments about how getting beat up or saying mean things to law enforcement doesn’t keep with our message and loses support for us. And I challenge anyone that if your support is so easily lost, did you ever really give it in an earnest
and heartfelt way? There are some grandmas out there who just about make me cry with the support they show their youth, and how proud they are of these young folks. I’ve seen these young folks get to the top of the hill, where there’s footage of folks getting brutalized at the bottom, they’ll touch a cop, not in a harmful way, just touch ‘em.
Showing their bravery, demystifying and showing that they could do more but not having to. Seeing these different ways of doing things, seeing these powerful moments of praise that folks get, knowing that these young folks are earning real prestige in their culture by doing these things while others are both trying to shame them while other
grandmas are holding them up. It’s a lot.
TFSR: That’s incredible, and for me such an amazing concept and very inspiring thing to hear about. Those are all the questions that I had, do you have anything else that you wanna add?
N: Just that there isn’t a region in this country that’s free from pipeline expansions right now. Get trained, get rowdy, let’s kill this stuff. Let’s kill some black snakes.
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
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
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.
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:
To see more about DRUM you can visit http://www.drumnyc.org/
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/