This week on the Final Straw, we’re featuring two main events, both themed around the Prison Strike ongoing across Turtle Island until at least September 9th.
First, an interview we conducted with Kevin “Rashid” Johnson. Rashid is a co-founder of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party and is the Minister of Defense from within it’s Prison Chapter. He is the author of two books available from Kersplebedeb, Defying the Tomb & Panther Vision, both collections of Rashid’s art and essays on capitalism, racism, imperialism and his view of a road towards liberation. Rashid is a Maoist and presents some interesting arguments in his writings. In this interview, Rashid talks briefly about his own case, his politicization behind bars, organizing the NABPP-PC, it’s split from the New Black Panther Party, cross-racial class organizing, the #PrisonStrike and more. We hope to be able to bring more of Rashid’s voice in the future. To check out his writing and and his quite literally iconic art, check out rashidmod.com. And at the moment you can write to Rashid at the following address:
Kevin Johnson #1007485 Sussex 1 State Prison 24414 Musselwhite Dr. Waverly, VA 23891
Next, we’ll hear an audio post-card that some friends put together, interspersing words of encouragement and audio from a noise demonstration outside Hyde prison in Eastern North Carolina on August 20th. Prisoners at Hyde CI met the outside supporters in the yard and from across lines of razor wire they unfurled three banners with simple statements: “parole”; “better food”; & “In Solidarity”. To read an article about the noise demo, see some pictures and hear about NC specific demands, check out the article, “Community Shows Support as NC Prisoners Rally With Banners“ on ItsGoingDown. Make some noise!
To close out the hour, we will hear some words of encouragement to striking prisoners in #Amerikkka from comrades incarcerated in #Klanada!
If you’re in Asheville today (Sunday September 9th), consider dropping by Firestorm at 610 Haywood Rd at 5pm to join #BlueRidgeABC for the monthly political prisoner letter writing night. Supplies will be free as well as info on writing prisoners, names and addresses, and comradery.
This week on The Final Straw, we are super pleased to present a talk given at the most recent Asheville Anarchist Bookfair by William C. Anderson, who co authored the book As Black As Resistance with Zoe Samudzi. The talk he is giving here is based heavily on the first chapter of the book called Black in Anarchy, and in addition to laying the groundwork of how he and Samudzi wrote the book, he speaks about the truly conditional nature of so called “citizenship” that many people living in the US face, the continuing evolution of race and the reliance of white supremacy to Black subjugation, and he places Blackness in proximity to Anarchy, and much more.
From the back cover: “As Black As Resistance makes the case for a new program of self-defense and transformative politics for Black Americans, one rooted in an anarchistic framework that the authors liken to the Black experience itself. This is not a book of compromise, nor does it negotiate with intolerance. It is a manifesto for everyone who is ready to continue progressing towards liberation for all people.”
We hope you will enjoy this talk, and if you are curious about the book As Black As Resistance by Zoe Samudzi and William C. Anderson, you can head over to AK Press to learn more!
Phone Zap for Prisoners at McCormick CI
IWOC announces that prisoners at McCormick CI in South Carolina are being forced to march around the square in only their boxer shorts, including in front of female staff. Among these prisoners are the Muslim prisoners whose religion demands that they cover their bodies.
Check out the above link for a number and call script.
There has been a request for legal support for an anti-racist comrade who was arrested on August 12th, the year anniversary of the resistance to the United The Right rally on A12 in Cville in 2017. This trans comrade was arrested with the help of active doxxing efforts of a far-right troll this month, he was “genital checked” (read fondled and assaulted) by police without any non-police witnesses, and arrested and could use funds to help in court-support. You can donate to the legal support via a friend at https://paypal.me/lara757 , request that the police and city remove the comrades dead name and photo from their website and follow @SolidCville for future court support in September for this person.
There is also a call up to support Toby & Veronica, two anti-racist organizers from Cville in court on August 23rd at 9:45 AM at the Charlottesville General District Court at 606 E. Market St, Charlottesville, VA.
If you want to see analysis on antifascist events that have occurred thusfar, in DC and Cville, you can head to crimethinc.com and read interviews done with folks who were on the ground there, as well as listen to the most recent Hotwire episode which deals with these topics.
Maya Little Solidarity in Chapel Hill
On Monday, August 20th at 7pm at Peace & Justice Plaza at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, there will be a demonstration in support of Maya Little, an anti-racist activist who faces charges for allegedly throwing paint and her own blood on a confederate statue on UNC campus known as “Silent Sam.”
AAAnd DO NOT FORGET that in just a few days will kick off the 2018 Prison Strike, scheduled for August 21st thru September 9th. Coming just two years after the largest prison strike in US history, this one has the potential to be even bigger. If you would like more resources and ideas on how to get engaged with this strike and to learn about the striker’s demands, go to prisonstrike.com, and additionally you can listen to the Rustbelt Abolition Radio episode entitled Prelude to the 2018 Prisoner Strike done with two members of IWOC Oakland.
#August21 meetup in Asheville
On Tuesday, August 21st from 5pm to 7 or so at Firestorm Books & Coffee, join Blue Ridge Anarchist Black Cross for a series of updates and discussions concerning the Nationwide Prison Strike from August 21 – September 9th, 2018. BRABC will talk about the repressions that have already occurred as prisons around the country ramp up in fear of prisoners flexing their collective muscles by putting down their tools, educating each other, organizing and refusing meals. They’ll provide you with some tools and knowledge to help you amplify the voices of those on the inside. For a list of events around the country to support #August21, check out igd or PrisonStrike.Com.
Hunger Strike at Sterling Correctional in Colorado
Denver ABC passed on information about a hunger strike that’s started at Sterling CI in Colorado. The demands of the prisoners and updates can be found at the DABC website.
NAABC Conference Fundraiser in AVL
Also, on August 29th at The Odditorium in Asheville, BRABC will be hosting a benefit concert to raise funds for travel costs for formerly incarcerated folks and former Political Prisoners attending the North American Anarchist Black Cross conference in Colorado this fall. The show will feature performances by Too Bad (from Florida) and the local talents of Autarch, Good Grief & Harsh Mike.
This week we are presenting two anarchist voices regarding DACA, among many other things. DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and has been in the news recently because of a stay on this program by the current administration.
I should say that these two interviews were conducted separately, and I am trying something different regarding their presentation, namely weaving the two of them together in the way that seemed to make the most sense to me so as to present all the information in the most succinct way, all in the same place, while still trying to preserve the arcs of both interviews. I’m still not really sure how I feel about this radio tactic, and I’m seeking opinions from listeners if you feel moved to shoot me an email via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The two interviews were very different, and from slightly different
perspectives though the two interviewees were both anarchists and both living in North Carolina. We talk about DACA and its histories, some psychological and logistical impacts of this stay on affected communities, and the mental calisthenics involved in being an anarchist while living in a world so saturated by the state and all it entails.
If you enjoyed this presentation, both of the interviews in their entirety including my replies and questions are on The Final Straw
Radio’s archive.org collection for anyone to listen to. Just visit
archive.org and search The Final Straw Radio Collection and navigate to the post entitled “DACA interviews, full versions”.
The interviewers recommend getting in touch with regional
organizations for solidarity and resources where possible. CIMA operates out of Asheville, and stands for Compañeros Inmigrantes de las Montañas en Acción, which is “a regional network connecting and strengthening organizations that empower Latino communities in Western North Carolina. At one point about 25 organizations actively participate in the coalition.” You can follow them on the web at http://cimawnc.org/ and email them at email@example.com.
This week Bursts spoke with Rhyd Wildermuth. Rhyd is a co-editor and founder or the website Gods & Radicals, which also publishes periodical journal entitled “A Beautiful Resistance”. For the hour, we speak about paganism, anti-capitalism, race and whiteness in the context of ethical approaches towards earth-based religions as white people in a Settler Colonial society, May Day and more. You can find his projects at https://godsandradicals.org
We also repeat our announcement of the upcoming anarchist bookfaire in Asheville:
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 http://acab2017.noblogs.org for updates and info.
More up-to-date announcements and episodes will pick up along with audio from our participation in the International Anarchist Gathering in Athens, Greece, starting up mid-May, 2017. Check out our social media feeds to see and hear elements of it, including the live broadcast on April 30th from Athens.
First, we spoke with Kamau Franklin, who is a radical activist, the political editor for the online publication Atlanta Blackstar, and former attourney based out of Atlanta, GA. We are speaking today about Ungovernable, which is a radical organizing platform rooted in anti state Black and POC autonomy, how it began, its directives and ideals, and how to best move forward in this political moment among many other things.
From their website:
“We pledge to create a resistance movement that makes Trump unable to govern our oppression; unable to deceive the people, to make the people accept his reign of hatred. We refuse to give hatred a chance to govern, a chance to roll back civil and human rights, a chance to deport millions of people, a chance to create camps and registries for Muslims, a chance to expand the prison industrial complex, a chance to expand its drone wars, or a chance to turn back the gains won by our struggles.”
To learn more about Ungovernable, you can visit their website at https://www.ungovernable2017.com/, also you can hit them up on fedbook by searching “Ungovernable 2017 and Beyond”, our guest has also invited people to message him on the FB too, you can do that by searching his name spelled Kamau Franklin.
Repression in Turkey
The second segment is an interview conducted by audio comrades from the Slovenian anarchist radio project called Crna Luknja with a member of the Turkish anarchist group DAF & an editor of their newspaper, Meydan.
As we announced recently on the show, the main editor of Meydan, Hüseyin Civan, has just been sentenced to 15 months in prison in relation to 3 articles in their December 2015 issue dealing with the struggles of Kurdish minorities and the resistance they offer to the Turkish state’s slow genocide.
The conversation was published on January 5th of 2017. Though most of Crna Luknja’s interviews are conducted in Slovenian, they do produce interviews in English when it’s the common language shared with their guests. More content from Crna Luknja can be found here
First, though a few quick, mostly prisoner announcements:
Sean Swain, an anarchist prisoner who’s generally got a featured segment on this show and has for 3 years as of this week, has been on hunger strike at Warren Correctional Institution in Ohio since December 26th and has been placed in a suicide cell.
Although details are still murky, we know that Sean has been without food since December 26th. He was charged with extortion of a deputy warden and had begun a disciplinary process when he began his hunger strike and was placed in a suicide cell.
We know that the prison is recognizing his hunger strike and following the associated procedures, which include taking him to the medical unit every day and weighing him and taking his vital signs. It is unclear whether they are attempting to negotiate with him in any way.
Please take a moment to write a letter of encouragement to Sean and to call the following prison administrators and encourage them to negotiate with Sean and help him end this hunger strike as quickly as possible.
Deputy Director of Operations Casey Barr (513) 932-3388 ext. 2005
Warden’s Assistant Greg Kraft (513) 932-3388 ext. 2010
Updates on Sean can be found at http://seanswain.org
There are pushes by the support crews in these last days of the Obama presidency to request clemency or commutations for the sentences of long standing political prisoners here in the U.S. The few that we’ve caught wind of specifically are the following:
Leonard Peltier, an indigenous activist and prisoner in his 70’s is continuing to serve in federal prison as his health declines despite his denial of guilt in the shooting death of 2 fbi agents during the raid on the American Indian Movement’s encampment on the Pine Ridge Reservation in North Dakota in 1975. The case has been hotly debated since it was held, with many contesting the possibility of Peltier’s guilt. Recently, one of his prosecutors from that case said that it was time to let him go due to his age and health. More on his case can be found at http://whoisleonardpeltier.info
Reach out to US AG:
The Honorable Loretta Lynch
U.S. Department of Justice
Comment Line: +1 202 353 1555
Contact form: https://www.justice.gov/doj/webform/your-message-department-justice
Chelsea Manning is a former intel analyst for the U.S. Military who was convicted of sharing documentation of military abuses with Wikileaks and is serving a 35 year sentence. She is also a Trans Woman who transitioned inside of military prison and because of her poor treatment on the inside has been very depressed and attempted suicide. There is hope that in his last days, Obama may commute her sentence for trying to do the right thing and to protect against the increased cruelty of the upcoming regime. Visit chelseamanning.org for details on how to support her
This week we feature an interview conducted by an Audio Cadre of ours on the West coast with Brooke, an anarchist who participated in the Foreclosure Defense Group that sprang from Occupy Oakland in March of 2012. During the hour, they speak about the history of that group, it’s strengths and weakness and lessons around cross-race and cross-class organizing around displacement in Oakland based on some of the models worked out by SolNet, the Seattle Solidarity Network. For an extended version of the conversation, check out the podcast version of the show.
If you’re in Asheville on Friday, December 18th, there will be a free event you can check out at Firestorm Books and Coffee at 8pm. From the description:
“The ZAD is a large scale land occupation near Notre-Dame-des-Landes, France. It was squatted in 2009 at the invitation of local citizen and farming associations, who had been resisting the imposition of an airport, highway, high speed train, and tram line since 1972. Since then, the anti-airport movement has depassed traditional limitations of “issue-based struggles” with a strong critique of capitalist and hierarchical systems (including and especially the State), and links and shared projects with a wide diversity of people, to the point where the divisions between squatter, farmer, local, have become blurred.
After a massive police operation in 2012, “Operation Cesar”, the zone of 8 miles square has been free of State intervention, and has become known as a “zone outside the law”. Zadistas have created our own infrastructures and are autonomous in many ways. Some things work less well, like conflict resolution, but overall the occupation is settled into the territory and is planning for the long term, together with the “locals” and “farmers” involved in the struggle and those living close by. At the moment, however, the French prime minister is threatening to evict the ZAD and begin work on the airport early 2016. Ironically, they are waiting until just after the COP 21 in Paris (while billing the airport as “good for the environment”).”
This week we start off with a dispatch from Sean Swain, read by William. Sean is an anarchist prisoner we’ve featured commentary from over the past 2 years. Sean Swain has been under media block for the past few months, so his commentary here has been sparse. In this segment he addresses his media silencing and his bid for presidency of the U.S. in 2016. More of Sean’s writings at seanswain.org
Paul Z. Simons on Rojava, pt3
For the meat of the episode, we feature part three of Bursts conversation with Paul Z. Simons about his experience of the Rojava Revolution going on in northern Syria. The Rojava Revolution began in 2012, as an outgrowth from the insurgency of the PKK and other Kurdish groups in Turkey that’s been locked in an off-and-on civil war for 30 years. Paul, a post-left anarchist from the U.S. talks about his experiences in Rojava in October of this year of their multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, feminism revolution.
The Rojava Revolution has been described as anti-state, anti-capitalist, feminist and ecological, however in the conversations Bursts has had on what’s gone on in Rojava with students of it, little has come out in terms of how the Rojava experiment has been ecological or anti-capitalist. So, in this conversation Paul and Bursts spoke about Paul’s understanding of economic models, property rights, modes of exchange in Rojava as well as discussions of it’s war-time and long-view approaches towards ecology in Rojava.
The first two parts of this interview can be found here.
In 2012, a power vacuum formed in parts of northern Syria as a result of the civil war. These areas, part of the lands inhabited by Kurdish peoples,soon became a testing ground for an implementation of an anti-state communalism influenced in part by an American former Anarchist turned Communalist named Murray Bookchin. Bookchin’s thought helped to shape the ideas of Abdullah Ocalan, ideological leader of the Kurdish Worker’s Party, PKK, in neighboring Turkey. The people participating in what’s been branded The Rojava Revolution are organizing administration and defense based from the neighborhood councils. Popular militias are attempting to fight external enemies like the Syrian military of Bashar Al-Asaad and ISIL/Daesh as well as the internal structures which hold in most societies such as patriarchy, class division and xenophobia. Anarchists, anti-capitalists of all stripes from around the world, feminists, ecologists… these peoples and more around the world are among those engaging with the 3-year-runnning experiment of Rojava.
This week’s episode features the first of three segments of conversation with Paul Z Simons,a post-left anarchist and co-editor of Modern Slavery Magazine. Paul, writing under the name El Errante, documented his recent tripto the Rojava region in Northern Syria. This first episode will not be followed up immediately by another episode on the subject, however we are making the second and third episodes content availablealongside of this one online. If you’re in a hurry to hear the complete conversation on his observations of institutions and organizing On The Ground in Rojava, follow this link for part II and this link for part III. These segments will make their way into radio versions in the near future.
Bursts and Paul talk about Democratic Confederalism, gender, ecology, international intervention, religion, ethnicity, anti-capitalism, competing tendencies, holding tensions, international fighters and much much more
To follow the links that our guest mentioned in this interview, just click these websites below!
To see more of Paul Z. Simon’s work, you can visit this website
Next week on The Final Straw, you’ll hear a conversation with an anarchist in Spain about recent and continued repressions of anarchists in that country. Updates on that situation can be found at https://efectopandora.wordpress.com/category/english/ and for past episodes of The Final Straw check here.
At Grand Valley Institute for Women (GVI), a federal prison in Kitchener, Ontario there has been a recent crackdown against LBTQ2+ prisoners and/or prisoners in relationships amongst themselves. Intimate relationships between prisoners are being attacked by a clique of guards acting without apparent direction or oversight from the Corrections Canada administration. We need your support with a call-in campaign to end these practices.
Harassment of prisoners includes throwing them in solitary as punishment for being in a relationship, threatening them with transfers to remote parts of the country, separating partners by placing them in different parts of the prison, and laying spurious institutional charges that can lead to being locked in the maximum security unit.
Most troublingly, guards have been using physical intimidation and invasions of personal space to harass prisoners who speak up against these practices.
The prisoners have been organizing in response to these attacks, but have faced increasing repression for their efforts.
Outside support right now can make a major difference in putting a check on the repression of prisoner relationships and dissent among prisoners.
To protest this treatment, it’s asked that people call Grand Valley Institute for Women at (519) 894-2011. For more guidance about how to conduct this phone call and for updates on this situation you can visit the website https://gviwatch.wordpress.com/