This week we featured two conversations in the episode.
“Stop The Pipelines Action Camp”
Firstly, Bursts chatted with Erin. Erin is a resident of the Blacksburg VA area and an affiliate of Blue Ridge Rapid Response Project (or BRRRP) and is helping to organize the “Stop The Pipelines Action Camp” in that area from July 13-17th, 2017. The action camp is being organized in hopes to spread resistance to the Mountain Valley & Atlantic Coast Pipelines that are traversing Appalachian West Virginia, Virginia and, in the MVP’s case, North Carolina. We talk about what it is to live in a place and defend your home, to get to know your neighbors, to build the skills needed to resist ecocidal, capitalist infrastructure projects. More info at https://blueridgerapidresponse.wordpress.com. The event is being co-sponsored by Smokey Mountain Eco-Defense (SMED)
Erin mentions pipeline security pursued by mercenary groups like TigerSwan as well as industry-sponsored astro-turf (or fake grassroots) group YourEnergy meant to muddy the water of community resistance to pipeline expansion and other infrastructural projects.
After that, Bursts chatted with 2 residents of the squatted neighborhood of Errekaleor Bizirik in the Basque territory within the borders of so-called Spain. The residents talk about the history of Errekaleor Bizirik, feminism, energy infrastructure, recent attacks by police on the project and pre-figuring a post-capitalist life-way in the rubble of the existent. For more info on the project, which translates to Dry River (Errekaleor) Lives (Bizirik)!, check out:
The draft wikipedia page;
An IGD post about the project with links and context;
Their Coopfunding page.
We wanted to also state that the folks at Errekaleor reached out to us for the interview, which was super awesome. If you have a project, a book, an article, a fight that seems like it’d be interesting to us and our listeners, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and get the ball rolling.
If you want, find us on itunes and subscribe for free. You can rate us there as well, to help others find us more easily.
The Arizona based humanitarian aid group No More Deaths (No Mas Muertes in spanish) has been under semi constant surveillance by Border Patrol for the past week. This is unprecedented attention; since its foundation in 2004 this group has had a written agreement, essentially a non interference good faith contract, with Border Patrol that names the group as a health aid and humanitarian group that has every right to be doing the work it’s doing. NO More Deaths is a group based on certain faith principles (it is an official ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Tuscon) and on critical engagement with policy reform, nevertheless it is a group that has a high degree of anarchist involvement and solidarity with what could be called anarchist principles. It is most famous for desert aid; volunteers hiking out and leaving supplies such as water – essential in the 100 plus degree heat – food, socks, blankets, other supplies, and directed first aid where needed along remote corridors in the Sonoran Desert. The group also engages with legal aid, abuse documentation, searching for missing or disappeared people, helping getting belongings back from Border Patrol, networking with other border solidarity groups in the area, and consciousness raising and education to subvert the extremely stale narrative that immigration has in the US.
A couple of days ago, after almost a week of constant surveillance, Border Patrol raided a camp “in an unprecedented show of force, [with] approximately 30 armed agents raided the camp with at least 15 trucks, two quads, and a helicopter to apprehend four patients receiving medical care.” We hope to talk with someone about this situation soon for the radio show; the fact that this raid is coming now is a clear sign of the administrations attitude toward this kind of work. For more information on this issue and to keep up with No More Deaths, you can go to their website https://nomoredeaths.org
In this week’s episode we feature two interviews. In the first, we spoke with Em, a supporter of the mass arrestees from the January 20th inauguration of Donald Trump in Washington DC earlier this year. We also speak with Jay, who was one of the arrestees. The two share first and secondhand experiences of the arrests, detention, denial of medication, rough rides and arraignment that accompanied those arrested at 12th & L that day. We also talk about where the court case is now and how to support the over 230 people kettled as Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kerkhoff and other state agents attempt to give everyone 80 years in prison for alleged property destruction. More info on the effort at https://defendj20resistance.org
In the second portion, I chatted with anarchists in Hamburg, Germany about the upcoming protest against the G20 summit that is scheduled there between July 6th and 8th. The guests speak about the history of resistance in Hamburg, the state ramping up repression, it’s impacts on marginalized folks living there and on the planned protests and how to get involved. More info on this initiative can be found at https://g20tohell.blackblogs.org/2017/02/11/english/
Our blog and podcast will also host links and audio from a few songs in German meant to bring folks out into the streets of Hamburg. Here’s a video for one.
If you’re listening still on June 11th, happy day of Solidarity with Long Term Eco & Anarchist Prisoners, Marius Mason and beyond! Whatever your solidarity looks like, don’t get caught. Local events can be found at june11.org. Don’t forget to submit your anonymized and proxied exploits to email@example.com. Also, check out the awesome series of interviews with prisoners, former prisoners and their supporters done by the June 11th crew that are up at It’s Going Down by searching for june 11th.
Kevin “Rashid” Johnson
New Afrikan Black Panther, Kevin “Rashid” Johnson is a long term prison organizer and published author. Rashid is being retaliated against for his prison organizing. According to the blog PAPS Texas, “He had a shank planted on him which was used as an excuse to take away his legal materials and typewriter.
Please call the following numbers.
William Clements Unit
(806) 381-7080 – ask to speak to the warden’s office or if unavailable to property
Region V Director
Phone: 806-296-4500 or FAX 806-296-4521
Ask for Captain Ramirez
Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Phone: (936) 437-4927
Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m
Follow up by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org”
more info, including a script you can borrow from and more in-depth descriptions of what happened to Rashid can be found at http://rashidmod.com
As in many locations yesterday (June 10th 2017), Raleigh NC saw immense opposition to the Anti-Sharia Law marches, for the most part called for by Act for America which is a far right islamophobic group that alleges that the US is slipping into Sharia Law via whatever wingnut influence they think is going on. Like pretty much everything in this vein, this notion belies an extremely poor understanding of what Sharia is and how it functions, basically transforming it into yet another proxy for islamophobia and “patriotic”, white supremacists zealotry in the mouths of racists. Yesterday saw (as I mentioned before) nationwide opposition to this farce, with battles from Seattle and Portland to our very own North Carolina, where the anti-racist crew outnumbered the racists by about 4 to 1, demoralizing them into an early dispersal and hopefully a lowered self esteem. Keep your eyes peeled for updates and report backs on your favorite anarchist news sites, like It’s Going Down!
To editorialize for a second, at the start of this Pride month 2017 there were seemingly a lot of LGBTQ people joining the Act for America shindig in the name of protesting the alleged homophobia and misogyny under Sharia. As a gay person myself, I would say to any LGTBTQ individual who joined Act for America yesterday that you need look no further than your own home country to see brutal and systemic attacks against women and queer folks any day of the week without resorting to otherising and racist rhetoric to express your so called rage at homophobia. And before you start crying, wringing your hands, and trying to derail this statement, it’s true that patriarchy and homophobia exist everywhere, it would be ridiculous to say otherwise. That’s not what I’m talking about tho. What you did yesterday and what you are continuing to do by joining the right is lending them another facet by which they justify their own bigotries (plus I daresay expressing your own as well), and by lending them numbers. What in any case is the point of protesting this phenomenon, which the right neither understands nor knows how to interpret, other than to oppress an already beleaguered demographic of people in the States?
In closing, I’ll say that make no mistake that the far right will throw you under the bus at the first opportune moment. They historically always have. So if you like that kind of thing, then knock yourself out. If not, check your shit and examine who is telling you what, why, and at what cost to you.
This week Bursts spoke with Jude, a member of the Tilted Scales Collective, about the collective’s new book, A Tilted Guide to Being a Defendant out from Combustion Books.
In this interview, they speak about the Tilted Scales Collective, which is “a small collective of dedicated legal support organizers who have spent years supporting and fighting for political prisoners, prisoners of war, and politicized prisoners in the occupied lands of Turtle Island (i.e., the so-called united states).” from their website, and about the book which is a comprehensive run down for people facing legal charges and how to cope with handling them.
The Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons (FTP) is a collaboration with the Abolitionist Law Center. FTP’s mission is to conduct grassroots organizing, advocacy and direct action to challenge the prison system
which is putting prisoners at risk of dangerous environmental conditions, as well as impacting surrounding communities and ecosystems by their construction and operation. At this time, FTP is focused on opposing the construction of a new federal prison in Letcher County, Kentucky.
FTP is inspired by the abolitionist movement against mass incarceration and the environmental justice movement, which have both been led by the communities of color who are hardest hit by prisons and pollution.Both these movements also have long histories of multi-racial alliances among those on the front lines of the struggle and those who can offer support and solidarity, which we aim to build on.
FTP has been informed by the ongoing research and analysis of the Human Rights Defense Center’s Prison Ecology Project, as well as the work of the Earth First! Prisoner Support Project and http://June11.org
FTP has just announced that their 2017 convergence will be from June 2-5th in Denton/Fort Worth Texas. It will include speakers, panels, workshops, protests and cultural activities, including an art show and hip-hop performances.
Some proposed topics are:
– Mapping Toxic Prisons
– The History and Future of June 11
– Building Mult-Racial Alliances Against Incarceration
– EJ Lessons from the Pipeline struggles
Environmentalists know Texas as the financial headquarters of oil and gas empire that controls the nation’s political system, where fights against pipelines like Keystone XL and Trans-Pecos have captured the attention of the nation.
Prison abolitionists know Texas as home to one of the most brutal and corrupt state prison systems in the country, where extreme heat is coupled with tainted water, and vocal participants from the September prisoner strike like Keith ‘Malik’ Washington sit in long term solitary confinement, subjected to both.
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 I speak 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.
For links on how to support the efforts at Standing Rock – which are ongoing and support is needed both for folk’s legal and medical expenses – check out:
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!
This week on The Final Straw Radio, I spoke with Mars Goetia. Mars is, among other things, a musician, parent and anarchist who’s been doing a lot of thinking and working around conflict engagement in and around anarchist communities. In this episode, Mars and I speak about about the difficulty of language when engaging in interpersonal conflict, about state repression, expectations and more.
In June we aired 2 conversations with members of the Turkish group DAF, Revolutionary Anarchist Action. Among the three voices featured was that of Hüseyin Civan, the managing editor of Mayden Magazine. Hüseyin has been sentenced to 15 months in prison by the Turkish government for Mayden articles in support of Kurdish struggles for autonomy and against state repression in Turkey.
This sentencing comes amid a very troubling time in Turkey. Following the Turkish government’s reversal of seeking peace with Kurdish groups in the country’s eastern regions, a failed coup earlier this year, the grab at increasing presidential control and prerogative, non-secular regime of Tayip Erdogan has resumed military incursions into Kurdish communities and purged educational institutions and media of critical voices. They even went so far as to allow Daesh fighters across their border to fight Kurds and anti-capitalists and have launched attacks across the Syrian border into Rojava.
To contact DAF to offer solidarity to Hüseyin, you can visit http://anarsistfaaliyet.org
On Jan 5th, 2017, The Odditorium in Asheville will be hosting a benefit concert for the newly-formed Blue Ridge Anarchist Black Cross starting at 9pm. Come early for a Security Culture 101/201 training where folks’ll talk about things you need to keep your community safe.
The lineup includes: Secret Shame, Nomadic War Machine, Kangarot & Cloudgayzer
This week we are airing two short interviews, the first is with an anarchist legal worker who has been participating in resistance at Standing Rock in so called North Dakota. This interview is specifically about the grand jury summons which was recently served to someone who was struggling at Standing Rock, we speak about what a grand jury is and how people might resist them, also a bit about what it means for this movement to have a grand jury subpoena occur at this moment. Due to time restrictions, we had to cut out some political analysis out of this broadcast version, but you can listen to the extended interview in the podcast version which will be up on https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/, or you can download it using iTunes or any other podcasting mechanizm.
If you have been contacted by federal agents in relation to Standing Rock, please call the Water Protector Legal Collective IMMEDIATELY at area code (605) 519-8180. To donate to this collective and to learn more about the work they do, you can visit their website at http://waterprotectorlegal.org/. To look again at our guest’s suggestions for further research, you can visit the noblogs site or on http://www.ashevillefm.org/, or go to https://itsgoingdown.org/ and scroll through to the article “Grand Jury Resistance at Standing Rock”.
Scott Campbell on upcoming tour of Mexico with It’s Going Down
The next interview we will present is a conversation with Scott Campbell who writes the Insumisión column for http://itsgoingdown.org. Insumisión is a semi regular publication which aims to highlight anarchistic and anarchist struggles and news all around Mexico. Scott and members of IGD are in the process of launching an information gathering and affinity building tour around Mexico in early next year. In this interview we talk about Insumisión and what inspired it, as well as some of the strategies and influences both North American and Mexican struggle can take from one another, among other topics. To read Insumisión and for a write up about the upcoming tour, you can visit https://itsgoingdown.org/insumision/. To donate to the tour and to see a write up about it, you can visit the rally dot org website https://rally.org/igd-mexico
You can also check out El Enemigo Común (or The Common Enemy) at https://elenemigocomun.net/
From their website “[This project] is an international watchdog against state sponsored repression. It is the project of a small collective of volunteers in the U.S. and Mexico. We publish and translate communiqués, articles, and other media by, about, and for social movements. Our primary focus is on indigenous peoples, women, and youth, in both urban and rural communities in Oaxaca, but we also publish about other struggles against neoliberalism throughout Mexico”.
A quick shoutout of thanks to KFED for the lovely new image for the series podcast. Much appreciated!
This week on the Final Straw, we air a conversation Bursts, me, I… hi… had with a member of New York City Anarchist Black Cross, heretoforth known as nyc-abc. For a good portion of the hour we speak about this activists views on anarchist support for prisoners and long term liberation prisoners. We also talk about the work that NYC-ABC does including: prisoner-writing nights; the Running Down The Walls event coordinated with numerous folks on the outside and incarcerated comrades; their recently unvailed Project FANG ( with help from Sac Prisoner Support)which sets aside regular visitation funds for animal and earth liberation prisoners and their loved ones; their U.S. Political Prisoner graphic guide updated monthly; and more. You can find out more about NYC-ABC on their website at http://nycabc.wordpress.com, or find them on the various and insidious social media platforms out there.
For the last 10 minutes, here is a musical track to get you into the holiday spirit, and to beckon some much-needed rains in this area to put out the fires: Klarträumer, meaning Lucid Dream. This is Deluge from their album, Aether. Deluge is from Metz, Lorraine in France. More from them and other awesome dark and heavy music with good politics can be found at http://thedarkskiesaboveus.blogspot.com
2016 Former Political Prisoner Panel pt2 Podcast
Also of note, in a few days we’ll be releasing the second half of the Former Political Prisoner Panel from the 2016 North American Anarchist Black Cross conference in Denver. This year we heard from Sekuo Kombui, Daniel McGowan, Kazi Toure and John Tucker. To hear the first portion and check out brief bio’s of these folks visit: https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/2016/11/13/naabc-former-political-prisoners-panel-2016-pt-1/
IWOC call for support for James Shelby
When you have a minute (literally, one minute) please call WMCC Prison
Warden Sherie Korneman in Missouri at (816) 632-1390 and say, “I am
calling to do a wellness check on James Shelby, prisoner number 41244,
my friend told me his life is in danger to medical negligence. If he was
not sent back to the hospital after November 14th, he needs to be taken
Again, that name and number is Warden Sherie Korneman at (816) 632-1390.
#NoDAPL: Standing Rock camp threatened with eviction
As many of you have probabaly heard, the Standing Rock camp for resisting the Dakota Access pipeline has recently been issued an eviction notice to take effect on December 5th (though they are *generously* granting people a so called “free speech zone” well away from the camp and sacred lands). Updates from the camp have been flying out fast in recent weeks, most notably having to do with the police and army’s use of force essentially being tantamount to torture and brutality. In the wake of the eviction notice, there had been a call from standing rock for a broadening of tactics for people wanting to stand in solidarity with water protectors. To that end, there is a collection of names and addresses of people directly related to the Dakota access pipeline which you can use as you see fit; the authors of the peice are very clear to state that they do not endorse so called “illegal activity, but that the list is for education and outreach purposes only”. However, I think that it is also safe to say that people should use their discretions when coming up with any actions they would like to see happen.
You can see this full article, plus the list of names and addresses, check out: https://itsgoingdown.org/nodapl-indigenous-land-defense-strategic-solidarity-pressuring-power-capital/
Please help to build Portland’s movement total and collective liberation! Please donate now! Many people have been outraged by the election, Standing Rock, Prison Industrial Complex, white supremacy and capitalism in general. We are all fed up and need to take a stand. The left movement in general is grossly underfunded and inhibits our ability to control the narrative with social media and of course trumping the corporate media. Many activists are getting arrested and charged for all kinds of things. We need to keep our communities safe.
However the movement needs funds to actually move forward and fix this whole system and not because it’s broken! It’s because we need to build something new! Not fix broken things. It was never a broken system and was meant to do exactly what it was doing! Please help!
Help spread the word!
you can donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/support-fund-antitrump-activists
Airs on WSFM-LP 103.3 in Asheville / streaming at AshevilleFM from 3am EST on October 30th, 2016, through November, 6th podcasting at radio4all.net. Also airing this week on KOWA-LPFM in Olympia, WA, KWTF in Bodega Bay, CA, and WCRS-LP Columbus Community Radio 98.3 and 102.1 FM. Past episodes can be found at TheFinalStrawRadio.NoBlogs.Org and you can now subscribe to us via iTunes! You can email us at email@example.com and you can send us mail at:
The Final Straw
864 Haywood rd
Asheville, NC 28806
You can also note that we are now podcasting on ITunes! To reap the enormous benefits of this fact, you can visit the ITunes store or the podcast thing on any available smartphone and search for The Final Straw Radio. Please take a minute to leave us a comment and rate us, too!
This week, we present a conversation with a member of CNA-DF, or Anarchist Black Cross of Mexico City. During the hour she speaks about the work of CNA-DF, prison in Mexican society, anti-prison organizing versus prison abolitionism, transformative justice, counter-repression and prisoners the CNA is working to support.
Specific prisoners CNA-DF supports include: Alvaro Sebastian (Oaxacan teacher); Fernando Bárcenas (accused of burning the Mexico City Xmas Tree in 2013 during anti-fare increase demonstration in Mexico City. Publishes Cimarron newspaper, involved in punk rock, alternative health care, horizontal education and organizing in prison.); Luis Fernando Sotelo (accused of burning a bus during day of global action in solidarity with the Ayatzinopa 43, Normalista students disappeared by the Mexican State. Sotelo has received a 33 year sentence for damage to the bus. Recently on hunger strike, in prison 2 years now); Abraham Cortés (13 years for attempted murder of a cop, arrested during October 2nd memorial demonstration in Mexico City of the 1968 massacre of hundreds of demonstrating students. Recently on hunger strike w Fernando Bárcenas against: 1. Prisons, calling to revolt against the state; 2. in solidarity with the #PrisonStrike starting Sept 9 in the U.S.; 3. And against the Bárcenas & Cortés); & Miguel Ángel Peralta Betanzos (from Oaxaca, accused of attempted murder of politicians in opposition with communal indigenous council of his community).
Raids at Standing Rock
After a series of violent raids which saw over 100 people arrested, the most recent on October 27th at Standing Rock and other camps resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline, there has been a call for renewed and amped up solidarity for this resistance. This could include coming to North Dakota and fighting the pipeline and joining the struggle, organizing where you live and taking action against banks, the Army Corp. of Engineers, and politicians backing the project, and sending money and supplies to the encampment. Already solidarity actions are taking places, such as the occupation of buildings, solidarity demonstrations, and more.
To get more ideas of what solidarity could mean, and where to send supplies and funds if you are able, you can visit https://nodaplsolidarity.org and click the tab “Support the Camps”.
Kinetic Justice of FAM transferred
Kinetic Justice of the Free Alabama Movement has been transferred out of Holman Prison in Alabama to Kilby Correctional Facility and from there to Limestone Corrections, known among Alabama prisoners to be a “bully unit,” where prisoners deemed disruptive are brutalized. This occurred one day before he was reportedly scheduled to meet with an advocate from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SLPC). This is in clear retaliation on the part of the prison system, and is an attempt to silence a dissenting voice which has been very important both in FAM and in the Prison Strike. In response, Kinetic is ending the first week of a hunger strike, to protest his treatment and bacaause he doesn’t trust Limestone to not tamper with the food they give him.
Keep your eyes on the free alabama movement’s webpage at http://freealabamamovement.com/ for updates on Kinetic’s situation and how to help. You can also follow them on twitter @freealamovement, you can also follow Freedom for Kinetic @for_kinetic
Anti-Nazi march in Harrisburg, PA
Lastly tho not leastly, DON’T FORGET that Saturday the 5th of Novemeber will see resistance to a National Socialist Movement rally (or more plainly, neo nazi) in Harrisburg PA. The NSM is teaming up with the Traditionalist Worker Party for this charade in the so called “heart of democracy”, the TWP being the same boneheads who were responsible for drawing knives in Sacramento this past summer. Central PA Antifa and related anti racists are calling for as much support as possible at this event, to help run the nazis out of town.
You can get up with this situaiton by connecting with Central PA Antifa on facebook by searching their name, you can also donate to them by visiting:
you can also get super up to date information by following them on twitter @centralpaantifa
Asheville Prison Books Cover Band show
If you’re going to be around Asheville tonight, Sunday October 30th, and want to get your ghoul on for a good cause, consider visiting the Prison Books Cover Band benefit. For over a decade now, punks have been showing up and rocking out to raise funds for Asheville Prison Books, a 501c3 non-profit that sends literature to prisoners. Cover bands include SubHumans, Green Day and many, many more. The show starts at Toy Boat on 101 Fairview Rd, just off Sweeten Creek Road.
This week we’ll be rebroadcasting a recent update from A-Radio Berlin on the repression called Operation Fenix in Czech Republic against anarchists there. Following that, we’ll hear some music from Wildspeaker, Cara Neir and Allochiria.
First, text from the intro to the A-Radio Portion:
“In the context of the International Week of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners (23.-30th of August 2016), we had the opportunity of talking to a comrade from Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) in Czech Republic. The interview gives a short summary of the repression that started in 2015 and explains the singular cases and their current development, but deals also with the problems the movement had in the beginning to show solidarity. Last but not least, you get very good advice on the topic of solidarity and what to do yourselves.
Since the interview, another comrade is in prison. Lukáš Borl, who had been living underground, has been arrested by the police on September 4.”
More info on the case at https://antifenix.noblogs.org/
This was a statement originally posted to itsgoingdown.org, which we have shortened for broadcasting. It pertains to updates on the September 9th prison strike, with some thoughts about how to move forward from here. For more such thoughts, you can check out the most recent IGD cast which includes interviews with IWOC organizers and resisting prisoners in Merced, CA.
One thing is not in question: September 9th is now officially the largest prison work strike ever to take place within the United States.
This strike against prison slavery that began on September 9th, the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising has now entered it’s third week. According to organizers with Support Prisoner Resistance:
“As of 9/21 we have tracked 46 prisons and jails that experienced some kind of disruption between September 8 and 21st. This total includes both lockdowns reported by officials (some of whom deny that the lockdown was protest related) and reports of protests from prisoners and supporters (some of which did not lead to lockdowns or full strikes).
Of these, 31 facilities experienced a lock-down, suspension or full strike for at least 24 hours. Those 31 facilities house approximately 57,000 people. That is a guess at the minimum number of prisoners affected by the nationally coordinated strike.
There is likely much more going on behind the prison gates that we do not yet know about. We receive new information on a daily basis. In some places the strike lasted a day or a weekend, but in some, it seems to be going strong 12 days in.”
The strike has also grown out of the original expectations of many organizers. For instance, the strike has spread into both men and women’s prisons, into county jails, and has lead to not only work strikes, but hunger strikes, organized marches and protests inside facilities, expanded communication of prisoners to the outside, and full fledged uprisings. Despite a media blackout that is fueled by the advertising of corporations that make billions from prison slavery while the mainstream press drones on about politicians which vow to only expand it – the strike is only continuing and bringing more people into our networks.
On the outside, thousands of people took to the streets. In Durham, NC and Brooklyn, NY, freeways were blocked. In Oakland, corporations profiting from prison labor were attacked. In Portland, streets and stores profiting from prison labor were occupied and shut down. In Austin, people shut down a facility showcasing products made by prisoners, and demonstrations, marches, and rallies were organized throughout the South. Across the US, noise demonstrations outside of prisons were organized, marches were held, and graffiti, banners, and posters were placed around the walls, freeways, and towns and cities of the US. Across the world, people also took action in solidarity with the prison strike. From Serbia to Sweden, Greece to Australia, Mexico to Spain, people released statements of solidarity, held demonstrations outside of prisons, and took action against corporations that profit from prison slavery.
In order to proceed, people need to develop a strategy around supporting the strike. This means figuring out if and how you can support a facility near you taking action, how you can link up and build connections with prisoners, how you could build up your organization or crew to carry out this activity, and also how you could carry out actions which push forward the strike.
1.) Support the Strikers:
Holding a demonstration outside of the facility.
Holding a demonstration outside of a corporation connected to prison labor in solidarity with the strike (especially if that is what the prisoners are working to create).
Hold a call-in campaign to the prison to demand that the prison meet the prisoners demands and end repressive measures against them.
Hold a letter writing night to make contact with the prisoners. Contact IWOC for more information if you have no established contacts.
Hold a fundraiser for established groups such as the Free Ohio Movement or the Free Alabama Movement. Remember prisoners are the front lines of this struggle. We must support them and their activity as well!
2.) Build your Squad:
Raising money so you can continue or begin to engage in prison support work.
Host a letter writing night to better connect with prisoners already engaged in action.
Host a call-in event with a prisoner who can discuss the conditions that exist where they are
striking and how people on the outside can support them. Contact IWOC for more details.
Host a speaker, Skype presenter, or open discussion on the strike to move people from passive
support to active participation. Plug people into the organizing and get them involved.
Organize a BBQ or social event where people discuss the strike, update people on what is
happening, and read off actions and communiques.
3) Keep it Lit:
Organize a noise demonstration outside a facility taking action or one closest to you.
Organize and take action at a corporation profiting from prison slavery. Get creative!
Drop a banner in solidarity with the prison strike.
Organize a night of wheat-pasting flyers. Get people together and go out on the town and put up
posters and flyers supporting the strike. Write graffiti and drop banners.
Already, our comrades across the world are standing with us in solidarity. In a statement released by the ABC Solidarity Cell in Greece, they have called for international supporters to also take action in support of the ongoing strike on October 1st.
The September 9th strike has been inspiring, but to stop now and simply step back and wait for the next eruption would be to loose out on bringing new people into our movement. To also stop taking action now when prisoners across the US are still on strike, still on hunger strike, and still risking their lives would be to betray everything that they have worked for.
Now is the time to build. Now is the time to grow. But it is definitely not the time to stop.
Repression at WCW Women’s prison in Gig Harbor, WA
To support prisoner resistance, from an anonymous prison staff in the state of Washington:
“I would like you and supporters to know that there was a symbolic protest at Washington Correctional Center for Women in Gig Harbor on September 9. Three women refused to go to work in the prison library. The emergency response team was dispatched and the women were taken to Segregation. At their hearing last week, they were given 20 days in seg, and are facing reclassification and probably the loss of their jobs. In my opinion, this was a peaceful, non-violent expression of their opinions meant to draw attention to the issue of prison labor, and the response was much more disruptive than the event itself. The library has been closed since September 9. According to DOC, this was the only action in the entire state of Washington.”
Support for Amir Davis, Kinetic’s Son
In March of this year, the son of Kinetik was accused of stabbing Warden Davenport at Holman prison in Alabama. He was then shipped to Donaldson. He has since been assaulted, harassed, and tortured in Solitary Confinement. If you support FAM and the work we do then let Kinetik’s Sun know his sacrifices for change were not in vain. Those willing, drop him a postcard and those able, put a small donation on his books via the ADOC website.
Amir “Jaja” Davis #268646
G-4 WE Donaldson CF
1000 Warrior Lane
Bessemer, AL 35023
In Revolutionary Solidarity,
To see a list of more people who have been explicitely targeted by officials in response to the Prison Strike, you can visit itsgoingdown.org
Seeking #CharlotteUprising interviews
As most of you are probably aware, following the police murder of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte NC (who was killed while sitting in his car reading and waiting for his kid to get dropped off from school), there have been riots in that town which have lasted days. The mainstream media coverage of these events has been predictably terrible, following all the racist tropes we have come to expect from the likes of CNN and FOX. With an aim to combat these narratives, we at The Final Straw would like to put out a call for submissions or interviews that people would like to see broadcast on this show. Any interviews would be done from an explicitely anarchist perspective.
If this is at all interesting to you or anyone you know, give us a holler at:
This week Bursts speaks with Greg Curry, a prisoner serving time for alleged participation in the Lucasville Prison uprising of 1993 where prisoners took over the Ohio prison, leading to the death of 10 inmates and one guard. For the hour, they speak about incarceration in the U.S., intersections of race and class, the prison strikes, capitalism and resistance. More on Greg’s case can be found at https://gregcurry.wordpress.com/
Prison Strike, Week 2
Here is another roundup of week two of of the National Prison Strike. This information was pulled from Mask Magazine, It’s Going Down, Support Prisoner Resistance, and the Incarcerated Worker’s Organizing Committee.
Hunger strike begins at Lucasville and Ohio State Penitentiary, called by the Free Ohio Movement.
South Carolina prisoners release video of insects in their food.
Columbia, SC: Confirmed strike at Broad River Correctional Institution:
Florida: More prisoner uprising broke out on Monday night. According to the Miami Herald:
Florida’s state prisons have resumed “normal” operations despite a disturbance Monday night at Columbia Correctional, the fifth inmate uprising in less than a week, officials said. About 40 inmates engaged in civil disobedience by refusing officers’ orders and taking control of at least one dorm Monday evening. Columbia — one of the state’s most violent prisons — remained on lockdown Tuesday.
Since Thursday, inmates have caused trouble at four other prisons, all in the state’s Panhandle, including Gulf Annex Correctional, Mayo Correctional and Jackson Correctional. The most serious melee was at Holmes Correctional, where 400 inmates destroyed several dorms on Thursday.
Inmates involved in any incident have been moved to other prisons.
Chelsea Manning ends hunger strike that she began on September 9th. The army has agreed to grant her demands of gender affirming surgery.
Support Prisoner Resistance reports prison lockdowns in Arizona. Perryville, Yuma, Tuscon, Douglas, and Phoenix. It is unclear whether these are related to the strike, more information is forthcoming.
Merced, CA: Supporters report another block joins hunger strike. You can hear full coverage of this situation on the most recent IGD Cast here.
Holman Prison, AL: Free Alabama Movement issues press release calling for an end to the humanitarian crisis at the prison. They state through social media that many guards are not reporting to work and that much of the prison remains unguarded. This is from a press release which came out yesterday:
A serious humanitarian crisis is developing at Holman prison as correctional officers continue to walk off of the job amid concerns about safety and apathy from Warden Terry Raybon and the office of ADOC Commissioner Jefferson S Dunn, as violence, including deadly stabbings and assaults continue to mount.
Several officers expressed dismay and fear after learning that two of their fellow officers, Officer Brian Ezell and another officer, reported to Warden Raybon that they had knives drawn on them and their lives threatened, and that neither Warden Raybon, nor Commissioners Jeff Dunn and Grantt Culliver would take any action to ensure their safety. Both of these officers then quit.
Several other officers have also quit in the past three weeks after witnessing a stabbing of a fellow officer in the temple and who had remained hospitalized with life threatening injuries until he was pronounced dead earlier today. This after a former warden, Carter Davenport, was stabbed in March amidst back to back riots and other violence at Holman.
Now, after seeing Warden Raybon release approximately 20 people from segregation on September 13, 2016, most of whom were all in segregation for violent incidents (only to see several stabbing take place, including one critically injured and another losing an eye), a total of eight more officers have e ither quit or turned in their two week notices. Officers are expressing concern that the Commissioners of the ADOC are intentionally exacerbating violence at the expense of human life in efforts to push forward their plan to extort the public for 1.5 billion to build new prisons in next years Legislative Session.
Officers have began to express support for the Non-Violent stance of FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT and their efforts to expose corruption, violence and other issues plaguing Holman and other Alabama prisons, and have went so far as to make repeated requests to Warden Raybon for the release of F.A.M. co-founder and organizer Kinetik Justice from solitary confinement, because officers now feel that he is being wrongfully detained and because he has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to conduct peaceful demonstrations at Holman prison to bring attention to issues within the ADOC and Holman prison.
We are asking that everyone call Commissioner Dunn and Warden Raybon and demand that they post daily reports of the staffing levels and incidents of violence taking place at Holman as a matter of public safety.
Warden Terry Raybon
Holman Correctional Facility
Commissioner Jefferson Dunn
Commissioner Grantt Culliver
334-353-3883 (switchboard operator)
We close with this update from inside prison walls in SC:
“Comrades up here having an inside meeting to critically analyze the Prison strike strong and weak positions. For many it didn’t go far enough. Crucial points of resolution are not addressed. Certain regions didn’t feel the love, so the fire didn’t burn where they were at. Strong points, it was time. Unity was found on the outside. More people are talking about prison issues. Inside prisoners found unity in certain units or prisons. We too are talking more. These are just samples of what we need to start discussions around, particularly the prisoners. Because this will tell us how to add this moment in the movement, to the collective of prison rebellions to strengthen it, and toss the weak points.
Big UPS to the Prisoners thats always refused to comply. I’m one. For over a decade I’ve been punish with little privileges do to my insistent stance not to work. So the prisons close us off from the working prisoners. Its good to see others joining. But its not enough. They’ll let the few of us lay. So to be truly effective, time to plan and prepare for the next phase.”
Call for solidarity from IWOC
Meanwhile, the IWOC is making every effort to track the strike in the hopes of continuing this resistance and locating forms of solidarity and calls for assistance. If you would like to help in this effort, there is a comprehensive phone zaps list that includes a rundown of phone numbers, some context for the specific struggles, and suggested scripts to read if and when you get the pigs on the line. You can see this Google Doc here.
Also, if you hear anything, or are able to call prisons and ask about lockdown status, please let IWOC know via email at: iwoc(at)riseup(dott)net If you make calls for a given state and hear no lockdowns, please report that too.
Stay tuned all around for updates on the strike. Love and solidarity!
Legal fund donations to AVL and ATL
And finally (tho not lastly) just to plug, and to yet again express our love for our jailed NC and GA comrades, people here in Asheville and in Atlanta still need donations for legal funds. All of these folks were arrested while expressing solidarity with the Prison Strike, and the folks from Atlanta are facing some insane felony charges. All of them are out of jail now, but are beginning the long, slow battle with the criminal injustice system and they need your support.
To donate to comrades in Asheville, and to see a pretty sweet write up of the events of the day in our town, you can visit:
And to express solidarity to Atlanta, you can visit: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/bail-out-prison-strike-supporters
Some anarchist media not to be missed
I’d like to share a few notes on recent anarchist audio and video media in english that I’ve been appreciating in hopes of enticing you, dear audience, into checking them out.
Crimethinc’s The Exworker has begun rebroadcasting. This most recent episodes of the podcast focuses on the September 9th strike with a conversation with Azzurra of the ABC in Houston, TX, and Ben Turk of IWOC based in Wisconsin. Episode 49 also includes a review of Captive Nation: Black Organizing In The Civil Rights Era, an interview with an anarchist in the UK about Brexit and other tidbits. #50 also includes a segment mourning the death of Jordan MacTaggart, an American anarchist who died on the front lines in Rojava recently, a segment celebrating the death of former police chief and all-around king-bastard John Timoney and a rebroadcast of a Crna Luknja interview with members of DAF about Turkey after the attempted Coup. These ExWorkers are well worth a listen and available at http://crimethinc.com/podcast/
Also, submedia’s most recent episode on strikes, the DAPL pipeline and more entitled Burn Down The Plantation features a great interview with Melvin Ray of the Free Alabama Movement. This sits alongside a second video installment explaining anarchist fundamentals, this time featuring the concept of Mutual Aid, short videos on continued struggles in France against the #LoiTravail, direct action against fascists in Athens. These and more can be found at https://submedia.tv/stimulator/
It’s Going Down is now producing the IDGcast which can be found at http://itsgoingdown.org/ and include thus far timely interviews on the uprising in Milawukee, words from the Red Warrior Camp at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access pipeline, the state of the alt-right or new white nationalist movements in North America and a discussion on communes and struggle with Morgan and El Errante. The most recent episode features an interview with a woman on hunger strike in Merced, California, in solidarity with hunger striking prisoners against the deplorable situation in this poor and rural county’s jails. The jails have witnessed abuses, deaths and injuries among those imprisoned in adult and juvenile detention at the hands of sadistic CO’s. Find the IDGcast at http://itsgoingdown.org/podcast
Resonance Audio Distro, or RAD, is a source for radical and anarchist audio of zines, books and essays and, among other things, produced an awesome and lengthy interview with Sylvie Kashdan and Robby Barnes to give context to two plays by these rapscallions that Resonance put online. Robbie and Sylvie are longtime anarchists living in the Seattle area who have been involved in The 5th Estate magazine for decades and have tons of stories and experiences to share. Check out Resonance at https://resonanceaudiodistro.org/
Season two of The Brilliant Podcast has begun and is apparently headed towards a new format. The most recent episode features a conversation with Isaac Cronin, curator of the Cruel Hospice imprint at Little Black Cart, talks about his experiences of Situationism, pro and post-Situ ideas and play in the U.S. since the 1960’s. Check this and more out at http://thebrilliant.org/
Finally, hip hop artist Sole is continuing to put out interesting discussions on his podcast SOLEcast. Most recently, Sole talked to Franco “Bifo” Berardi on Capitalism, Mass Killings, Suicide & Alienation. Episodes can be found at http://www.soleone.org/solecast