Category Archives: Sean Swain

Menard Prisoner hunger strike w/ Staughton Lynd and Yaroslav Nikitenko on Khimki, Vinci, Pussy Riot and #Euromaidan

http://khimkiforest.org/
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First, we hear Sean Swain, anarchist prisoner in Ohio’s super-duper-mega-ultra-uber max prison at Youngstown talk about accusations of Utopianism thrown at him for his anarchism.

Secondly, we speak with author, activist and advocate Staughton Lynd. Mr. Lynd speaks with us about the ongoing hunger strike at Menard Correctional Facility’s administrative segregation units in Illinois. The strikes are in response to prisoner complaints of lack of heat and hot water in the freezing facility that was built in the 1870’s, leaks around the windows, rodent infestations and the lack of transparency around how people get put into the hole or get out of it. Upon initiating the hunger strike, prisoners (in particular Armando Velasquez who was witness being beaten, thrown down stairs and stomped by correctional officers/screws) have faced threats of force, including forced feeding for which Illinois law does not require court orders. You can find out more by contacting the Alice and Staughton Lynd at salynd(aat)aol (d ot)com. Also, check out articles at The SF Bay View on the subject.

If you care to call/write officials to press for an end to the torture:
Warden Rick Harrington, (618) 826-5071, P.O. Box 711, Menard IL 62794-9277
Illinois Department of Corrections Director Salvador Godinez, (217) 558-2200, ext. 2008, P.O. Box 19277, Springfield IL 62794-9277
Gov. Pat Quinn, (217) 782-0244, http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/Pages/ContacttheGovernor.aspx, 207 State House, Springfield IL 62706

The final portion of the episode is an interview with ecological and social activist, Yaroslav Nikitenko. Yaroslav has been involved for years in the struggle to save Khimki forest, the only old growth forest in the Moscow area, from development by a public-private construction project between Russian government, companies and VINCI construction (out of France). Yaroslav argues a lack of transparency by government, profit not surprisingly overshadowing concerns for peoples lives or the environment, neo-nazi thugs hired for home invasions and street attacks on journalists and activists working to speak out about Khimki and about how people can do solidarity work with those struggling to save this forest. Yaroslav also did solidarity work for incarcerated members of Pussy Riot, some of whom were involved in social struggles including the defense of Khimki. President Putin, prior to the Sochi Winter Olympics, released a number of political prisoners including members of the feminist punk band, Pussy Riot (albeit 2 month before their release). Lastly, Yaroslav shares his perspectives on the #euromaidan protests threatening the Ukrainian government, threats from the far-right in that nation, and his own fears as a Russian of the Ukrainian civil society coming further under Russian political sway. http://khimkiforest.org

For info on the May 6th 2012 protestors imprisoned in Russia, check out:
http://avtonom.org/en/freenews/prison-united-all-us

As another ecological struggle to pay attention to, Yaroslav points to as important to support in Russia:
http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2213469/mining_russia_thousands_join_the_protests.html

Sean Swain, Blackjack + The Army of the 12 Monkeys

Sean Swain
Sean Swain
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This week’s show is about the case of two prisoners in Ohio. In 2011, the staff at Mansfield Correctional Institution (MANCI) became aware of a nascent guerilla sabotage movement starting among prisoners called the Army of the 12 Monkeys (A12M). A12M sabotage and organizing manual and propaganda began circulating among prisoners. Cells were searched in detail and James “BlackJack” Dzelajlija was found to have angry hiphop against prison he’d written and also a book on Ericco Malatesta, the long-dead Italian anarchist. Sean Swain, an outspoken anarchist prisoner and jailhouse lawyer at the same institution, was found to have an article he was writing criticizing the privatization of the prison system. Neither were found with A12M materials. As time passed, 2 other prisoners were accused and assented to membership in A12M and that Swain and Blackjack were unaffiliated. Ohio’s prison court, however, disagreed. Now this movement has spread throughout multiple facilities in Ohio, such as Noble, Lake Eerie and Toledo.

This episode is a conversation with Blackjack and Sean Swain, both serving in high security at Youngstown (OSP), and also with Ben Turk of Redbird Prison Abolition and supporter of Sean Swain. We talk about Sean’s activism and writing, how the A12M case has effected Sean & Blackjack, the targeting of anarchists within prisons and more.

http://seanswain.org for Sean’s articles, posts, zines, comics and news on Blackjack, A12M as it relates to Sean and Blackjack and more!

http://www.redbirdprisonabolition.org for info on prisoners in Ohio and prison abolition.

Sean Swain 243-205
Ohio State Penitentiary
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd.
Youngstown, OH 44505

James Dzelajlija 530-144
Ohio State Penitentiary
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd.
Youngstown, OH 44505