This week I had the chance to interview three people who organize with La Concha, which is an anarchist space in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles that does many projects such as prisoner solidarity, legal and popular education, reading groups, bike brigades, and lots else. We talk about their work, and how the three came to be doing what they are doing right now, and also about the incursions that they’ve been experiencing from authoritarian Communists in the area. I felt great getting to have this conversation with them and really energized to build where I’m at, but also to help build more bridges between places all over so we as anarchists can enrich and nuance each other’s thinking and praxis.
Big thanks to the folks at Firestorm for putting TFS in touch with La Concha! Here’s to many more colabs and for a furtherance of anarchist, Indigenous, and decolonial spaces.
To learn more about La Concha and the Psycos, you can follow them on all their social medias:
Also if you come across a documentary about the Ovas and are curious to watch it, get in touch with them for a copy! For this inquiry and all others, say if you have something to contribute to the zine they were talking about, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Digital Security / Tenant Organizing / #MeToo Hong Kong
This week, we feature three portions.
Lauren Regan of CLDC
First up, we share a chat with Lauren Regan of the Civil Liberties Defense Center, or CLDC, to chat about safer practices around technology for activists, as well as the “reverse search” warrant used by the NYPD with Google to capture info on antifascists and the Proud Boy attackers last year. More at https://cldc.org. An article about tech security and phones that Bursts references is called “Never Turn Off The Phone” [starts 10m 08s]
Palm Beach Tenants Union
Following this, Withers (a new collective member at The Final Straw) shares a chat with Adam and Amy, two organizers with the Palm Beach Tenants Union out of Florida about their work and the sorts of mutual aid disaster work they’ve done with Hurricane Irma and advocating for and organizing with renters in their communities for dignity in housing. More on the Union at https://pbctu.org and more on how you can get involved in mutual aid up at https://mutualaiddisasterrelief.org. There are a number of donation sites around the region to prepare for this Hurricane season, as well as distribute support to Bahamas that you can find by searching social media for DRASL (Dorian Response Autonomous Supply Line), as mentioned on itsgoingdown.org. [starts at 54m 06s]
#MeToo and Updates from Hong Kong
Finally, you’ll hear a conversation with Enid and Rebecca, who feminist activists in Hong Kong about the current state of protests there. Content warning, that segment deals in part with organizing around sexualized assault by police and by protestors. To hear our prior interview with Ahkok on protests in HK, check our website and see the great articles up at crimethinc. Also, the guests talk about the term 自由閪, or “Freedom Cunt” as a re-appropriation of a misogynist insult by police from the protests. [starts at 1hr 15m 51s]
*Correction to the HK conversation: The full name of the IPCC mentioned in regards to the establishment of an independent police inquiry is called the Independent Police Complaints Council. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam appointed two new committee members to the already existing committee, not independent investigators. However, the IPCC has hired five foreign investigators to participate in examinations, though it must be clarified that the role of the IPCC is observational rather than investigative. The IPCC has no jurisdiction to either call witness nor collect evidence for the independent inquiry called for by citizens.
If you’re listening to the radio version, as usual, we suggest that you check out the podcast version for longer versions of all three chats in this episode as well as Sean Swain’s audio this week. You can hear that at thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org or via various streaming platforms we publish to, such as youtube, soundcloud, stitcher, pandora and so-on.
We talk about harm, entitlement as relates to positions of power like masculinity or whiteness in our cultures, the need for connection engrained into our biology and sociality, accountability and healing among other topics.
Next weekend is the Another Carolina Anarchist Bookfair (or ACAB) happening in Asheville, NC. Events start on Friday with a welcome table at Firestorm from 1-7pm. Simultaneously, there’ll be presentations on Veganism and non-violent direct action, trans-national and indigenous poetry, anti-racism in Appalacha, Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement and anarchism in Puerto Rico. That night, Pansy Fest begins with a show at Sly Grog Lounge at 7pm. This sparks a weekend of activities from 11am til 2am around the city. If you want to learn more about either event, check out acab2019.noblogs.org and pansycollective.org or give a re-listen to our August 4th episode of The Final Straw. And please come visit our table if you’re in town on Saturday or Sunday and say hi.
Sean Swain’s 50th Bday
We’re lucky enough to include Sean Swain in this week’s broadcast. If you’ve been missing him on your radio emissions, you can find a link to his audio essays up at our website, he produces one every week, find updates on him at Sean Swain.org or now follow him on twitter at @SwainRocks. Please be aware that his 50th birthday is coming up on September 12th, so send him some loving kindness. Also, if you’re in town for ACAB, swing by The Final Straw table on Saturday, August 24th before noon to participate in a birthday surprise for Sean. Shhh, don’t tell him.
There are some updates on the case of anarchist prisoner, Eric King up at his support site, supportericking.org. And stay tuned to our website and podcast stream for some special audios about him. Also, keep an ear out for the August 2019 episode of BADNews in the same places.
Sex Worker Outreach Project Behind Bars w/ Dr. Jill McCracken
This week, William spoke with Jill McCracken, codirector of SWOP Behind Bars, or the Sex Worker Outreach Project, Behind Bars chapter. Jill is also a professor at University of South Florida at St. Petersburg teaching rhetoric and gender and sexuality studies, with a focus on sex work, prostitution, and trafficking in the sex industry. For the hour we’ll hear Jill speak about the work that SWOP and SWOP Behind Bars do, FOSTA/SESTA and some realities faced or worked through by sex workers in the U.S.
The mission statement for SWOP Behind Bars reads:
“SWOP Behind Bars is a national social justice network dedicated to the fundamental human rights of people who face discrimination from the criminal justice system due to the stigma associated with the sex trade. We advocate for full decriminalization of consensual sex work, ending cash bail, drawing attention to the effects
of generational poverty on sexualized violence against marginalized and vulnerable women while providing services and support with a focus on ending violence and stigma through education and advocacy.”
One person name dropped by Jill during the interview was Magali Lerman, a consultant at Reframe Health + Justice consulting, who said that a product of FOSTA was to destroy the middle class of sex workers.
If you’ve got the means to travel, on Saturday February
2nd in Stone Mountain Georgia there will is a call for people to oppose white nationalists at Stone Mountain, GA and their call for a rally there. The racists don’t have a permit and are pissed off that they keep losing their racist monuments around the South. For those opposing, we interviewed an organizer with Front Line Organization Working to End Racism (or FLOWER), about what it’s all about and what to expect. You can hear that on our January 13th episode.
Jason Reynard Walker still facing repression
Jason Reynard Walker is a prisoner who has been punished by prisoncrats in Texas again. He was transferred on
January 11th to the Allred Unit and his supporters are very concerned about the welfare and health of Mr. Walker. He reports being denied his prescribed medications; being forced to stand outside in the rain; being denied basic necessities of blankets, sheets, toilet paper, soap, etc.; being served food he is allergic to; being denied requested medical services. All these abuses must be corrected immediately. You can find info on how to support Jason up at the IGD article entitled “Abuse at the Allred Unit”.
Sean Swain is Back!
Sean Swain’s segment is back! Listen in and he’ll update us on how he’s been. Past segments, all available for listening, broadcasting and sharing, can be found here.
You can write to Sean Swain at his NEW / old address at:
Sean Swain #243-205
Ohio State Pennitentiary
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd,
Youngstown Ohio, 44505
To read more of Sean’s writings and keep up on his case, check out seanswain.org
This week I spoke with Niecee X of the Dallas Texas based group Black Women’s Defense League, which has been in existence for a bit over 2 years. In this interview we speak about BWDL and the circumstances around its formation, the work it engages in, and the political climate it exists within. We also speak about feminism and misogyny within this context, as well about the status of and tools for addressing anti blackness and sexism in anarchist scenes.
The interview you are about to listen to has been edited down for broadcast, and we will release the longer version for on the podcast feed. On top of that, this is the second of two interviews that we recorded, and in the coming months I am planning to synthesize the two conversations into one long podcast version, which we’ll announce once it is ready for listening.
If you would like to get in touch with Black Women’s Defense league, you can go to http://blackwomensdefenseleague.com, hit them up on Instagram or Facebook by searching their name, or email them at email@example.com
For folks in the Pacific Northwest:
The Tilted Scales Collective will be holding workshops called “Fighting Charges, Strengthening Movements.” On Monday, April 10th in Olympia there’ll be 2 workshops, the first at 3:30pm at Evergreen College in Lecture Hall 6 and the second at 6pm at Last Words Books.
In Seattle on Wednesday April 12th at 7pm in the Bannon Science Building at Seattle University, check it out in rm 102.
On the 15th Tilted Scales will be in Eugene, on the 16th in Portland and ending up at the Humboldt Anarchist Bookfaire on Saturday, April 29th in Arcata, CA.
For folks in the South and South East of Turtle Island:
Tomorrow, Monday the 10th in Durham, NC, there will be a “No War With Syria Rally” at CCB Plaza, 201 N. Corcoran St at 6pm. Word is that this event is being planned by the World Workers Party, a Stalinist and Russian-apologetic organization that has a knee-jerk reaction to support anyone the U.S. is in tension with as anti-imperialist. So, make up some nice anti-Assad, Anti-US, Anti-Russian, Anti-Nation-state slogans for your signs and engage the organizers. Anti-war should mean ALL warmongering governments and groups, not the populations that suffer the bombs and torture https://www.facebook.com/events/578045858910409/
Friday, April 14th at 9pm in Asheville, the HEX 1 dance party benefit for OurVoice will be taking place at The Mothlight at 701 Haywood Rd in West Asheville. The event will be DJ’d by DJ Lil Meow Meow, DJ Malinalli & DJ Abu Disarray. The beneficiary, OurVoice, is a non-profit rape crisis center in Asheville that offers counselling services, offers many educational workshops around consent and other topics, does outreach to bars around decreasing drug-assisted sexual assaults and does a lot more. More info on the project can be found at http://www.ourvoicenc.org Keep an eye out for future HEX Asheville benefits. https://www.facebook.com/events/172150079956978/
In Louisville, Kentucky, on Friday, April 14th at 10pm there’ll be a benefit for Louisville Anti Racist Action. The show will be held at The Cure, 1481 Shelby St, in Louisville. The bands include Blind Scryer, Boneclaw (Evansville), Satellite Twin & Black Kaspar. Louisville ARA self-describes as “here to help build, defend, educate and create an effective cultural resistance against fascism.” https://www.facebook.com/events/948681725268377/
Saturday, April 15th in Asheville from 1-7pm, local rads will be hosting the Anarchist Field Day community event in the West Asheville Park at 198 Vermont Ave. It’s an all-ages, potluck event that brags kick-ball, face painting, grilling with vegan and gluten-free grill space and food, friend-making and May Day banner-making. You can find them near the baseball diamond in the park and if rain chases folks away, there’s a reschedule date for a week later on April 22nd at the same place and during the same hours.