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.”
**There will be a vigil commemorating the death of Tamir Rice TODAY in Asheville, 3pm at Carrier Park, on the 1 year anniversary of his death. This 14 year old African American boy was gunned down without consequences to the cops who killed him. People will be meeting at 3pm, at the end of this show at Carrier Park off of Amboy road.. Come and support Black Lives Matter and demand justice. Please spread the word and bring flowers and signs against the death of Black people by Law Enforcement in the U.S.
This week on the show you’ll hear an interview that Bursts conducted with a comrade living in Spain regarding Operation Pandora and Operation Pinata, two government initiatives specifically designed to target and incriminate anarchists. In this interview, they get into how these initiatives operate, the real life implications of targeted governmental oppression, security culture and much more! To learn a little more about this topic you can visit http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net and search “Pandora, Pinata, and Beyond”.
First though, you’ll hear some words from Nyki Kish, incarcerated at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. This is a segment of a reading of Nyki’s 4th recent blog entry concerning persecution of non-cis-heteronormative prisoners at GVI. We announced about this last episode. There’s a call-in-campaign ongoing to get the GVI to stop the repression. More information and updates on the Grand Valley Institution for Women and struggles there, check out https://gviwatch.wordpress.com/ and join the call-in campaign by dialing 519-894-2011, requesting to speak to the acting warden at GVI and inquiring why they are criminalizing LBTQ2+ prisoners. Or you could fax 519-894-5434 with similar requests. The warden has announced the allowance of a LBTQ2+ group to be formed among prisoners there, but the campaigners suggest continuing to call and fax to see if they follow through and what comes next.
This week we spoke with Bobby C. Billie and Shannon Larsen of the Resist 450 Coalition. This coalition is set up to protest the so called “450th Commemoration” Celebration to be held in St Augustine FL at the beginning of September, which will mark the 450th anniversary of the settling of that city by Juan Ponce de Leon and Pedro Menendez, colonizers from Spain. In this interview we talk about indigenous struggle in St Augustine, the Doctrine of Discovery, the Action Camp which will occur on September 5th thru 8th, and more! To get involved with the Action Camp, or to donate to this cause, you can see all the information you’ll need at http://resist450.org
Additionally this week also we have audio from our comrades at ARadio Berlin! Anarchist Radio Berlin, which can be found at http://aradio.blogsport.de, did this interview with a UK-based organizer from the Reclaim the fields initiative, and they talk about the planned international camp in North-Wales, the relationship of food sovereignty and the prison system, and the topic of prison abolition as such.
You can send these folks feedback and comments at: aradio-berlin(at)riseup(dot)net Thanks to these comrades for sharing this audio! Stay tuned for more from ARadio Berlin next week.
In a bit of news, the trial of the Tarnac 10 is set to begin soon, minus the charges of “Terrorist Association.” The Tarnac case stems back to 2009 in Tarnac, France, the site of a farm commune on which 9 folks were arrested and accused of attempting sabotage on a high speed rail line. The case allegedly also linked the arrested, including Julian Coupat and Yildune Lévy, to the publishing group, The Invisible Commitee. The Invisible Commitee, which recently published “To Our Friends” is in the lineage of Tiqqun magazine, of which Coupat was a founder. http://www.anarchistnews.org/content/tarnac-eight-sent-trial-without-designation-terrorist-organization
A Virginian Anarchist by the name of Stephen Loughman was arrested a week after attending the anti-KKK rally in Columbia, SC, on July 18th. Stephen’s cellphone was dropped and he was arrested when he attempted to pick it up from the department of Sheriff Leon Lott. Stephen Loughman’s being accused attempting to incite hatred against the KKK, yelling profanity at the white supremacists and being in traffic. He’s being smeared in local media and by the Sheriff of being a career troublemaker who was attempting to incite the crowd to riot. He sounds like a pretty stand-up guy to us. You can find out more and support Stephen by visiting http://gofundme.com/e6b3tukuc . More at https://itsgoingdown.org/virginia-anarchist-arrested-week-sc-anti-klan-rally-support-needed/
Sean Swain speaks his piece on the recent drug delivery via drone, which occurred on July 29 at the Mansfield Correctional Institution some 65 miles southwest of Cleveland, OH. It contained almost a quarter of an ounce of heroin, over 2 ounces of marijuana and more than 5 ounces of tobacco. Sean speculates as to what other uses drones might have, and leaves us with words to ponder.
This week: Sean Swain announces that he’s escalating his hunger strike and will begin denying his hypertension medication this evening. This could put him in dire danger, he could die within a few days. This protest is in response to the administration at OSP & ODRC selectively denying his access to communicate with his supporters, in particular with Ben Turk via the jpay video chat. From his support page:
“Sean needs support right now. Rick Kerger, his lawyer is filing a restraining order preventing the ODRC from cancelling future video visits. There are three things you can do.
1. Call OSP Warden Forshay and demand that he meet with Sean in good faith and negotiate a reversal of the ODRC policy of f**king with Sean on flimsy pretexts. 330-743-0700. Ext. 2006.
2. Write Sean a letter, or even better, request a video visit yourself. The first step is getting approved as a visitor, using this form. The more communication we send Sean’s way, the more of their time they’ll have to waste f**king with him. Sean often says “they’ll get tired of killing me before I get tired of dying.” Let’s make sure he’s right.
3. Call ODRC Investigator Paul Schumacher, who cancelled Sean’s video visits, and say whatever you want to his voicemail. 614-728-1152”
Script suggestions for the conversation can be found at http://seanswain.org
Then, we hear from Andrew Hoyt about the upcoming North American Anarchist Studies Conference in San Francisco during the 20th through the 22nd of March, 2015. He talks about the network, which was created to link researchers with activists and assist dialogue to spread anarchism in society. If you’re interested in putting on a workshop, the deadline is coming up on February 14th, so hurry up! Info on the network, the upcoming (free) conference, past conferences, how to join the email list and more can be found at http://naasn.org
Finally, we get an update from a comrade in Barcelona about Operacion Pandora, the Spanish government’s series of raids and arrests on December 16th, 2014, of anarchists around the country. The Spanish government, according to the guest, is trying to link those 7 remaining with charges of connection to the GAC (Coordinated Anarchist Groups) which published a rather dry book criticizing Democracy and it’s uses by existing governments to justify VERY undemocratic actions. The Spanish government is then proposing that GAC is aligned with the Informal Anarchist Federation Tendency (FAI/IAF). The text, which will be distributed for free on February 14th in protest around Spain, can be found here in Spanish and portions have been translated into English. The guest speaks about La Ley Mordaza (Gag Law) recently passed in Spain and how this operation appears to be a first step of illegalizing effective protest tactics (such as protesting at religious institutions or setting up barricades) and branding them as terroristic in order to choke off resistance within Spain.
More on the case and shows of resistance against it can be found at http://efectivopandora.wordpress.com
“On Saturday, January 10th 2015 Phil Africa, revolutionary, John Africa’s First Minister of Defense, and beloved brother, husband and father, passed away under suspicious circumstances at the State Correctional Institution at Dallas, PA. On Sunday, January 4th Phil Africa wasn’t feeling well and went to the prison infirmary. Though he wasn’t feeling well, other inmates saw Phil Africa walking, stretching and doing jumping jacks. Hearing that Phil was in the infirmary MOVE members drove up to visit him and were denied a visit by the prison. While they were visiting with Delbert Africa, Phil was secretly transported to Wilkes Barre General Hospital where he was held in total isolation, incommunicado for five days.”
from OnAMOVE.com’s statement on the death of Phil Africa. More can be found by following that link.
This week, The Final Straw spoke with Kevin Price about the medical emergency that William Phil Africa of the MOVE9 was undergoing and lack of transparency on the part of his captors at SCI-Dallas in Pennsylvania. Phil Africa was suffering from diarrhea and vomiting and his supporters and family were not being clearly communicated with in terms of his whereabouts or his state of well-being for days on end. Phil was moved to Wilkes Barr General Hospital and his supporters were told he wasn’t there for days until public pressure on the prison officials and hospital employees forced them to acknowledge his presence there. Arguing HIPPA, they refused to comment on his status or allow him to call his wife (Janine of the MOVE9) or the MOVE organization until enough calls and twitter pressure occurred that Janine was allowed to speak with Phil on Thursday. This conversation was recorded on Saturday, January 10th 2015.
Just before The Final Straw airtime (January 11th, 2015), we caught wind of the news that Phil had died. Our sympathies go out to his supporters and loved ones.
We’re deciding to air a slightly modified version of this episode for a few reasons. Though this effort won’t bring attention to help save Phil’s life from the horrors of prison, it stands as a testament to his work and that of the other defendants in the MOVE9 case. It discusses the corruptions of the police, prisons and courts (particularly in PA in this case) and the struggles and injuries suffered by the MOVE organization over the years. The fact of Phil’s death brings extra weight to the argument that prisons kill, that imprisonment is a political punishment, that aging prisoners have special needs that prisons (even if they were to work “humanely”) don’t have the infrastructure and don’t function to sustain the healthful life of prisoners, particularly those who’re aging and have special needs. This is, among many others, a case of Medical Injustice, torture and murder.
Firstly, though we announce that Eric McDavid, long time anarchist prisoner of the Green Scare in the U.S. has been released after 9 years in prison. His petitioning of the courts and activists on the outside have revealed information that the prosecution denied him information that may have exonerated him of his accused “crimes”. More info at http://supporteric.org/eric-is-free/
Also on this episode, we feature audio from Črna Luknja (Black Hole), an anarchist radio show from Slovenia and airing on Student Radio in which they speak to “P” in Barcelona, Spain, about the recent series of raids and repressions against anarchists around that country. The raids and repression has been dubbed Operation Pandora and has ostensibly centered around the publication of a book entitled “Contra la Democracia” (Against Democracy), which breaks an arcane law against the current order which remains on the law books from the era of Francisco Franco’s dictadura. https://efectopandora.wordpress.com/category/english/
More from Black Hole at: http://radiostudent.si/dru%C5%BEba/%C4%8Drna-luknja/
Finally, we air audio from A-Radio Berlin. In this segment, A-Radio interviews a member of Belarus Anarchist Black Cross about current situations for radicals and refugees in Belarus, Ukraine, & Russia, as well as how those ABC’s work together. More from A-Radio at http://aradio.blogsport.de
Calais is a port city in France that sits as the major nexus of migrants attempting to leave the French (and thus European) mainland to reach the U.K. in seek of asylum. These migrants are fleeing the effects of imperialism (sometimes war, always capital) in their home countries. They hail from Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan, Chad, Nigeria, Sudan and many other places and seek peace and stability in the EU. The irony is that the EU, like the U.S., is a major exporter of the troubles the migrants seek to escape. In many ways, the “immigration crisis” in the U.S. mirrors the reality of the “immigration crisis” in the EU.
This week’s episode of the Final Straw features a conversation with Greta, a No Border Activist living in the UK about struggles of immigrants in Calais, where over the last 2 months there have been raids that have netted hundreds of migrants seeking to leave the mainland and land in the UK with expectation of receiving a refugee status. Greta tells us about the immigration structure of the EU’s Shengen Zone (of which the UK is not a part), about the recent raids and squat evictions in Calais, and the new squat “Impasse de Saline” outside of the city. She also touches on the plight of immigrants in the UK. http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/
The second half of the episode features a segment recorded by our audio-comrades at A-Radio Berlin, entitled “Europe and beyond: the resistance against mega-projects”. From the A-Radio blog:
“We present an interview with Bogdan, an activist from Rumania. The main topic is the recent 4th Forum against unnecessary imposed mega-projects, a network of major struggles against infrastructure, mining and fracking projects (in Europe an beyond). The last meeting took place in May in Rosia Montana, Rumania. The preparation, the subject of the involvement of political parties in such movements as well as the future perspective of this particular coordination are at the heart of the interview, but it also gives a quick overview of the development of the local struggle against the proposed biggest open-cast gold mining project in Europe.”
More at http://aradio.blogsport.de/
This week’s episode of the final straw picks up where last week’s left off. The features speakers are Ana and Pablo, two anarchists living in Barcelona, and they’ll be discussing the rise and struggle of Anarcha-Feminism in Spain since the social revolution of the 1930’s through to current times. We’ll also be discussing intersections of anarchist struggle and healthcare in the age of austerity and visions of autonomous and anarchist forms of health care. This show also features a scene report of Anarchists in Spain today by Pablo and Ana presents some closing thoughts on struggles to engage in.
Following the discussion, you’ll be hearing some new metal tracks from Brighton’s own Light Bearer. Light Bearer is a 4 album project themed around the fall of Lucifer. Light Bearer shares members with the band, Fall of Efrafa, an epic crust band themed around the novel Watership Down. The 2nd album in the series, Silver Tongue, has just been released by the band to a mediafire file.
We’ll also hear a metal track posthumously released from the Austin Texas anti-civ anarchist sludge project, Ecocide. For archives of this and other episodes of the Final Straw, check out radio4all.net and search the show title.
For many Anarchists, the history of Anti-authoritarian and Anti-capitalist resistance in Spanish serves as a laboratory in which to discuss the successes and failures of that political trajectory in application. The communes, the vibrant difference and debates that existed, and the resistance to the rise of fascism, bourgeious social democracy and statist communism: these are elements that find echoes in struggles prior (such as the Russian Revolution) and since (the struggles in the sixties through to today).
This weeks speakers, Ana & Pablo, present a slightly different narrative. By covering a critical (if brief) history of the Anarchism existant from the beginning of the Social Revolution ongoing when Franco’s military coup of 1936 was engaged, through the era of dictatorship, through the spectacular democratization of Spain in the 1970’s and into today, the speakers propose that the strongest that Anarchist movements have been was during periods of critical heterodoxy and debate within, as well as mutual aid and support in the face of restistance.
This show, due to it’s length, is split into two episodes. The first aired 2013-02-03. Following interviews, there’s about 20 minutes of metal tracks from Usnea and others! The playlist can be found here.
This week’s show, during Dystopia, I presented my humble homage to the songs of the Spanish Civil War, and particularly to the Anarchist forces. These two hours feature many original recordings and beautiful readaptations, with little rants/snippets of history on the significance of songs.
I noted after the show ended that I left out the original of what is perhaps my favorite song ( “A Las Barricadas”, the CNT theme to the tune of Warszawianka 1905) from that period, available here for your enjoyment on youtube.
For some light reading on the subject, check out: