This week on the Final Straw we feature 2 interviews.
First up, you'll hear a conversation that Bursts had with a refugee seeking asylum in Australia. His name is Walid, he is 24 years old and from Afghanistan. Manus Regional Processing Centre, where Walid is being held alongside nearly 450 other men, is a facility on Papua New Guinea on the PNG Lombrum Naval Base. The processing center, from here out called Manus for short or MRPC, was run up until October 31st by the Spanish multinational company Grupo Ferrovial on behalf of the Australian Government as a way of off-shoring the housing of people seeking asylum. The center was closed October 31st after the Papuan Supreme Court determined the facility unconstitutional in breech of the promise of personal liberty.
So, the Australian government withdrew it's medical workers, shut off electricity and water and food shipments. However, the residents of MRPC have refused to be resettled into other facilities in PNG due to fears of physical harm by members of the PNG Defence Forces, as is alleged to have happened in April of this year, as well as violence coming from local gangs wielding machetes and other weapons. The population of the island is just short of 6,000 people and locals have expressed concern that resettlement would affect their economy greatly. In the conversation, Walid mentions two fellows from the MRPC who were found recently hung by their necks in the jungle near the Processing Centre as a proof of danger the refugees face if they leave the premises.
The Obama administration had agreed in 2016 to resettle many of Australia's asylum seekers. However, do you remember that first presidential phone call that Trump made, where he ended by saying it was a stupid deal and it was the worst conversation ever? That was #45 chatting with Australia's Prime Minister Turnbull about the resettlement deal for refugees on Nauru and Manus Islands. Cancelling that at the time fed into the issues in PNG & Australia's national politics with the refugees being caught in the middle as pawns. The U.S. has now apparently changed it's tune about the Asylum seekers, having applied for whatever "extreme vetting" it was seeking and has taken in 24 of the men and resettling them.
I will admit to being a bit ignorant of the situation in Manus that people like Walid are facing, but what I do understand is this: borders are imprisoning some of the most marginalized people fleeing dangerous situations and holding them in dire circumstances. The men at the Manus Regional Processing Centre are refusing to leave for fear of their lives and in hopes of reaching a safer space and are being starved by bureaucracy. And many Australians are voicing a desire to resettle these people on the mainland.
We at the Final Straw wish the residents of MRPC the best of luck and solidarity and will continue to air their words as we receive them.
Aaaaalso, a big big big thanks to Linda from Subversion1312 podcast for helping us make this contact with Walid and with some pointers on the questions. Definitely check out their work, it's (under various names) one of the longer running English-language anarchist radio shows and is jam packed
Secondly, we are airing an interview presented recently by the Which Side media collective with Sara Falconer and Daniel McGowan about the 2018 Certain Days Calendar for Political Prisoners. Jordan Halliday and Jeremy Parkin host the interview, and range along a wide array of ideas and topics.
From the show notes "The calendar is a joint fundraising and educational project between outside organizers in Montreal and Toronto, and three political prisoners being held in maximum-security prisons in New York State: David Gilbert, Robert Seth Hayes and Herman Bell. The initial project was suggested by Herman, and has been shaped throughout the process by all of our ideas, discussions, and analysis. All of the members of the outside collective are involved in day-to-day organizing work other than the calendar, on issues ranging from refugee and immigrant solidarity to community media to prisoner justice. We work from an anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, feminist, queer and trans positive position."
You can check out the Which Side online store to see some giveaway deals regarding the Certain Days calendar by visiting http://www.whichsidecollective.org/ and see more from this project at http://whichsidepodcast.com
If you'd like to hear The Final Straw's conversation with Herman Bell's daughter in law Dr Kihana Ross which details the incident mentioned in the interview plus some more about his case, you can visit our website.
Whichside Podcast is a member of the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts, of which we are as well. Check out our website for a steady stream of up to date anarchist audios and keep an eye out for our mobile app coming soon.
Just a heads up, if you missed it. we launched our occasionally weekly intro to tech security podcast series, Error451 this week with a conversation on safer approaches to burner phones. Check it out and keep an ear out for more!
Also, the Anarchist Radio Network just released the November episode of B(A)DNews: Angry Voices From Around The World, which is up on the new A-Radio Network website. Keep up on episodes there.
This is the first standalone episode of Error451, The Final Straw's occasionally weekly podcast featuring a conversation between Bursts and William Budington about tech, security and safer practices. Upcoming episodes include how to avoid leaking info while using maps on your device and safer practices at borders. If you have other topics you'd like to see covered, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
In this episode, we have a brief conversation about the idea of burner phones, mobile devices kept insulated from the users personal information and which can just be dumped when no longer useful. We talk about reasons one might use them, approaches to getting them and using them and how to dispose of them after usefulness has ceased.
Hopefully you'll find this helpful in your endeavors!
Anti-Repression Panel from Denver, October 2017
This week we are featuring a recording from an Anti-Repression panel that took place in Denver in October of this year. The sound quality is affected by a fan system that the venue had running, but the words are well worth hearing.
For the hour, we'll hear words from a few perspectives of resistance in the U.S. currently. First, we hear from Danica from occupied territory of Portland about work around anti-colonial antifa resistance and self-defense in the North West. Next up, Firehawk talks about work in unceded Pueblo, Colorado, about working with femme, queer & trans prison rebels, Unstoppable zine and The Fire Inside project. Montana talks about autonomous relief work in Houston after Hurricane Harvey and the slow-disaster that is white supremacist capitalism in Texas. We hear from Jude talking about the J20 conspiracy cases coming out of the Inauguration, the court case moving forward and up til a few weeks ago. Finally, we hear from Jess who has been working with Water Protectors doing legal collective work up in so-called North Dakota mostly around #StandingRock with a very in-dept report-back on wider repression and specific case details.
A few updates are worth mentioning in the J20 case since Jude spoke on this panel: the first defendant convicted, Dane Powell, has been released and there is a linked support site for his post-release; two of the riot charges have been dropped down from Felony to Misdemeanor; the first court dates have been moved forward to November 15th and info about how to help with court support can be found at Its Going Down.
As stated above, 2 of the initial 8 felony charges ('engaging in riot’ and ‘conspiracy to riot’) have been dropped to misdemeanors, thus shaving decades from the potential sentences of the defendants. We here at The Final Straw suggest that Judge Leibovitz use a secure tor browser and visit https://dropj20.org to learn more about ending this expensive, insulting and dangerous act of political persecution that is the J20 case.
- --- - --
Show playlist here.
For a 59 minute long, radio clean version for syndication purposes, please visit the archive.org collection.
This week William had the opportunity to speak with someone who works closely with the group Cascadia Forest Defenders, which is based around Eugene Oregon. This crew has been opposing logging in the Willamette National Forest, and was recently driven out of the camp by forest workers and employees of Seneca Jones Timber Company. We talk about this incident, plus much much more in the way of contextualizing and re-contextualizing forest defense in a time of climate change, plus some important things to keep in mind if you are looking to join established political movements like this. More on this group, this struggle, and the many ways to get involved can be found at forestdefensenow.com
To follow up on something that I said toward the beginning of the interview, about logging around the Asheville area, there were plans in place to log in the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests as of 2014. The stated reasons for this logging were environmental and maintenance minded in nature, but it's thought that those endeavors would help literally pave the way for future commercial logging by establishing a roadway system through the forest.
As promised, here are some links for further reading:
USFS proposes opening most of Pisgah-Nantahla National Forest to logging
Forest Service logging plan draws criticism
Logging on the Nantahala and Pisgah
Logging in Pisgah, Nantahala forests hanging in the balance
The J20 inauguration arrestees case is starting on November 15th. There is a call out for court support including note takers, as well as folks to fill the court in their finest black dress clothes, also for fundraising and any legal support you can muster. For a really good article on the topic, check out https://itsgoingdown.org/j20-case-need-know/ . Despite the good news that 2 of the Felony "Riot" and "Conspiracy To Riot" charges being dropped down to Misdemeanors this case still has a long way to go.
For those in the Asheville area coming up Blue Ridge Anarchist Black Cross has 3 events we'd like to share with you. Firstly, today from 5pm to 7:30pm BRABC will be hosting it's monthly Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night. The first Sunday of every month, join BRABC, who'll provide stationary, stamps, pens, camaraderie and the addresses of political prisoners with upcoming birthdays you can write to. Or, just take the time to hang, or write to someone you know behind bars. This month, they'll also be showing TROUBLE #7 about anarchist disaster relief in the Western Hemisphere plus maybe another film.
The pre-registration for BRABC's benefit Ping Pong Tournament is coming up fast. If you wanna play and help earn some money for legal support coffers, send an email to email@example.com by November 12th and then show up November 15th at 6:30pm at the Standard Pizza at 755 Biltmore Ave in South Asheville to battle for a good cause. If space allows and you miss the pre-register, show up the day of and there might be a spot.
On Friday, November 17th at 9pm at The Mothlight in West Asheville, get ready for a #ItsARiot benefit comedy show for autonomous disaster relief efforts in Mexico City and Oaxaca in the aftermath of 3 deadly and destructive earthquakes this year and an incredibly inept government response. Door donations will go to some of the folks on the ground in those cities. The night of comedy will be hosted by Moira Goree, featuring the stylings of Kira Magcalen, Chesney Goodson and a special
guest. More info on these and other events from Blue Ridge Anarchist Black Cross can be found at https://brabc.blackblogs.org
Also, keep an eye on our website, thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org, this week for a special podcast conversation between Bursts and the anarchist hip hop artist, podcaster and rad dad outta Denver, Sole. Should be dropping Tuesday. We talked about Channel Zero Network, about prisoner support, the J20 inauguration case, the Situationists and a bunch of other topics. You can hear some of Sole's work including his podcasts at his website.
Show playlist here
For a 59 minute long, radio clean version for syndication purposes, please visit the archive.org collection.
This week, we share a conversation that Bursts had with Betsy Raasch-Gilman. Betsy is a lifelong Quaker, feminist and anti-capitalist. She talks about her experiences organizing as an anarchist during the Cold War with Movement for a New Society, difficulties of critiquing capitalism within the peace movement, anti-nuke organizing, modeling consensus and affinity group organizing, alternative and cooperative models, attempting to ground organizing in anti-racism, separatism, organizing with the Marxist Left and more. Later in the conversation, Betsy talks about her engagement in the RNC Welcoming Committee against the 2008 Twin Cities Republican National Convention, the conspiracy trial that she almost got roped into, security culture and police spies and what she's excited about now in the current terrain.
You can find out more about the work that Betsy is doing these days, check out Training For Change.
Anarchist Voices on DACA and much more.
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, 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. ————————————–
introduction of the program
news from 98fm (athens)
3:47,5 – 12:24,5
A-Radio Berlin (berlin, de)
Radio Fragmata (thessaloniki, greece)
24:17,0 – 31:30,0
3 cases , and the justice system of greece
105fm * (mytilini/ lesvos island, Aegean Sea, greece)
31:30,5 -- 31:30,0
News from Mytilini (lesvos island) and beyond-
The Final Straw (north carolina, usa)
36:36,5 – 48:02,0
*Interview about the case of Herman Bell
(- who is a beloved organizer and family member, a political prisoner clocking 44 years behind bars, and former member of the black panther party. they
spoke to his daughter in law, kihana Ross, about recent developments in
bilda kedjor (sweden)
50:12,5 – 53:18,5
Radio Kurruf * (temuco, chile)
53:24,0 – 58:59,0
Dissident Island Radio (london, uk)
59:00,0 – 1:08:08,0
Frequenz-A (hamburg, de)
1:09:07,0 – 1:14:28,0
*update about the repression and solidarity related to the protest against g20 in hamburg
(episode in total 1:14:44)
For a 59 minute long, radio clean version for syndication purposes, please visit the archive.org collection.
First this week, we had the opportunity to speak with Dr Kihana Mariah Ross, who is the daughter in law of Herman Bell, a former member of the Black Panther Party and a political prisoner who is currently clocking 44 years behind bars. We will speak about recent developments in his case, plus some historical context, and actionable items moving forward.
To learn more about Herman Bell and to read some of his writings, you can visit freehermanbell.org. To send him a card – and be aware that his 70th birthday is on January 14th and his upcoming parole hearing is in February 2018 – you can write to him at
Herman Bell 79 C 0262
P.O. Box 700
Wallkill, NY 12589-0700
In the second segment of today’s episode, we’ll air another conversation with William Budington, a digital security expert and trainer about the Signal end-to-end text encryption app for smart phones and desktops. Signal, produced by WhisperSys, is an easy to use, free means for folks to avoid one type of surveillance in their day to day communication. The ubiquitous, normalized use of encryption shields the purpose of the use, obscuring whether the practice is to shield illegal activity or not. In the conversation we talk about the human failure side of communication, as well as the informational leakage possibilities of the devices we use to engage Signal app. If you really enjoy the pie-baking/Betty Crocker metaphor, don’t despair, it doesn’t end with this segment. Check out more on this topic in our occasional series, Error-451.
Stay tuned soon for a conversation with William about burner phones and more. If you have a topic about digital security, devices and programs, surveillance or related topics, leave us a suggestion at firstname.lastname@example.org ! If you want our pgp key, check our website.
Now, it’s my turn for a brief editorial, dear listeners. This is Bursts. I grew up in a part of so-called California known as Sonoma County, lands stolen from the Pomo and the Miwok peoples first by the Spanish, then by Mexico and Russia and then the U.S. I lived there from the mid-1980’s through 2009 and consider it my home in a way I could no other place. The rolling hills, the foggy mornings, the Coastal Live Oak groves, the nasty but 100 year old Eucalyptis groves, the early evening sky that turns a goldish orange into purple, the Manzanita, the people, the ocean breeze coming out from Bodega. These are things that I remember fondly from the deeply damaged yet still beautiful biome I called home for most (and definitely the more formative years) of my life.
This has been a year for spectacular disasters around this hemisphere, with a record 10th hurricane now appearing in the Carribean and southern U.S., 2 major earthquakes rocking Mexico and now the fires in Northern and Southern California. The fires in the north, which I’ve been paying more attention to because they QUITE literally bring home to me a sense of devastation I still haven’t been able to digest from this distance, have been whipped up by winds, a seasonal dryness out of the ordinary and fed by the aftermath of a wet winter that created a ton of easy-to-burn fuels. California has long been racked by fires, but never this many deaths and never have they consumed large parts of cities as they have with Santa Rosa. Thousands of homes have been turned to ash, monuments standing over a hundred years are cinders, human and non-human animals have been killed, damaged and displaced. California is yet another part of the world feeling the first hand effects of anthropogenic climate change, after years of over-taxing it’s water levels with large scale and animal and food agriculture, it’s manicured industrial lawns, the barely regulated weed industry booming, the building of human settlements in the middle of deserts and the idea promoted by high levels of industry and state that as the 6th largest economy in the world it could buy itself climate chaos. Day by day, year by year, this is proven more and more a delusion. But I digress.
I’d like to give a shout out to the brave folks doing search and rescue in my home away from home, the neighbors who look out for each other, that roused each other from sleep to escape the fire storms, who shelter and feed each other. Also to the fire professionals who are working to fight back the fires. An element of this that is under reported, of course, is the fact that over a thousand prisoners of the state of California and it’s included counties, are putting their lives on the line for $1 to $2.56 a day to train and then fight these blazes. That can be compared to the $31.85 an hour of the median hourly wage for non-inmate firefighters. I would like to bring this up because as the climate becomes more chaotic and the ever-tighter squeeze of austerity capitalism turns further and further away from more sustainable and stable incomes like unionized firefighters this continues a nasty trend.
Putting prisoners on the fire lines to fight the blazes, while more deadly for
them than other modes of work, arguably offers them a potentially more meaningful and lucrative engagement with community service. This also fuels the profit motive of governments bent on incarcerating mostly poor communities of color, often people with chemical dependencies and neuro-divergencies the state can’t be bothered to treat but to stick them in a concrete and steel cage. More prisoners means more low-pay and expendable firefighters who’s crime was to be born the wrong color or class in the age of mass incarceration. I don’t bring this up to denigrate those risking themselves to save lives and homes, whether a prisoner or not, but to point out that this is not how a community organizes itself for it’s members, this is the logic of capital and thus streams value to the top of the pyramid.
My heart goes out to those who suffer at the hands of these fires. Let’s fight for futures where we are better prepared, where we don’t employ slave labor to fight them, and everyone has what they need to live in true community, which means true accountability to the impact of our survival on the non-human environment with which we share this awesome world.
If you’d like to help by sending some money to autonomous organizing for relief in Sonoma County, consider visiting https://generosity.com/emergencies-fundraising/northbay-iww-fire-relief-fund
This week we air the second half of Bursts conversation with Kevin Tucker. Kevin is an anarcho-primitivist, author and publisher of Black & Green Review. This week we air Kevin’s views about tribal-bro-ism in the white supremacist and macho approach to historical misappropriation, upcoming issues of the journal Black & Green Review, Collapse, Rewilding versus Revolution and more. For a free look at some of Kevin’s writings, visit theanarchistlibrary.org, and to check out his publishing project, journals and books you can visit blackandgreenpress.org
For part one of Bursts’ conversation with Kevin, you can visit our noblogs site!
If you found this conversation interesting, you may enjoy the interviews Bursts conducted with two other anarcho-primitivists on the show over the years. Check out his chats with Layla Abdel-Rahim pt 1 (Layla begins about 40 minutes in) & pt 2 as relates to her philosophy and her book “Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams” and with John Zerzan on the subject of anti-civilization anarchism more widely.
Online platform The Tennseean has recently been reporting of several white nationalist rallies (called White Lives Matter rallies) that are planned for October 28th in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro TN among perhaps one other town. These spots were chosen by the event organizers, most visibly Brad Griffin, who writes under the alias Hunter Wallace on the blog Occidental Dissent, because of the state’s Republican and red status coupled with a mistrust of law enforcement in what they’re calling “more Democratic towns”. According to a statement that they released on Saturday, The National Socialist Movement, a pro-white organization based out of Detroit, MI, said the group’s “street action” would be broadening its scope to include other small TN towns in the vicinity of Nashville. This same statement claims participation by other groups such as League of the South and the Traditionalist Workers Party. It’s not known how many people will be attending at this time, though the organizers are predictably posturing that it will be a well attended event. The stated purpose of these events is to protest the changing demographic of middle TN, silence from the White House regarding a fatal church shooting in Antioch last month (in which the perpetrator started his early life in Sudan but was a US citizen) and probably some other white nationalist nonsense as well.
According to interviews posted a couple of days ago by WCVS, residents of both Shelbyville and Murfreesboro are both angered at this groups’ presence and confused about why their hometown was chosen. Many statements include disgust at the very message of white nationalism and white lives matter. It’s believed by residents that these groups are outside agitators who are descending on them to disrupt their town and their already scheduled community events, and by doing so are making implicit assumptions about their way of life and of thinking.
All the organizing information is attempting to draw a clear link between these events and the by now internationally famous events in Charlottesville Virginia of August 12 this year, even though that day was a clear loss for those on the side of the alt right. Despite claims, also by the organizers, that the event “will not be violent”, police are gearing up in those cities to prepare for the rallies. Just last night (October 7th), in that same city of Cville, Richard Spencer showed his face and formed a 30 strong, 10 minute long torch march around the doomed Lee Monument (scheduled for removal) in Emancipation Park, the site of their previous defeat. Predictably, police were heavy allies to the Nazis and escorted them away under police protection. If you are disgusted by this, you can call the folks at the CPD and ask them why they’re still helping Neo Nazis do their thing. They can be reached at 434-970-3280. In this post Cville landscape of frenzied and often disorganized white nationalist activity, it is perhaps important to keep these things in our sights and oppose them as best we can.
The exact location of the event has not yet been released, but it might be reasonable to assume that the information will be posted on Griffin’s blog a day or two beforehand. For more information about developments, keep eyes on your favorite anarchist and antifascist news sources!
You can see here the article from which much of this information was pulled.
This week Bursts spoke with Kevin Tucker, anarcho-primitivist, author and publisher of Black & Green Review. We had a rather lengthy conversation, so we’ve split the conversation up. This is the first portion, in which Kevin talks about anarcho-primitivism, domestication, civilization, anthropology and the scientific method, human development, agriculture and more.
In the future episode you can hear his views about tribal-bro-ism in the white supremacist approach to historical misappropriation, upcoming issues of Black & Green Review, Collapse, Rewilding versus Revolution and more. For a free look at some of Kevin’s writings, visit theanarchistlibrary.org, and to check out his publishing project, journals and books you can visit blackandgreenpress.org
Today’s episode premiers October 1st, which is the date of the #CatalanReferendum for independence in that northern region within the bounds of Spain. In the leadup, the Spanish government has violently repressed the efforts to hold this election and the news we’re seeing today is no different. If you’d like to hear a chat I had earlier this week with an English-speaking anarchist who has long resided in Catalunya about Catalan nationalism, autonomy, cultural differences between that region and central Spain, some history and some forecasts of where this referendum and repression may go (always critical of the State and Capital), check out our downloadable podcast.
Also, keep an ear out for an upcoming series of podcast miniepisode ‘s featuring William Budington and Bursts chatting about digital security and safer practices with our devices. We’ve got a couple coming out about practices with Burner Phones and strengths and weaknesses of wrangling with the Signal app for end to end encrypted texts from Open Whisper Systems.
This Monday October 2nd is the last day for a concerted call in effort to urge the US Attorney to drop the charges against the J20 defendants.
You can join the defend j20 crew in welcoming brand new US Attorney Liu to office with a flood of phone calls demanding that the J20 charges be dropped! Sign up at call.usattorneyliu.org to reserve your time slot. The fine folks there will send you an email with more details and a suggested call script. Her number is 202-252-7566, or if you cannot call in you can send a letter to the Judiciary Center Building, 555 Fourth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20530.
There has been a formal call for solidarity from antifascists around the south to oppose an appearance by the by now internationally infamous white supremacist Batman villan Richard Spencer. It has been officially confirmed that this piece of white bread is going to be spewing pseudo intellectual and only marginally intelligible xenophobic racism at University of Florida in Gainesville on October 19th, which is in just over 2 and a half weeks from now.
You can see the entire formal call for solidarity, plus some important context that includes recent history and what to be prepared for, at It’s Going Down.
You can get in touch if you want to endorse this call and are planning on being there in solidarity by emailing email@example.com
“Black Panther Party political prisoner Herman Bell was viciously assaulted by guards at Great Meadow Correctional Facility (Comstock) on September 5, 2017. While being “escorted” by a guard back to his housing unit, a guard struck Herman, age 69, in the face causing his glasses to drop to the floor. He pushed Herman against the wall, Herman stumbled and fell to the ground. The guard then continued viciously hitting and kicking Herman. Very soon about 5 other guards arrived and joined in the violent attack, hitting and kicking Herman all over his body.
Herman Bell has now been charged with “assault on staff.” Defying common sense, they allege that Herman, for no apparent reason, slapped the guard escorting him. He did this, they claim, in a location out of the view of all inmates but in the presence of other guards. He is now in the Special Housing Unit (box) at Five Points Correctional Facility where he was transferred after the incident.
Herman Bell has not had a disciplinary violation in over 20 years. He had been scheduled to begin a three day family visit with his wife a few days after the incident, their first such visit in over 2 1/2 years. In addition he is to appear before the parole board, for the 8th time, in February 2018.
At this time, we are encouraging everyone to take the time to write to Herman or send him a get-well card, so that the authorities know we are concerned for Herman. Further requests for actions of support will be posted soon.
His new address is:
Herman Bell 79 C 0262
Five Points CF
6600 State Route 96
Caller Box 119
Romulus, N.Y. 14541
Friends and family are also encouraging supporters to email Commissioner Anthony Annucci, to let him know that folks are keeping tabs on Mr. Bell’s situation. Commissioner Annucci’s email address is: Anthony.Annucci@doccs.ny.gov
You can see a sample letter and a bunch more information at this article here: Political Prisoner Herman Bell Assaulted by Guards
Comrade Malik, a tireless writer and organizer who’s been very active in exposing unsafe conditions at the Eastham Unit in Texas, is facing retaliation from prison staff, and is asking supporters to email the Texas Ombudsman to prevent any further action being taken against him. You can find out more information at Action Needed to Fight Retaliation at the Eastham Unit!
At the Wabash Valley Correctional Institute in Indiana, Shaka Shakur, who is a political prisoner, defended himself against mistreatment by guards, and another, Angaza Iman Bahar (Jimmy Jones), who helped alert the outside world to the situation, are both facing disciplinary charges.
Wabash Valley Correctional has been getting a reputation for “a culture of sadism [in which] guards take pride and find humor in their mistreatment of inmates, especially Black and New Afrikan inmates whom they expose to every kind of abuse and humiliation.” IDOC Watch are asking people to call in so the prison knows that they both have outside support.
It is urgent that the security of Shaka Shakur and Angaza Bahar be ensured, but the only way is through mass pressure from the outside. IDOC Watch asks that people call Wabash Valley warden Richard Brown at 812-398-5050 and IDOC Commissioner Robert E. Carter Jr. at 317-232-5711. You can also email IDOC officials at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org
You can see the entire call, which includes helpful context and analysis, and sample letters and emails at incarceratedworkers.org.
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.”
Airs on WSFM-LP 103.3 in Asheville / streaming at AshevilleFM from 3am EST on September 25th through October 1st and podcasting on libsyn.com.
Today we are airing an interview conducted with Lupe Gonzalo of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in Immokalee, Florida. This is is a worker-based human rights organization which seeks to promote awareness of social responsibility, human trafficking, and gender-based violence at work and in corporations, seeking to boost the voices of some of the more marginalized workers in the US. We talk about the ciw, how it got started, and about hurricane relief after Hurricane Irma. We also touch on some political differences and points of unity with anarchism. This interview was conducted in translation from Spanish into English, with Patricia of the Alliance for Fair Food doing translation. If anyone would like the full interview just in Spanish, please write to us and we will provide that audio!
If you would like to learn more about the Coalition of Imokalee Workers, and to donate to hurricane relief efforts, you can visit their online fundraising page
For more on this group, including how to get onto their email list, information on their radio station Radio Conciencia or La Tuya, and their upcoming visit to UNC Chapel Hill, you can visit ciw-online.org If you would like to see just one of the many accounts of anarchist accompliship and solidarity with the CIW you can go to It's Going Down and search "Autonomy in Tampa, Solidarity in Immokalee: Love Letter to the Future"
Further links for reading and solidarity:
Then comes part two of Prison Radio's interview with Jalil Muntaquim, who is former member of the Black Panther party and the Black Liberation Army and is one of the longest held political prisoners in the world. While incarcerated, Jalil has become a father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Jalil graduated with a BS in Psychology and a BA in Sociology in 1994. He has written several books, arguably most notable being We Are Our Own Liberators, his most recent being a book of poems entitled Exiting the Prism.
More from CKUT out of Montreal can be found here!
Duke Energy Protest & NCUC Public Comment Period
In Asheville on Wednesday, there'll be a protest against Duke Energy, which proposed to the NC Utilities Commission to raise electricity rates 15%, raising $200 million a year to pay for the cleanup costs of their coal ash dumps and build new infrastructure to keep us dependent on ecocidal fossil fuels. NCUC is holding a public hearing from 7-10pm at the downtown courthouse in Asheville, with a rally starting at 5pm and marching towards the courthouse. You can find a fedbook event for a training to help you get more comfortable with presenting during public comment period.
Also in Asheville this Wednesday, Sept 28th at UNCA here in Asheville, there'll be a presentation from 6-8pm. Location to be determined, but you can find more at fedbook by searching for "Eyewitness to Charlottesville." The presenters are from the (shudder) International Socialist Organization (ISO) from Raleigh, a UNCA student and member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), and members of the Carolina Mountain John Brown Gun Club, formerly Redneck Revolt.
BRABC will be airing Trouble #6 on Friday the 29th at 7:30pm. This episode of the short-documentary series from sub.Media is focusing on Counter-Insurgency. The showing is free and will be followed by a discussion with questions crafted by sub.Media on the topic. The flyer for the event can be found here.
On September 8, 2017, an FBI agent attempted to visit a comrade in western North Carolina. They visited a house, and the person there stepped outside to talk to the agent, who repeatedly asked if the comrade in question lived there. The person at the house did not engage with those questions, and instead insisted on a card from the agent that a lawyer could call later. The agent said it was regarding a case being handled by another office.
This comes at a time when Anarchists have been standing up to a grand jury and other FBI harassment across the state of North Carolina. The person who the FBI agent was seeking secured legal representation. On September 13, 2017, their lawyer called a number the agent wrote down, and the FBI specified that they were actually looking to speak with the person’s child, a minor. The FBI said that they were seeking the original person because a legal guardian had to be present for the agent to talk to the minor. During that call the agent stated she wanted to ask about graffiti on a car related to a case being investigated by the FBI Field Office in Raleigh, NC. The minor in question has now secured legal representation. Nobody above is speaking to the FBI.
We cannot just hope that harassment like this stops. Get educated on how to protect yourself if the FBI shows up. If you are approached by the FBI, refuse to answer their questions. Know your rights! Please read If An Agent Knocks for more information. We cannot let them intimidate us and raise fear and distrust.
If An Agent Knocks: https://ccrjustice.org/if-agent-knocks-booklet
In this two parter episode, firstly we chatted with Beck, a University of North Carolina Asheville student and fellow organizer this year’s Radical Rush Week, which builds off of the model of the UNControllables of UNC and their Disorientation. The hope of the event is to introduce opportunities to spark conversations and relationships to radical organizing initiatives on campus and introduce new students to local projects around the Asheville area. You can find more about this on fedbook by visiting “UNCA Radical Rush”, and find flyers for the week of events at UNCA and around the community including:
Secondly, our comrade and sometimes contributor Disembodied Voice shares several short interviews with members of politicized prisoner Keith Malik Washington’s support team.
Comrade Malik, as he is known to his friends and supporters, is currently in solitary confinement in Texas at Eastham Unit, where he was placed as retaliation for coordinating a work stoppage during last year’s nationwide prison strike on September 9th. In addition to his work around the End Prison Slavery movement, Malik is a member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee of the IWW and the Deputy Chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party prison chapter, and is active in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign.
Malik has an extensive network of support nationally and even internationally, both within and outside of the anarchist community. The interviews we will share today show the diversity of backgrounds, motivations, and stories that go into forming a support network for those engaged in revolutionary struggle while incarcerated, which is to say, from behind enemy lines. The conversations cover a wide range of topics, including a look at the range of issues prison activists like Malik work around; the kinds of relationships prison activists form with their supporters on the outside; the importance of being in solidarity across identities and political labels; and what a revolutionary abolitionist movements means to the people doing this work.
As Malik would say: DARE TO STRUGGLE. DARE TO WIN. ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE.
You can view Malik’s work at comrademalik.com and write to him directly at:
Keith ‘Comrade Malik’ Washington
2665 Prison Road #1
Lovelady, TX 75851
The audio for these interviews is a bit rough because the interviews were done somewhat on the fly. Stay tuned (look for?) a transcript of these interviews in order to make comprehension a bit easier! It should come out sometime within the next two weeks.
Dear listeners, we would like to invite you to give a listen to the newest edition of the International Anarchist Radio Network’s monthly podcast, B(A)D News: Angry Voices From Around The World, fresh for September 2017. This 4th episode, available at our website, is about 45 minutes of updates from projects based in the UK, Chile, Greece, the Aegean Sea, Germany, El Salvador and from us!
Feel free to give a listen to ARadio Berlin’s Charlottesville reportback episode, done with none other than your host William Goodenuff. This was geared toward an international audience, so the news may not be new to a US based listening crowd, but if you want to hear why one of your hosts has been a lil absent for a sec, this is why. Everything’s fine tho, and I’ll be back to opine over the airwaves next week.
Show playlist is here.
This week Bursts spoke with William Budington, a digital security expert, about various topics under that heading. We spoke about: encryption for texting, email and mobile devices operating systems; about anonymity on the internet; safer practices with social media; doxxing; and more.
The conversation was ranging and a bit thick at times due to Bursts very specific style of posing questions. Thusly, the notes will be very long with lots of links embedded for further reading on the topic, posted in the Further Reading section below. If there are other topics around security that you’d like to hear discussed on this show, drop us an email at email@example.com and we’ll mull it over. This chat was by no means the end of a conversation. The practices and tools we talked about here are meant to keep you SAFER, but can’t promise your safety. But hopefully some of these words can get more of us to take our digital hygiene more seriously!
We received this notice after the show aired, but hope that folks read these notes and get this info. Herman Bell is one of the New York 3, the same group of defendants as Jalil Muntaqim, who we featured an interview with in our last episode:
Black Panther Party political prisoner Herman Bell was viciously assaulted by guards at Great Meadow Correctional Facility (Comstock) on September 5, 2017. While being “escorted” by a guard back to his housing unit, a guard struck Herman, age 69, in the face causing his glasses to drop to the floor. This same guard then repeatedly punched Herman about the face, head and body. Responding to a commotion, 5-6 other guards arrived and joined in the assault. One of them was able to knee Herman in the chest causing two cracked ribs. Another guard took out a bottle of mace and sprayed it all over Herman’s face, eyes and mouth.
Herman was then taken to the prison infirmary. X-rays have confirmed fractured ribs. Herman’s left eye is damaged from the mace and blows. He has bruises to his body and is suffering headaches, a sign of a possible concussion.
Herman Bell has now been charged with “assault on staff”. Defying common sense, they allege that Herman, for no apparent reason, slapped the guard escorting him. He did this, they claim, in a location out of the view of all inmates but in the presence of other guards. He is now in the Special Housing Unit (box) at Five Points Correctional Facility where he was transferred after the incident.
Herman Bell has not had a disciplinary violation in over 20 years. He was scheduled to begin a three day family visit with his wife a few days after the incident, their first such visit in over 2 1/2 years. In addition he is to appear before the parole board, for the 8th time, in February 2018.
Herman has, however, been the target of guard harassment due to his political background. Visitors report that guards processing them and in the visiting room comment that they are visiting a “cop killer” or “terrorist”. Some guards have been seen passing around the book “Badge of the Assassin” written by Herman’s prosecutor.
At this time, we are encouraging everyone to take the time to write to Herman or send him a get-well card, so that the authorities know we are paying attention and are concerned for Herman. Stay tuned for updates as we develop this campaign.
Herman Bell’s new address is:
Herman Bell #79C0262
Five Points Cor. Fac.
P.O. Box 119
Romulus, N.Y. 14541
I’d like to quickly announce that the 2018 Certain Days: Freedom For Political Prisoners Calendar has just been posted as ready for pre-order. The calendar is a joint fundraising and educational project between outside organizers in Montreal, Toronto, and New York, in partnership with three political prisoners being held in maximum-security prisons in New York State: David Gilbert, Robert Seth Hayes and Herman Bell. The proceeds from Certain Days 2018 will be divided among these groups: Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association (Palestine), Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) and other groups in need. More info on the project and where to sign up is at certaindays.org
For all you artistically minded listeners out there, who would like to see their art worn by people (potentially) all over the world, The Final Straw is looking for tshirt desgins! If you like the show, or love it, or just think it’s ok-ish but like to make designs then this challenge is for you.
We will be accepting submissions until the (end of November), and lest you think this is a one way street, the winner of this challenge will recieve a special prize from each of us (Bursts and William) of a personal and one of a kind mixtape which will include all sorts of audio goodies. Runners up will also get prizes, so never fear there’s no heirarchy here.
Want in?? Just email your submission and any relevant info to firstname.lastname@example.org and keep your ears peeled for the winner announcement.
For a starter on COINTELPRO, check out the wikipedia page on the topic.
The Whisper Systems (Signal) case referenced concerning user data disclosure to government is explained by WS folks. Also, here’s a link to Weapons of Math Destruction, the book by Cathy O’Neil that William references.
Anti-Repression Committee in the Bay deals with, among other things, doxxing by the far right in order to build charges against anti-racists.
Discord Chat logs leaked from the Far Right prior to and after #Charlottesville on Unicorn Riot.
Oh Crap! What Now? digital security page
Time to Beef Up Defense Against Far Right Doxxing
Equality Labs released this dope guide to safer practices which overlaps with a lot of the interview and links presented here
In case it’s too late, check out Crash Override Network‘s guide to post-Doxxing mitigation
Enigmail for is an add-on to the Thunderbird email client that makes creating a pgp key set easier.
The Onion Router (TOR) produced this really great package for safer browsing called the Torbrowser package.
TAILS is a portable operating system so you can operate a computer and leave less traces
Signal is a phone app for end-to-end encryption available for iphones, android phones and desktops.
HTTPSEverywhere is a useful add-on for your web browser
One VPN intro, including links to clients you can use, can be found at riseup
One tool mentioned to help minimize your online presence is DeleteMe by ABINE.com
IMSI catchers, or phone spoofers, include the name-brand Stingray. The ACLU has this little site that allows you to see what law enforcement agencies they know to have (and probably use) them!
In reference to the Automatic License Plate Readers mentioned by William, here’s an article on the subject
This week we’ll be taking a little break. We’ll be sharing a short interview conducted by friends of ours at Prison Radio at CKUT from the studios of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec in so-called Canada. This interview is the first of a few with Jalil Muntaqim, incarcerated since 1971 as an accused member of the Black Liberation Army. In the interview, he talks about his conviction, about the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) of the FBI used against the Black Panthers, and the participation of the Policeman’s Benevolent Association and Fraternal Order of Police in pressing to withhold parole from Jalil and others of the New York 3. More segments speaking with Jalil about his case and his attempt to build power in supporting Jalil in his bid for parole while resisting the efforts of the racists at the BPA & FOP’s to make him die in prison.
Here's a link to the film Jalil references, Legacy of Torture.
Then we will have some brand new releases which were posted on the blog Red and Anarchist Black Metal!
This week on The Final Straw, we're featuring an interview produced by comrades from Anarchistisches Radio Berlin with Elisa. Elisa has been involved in the anarchist movement for a long time and is one of the co-founders of the Brazilian Indymedia. Which in turn is one of the earliest counter information projects using the name and mode of Indymedia. In the conversation they talk about the political developments in Brazil of the last years as well as how the autonomous movements have been reacting to them. More audio from A-Radio Berlin can be found at aradio.blogsport.de. A-Radio Berlin is a member of the International Anarchist Radio Network that produces B(A)D News: Angry Voices from Around The World, a monthly English-language bulletin from many radio projects around the world.
This conversation we're airing was recorded in July of 2017. We air this audio in the wake of the German government raiding and shutting down the website, linksunten.indymedia.org, allegedly for being infrastructure used in the organizing of the G20 Hamburg protests and other mass mobilizations and direct actions. Autonomous media is super important, and we suggest you check out the crimethinc article on the subject.
On the subject of autonomous and anarchist media initiatives, A-Radio Berlin is also a member of the Channel Zero Network of English-language anarchist radio and podcast projects. Along these lines, we also want to share the following jingle for Rustbelt Abolition Radio, another member of CZN. Check out our 24/7 audio stream at channelzeronetwork.com
Firstly, much love and solidarity to those fighting nazis in Berkley today. We are thinking of you here. Stay safe out there!
On Tuesday August 29th at the Double Crown there will be a benefit show, bbq, and cake auction for grand jury resistor Katie Yow! BBQ sandwiches start at 6pm, with vegan and non vegan options for all you cats, with a cake auction to follow! Then music will commence with Bob Boob, Nomadic War Machine, Wyatt Yurth and the Gold Standard, Snake Musk, and Darien! All proceeds will benefit our brave comrade fighting state oppression and putting her safety and freedom on the line by doing so.
And also, because Asheville loves a benefit show, there will be a night of laughs and comedy at the Mothlight on Monday September 4th at 9pm!
This event is described as:
"An evening of comedy by some of #Asheville's leading comedians: Minori Hinds, Kelly Morgan, Moira Goree & Dana Williams!
9pm, Labor Day 2017 at The Mothlight in West Asheville
The proceeds will go to help cover legal and travel costs for defendants from the mass arrest at the protests against Donald Trumps inauguration in Washington D.C. on January 20, 2017. More info on the case at http://defendj20resistance.org/"
Also, Sunday, September 3rd is the monthly Prisoner Letter Writing event that BR(A)BC hosts at Firestorm.
Here is an announcement on behalf of Joshua Zero Cartrette, who is an incarcerated member of IWOC and an anarchist. From his support page:
"After years of struggling behind bars for prison abolition and against white supremacy Joshua Zero Cartrette will be returning to the community sometime in the next few weeks! But the struggle continues! Let’s make sure our comrade who has been so important in the fight against white supremacy and the prison industrial complex in Oregon has the chance they deserve to build a life beyond prison walls!
While incarcerated, Josh was an active member of the IWW’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) and the founding member of the Anarchist Black Cross Oregon Prison Chapter.
Over the years Josh encouraged dozens of Prisoners around the state of Oregon to contribute to the Oregon Prisoner Forum – a monthly newsletter that circulates articles and information from incarcerated peoples – which he also founded. (Read about that here). Josh also became an outspoken anti-racist and spent years mentoring incarcerated youth to escape the trappings of the white supremacist movement. For his organizing, he was repeatedly targeted by organized white supremacist gangs with death threats, forcing him to spend much of his time in protected custody.
Across the state Josh was able to form several study groups that provided both basic civil rights education as well as more in-depth political analysis for prisoners. Josh’s educational work has empowered prisoners from across the state to take steps towards self advocacy and to take a stand to improve the deplorable conditions they are subjected to – the 2016 prisoner work strike at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution being just one example (read more here).
On September 9th 2016 prisoners across the country self-organized to take a historic stand against prison slavery and its continuation of institutionalized white supremacy and genocide. Oregon joined other states across the country in the wave of resistance that worked its way into institution after institution.
As a result of the subsequent wave of repression across the country, Josh was subjected to over 6 months of solitary confinement (a punitive practice considered across the world to be a form of torture) when prison officials found him to be working to “orchestrate Oregon prison inmates to become involved in a massive prison work stoppage in all institutions” where the “purpose of these prison work stoppage was to shut down the daily operations of the institutions based on the inmate’s perception that institutions utilize inmate labor for capitalist needs”. (See Joshes Report back and the ODOC official Misconduct Report here)
White supremacists openly organize, fascist violence creeps back into the commonplace and the reactionaries are all abuzz – in this age, we have an obligation to support those who contest the fascist creep in the belly of the beast, where it festers and finds its most fertile recruiting grounds. Not only does the prison industrial complex act not only as a coercive and disciplinary institution created to enact and “legitimize” violence against marginalized communities, it serves as an incubation chamber for supremacist ideology and street violence by routinely allowing open white supremacist gangs to promote their toxic ideas, thus recruit more henchman and build lucrative criminal syndicate networks – within and outside its walls.
The severity of racism in Oregon prisons was expressed by the all afrikan revolutionary Rashid Johnson while incarcerated in Oregon in 2011,
“while the mainstream postures to project racism as a thing of the past, its rabid forms persist. Which I found upon my imprisonment in Oregon, where in contrast to most everywhere else in Amerika, the prison population is overwhelmingly white and thus feels no compulsion to conceal its bigotry. Security in numbers.
…despite the delusions of many, is the level of civilization in Amerika, which one sees reflected in Oregon prisons, where a rabid racist culture parades openly stripped of pretense and lying in wait for the moment it can be given free violent expression.”
To bring down the walls of racism and fascism we must begin by bringing down the prison walls.
Anti-racists and anti-fascists have an obligation to support those on the inside –the ones engaged in a life or death battle against these forces – and to welcome back our comrades when they re-enter our communities.
Support your fellow worker, fellow anti-racist, anti-capitalist and anarchist Joshua Ames Cartrette! We are asking folks across the country to consider throwing a benefit show or a letter writing night to incarcerated anti-racists and to donate some funds to Josh’s re-entry. Help him get his life off the ground once again and continue the work that he once began in prison.
The funds will be used to help josh find a new place to live and with all of the associated move in costs and to provide him time to look for work and to recover from the traumatic experience of incarceration."
Please check out his support page here!
This week, we’re featuring two segments.
The first conversation is with a supporter of Kara Wild. Kara is an anarchist, a trans woman, an artist and is currently incarcerated and awaiting trial in France for participation in the Nuit Debout protests that swept across France in 2016 against changes to labor laws in that country. Kara was arrested on May 16, 2017 and will finally be going to trial Sept 19-22nd and so could use some immediate support. More information on Kara’s case can be found at freekarawild.org.
To write to Kara:
BRAULT, David (Kara) #428682,
MAH de Fleury, 7 Ave des Peupliers,
91705, Fleury Merogis, Cedex, FRANCE
Next, we do something a little experimental. We present a conversation with a member of an anti-authoritarian movement in Europe. We don’t say what movement. We talk about conflict internal to their movement, but we don’t name the parties involved. The conversation was conducted from an anti-authoritarian perspective, in the interest of creating heterogeneous communities of struggle.
The purpose of this recording is to promote a mental exercise on the part of the listener to plug in their own experiences in movements with many different trajectories inside of it. The anonymous nature of the conversation was in part to not contribute to internal conflict to the movement, conflict is better addressed between parties involved than with an outside party (our radio show) who’s interest may not be the same as the movement. I hope that this conversation is helpful, for all of it’s purposeful vagueness.
If you are in Asheville, there will be a benefit for North Carolina grand jury resister Katie Yow on Tuesday the 29th of August at the Double Crown on Haywood Road in West Asheville. There will be bbq of the vegan and non vegan sorts, plus a great lineup of bands including Margaret Killjoy’s Nomadic War Machine, Snake Musk and Wyatt Yurth and the Gold Standard.
Yow, who is a social worker with a professional past in education, has been an anarchist for over half her life. Her committment to resist this grand jury shows a bravery in the face of the kinds of trauma and isolation that only the state can instill, yet she has named this resistance as “the easiest decision I have ever made”.
Stay tuned for an interview with Katie Yow and a supporter on next week’s Final Straw!
For more information on Yow, updates on her resistance, and many resources on grand juries and grand jury resistance, you can visit https://ncresiststhegrandjury.com/
It’s been a week and a day since the events in Charlottesville, and for me it is a bit difficult to know what to say. There have been many excellent report backs – from Solecast, It’s Going Down, CrimethInc Ex Worker, and Radical Underground podcast – definitely check those out for in depth analysis and on the ground perspectives from anarchists and antifascists.
Since Cville there have been very well publicised resistances to fascism and ongoing white supremacy in Durham, Boston, and right here in Asheville where four brave community members attempted the removal of a plaque commemorating Robert E. Lee at downtown’s Vance Monument. These four folks put themselves and their safety on the line to fight white supremacy and racist, revisionist history by engaging in this act. If you want to read a statement from these folks or donate to their legal fund, you can visit “Asheville Monument Removal Legal Fund”.
Activity seems relentless right now, with elements on both sides galvanized by recent events, marches and calls to action are coming fast and furious. It is important to mobilize, but mobilize wisely, in the spirit of complete honesty about your capacities and energy. We cannot fight longterm unless we fight alongside all our comrades, support those who put themselves or are on the frontlines, and help prioritize all levels of antifascist engagement and accompliceship.
With that in mind, I want to say that if you are interested in keeping up with these calls or solidarity keep your eyes on itsgoingdown.org for announcements and updates.
One that’d like to mention right now are a call for solidarity in Phoenix AZ. This is a “call for an anti-fascist & anti-colonial contingent against Trump’s rally on Tuesday, August 22 at 6pm at the Phoenix Convention Center.
We will converge, in the spirit of solidarity and hostility to the current order, and as a physical body ready to act in self-defense and mutual protection of each other from cops, fascists, and liberal/radical ‘peace police.'”
This rally is a reaction to Trump’s suspected decision to pardon former AZ sheriff Joe Arpaio who was recently found guilty of criminal contempt for defying a state judge’s order to stop traffic patrols targeting suspected undocumented immigrants. Those patrols were kept in place by Arpaio for 17 months after the order was issued. This same sherrif rose to infamy for his intentionally cruel and sadistic treatment of incarcerated people.
This rally will be held on Tuesday, August 22 at 6pm at the Phoenix Convention Center at 100 N. 3rd St. in downtown Phoenix. It’s recommended that people arrive and look for the black flags.
For a complete anti colonial antifascist analysis of this day and the liberal response to it, check out “Phoenix, AZ: Call for an Anarchist Anti-fascist & Anti-colonial Presence Against all Presidents”
As always, keep vigilant about sources of fundraising! White nationalists are capitalists too, they will coopt anything including revolutionary momentum on the far left.
If you are in a position to donate, you can look at the sources below, all of which will directly benefit those who fought and were injured in Cville:
NYC GDC & MACC benefit for CVille
On August 12th in Charlottesville, many IWW and GDC members from across the country were present. Members of Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Committee, or MACC, from New York City also had members present at the vehicular manslaughter that occurred that day. The NYC GDC and MACC stand in solidarity with all those who oppose the growing wave of fascism around the world. Cowardly attacks will only strengthen our resolve to fight back and defend ourselves. An injury to one is an injury to all!
To support all those injured by fascist violence in Charlottesville, NYC GDC of the IWW as well as MACC are holding a fundraiser and screening of the latest episode of “Trouble” by SubMedia at Rebecca’s, at 610 Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn on Sunday, August 27th from 8pm to 10pm. “Trouble” is a new monthly documentary series that broadcasts first-hand accounts of struggles for community self-defense. Previous episodes have explored topics like water protectors fighting the construction of the DAPL pipeline at Standing Rock, anti-fascist organizing, solidarity efforts for refugees and resistance to state repression. SubMedia has encouraged groups to host screenings of the show to bring communities together and provoke discussion of tactics, struggles and movement dynamics.
The best defense against fascism is a strong and supportive community, based on principles of mutual aid, solidarity and self-defense. Heather Heyer will live in our hearts forever!
If you’d like, here’s the fedbook event
For this week we are featuring two interviews from listeners and past contributors.
August 19th Protest in Solidarity with Prisoners
The first interview is an excerpt of a longer interview that Disembodied Voice did with with a supporter of Malik Washington about the august 19th demo in Washington to end prison slavery, the millions for prisoners march. they talk about how the march came to be and what kinds of goals the organizers might have in mind. they also discuss a rationale for approaching what might be called "reformist" tactics from an anarchist perspective, and how pathways to social change can have multiple layers.
For more information on this event, you can visit https://amendthe13th.org/ and also check out the Asheville solidarity march with this event as well on August 19th at 11:30 AM in front of Pack Square, fedbook event here
Resisting LNG storage in Tacoma, WA
The next conversation, Jules holds a conversation with Roxanne Murray who is an indigenous activist involved in struggles against a Liquified National Gas storage facility proposed in the Port of so-called Tacoma, WA, Port of Tacoma, which is both notably on a fault-line and first for such a populated area.
One correction for the interview, at one point it's mentioned that the company has "12 gallon tanker trucks" when actually it's meant that they have "12,000 gallon tanker trucks".
They talk about lng and lng facilities, also the process by which this is extracted and some of the specifics of how fracking works, differences between this struggle and that at Standing Rock, as well as the timeline for this resistance plus many more topics.
If you want to learn more about this struggle you can visit the fedbook page for Climate First Responders.
ACP State Regulatory Public Comment Period
"Join us Friday Aug. 18th to tell the NC Dept of Environmental Quality to reject the 401 water quality certification for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The construction of the ACP threatens our wetlands, streams, rivers, springs and wells. Additionally it will destroy sites sacred to the Lumbee and Tuscarora peoples, and sieze people’s family farms for the private gain of energy companies like Duke Energy and Dominion. The fracked gas that the ACP will bring to market will create greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to constructing 20 new coal plants or adding 14 million cars to the road.
In the meantime please submit a public comment to the DEQ by Aug 19th telling them to reject the ACP:
Mail your own comments to:
1617 Mail Service Center,
Raleigh, NC, 27699-1617.
Email your own comments to: PublicComments@ncdenr.gov (include “ACP”
in the email’s subject line)"
To learn more about Smoky Mountain Eco Defense you can visit smed.blackblogs.org/. For more information on the ACP, you can listen to an interview that Bursts did with Whitney, who spoke about the logistical and environmental impacts the pipeline would have plus the impact on human and non human life, plus some of the context to its resistance.
Reminder: Asheville Solidarity Rally with Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March on Washington DC
On August 19th at 11:30 AM at Pack Square Park (In front of City Hall), folks will be gathering to show resistance to the continuation of slavery in the exception clause to the 13th Amendment of the U.S. constitution and in solidarity with prisoners and the rally by iamweubuntu.com in D.C.
For more information, please check out this Fedbook event.
More resistance to FBI in NC
I'd also like to take this opportunity to spread word about another Anarchist statement against intimidation tactics by Federal Law enforcement in North Carolina. Jayden Savino, who currently lives in Asheville, published their statement on EF!J on Saturday the 12th stating that "The FBI is attempting to make myself and my community feel isolated and fearful. Unfortunately for the FBI, this harassment has done the opposite for myself, my community, and my family. This type of FBI repression is not a new phenomenon, and the state’s efforts to target activists and dismantle movements is as American as genocide. While it is unclear what exactly is being investigated, I will continue to embody my solidarity with the resilient herstory of state repression resistors, along with those who will continue to resist after my time. There is no greater betrayal or humiliation to our movement and the Earth than to cooperate with the state." The Final Straw would love to extend a warm hug to Jaydan and all of our support.
A quick post-script to this introduction: Many of our listeners may be aware of the huge and tragic events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, on May 11th and 12th, 2017. In the near future, we'll be bringing some voices from that struggle against the United The Right rally attempted by such groups as The Proud Boys, chapters of the Ku Klux Klan, National Socialist Movement, League of the South, Vanguard America, and other ass-hats of the far right and alt-right. A few writeups are already showing up on ItsGoingDown.org and are worth a read.
I would like to take a moment to raise my voice in praise of the people that showed up in Charlottesville despite the dangers, to the affinity groups and collectives and individuals who stood in the muggy, Virginia summer heat to face off against 500 literal fascists weilding torches on the night of the 11th around the Robert E. Lee statue, who came to those activists aide. I want to raise my voice in honor of the people who came out despite the terror of the night before to face off against these same 500 or so cowards and turned them running, who saw through transparent arguments of "free speech" meant to confuse the liberals. We wish to send love to those who pushed back against the fash, to the clergy who bore witness in the face of such a threat, to the neighbors who fought for their city against this horde of white supremacists, who cared for the injured, who loved their neighbors by defending them, housing them, healing them. Around the world, shows of solidarity are going up, with Heather Herey who was brutally murdered by an alleged Vanguard America member from Ohio who drove into a crowd of protestors, and in doing so injured about 20 more. And also, I want to raise my voice for those who struggled against the police, the police who may not have protected the fash as much this day but who are institutionally on the side of authoritarianism and still know what side their bread is buttered on. Our liberation will never come with the handshake of a cop.
If you have a few dollars burning a whole in your pocket and want to help out the folks in Charlottesville as they cover legal, medical and other costs, you can visit http://solidaritycville.com/donate/ for ideas.
Solidarity from us, friends and comrades, we will win.
This week, we're airing the formerly only podcast conversation I had with organizers of the Haymaker Gym project in Chicago, IL. Haymaker is an explicitly anti-fascist and feminist self-defense initiative.
If you want to help out the Haymaker project, until August 14th they have a fund raising page up at launchgood.com. If you want to encounter the folks from the gym and get involved in some of the startup events, you can run into them at the Breakaway Autonomous Social Center at 2424 S Western Ave Chicago, IL and more info on that project can be found here.
NC Resists the Grand Jury, Donate to Katie Yow!
In July of 2017, long-time activist Katie Yow received a subpoena to testify before a grand jury in North Carolina. The subject of this grand jury has been revealed to be what the government has described as a bombing at the GOP headquarters in Hillsborough, NC this past fall. Katie has expressed no knowledge of any relevant information to this alleged event, yet is continuing to resist the inquiries of this proceeding.
Grand juries are not regular trials, but rather operate in secrecy where normal rules of evidence do not apply. The prosecutor runs the proceedings and no judge is present. This type of proceeding has been used as tools of the State to isolate, divide, and destroy social movements since the 1960’s. They have been used to sow distrust and coerce information from the Chicano, Puerto Rican, and Black liberation movements, the anti-war movement, and more recently the environmental, animal rights, and anarchist movements. They are currently especially being wielded against anarchists, anti-fascists, and indigenous water protectors who struggled at Standing Rock.
But we have powerful tools as well, those of resolute silence, courageous refusal, and fierce solidarity. In honor of her principles and the different world we struggle for together, Katie is refusing to cooperate with this witchhunt.
In addition to legal support, navigating the possibility of an unknown amount of jail time, away from work, can be expensive. Please consider making a donation to support Katie’s refusal to participate in the grand jury by going to the support page.
You can learn more about this case and keep abreast of updates by going to NC Resists the Grand Jury.
Getting Ready for Cville with It's Going Down
Regular listeners to The Final Straw Radio, and anyone who's clued in to southern antifascism, will be aware that there is opposition planned to a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville Virginia next Saturday, August 12th. For any folks still feeling uncertain of what is going on and who will be there, there is an excellent article on It's Going Down about the specifics of all the Neo Nazi, white nationalist, and all around bonehead alt righters who may be showing their miserable faces in Cville on the 12th, plus some context for why these fashies are dragging themselves out from behind their computer screens in the first place.
You'll get to read about such charmers as the Traditionalist Worker Party, Identity Europa, plus Neo Nazi Jason Kessler, local to Cville, who is one of the brains behind this march in the first place, plus many others.
If you can't make Charlottesville but will be in the Asheville area, consider Pansy Fest. Pansy Fest is a new queer and trans DIY music and arts fest in Asheville, NC, August 11-12th. Proceeds will go towards two beneficiaries: Beloved House and Southerners on New Ground. If you are local and you would like to help with support functions (set-up, tear-down, stage management, local housing, etc) you can contact the organizers at email@example.com.
On August 11th, at Static Age Records in downtown Asheville at 7pm there'll be a show who's lineup includes Bryan Estelle, Crooked Ghost, Sister Mantos and many more.
On August 12th, from 12-3pm at Firestorm Books & Coffee in West Asheville, there'll be workshops and a band panel. At 7pm at the Odditorium another show will ensue with bands including Brief Awakening, Laser Beams, Ghastly & Cloudgayzer. More info at http://pansyfestavl.com/
Dearest Asheville (and surrounding area) Queers!
"Glitter and Bone is a radical queer collective hosting what is, basically, a big party. We have no official status as an event or an organization, nobody makes a profit or gets paid. We ask for donations only to cover our expenses. The dis-organizers are queer/trans folx who are concerned about emotional, psychological and physical safety of queer and trans people at skills events, and want to create a safe space for our queer/trans community to learn skills, be in the wilderness, and thrive.
Registration begins at noon on Friday, August 18. Event begins Friday evening, 7pm, and ends Sunday afternoon, 6pm. Glitter and Bone provides rustic camping, composting outhouses, and water/soap for handwashing and meal clean up. We do not have showers. Meals are not provided, but a large, rustic communal kitchen area will be maintained, with both open fire and camp stove cooking. Pack for a typical weekend of camping, bring whatever food and supplies you would bring for that. Please see the specific list of what to bring below. For folx unfamiliar with rustic camping, we provide support in finding a good camp spot, pitching a tent, understanding the bathroom situation, learning how to cook over an open fire, etc. No judgement here, we want more queers in the wilderness!
We need everyone's help to make this happen! All Glitter and Bone participants will be asked to volunteer a few hours to help out at the
event. Here is a list of jobs to help you think in advance about what you would like to do. If you feel drawn to providing some leadership in a particular area, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org"
You can get in touch with G&B at that email, keep in touch with them on tumblr at their tumblr, and link up w them on the Fedbook by searching their name!
Asheville Solidarity Rally with Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March on Washington DC
The 13th Amendment of the US Constitution still allows slavery, creating an increasing population of caged people who provide free or near-free labor to stockholders of the Prison Industrial Complex and profiteers of mass incarceration. As a result, American jobs are lost and job-seekers are victimized because private industry cannot compete with involuntary servitude.
Therefore, citizens of Asheville North Carolina invite you to a Solidarity Rally with Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March on Washington DC. There, we will peacefully assemble to let Congress know, it is time to end slavery once and for all, delete the exception clause in the 13th Amendment authorizing prison slavery, and stop profiteering in its tracks - because all workers deserve living wages.
All Asheville and Buncombe County residents are invited--especially our elected representatives and those running for office this election season. Voters, your constituents, want to know where you stand on this matter.
When: August 19th at 11:30 AM
Where: Pack Square Park (In front of City Hall)
This event is organized by Asheville Black Lives Matter, Blue Ridge Anarchist Black Cross (BRABC), and Zamani Refuge African Cultural
Center, with more endorsements forthcoming.
For more information, please check out this Fedbook event.
This week William had the opportunity to speak with Margaret Killjoy about her new novella The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion, which is coming out on August 15th from Tor.com. In this interview we will talk about how she got into writing genre fiction, how writing has shaped her politics, about the book itself, and about fighting a battle on a cultural front, among many other things. If you are interested, you can come to a book release event that Killjoy will be doing at Firestorm Books and Coffee on August 15th at 7pm! You can pre-order a copy of this book from your local bookstore or from Red Emmas, an online anarchist source.
You can find more of her writings at her website, Birds Before The Storm, alongside some of music and artwork!
NC Resists a Grand Jury, Solidarity with Katie Yow!
On Monday, July 31st, people will gather in Greensboro at 9am at the Federal Courthouse, 324 W. Market St in order to support Katie Yow, who is refusing to comply with a Federal Grand Jury convening there to which she's been subpoena'd. And here's an update from Katie on what she's learned about the fgj:
"We have now learned more from the Assistant US Attorney about the subject of the federal grand jury to which I have been subpoenaed. This grand jury is looking into what the government has described as a bombing at the GOP headquarters in Hillsborough, NC this past fall. The AUSA has also indicated that they are interested in "other people" and "other events." I don't know anything relevant to a criminal investigation of the alleged incident at the GOP headquarters. The broad nature of the government's interest in other information makes clear the way that this and other grand juries are used as fishing expeditions to attempt to coerce testimony on 1st amendment protected information. This is one of the many ways grand juries are used to repress social movements, and one of many reasons why we resist them. Whatever new information we may learn about this grand jury, I will continue to refuse to cooperate. We didn't have to know what this grand jury was about to know what we are about. Our values are long held, they are nurtured through both triumph and incredible loss, and they cannot be compromised.
My resistance to this grand jury is the easiest decision I have ever made, even if the consequences may be difficult. I will continue to refuse to comply with this subpoena, and I have every faith in my community's ability to support me in doing so."
If yr feeling it, show up in Greensboro on Monday to show support!
More information can be found at NC Resists the Grand Jury
Did you say "Grand Jury"? What the heck is that??
If you are in Asheville on Wednesday, you are invited to attend a workshop at Firestorm Books and Coffee (610 Haywood Rd) at 7pm entitled "What Is A Grand Jury?" The discussion will be presented by the Scuffletown Anti Repression Committee.
Smashing the Fash, Every Day
Keep your eyes on your favorite anarchist news source for updates on resisting AmRen in Tennessee, which is going on today and tomorrow (7/30 and 7/31). For context, you can hear an interview that Bursts did about this resistance by searching "AmRen" on our blog.
Also, keep your eyes peeled for information on resisting the far right in Charlottesville on August 12th by following the #NoNewKKK
This week William got to speak to two people about the anti KKK demo in Charlotesville VA on July 8th, plus about the resistance to a Unite the Right gathering proposed for Charlotesville on August 12th. We speak about what went down on J8, plus things to keep in mind for A12 and who all may be attending the event.
Here is some intro text from our guests that lays the groundwork for some of the things we will speak about:
In the wake of the Charleston Massacre in 2015, the Confederate flag saw a drastic change in social tolerance, and its removal from public institutions sparked widespread reaction from scores of White Southerners, even leading to further terrorizing and violence. Donald Trump's campaign and election saw these fires stoked further, now emboldening the more explicit White Supremacist dialogue that so many had attempted to distance the flag from a year earlier.
In late April of 2017, the city council of Charlottesville, Virginia voted to remove its statues depicting Confederate generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, and rename the downtown parks that hosted them as Justice Park and Emancipation Park, respectively. Local Confederate advocates such as the VA Flaggers and politicians like Corey Stewart had already inserted themselves into the dialogue, but they did not stop when the City's decision was cast.
With the assistance of local white activists a court injunction was filed to challenge and halt the removals, and only a few weeks later, White Power figureheads from across the U.S. descended on Charlottesville's parks unannounced for a day of rallies and photo-ops, in a calculated move to insert themselves into the conflict. Since May, the people of Charlottesville have been dogged by intermittent rallies, harassment, stalking, threats, and outright violence from these forces, all the while fighting to resist this fascist creep.
Just two weeks ago, on July 8th, the infamous Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan held a rally in Justice Park. Many from the city and across Virginia assembled for a peaceful counter-demonstration that sought to block the Klan from entering the park. This time, the police led a violent and one-sided escalation against those protesting white supremacy that included 23 arrests.
As the far-right and so-called Alt-Right's campaign in Charlottesville continues, August 12th has been set for what they hope to be a culminating event, a rally to "Unite the Right" in Emancipation Park.
With a special guest line-up featuring the worst of the worst, they are counting on even greater numbers of alt-righters, Neo-Nazis, white nationalists, neo-confederates, militia groups, and even biker gangs to converge from all corners of the country, with aims not only of unification but of violent retribution against those who oppose them.
A call to action for A12 resistance and detailed information chronicling this struggle, including how to support those arrested on July 8th, can be found at solidaritycville.com, and you can contact Defend.Cville@protonmail.com for more. Use #DefendCville and #TheNewKKK for news and conversation before, during, and after A12; and most importantly, show up to support Charlottesville and help send these Nazis packing!
To support those who were arrested resisting the KKK on July 8th please visit https://fundly.com/virginia-anti-racist-bail-fund.
98FM podcast coming out soon
Keep an ear out for a special podcast segment we’ll release this week about 98Fm, Radiozones Of Subersive Expression in Athens Greece. This is the squatted pirate radio station we were going on and on about during the interview on Its Going Down. Well, as you may have heard on B(A)D News: Angry Voices From Around The World #2 last week, they’ve been having some issues with the Telecommunication Ministry, the police, a commercial pirate station and the University where they squat. So, we chat about it for about 45 minutes and they tell us about what’s going on in Greece these days. Take a peek at our website mid week for this interview.
Updates from Comrade Malik Washington
Now a quick announcement from the dungeons of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice:
Comrades incarcerated in the "Ad-Seg"--that is, solitary confinement"--block at the Eastham Unit in Texas are reporting that mentally ill prisoners who are unable to care for their own physical health and hygiene are being utterly neglected by prison COs, and even by mental health personnel supposedly tasked with oversight functions at the prison.
Comrade Kado is an occupant of the Ad-Seg unit who has seen this neglect firsthand, related in a recent communication that his concern for one particular individual on the block has become acute. He writes, "It is known that this man is mentally ill. If engaged directly in conversation, he is able to respond, although only in very short sentences. He knows he is from Nebraska, and that he is here for “trespassing too much”... when asked why he's in solitary, he states “they want me to do work and it's too hard” or “the guards yellin' all the time, I get upset”.
Each time Comrade Kado tried to engage the prison staff about getting some assistance for this man, who had been living for months in his own filth, in a roach-infested cell, he was ignored or told he can't advocate for fellow inmates. Well-known prison activist and human rights advocate Comrade Malik Washington, who also resides on this unit, similarly tried to speak out on behalf of this person, and he, too, was promptly told to mind his own business.
A major concern is that this man could become ill from the deadly heat people in Texas prison are regularly exposed to; this is a concern for ALL Texas prisoners, but especially those who no longer (or maybe never did) possess the cognitive ability to advocate for themselves. As Comrade Malik writes, "[This man] lives only 3 cells away from me. He has no fan and really doesn't know or understand how to ask for one, so he suffers more than the normal prisoner in ad seg...And yet from the senior warden all the way down to the lowest-ranking correctional officer, no-one sees the importance or urgency of obtaining a fan for this mentally ill humyn being!"
Officials at Eastham will not succeed in destroying solidarity amongst imprisoned people. Comrades Kado and Malik will continue speaking out for their fellow incarcerated brothers and sisters--and they need our help!! Take a minute to call Bryan Collier, Executive Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, at (512) 463-9988, to tell him that mentally ill prisoners need to be properly cared for. And if you want to learn more about this pressure campaign and about prisoner advocacy, write to Comrade Kado at:
2665 Prison Road #1
Lovelady, TX 75851
Dare to struggle! Dare to win! All power to the people!
J20 Week of Solidarity
This is the week of solidarity with the over-200-people arrested during the protests against the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20th, known as the J20 defendants. Among the ways to get involved, one could thrown a fundraiser, attend a fundraiser, do graffiti, drop a banner, have an info-session to teach people about it, re-socialize your local Fox News outlet and read a statement on the air, plaster your social media, talk to your awkward manarchist uncle Jerry, and otherwise raise awareness that might support the support lawyers in their attempt on July 27th to get the charges against the J20 defendents dismissed. More info on events ongoing can be found at defendj20resistance.org.
Za in NYC with the Wobs for J20
If you’re in New York and wanna have some pizza about this, the New York City General Defense Committee of the Industrial Workers of the World is organizing a pizza dinner as a benefit of the over 200 people who were arrested in Washington D.C. on Inauguration Day. Here's a fedbook post for the event, and here's where the funds are being collected if you can't make it but wanna give.
WHEN: Saturday, August 5, 2017 from 4 P.M. to 4 A.M.
WHERE: Rebecca's, 610 Bushwick Ave., Brooklyn NY 11206
Fire Inside Zine & Tour
From FireInside.noblogs.org, we read an announcement about Firehawk & Ben's upcoming rust-belt tour with a zine compiling the experiences of prisoners of the September 9th #PrisonStrike from last year in the prisoners own words, as well as info about the August 19th Millions for Prisoner Justice march this year.
July 25th day of International Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners
Tuesday, July 25th, marks the 3rd Annual International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners. In the aftermath of the fiery protests against the G20—and the arrests of hundreds of comrades—we are again reminded that the embers of direct action need long-term prisoner support in order to keep the flame of resistance strong. Some forty G20 protesters remain in prison in Hamburg and need our solidarity.
Here's a list of prisoners needing support.
Also from IGD:
Longtime Sacramento activist and indigenous elder Mike Williams is one of three people of color who face charges stemming from the antifascist mobilization which shut down a neo-Nazi rally in June of 2016. Only one neo-Nazi, William Planer, is facing charges, and he was only arrested after vandalizing a synagogue in Denver, CO. Mike is currently facing massive charges and a high bail. Please support him here and share the fundraising link far and wide along with this article to raise awareness of his case.
Check out the full post for more details.
This week William interviewed Mark Bray, who is a professor, author, and anti authoritarian, about the G20 protests that took place in Hamburg Germany last week. We will talk about the event, how it unfolded, much in the way of cultural and historical context for resisting G20 summits, and much more! You can follow our guest on Twitter @Mark__Bray and search any search engine to find his books.
B@d News #2
The July 2017 edition of the monthly English language podcast, Bad News: Angry Voices from Around The World, is just out from the International Anarchist Radio Network. As of this moment, the network’s website has yet to debut at a-radio-network.org, so check out our website at thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org and our rss podcast feed for a link to this newest episode.
Fuck a Grand Jury; Grand Jury Resistance
We’d like to present a breaking announcement. Longtime North Carolinian, organizer and anarchist, Katie Yow has just released a statement that she’s been subpoena’d to a Federal Grand Jury in Greensboro and will be refusing to cooperate. We at the Final Straw Radio wish to express our care and support to Katie as she faces down this threat with our hearts full of the knowledge that she won’t be resisting this alone, but alongside all of us who know that backing down is not a choice. Many before have resisted and will. To the recalcitrant refusals of Team Grumbles!
To see Katie Yow’s full statement, you can visit North Carolina Resists the Grand Jury on It’s Going Down.
Some Upcoming Events
In the Asheville area, here are a few upcoming events: On Thursday, July 20th at 7:30pm at Firestorm there’ll be a showing of Trouble #4, about movement defense and resisting repression followed by episode 2 of Channel (A)!, a compilation of screen representation of anarchists from popular media.
This event sits in the international week of solidarity from July 20-27th with J20 defendants from the inauguration protests in D.C. this year.
“We are calling for a Week of Solidarity with the J20 defendants from July 20 to 27, 2017. July 20 marks six months from the initial actions and arrests during Donald Trump’s inauguration, and on July 27, a motion to dismiss the charges will be argued in court. On January 20, 2017, tens of thousands of people converged in Washington, D.C. for the DisruptJ20 protests to oppose the inauguration of yet another president. A combination of blockades, marches, and festive demonstrations shattered the spectacle of a peaceful transition of power. Unfortunately, with resistance comes repression. Approximately 214 arrestees now face a total of eight felony charges a piece, including conspiracy and destruction of property. All of the J20 defendants are now facing up to 75 years in prison. The majority of defendants are working together, collectively responding to the charges and using solidarity to push back against the state. How effectively we support the inauguration day defendants will determine how effectively anyone can keep resisting under the Trump administration. Turning protest into a felony offense is dangerous for anyone who believes in the right to resist.We call on supporters to organize events and actions in solidarity with the J20 defendants throughout the week. Be creative and strategic! Help cultivate a spirit of resistance and mutual aid! Visit Defend J20 Resistance for more information”
On July 21st at 8pm at Firestorm, a repor-tback from the protests in Hamburg, Germany, will take place at Firestorm.
From the original announcement
“In July 2017, the rulers of the world’s 20 most powerful nations met in Hamburg, Germany to coordinate the preservation of capitalism and state power at the expense of humanity and the natural world. Over 20,000 police were brought into the city in order to brutally suppress dissent. Yet the more violently the police attacked demonstrators, the more the general population of Hamburg came together in rebellion against them. In the end, in response to escalating attempts at repression, massive riots paralyzed the city, with some areas becoming police-free zones. We will hear a full report from Hamburg, complete with photos and video.”
On July 22nd, don’t forget about the bbq, bake sale and benefit punk show for J20 defendants. Details should be up on IGD along with other scheduled events around North Carolina for the week.
Nashville Anti Racist Action about the upcoming American Renaissance Conference in Burns, Tennessee from July 28th to 30th, 2017. AmRen, as it's called, is a yearly conference that sprange from Jared Taylor's suit and tie nazi thinktank journal by the same title and is being held on state land in Tennessee and anti-racists plan to make the "white identitarians" uncomfortable to say the least. For the hour we talk about anti-racist organizing in the South, about the upcoming "Unite The Right" convergence in Charlottesville, Virginia and more. Here's the fedbook page for Nashville ARA, and here's another state-wide coalition in Tennessee, TARN.
As an aside, big ups to the crowds that overwhelmed the KKK in Charlottesville on July 8th. The Klan had to be escorted by State Police to even escape the throngs of counter-demonstrators. NPR reports 50 Klan showed up, over 1,000 counter protesters and 23 anti-racists arrested, other reports include word of police brutalizations and felony charges. Here's a fundraising page for those arrested.
One resource we would like to point folks to if they're seeking to get involved with anti-racist and antifa groups over the internet, considering the honeypot and disinformation tactics being taken by the far right is Antifa checker, which vets social media sites for antifa and ARA groups and has social media presences on twitter, facebook and more.
Here's an article about last year's AmRen with a history of Jared Taylor and other organizers behind NPI, AmRen, Paleo-Conservatism, "Racial Realism," "Identitarianism," "Racialist," Sam Dickson and more buncombe.
Interview w/ Your Hosts at It's Going Down
If you wanna learn more about your hosts, get a blow by blow of the anarchist radio conference that happened in Greece earlier this year, and hear some A++ trolling, you can hear an interview that we did with members of the anarchist, anti-authoritarian news platform It's Going Down! Tell us what you think by writing to us an email!
Dane Powell sentencing and J20 Solidarity
As many of you have probably heard already, the first of the J20 defendants was sentenced recently to 4 months of a 36 month sentence followed by 2 years of supervised probation. From a fundraising support statement: "Dane Powell is a father, veteran, water protector, and active community member, but will now forever be known as the first political prisoner of the Trump era." He is famous for pulling children and elderly folks out of the range of police chemical weapons on January 20th, and was arrested and held for days in DC lockup after having been profiled and dragged from a car on the 21st. You can read and listen to a fabulous interview that he did with the Bloc Party on It's Going Down, in which he talks about his reasons for taking a non cooperating plea deal and how he has been talking about all of this with his children, among many other topics. The interview links to other support sites and articles by co-defendants. You can also see detailed reporting on his sentencing, along with helpful context, on Unicorn Riot.
Dane Powell has been sentenced, but his address is yet to be released. Once it is available, we will point folks to that information because the importance of getting mail while in prison cannot be overstated. If you would like to donate to his support fund, which will go to his commissary and support for his family while he's inside, you can visit his fundraising support site here.
This also seems like a good time to mention that CrimethInc is calling for an upcoming week of solidarity with J20 defendants. From their website "July 20 marks six months from the initial actions and arrests during Donald Trump’s inauguration, and on July 27, a motion to dismiss the charges will be argued in court. The case has finally begun to receive the media attention it warrants; with this court date approaching and the cases underway, this is a crucial time for a second Week of Solidarity. Send reportbacks, photographs, and inquiries to J20solidarity@protonmail.com."
More information can be had at crimethinc.com.
NC Defend J20 benefit events
As relates to the recent shout out for fund and awareness raising solidarity events for the upcoming week of Solidarity from July 20th-27th, 2017, we'd like to highlight a few North Carolina events:
July 20th, at Firestorm in Asheville, there will be a free showing of TROUBLE #4, from subMedia, about repression and movement building as well as #2 of Channel (A)!, a collection of anarchist representations in popular media. This starts at 6:30pm.
On July 22nd, there'll be a benefit concert in Asheville starting at 6pm with a bbq and bake sale and suggested donations. Bands include: Mutual Jerk (from Atlanta), Poor Excuse, Clyde Conwell & a SECRET SPECIAL GUEST (I really hope it's performers from "Now Thats' What I Call Kerkhophony Vol 1). Look for the address for this show on http://ncj20defense.com soon.
On July 25th at the Nightlight in Chapel Hill, NC, at 9pm there'll be benefit concert for the J20 defendants. Bands include: Institute, Drugecharge, Decoy & Dead On The Vine.
More on events around the world for the week of solidarity can be found at http://defendj20resistance.org/ and a good writeup with updates on the subject is up from crimethinc.
From Denver, there's a call out for fundraising for folks who caught charges counter-demonstrating the Islamophobic antics of "ACT for America" last month. They have some quite humorous shirts, particularly for our insurrectionary herbalists of the Laurel Luddite variety, as a fundraiser on a fundly page.
Update from Keith "Comrade Malik" Washington
Another update from Keith "Malik" Washington, a spokespersyn for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement:
Prisoners located in Lovelady, Texas, have filed their § 1983 Federal Civil Complaint in the Eastern District of Texas – Lufkin Division. TDCJ has the largest state prison system in the United States. Most of the 110 prison units are not air conditioned, and toxic water supplies are becoming a pervasive and systemic problem. At Eastham Unit, multiple prisoners have been diagnosed with h. pylori disease from the water. Due to the Heat Index, especially in the summer, prisoners must drink this contaminated water that's causing h. pylori. The prison store known as the commissary sells us “hot pots” which heat water but don't boil it. If we alter our Hot Pots in order to make them boil, they get confiscated and we are given a disciplinary case for contraband.
This issue raises 8th Amendment concerns, and the US Supreme Court has held that unsafe conditions that pose an unreasonable risk of serious dangers to a prisoner's future health. Several prisoners have been diagnosed with h. pylori disease which destroys the lining of the stomach. There is no known cure.
Malik, in a recent statement from which we're selectively quoting, and which is available at https://comrademalik.com/, goes on to compare the governments utter disregard for the prison population in Texas Department of Correction's jurisdiction, mainly made up of poor white, black, native, latinx and other marginalized peoples, to that of the administration in Flint, Michigan. In particular, the sick and the elderly are endangered by this while wards of the state in what may rightly be considered cruel but sadly maybe not so unusual circusmstances. The main prisoner involved in the case is a jailhouse lawyer named William Wells and the case can be found as: William Wells et al. Vs Bryan Collier et al. Cause #9:17-cv-80
For those of you who don't know, Bryan Collier is the Executive Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).
If you'd like to learn more, send Malik some mail at:
Keith 'Comrade Malik' Washington, TDC# 1487958, 2665 Prison Road #1, Lovelady, TX 75851
And check out his writing on the support fedbook page or his support site.
Houston Anarchist Bookfair
Also related to Texas, we'd also like to inform folks that submission periods have begun for the Houston Anarchist Bookfair! The bookfair will be taking place on Sunday, September 24, 2017
From their fundraising page:
"Houston Anarchist Black Cross will host a one-day convergence to network, grow, and celebrate anarchist and anti-authoritarian projects in Texas and the surrounding region, and we need help to make it happen!
This gathering will be entirely free as part of our commitment to accessibility, and because of this we need lots of help with funding from those who can support us. The event itself will be free, we will be providing lots of services at the bookfair for free with the help of volunteers, it is free to table or present a workshop, and we want to be able to help as many folks from out of town as possible with their travel expenses and housing needs. This event will have books, publishers, distros, zinesters, exciting workshops, and discussion to celebrate and expand our southern radical communities of resistance!
Money raised will go towards booking and renting our space, bringing people in from out of town, feeding people who attend the bookfair, buying supplies to set up the space, and funding accessibility for the space. If you're planning on coming to the bookfair, or coming to table or present a workshop, or are generally excited about this radical southern space happening, and you can help us raise the funds to make this event happen and keep it free, we need your help!
Solidarity, Feed The Possums, All that good stuff :)
This'll be the first anarchist bookfair in Houston since 2011! If you'd like to participate in the bookfair more directly, they've opened up the submissions period for vendors and presenters, and they've put up a page for reaching out if you have housing or accessibility needs for the bookfair. Those links and more can be found at the events website, or reach the organizers at email@example.com!
This week William spoke with Maria and Jeff, who are two long term members of the humanitarian aid group based in Arizona called No More Deaths. This group does solidarity work with those who are crossing the border in that region, as well as advocacy, legal work, and work which runs along many other vectors of solidarity. We will speak about the group and how each member got involved, the exact nature of the work and some media myths that the group gets leveled at them, along with the rise in repression that No More Deaths has faced in recent weeks, culminating in highly militarized raid on Bird Camp, a remote outpost that serves as a clinic, on Thursday, June 15. We will go on to discuss the strategy behind Border Patrol's surveillance and repression of those who are crossing and aid workers, and will talk about asks for assistance that the group is thinking of.
You can visit NMD online at nomoredeaths.org, plus follow them on Facebook and Twitter if you want to keep up with calls for solidarity and with updates on their situation.
Those titles that Maria mentioned for further reading if folks want to learn more about the border and how it got that way are:
- No Wall They Can Build, out recently by CrimethInc.
- The Insurgent Southwest
- Designed to Kill via CrimethInc as well
- The Disappeared Report
- Dispaches from the Borderland thru the anarchist media collective It's Going Down
The first musical track in this episode is by Calle 13 with "Pa'l Norte". They are a Puerto Rican hip hop group that often tackles themes that are oppositional to the border, border patrol, and FBI. The episode closes with a track from an Argentinian atmospheric metal band called Ruinas/Raíces with Dos Colores Fundiéndose which is the first track off their title album that just came out in April. You can find them on the blog Red and Anarchist Black Metal.
This week, Bursts spoke with Ben Turk about the August 19th call out for solidarity with prisoners. The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, a project of the Industrial Workers of the World (or IWW) syndicalist labor union is one body organizing the inside and outside actions, and Ben is a member. Ben's also affiliated with Lucasville Amnesty
Last year was a huge time for radical organizing around the U.S. Prisoners from around the country participated in the September 9th national prisoner strike, the first of it's size and scope that we've seen. This event mobilized individual prisoners and also sprang from groups like the Free Alabama Movement and it's sister pushes in other carceral states, Anarchist Black Cross chapters, the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, or IWOC, of the Industrial Workers of the World labor union and also by just lots of unaffiliated prisoners. Now, we have what could be called a hard Law and Disorder administration in the White House talking about increasing funding and support for cops, further militarizing the border and terrorizing residents, reviving the 1980's style war on drugs and other repressive actions. In this context, it feels necessary for those who have a different vision of the world to push back and keep pushing as we were under Obama, under Bush & before.
More on IWOC can be found at https://incarceratedworkers.org and more about public call for the strike can be found at IAmWeUbuntu.com
Soooooo many Announcements
But first, we have a bunch of announcements we wanted to share with you. If you have things you want announced on the show, send us an email and we may include it!
Firstly, if you follow the show on twitter, we're shifting the show's account over to @StrawFinal. If you're on that or other, despicable forms of social media, consider checking us out for announcements about the show, about related projects and for the occasional anti-social, cat memes.
Kevin "Rashid" Johnson in transit
An update on the case of Kevin "Rashid" Johnson from http://rashidmod.com :
"Supporters have received word that Kevin “Rashid” Johnson was picked up by Virginia officials and removed from Clements Unit on Thursday, June 23rd. He is no longer being held by Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Thanks to so many people phoning Virginia Interstate Compact Supervisor Terry Glenn, we have found out that Rashid is now in Florida at a “reception facility”. However, we do not know where that is, if he can receive mail there, or where he will end up. We will keep you informed as we find out more, and in the meantime will be asking people to phone Glenn back on Monday.
Rashid is Minister of Defense of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (Prison Chapter); he is a Virginia prisoner organizer and revolutionary communist. As a result of his organizing he has been repeatedly transferred out of state, under a setup called the “Interstate Compact” which is used to remove rebellious prisoners and exile them to locations where they have no friends, support, etc. For the past four years Rashid has been held in Texas, where he has been beaten, threatened, had his property confiscated, been set up on bogus infractions, and more — nonetheless, he used his time there to forge connections with other prisoners and to write a series of powerful exposés about violence, medical neglect, abuse, and murder in the Texas prison system.
Transfers can be opportunities for prison officials to arrange for violence and abuse. Rashid was beaten when he was first brought to Texas, and lost much of his property at the time. Outside supporters and people concerned about prisoners’ rights and basic human dignity need to make sure this does not happen again!"
Kevin "Rashid" Johnson's support site suggests people call the following prison employee to support Rashid, and there's a simple script for calls available at http://rashidmod.com:
Mr. Terry Glenn, Interstate Compact Supervisor
Virginia Department of Corrections
P.O. Box 26963
Richmond, VA 23261-6963
Phone: (804) 887-7866
Fax: (804) 674-3595
QTLUG & VPNs
When this show is over, consider bringing your linux or soon-to-be linux laptop, tablet, phone or whatever device over to Firestorm for the QTLUG. A linux and open source software enthusiasts' meetup. Asheville Queer & Trans Linux User Group (QTLUG, pronounced "Cutie Lug") aims to provide a welcoming environment for queers, trans folks, women and others who want to explore technology and receive support from peers. QTLUG meets monthly and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org . Today, June 25th at 3:30pm EST there'll be a VPN clinic, where attendees will be helped to set up Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, on their devices. Little to no experience necessary!
Today at 4 to 6pm, and every Sunday, in Haw Creek Park at 40 Avon Rd in Asheville there will be a self-protection class taught by folks at Mountain Forge. This class is informed by Combat Systema and other tendencies.
J20 benefit with Thou
Tonight, on June 25th at 7pm at the Pinhook in Durham, NC, there'll be a benefit concert to raise funds for J20 defendants, those swept up in the kettle on January 20th in D.C. during the protests against the inauguration. Bands playing include the New Orleans, anarcho-doom band THOU as well as Bad Friends and Slime.
Info Session on Stonewall
On Tuesday June 27th, the other Tranzmission in Asheville will be hosting An Information Session downstairs at the Pack Library in Downtown AVL from 6-8pm. "Learn about the Miss Major, Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Myka Johnson from TQPOC, Charlotte (Queer Trans People of Color, Charlotte) will teach us about the leaders who kicked off the modern day LGBTQ movement, trans people of color!"
DIY Screen Printing workshop
On Wednesday, June 28th, you can attend a DIY Screenprinting workshop// Taller de serigrafía from 7-8:30pm at the Kairos West community center, behind Firestorm at 610 Haywood Rd in West Asheville. Bring a blank, light colored tshirt to print on!
Trouble #4: There Is No Justice... Just Us
On Friday, June 30th at 7:30pm, there'll be a showing of the 30 minute, 4th installment of TROUBLE, the new serial documentary series from sub.Media. This episode has a focus on Repression and Movement Defense with examples around support for Fernando Barcenas in Mexico, defense of water defenders from the #NoDAPL struggle, support for #J20 defendants, La Fuga anti-carceral organizing across Chile, Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee about U.S. prison strikes and more. This'll be followed by a conversation based on prompts from the film makers.
Prison Books packaging
On Saturday July 1st and every following Saturday, Asheville Prison Books Project will be hosting a weekly book packaging and letter writing event in the back of Downtown Books & News, 67 N Lexington Ave, Asheville. APBP sends free books and letters to prisoners around the South Eastern U.S.
Stonewall Folk Punk concert
Also on July 1st in Asheville, the other Tranzmission will be hosting Folk Punk Transtravaganza at the members-only bar, Broadways from 7-10pm. Performances by Gullible Boys, Bless Your Heart, Brynn Estelle and ATL's wWaylon.
NVDA training against Coal Ash & Pipelines
On Sunday July 2nd, there'll be a Non Violent Direct Action training camp from 9am to 5pm hosted by Claire and Coleman in preparation for a protest on July 4th against the Duke Energy coal-ash pit and Atlantic Coast Pipeline that Duke is investing in. The action is entitled "Lake Julian Action: Independence From Fossil Fuels". The action camp will take place at 406 Overlook Rd Extension in Arden. There's also a request on that fedbook page for fundraising for the direct action.
Blue Ridge ABC letter wriitng
Letters save lives! Join Blue Ridge ABC each month for an evening of solidarity with incarcerated comrades. Celebrate their birthdays by sending words of encouragement and support. From 5-7:30pm at Firestorm Books & Coffee, more info on the group at BRABC.Blackblogs.Org
July 4th falls on a Tuesday and every Tuesday at 1:30pm, the Steady Collective, a harm reduction project in Asheville, does it's Needle Exchange at Firestorm, 610 Haywood Rd. Show up if you need clean needles, information on Narcan, or wanna start helping out! They'll also be at the Haywood Street Congregation, 297 Haywood St in downtown from 10am to 3pm every Wednesday.
July 4th Critical Mass Bike Parade
Also on July 4th, from 5:30pm to 9pm, there will be an Anti-Nationalist Critical Mass Bike Ride and bike parade in Asheville. Leaving from Montford Park Place, near between Panola and Cumberland, the ride will be a reasonable distance at a reasonable pace to allow more participation and will return to the park for cool-down, vegan popsicles, or vice lollies as they may be called in the U.K., plus speakers, info and maybe music. From the announcement:
"Gather with us on July 4th to demonstrate resistance to nationalism and the american empire's history of genocide, slavery and ecological devastation. Especially in the present climate of rising white nationalism, attacks on indigenous sovereignty, and disregard for impending climate disaster, we reject this holiday and its gratuitous flag-waving propaganda. Instead, we'll celebrate collective resistance by taking the streets in a critical mass bike ride through downtown. Show your opposition to war and eco-devastation in this pedal-powered parade!"
More on this event and other local events to WNC, check out http://avlcommunityaction.com
Anarchist Summer Camp, Register by July 5th!
The Institute for Advanced Troublemaking, which is "a small collective
of long time anarchist organizers seeking to create a lasting movement
education hub in the Northeast of the so-called US", is hosting an
anarchist summer camp which will be held August 11th – 18th in
Worcester, MA this year.
Some information about the group from their website "The I.A.T. aims to raise collective capacity to target our enemies at the systemic level with effective direct action and campaign work. As Trump’s presidency spurs a swell of anarchist organizing and renewed interest in anti-state anti capitalist perspectives, we want to escalate by building skills in direct action, creating movement infrastructure, and community organizing for new anarchists. We also want to bring experienced organizers together to innovate strategies and tactics for our contemporary context. Rather than an activism 101, our intention is to cultivate deeper understanding and praxis of anarchist organizing among people who are already doing some of that work."
The main idea is to build on the social and political potential of events like conferences and bookfairs to expand what is possible in this upcoming era in which it feels increasingly vital to have a vibrant and adaptive anarchist praxis.
You can see more information about this event at https://advancedtroublemaking.wordpress.com/ which will include a three part presentation by some past interviewees about Burn Down The American Plantation! Registration ends on July 5th, and will prioritize "people of marginalized identities including POC, working class, trans or gender nonconforming, those with dis/abilities, LGBTQI, and women, but recognize that many of these may not be visibly apparent".
When There Is No 911
On Thursday, July 6th to 9th from 9am to 5pm each day in Knoxville, TN, there will be a workshop entitled "When There Is No 911: Emergency Care". This will be hosted by Mountain Forge
"Learn the skills for the Right Now emergencies. There is no time to google for the answer, you can't consult your mentors, the stars, or your power animal, you need to act NOW ! Now what?
Skills that will help us to take care of ourselves and each other.
This class will start you off in the fundamental skill of emergency care in urban, suburban, rural, wilderness, and disaster (short, long, and very long ) emergency situations."
More info, including the location and the requisite pre-registration, can be found at their fedbook page.
BK Punk Rock Karaoke
If you're in Brooklyn on July 14, consider the Punk Rock Karaoke benefit for Certain Days political prisoner calendar. The karaoke will take place from 9:30pm til 12:30am at the Pine Box Rock Shop at 12 Gratton st in Brooklyn.
Meet Your Local Redneck
Back in Asheville, Carolina Mountain Redneck Revolt will be having a public event in Carrier Park (220 Amboy Rd) on July 16th from 12 noon to 4pm. This'll be a meet and greet with the local chapter in the hopes of networking, discussion of community engagements, Redneck Revolt praxis and more. This is a potluck with veg options, and it's suggested you bring sides to share.