Filed under: Bloc Party, Editorials, Incarceration, Political Prisoners, Repression, US
Originally posted to It’s Going Down
Well, this week has been a busy one hasn’t it? Trump events were disrupted in several cities, and in the case of Chicago and Miami, they were completely shut down. The escalating conflicts between the progressive/left, assorted militants, and Trump supporters seemed to go from about 30 mph to 80 mph in just a few days. With rhetoric becoming more heated from Trump and his crew, it seems that battle lines are quickly being drawn, just in time to start prepping for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, OH. We are willing to bet that even if Trump doesn’t win the Republican nomination, the momentum built on both sides will carry over to the Convention, prompting the potential for an intense fight on the streets of Cleveland regardless.
It seems that the FBI has taken a clue from the polarization of an ever broader part of the population. As we mentioned last week, the FBI has released a new set of guidelines for schools, warning teachers and students alike to watch out for the growth of “political extremism” in the student body. There are plenty of ridiculous “educational materials” on their website, lumping ISIS and “anarchist extremists” and white supremacists all into a similar category, with vague “inherent risk factors” including being poor or politically opinionated. There are some particularly scary elements to the new guidelines, including (but certainly not limited to):
[T]he FBI instructs teachers to “incorporate a two-hour block of violent extremism awareness training” into the core curriculum for all youth in grades 9 through 12.
This is basically instructing teachers to fear monger amongst middle schoolers, asking 12 year olds to snitch on “suspicious” behaviors from their peers. We are certainly glad the State is working so hard to protect us from 6th graders running amok! On top of being so obviously designed to target Muslim and Arab students, we think this also sets dangerous precedent for other kids who don’t fit the WASP ideal as well. As we get older and get to watch our kids and the kids of our friends go through school, we are reminded just how shamelessly the school system is used to enforce a particular worldview on people at a highly impressionable age. Arguing with a pre-teen about what new fucked up settler history they learned that day, while they look at you skeptically really solidifies just how much faith in the social order is instilled before a person has much of a conception of power and its insidious hold over people.
We mentioned last week that the Feds have even created an online game as part of this educational programming for youth. A gaming website, ZAM, released this in-depth review of the game:
With heavy-handed metaphors and a reluctance to let players think for themselves, this game’s teaching style is uncomfortably close to the extremism it’s trying to fight.
Don’t Be a Puppet: Pull Back the Curtain on Violent Extremism is an interactive multimedia microsite which promises to “educate teens on the destructive nature of violent extremism”. In practice it is a very beige combination of a Dorling Kindersley edutainment CD-ROM and some kind of War on Terror Reefer Madness, which never quite matches the adorable naffness of either. Designed for use in schools and representing itself as a “course”, it begins with a message from FBI director Jim Comey:
“We’ve seen a growing trend of violent extremist groups trying to recruit teenagers, especially over the internet. Drawn by false messages of power or glory, vulnerable young people can become puppets used to help spread a message of hate…The best weapons against violent extremists and their effort to recruit are empowered young people like you…so be part of the solution. Don’t be a puppet.”
On the inside things are heating up too, with prisoners in Alabama rising up twice, releasing demands and resulting in the non-lethal stabbing of a CO and even the warden. Support Prisoner Resistance has consistent updates and accounts from folks on the ground in Holman. A call has just been put out for solidarity actions with the rebels inside, and we hope that many across so-called North America (and elsewhere!) answer the call. Minneapolis already has a head start on us y’all, lets get to it!
Before we give a more comprehensive list of updates from the inside, all of this rapidly escalating activity reminds us that its always good to go over the basics with new friends, and to refresh all us veterans out there. The Durham Anti-Repression Committee just released a great street anti-repression guide. We especially appreciated this tidbit:
Because DARC opposes repression, we oppose the internal policing of our movements. We hope this document opens up space for dialogue and engagement with each other when we’re not in the streets – so we can be stronger together when we are.
Now, for your news from the inside:
As we briefly mentioned last week, anarchist prisoner, Casey Brezik, recently released a letter that aims to clear the air of misinformation or misunderstanding of the events that led to his capture by the state. The letter tears and pulls at our hearts. Casey wraps up with one of the harshest reminders of why prisoner support matters so fucking much:
One last thing. I want to thank everyone that’s shown support in so many ways. I’ve never felt alone and humiliated as I did the day I was sentenced to those 12 years. As part of my defense, my attorney called on my family to show me as a disturbed and misguided youth that had always struggled through life. This was in front of a packed courtroom. The only five people that were there for me were my immediate family members and in their testimonies it seemed as though they were demeaning me, but that was part of my attorney’s strategy. It was the most humiliating day of my life, and despite my hoping that some anarchists would be there to support me, no one showed up. I definitely felt alone then, but I don’t feel so alone now. So, thank you for that with all of my heart.
Showing up in court matters. None of us can go back and be at Casey’s sentencing appearance. What we can do is continue to remind him that he is never alone. Please send him a letter of solidarity to:
Casey Brezik #1154765
Northeast Correctional Center
13698 Airport Road
Bowling Green, Missouri 63334
Speaking of upcoming court support, Eric King will be sentenced sometime this Spring or Summer. While he awaits that court appearance he is facing extremely dangerous conditions at CCA Leavenworth. Eric’s captors are essentially starving him while he is held in the hole. A call in campaign has been launched to pressure the prison to provide proper nutrition to him as well as other vegan prisoners. While the folks on Eric’s support crew have been able to speak to a couple pieces of human garbage over there at CCA, the run around continues. This week Eric and his support crew are asking for an escalation of tactics as well as continued pressure on the prison as called for last week. Here are the details:
Our calls have kept the prison bureaucrats annoyed, flustered and irate. And Eric has received a little bit more food a couple times—even though they’ve withheld food as punishment just as much. Eric has also had bureaucrats coming by his cell to assure him that they’re doing everything in their power to fix this situation. Whatever they’re doing, it’s not enough—not enough to get him the nutrition and caloric intake he needs each day. Not enough to call us off!
We won’t stop ringing the phones off the hook until CCA Leavenworth ensures Eric consistently receives adequate food each and every meal. Please call again today to demand that he immediately receive an adequate vegan tray (equivalent nutritionally to the standard tray) and access to commissary so he can supplement his nutrition.
Eric has been denied sufficient calories since February 24th. His health can no longer wait for the bureaucrats at CCA Leavenworth to play their games. So we’re expanding the call-in to include CCA Corporate as well. Let’s let the corporate masters know that they have a problem brewing in one of their facilities that will only go away when they ensure Eric receives adequate food!
- Call 913.727.3246 and press 0 to be directed to the operator. Request to speak to Chief Mike Quinn.
- Email [email protected].
- Fax* a letter addressed to Mike Quinn to 913.727.2231
- Call 800.624.2931 and press 0 to be directed to the operator. Request to speak to Vice President of Health Services, Dr. John Baxter.
- Email [email protected].
- Fax a letter addressed to Dr. John Baxter to 615.263.3140
When calling, emailing, and faxing, remember to be firm and clear in your demands. Also remember that Eric is still awaiting sentencing and anything can be used against him. Politely worded demands are likely to be more beneficial to Eric than anything the state could misconstrue as threatening, bullying, etc. in court.
* You can send faxes for free through http://faxzero.com/. You can type your message directly into the text box on the fax form online, upload your message as a Word doc or PDF, or both.
Right now Eric is on restricted access to commissary, limiting his ability to purchase mail supplies including stamps. Your letters mean the world to him at this time. Tell Eric about the camping trip you took and all the stars you were able to identify, he loves hearing about things like that:
100 Highway Terrace
Leavenworth, KS 66048
Atlanta Anarchist Black Cross has been on top of sharing letters from prison rebels in Georgia and Alabama as well as connecting us on the outside to them. Atlanta, we see you. Solidarity from the Bloc. With the recent uprising at Holman in Alabama on our hearts and minds, we wanted to share this excerpt from a prisoner at Holman from back in January:
The next issue is the prisons themselves. The Alabama prisons are basically falling down. I am at Holman prison and the living conditions are deplorable to say the least. In the winter there is no heat, you get warm the best way you can by putting on as many clothes as possible. The food is unfit for human consumption for the most part and if you don’t have money to feed yourself, you are just shit-out-of-luck.
Shall we remind folks that our comrade Michael Kimble in held captive at Holman? I suggest sending Michael a letter of loving solidarity:
3700 Holman Unit
Atmore, AL 36503
NYC Anarchist Black Cross puts out a damn fine guide to political prisoners with information on the prisoners and the most current addresses possible. We appreciate what y’all do and we know this project isn’t a minor undertaking. Keep it up, NYC ABC!
We’ve finished the latest version of the NYC ABC “Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War” and it’s available for viewing (and download) by clicking on the tab at the top of this page. This update includes updated mini-bios, photos, and address changes for several prisoners…
Jennifer Gann, A.K.A. Babygirl, is an anti-authoritarian trans woman and insurrectionist amazon held captive for over 25 years for armed robberies and a 1995 attack on a district attorney and associate prison warden. She released this incredible letter of solidarity that we’ll share with y’all to read through:
To all Revolutionary prisoners and Anarchist comrades:
After my imprisonment in 1988 for armed robberies in California, I became politicized through participation in the 1991 Folsom Prison Hunger Strike. After more than a decade in solitary confinement in Pelican Bay SHU, where I interacted with members of the Black Guerrila Family (BGF), AryanBrotherhood (AB), and Mexican Mafia (EME), I had become deeply involved in political struggle with the prison abolition movement. I was convicted for Prisoner Resistance actions in two 1995 attacks on an Associate warden at New Folsom state prison and a Sacramento District Attorney prosecutor in the courthouse, I was beaten and tortured in multiple ‘cell extractions’ by armed teams of pigs. I was sentenced to multiple 25 years-to-life terms in state prison.
In 2006, I ‘came out’ as a trans woman and joined a Maoist Faction, in 2011 – I was participant in the California prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity action to abolish solitary confinement torture.
Now, I am an insurrectionist Amazon and want to express my general solidarity with the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire (CCF), and FAI-IRF actions in Greece and throughout Europe. To all revolutionary political prisoners, a clenched Fist salute! We will tear down these prisons from the inside out. I support and encourage all armed actions and explosive attacks against the state and all pigs. I salute all my comrades and support Black December!
I stand against all the authority of the corrupt and oppressive state apparatus.
Long live the Amazons!
Down with prisons and patriarchy!
Much love to Nicola Gai, Panagiotis Argirou, and Nikos Romanos! Solidarity to anarchist comrades Monica Caballero and Francisco Solar in Villabona Spain! And to comrade Gabriel Pomba Da Silva in Spain.
Long live Sylvia Rivera! Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living! Long live Amazon Anarky! Black (A) Demember! Street TransActionRevolutionaries (STAR) Fighting for Freedom! (FFF)
Against those who repress and torture us in these prisons! Autonomous Anarchist Direct Attack!
(March 8 – International Womens Day!)
Jennifer Gann, Amazon Queens! Loya Queen Revolutionaries (LQR), will always stand on loyalty to out International anarchist comrades in the struggle.
For TransLiberation! Free All Political Prisoners!
Love & Rage!
Send some letters of support to this prison rebel:
Kern Valley State Prison
Po box 5104
Delano, CA 93216
Finally, it is with a heavy heart that we say our goodbyes and pay our respects to Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa, who died in the custody of his captors on March 11th. Mondo was a revolutionary and a fighter until the end. Mondo, you are not forgotten. Rest in power.
We are sure that Mondo’s co-defendant, Ed Poindexter, would love some letters of support right now after losing his longtime friend and comrade. You can write Ed at:
NEBRASKA STATE PENITENTIARY
P. O. Box 2500
Lincoln, NE 68542
Let’s keep fighting until these cages are fucking empty,
– your friendly career bad kids