Filed under: Bloc Party, Canada, Editorials, Incarceration, Political Prisoners, Repression, US
Originally posted to It’s Going Down
I’m keeping things short this week because the other half of Bloc Party is sitting in a jail cell tonight. No matter how many times you watch your friends get fucked with by cops it never makes you less angry and ready to break everything. Fuck every last piece of shit cop. Let’s drive them all into the goddamn sea.
Now for all that news from the bloc:
Folks in New York took the Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson to task at his own damn home. Good work NYC! Last month that piece of human garbage also known as Ken saw fit to recommended that Peter Liang receive probation and house arrest for his role in the death of Akai Gurley in November 2014. On April 19th, Brooklyn judge Danny Chun reduced Liang’s sentence from second-degree manslaughter to criminally negligent homicide giving the former police officer five years of probation and 800 hours of community service. Fourteen folks showed up outside Ken’s house and let him know that none of us have forgotten Akai Gurley. Reviving the Occupy tactic of People’s Mic folks delivered the following message:
We want you to know you live next door to someone complicit in a murder—in the murder of black people here in New York City. Ken Thompson wrote a recommendation to the judge in Peter Liang’s trial to say that he should not receive jail time for murdering Akai Gurley. Instead, Peter Liang will serve no jail time and receive not even house arrest, but community service, for killing someone. For killing Akai Gurley. We all know that black people in the neighborhood of Fort Greene, in the neighborhood of Bed-Stuy, receive more jail time for hopping a turnstile.
Seven protesters were arrested. I’m guessing these folks are looking at a hell of lot worse treatment than Liang received after he murdered Akai. I said it earlier, but this deserves a reprise: Fuck every last piece of shit cop. From Denver to Brooklyn, fuck these pigs.
In good news, folks in New York remain undeterred by the repression and have a noise demo planned for Akai Gurley and in solidarity with prison strikers across the country. From the call out for the demo:
“We cannot help but believe that were every law, every title deed, every court, and every police officer or soldier abolished tomorrow with one sweep, we would be better off than now.” – Lucy Parsons
American society’s core is predicated on slavery. When outright ownership of human beings was abolished, the prison system eventually filled the demand for a free labor force. However, while labor arrangements changed from chattel slavery to a wage labor system, the pervasive social context in the US has rested on the negation of personhood for Black people.
The slave masters and the slave catchers from the 18th and 19th centuries have become the police forces and judicial system today. The racist current that encourages police to shoot Black and brown people at will, with no consequence, also incarcerates a remarkable amount of people for trivial legal transgressions.
You can find out more information about May Day happenings across North America right over here. Some friends made a new zine of writings on state violence, abolition, and prisoner resistance specifically for the May Day holiday that you should probably get some copies done up for your own May Day shenanigans. The zines look amazing! Good work friends.
Things are heating up in the South. From prison rebellion to antifa, shit looks rad as hell down there. Y’all down there, folks see you. In Georgia two people held in immigrant detention at Stewart Detention Center began hunger striking last week. This is the same detention center that saw rebellion last September due to the use of solitary confinement.
Out in California prisoners at Pelican Bay and other prisons continue in their struggle against their captors and the state. Jorge Gomez, from Pelican Bay prison, just won a case against the prison for false punishment due to his involvement in a 2013 hunger strike. While we can never count on the courts for anything that could come close to resembling justice, this case does serve as a potential precedent for future prison rebels. California, don’t stop ’til you get it.
Texas prisoners continue to rebel against their conditions and against the American plantation. In a blog post that was sent our way there is a breakdown of who is behind the prison labor programming in Texas, naming major players and benefactors. There is a handy power map of some tremendous wastes of human beings that one might find useful for any number of things. In addition to that power map there is a list dating from September 2014 through March 2016 that details who is purchasing goods made with slave labor through Texas Corrections Industries. Use your imaginations, bad kids. Y’all got this.
Out in California, as in many places across so-called North America, the rates of suicide amongst prisoners is climbing. On April 14th a young woman, Erika Rocha, who had been imprisoned for twenty-one years and was just one day from a parole hearing committed suicide.
Erika was incarcerated at the California Institution for Women (CIW) in Corona. The suicide rate at CIW is more than eight times the national rate for people in women’s prisons and more than five times the rate for all California prisons. In the week since Erika’s death, another suicide was reported and at least 22 more people transferred to suicide watch. The suicide watch unit is overcrowded and CIW is placing people on “overflow” in the SHU (“Security Housing Unit”).
Family, friends and supporters of Erika are asking for support in seeking justice not only for Erika, but also for all of those who are being pushed to the brink by the fucking prisons. You can donate to the fund for services here. You can find out more about the ongoing struggle at this prison over here.
On May 2nd, Joseph Buddenberg will have a sentencing hearing before Judge Burns at the U.S. District Court for Southern California. Please be there if you can. It is in moments like these that we must show support for each other.
Earlier this year, Joseph and his co-defendant Nicole Kissane signed non-cooperating plea agreements in which they plead guilty to Conspiracy to Violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act for conspiring to free thousands of animals from fur farms throughout the U.S. and cause damage to businesses associated with the fur industry. Nicole’s sentencing will be later this year.
When: May 2nd at 9:30am
Where: U.S. District Court of Southern California at 333 West Broadway, San Diego
Courtroom of Judge Larry Burns – 14A (14th floor)
**Please be aware that you will have to pass through a metal detector to enter the courthouse and may be required to show photo ID.**
If you can’t be there to show solidarity in person, we’re just certain that you clever folks will find a way to make sure Joseph knows he isn’t alone!
From a submission from our friends in Canada:
On May 13th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and the 20th 2016 Jakub Markiewicz will be in court for defending Burnaby Mountain from Kinder Morgan in the Autumn resistance (2014) and Spring (2015). Kinder Morgan has been – and still is – undergoing surveying and borehole testing for the Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline. The project (if successful) would triple the capacity of Diluted Bitumen from the Alberta Tar Sands to its Westridge End-Point Destination – There is also a section that goes down to the Washington State by pipe and tanker/barge, and to Alaska by tanker/barge.
All 4 charges are listed as some form of “assault” – 1 allegedly against a police officer, and the rest allegedly against Contracted Surveyors (McElhanney/Hatch Mott Macdonald).
He was extracted from a tree sit in the forest on Burnaby Mountain on the morning of the fifth day of the tree sit, during the November 20th raid, after a tense 6 hour stand off with R.C.M.P Emergency Response Team (ERT) members, local Burnaby PD, and the E Division. They attempted to lure him out with promises of coffee from either Tim Hortons or Starbucks, and even a trip to a White Spot. The South African RCMP negotiator failed at the attempt to lure him out during the raid – all while a shotgun was aimed at him from the forest floor with snipers in the distance. The ERT climbers lowered him down, carried him through the bush, then halfway down carried him in a stretcher.
Markiewicz has made a documentary film about the Autumn Resistance on Burnaby Mountain, with part 1 (feature length) set for an online release in May 2016 (vimeo.com/fotoverre). A 10 minute short (part 2) is already available online.
He has spent three weeks at maximum security North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam last May.
222 Main Street 830am Vancouver British Columbia
At the time that you’re likely to reading this week’s (belated) Bloc Party, my partner in crime is free from jail and ready to be back at it next week for a super special May Day roundup. Until then, I’ll just leave it with this one:
On May Day it looks like there is a super special sale on black hoodies at American Apparel. See you there, babes!
Black masks and spring time weather wishes,
– one friendly career bad kid who will never stop wearing real tree camo in solidarity with my other bad kid buddy