This last year was just long. We lost friends, lovers and comrades. We saw how beautifully connected and interdependent our relationships to one another actually are, for better and for worse. Our friends are never forgotten. With those ghosts among us, giving us strength for the days to come, we encourage you to put this song on and read through our humbly presented gift of tarot for the coming year. We think we’re going to need all our ghosts, all our collective magic and all the beauty to carry with us to the frontlines:
This first card represents all of us. Strength. After 2016 a lot of us are wondering if we have any of that left and honestly, who could blame us? But, more than most of us ever have had to in our lifetimes, we need to trust that it is there. There is not a limit on our shared capacity for strength, so please be willing to ask for some from your neighbor when your own is feeling impossible to tap into. With strength comes bravery, another thing we’ll need in this coming year. Being brave has never meant that you aren’t scared shitless. It just means that we hold hands while we face the stormy shadows ahead. Hold tight, friends. Together we are unbreakable.
We are going to get to the future, but settle in for a second while we look back at our past. The tarot deck we used for this reading is a particular favorite on our front porch. This deck’s images are particularly special and we have yet to do a reading with it that isn’t deeply moving, even to our tired hearts. The three of pentacles is all about teamwork and we feel like this artwork specifically speaks to all of you dear anarchists out there. Hammers in hands, nails on point, stabby item at the ready, all in a team effort to tear this nightmare apart. We’ve been honing our skills with the tools we have. Our past has prepared us for just this moment. The work has always been hard, but we have risen to the challenge over and again.
When Judgement falls into the future position it would be easy for us to jump to the worst case scenarios. Take a breath, friends. When we find Judgement in the future position it means that the choices we make right now, in the present, are going to have a dramatic impact on our future. Also, the choices that we don’t make, the things we avoid, impact things more than we can imagine. Judgement day can come at any time, as we all found out this year over and over, so let’s not procrastinate. There is no time like the present to build our future.
The advice card in this spread came up as the Empress. Time to find our balance. We need to be care takers this year as much as we need to move to action. We need to be nurturing to ourselves, our ideas and our goals. The Empress reminds us of people like Clarke Fitzgerald or Feral Pines, who fought like hell and were a nurturing gift to every person they called a friend, lover or comrade.
“I had never seen her so happy, so full of life and love,” says friend Scout Wolfcave of Pines after the move. “She was so ready to take people in, and to give parts of herself out.”
This year, our advice is be like Clarke and Feral. Be so full of life that it’s dangerous. Care for your friends recklessly. Never stop. Burst into stars. Build everything you schemed about together. Tear everything else down. Never stop.
Live how we want to. Account for real needs and desires whilst making a million and one sacrifices. Do anything for each other. Follow our own paths when we need to. Understand that, deeply. Do all that shit you’ve yearned after since childhood. Start a hunting club, spend a week in the woods with only our will and wiles, get off the goddamn computer, hold a neighborhood assembly in Rosemary’s, build a sensory deprivation chamber, fight so hard we don’t feel as if we’re going to explode all the time, make that the great American past time again. – Clarke
What is the outcome looking like for 2017? Work. We have a lot of work ahead. It is a constant. But, we are never alone. Our ghosts walk with us.
We figured in addition to the five cards above we’d add in a little extra fortitude, because if 2017 looks anything like we expect it to, we are going to need all the fortitude we can gather. So we shuffled up the deck and this card was drawn. Hold this one close everyone. We have enough enemies banging down the doors and we could do without new ones. Hang on to each other this year. We’re all we’ve got.
And now for 2017’s first round of news from the bloc:
Water Protector and Grand Jury Resister, Steve Martinez had his first grand jury date on January 4th, where the judge denied his motion to quash the subpoena. He walked out of the courthouse and delivered a powerful statement of refusal to cooperate with this grand jury. As of this writing, Steve is still free, but at any point he could be taken into custody for as long as the grand jury goes if he continues his refusal to cooperate. We got your fucking back Steve! You can keep up with updates on the grand jury in North Dakota by following the Water Protector Anti-Repression Crew on Facebook.
Maliki Shakur Latine walked out of prison just in time for the New Year! We are fucking stoked anytime a prisoner is set free, especially one with so much time under their belt. Please consider donating to his release fund. Its an often overlooked aspect of prisoner support, and is even more vital for folks that have spent decades in prison. Lets make his transition as easy as possible!
Atlanta Anarchist Black Cross has released another round of prisoner writings, including a short piece by a black anarchist named JaCorie Hinton. Check out their website for the full letters, we chose some choice segments:
We are hated as a whole by Amerika and in the rest of the world, and looked upon as the Black Abomination we are are own enemy but I am still proud to say I am Black. Teach and protect our race so one day our race will live on Black Lives Matter – JaCorie Hinton
It is crazy how people in prison get mistreated. Inmates are hopeless and must kill themselves when inmates don’t get the right mental health or medical care. And it’s sad how a human treats another human like a dog. As and inmate, I always ask myself “Damn, am I going to Hell for all the wrong I did?” But some times say to myself “No, I’m not. I have been judged my a human, to be placed in a place where it’s like Hell.” Then also ask myself where are prison workers that were in prison? Where are they going it’s got to be a worse place for them. – Aron Rexhepi
…I wonder to myself do they really know what’s going on around them? Behind these terrible walls, or their loved ones in society? Can we really call it society which means “people working together for a common purpose, companionship”? I rather use “sick world”! I just try to make sense of it all. When will we come together? – Paul Maynor
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has commuted the sentence of former Weather Underground member Judith Clark. Judith will now be eligible for parole, which still puts her at the mercy of the parole board, but is certainly bettering her chances of release. Cuomo cited her evolution into a “model prisoner” as a primary reason for his commuting of her sentence. Judith was a participant in the Brinks Robbery carried out by members of the Black Liberation Army and the May 19th Communist Organization. Other participants, Mutulu Shakur and David Gilbert, are still imprisoned. It is worth noting that Judith got the same sentence as David, their co-defendant Kuwasi Balagoon, and the person who cooperated against them. The Governor’s commentary about her “transformation” plays up a trope of whiteness, and celebrates her renunciation of her radical politics. This sends the message that if you give up your politics, especially if you’re white, you can maybe get some small bit of mercy towards the end of your life. Mutulu and David have not taken steps to distance themselves from their participation in the underground groups of the ’60s and ’70s. We should send them as much love and rage as we can, because at the end of the day they are in there for the rest of us.
Please write them both:
Globally, 2016 has been dominated by political, economic, and social changes in the Northern Hemisphere. Massive upheavals have been occurring, seemingly churned up by the millions of asylum seekers fleeing wars and economic- and climate-related depredations in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.
The upshot of these upheavals brought proto-fascists to challenge the welfare states of Western Europe and the guinea pig economic systems of the former Soviet states. The Left there has either been crushed (Greece), is now on the ropes (Spain and England’s Left Laborites), or is circling the wagons (Germany and the Scandinavian countries), while Russia under Putin is using its military muscle to try to replicate what China has been doing in the economic sphere: remain independent of the U.S. and Western economic domination.
Russell Maroon Shoatz has written an analysis of the last year of struggle, and you can read the full story on his website. Russell, a long term political prisoner, is a prolific writer, and has contributed his fair share of contemporary political theory and analysis to the anarchist milieu. Please drop him a line!
Russell Shoats #AF-3855
SCI-Graterford P.O. Box 246
Route 29 Graterford, PA
19426 – 0246
Mark your calendars for the 2nd annual Trans Prisoner Day of Action, January 22nd. From the call:
Jan 22, 2017 marks the second annual international Trans Prisoner Day of Action and Solidarity. If you are on the front lines, doing this work every day, then Jan 22 is a day to celebrate and honor your actions. For everyone else, this is a day to collaborate, be an accomplice not an ally, to prioritize, act, protest, resist, raise awareness, and reach out to trans prisoners, forging new relationships and dismantling the isolation of prison.
This is just 2 days after the DisruptJ20 mobilization in D.C. Lets think creatively how to maximize our capacity and impact using some the larger momentum from this huge week of actions against Trump!
On December 21, 2016 I was set up for both assault and to have almost all of my personal property permanently taken upon threats to do so by several ranking guards at the Clements Unit in Amarillo, Texas where I am confined.
To ring in the New Year, cities across the US participated the now time-honored tradition of prison noise demos, letting those inside that they are not forgotten. Anarchists and friends in Oakland, Asheville, Philly, Denver, Durham, Omaha, Norfolk, Minneapolis, Portland, and New York City all participated. Notable exception being Bloomington, IN, who decided to mix things up a bit and dropped banners with names of lost comrades and imprisoned rebels. Love the way y’all like to keep things fresh out there…
Lastly, the folks who make the Certain Days Political Prisoner Calendar have officially sold out of their 2017 stock! Just in time for New Years! Don’t worry if ya still need one, they are still available at certain locations. A list of all the places who carry them can be found here.
From the coldest and wintriest of places whilst scheming the end to everything that seeks to destroy us,
Bad Kids Now and Forevermore