Filed under: Bloc Party, Editorials, Incarceration, Political Prisoners, US
Originally posted to It’s Going Down
Lets all acknowledge it, May Day has grown to mean a lot to a lot of different people. That is pretty fucking awesome. Well, then again maybe it is basically the same it has always been. The 8 hour day, immigrants being villified, police violence, and a bomb isn’t too different from the fight for 15, immigrant detention centers, police violence, and some smashed windows and molotovs. Our only contention over here at Bloc Party is that once repression comes down these days, so many people seem to be ready to throw each other under the fucking bus in order to stay “legitimate.” In the original Haymarket Affair, there was certainly disagreement about the bomb, the strategy, and the rhetoric, but at the end of the day when repression came down, you had massive turnout in the streets and on paper for the ones who the State wanted to make examples of.
Lets not forget the rhetoric and tactics used by our Haymarket Martyrs y’all. Lucy Parsons, partner to martyr Albert Parsons, called for the slaughtering of the rich. Louis Lingg bragged about making bombs in court, using his method of bomb construction as proof that the Haymarket Bomb wasn’t his. Yet you still had thousands turn out in the streets for them, respected writers lend public support to them, and you had the remaining 3 that got prison sentences pardoned by the governor just years after the other’s execution. So in the interest of tradition, can we maybe try to revive the whole “not stabbing each other in the back to get in good with the Boss” thing we keep doing, yeah? A little solidarity goes a long way. We’re looking at you, liberals in Seattle…
We personally would have loved to join in the ruckus this past weekend, but life and legal troubles have just really gummed up the works for our crew this year. That didn’t stop us from gathering some of our closest comrades for a little secret anarchy castle revelry however, complete with riot porn projections, Beyonce, and playing with paint and fire. Sometimes it really is the little things folks.
Prisoners are probably the biggest group to get wild this year, and we just want to give special respect and acknowledgment to them. Here is a quick run down of some of our favorite May Day activities this year across so-called North America:
As we said, prisoners got wild this weekend. Alabama prisoners are at it again, going on strike in at least 3 facilities.
— Incognegress (@KOKIMMY29) May 2, 2016
The NYC Anarchist Black Cross and the local IWOC affiliate teamed up to hold a noise demo outside the Metropolitan Correctional Center. This demo was claimed in solidarity with striking prisoners and against the murder of Akai Gurley, murdered by NYPD.
Hamilton, ON had some good clean fun with a demo and block party, setting off smoke bombs and taunting hipsters while also addressing struggles of migrants and indigenous people, stopping at a couple locations for brief speeches about related struggles.
— Rachael Perrotta ? (@plussone) May 6, 2016
Chicago held a march and noise demo that ended with 19 arrests and 1 person in the hospital. We send love and rage to them and hope for a speedy recovery and quick release for everyone. As we were finishing this up, we heard the last person was released on bond. This process has been a couple days long, and we are sure arrestees and supporters alike are exhausted. Get some rest and enjoy some food together.
Cuernavaca, Oaxaca, and Yucatan, in Mexico held demonstrations and marches throughout May Day as well, showing up for political prisoners and against educational reform.
Seattle threw the fuck down once again. While we cheer on the intensity and commitment of folks to so continuously throw down out there, we do hold some strategic questions around defense and anti-repression.
Coming from a town that also experiences some hard repression from the pigs even when the demo is small and tame, we want to explore how to better protect ourselves. Not only in the streets, with properly reinforced banners, street tactical training, thought out strategic maneuvers that can be easily communicated, but also in the aftermath. We have heard already of the SPD and FBI working together to round up more people after the fact, and have experienced some versions of that in our own towns. What strategies can we employ that help prevent, or take advantage of the energy suck that legal proceedings can be? When most of your crew is on paper, what does that do to the momentum you were bringing to things, and can we find ways to turn repression into momentum? When we can’t win with force, what options are left to us? What strength does our fluidity and experimentation afford to us that maybe our enemies do not possess? How do we keep the conflict going, even when our folks are in handcuffs? We don’t have too many answers, but we have some ideas. We are certain there are some really good ideas floating around out there. Lets hear ’em.
Now let’s get to all that news from the Bloc:
It feels rare to have something happy to share and so often our moments of happiness are tinged with a bitterness that can overtake the joy if we let it. Gary Tyler walked out of Angola prison after spending the vast majority of his life there, having been arrested on false murder charges at the age of sixteen. There is a lot to celebrate about Gary’s return to the free world. There is also that aforementioned bitterness, that rage that comes along with 41 years of someone’s life being stolen from them. Gary, welcome home. We hope there are many more folks on their way out behind you. From the statement released by Gary’s support folks:
We continue to fight for release of other political prisoners in the United States; and against racism, police violence, the death penalty, mass incarceration, the New Jim Crow, the “war on drugs,” solitary confinement, “administrative detention,” and all forms of political repression and criminal injustice.
The “American Plantation,” is real. Gary and so many others are examples of that, but also examples of what freedom can really look like. Freedom isn’t just for ourselves, but for all of us. We trust it when you say that you’ll continue fighting from the outside for all those who remain on the inside. Until all are free.
Artwork by marius mason: supportmariusmason.org
June 11th is just around the corner. Last year’s June 11th had some of that bittersweet tinge we’ve been thinking about this week, as Eric McDavid had just been returned to his loved ones after spending 9 years in prison. We’re still holding onto the first images of Eric walking out of that courtroom a free person, welcomed into the arms of his family and dearest friends.
This year the call out for June 11th is focused not only on longterm anarchist prisoners, but on generalized prison struggles as this most recent wave of rebellion spreads across the so-called United States:
For June 11th, 2015, we emphasized transition in the struggle and in the lives of the prisoners we support. This year we’re focusing on a different kind of transition: the restructuring of the prison system and thus doubling down on opposition to Maximum Security, isolation, and Communications Management Units. High-security facilities are not new: for example, Communications Management Units isolated Daniel McGowan and Andy Stepanian for years. But now we are at a new juncture: there is both a fresh focus on the part of the authorities reorganizing prisons to maximize repression against long-term and combative prisoners, while simultaneously cutting costs. In response there has been a wave of resistance and revolt–in the streets and in the prisons. As this wave spreads organically, we feel impelled to contribute in support of our imprisoned friends and comrades.
The ways in which folks engage with June 11th around the world vary, ranging from speaking events to more confrontational tactics. This year as we think of our anarchist comrades that have been stolen from us, we challenge y’all along with those who organize June 11th to broaden the struggle and to make the connections between all of our resistance and rebellion. What that looks like is up to you. We know you’ve got this, friends. Need a little inspiration? Check out the resources, including a new zine for 2016, right over here.
Several new tribute videos have been produced for Hugo Pinell for Black August. Check them out here.
Also, this year on June 11th folks will be converging in Washington D.C. for The Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons. With two days of workshops, speakers and strategizing, the convergence will close up with an action against the Bureau of Prisons. Fuck the BOP, amiright? From their call out:
In many ways, the prison experiences of activists like Luers, Mason, McDavid, and others such as Daniel McGowan, Rebecca Rubin and Tim DeChristopher, have provided courage and inspiration rather than the desired effect of intimidation. They also gave the environmental movement an inside look at the prison epidemic in the U.S. With the steady stream of urban uprisings against the police state, there has never been a better time to organize at this intersection of ecology and incarceration. We hope you’ll join us.
Yessssss. It is these types of cross-politicking that get our little bad kid hearts warmed right up.
Guess what comes right after June 11th? June 12th. JAY CHASE’S BIRTHDAY! Jay is having a tough year and what we’d love to see is a flood of cards, letters, print outs of hilarious cat memes and more to arrive just in time to warm Jay’s heart right up.
Can’t get enough of these awesome birthday memes? Don’t worry. We got you.
Joseph Buddenberg #12746-111
MCC San Diego
808 Union Street
San Diego, CA 92101
This week MOVE has called for a week of solidarity with the MOVE 9:
Starting Monday, May 2nd through Friday, May 6th we focus our attention toward the PA parole board as the May 2016 parole hearings for Janet, Janine, and Debbie Africa approach. We are asking people to call or email the PA parole board this Monday, May 2nd through Friday, May 6th and demand parole for Debbie (Sims) Africa 006307, Janet (Holloway) Africa 006308, And Janine (Phillips) Africa 006309.
People can call the parole board at (717) 772-4343 or they can email the parole board at [email protected]
Please write your letter to the parole board on professional letterhead. Please indicate how you know Seth, or if you don’t know him personally, how you know of him. What it would mean to you and the community if Seth was released rather than kept inside? State what you do for a living and any other pertinent personal details, such as where you live, as well as what ways, if any, you could help Seth, financially or emotionally. Say why you believe Seth will not commit another crime (i.e. what you know of his personality or interests, his institutional record, etc.) Your letter should be addressed to:
Attn: Supervising Offender Rehabilitation Coordinator
Sullivan Correctional Facility
325 Riverside Drive
P.O. Box 116
Fallsburg, New York 12733-0116
The subject line should be “Robert Seth Hayes 74A-2280”
Mail to Seth’s Lawyer:
Eve Rosahn, 125 Frenchtown Road, Shohola, PA 18458.
Seth very much appreciates your efforts and your support.
Instructions for writing the parole board on Jalil’s behalf:
To write a letter in you own words in support of parole for Jalil, address to:
Ms. Tina Stanford, Chair
NYS Board of Parole
1220 Washington Avenue, Building #2
Albany, New York 12224
BUT SEND TO:
Ms. Alex Jackman
Ms. Julie Neusner
Ms. Rosie Achorn-Rubinstein
The Parole Preparation Project
c/o Law Office of Rankin & Taylor
11 Park Place, Suite 914
New York, NY 10007
Also, please send a copy of your letter to Jalil for his files: Anthony Bottom #77A4283, Attica Correctional Facility, P.O. Box 149, Attica, NY 14011-0149. NYC Jericho will send all returned hard copy parole petitions as well as the online petition to the above address. This is Jalil’s parole prep team for this 2016 parole effort.
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
The deadline, May 15th, for prisoner submissions for the 2017 Certain Days calendar is rapidly approaching. If you are in touch with a prisoner who would like to submit, please fill them in on how to do so by checking out the full call out here.
This week we’d also like to make a special request of all you out there. We got word from a friend that Jaan Laaman is having a particularly hard time and feeling more isolated from those of us in struggle on the outside than he has in times past. Please drop a line to Jaan this week and maybe send a little May Day report back or update about what’s going down out here. Throw in some dope zines you and your crews made or have been passing around lately. We think it would warm his heart to see that! If you don’t know much about Jaan you can read more about over at Denver ABC’s site. Write at:
Jaan Karl Laaman #10372-016
PO Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734
A new zine from Black & Pink called “Solitary is Torture!” just got posted on their site. Looks amazing and has some great shit inside. You know how it goes from here: print, fold, staple, pass around, give to new friends, repeat.
With all the above being said we’d like to leave you with some inspiration for the coming weeks ahead. Folks at a county jail in Sarpy County, Nebraska turned up and inflicted over $100,000 in damages during what is being called a “mini-riot.” The assholes who represent the jail stated in the media that they believed that the mini-riot began due to anger over a lack of televisions in the jail. Y’all, we’ve been in jail. A little “Dancing With the Stars,” goes a long way. Burn that shit down, Nebraska.
Have you ever felt like all this rioting is actually just a creative, even artistic impulse? We get you. Apparently the local media in Alcorn County, Mississippi would agree:
Folks at the Alcorn County jail were essentially running the jail as recently as October, having access to all delightful manor of “contraband,” including keys to the jail. May Mississippi, Nebraska, Texas, Michigan and Alabama be a source of inspiration to all of us, inside and out.
Fire to the fucking prisons,
– your friendly career bad kids