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Sep 10, 15

Bloc Party: Riot Arrests and Growing Reaction

In utterly unsurprising news, the State is filing charges over a year later for dozens of people who were on the ground in the early days of the Ferguson Uprising. Aside from the year long delay in filing charges, what is notable about some of these cases is that 2 were black men who were subjects of iconic photographs from that time period, another was a journalist working for the Washington Post.

Bringing charges against protesters and rioters long after alleged crimes committed is not unprecedented, as we have seen it become increasingly common. Following upsurges in protest movements like Occupy and Black Lives Matter, it seems police increasingly prefer to allow rowdy marches to run their course, and then rely on the large amounts of self-made media to identify people after the fact. Cases in Denver, Columbia, Baltimore, and Oakland, appear to affirm this theory. All the more reason to normalize the practice of wearing masks and blocking up. It is also a cue to examine who livestreaming really serves, us or the State?

Repression, like god, appears in many forms, and we have seen a shift in the power structure’s media narrative over the last few weeks. There has always been an undercurrent of victim-blaming and riot-shaming when people try to extend resistance outside of the parameters the State has setup. This argument has rapidly escalated, with right-wing pundits, police unions, and certain politicians insisting that the recent upsurge in anti-police struggles is resulting directly in more violent conditions for officers. Citing incidences in Illinois, New York, and now Colorado, pro-police wingnuts are insisting that a threat is looming, threatening to break that thin blue line that keeps us so safe and tucked in our beds. Even The Guardian quickly debunks this assertion, finding recently that police deaths on the job are actually down 25% this year, the lowest they have been in over a decade. 

This comment from the Denver 9News story about alleged threats to Denver and Aurora police says it all:

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 1.44.47 PM

As trust in the State continues to erode, we can also see a shift in the way white supremacy seeks to maintain itself through autonomous groups of nationalists, racists, and other reactionaries. White Supremacist groups are mobilizing across the country, but not without some strong and militant resistance. Multiple times now, fascists have been literally chased out of Olympia, WA, some even sent to the hospital. Neo-Confederates were also ran out of DC this week, getting their flags stolen and destroyed.

flagburn

While more blatant enemies haven’t seemed to gain a foothold yet, more confusing players are also appearing. A split within the Oath Keepers due to internal racism has resulted in a new group being formed to arm black people in self defense, but it remains unclear if the group aims to protect people from police, or property from looters. There is also the enraging and disappointing attack on former Black Panther and political prisoner Dhoruba bin Wahad. Members of the New Black Panther Party attacked and severely beat Wahad after he and some supporters spoke out against the New Black Panther Party’s reactionary politics and opportunism at a rally in Atlanta. Wahad, who is now 77 years old, had his jaw broken in 3 places. We, of course, send much love, rage, and solidarity to Dhoruba, and wish him a speedy recovery.

The looming threat of reactionaries of many stripes signifies another shift in the political terrain. As people lose faith in State institutions, and even begin to see them as a threat, it is not always a guarantee that they will become more and more radicalized against the current social order. Some will find themselves craving a more clear and strict order, turning towards right-wing extremism and reactionary nationalism to uphold the power-structure when the State reaches its limits. We should only expect this to grow, and the State to take full advantage of this fear and reaction to brutalize those who would resist when it no longer seems viable for the State to do so. Another phase of repression strategy might be on the horizon.

While all of that has been going down on the outside, here are the updates of what’s been going down on the inside:

Marius Mason had a call in campaign request on September 2nd because the prison was denying antibiotics and pain medication for an abscessed tooth, an infection that he developed while in the SHU. The request for support was since taken down from Marius’ support site, so we can only hope the prison halted this fuckery. Marius also released two new poems through his support site and a call for January 22nd to support queer and trans prisoners. It’s never too early to start planning something dope in your hometown, so hit up his support team to let them know your event ideas or to get materials!

Speaking of poetry, Eric King has a bunch of new poems up on his support site. “if god loves us, are jails the pews?” Eric has a trial date set for October and as this date approaches your letters of support are beyond just appreciated, they are a lifeline. While we know Eric loves to talk about politics, we also know he loves hearing about rad space shit and he just read The Hunger Games. Tell him whether you’re Team Peeta or Team Gale. Or maybe send him some pictures of the crazy shit that Mars Rover thing has seen recently. You’re brilliant, we know this, but remember Eric is pretrial and to be thoughtful of what you write about as it could all be used against him at trial.

Write Eric at:

Eric King

27090045

CCA Leavenworth

100 Highway Terrace

Leavenworth, KS 66048

The Andy Kaufman of prison struggles, Sean Swain, was successful in his campaign to be moved to the 3A unit and out of the 3B unit . 3B is a disciplinary unit where he would be very likely to run into conflicts and issues. Sean waged his own campaign on the inside while others on the outside moved forward with a call in campaign to the prison. By Sean’s own words he is “fueled on coffee and Raman noodles,” which sounds an awful lot like some of us out here. Send Sean a letter of solidarity and Ramen appreciation at:

Sean Swain

243-205

Warren CI

P.O. Box 120

5787 State Route 63

Lebanon, Ohio 45036

For over 40 years the State of Louisiana has been relentlessly and mercilessly trying to destroy Albert Woodfox. Earlier this Summer U.S. District Judge James Brady ruled that Albert be released and in a despicably predictable fashion, Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell appealed this decision. On September 3rd the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments regarding Albert’s immediate release versus a third trial. You can read some of the Amnesty International statement on the court hearings over here.

While we have Obama talking about mass incarceration and all the Democratic Candidates clamoring to keep up with the charade in hopes of winning that #BlackLivesMatter vote in 2016, the Feds are just building more prisons! Well, it looks like there is a growing movement to say a giant “fuck you,” to the prison industrial complex out in Eastern Kentucky. Get it, Kentucky!

Jeremy Hammond was expected to be released from SHU on or around August 20th. His support crew has updated folks that he not only has yet to be released from SHU, but that he has been told he is under investigation by SIS (special investigation services). He may also be being denied visits as his grandparents alerted his support team that they were denied a recent visit, something that has never happened before. This is certainly a stressful time for Jeremy, so please send him a hand written hi-five of solidarity at:

Jeremy Hammond #18729–424

FCI Manchester

Federal Correctional Institution

P.O. Box 4000

Manchester, KY 40962

On a positive note, Barrett Brown has been released from solitary confinement! But because every small victory in prison apparently must be accompanied by more asshole moves, he is on continued restrictions through mid-October. Then just days after his release from solitary Barrett was visiting the law library and a guard confiscated his notebook containing legal information and notes. The incident report referred to his notebook as “contraband.” 

Joseph and Nicole have a court date today, September 9th where their pleas of not guilty will be entered by their lawyers in their absence. Their lawyers filed a successful motion for this to happen in their absence so they would not have to travel to San Diego from Oakland. Another small win for these two and hopefully a trend that continues as the case continues on! Joseph is still on house arrest and has a wish list set up on Amazon. If you can’t send something from that list, but would still like to show some support consider hosting a fundraising event! Contact their support team at [email protected]

Dante Cano of Oakland resistance is scheduled to sentenced on September 10th after taking a non-cooperating plea agreement. Dante and his support folks want to thank everyone for their loving solidarity over the course of this case! Restitution is going to be significant and further support will likely be needed, so keep an eye out for updates on fundraising efforts. If you’re in the Bay area consider heading over to show that soli at the sentencing appearance.

Running Down the Walls took place on September 6th, with folks running across the U.S. both on the inside and the outside. It looks like the runs were successful in raising a significant amount of funds for the Warchest Program and other prisoner support efforts. Can we get a “fuck yeah,” on that shit? In a continued effort to get in on that prison abolition game, Bernie made an appearance at the Denver Anarchist Black Cross event. Looks like it’s time to #BernDownTheWalls! Berns aside, you don’t have to wait until next year’s RDTW to donate to the Warchest! You can send donations anytime and find out more info right over here.

Until all the cages are empty!

#BernDownForWhat

– Your friendly career bad kids

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Bloc Party is an ongoing column that looks at State repression, counter-insurgency, prisons, political prisoners, as well as what people are doing to resist them.

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