Originally posted to It’s Going Down
This week while perusing the internet, combing through things to pull together for this installment of Bloc Party, we couldn’t help but notice just how wild prisons are getting across these so-called United States. In the same way that we couldn’t have quite predicted the widespread uprising against police that has continued in various levels of intensity for nearly two years, we couldn’t have predicted quite this level of connectivity amongst prison rebels and those on the outside who are engaging in struggle with them.
We have meant it every time we’ve said “prisons are for burning.” The words don’t ring hollow. For some of us the people we care for and love are in those cages. For others we’ve faced the realities of struggling to remain uncaged, fighting protracted legal battles. For many of us we know how real the possibility of spending our days in a prison cell is. The nature of our opposition isn’t theoretical at all times. When we hear someone say “they think it’s a game,” we can’t help but remember that none of this is actually a game and, in fact, there are tangible losses including the loss of friends, lovers and comrades.
As things heat up on the inside, our bad kid hearts are bursting at the seams. There are, of course, a lot of strategic questions to be asked. Questions of efficacy, of tactics, of how one might best support rebellion from outside the edges of barbed wire lined walls. What we can see clearly is that the stranglehold of the prisons has weak points that are ripe for attack. Even the pieces of shit that they employ as CO’s can see that:
State corrections officials have been unsympathetic to the plight of officers who are in jeopardy on a daily basis, according to the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, NYSCOPBA, which organized a picket across from the prison Monday to publicize their concerns.
The number of assaults on staff by inmates has increased 55 percent statewide since 2010, according to the union. At the same time, incidents of contraband being smuggled into state prisons has gone up 46 percent, the union said.
Though the NYSCOPBA is never to be trusted, pieces of human garbage that they are, we fucking hope those numbers are true. Because that looks something a little like winning. May the numbers continue to climb. May the riots only grow more uncontrollable. May prisons truly be for burning.
Now for some quick news from the Bloc:
Joseph Buddenberg was sentenced to 2 years for conspiring to free mink from their cages. Joseph was charged along with his co-defendant Nicole Kissane, under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. Nicole will be sentenced in June. As we posted last week, he already has an address you can write to. Please let him know you support him, and his fight for the wild:
— SpokaneIWW (@SpokaneIWW) May 11, 2016
Ferguson rebel Josh Williams is in need of support while doing his 8 year sentence. For info on how to write to Josh and everyone serving time for being involved in the uprising, check out Anti-State STL.
In more sad news, Oakland rebel Janye was sentenced to two years for his crime of being a black revolutionary involved in the uprising in the wake of the Ferguson verdict in the bay area. As of this date, Janye has received the longest sentence of anyone involved in the revolt. Please support Janye here and stay up with how to write him on his support page.
Let’s take a minute to remember the reality that revolutionaries of color and black folks especially are always targeted in radical movements. The State does not want the contagion of rebellion, organization, and consciousness spreading. Remember the case of OG anarchist Sherman Austin back in the early 2000’s? He was one of the first people to be targeted under the Patriot Act, all for the crime of running a website that was organizing anarchist groups. The fact that Sherman was black and also organizing in Southern California, then a hotbed of anarchist activity in the wake of the DNC Convention protests and various organizing initiatives, made him even more dangerous. Let’s all make a commitment to support all prisoners by keeping them in our thoughts but more over, throwing benefits, events, actions, and letter writing nights.
Casey Brezik is currently raising funds for college courses on the inside. In the interest of his supporters getting to know him a bit better, he also wrote this pretty amazing proposal titled Anarchists in Space. While we certainly have some misgivings about the potential for this to actually happen, we fucking love that Casey takes the time and thought to write shit like this. Anarchists have always been a little unrealistic anyway, yeah?
I want to start by giving you my vision of the future and explaining the opportunities I see there for us as a collective whole. Fair warning: some of my visions project into the distant future, although they seem a natural consequence of our very near future and our history as a species. In short, my vision for our future lies in space. That’s right, anarchists in space! Far-fetched, I know, but let me explain.
The folks over at Fight Toxic Prisons and the Earth First Journal have put out another great article identifying the intersections of prisons and the ecosystem. Over the last couple of years we have been able to see increased collaboration and merging of various movements formerly seen as “separate.” While there are certainly always reformist elements within all of these broader social movements, we can still see some hope that these newly forming relationships between eco-defenders, prison rebels, abolitionists, indigenous land defenders, people dismantling borders, antifascists, anti-police hooligans and others will push things to more unexpected levels over the next couple of years. Here’s to years with more prison riots, burning barricades in the woods, and indigenous land blockades against pipelines and fracking.
Well, it was a slow news day bad kids. Lets not forget all those prisoners still bringing it hard on the inside with regular work stoppages, hunger strikes, riots, and all those daily acts of sabotage. Let their fires burn and grow, reaching far beyond prison walls.
– your favorite bratty bad kids