Filed under: Bloc Party, Canada, Editorials, Incarceration, Political Prisoners, Repression, US
Originally posted to It’s Going Down
In true bad kid fashion, one of us ended up in jail again. This time a night in jail brought with it a lot of mixed feelings about the state of things for naughty little queers across these so-called United States. LGBTQ folks are in all kinds of mourning this week, with vigils held and altars set up everywhere from Orlando to St. Louis, from Denver to Chicago. What troubles us about many of these vigils is the embracing of police and the state by the same assimilationist gays we always knew would stab us in the back one day.
At the vigil where one of us was arrested it wasn’t the gay police chief that wouldn’t let queer folks speak about why cops have no place at our vigils, but Miss Gay Tucson, a queen that clearly loves cops and has forgotten that her royal ancestors would have rather taken their heels to a cops face than give those pieces of human garbage any stage time. Whether it was Miss Gay Tucson in Arizona or whatever homo-patriarch in New York that decided to give Chief Bratton of the NYPD a fucking mic, assimilation looks an awful lot like cop loving. Fuck that. Fuck spending a night in jail while the people who kidnapped you wear ribbons of “support” for your queer fam who died hours before.
We needed a minute to catch our damn breath around here. Because it’s been a week of harsh reminders. Let’s catch our breath together y’all. When we finish letting the last bit of warm air escape our lungs may it renew our spirit to fucking tear apart the forces that seek to destroy us. Let’s be certain of who our enemies are and who our family is. Be fierce and ever careful, friends.
And now, for your news from the bloc.
In case anyone needed reassurance for why queers (and anyone else really) should hate the fucking cops and not allow them to speak at vigils of any kind, check out the case of Bobby Bostic. Bobby was 16 when he and an associate committed two robberies in one night, and when he was caught was sentenced to 240 years in prison. The judge even acknowledged Bobby’s age at the time and decided to back up that acknowledgement with this horrific statement:
Mr. Bostic, you made your choice, you will live with your choice, and you will die with your choice because Bobby Bostic you will die in the Department of Corrections. Do you understand that? Your mandatory date to go in front of the parole is 2201, nobody in this room will be alive in the year 2201.
Fuck every last cop and judge.
You can write Bobby through his attorney:
Patricia Harrison (Attorney At Law)
St. Louis University of Law
100 N. Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63101
E-mail: [email protected]
A leader from the Free Alabama Movement has been targeted with torture:
Attention!!! James “Dhati Khalid” Pleasant, Free Alabama Movement Organizer, was arbitrarily transferred from St Clair population to Donaldson Correctional Facility and placed in a “Hotbay’ stripped Segregation Unit.* After repeatedly protesting the taking of all his belongings, he was sprayed with a chemical agent then placed in a shower stall the remainder of the night. Please call Donaldson Warden ASAP – Leon Bolling 205-436-3681
*a hotbay or stripped cell, also known as a suicide cell is a special unit often used to deprive prisoners of the most basic necessities on the pretext that they may harm themselves. The strip cell has no bed or furniture at all, prisoners confined there are denied all property including clothing, the temperature is kept low and the lights are on constantly. DOC’s claim to create these cells for mental health observation, but the conditions, sleep deprivation and isolation, are actually designed to cause or exacerbate mental health crises.
Jason from Pink and Black had some compelling words in the immediate wake of the Orlando attacks, highlighting the ways in which politicians are capitalizing on this moment to strengthen the powers of the State, and the ways in which the US helped to create the shooter, as well as his connections to prisons and private security.
Prisoners in Florence, AZ are filing a lawsuit against 33 correctional officers and their Corrections Director Charles Ryan for ordering 55 inmates to stand in a single file line outside in over 100 degree heat, and when any of them asked why or even were unable to comply quick enough to commands, were beaten. Among the abuses cited by prisoners was an elderly inmate in his 70s was beaten from behind for failing to get into line quick enough.
Meanwhile up north, Wisconsin inmates entered their second week of hunger strikes, with the strikes spreading to other facilities. Many have health concerns including contaminated water that is complicating the strikes. Many are not getting proper medical treatment, and some facilities are denying that any hunger strikes are taking place in their facilities. Outside supporters have planned vigils and call-in campaigns, and plan to hand deliver a public statement to the DOC central office in Madison if they continue to get no response.
Even further north, in so-called Canada, six Innu protesters were arrested after a weekend long human blockade of the entrance to the Muskrat Falls work-site. The work-site is part of a larger hydro-electric project that will disrupt tribal lands and potentially expose many indigenous people to high levels of mercury. All protesters have now been released on bail.
Yesterday was the day of action against solitary confinement. A full list of events in different cities can be found here. Hopefully we will hear a good amount of follow ups from these places and post them at a later date!
New York City Anarchist Black Cross released their updated version of the “Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War.”
Anarchist prisoner Eric King has a sentencing date. Check his support website for more info. In more uplifting news, Eric also recently got hitched! Congrats you two, we hope this can be a light amidst so much darkness.
Mumia Abu Jamal also has some great current recordings. In a recent address about Bernie he states:
The present political system has failed millions, why does it continue to deserve your support? When the labor leader, Joe Hill was being led to the gallows he told his supporters, “Don’t waste time mourning, organize.”
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) June 23, 2016
Cassandra Rules of the Free Thought Project continues to drift right-ward and now seems to be chumming it up with Brandon Darby, the radical organizer turned Breitbart reporter and FBI snitch.
Also lastly, we want to mention that the FBI has begun to harass people in Cleveland in preparations for the RNC. Such harassment and intimidation is routine for large mobilizations. If you get a visit, tell the police or agents you refuse to talk to them without a lawyer and then bid them good day. Afterwards, call the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and tell them about the contact and see if you can get an attorney to help represent you should the fuzz continue to harass you. Don’t let them scare you, but above all, build a wall of resistance by not talking to the FBI. Don’t make small talk, don’t answer questions, don’t say a goddamn thing. We also encourage you to read this short publication entitled, If An Agent Knocks.
Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, have been knocking on the doors of activists and community organizers in Cleveland, Ohio, asking about their plans for the Republican National Convention in July.
As the city gears up to welcome an estimated 50,000 visitors, and an unknown number of protesters, some of the preparations and restrictions put in place by officials have angered civil rights activists. But the latest string of unannounced home visits by local and federal police mark a significant escalation in officials’ efforts to stifle protest, they say.
“The purpose of these door knocks is simple: to intimidate the target and others in efforts to discourage people from engaging in lawful First Amendment activities,” Jocelyn Rosnick, a coordinator with the Ohio chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, wrote in a statement denouncing the home visits.
More than a dozen people in the Cleveland area have reported being visited this week by local police, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the Secret Service.
The FBI confirmed that visits have taken place. “In preparation for the upcoming RNC the FBI along with our federal, state, and local partners has been working collaboratively with members of the community,” a spokesperson for the FBI’s Cleveland field office told The Intercept. “As part of this preparation law enforcement is reaching out to individuals known in the community who may have information that could help ensure a safe and secure environment during the RNC.” Cleveland’s police department did not respond to requests for comment.
Maggie Rice, an organizer with Food Not Bombs, said that members of her group were visited by police but felt too “rattled” to speak to a reporter. The group is not planning to stage protests but has applied for permits to be in the RNC event zone in order to feed both protesters and Cleveland residents dealing with disruptions to public transportation and services like Meals on Wheels.
That’s it for us. Summer is here. Go outside and make some trouble.
We plan to be stirring up trouble of our own this Summer. We’ll try our very best to run fast and never get caught. We suggest you do the same. Because of our trouble making plans, we’re moving back to our bi-weekly format for Bloc Party until the Summer wraps up and our new Evil Overlord Trump is coronated. Maybe we’ll see you in the streets somewhere!
-Your friendly career bad kids.
ps. here is your soundtrack, Anohni’s new album “Hopelessness”, with some art by Marius Mason:
To learn more: Anohni’s ‘Hopelessness’ And The Power Of Speaking Out