Filed under: Bloc Party, Editorials, Incarceration, Political Prisoners, Repression, US
Originally posted to It’s Going Down
In less than twenty-four hours time we got word that Chelsea Manning attempted to hang herself in her cell at Fort Leavenworth and that another two Black men were murdered by the police in particularly heinous fashions. The weight of each trauma that seems to have piled up in the past month isn’t lost on us. We still have comrades in the hospital from Sacramento’s Antifa shutdown of the Traditional Worker’s Party and Golden State Skinheads attempt to galvanize further support and exposure for their racist and fascist agendas. Queer folks across the country are still in mourning for their fam gunned down in Orlando. Friends and comrades have been arrested at demonstrations. Eric King was sentenced to 10 years. On international television Alton Sterling’s 15-year-old son collapsed in grief while his mama held strong hours after losing her husband to the fucking pigs. The sad truth is that we could continue to list off even more things that are pulling at our hearts and burdening us with despair. This Summer has had a difficult and trying kickoff and while we anticipated a heating up of struggle, this isn’t quite what we envisioned.
What has us feeling something akin to hope is that in the two years since rebellion erupted in Ferguson there has been a consistent and continued popular trajectory of negation of the state and it’s fucked up manifestations in our daily lives. You can travel the country and see “Fuck 12,” scrawled on park benches from Boulder, Colorado to underpasses in Northern California. You can see that when the cops murdered Alton Sterling at that corner store that folks took a note from Ferguson and gathered at the spot blasting Lil’ Boosie on their boomboxes and from car stereos. They can’t stop that. They can’t shoot that down, steal it’s breath or lock it in a cage. Those flames from the QT touched people on the inside, stoking their own rebellion against their captors that has spread from Alabama to Nebraska and beyond. So if there is something akin to hope to be felt, we’re feeling it and we’re going to hold the fuck on to it. We’ll use it to keep the fires lit and suggest you do too.
Now for all that news from the Bloc:
Big news from the Support Nicole and Joseph crew, as Nicole has now withdrawn her plea, requesting a trial. Her plea had previously been denied by Judge Larry Barns, so Nicole is fixing to go to trial. Lets hope she kicks the prosecution’s ass.
The Montrose 9, resistors to Spectra Energy’s pipeline expansion, have asserted the “Necessity Defense” in court. The trial has the potential of being a landmark case regarding the defense of lands against infrastructure. While we are cautious to celebrate legitimacy in the eyes of the state and its courts, we feel there is more and more of an aversion to playing the “innocence” card in court from many different folks, and this is at least is pleasing to us. When the world is set up to criminalize everyday life, including resistance, we say fuck innocence.
Manuel Salas, a vegan animal rights activist who was arrested for arson (unrelated to his animal rights activism) a few months before his 19th birthday, is scheduled to be released from prison on August 20th, 2016. Manuel was also sentenced to an additional 4.5 years after being charged with felony criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct stemming from an escalation of a protest against the facility for denying him vegan food. Manuel’s writing was featured in Issue #2 of Wildfire. Manuel is requesting support as his release date approaches:
Hello to all. My name is Manuel Salas. I have been an Animal Rights activist and vegan for a long time. I have helped to make positive changes to the prison vegan diet. I’m going to be getting out of prison in August and I’m looking to get in touch with some new people. In a way I’m looking for some friendly support.
I’m into the understanding that life is a gift and that we must get all we can out of it. I’m looking for friends who understand that everyone in life sometimes makes mistakes but can grow from them. There are also those, like me, who have made sacrifices for their friends—in my case those friends are not humans, but the animals I fight so hard to save from their oppressors.
I want to move on and grow as I have over the year. I want to be able to share life with people who understand life as a gift, who can take the bad and work to make it good. To take the negative and make it a positive. To just have fun and enjoy life. I would appreciate a letter or a card. Thank you and I hope you all have a good day.
An email account has been set up for Manuel to use after he’s released. Starting in late August, you can send a quick email to Manuel to see how he’s doing and stay in touch at manuelsalas(a)riseup.net
Write a letter:
Manuel Salas #504212
Columbia Correctional Institution
PO Box 900
Portage, WI 53901-0900
Eric King didn’t shy away from this fact in court, as he was sentenced to ten years last week. He ended his statement to the court with “This court is a farce. I stand by what I did. I’m happy I did it. I’m sorry that I got caught.” His support crew released a statement shortly after sentencing, and he is currently waiting to hear where he will be transferred for the remainder of his sentence.
A participant in prison resistance inside Stillwater Prison, MN reflects on the events of March 11th:
So, on March 11th a beautiful thing happened. The whole unit of A-West stood up in the chow-hall and went to the old sections in an act of peaceful protest. We let the administration know that we will stand up for our rights. It was a standoff for about a half an hour. The tension was high and you could see the fear on the CO’s faces. Then we all left together and locked in. The message was clear. So they locked us in for 11 days, and when we came out, they adjusted the seating arrangements. Not completely back to normal but, they did make it a little more comfortable for us that are forced to live here.
Atlanta Anarchist Black Cross continue to post prisoner’s thoughts on the prison system.
Black and Pink is encouraging folks in Texas to call on behalf of Texas prisoners experiencing abuse and brutality, and asking that y’all write Nedro Parker with some love and support. Check out their post for links to Nedro’s writing. Drop him a line:
Nedro Gwen Parker 802077
TDCJ Montford LTC
8602 Peach Ave.
Lubbock, TX 79404
June 26th marked the 41st anniversary of the Ogala shootout, and Leonard Peltier marked the anniversary with a statement.
It’s something I think about every day. As I look back, I remember the expressions of both fear and courage on the faces of my brothers and sisters as we were being attacked. We thought we were going to be killed! We defended our elders and children as they scattered for protection and to escape. Native people have experienced such assaults for centuries, and the historical trauma of the generations was carried by the people that day — and in the communities that suffered further trauma in the days that followed the shootout, as the authorities searched for those of us who had escaped the Jumping Bull property.
Send Leonard your support:
USP Coleman I
P.O. Box 1033
Coleman, FL 33521
Entrapped political prisoner, Jay Chase of the NATO 3 has a new book list. If ya got any extra funds, send him some books!
Remember that pretty insane video of some of the hooded ones in France getting it in on a French cop’s car? Well, the pigs are grasping at straws and have arrested 6 people in connection with the incident, including an anarchist from the US, who is a transwoman currently being held in a men’s facility in France. The charges are seriously ridiculous, and this is definitely just an attempt by the French state to take the wind out of the sails of the uprising that has been going on there since March. Please send some solidarity Kara’s way!
Speaking of ACAB, Janye Waller has a new address. Please write to him!
Janye Waller BA2719
San Quentin State Prison
San Quentin, CA 94974
Over in Denver, 2 anarchists took pleas in connection to anti-cop and anarchist graffiti found throughout the city. At least one of their accused slogans we find particularly hilarious. “Smoke Cops Not Weed” seems to have caught on as a phrase to be written on things that aren’t yours all over Denver, where weed and gentrification have created a horror show style mashup.
With the conventions just around the corner, we wanted to be the first to let you know that It’s Going Down will be covering the Republican National Convention from the ground in Cleveland from July 17th to 21st. Keep an eye on the IGD Twitter account for updates as well as our main site for daily roundups of news during the conventions.