Originally published to It’s Going Down

Well friends, it finally fucking happened right?

That same thing so many have been saying was impossible. We don’t need to go into the back and forth about who is to blame, how this happened, or any other panicked steps up the ladder of grief and acceptance of the reality we are currently living in. After all, most of us know how we got here. Most of us knew that democracy was a neoliberal sham that is fed to us to keep us voting for a new manager every four years. Which isn’t to say that Trump won’t rain down intensified horrors, or that those of us more vulnerable to his agenda aren’t justified in fears of roundups, deportations, and far-Right racist attacks. Just in the 2 weeks since the election, there have been over 700 incidents of hate crimes and harassment nationwide, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The climate is certainly very different than it was even a month ago.

Factoring in the intensification of the struggle around the Dakota Access Pipeline this past week, these are certainly active and trying times to be living in. Lets not forget that the groundwork for a state apparatus powerful enough to deport 3 million people was already laid by the Obama administration. Many folks have been feeling this pressure for much longer than Trump was ever a political factor. Trump’s racist statements about immigrants and people of color have gotten a lot of attention, as they should, but let’s also not forget that a significant portion of his 100 day plan intends to significantly deregulate environmental restrictions on resource extraction and pull the US out of climate change agreements. We also know that our comrades, communities, and our movements (whatever those are) have a resilience that goes unchallenged by the domination of the Right or the slight of hand of the Left. We have lots of work to do. Many folks have said a lot about what that work is, and you can check out the consistent roundup IGD has going for what resistance to Trump and his world might look like at #TrumptheRegime. So, as a friend said this week, “let’s be the right amount of scared, and the right amount of motivated, and not call the outcome before the fight has started (like the Democrats did).”

Now for news from around the bloc:

There are lots of petitions floating around in a last ditch effort to get Obama to pardon prominent political prisoners. Please check them out and sign your name. We don’t hold much faith that this will get anyone free, but it takes two seconds and I’m sure it’s encouraging to those inside to hear how many thousands of people want to be counted in support of their release.

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Petition to Free Leonard Peltier!

For those who aren’t familiar, Peltier was arrested because of a shootout on the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota Native American reservation in South Dakota in 1975, during which two FBI agents were shot and killed. Though there was no evidence against him, and his two co-defendants were acquitted before his trial started, Peltier was convicted in 1977 by a racist court hand-picked by the FBI to get a guilty verdict. Other government misconduct during Peltier’s trial included coercion of witnesses, intentional use of false testimonies, hiding ballistics evidence, and manufacturing a murder weapon. Despite this, Peltier has been consistently denied requests for a new trial.

The Friends of Leonard Peltier site has info and suggestions to help you get through to Obama:

Call the White House (will you call once a week?)
Email the White House (will you email every day?)
Get Social with the White House (will you post often?)

The International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee has other helpful resources as well:

Call Legislators
Educate Others
Visit Members of Congress
Write Letters to Congress

As always, drop Leonard a line:

Leonard Peltier
#89637-132
USP Coleman I
P.O. Box 1033
Coleman, FL 33521

freeoscar

Petition to Free Oscar Lopez Rivera!

From the Marius Mason support crew, throwing their weight behind the effort to free Oscar:

Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera has served almost 35 years in prison, convicted of seditious conspiracy for his commitment to the independence of Puerto Rico, though he was not accused or convicted of causing harm or taking a life. Serving a sentence of 70 years, he is the longest held political prisoner in the history of Puerto Rico and one of the longest held in the world. He is 73 years old, and will be 80 by the time of his release date in 2023. No other country keeps its political prisoners behind bars for as many decades as does the United States.

Anarchist prisoner Marius Mason also recently expressed his support for the National Prison Strike, having only heard about it recently due to his mail being censored. This helps to illustrate how difficult it has been to get the full scope of the prison strike, as communication is so effectively throttled by the prison system. Any mail you send to Marius mentioning the prison strike or work stoppages will most likely be destroyed, so watch your wording. Here is a beautiful new painting from Marius, and a description of the plight of the pangolin:

pangolin

The new 17th Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is addressing the endangered status of pangolins by banning the trade that is driving their extinction. They’re an amazing animal with an fantastical appearance like something out of primordial time. As a kid, I was fascinated by dinosaurs and one of my favorites was Ankylosaurs, which was like an armored tank, covered in spikes and scales. The pangolin’s scales and claws remind me of that dinosaur.
Because parts of the pangolin are used in traditional medicines, there is a market for their bodies. Hopefully, this new agreement will provide them with some protection. Unfortunately, the new treaty is weaker on protections for elephants and lions whose numbers have plummeted in the last decade. So much more work has to be done and so little time in which to do it. As long as markets drive extinction, there is so little room for compassion and reason.
And another from this series addressing endangered species:

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“MEXICO: An effort to save the critically endangered vaquita porpoise is being helped by banning the use of gill nets in all waters where it is found.  The vaquita (‘little cow’ in Spanish) lives only in the northern part of the Gulf of California, and only about 60 remain.  Gill nets are used by fishermen seeking the totoaba- a marine fish that is also endangered.  Its swim bladder can sell for thousands of dollars on the black market.”

Please write to Marius and tell him what you think of his art! He loves pictures of animals if you hadn’t guessed yet:

Marie (Marius) Mason #04672-061
FMC Carswell
Federal Medical Center
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX 76127

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Its also not too late to send in a letter to a trans prisoner, such as Marius and many others, for the Trans Day of Remembrance this past November 20th. To find a trans prisoner to write to in your area, visit the folks over at Black & Pink who are doing amazing work!

Atmosphere are throwing their weight behind prison rebellion with a new video:

Dozens of people protested outside of a Nashville gated community, home to human garbage pile and CCA CEO Damon Hininger. The private prison company recently announced a “rebranding” under the name CoreCivic, in an effort to distance themselves from the awful reputation of CCA. From an organizer:

“They try to re-brand, but dropping the A doesn’t mean CCA/CoreCivic can avoid the atrocities they are committing to upwards of 40,000 people a day,” Charlotte Pate, a Southerners In Action volunteer

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Also in the South, a riot broke out in Goldsboro Prison on Oct 23rd. Many of the rebels were subsequently moved following the uprising. North Carolina saw a little action during the September Prison Strike, we can’t help but wonder if this is the continued ripple effect.

Kevin Rashid Johnson has written another letter regarding experiences with the prison strike:

Officials were also illegally opening and reading privileged legal and media mail outside my presence. They were obviously focused on discovering, scrutinizing and blocking any information coming into the prison about the work stoppage or strike planned for prisons across the U.S.

The correctional officers union in Michigan cited the uprising in Kinross Correctional as a symptom of the MDOC trying to cut corners on the budget. The number of prisoners occupying high security cells in Michigan has dropped significantly in the last 20 years. While we don’t buy into the CO union’s bullshit complaints, let’s hope they are right in their implication that there will only more disruptions in the MDOC.

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Heather Ann Thompson, author of the book, “Blood in the Water”, was recently interviewed on a local community radio station. Blood in the Water chronicles the Attica Prison Uprising and its ripple effect throughout the country and into contemporary prison uprisings.

After a prison riot in England, prison guards threaten to “take over” prisons, keeping all prisoners on lock-down. For right now, this is probably just macho posturing from the prison guards. If the idea caught on however, this is a scary direction prison guard unions could go in a atmosphere of increased prison rebellion.

We are going to leave you with some quotes from recent letters from rebels inside the prison walls in Georgia. As always, Atlanta ABC is holding it down, making sure these prisoners get to speak to the world in their own words. That’s important as fuck in a time when you have everyone on up to Hillary “Superpredators” Clinton talking about prison reform:

B.L.A.Q.man King Coe describes avoiding a potentially lethal interaction with a prison guard over a muffin:

I allowed LT Bradley to go ahead and push me out the door away from the rest of the dorm. Now if the CERT had been in this messhall instead of the other one, then this would’ve been SUICIDE! See that is because this is the blind area where they jump on us at. Why here??? NO CAMERAS! Luckily I was already in route to the hole when they responded to the call. It went without incident. – B.L.A.Q.man King Coe

Kelevin gives us his thoughts on the election and Standing Rock:

I agree Clinton is no better choice both are evil in essence and hold hidden agendas for the rich and powerful. Even though the Ghost Skins and Ghostface scream white power and kracker love, they don’t realize that they are also being exploited and oppressed by this capitalistic system that serves to keep the imperialists in power. The rich keep getting richer and the poor are the foot stools they use to make it happen. Anyway all I’m hearing is Trump and Clinton, how will it affect America, yet both are for the super-rich. I haven’t heard anything about North Dakota or the pipeline.

Jarvis Booker on rehabilitation programs:

You keep a man locked in a two-man sell 24 hours a day for years
forcing us to accept the small amounts of food put on trays
forcing us to smell another man feces
forcing us to live in inclement conditions
forcing us to endure weather so hot if you move you sweat.

How can you help rehabilitate a person in this type atmosphere? They not trying to. That’s the plan to either break us mentally or force us into withdrawal or depression where we lash out aggressively.

Jarvis again on Real Life:

Real life
At times in my cell I often wanna raise hell, but it’s the life I live have my heart shedding silent tears.
So many years in here so many dreams in the wind I count my blessings in life everyday is a fight.
These craKKKers got us in prisons institutionalize in their system. Ancestors fought for our freedom now we killing and drug dealing.
They steady making prisons just a modern day slavery one world order don’t even know what we’re facing.
It’s time to wake up and start fulfilling our legacies black kings and queens all our childhood dreams lost in the system in this white man’s world but we have come to far to let it go like this.
How are we going to win going against each other how we going to lose if we come together

Palestinian prisoners started a series of hunger strikes in Israeli prisons, protesting solitary confinement and the treatment of female prisoners in detention centers. We want to remind our readers that the struggle against prisons isn’t just here in the US, and that prisons have ALWAYS served in the interests of power and domination. As long as there are structures of domination, there will be prisons. For abolition to truly be abolition, our resistance must be total and without borders.

As always, fire to the fucking prisons – your favorite bad kids from the bloc

 

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