Filed under: Bloc Party, Featured
The last few months have had all of us who do anti-repression work on a strict regime of too much coffee, not enough sleep, and a whole lot of Signal loops. The support work necessary for all our individual friends and comrades facing charges, or other forms of state repression like FBI harassment or grand jury subpoenas, has kept us career bad kids at Bloc Party away from the keyboard. We know that a lot of you are in the same boat with us and we’re fucking grateful for that. We know that we don’t have to apologize for the hiatus, but we’re happy to be back at it just in time for Summer.
State and non-state repression takes a toll. But, it also provides an opportunity for our crews and communities to grow stronger. A friend once made a sign that they brought to a demo during a time when most of our crew was on paper or facing felony charges that could have led to prison sentences, the sign said “police repression makes us stronger, haters make us love harder.” We want to broaden out that sentiment to state repression. At the same time that we’re feeling that crushing hand of the state coming down, we’re also seeing the ways that all of our vibrant networks amongst different crews and communities across the country have activated to respond.
We cannot forget that the state and all of it’s institutions are devoid of life, they’re empty shells. Our crews, communities, collectives, friends, comrades, and lovers are bursting with vibrancy and intricately woven connections that make us resilient. Let’s keep getting resilient together. Let’s keep growing our strength. Fuck the haters.
There have been a lot of door knocks from both federal and state law enforcement across the country over the past few months. The time to up our best practices around never, ever, ever talking to the pigs is yesterday. In an effort to offer some support from our bloc to your’s, some of us whipped up this handy flier for what to do if the FBI or other law enforcement knock. It has tips, reminders, a spot to write info for legal representation/support, and is intended to hang up by the entryway to homes or spaces. Print some out for you and your friends, table with them, give one to your moms and pops. You get the idea.
Now for some news from the bloc.
Our friends from the Tilted Scales Collective are headed out for a tour that will last most of the summer. Their book that was published this spring through Combustion Books has already gotten into the hands of many people facing charges. But, we’d like to remind folks that the best time to start learning about resistance to and resiliency against state repression is before the handcuffs and the arraignment. Tilted Scales has made sure their book is also available for free online in PDF format for those who cannot afford to purchase it. We also hear that an episode of the IGD podcast with Tilted Scales in in the works.
It’s almost June 11th! We’re looking forward to hearing all about events across the world to both celebrate and support our anarchist comrades on the inside. You can find resources, statements and more over at the June 11th site. On the June 11th site they’ve added some great interviews to the resources this year. You can find interviews with Eric King’s support crew as well as supporters of the Cleveland 4, Joseph & Nicole, and others.
We love this new collaborative project, Black Bridge International, where you can write letters on the site to a growing list of anarchist and revolutionary prisoners. If you’re able to get into a meaningless Facebook argument with someone else’s racist uncle than you can drop a quick line to any of the prisoners currently listed. It’s literally that easy now. Sitting on the train and bored? Send a quick letter! Not doing work while you’re at work and your boss isn’t looking? Send a quick letter!
Animal liberation prisoner, Walter Bond has returned to using his given name and has written some thoughts about this transition, a change on his stance around reproductive choice (we’re stoked about this), and more. Check out what he had to say about where he is at these days and then drop him a line:
PO Box 5000
Greenville IL 62246
Jaan Laaman is still being kept in segregated housing:
Jaan has been in segregation since his birthday on March 21, 2017, over two months now, simply for issuing two statements, a clear violation of free speech and human rights. He is being threatened with transfer to a Communication Management Unit or Special Management Unit; punishments that are not appropriate for a prisoner of Jaan’s age and would be a violation for practicing free speech.
Jaan was placed into solitary confinement because of two short messages he released: one in support of the “Day Without a Woman Strike” (International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017) which was printed in the NYC Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) update, and his “Farewell Thoughts to My Friend, Lynne Stewart” which was broadcast on Prison Radio. When the NYCABC update arrived by mail to the prison, Jaan was promptly placed in solitary confinement. Prison officials charged Jaan with “threatening the security of the prison” because of these First Amendment protected statements.
There are some specific acts of solidarity that you can take to support Jaan through this listed over at 4 Struggle Magazine. You can also send a postcard or letter over to Jaan during this time. The prison administration is trying to make him feel isolated, so let’s make sure he knows that he is never alone!
Jaan Karl Laaman #10372-016
P.O. Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734
We’re keeping our eyes on the GOP proposed Back the Blue Act, which proposes the creation of new federal crimes, new federal police oversight (and not the kind that’s in anyone’s favor) and intervention, and protections for police from oversight and civil liability. This shit is all kinds of scary. If passed, it would then be a federal crime to assault any law enforcement officer. We can’t even count how many of our homies have been charged with or convicted of assault of officer over the years. The bill goes further that if the assault results in bodily harm, which is not clearly defined so think Darren Wilson’s rosy cheek, would bring a federal mandatory minimum of between two and 10 years in prison. It would also add on a 20-year mandatory minimum if a dangerous weapon was used during the alleged assault. No bodily harm? How about just a year in federal prison for good measure? Like we said, we’re keeping an eye on this and will write more as it comes.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention, albeit a little late, that both Chelsea Manning and Oscar Lopez Rivera are free!! We couldn’t be happier, and we want to send a warm embrace their way. So happy to have you both back on this side of the walls.
Animal liberation prisoner Kevin Olliff has been released form a halfway house. They write:
I cannot sufficiently express my joy today. My time operating via direct action for animals has come to an end, but reflecting on this ordeal, I have no regret, only gratitude.After thirty-six years imprisoning and gassing generations of minks, the East Fork Mink Ranch no longer exists. Those minks who avoided recapture and made it have already had great grandchildren, and I am long forgotten. But I will never forget them, or that night, for the rest of my life.Thanks to all those who have stood with me and Tyler in this fight. Follow your passion.
We also want to send a lot of solidarity and care out to folks inside at Pelican Bay, where the guards recently used live rounds to regain control following an uprising. We were going to link to an article in the LA Times newspaper that detailed how guards shot and injured five or more prisoners. But, the LA Times has since removed the article. Fuck you LA Times, we see you. You replaced that article with this garbage vomited up by some AP wire reporter that goes on at length about the horrible “bumps and bruises,” that guards sustained by quickly glosses over the five prisoners who were shot, one having to be airlifted to a higher level medical center.
A new report has been released from the police and prison industry about the uprising at the Vaughn Correctional Center that broke out last year. Please read and analyze here.
Officials report 91 inmates escaped Thursday morning via a 30-meter underground tunnel from Brazil’s Parnamirim State Penitentiary located in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte.
During a riot outbreak within the prison, the inmates made it to the tunnel that ran from the outer wall of the compound. Once outside the walls, prisoners stripped off their prison uniforms and were met by accomplices for a change of clothes and a quick getaway. Police report seeing at least two cars and a motorcycle.
Looks like eight folks were picked up, but that means we got 83 homies free for the time being down in Brazil. Now for just about 2.2 million more up here on the north end of Turtle Island! Fire to the prisons now and forever.
– bad kids never give up