Hotwire #33: #PrisonStrike Kicks Off, Racist Statue Torn Down
Filed under: Anarchist Movement, Interviews, Radio/Podcast
Filed under: Anarchist Movement, Interviews, Radio/Podcast
This week, you will hear updates from the Stony Creek tenant strike in Canada, some creative anti-ICE actions, and about some humorous and some of the alt-right’s recent losses. We interview Maya Little about the recent toppling of a confederate statue in North Carolina on Monday. Maya shares information about the impact of the statue on campus, some history, and some initial feelings after the fall of Silent Sam. We kick off the nationwide prison strike with an interview with an outside supporter of the strike, and a reportback from an attendee of a noise demonstration outside a prison. Finally, we wrap up the show with political prisoner birthdays and next weeks news. We’re glad to be back! Send us news, events, or ideas on how our show can better serve anarchist activity in your town by emailing us at email@example.com.
“I am calling on behalf of Sean Swain, inmate #243–205. I am a friend of Sean. I am calling to request the ODRC grant Mr. Swain’s appeal regarding his most recent disciplinary record, drop the charges, and lower his security level from 5b to 2. Mr. Swain is not a physical security risk, and there is no reason to keep him at such a high security rating where he will be unable to get the programming he needs to be eligible for rehabilitation and parole. Thank you for your consideration.”
Joseph Dibee #812133
Multnomah County Detention Center
11540 NE Inverness Drive
Portland, Oregon 97220
Eric King #27090–045
USP Florence – High
PO Box 7000
Florence, CO 81226
Russell Maroon Shoatz #AF–3855
Post Office Box 244
Graterford, Pennsylvania 19426
Rebel Girl: August 22, 2018: The national #PrisonStrike takes off, while anti-racists in North Carolina once again take a confederate monument down, and we go around the world in this week’s repression round-up on this episode of…
Riot Dogg: The Hotwire.
A weekly anarchist news show brought to you by The Ex-Worker
Rebel Girl: With me, the Rebel Girl.
Riot Dogg: And me, the Riot Dogg.
Rebel Girl: A full transcript of this episode with shownotes and useful links can be found at our website, CrimethInc.com/podcast, where you can also find a radio-ready twenty-nine-and-a-half minute version of this episode for standard radio broadcasts, and no cussing!
Riot Dogg: Tenants from Stoney Creek Towers have been on rent strike since May Day this year. Currently, about 100 tenants are withholding their rent to pressure landlord InterRent REIT to drop an Above Guideline Increase or AGI. AGIs are widely understood to be a loophole in Ontario rent control laws, allowing landlords to increase rent beyond the annual rent increase guideline set by the province. Stony Creek residents made the trek to Ottawa to pay a visit to the InterRent offices and after the owner, Mike McGahan, refused to meet them, they staged a home demo at his opulent, fenced off mansion.
Rebel Girl: Meanwhile, elsewhere in Canada, anti-gentrification protestors were met with violence after entering the property development offices for the BSR Group-the company carrying out evictions of Plaza Hutchison tenants in Montreal. This was not the first demo at BSR’s offices, but there was a significant increase in violence that protestors faced—facing punches, kicks, and even getting choked—not from cops, but rather from BSR employees themselves! Te group remains committed to putting their bodies on the line to disrupt business as usual and stop the displacement of the poor and people of color.
Riot Dogg: People have hit the streets in Chicago after the death of 15 year old Steve Rosenthal on Friday. According to police, Rosenthal fled after being approached about a concealed weapon, and then shot himself during the chase while in his Grandmother’s stairwell. According to Rosenthal’s family, the notion that the he would kill himself is outrageous, and they are holding the Chicago police responsible for shooting their son. According to us, the blood is on the police’s hands either way, and more likely than not, the cops did it—that kind of blue filth lies all the time, probably more often than either me of the Rebel Girl even realize. A crowd of 150 gathered on Sunday and marched on Mount Sinai Hospital, attempting to force their way in and chanting, “Let us see Steve,” a demand that the police make public the unreleased bodycam footage from the chase.
Rebel Girl: To echo It’s Going Down, it hasn’t been a glorious month for the Alt-Right, after being badly outnumbered and hidden behind throngs of police in Berkley and Portland, then being confronted with mass mobilizations in Charlottesville and Washington, DC. This trend only continued over the weekend as the ridiculously and disingenuously named ‘Resist Marxism’ rallies against ‘far left violence’ were scheduled in ten cities across the country. Ridiculous because hey, some of us anarchist antifascists aren’t even Marxists! Aaand disingenuous because the group behind the rallies has open connections to violent Neo-Nazi organizations. But due to a series of setbacks, event cancellations, and infighting, half of the events were cancelled before they even got started.
In Tuscon, the alt-right was outnumbered 4 to 1. In San Jose, two events were called for in the same place—both a rally “Against Far-Left Violence,” as well as a demonstration against a SciFi conference under allegations of pedophilia. 50 people were met with roughly the same amount of antifa. Resist Marxism participants were drowned out in Seattle and 30 or so participants were surrounded by hundreds of antifascists in Boston. Virtually the same thing happened in Austin, where 40 so-called Marxism-resistors were surrounded by 400 counter demonstrators. While Alt-Right events continue to pull some people out, at this point it’s mostly their already-marginalized base. As Proud Boy Jovi Val commented on the low turnout at Unite The Right 2, “There were a bunch of people who were supposed to come…Do you understand that while we were having the event, people are now looking for work because they were either fired or had to resign or something?” Remember-that’s the result of direct confrontation and antifascist work to make folks aware of fascists organizing.
Riot Dogg: Yeah, and if we want to keep those numbers low, we’re going to have to find new and improved ways to oppose and expose them. One novel tactic used against this past weekend’s marches came in the form of self-doxxing. In early July, a website was anonymously registered for the National March Against Far-Left Violence. An early version of the site encouraged fans to subscribe to its mailing list and pre-order t-shirts. Approximately three-dozen people did, and days before the march the site started publishing those people’s names and addresses, complaining that they never paid for their shirts!
Rebel Girl: So wait, was that an elaborate trap laid by antifascists, or just high-strung far-right loonies ready to throw anyone who dissed them under the bus?
Riot Dogg: The world may never know, Rebel Girl. Some mysteries are better left unsolved…
Rebel Girl: Meanwhile, Anti-ICE actions are getting creative from one coast to the other. Pennsylvania is home to one of only three family detention centers in the country. The Shut Down Berks Coalition is fighting to close the Berks County Residential Center, a prison for immigrant children and parents located in Leesport, PA. On Monday, they attempted to meet with Governor Tom Wolfe to force his hand on making good on his campaign promise to close Berks. After being rebuffed by the governor, they occupied the hallway outside his office and were faced down with cops and dogs while the governor fled out the back door.
Riot Dogg: No!
Rebel Girl: Moral of the story: politicians lie.
Riot Dogg: Lie like dogs!
Rebel Girl: Across the southern Puget Sound area, anti-ICE activists are embracing a tactic that has roots in the fight to stop vile monster scientists from testing on animals. You got it: home demos. Outraged at the domestic comfort enjoyed by those who are paid to round up families and destroy their lives, activists have been giving ICE agents around the area rude awakenings-quite literally, with one noise demo outside one ICE director’s house at 3am. There has also been flyering to alert neighbors of the presence of ICE agents in their neighborhoods and a few other home demos including pickets and speeches.
Riot Dogg: In what are acts of both bravery and desperation, shortly after being reunited with their children, fathers at Karnes detention center in Texas went on hunger strike earlier in August to protest the inhumane conditions they have to endure there. Last week, ICE agents brutally re-separated fathers from their children for a night in retaliation for the previous hunger strike and one being planned for the future. These aren’t the only prisoners currently using this tactic across the country.
Rebel Girl: Which brings us to the [nationwide prison strike that began yesterday]( https://shadowproof.com/2018/05/03/interview-south-carolina-prisoners-challenge-narrative-around-violence-lee-correctional-institution/ https://incarceratedworkers.org/campaigns/prison-strike–2018), on August 21. The state depends on mass incarceration and deportation to maintain a stable environment for capitalism, and the prison industry is well….an industry that is, at it’s core, intertwined with profit and gain. Not only is expanding the prison system seen as a business opportunity, but it’s a negative feedback loop, influencing the further expansion of the prison system through the private prison corporations lobbying of state legislators for more “tough on crime” laws, such as three strikes, anti-immigration reform, etc. Not to mention that prisoners work for mere pennies or nothing at all. Which is obviously nothing more than slave labor. What happens inside prison revolts and detainee center protests is especially weighted because of these intersections.
Riot Dogg: Prisoners in seventeen states, AND Nova Scotia, Canada, are set to participate in the strike, which is taking place NOW until September 9, ending on the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising. We’re only coming at you on day one of the strike, and news from other institutions and coordination with the outside can move slowly inside prisons, especially as corrections officials have attempted to preemptively disrupt the strike, moving prisoners that are known active organizers, taking away phone privileges, and in New Mexico, locking down all 11 prison facilities in the state. During 2016’s prison strike, anarchist political prisoner Marius Mason didn’t even find out about the strike until it was over. However, even though it’s just day one, there’s already a good amount of action to report on. Hunger strikes started at the Sterling Correctional Facility in Colorado. Prisoners there have listed their own demands, first and foremost of which is an end to group punishment. Additionally, it’s reported that prisoners in Alabama are not showing up to their jobs and that migrants imprisoned at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington have joined the prison strike, started a work stoppage and hunger strike, and have issued their own particularized demands. Prisoners in North Carolina have also issued their own particularized demands, and we have an anonymous contribution about a noise demonstration that happened outside one prison there on the eve of the strike.
Anonymous Noise Demo Report: Hey just wanted to call and let those listening to the Hotwire know that a caravan of about 6 cars full of people drove to Hyde Correctional institution in Eastern North Carolina yesterday, the day before the nation prisoner strike to have a noise demo. We got there and it was incredible, there was like 200 or more prisoners out in the yard and they had hung banners made out of sheets and one said “parole,” the other was just like listing their demands. We got to wave back and forth with them. We brought drums and were screaming and chanting through a megaphone, and yeah, it was super moving. I had never been to or heard of any sort of demo where prisoners make their own banners and were we get to see each other so clearly. A prisoner called after we left and said that many of them had tears welling up in their eyes at our show of support. It was amazing to feel like we could connect across that fence.
Riot Dogg: Prisoners held within Hyde Correctional are being threatened with retaliation for their active support and organizing in solidarity with the national #PrisonStrike. Three prisoners in particular – Randy Watterson, Tod J Martin, and Jase Duras – are being designated by prison faculty as strike organizers. Call 252 926 1810 to tell the administrators, “No repression for striking prisoners! Keep your hands off our people!”
Rebel Girl: Panning out from this action to the strike as a whole, we spoke with one of the outside organizers about what kind of organization has been going into this year’s prison strike, and what to expect over the next couple of weeks.
Rebel Girl: Who are we speaking with and how are you involved in organizing the 2018 prison strike?
John: My name’s John. I got involved in helping out with the prison strike locally through through a prison newsletter that I do with a bunch of different prisoners in our state. Some of those are some pretty long term correspondence type relationships with people I talk politics with, and publish their writing, and, you know, debate with and share views with, and do all the kind of stuff through the walls and through doing that kind of media support work, it became clear that a lot of prisoners are invested in upping the ante a little bit and the prison strike in 2016 made a lot of waves nationally. It didn’t have a big effect where I live, but it definitely set a bar that prisoners found out about it and wanted to try to build on now that it’s 2018 and the chance is coming around again.
Rebel Girl: What kind of planning has gone into this year’s strike?
John: I think you could ask people in different states and different folks would give you different answers depending on what happened on the inside where they’re at. For example, Florida had a pretty unpredictable wave of uprisings and rowdiness at some of the facilities there that I think a lot of people didn’t expect to happen. Similar for Michigan, and I think if you talked to folks in those states you might hear that that really pushed people on the outside to build their networks of support and infrastructure and media ability to show solidarity. So depending on how hard prisoners went in that area, it had a rippling effect on the outside.
I think there are definitely people at several facilities, probably more, that are pulling stuff off this year ‘cuz they’re a little better organized. Um, and I think we’re better organized to spread the word now than we were two years ago. In terms of how this strike is different or similar, it looks to me like a really similar model. Right, you’ve got kind of ad hoc coalitions of outside organizations. Everything from the very public Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), fairly public Anarchist Black Cross groups to, like, much more smaller affinity group-run media projects like podcasts, newsletter mailings, newsletter type stuff like the thing I was mentioning. Yeah and all those folks are sort of working together on an ad hoc basis where they’re at.
Rebel Girl: Is there anything that sets this year’s strike apart from the one that took place in 2016?
John: It feels similar to me in the sense that, once again, it was initially called for by prisoners and peoples’ roll on the outside has largely been spreading it, spreading the word as much as they can, leaning on every possible avenue to spread the word of the strike, if there’s one thing we’re definitely doing better than we did two years ago, I think we’re more on top of the anti-repression game than we were two years ago.
I mean I think we did a lot of work spreading the word two years ago, but i think despite all that we had to kinda scramble when we were finding out who’s locked down, where are they getting transferred. I think people all over the country kind of had to scramble around that. I’m sure some people were better prepared than I was. But this time around, the National Lawyers’ Guild has stepped up ahead of time in a pretty big way, and they’ve been really solid in supporting prisoners with legal affidavits that they’re sending in and we’re sending in that are saying, ‘If you get fucked with, if you’re retaliated against, this is your legal helpline.’ And so prisoners all over the state where I live already have those forms for, like, weeks before the strike started. And they’re all handing them out to each other, you know, distributing to each other and being like, ‘Look, people are gonna have your back. Here’s your free lawyer if you get fucked with.’ So I feel like that is a comfort to some folks, and I do feel good about that aspect of things. I mean, of course we don’t know yet how it’s gonna play out.
Yeah, I mean I feel like two years ago a lot of media wouldn’t respond to the press releases and to the – to, like, us crazy wingnuts being like, ‘A nationwide unprecedented historic strike is gonna go down in prison,’ and the media just didn’t know what to make of it. There was just no easy framework for them to plug that into. Fast forward two years, I feel like it’s a little bit easier to get the media to bite on it. And so, again, we could have a lot of debates over the strategic necessity or lack thereof of using capitalist media but if nothing else, I would bring up a point that prisoners that I was talking with when it was brought up to us when they were like, ‘We need media, we need media,’ is that that’s still the biggest best way to spread a prison rebellion from one facility to the other is prisoners at a facility seeing it on the news. Because of that, even if the news coverage is horrible negative, it’s still good. And so the media, because prisons rely on isolation, the media strategy becomes uniquely important, like it’s not just about speaking truth to power, it becomes actually an aspect of how things generalize. in the last twenty four hours a lot more kind of center left and local CNN-esque type press coverage is starting to pop up. I know that #prisonstrike has just like gone viral in the last twenty four hours. So yeah, it does seem like that’s happening, and there’s a phenomenon of a coordinated prison strike is now something that exists in the public consciousness in a way that’s pretty cool.
Rebel Girl: Thank you so much, is there anything else you’d like to add?
John: The only thing I’ll add is, I just want to emphasize to anybody listening that if you’re sort of bored or not inspired by, like, fifteen person small demonstrations and normally that’s really underwhelming and sort of depressing, I cannot emphasize how much it actually means to prisoners in a yard or looking through their cell window to see even just a dozen people with banners outside their facility because they’re so used to being ignored. And that kind of visual can be the difference between hundreds of prisoners throwing down and standing up for themselves and feeling like somebody has their back versus not. So don’t discount the little stuff.
Riot Dogg: As the movement to abolish prisons is gaining more traction, the state is attempting to salvage its legitimacy with reform measures like California State Bill 10, which, at first glance does kinda look alright—it could actually eliminate cash bail in the near future. But they’ll replace it with a ‘risk assessment’ to determine whether or not someone will be released pre-trial. This is essentially a ‘bait and switch’ where, seemingly, the system that is determined on wealth is replaced with tools that will most likely reflect the racial biases against people of color. Or replacing private prisons with federally run ones—which only pertains to the small percentage of prisoners who are in federal lockup. And besides, they’re not getting free, they’re just changing the jailer. We know that there is no reform to this rotten, racist system, the only option is prison abolition.
Rebel Girl: The whole criminal justice system is an elaborate pyramid scheme. The last half-century expansion of police and prison power shows that debt, violence, and prison have served primarily political purposes in the context of deepening economic inequality and rollbacks on the gains made by struggles fought by people of color for freedom and dignity. We deeply wish all the prison rebels out there luck, solidarity, and success in their struggles, which are tied directly to ours, here on the outside. We will struggle with you, until every last cage is empty.
Riot Dogg: Prisons, of course, are a direct evolution of slavery, and so it was only fitting that on Monday, the eve of the national prison strike, anti-racists in North Carolina pulled down a confederate monument outside the state flagship university of UNC Chapel Hill.
One year ago in nearby Durham, a crowd of anti-racists also pulled down a confederate monumentin the wake of Charlottesville.
Protests against the 105-year-old monument, nicknamed Silent Sam, have taken place for decades—one when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, once again when a white supremacist motorcycle gang killed two black men on campus in 1971, when the Rodney King verdict came back in 1992, and regularly up until last year, when we here at the Hotwire covered a week-long occupation of the statue that evolved from a rowdy demonstration dubbed, “The first day of Silent Sam’s last semester.”
Rebel Girl: Well, it wasn’t Silent Sam’s last semester in the end, but it turns out it was his last full year. On Monday, a rally of hundreds turned into a march that scuffled with police to reach the statue, at which point giant banners were erected to block the statue out of sight. The banners listed the names of those killed by police and white supremacists, declared the protest’s aspirations for a world without white supremacy, and depicted the statue’s dedication speech from 1913, which very clearly shows that the statue is a symbol meant to preserve UNC’s campus as an unwelcoming space for black people. Just listen to this…
“One hundred yards from where we stand, less than ninety days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horse-whipped a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern lady, and then rushed for protection to these University buildings where was stationed a garrison of 100 Federal soldiers. I performed the pleasing duty in the immediate presence of the entire garrison.”
Riot Dogg: Wow, that is so totally disgusting.
Rebel Girl: Yeah, and it also shows that symbols aren’t just history, they inform the present. From Berkeley to Charlottesville, the far-right and Nazi attacks on liberal campuses are being waged to maintain those spaces as elite, white dominated enclaves—and this statue was the clearest physical manifestation of institutionalized racism.
Riot Dogg: For more, we have an interview with one of the people present at the University of North Carolina on Monday.
Interviewer: Hey, we’re here with Maya Little. How are you doing? And can you tell us why you were protesting Silent Sam last night?
Maya: I’m doing pretty good. I’m very happy right now. Silent Sam was taken down last night. Many people spoke about how the statue affects them, especially how it degrades Black people. It degrades the Black students, workers, and community members who have to walk by it every day, and see the people who sold their ancestors’ children, who enslaved them, glorified on a pedestal. And I think–a lot of people also spoke about ways we were taking it into our own hands to deal with white supremacy at UNC, when other systems failed to.
People also came to memorialize. Several banners were made, one with the names of the many, many people around Orange County, around Chapel Hill, around Durham and North Carolina, who were murdered by white supremacy, including a UNC–a Black man who was murdered at UNC, James Lewis Cates, who was murdered by a white supremacist motorcycle gang. There is not one existing monument to James Lewis Cates on the UNC campus. Nothing that talks about his killers’ acquittal by an all-white jury, and how his friends took it upon themselves to defend their community when no one else would. And we felt–I think many people felt that it was important to not only offer an alternative to Silent Sam, but also to memorialize and pay tribute to the histories of resistance that are already present.
There were UNC police there, doing what they always do: they were standing, faces towards us, protecting the statue. They came en force, ready to kick us off of campus, make sure we didn’t get onto campus. And that was met with people resisting. People were not allowing the police to just do that. People who got into the campus put up the banners, offered this alternative vision to Silent Sam that completely covered the statue. Within the course of the night, not only did people take the street, but they came back from the street, and Silent Sam was torn down. Which was, like, the most unimaginable moment. I woke up smiling this morning laughs.I can’t stop, like–It was a really powerful moment I think for everyone. I think this just, again, shows that we, that we can do these things, that we have the power to do these things. We don’t need the universities, who only care about money. We don’t need police officers, who care more about protecting white supremacist monuments, to do these things, we don’t need city officials. We’ve been able to take this into our own hands and do it.
I think one thing that’s important to note is a lot of people like to phrase this in terms of, well, there were a lot of–many, like, kind of poor white Southerners who were forced to fight for the Confederacy. And that’s absolutely true and Confederate monuments are the worst ways to honor them because they don’t honor–they don’t talk about, you know, people who were hung for treason, who deserted three times, or starved to death fighting a war they didn’t want to be in. These monuments were built by people who are direct descendants of slave owners, who had a vested interest in promoting this idea of the white Southerner, to promote Jim Crow, to promote white supremacy, to keep the status quo. Every man at UNC who fought for the Confederacy was a slave owner, or had a–or whose family owned slaves. They had a vested interest in that economic system, that racial hierarchy and it was very important for them to promote the idea that all Southerners should have a vested interest in the Confederacy and the ideas of the Confederacy. Rather than kind of the realistic thing, which was a very aristocratic society dominated by a white landowning class.
Interviewer: Charlottesville was chosen for Unite the Right because of a decision to remove a confederate statue. Do you think that Chapel Hill will kind of receive a new wave of white supremacist attention? Do you feel safe?
Maya: I mean I don’t think I can like feel safe living in a country that is fundamentally against my existence. And a place where police are already working with white supremacists to target activists, but also where Black people are murdered quite constantly, very visibly in the street, so this idea like, of feeling safe–I didn’t do– I didn’t–I wasn’t at the demo to feel safer as if ne0-confederates wouldn’t still exist. I went there to be a part of community self-defense, and to show them that we are also out here. My role with the sit-in, when I was at the statue almost every weekday. Neo-confederates would come up quite often and make threats and say very racist things. And that was more personal. But, I mean, there’s organizations behind those people. There are wealthier people, who are working in the law, or in our university, or in our city council, to advance those same viewpoints. So that was always there, whether it comes out more visibly I guess and becomes something that not just people of color have to worry about, which is kind of what people of color think about anyways in Chapel Hill, that’s kind of a constant concern. Which, like, a person might be the one who hurts me today for something that I didn’t do or targets me because of my race. I think it’s important to note that in these circumstances, that we’ve also demonstrated that we can defend ourselves and that we are capable of challenging and confronting and destroying white supremacy. I feel safer in the sense that I know my community’s acting to do that than anything else.
Rebel Girl: In response to the fall of Silent Sam, some corporate news outlets, the UNC student government, and even some state senators have been remarkably supportive of the action. Just listen to these quotes from the campus paper:
“I feel liberated — like I’m a part of something big. It’s literally my fourth day here,” said first-year Natalia Walker. “This is the biggest thing I’ve ever been apart of in my life just activist wise. All of these people coming together for this one sole purpose and actually getting it done was the best part.”
“I watched it groan and shiver and come asunder,” said Dwayne Dixon, an Asian studies professor at UNC who has been active in anti-racist movements. “I mean, it feels biblical. It’s thundering and starting to rain. It’s almost like heaven is trying to wash away the soiled contaminated remains.”
Riot Dogg: However, despite all of the institutional opposition to Silent Sam, it was people motivated with some rope and shoddy banners that toppled the statue. Some on the far-right are criticizing the police for supposedly “letting” students and townspeople take the statue down, but even if that were the case, it shows that with all their power, and their ambition to maintain it, large institutions are pathologically committed to preserving the status quo. It takes people power on the ground to force change.
Rebel Girl: Another far-right narrative, that even some liberals are falling for, is that if the statue were to be removed, it should’ve been done through the proper democratic channels. We just want to say, dear listeners, that this democracy—like its forebear in ancient Greece—was built, from the ground up, by slave labor and indentured servitude, and continues to go to great lengths to protect its white supremacist mechanisms, such as prison slave labor. Not to mention all the protection the state affords, as we’ve seen in the past few weeks, to explicit white supremacists. We can not depend on democracy to do for us what we can only do for ourselves—democracy won’t save us, and the state has shown that the only way to topple white supremacy is to rip up the foundations that uphold it with our cold, bare hands and use those connections to lay new foundations of solidarity, equality, and freedom from domination.
Riot Dogg: In this week’s repression roundup, long time anarchist prisoner Eric King has been thrown in SHU, aka, the hole as of last week and has been moved to a high security prison. His supporters request letters and notes of encouragement for him, and If folks are willing and able, to include some articles about news, books, media, scientific discoveries, etc or pictures of beautiful nature spots by printing them off of a computer (remember, prisoners cannot get articles ripped out of the newspaper, polaroids, or real photographs). We have his address in our shownotes.
Rebel Girl: Three water protectors and an independent journalist were arrested Saturday on private land and the controversial Bayou Bridge Pipeline now faces more legal trouble for beginning construction on a section of its pipeline route across the Atchafalaya Basin without permission. The four arrested had written permission from Theda Wright and her sisters, who own the land, allowing them to be on their private property, which they showed to deputies from the Martin Parish Sheriff’s’ Department. Deputies disregarded the landowners’ wishes and arrested the four anyway, charging all with trespassing on critical infrastructure, a felony under Act 692. Act 692 is formally known as Louisiana House Bill 727, and it’s the same bill we referenced last week when reporting on three kayakers who the very first to be charged under this law. The new law makes it a felony to trespass on critical infrastructure sites and additionally criminalizes conspiracy to commit trespass, punishable with a year in prison. Act 692 was specifically written to target water protectors and activists. Riot Dogg: The MOVE organization reports that Ramona Africa is hospitalized, that her insurance company will no longer cover her, and that she will be released from the hospital if they can’t raise the money to pay for her care. Ramona Africa is the last remaining survivor of the 1985 standoff between Move and the Philadelphia police. To donate to go to gofundme.com/helpsaveramonaafrica
Rebel Girl: Anarchist prisoner Sean Swain still needs support. He has spent the last few weeks in solitary confinement after the Ohio prison system increased his security level from 3 to 5b. Call Director Gary Mohr at 614–387–0588 to request that Sean’s security level be dropped down to 2. We have a script in our shownotes.
Riot Dogg: In the wake of a May Day protest in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, many anarchists were arrested and sent to trial. Six trials have just finished, with the end result still unknown and five are still being held captive by the Indonesian state and have yet to go to trial. It’s been hard to get information about these cases, so if you have any updates, please pass them along!
Rebel Girl: In McCurtain County, Oklahoma, boys in the eighth grade and above enrolled in the Wright City School District have to cut their hair above the shoulder to be eligible to play sports for the district, despite that about 35 % of the district’s students are of First Nations descent. Supporters are asking people to call the Wright City schools at 580–981–2824 and tell them to change their policy.
Riot Dogg: Camp Cloud, an anti-pipeline camp on Burnaby Mountain, British Columbia, was dismantled last Thursday. A massive police presence flooded the camp, clearing the structures and arresting five people. Camp Cloud started in November, 2017 with a single trailer but has grown to include a two-storey wooden structure, a cabin, an outdoor shower, more than a dozen tents, and multiple vehicles and trailers.
Rebel Girl: Brazilian environmental and rights organizations announced Wednesday that Indigenous leader Jorginho Guajajara was murdered in the State of Maranhao in the Brazilian Amazon. They suspect Jorginho was killed by illegal loggers who operate in the territory of the Guajajara people, renowned for their work as Guardians of the Amazon.
The Guardians of the Amazon, or Guardioes da Floresta, is a group of Guajajara people who have decided to fight against illegal loggers themselves in the face of government inaction, and destroy logging equipment when they find it. Due to the actions they take to protect their lives and their habitat, they have been targeted by illegal loggers. Jorginho is one of around 80 members of his tribe who have been murdered for defending his home.
Riot Dogg: Lastly, we want to make another plug for support for Joseph Dibee, who was apprehended a few weeks ago about 12 years on the lam. Joseph is being charges with arson and conspiracy charges related to ELF actions taken almost 20 years ago.
CrimethInc., It’s Going Down a network of anti-fascist groups have released the following statement exploring why his case matters:
Rebel Girl: “In the 1990s, environmentalists and animal rights activists engaged in campaigns to put a stop to climate change, animal exploitation, and the destruction of biodiversity. They shut down board meetings, interrupted construction projects, organized demonstrations and sit-ins, held public outreach events at punk shows and vegan potlucks, liberated animals from captivity, and occasionally utilized vandalism, sabotage, and arson against corporations involved in particularly egregious behavior. Across the world, informally organized groups claimed anonymous actions in the names of the Animal and Earth Liberation Fronts.
“International networks grew out of these movements. Struggles emerged against superhighways, gold mines, luxury ski resorts, old-growth logging, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and animal testing facilities on several continents. For years, corporate profiteers had cause to fear that they would face consequences when they perpetrated ecological harm. At that time, it was still possible to imagine that humanity could avert the catastrophe that is unfolding today in the form of ever-rising temperatures, hurricanes, droughts, forest fires, and mass extinctions.
“At the turn of the century, federal authorities counterattacked, launching a campaign of repression to crush the Earth Liberation Front and subdue environmental movements of all kinds. Their goal was to protect business interests at any expense—even if that meant making the world uninhabitable. At the same time, increasing attention on climate change from the likes of Al Gore served to professionalize environmental activism, imposing the logic of the non-profit industry and bribing activists to moderate their tactics and targets in return for salaries. This two-pronged assault set back environmental movements a full generation or more.
“The cataclysm that is unfolding today can be laid at the doorstep of the law enforcement agencies that have paved the way for it by making it so difficult for ordinary people to defend themselves against ecological devastation. If we don’t stop them, they will frogmarch us directly into the apocalypse, profiting all the way—and when the last well is poisoned and the last forest burns up, they will be the last to die.”
Riot Dogg: To read more about the context of Joseph’s case check out the recent post on Crimethinc.com titled “We Don’t Forget”. For a world without cages, free Joseph Dibee!
We have Joseph Dibee’s address where you can write him letters posted in this episode’s shownote. Joseph is pre-trial, so remember not to reference his case nor write him about anything illegal.
Rebel Girl: And now, for next week’s news, our list of events that you can plug into in real life.
Riot Dogg: But first, tomorrow, Thursday August 23, is the birthday of Russell Maroon Shoatz, former Black Panther and incarcerated Black Liberation Army prisoner. While Maroon does not call himself an anarchist, we think that Maroon’s writings from prison are some of the best out there for anarchists who want to develop an anti-authoritarian understanding of resistance to colonialism and slavery. We have a selection of his writings, as well as an address where you can write him, listed in our shownotes at crimethinc.com/podcast.
Rebel Girl: California’s Earth First! Humboldt is hosting a Week of Action from August 25 to 31 to protect the ancient Mattole forest. There will be camping for out-of-towners, rallies, and direct action! For more info, email EFHum@riseup.net, call 707–336–2231, or check out blockade.babes on Instagram. Riot Dogg: The Global Week of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners is from August 23rd to 30th. Most events are overseas, but there will be a Free Russian Anarchists! Solidarity Party in Hamilton, Ontario on Saturday, August 25 at 3pm. Check out solidarity.international for more info.
Rebel Girl: We’ve been alerted that there will be a re-occupation of Zuccotti park in New York City in September. For those of you who don’t remember, Zuccotti Park was the occupied in 2011 by Occupy Wall Street, which sparked Occupy encampments around the country. On Tuesday August 28th there will be a meeting at Zuccotti Park to discuss the re-occupation. The hosts are hoping to facilitate a spokes-council instead of a general assembly and that people will come ready to support a greater diversity of tactics.
Riot Dogg: As aforementioned, rebels occupying Germany’s Hambacher forest are already encountering the attempted evictions that they’ve been anticipating. They’re continuing to mobilize defense for the weeks between now and September 22, at the end of which they’ll hold a skillshare camp, from September 22 to the 30th. So if you find yourself in Germany, check out this amazing Ewok-esque free state and help prepare to defend it and the forest.
Rebel Girl: Anarchists in Zurich, Switzerland will be hosting a Tattoo Circus there from august 31 to September 2, to raise money for political prisoners and the Anarchist Black Cross. Find out more at TattooCircusZurich.noblogs.org.
Riot Dogg: Mutual Aid Disaster Relief will give their two part presentation in Durango, Colorado, with the first presentation on Communities in Resistance to Disaster Capitalism taking place on Saturday, September 1st at 1pm and the second presentation on Community Organizing as Disaster Preparedness on Sunday, September 2nd. Both days will be held at the Durango Community Recreation Center. There will be a smattering of more tour dates throughout the fall, in the southwest and in California, listen in the future for more dates or check out mutualaiddisasterrelief.org.
Rebel Girl: Lastly, the 23rd annual Bay Area anarchist bookfair will take place from 10am to 6pm on Saturday, September 15, check out bayareaanarchistbookfair.com for more info.
Riot Dogg: And that’s it for this Hotwire. As always thanks to Underground Reverie for the music, thanks to Maya, our prisoner organizing friend, and our anonymous contributor for the interviews, and thank YOU for tuning in. Stay in touch with us by e-mail to podcast[AT]CrimethInc[DOT]com or follow us on Twitter @HotwireWeekly. Don’t forget to check out all the links, mailing addresses, and useful notes we customized for this episode at CrimethInc.com.
Rebel Girl: You can subscribe to The Hotwire on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, just search for The Ex-Worker. You can listen to us through the anarchist podcast network Channel Zero. Believe it or not, every Hotwire is radio ready, so feel free to put The Hotwire on your local airwaves. If you do, let us know so we can plug your station.
Riot Dogg: Stay informed. Stay rebel. Plug into the Hotwire. Ow oww…!
Crimethink is everything that evades control: the daydream in the classroom, the renegade breaking ranks, the spray-painted walls that continue to speak even under martial law. It is the persistent sense that things could be otherwise, that there is nothing natural or inevitable about the prevailing social order. In a world optimized for administration, everything that cannot be classified or displayed on a screen is crimethink. It is the spirit of rebellion without which freedom is literally unthinkable.