New arrests in Hamilton and Montreal: Updates and call for support

From Hamilton Anarchist Support

We write this just to give a quick update on the rapidly changing situation in Hamilton (traditional territory of the Chonnonton, Anishinabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples). Since yesterday, May 31 2018, three more people have been arrested in connection to the so-called Locke St riot: one was picked up by the SPVM in Montreal and was flown to Hamilton, where they are in custody awaiting a bail hearing, and the other two were arrested in Hamilton. One of these people is already out on bail and another will appear again on Monday. Further, the police released an additional three names of people against whom they have laid charges and are seeking to arrest. Charges against all six include mischief against property, unlawful assembly while masked, and variations of conspiracy and counseling to commit those things.

As anarchists, we want to be clear that we oppose all acts of repression aimed at those who resist oppression and exploitation. Police and prisons do nothing to address the fundamental injustices of this society and locking people in cages is a horrible thing to do. These systems continue to value property over people’s bodies. Solidarity to all those accused, regardless of their charges, and we call on everyone to show their support for these six people.

This is a large number of charges and a huge burden on our material and emotional resources. Our priority right now is getting everyone out on bail, which has so far been costing about $2000 per person (because justice, right?). We hate to be asking for donations again so soon, but the backlash against anarchists and their projects in Hamilton just keeps going on and we’re pretty tapped out. If you can, please make a donation at https://fundraising.the-tower.ca and encourage your friends and comrades to as well.

We’ll keep posting updates as they appear. Check out https://north-shore.info as well for a good source of up to date information about events and conversations in the region.

That said, we’re a pretty determined bunch and aren’t going to abandon our ideas or projects in the face of these attacks by the state. Of course, seeing your friends get arrested is scary, but watching people pull together to organize and defend each other and seeing how those charged hold themselves with courage and integrity is a powerful reminder of our individual and collective strength. 

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June 11, 2018 statement from Eric King

From June 11th

I’ve got a lot of shit to say. Not right now per se, but in general there is a lot I like to talk about, and a lot I want to get off my chest or vent about. The environment I currently am held in is not conducive to radical or ”liberal” conversation topics. Me lamenting about vegan food options isn’t an interesting topic here in the politically west coast. My tongue is developing callouses I bite it so much around here. You’ve gotta keep yourself cool and out of bullshit, and the best and safest bet for me is often the mute button.

This is why I love my support team, and why I love people who write and support me. They turn my mute button off, they un-muzzle me. I can laugh with the people who back me when a rogue Anarchist helicopter crashes itself to kill all the soldiers on board. I can celebrate Herman’s release, or cry over the loss of more Palestinian life. I can get challenged on my views and ideas, I can be heard and recognized as another human being with ideas and feelings and beliefs. Something that very rarely happens in here. It is one of the biggest blessings I have, being able to share stories, share feelings, and share life with other human beings that can see past these walls.

One of my long term friends/supporters has been doing this really amazing thing recently, that I feel can very much potentially help spread prisoner support, and that is posting my writings to different ‘write in’ things. Submitting my writings to different groups web pages or blogs or zines, any of it. To me this is huge because it gives an opportunity to reach beyond the die-hard prison support community. Maybe someone new will see a submission, which will lead them to my website, which maybe sparks their interest further and they check out Bill’s or Michael’s team, this helps the entire community. It gives the chance to reach more people, people who may haven’t cared before but reads this one time, and it changes everything. Spark a change in their mind, to let them know that the struggle doesn’t stop when we are locked up, that we don’t stop existing as actual people inside prison, as opposed to just prisoners existing.

Recently I have received letters from different college and MIDDLE SCHOOL classes. Their teachers have encouraged them to reach out to political prisoners to further understand different struggles and what people go through while in prison. Isn’t that fucking amazing? Those teachers are doing what our support teams do, what our comrades do, spreading our voices and our stories, which carries the struggle past these walls, which hopefully inspires a deeper interest in ending prisons and supporting people who have fought against the system that holds them up. There is so much potential in being able to spread our voices this way.

Reaching outside our own community feels to me like an incredibly valuable, and important aspect of prison support. I want my mom to recognize Jennifer’s name, I want my non-political friends to know who Sean or Sol or Marius is. That is important. The more our teams and supporters spread our stories and our words, the more chance we have of getting more support and more anger towards this system. The more support we have the further our voices spread, the more we are shielded from our enemies in blue, the more we are kept human.

Thank you to everyone who has supported anyone behind bars..fist raised for Herman.

Until all are free…
EK
(A)
///

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June 11, 2018 statement from Michael Kimble

From June 11th

Revolutionary salutations to Marius Mason and all long term anarchist prisoners being held captive by the state, and to all anarchists around the world.

My name is Michael Kimble and I am a long term anarchist prisoner in the state of Alabama. I’ve been imprisoned for thirty-one years and throughout my imprisonment I’ve been engaged in the fight against authority and domination, and the how-to end this miserable existence.

Throughout this fight I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no clear cut way to bring this nightmare to an end and to sustain our movements, and projects except through building relationships involving everyday life. Building relationships builds trust, loyalty, understanding and cohesion. Cohesion is what is going to sustain us, our movements, projects and comrades behind the walls.

We only have to project the principles of anarchism such as mutual aid, cooperation, a healthy dose of hatred for all forms of oppression, domination, authority and capital. Relationships based on a shared vision of struggle, but also accompanying all the above can be subversive. It’s simple, but difficult to practice due to our socialization into what we have now.

We, long term prisoners can do nothing other than fight back and survive. But to survive in a healthy way, we need our movements strong and healthy. And I think that we are on that road. The road to creation cohesion – community.

Shout out to all those around the world who have written to me, sent cards, commissary funds, shoes and most importantly making me part of your lives.

Smash The State!
Fire To The Prisons!
A Luta Continua!
Tuta Shinde Mbili Shaka
(together we can win without doubt)

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Chile: Comrade Tato (Natalia Collado) again in the streets!

From Act for Freedom Now!

In April 2015 comrade Tato was arrested along with Javier Pino, after being identified following the placing of an incendiary device on a public transport bus, which was almost empty.

After she was arrested, the comrade was sentenced to 3 years and one day in April 2016, and later she claimed her incendiary action.

For 3 years Tato was held in the prisons of San Miguel and San Joaquin. Because of her defiant attitude and a clash with the screws, she was sentenced again to a couple of months in prison for attacking a woman in uniform.

At last the comrade came back to the streets at the end of April 2018.

Warm and fighting greetings to her, as she is back to the streets again.

Translated from Italian by act for freedom now!

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JUNE 28: International Day of Solidarity with Eric King

From Support Eric King

June 28, 2018 is the second annual International Day of Solidarity with Eric King. June 28th, 2016 was the day that he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Now, two years later, he is able to share his story about the action that got him there.

We hope that you will join us in celebrating and showing solidarity for our friend by writing him, sending him books, spreading the word through banner drops or leafleting, or organizing a fundraiser or celebratory event.  Thank you for your continued support!


Kansas City is such a beautiful place in the summer. So hot that you can feel your lungs melting with every breath, but dim enough where the stars still shine through the city lights. Walking to Congressman Cleaver’s office, that is what caught my attention: the stars, a full 12 of them, were keeping me company on my journey.

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New posters & handbills for June 11th

From June 11th

One of the most important parts of the June 11th International Day of Solidarity with Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners is that we bring our ideas about solidarity into the world. By keeping our imprisoned comrades’ names on our lips and on our towns’ walls, we strike a small blow against the system of disappearance embodied by the prison system.

Each year, we try to create new posters, zines, handbills, stickers, radio programs, and other media to keep our solidarity alive and vibrant, always striking out in new directions and responding immediately to current circumstances faced by our comrades behind bars. Here’s some of what we’ve put together this year. Be sure to check out these ideas for how to use these materials. And if you have anything additional to contribute, email us at june11th [at] riseup [dot] net.

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On Slavery, Nat Turner, John Brown, and Drones: A Statement for June 11 from Sean Swain

From June 11th

In previous years, I have used the occasion of June 11 to roll out what I thought were pretty big ideas. In 2015, for example, I described how blastblog.noblogs.org had posted the home addresses of Ohio prison officials, including those who had orchestrated the torture regimen I endured at Mansfield. In that statement, opposing torture, I suggested that we collectively adopt a policy of self-defense against state terrorists, that when they torture us, we burn their cars and houses down; that when they stop the torture, we stop the burning.

The ODRC claimed that what I said constituted a threat to every single employee of the ODRC and their families. As what I wrote was a statement opposing torture, to me, it seems like something of an admission that every single employee of the ODRC was threatened. This means that even the ODRC recognizes that all of its employees participate in torture.

At any rate, as fate will have it, in 2017 when I undertook at 50-day hungerstrike, those home addresses were still posted. I have it on good authority that prison officials received death threats at their homes, at all hours of the night and day, phoned in from “exotic area codes.” I have also heard a rumor that, at one of those state terrorist’s residences, an item of property of significant value somehow ended up getting torched. I don’t know whose home, and I don’t know whether the significantly-valued property was a house or a car or even a barbecue grill, but I know this: After that piece of property got torched, state terrorists began negotiating an end to my hungerstrike and I got all of my communications restored. Continue reading

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Call for solidarity with Brian Valentino

A call for solidarity with anarchist comrade Brian Valentino who was arrested on May 1st in Indonesia and since has been beaten and tortured without access to legal aid.

Since the day of his arrest, May 1st until May 16th 2018, our comrade Brian Valentino who were beaten and tortured have been denied of his rights for legal advocate or lawyer. The police nor the legal aid haven’t gave us a clear reason for this, therefore we are not sure which institution has refused to help him.

To be clear, we received this information from Brian Valentino’s dad who has just visited him after a week, and confirmed that Brian has not been able to receive legal aid. Continue reading

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June 11: Statement from Jennifer Gann

From June 11

Insurgent greetings from behind enemy lines in so-called California (Amerikan occupied Chumash territory)!

First and foremost, a clenched fist salute to my imprisoned anarchist comrades in the U.S. and around the world!

It’s been 28 years since I was first incarcerated in 1990 for armed robbery. So, to give everyone a quick update on my personal history… I first entered the California prison system when it was racially segregated, and quickly became politicized after coming into contact with anarchists and abolitionists during the 1991 Folsom Prison Food Strike, for which I was sent to solitary confinement on “inciting” charges. As a young prison rebel in the early 1990s, I experienced the brutality and torture of solitary confinement first-hand, from beatings to gladiator fights to food deprivation and murders covered up by the corrupt pigs. I was defiant and resisted these inhumane conditions by single-handedly sabotaging and breaking 13 prison cell windows in the Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU) at Folsom. In retaliation for the beatings and torture I suffered, I attacked a pig and received 16 years added to my sentence! Subsequently, I was charged with possession of a weapon by a prisoner, battery on a state prosecutor during an attempted escape from the Sacramento courthouse, and assault with a deadly weapon on a prison warden, for which I was given multiple 25-year-to-life sentences. All of these events occurred more than 20 years ago, and I spent more than a decade in Pelican Bay SHU.

Now, in 2018, I have a new appeal under California’s Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012 which was “granted review” and is pending in the California Supreme Court. My attorney, Cheryl Anderson, says she expects me to be given a new hearing to determine if I will receive a sentence reduction and early parole date! The recent parole granted to long-time political prisoner Herman Bell gives me hope!

I’ve also recently filed an Application for Commutation of Sentence to California Governor Jerry Brown. The recent commutations of Chelsea Manning’s sentence and Oscar Lopez Rivera also give me hope for that!

I’m currently being reevaluated for sex-reassignment surgery (SRS) under California guidelines implemented as a result of lawsuits by trans prisoners Michelle Norsworthy and Shiloh Quine, seeking transgender healthcare.

I’m very grateful to my support team comrades for setting up a website and organizing an online legal fundraiser on my behalf to pay a legal consulting fee of $3000 to National Legal Professional Associates (NLPA). I appreciate all of the support and solidarity I’ve received, with special shoutouts and thanks to S—, N—, R—,S—, and I—.

I’m involved directly with Maine Anti Racist Action and Bloomington Anarchist Black Cross in bringing together a new anarchist prisoner initiative to build and strengthen our support networks, communications, and collective struggle. A fund and a paper are in the works to amplify the voices of imprisoned anarchist comrades in the U.S. specifically, and toward the concept of an anarchist prisoner conference in North America. We’ve reached out to Marius Mason, Michael Kimble, Eric King, Sean Swain, and Jeremy Hammond, among others, and I’m hopeful that we have a general consensus of the need for a new combative position toward anarchist insurgency, as expressed by our Greek comrades’ international call for Black December.

With that said, I want to express my heartfelt love and solidarity to our dear compañera Tamara Sol! Keep your head up sister! We want our freedom now and all prisons demolished immediately! ¡A la calle!

Solidarity to Antifascists!
Solidarity to Prison Rebels!

Love and Rage!

Jennifer

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“Your Vegan Option is to Take the Meat Off Your Sandwich”

From Support Eric King

Eric is currently engaged in a long-running fight for adequate vegan food at FCI Florence. Every day there is some degree of struggle with the kitchen staff from the constant dairy and eggs served, the meat on his tray to the guards laughing as he is served soy mush “enjoy your VEGAN slop”. When the facility is locked down or on a holiday schedule prisoners get “sack dinner” which is a bologna sandwich with cheese, Eric included. When he asks for a peanut butter sandwich (which is easy, no assembly required, a single serving of peanut-butter and two pieces of bread) he is told, “Oh we are 100% compliant, your vegan option is to take the meat off your sandwich”.

With the constant barrage of lock-downs there are weeks in which prisoners do not even have access to commissary which is necessary to supplement the BOP’s idea of vegan nutrition. So, lock-downs can often mean living without the knowledge of where food is going to come from.

Eric has filed a complaint on both the quality of the food which is not compliant with BOP regulations for a vegan tray, and the lack of vegan options. Eric is aware the “soy” he is fed comes without a label to confirm it is in fact vegan (a problem in the past). His complaints were denied, and he is now moving to the next level which is filing a complaint to the regional office and he plans to take this as far as it needs to go until there’s substantive change.

*Update*

EK submitted a BP-9 about this issue, which is essentially the second step in filing a complaint when it is not addressed.  The BP-9 goes to the warden and asks them to address the situation. It read as follows:

“No where on the National Menu does it say ”soy chunks” or ”soy in water”. On March 12th There was no fruit given, which is against the menu plan. On March 11,12,16,18, and 25, I was served group up soy with no seasoning or additives. The menu says ‘pasta soy’, ‘soy ziti’, ‘soy fajitas’, etc. That is what I am supposed to be getting, and that is not the case. The BP-8 response from the kitchen does nothing to address this issue. It’s been happening for months despite me bringing it to the kitchen boss and being assured it would end, this was over 2 months ago. Will be BP-10 and Law Suit Accordingly”

And here is the warden’s response, clearly ignoring his complaints:

“Your request for Administrative Remedy dated March 25, 2018 and accepted in the A.R. Program on March 27, 2018 has been reviewed. You allege the institution is not providing meals in accordance with the National Menu and policy. Specifically you allege that there was no fruit served on March 12, 2018 and that ”soy chunks” have been served instead of the proper no meat alternative, and that the soy products being served are not seasoned. As relief, you request to be provided with soy meat loaf or tofu lasagna as the no-meant alternative served..”

“..the no-meat alternative served at the institution is in compliance with the national menu. Soy meat loaf and tofu lasagna are not offered as an alternative on the 5 week menu cycle. The use of soy chunks as well as all non-meat options, are purchased from approved vendors adhering to strict specifications”..

Please join us in supporting Eric through this time, drop a letter in the mail and please be alert that in the future Eric may need you to take action regarding this particular issue. Thank you so much for you continued support.

In solidarity –

EK defense crew

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