Empty the Cages: Former Political Prisoners Speak Out

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https://www.facebook.com/events/754237618050159/

Join ABC and political prisoner support chapters across the continent in our annual panel discussion featuring former U.S. political prisoners:

Thursday October 13th
Doors open at 6:30pm
Speakers 7-9pm
Location: Whittier Community Center, 2900 Downing St.

Spanning generations of political struggle for liberation in the U.S., we are proud to help host this panel that will prove to be informative, inspirational and will help us build a stronger movement of support around resistance to repression by the State.

Speakers:
Sekou Kambui
Daniel McGowan
John Tucker
More TBA
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Sekou Kambui:
Sekou is a New Afrikan/Cherokee former political prisoner who survived 47 years of incarceration. Throughout the 1960’s, Sekou participated in the Civil Rights movement, organizing youth for participating in demonstrations and marches across Alabama, and providing security for meetings of the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Sekou became affiliated with the Black Panther Party in 1967 in Chicago and New York. While in Detroit, he became a member of the Republic of New Afrika, before returning to Birmingham. Back in Alabama, Sekou coordinated community organization activity with the Alabama Black Liberation Front, the Inmates for Action (IFA) Defense Committee and the Afro-American People’s Party in the mid 1970’s. Sekou was also a soldier in the Black Liberation Army (BLA) during these years before his capture.

In 1975, Sekou was falsely arrested and charged with the murder of two white men: a KKK official from Tuscaloosa and a multimillionaire oil man from Birmingham. There was absolutely no evidence against him, only coerced testimony from individuals who subsequently recanted their statements. The judge refused to allow the recanted statements to be stricken from Sekou’s record. He continued the fight throughout his time in Prison. On June 30th, 2014, Sekou was released on parole.
———-
Daniel McGowan:
Daniel is an environmental and social justice activist from New York City. He was charged in Federal court on counts of arson, property destruction and conspiracy, all relating to two actions in Oregon in 2001, claimed by the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). McGowan was facing a minimum of life in prison if convicted when he accepted a non-cooperation plea agreement. His arrest is part of what the US government dubbed Operation Backfire; a coordinated, multi-state sweep of over 15 activists by the federal government who have charged the individuals with practically every earth and animal liberation action in the Pacific Northwest left unsolved. Many have considered this round up indicative of the government’s ‘Green Scare’ focus which has activists being arrested and threatened with life in prison. Many of the charges, including Daniel’s, were for crimes whose statute of limitations were about to expire. Daniel was released from prison on December 11, 2012.
———-
John Tucker:
John was one of five antifascists arrested in May 2012, after an altercation between white supremacists and antifascists in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park that left ten injured fascists, three of which needed hospitalization. The case of the Tinley Park 5 received an overwhelming amount of public support. Despite the fact that the meeting was organized by violent white supremacist organizations including the National Socialist Movement, Council of Conservative Citizens, and Ku Klux Klan, the state showed their cozy relationship with white supremacy by refusing the accused antifascist activist bail or a plea deal comparable to any other criminal defendant in Cook County. In January 2013 the Tinley Park Five accepted a non-cooperating plea deal. John Tucker was released in February 2014. As of September 2014, all of the TP5 are released.
———-
Donations are encouraged, and will go towards the 6th Annual North American Anarchist Black Cross Conference.

If you can’t make it and would like to help cover travel costs for the panel and the conference, please donate here!
https://fundly.com/na-abc-conference?showsteps=1

We’ll see you there!

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Minnesota Stands United Against White Supremacy

From Unicorn Riot:

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In August of 2015, a group by the name of “Minnesota 10,000 for Southern Heritage”, received a permit to rally at the capitol in support of the confederate flag.

A facebook event to counter-protest the permitted confederate flag rally, named Unity Against White Supremacy & the Confederate Flag, and organized by the IWW GDC (Industrial Workers of the World | General Defense Committee), drew the RSVP of over 400 people.

On the early morning of Saturday, September 5th, 2015, the counter-protest marched to the capitol from a location close to the site of Marcus Golden’s death by the bullets of St. Paul police officers.

Before the march took off to the capitol, a speaker announced that the confederate flag rally had been cancelled and that the action was victorious in not allowing space for racists.

While reaching the Christopher Columbus statue on capitol grounds, the crowd chanted of “tear it down”, referring to the statue, which is a representation of white supremacy to many of the participants.

Speakers ranging from Black Lives Matter organizers to Native Lives Matter to IWW and others spoke about the importance of collectively combating racism while a confederate flag was torn apart and burned.

Against the Charges. Against the Cops. Against the Nazis: Update from the struggle in Olympia, WA

From IT’S GOING DOWN:

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Sunday, August 30th:

In anticipation of the coming week, the city is covered in anti-police graffiti and posters, most prevalent is the statement: No Cops, No Charges.

Wednesday, September 2nd:

At a 2pm press conference, Thurston County Prosecutor/Pig Fucker Jon Tunheim announces that the state will stand behind their little piglet Officer Ryan Donald, who in the early morning of May 21st shot two unarmed black men. The men, Andre and Bryson Chaplin allegedly tried to defend themselves with skateboards after fleeing from an attempted shoplifting. The pigs, their masters and their cheerleaders decry these young men as “criminal thugs” in a thinly veiled racism. To add insult to injury (multiple gunshot wounds to be specific) not only is the state NOT charging the cop, but prosecutors announced they in fact will be charging Andre and Bryson for assaulting the Officer. At the end of the news conference protesters chant “Fire Officer Donald!”

The reason for this outrageous yet predictable decision is clear to us. The state is more interested in protecting property than it is in our very lives and in the lives of black people in particular.

In this light, we believe it becomes easier to understand why a lone pig would have plenty of incentive to attempt to murder two young black men to protect a case of beer. That case of beer can be interpreted as a representation of the property relations upon which this entire society is built. The shooting is just an extension of the racist violence which is integral to its maintenance. And in the words of scumbag Tunheim, “A police officer really can not afford to lose that fight, to just put it bluntly.”

Whether these men are guilty or not is irrelevant to us because we don’t accept the law. The law upholds structural white supremacy and capitalist exploitation. Therefore the police, who are so willing to murder us in the interest of defending this social order and enforcing this law, must be fought. The racist system which values a case of beer more than two young lives needs to be destroyed, by any means necessary. Fuck the law.

Thursday, September 3rd:

Hundreds rally at a speak out to protest the state’s decision and demand justice for Andre and Bryson. During rush hour a small group barricades a main intersection with caution tape and chain link fencing, taken from a new condo development being built downtown. The group then marches chanting “Black Lives Matter/Blue Lives Murder” and proceeds to block off another major intersection downtown for several hours while, nearby, black participants speak to the larger rally, sharing experiences of racism and police violence at the speak out.

Later in the evening, an old Ford truck recognized as a vehicle used by Neo-Nazis (often flying a Confederate flag), is sighted as it slowly and menacingly drives past a group of anti-racists gathering downtown. The group reacts quickly to the truck’s presence, and a rowdy, mostly masked group takes to the streets, pursuing the vehicle with pipes and bats in hand, chasing the truck off. As the group is pursuing the vehicle into the industrial areas near downtown, an OPD SUV speeds up to drive between the group and the fascists. The chant, “OPD, ON THE ATTACK, WHILE THE NAZIS HAVE THEIR BACK” cuts both ways, clearly. The group then continues marching through downtown Olympia, blocking traffic with debris, lighting off fireworks and tagging a cop car and the police station with “ACAB” (all cops are bastards) as well as writing “No Cops No Charges ACAB” on a statue in front of City Hall.

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It is believed that the Nazis identified in the Ford truck, later smash the windshield of a comrades car. Support funds are being gathered here.

Throughout the day, flyers are distributed promoting a Saturday march demanding “No charges against Andre and Bryson. No cops on our streets.”

Friday, September 4th:

Word circulates that Neo-Nazis are planning another rally in defense of the police the following evening. Either as a response to Saturday’s planned anti-police march or by coincidence, they proclaim their racist and paranoid intentions to “DEFEND THE NORTHWEST AGAINST THE LEFTIST SCUM AND THEIR JEWISH MANAGMENT”. Online they tellingly claim the states decision to not prosecute Donald as a “small victory” for white-supremacists. The call is posted on a fascist internet forum by known bonehead Jascha Manny. This is the same Nazi who led the rally on May 30th, when he and about ten of his racist friends were beaten down and chased out of town by a mob of armed anti-fascists.

This time Jascha promises he’s “EXPECTING A TURNOUT OF AT LEAST 100!!!” but after their prior humiliating defeat it is doubtful that anyone will heed the call. Still anti-fascists rally to once again defend Olympia from the threat of a Nazi convergence.

Saturday, September 5th:

By nightfall 50-60 anarchists and antifascists are assembled to drive the fascists out of our city once again. The group takes the street chanting “Nazis out of Oly/Fuck the police” and shoots off fire crackers. Rounds are made through downtown but if any Nazis showed up, they are careful to stay hidden. One man in a white truck tries to drive through the crowd and when asked if he likes the Nazis, responds “Yeah, I love Nazis!” and has his window broken.

A man on a motorcycle with a confederate flag is stopped as people try to remove the flag from the bike. He pulls out a baton and a fight ensues. At the end of the scuffle the flag is burned in the street and the man is taken away in an ambulance. If the June 17th mass-shooting in Charleston, SC didn’t make it clear once and for all, the confederate flag is a symbol of hate and should not be tolerated. Although white entitlement may not want to give up this emblem of “The good ol’ days” (which most associate with the pain of segregation, slavery and white terrorism), anyone who flies the confederate flag should expect to be confronted as a racist. This particular “rebel” learns this the hard way. Two American flags hanging from light posts are also taken down and destroyed.

As some suspected, the fascists don’t show for their promised rematch. Their call to arms ended with a desperate attempt to guilt other white supremacists in the region to show. It whimpered “Because if you’re not there this time, you might as well hang up your boots now…” Well, time to hang up those boots. Your hateful ideology has no place on these streets.

As the night progresses it seems that the lines between the anti-fascist rally and the scheduled anti-police march are blurry if they exist at all. One seems to meld into the other. Perhaps it is common knowledge among participants that white supremacy must be fought on all fronts. The group is heard chanting “Cops and Klan/Hand in hand” and “We want revenge” before attacking City Hall and the Police Station with bats, rocks and paint bombs, leaving its plate-glass windows splattered with red paint and spider-webbed with broken glass.

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The police use pepper spray and shoot pepper balls in an attempt to disperse the crowd. The march stays together for another few blocks, where people disperse safely. No arrests are made.

Olympia Police later report on social media “We try to stay pretty positive with our Instagram posts however we wanted to share with you what OPD is dealing with regarding the protests. Last night approximately 50 protesters marched the streets of downtown Olympia masked up and dressed in all black carrying weapons ranging from baseball bats to sticks to socks with rocks in them… At one point the protesters turned towards a patrol vehicle that was blocking traffic and started swinging bats while approaching it. Later, we received word that the protesters assaulted a man on a motorcycle and was (sic) beating him with a bat. While we responded to the victim the protesters continued on to City Hall and proceeded to use their weapons to break multiple windows and vandalize the building and patrol vehicles.”

Sunday, September 6th:

A hundred people march through Olympia in what is called a “March for Mothers” to show solidarity with the many families that have suffered at the hands of police violence and racism. They leave flowers behind the caution tape outside of the recently trashed city hall and place a sign reading “Justice must be served” in front of the boarded up entrance.

Tuesday, September 8th:

15-20 people occupy Thurston County Prosecutor Jon Tunheim’s office, disrupting the mornings proceedings of business as usual. Protesters tape signs up in the office declaring “Black lives matter” and “Drop the charges” and chant “Justice for Andre and Bryson”. The office employees and police are hands off in handling the disruption, perhaps in recognition of the volatility surrounding its recent decision and in an effort to avoiding escalation.

Conclusion:

There has been a powerful community reaction to this shooting and a broad diversity of tactics in how we have responded together. We see all of these gestures of support and solidarity as valuable in the fight against systemic racism and brutality. We seek to foster the mutual respect and collaboration necessary to become a real threat to those in power. We embrace all those who are active in this movement, not to advance their careers, and not to power monger for political legitimacy and control, but to do whatever is necessary to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.

A flyer distributed this week titled “Freedom Everywhere! Police Nowhere!” articulates our feelings well when it says “It must be made politically impossible for the city to prosecute Andre and Bryson.” This is a goal we can only achieve together. It continues “Our rage and rebellion is our weapon against this hellworld. Fuck the police, here and everywhere. The city council will never make this a safe place for any of us to live. There is no safety in a world with police.

As the state continues to prove it was never there for us, we seek to recover ways of supporting each other. The economy continues to keep us chained to varying levels of misery. The city does nothing to protect any of us from white supremacists, and in fact often hires them to its police force. Events of the last few months in Olympia have shown us that we can care for one another better than the state ever could. Who has supported the Chaplin family? Who ran Nazi bigots out of town? Who continues to keep our spirits up while every day new names of those killed by cops cross our Facebook and Twitter feeds? No candidate or institution will ever provide for us what we provide for each other.”

You can send financial support to Andre and Bryson here.

Fuck the Police forever.

-Some Olympia anarchists

Update on Eddien Patterson, Columbia Anti-KKK Arrestee

Posted on IT’S GOING DOWN:

From FreeEddien.wordpress.com:

We have just learned from Eddien’s Public Defender that he in fact can be bailed out despite violating his probation. His bail is $50K so we need $5K to bond him out. Eddien is currently doing okay in jail, but strongly wants to be bailed out and desires that all money be used for that first and later for his legal defense.

Eddien was initially charged with 2nd degree felony assault and battery by a mob as well as 3rd misdemeanor assault and battery. He also has the additional charge of Breach of Peace of a High and Aggravated Nature for allegedly breaking the windows of a KKK member’s pick up truck.

You can donate to Eddien’s defense/bail fund here here. Benefits of any kind are welcome–if you want to get in touch with us about any details shoot us an email at free.eddien@gmail.com.

Background:
Eddien was one of six arrested at an anti-KKK demonstration on July 18th in Columbia, SC. On that day around 2,000 people showed up to confront the Klan, whose rally was cut short out of concerns for “public safety.” In a historic show of opposition, a rowdy and diverse crowd of gangs, black nationalists, anarchists, and various anti-racists humiliated the Klan and their Nazi counterparts and literally chased them out of town. A short zine about the demonstration can be found here.

November 7-8, 2015: 2nd Annual Torch Anti-Fascist Conference in Philadelphia

From the Torch Network:

torchlogoThis November 7th and 8th Antifa Philadelphia is proud to host the 2nd annual Torch Antifascist Network conference. The Torch Antifa network is comprised of autonomous Antifascist groups who share information and resources. We expose, oppose and confront Neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, Anti-migrant and Anti-Choice groups and individuals, as well as other bigots and fascists.

For more info on our analysis of fascism and our points of unity, as well as contact info for our chapters, go to our website.

We do not believe that these groups are a small problem. Thousands upon thousands of act of violence and discrimination are perpetrated in this country by people who belong to these organizations every year. Thousands more by people who may not hold formal membership from fear or laziness but have similar beliefs. These cases are isolated and minimized as much as possible because the media has no interest in vilifying sexists or white supremacists the way they do Muslims, Black people and environmentalists.

In reality groups like American Freedom Party, Blood and Honor USA and the KKK recruit, train and embolden the “lone wolf” shooters, bombers and bashers. They also profit from it in money and privilege while injecting their racist, sexist and homophobic analysis into the mainstream political dialogue and making any sort of better world impossible.

The tactics of Torch and groups like us have proven effective time and time again for years all over the world for neutralizing our enemies organizing abilities and recruiting methods. Because Antifa represent another example of people power trumping state authority, specifically its desire to coddle racists and fascists, repression for Antifascists has become a normal expectation. This, partnered with the danger represented by the Fascists themselves, makes attending this conference all the more crucial.

We are calling on all Anti-Racists, Anti-Fascists and egalitarians to join us in Philadelphia this fall to Network and socialize and maybe get involved in Torch.

This conference will include both a public and private portion. The public portion will be open to all interested (no Fascists, obviously). More information on exact events will be released as the conference approaches. The private portion will be only for Torch Network members and potential members who have been vouched in. So crews looking to join the network should contact us via the closest chapter to you (contact info below) as soon as possible.

Housing is available to vouched Antifascists. Food will be provided at the public events.

If interested in attending the conference, send us an e-mail at PhillyAntifascists@gmail.com with “Torch Conference” as the subject line.

In Solidarity,

Antifa Philadelphia and the rest of the TORCH Antifa Network

TorchAntifa.org

Solidarity action for Kolchenko and Sentsov in Helsinki

From ABC Helsinki:

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Today, Saturday the 29th August 2015, we participated in the international solidarity week and went around with few people in Helsinki demanding freedom for Aleksander Kolchenko and Oleg Sentsov, who got really long prison sentences few days ago.

Below the text from our leaflets, which we were spreading in Finnish, English and Russian.

– Helsinki Anarchist Black Cross

Free Kolchenko and Sentsov!

Alexander Kolchenko is sentenced to 10 years and Oleg Sentsov to 20 years in prison. They were both charged with committing ”acts of terrorism” and ”belonging to a terrorist community”.

Kolchenko, a Crimean anarchist, social activist and antifascist was kidnapped by the Russian FSB (ex-KGB) along with other Crimean activists and held as a political hostage in Lefortovo jail in Moscow up till now. Alexander has undeniably proved his antifascist stance over many years, but faced preposterous accusations of belonging to “Right Sector”, a radical Ukrainian right-wing organization, whose real role in Ukrainian events is blown out of proportion by Russian official propaganda.

The case against antifascist Alexander Kolchenko and civil activist and film director Oleg Sentsov (investigators enrolled them into the same ”terrorist” group) is political. The whole case is considered to be part of the Russian campaign to take over Crimea, which includes repressions against anyone who doesn’t comply with the new authority. It is meant to intimidate inhabitants of Crimea, prevent any resistance on the peninsula. Many people were obliged to leave Crimea because their life and freedom were threatened.

It is important to spread information about this case. We need to dissociate ourselves from any forces that support aggressive expansion of Russian nationalism, even if they cover it up with “leftist” and “anti-imperialist” rhetoric. Putin’s regime is doing just fine without your sympathy, better save it for those who have become its victims.

No one is free until all are free!

1. Repressions against Crimean activists: political context (also the bank accounts for donations) –

https://avtonom.org/en/news/repressions-against-crimean-activists-political-context

2. The call of international solidarity campaign in April –

https://avtonom.org/en/news/join-international-solidarity-campaign-alexander-kolchenko

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Coyote Acabo Support Fund

From Puget Sound Anarchists:

coyote-sheffCoyote Acabo is an anti-racist organizer and parent who is being charged with a felony over events related to anti-racist actions in Olympia. This fundraiser‘s goal is to raise money for his legal support and all excess money will go toward supporting his child.