Ferrara Prison, Italy: Update on censorship / Anarchist comrade Nicola Gai in isolation

Posted on Insurrection News:

(31.03.17): We have learned from our correspondence with anarchist comrades in the AS2 [high security] of Ferrara prison, that with the renewal of censorship over the past three months, the censorship of their correspondence has started again, and many of their letters have been seized.

In addition to this, they have informed us that comrade Nicola Gai may have been placed in isolation. We are waiting to get all the facts, we will know more as soon as we are able to visit the comrades.

(via Anarchist Black Cross Italy, translated by Traces Of Fire)

Charles Sims Africa: Latest Parole Board Decision

March 24, 2017

I was seen in December of 2016, and on January 2017 a decision was rendered giving me another two years. I will be reviewed again in 2018. But the thing is, I won’t be reviewed again because I refuse to see them. I am done with this charade. I will continue on in a course that involves legal action via a Habeas Corpus and a lawsuit against all Board members in their individual capacities. It is quite clear that these modern day Gestapos are only interested in persecuting me and others. Their reasons for my latest denial is that I, “refuse to show remorse and take responsibility,” etc. etc. Well, I proclaim my innocence and I was sentenced to 30 years; that minimum sentence (by law) IS ALL THAT IS REQUIRED AS LONG AS ALL PROGRAMS ETC ARE COMPLETED. The Board has for years manipulated a statute pertaining to parole and tried to say that it is not a “Constitutional” issue. Well, it is a constitutional right to be paroled after one has completed their minimum. I will send copies of my papers to everyone as soon as they are completed and filed. Some of the legal issues will be complicated, but in the end it will clearly be seen that these people (involved in parole, the prisons and the courts) have been perpetrating a fraud and issuing sham justifications for denying parole to people.

I am confident that I (we) can beat these people and get out of prison! I appreciate all the support given to me in any way possible. I won’t waste any more time seeing them twisted sadists; fuck them. I apologize for such language, but its all I can say right now…

I took a few weeks to prepare this because I was sent to a few hospitals the last couple months for eye surgeries and I was out of it for a lil while. I will be right back at you soon.

Free all PPs and end all violence against women!
Love,
Chuck Sims

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For April 2017 Is Now Available

From Prison Books Collective:

Hello Friends and Comrades,

1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for April.(11″x17″ PDF, 519KB) Also available in color here, and as a shareable PNG here (imgur link). Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night. Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.

2. This month’s poster comes hot on the heels of a Week of Solidarity Against Repression. Join with others in your community to show that resistance to the Trump regime will not be cowed by the repressive actions of the state against its sworn enemies.

3. A special thank you to the designers of this month’s poster. Designers are constantly bombarded with requests to work their trade for free, for publicity, or for a cause, and every month the PPBD Posters project relies on their generosity of time, skill and devotion to the cause of prison abolition. Cheers to Patrick for putting this month’s rad poster together.

4. Do you need help advertising for your local Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night? Are you interested in distributing physical copies of the poster? Write to us and let’s find a way to get physical copies of our poster to you: ppbirthday@riseup.net

5. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, [##]KB) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Lynn Stewart, Marius Mason, Krow, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Political Prisoner Birthday Crew

Thunderclap against prison visits cut on March 28th

There will be a ‘thunderclap’ on March 28th to urge Governor Andrew Cuomo not to restrict prison visits in New York State. If you are on facebook or twitter, you can participate by having Thunderclap post to your page or tweet. The more, the better! Please check out the link below and participate in the Thunderclap.

https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/54561-gov-cuomo-please-savevisiting

Join the Thunderclap to save visiting at maximum security prisons in NY State.

More:
Join a partnership of advocates to support and strengthen visiting by joining a Thunderclap campaign to urge Governor Andrew Cuomo not to reduce the visiting days for people incarcerated at maximum security prisons in New York State. Thunderclap will send out tweets and Facebook messages on the same day, March 28, to draw attention on social media to the need to support visiting and encourage people to take action.

Background:
https://nycabc.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/action-alert-against-gov-cuomos-proposed-nys-visitation-restrictions/

Petition:
https://www.change.org/p/governor-cuomo-don-t-restrict-visits-in-nys-prisons

 

Flyers and images to share:

Confront the “March 4 Trump”

DABC Note: We will be providing a jail support line for all leftist comrades that attend. We encourge all of you to be there. We got your back! #DefendDenver
—————————————————————————————————

From Denver Action Network:

fucktrump

Saturday, March 4 at 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM MST
Colorado State Capitol

On March 4th in the capital of the US, there will be a gathering and march for Trump supporters. Just as Trump’s fascist agenda has emboldened white supremacists and misogynists everywhere, this march is sure to attract the worst of the country’s authoritarian shitheads.

Along with the March in DC, a number of local “March 4 Trump” events have been announced throughout the country.

We are calling on antifascists, anarchists, and anti-authoritarians everywhere to resist what is sure to be an open display of racism and misogyny. While some argue that confronting fascists in the streets will only draw attention to them, we know better than to remain complicit. Fascists don’t deserve a single outlet or forum to promote their disgusting ideology. Events like these empower and embolden these scum to further organize.

These events are being organized in an attempt to make it appear that Trump has widespread public support despite massive anger building against him, and seeks to use his supporters as an auxiliary army against rising social forces that are physically confronting Trump and his policies. Trump and his administration represents a disgusting pro-corporate and pro-billionaire agenda that seeks to push neoliberalism to its authoritarian conclusion while destroying the environment, privatizing everything, attacking immigrants, Muslims, the trans and queer community, and the poor and working-class as a whole.

Let’s not let these marches go unopposed.

Nazis in Denver have stated they are planning on attending.
Mask up, wear all black! #blackbloc

Meeting at Civic Center Park, west of Broadway14th @10am. After we gather numbers, we’ll walk to the Capitol to confront the march.

The Problem of “Peaceful Protesters”

From It’s Going Down:

fuckpeacfulprotest

“I’m not a protester. I’m violent.”
-Masked Rebel in Ferguson

Along with voting, in today’s society protesting peacefully is often held up as one of the only ways that everyday working-class and poor people can change the world. This is a myth we are raised with, and since the time that we are very young, we are taught that peaceful protest helped bring about massive changes in this country and remains the only way in which people can correctly pressure the government into addressing problems and grievances. This myth has gone on to become a framework that not only criminalizes and normalizes repression, but also helps to generalize the policing and shaming of various tactics of resistance in social struggles. If we are to create a movement that can not only push back against broad attacks but create a new way of living, this false notion of “peaceful protesters” is going to have to be completely destroyed.

A History of Violence

When someone says that non-violence has been the only way that human beings have changed the world, they’re fucking lying. 

Across the world and across history, oppressed, marginalized, poor, and working-class people have used a variety of tactics to further their goals and fight back, and this includes things that could be considered violent. Overall, this means that when people refuse their roles within society and instead force the system into a state of crisis, that’s when we can create a situation in which we can forward our own agenda. This often means that people refuse to do the things that allows the system to reproduce itself. In the case of workers, people strike. In the case of renters, they go on rent strike. For the poor, they refuse to be passive: they riot. In the case of all, they defend themselves against the violence of State repression and the police: they fight back. 

Throughout American history mass defiance to governance and the police is what led to historic changes in the cases of both the Labor Movement and the Civil Rights struggle. In both instances, mass, disruptive, riotous, and at times violent tactics were key in pushing the State to grant massive reforms. Furthermore, disruptive elements often catapulted reformist and non-violent organizers into a position to negotiate with the State and push through changes. Thus, if it wasn’t for violence or the threat of it, leaders such as MLK wouldn’t have become so prominent.

We should also keep in mind that our enemies have also used a variety of tactics in order to ensure that white supremacy and patriarchy have stayed firmly in place. For instance, a combination of white racist terror in the form of the Ku-Klux-Klan, which was backed by wealthy land owners along with the formation of White Citizens Councils helped defeat Reconstruction in the South and paved the way for the legalization of Jim Crow.

State repression has also used a variety of violent tactics in order to ensure that resistance movements were decimated and State authority and control was returned. For instance in 1990, the FBI with the help of local police and corporate officials, blew up the car of Earth First! and IWW organizers Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney, in order to stop their efforts to both unionize loggers and fight to protect old growth forests. In the 1960s, the FBI worked to destroy groups such as the Black Panthers through COINTELPRO and used a wide variety of tactics, up to out right assassination to destroy the black liberation struggle, anti-war movement, and radical Left.

In short, both racist reactionaries on the far-Right, the State, and movements for liberation have used a wide diverse array of tactics in order to fight both each other, and for their own power.

To imply anything else is to ignore reality and deny history.

The Myth and Image of Peaceful Protesters

In the daily reporting of the media, in the eyes of the police, and in the minds of millions of liberals, “peaceful protesters” are the basic building blocks of a “successful” push to change the status-quo. Across the social landscape, peaceful protesters are celebrated as the ‘only’ people who are listened too and who historically have been able to change the way the world functions. In many ways, the positive vision of ‘peaceful protesters’ also paints a rosy image of the ‘respectable government,’ which supposedly has its ear to the ground for concerns, listens politely to all those that are not rude, and grants the wishes of those who ask nicely.

Thus, peaceful protesters are celebrated for not disrupting society or physically becoming combative with the established order, while all those who actually do so are demonized by the State, the media, the Left, and attacked by the police.

We see this playing out in a variety of ways. In the media, reporters are always quick to give accolades to protests when they are symbolic, contained, and peaceful. When asked for comment by the police, the cops themselves will always give praise to “peaceful protesters” for policing themselves and making sure that disruptions and attacks on the normalcy of social peace do not happen. In many cases, we see many protesters returning this praise, going so far as to hug police and shake hands with them, “Thank you for protecting us,” they tell police who are there to make sure people don’t actually disrupt the normalcy of everyday life.

The media also always helps to divide protests into two camps: “peaceful” and non-protests, or riots. In today’s edition of The New York Times for instance, a headline reads, Peaceful Protest Is Not a Crime, as it discusses the various draconian pieces of legislation which are aimed at stopping people from blockading and disrupting freeways, roads, and pipelines.

Ironically, the whole point of these pieces of legislation is that the tactics they seek to criminalize are disruptive and confrontational, and thus dangerous, regardless of it they are ‘non-violent.’

Thus, liberals miss the point again. Any sort of strategy that seeks to physically shut down and block things from happening will be targeted by the State. It is not interested if things are “non-violent” or not, simply if they disrupt business as usual.

The State Has It’s Own Logic, And Not One of Non-Violence

In the minds of many peaceful protesters, they often believe that if they remain peaceful, the police will not attack them. They also surmise that if the police do attack them, then the police will be reprimanded for attacking the coveted “peaceful protesters.”

This line of thinking plays out in mainstream and Left media, as people will often write and say that police attacked “peaceful protesters,” in order to shock their readers. While many people believe that they are simply pointing out that the police attacked a crowd without provocation, what this does is simply draw a line between those that are disruptive and confrontational (who deserve to be attacked by the State) and those who are “peaceful,” (who deserve to be protected).

Furthermore, it also removes any real analysis of why the police would attack a protest to begin with, regardless of its makeup. For it already assumes that for the police to attack a peaceful gathering, this is somehow outside of the ordinary and uncalled for. It also reaffirms the status of the peaceful protester as the most sanctimonious creature in the universe, especially when compared to the hooliganistic being who riots, loots, punches Nazis, and start fires.

In reality, police attack peaceful demonstrations and actions all the time, not because they are violent or non-violent, but simply because the State views them as a threat and wants to shut them down.

Peace and Whiteness

The peaceful protester is both a convenient myth for the dominant system, as it is an archetype that it encourages people to strive for as it promotes that idea that only those who are non-disruptive will be listened to. There are peaceful protesters; those who are passive and submit to the authority of the State, and then there are rioters, hooligans, anarchists; those who fight, who destroy, who loot, who attack.

The racial overtones of these categories are clear. White, educated, and middle class people who already have more access and sway over institutions, who have been trained with the logic and morals of the dominant system in colleges and schools; are always more expected to be peaceful protesters. Meanwhile, black and brown youth who riot and fight back against the police also are likewise expected to simply be rioters and looters. In doing so, their actions are stripped of all reasons for acting and they are reduced to beings with animalistic urges; devoid of purpose other than being out of control.

We see this time and time again. When riots break out, elites always make the distinction that those that are physically fighting are not protesters and therefore are not legitimate. This is also how the black bloc is largely presented by the powers that be, as a body of people both in treason against the “peaceful protester” and also against whiteness itself. Instead of swallowing the State’s logic, let’s recognize this language for what it is: the State recognizing its enemies. It’s up to us to draw lines: who do we support? The State or those that resist it?

There is No Non-Violent Protest

The idea that any protest is non-violent is a total fantasy. The police are violent, the State is violent. To the police there is also always the immense threat that a protest (or any social situation) could leave the confines of symbolism and passivity and move into open confrontation and disruption with the established order; this is why they come to protests, to ensure that this doesn’t happen. To do this, they use the threat of violence. 

For instance, in Davis, California, a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos several weeks ago was shut down after a large crowd stood in front of the doors. Soon after the protest began, the Republican organizers pulled the plug out of fear of what might happen. Not surprisingly, Milo and Breitbart would go on to lie about what happened, claiming that windows were broken and this caused the event to be shut down.

On the other hand, others claimed that the event signaled a victory for non-violence and peaceful protesters, and rushed to show that in fact nothing was broken, as if to clear the good name of the people who demonstrated.

But in reality, it was the threat of physical fights and confrontation that forced the event to be shut down, even though in reality, it didn’t come to blows. And while sometimes we can win without carrying out certain actions, which is preferable, we must remember that it is the threat of our ability to do so that often allows us to win, not the ‘moral high ground’ or other made up nonsense that comes from the snake oil of non-violence.

Destroy the Myth of the Peaceful Protester

The sooner we destroy and leave behind the myth of the peaceful protester and stop holding it up as the archetype for all resistance movements, the better off all struggles for liberation will be.

Let’s not let the media define who we are and what we do. Let’s not allow the elites, corporate CEOs, and police brass to put us into categories of “good” and “bad;” “community” or “outside agitators.” All of this is bullshit and it comes from the State.

Let’s also remember that just because we reject non-violence doesn’t also mean that we worship or glorify armed struggle, being militant, or violent resistance, which is simply the other side of the same coin.

Instead, let’s work to popularize both self-defense against the State and far-Right forces, push back against liberal demonization of a diversity of tactics, and also work to promote strategies that win and build our power.

 

Michael Africa Sr Denied Parole

From Move 9 Parole:

Back in 2014 our brother Michael Africa Sr. went before the Pennsylvania Parole Board and was as expected denied parole. What was even more sinister with this parole denial was the fact that Michael was given a five year hit. One of the reasons cited was that Michael was considered a threat to the safety of the community at large. Back in 2015 Michael had appealed this denial and was granted an appeal hearing that took place in August of 2016. None the less after a six month wait Mike was finally given word that he was again denied parole. We know that Michael was given a one year hit the reasons for this denial hasn’t been cited yet but as usual we know the forces behind his denial.

A couple of weeks ago we brought to people’s attention the background of Mark Koch one of the newest members of the Pennsylvania Parole Board. We exposed in full Mr. Koch’s lifelong career in law enforcement and the special role he has played with the Fraternal Order of Police. We exposed to people the danger in having someone of such a long storied background in law enforcement voting over the potential release of parole for Move political prisoners. Mr Koch was one of the parole board members who recently voted against parole for Michael as was to be expected. The Fraternal Order of Police no longer have to lobby against parole for the Move 9 now that they have one of their members in place on the Pennsylvania Parole Board to do their work.

From 2012-2014 a former board member Randy Feathers voted against parole for the Move 9 stating in their denial’s that they were a risk to the safety of the community. Randy Feathers resigned from his position from the board due to himself being involved in the recent kiddie porn scandal with recently convicted disgraced former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane. A man that’s a risk to the safety of every child in the communities safety stated that our family risks a threat to the communities safety and cannot be paroled.

By the ending of the month our course of action will begin in the meantime we are asking people to sign and share the petition we have aimed at the United States Justice Dept. calling for a civil rights investigation into the case of the Move 9. People can sign the petition at https://www.causes.com/campaigns/92454-free-the-move-9.

Ona Move

The Justice And Accountability Campaign

For More Info

http://www.onamove.comhttp://www.onamove.com

Justice For The Move 9/Facebook

Move9Paroleblogspot.com