Fire Ant is a new publication focused on spreading the words of anarchist prisoners and generating material solidarity for our imprisoned friends. Begun as a collaboration between anarchist prisoners and anarchists in Maine, Fire Ant seeks to raise material aid for anarchist prisoners while fostering communication between anarchists on both sides of the walls.
Issue #1 contains writings by Michael Kimble, Jennifer Gann, Eric King, and Sean Swain, as well as a text in solidarity with Marius Mason.
Amidst the early morning fog on the 22nd of June we immobilized and sprayed up multiple pieces of heavy construction equipment along US 220 in North Carolina. An excavator, a bulldozer, and a number of front loaders all tasted exquisite venom, by way of maple syrup and bleach. Fire extinguishers on-site were also rendered useless.
This tiny act of attack was taken against the proposed construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate, as well as the destruction of numerous acres of forest in the clearing of the new I-840 corridor.
For the defense of Nature from Capital and civilization
For attacking the instruments of ecological annihilation
In the early hours of the 8th of June we immobilized an earth mover in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at a new development project.
This small gesture was taken in solidarity with la ZAD of Notre-Dam-des-Landes, France, where rebels have fought to maintain an autonomous zone, free from the state and it’s plans for almost a decade.
The ZAD was first occupied 9 years ago to prevent the construction of a recently abandoned airport project and has inspired eco-rebels across the world, especially it’s inspiring defense against ‘Operation Ceaser’, a massive eviction attempt in late 2012.
Once again la ZAD is facing a fresh wave of repression, in the form of intense both police violence and a recuperative negotiation process which seeks to tame and legalize the uncontrolled zone.
For the defense of territory against the interests of capital
For sabotage against the instruments of ecological devastation
Dear international anarchist thugs, illegalists, casseurs, and defenders of wildness,
we are reporting live from Philadelphia. An attack has just been made, throwing a wrench in the cogs of the machinery of progress… well more literally some wires were cut and windows smashed on one of their bullshit bulldozers.
We have word that this attack was done in solidarity with the ZAD and Camp White Pine (hi!) both of which are facing their own local bullshit bulldozers. The attackers have also sent rebel greetings to area anarchists who’ve been keeping it live (and especially those who share the specifics of their attacks to allow others to reproduce them).
Fuck work Fuck progress
Signing off for now, Team Illegal
Contra Info note: Sunoco workers cut down trees used by Camp White Pine in their ongoing resistance to construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline (Pennsylvania, USA).
Call for an International Day of Solidarity with Inauguration Day Defendants on January 20, 2018
On January 20, 2017, tens of thousands of people greeted President Donald Trump’s inauguration with large protests ranging from creative blockades to militant street actions. Among the demonstrations that day was an “anti-capitalist and anti-fascist bloc” led with banners reading “No Peaceful Transition” and “Make Racists Afraid Again”. In response to the protest, police violently attacked and encircled nearly ~230 people, arresting them for allegedly committing or being in the proximity of property damage.
After a series of indictments and legal maneuvering, around 200 people were ultimately charged with six felonies (5 counts of property destruction and inciting a riot) and two misdemeanors (engaging in a riot and conspiracy to riot) each. This means that each of these people are facing 61 years in prison.
This unprecedented case is important because it is an attempt by the United States government to clamp down on the disruptive protests that spontaneously occurred in response to Trump’s election. The charges are intended to stifle active resistance and to send the message that resistance will not be tolerated at a time when it is needed more than ever. In many ways, the case is an experiment in expanding the repressive powers of the state, with prosecutors seeking to charge everyone as a group for the same handful of broken windows based merely on presence. Moreover, the police and other state actors are trying to redefine basic political organizing — holding meetings, planning protests, and marching as a group — as an act of conspiracy. This is part of an ongoing trend on both the national and international level of escalating repression directed at social movements in so-called “democratic” states. If the United States is successful in prosecuting social movements in this way, it will likely encourage other governments
to do the same.
As the Trump administration brings the world to the brink of disaster on an almost daily basis, it is important to stand with those in the United States who risked their freedom to oppose him from his first day in office. The Inauguration Day protests set the tone for much of resistance that would come and affirmed that the Trump administration and its far right allies would not be unopposed. Subsequently, people around the country used direct action to shut down nearly every international airport in the country in a historic protest that temporarily halted the new government’s anti-immigrant and islamophobic policies. Continuing this struggle into the courtroom, the majority of the defendants are working together to respond politically to these charges and are using this case as a way to build connections between different places and different struggles.
In response, this is a call for an international day of solidarity on January 20, 2018. Solidarity actions from around the world have warmed the hearts of defendants at a time when they are facing intense repression. Moreover, they are part of a political praxis that recognizes we are engaged in a shared struggle that transcends borders.
We ask for solidarity not as an act of charity, but as a gesture towards shared complicity in the effort to resist the Trump administration and the future it seeks to impose.
Walter Bond – the Animal Liberation Front political prisoner – has started a hunger strike to protest mistreatment in prison
The comrade is in the SHU (solitary confinement) and is only permitted use the phone for 15 minutes per month. Walter has been on hunger strike for 6 days in prison.
Statement from Walter Bond recorded by the North American Animal Liberation Press Office on 11/15/17 : soundcloud.com/rufrebelradio/urgent-message-special-announcement-from-walter-bond-the-alf-lone-wolf
“Since my arrival in Greenville two-and-a-half years ago, my communications with the world have been made incredibly difficult and at times impossible. I have been repeatedly denied books, magazines, letters and pictures. It’s standard operating procedure that my mail – be it my email or snail mail — is habitually days, weeks and even months late. It is not at all uncommon for my mail, both incoming and outgoing, to simply never arrive.“
“I’ve been…I’ve even been denied copies of my own book, “Always Looking Forward,” which I wrote in prison and is approved for me to have.”
“It has also become impossible for me to adhere to my Vegan diet, because none of the so-called “meat options” offered at Greenville, Illinois are even close to Vegan. Because of this, I have been forced at great cost to my friends, family and supporters to pay outrageously for foods from the commissary that continue to be an inadequate version….”
“I have tried now for over a year to obtain a transfer from FCI Greenville, Illinois closer to New York City where I intend to live upon my release, but I have been denied this as well through petty and irrelevant disciplinary reports.”
“Despite all of this, I have maintained years of patience, quietly awaiting my freedom. But, my cooperation has got me nothing.”
“So in the tradition of A.L.F. activists before me, such as Barry Horne, I am going on hunger strike. I will not eat anything and will starve until these issues are remedied.”
“I’m asking everybody in the Animal Rights and Anarchist communities to stand with me with your protests and actions of solidarity.”
“You can reach the institution concerning my health and well-being at (618) 664-6200.”
The week is being held to raise awareness of a case in which ~215 comrades in the United States were arrested during demonstrations against the inauguration of Donald Trump. They are facing very serious charges and several decades in prison.
Banner drop in solidarity with the comrades who once again clashed with the patriotic mob that hit the streets of Berkeley on April 15th 2017. We don’t recognize any fatherland, we don’t kneel down before any national symbol, and we don’t dialog with any sort of fascists: we crush them!
on 4/11 part II of the AbolishColumbus music compilation was released. This comes on the heals of the week against repression but is a continuation of that struggle.
Locals of the so-called capital of Ohio [note – ‘the heart of it all’] are resisting the normalization of oppression by contributing to this compilation via www.thuh.podomatic.com
The plague of ignorance is a mental disease; that which heralds a child sex-trafficer, slave-master, venture-capitalist / imperialist as a namesake must be rebuked.
As far back as the 1990’s locals of central Ohio have worked to un-name this city. Now, musicians are joining in solidarity with AbolishColumbus to not only undo Christopher Columbus day but also the once namesake this place.
We are summoning 4/11 as ‘Columbus is Dead’ day. We are using ColumbisDEAD to remind touring ‘DIY’ bands and the international community that Columbus actually died on May 20th, 1506.
Volume 3 of our compilation will be released on 5/11 and we will be hosting a 6/11 potluck and listening party the following month.
A few nights ago we sabotaged about 50 parking meters by gluing their locks, coin slots, and card readers. This was a simple act which took no specialized skill. Get some superglue, cover your face, keep your eyes peeled for cops or loyal citizens, and act.
These parking meters were targeted because they fund the Bloomington Police Department and because they force people to pay to be downtown. We hate the police and we hate gentrification and class society, so we chose to attack them.
We act as a gesture of combative memory for Lambros Foundas, anarchist of Revolutionary Struggle killed by the forces of the Greek state on March 10, 2010. Our memory is not one of passive mourning or martyrdom, but of active struggle against the state, capital, and domination in all of its forms. The flame of Lambros’ life kept us warm as we walked through the winter night, and we will carry that flame with us in all parts of our lives, which are lived at war with this society of masters and slaves.
We send strength to all anarchist combatants held captive in the dungeons of the Greek state.
We send solidarity to all those facing the state’s latest attacks against squatters, anarchists, and refugees: we are inspired by your refusal to be paralyzed.
In the afternoon of November 24th 2016, we dropped a banner in Exarchia Square against the Dakota Access Pipeline, currently under construction in the US. This oil pipeline runs a distance of nearly 1,172 miles, from North Dakota to Illinois, and its cost is estimated to be around 3.7 billion dollars. In its destructive path, this mega-project is causing irreversible damage to territories, rivers and surrounding communities.
Among the affected areas is also Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota, where residents alongside people in solidarity resist the police, forces of the US army, and security guards of the groups assigned to construct the pipeline (Energy Transfer Partners being the main contractor). Repression has been so harsh over the last days, that among the hundreds who were injured there’s also an activist whose hand was amputated because of a concussion grenade fired by cops.
At the same time, there have been many actions of resistance in various cities across the US and beyond, with rail-track and train blockades, direct actions and symbolic gestures of solidarity.
We send strength to anarchist comrades and all others who fight in an anti-institutional, anti-hierarchical manner and without mediators against the construction of the pipeline, showing what it really is: one among the tentacles of domination draining the Earth.
Our opposition to this and any other mega-project of the techno-industrial civilization stems from the conviction that the Earth belongs to no one; from our need to defend by all means necessary everything that has remained untamed and wild in this artificialized world. Beyond any rhetoric of “ancestral” or “sacred” lands, we support the particular struggle until the liberation of the entire planet.
AGAINST THE OIL PIPELINE IN DAKOTA
ANATIONAL STRUGGLE AGAINST STATES, CAPITAL AND DOMINATION
The banner reads: “Freedom for Kara Wild, anarchist incarcerated in France”
On May 18th 2016 in Paris, in the context of combative protests against the new labor law, a patrol car of the French police was smashed and burned down. A week later, on May 26th, Kara Wild, an anarchist trans woman from the US who participated in the mobilizations, was arrested at a separate demonstration near La Place de la Nation. The prosecuting authorities accused her of participating in the smashing of the police car; since then, she is imprisoned in France and has been denied bond because she is considered a flight risk.
In the morning of November 25th 2016, we hung a banner at the Athens Polytechnic, on Stournari St., as a token of solidarity with Kara. We don’t care if she committed the “offense” she is accused of. For us, smashing and burning cop vehicles, in France and everywhere, is not only right but of utmost necessity.
Below is a statement that longterm anarchist prisoner Sean Swain sent for the presentation by comrades from Bloomington ABC on November 23rd 2016 at Gini building of the Athens Polytechnic School in Exarchia, Athens. The comrade’s words were read out loud in English and Greek, and printouts of his text were shared during the discussion against prison society, organized by Themistokleous 58 Squat and Contra Info.
Greece and the Dignity of Rebellion
Before I give you the wrong impression that I’m placing undeserved blame on you, I think I should probably begin by revealing that I am a big fan of Greek anarchists. It seems like every single photographic image I see of rebels with bandanas covering their faces or donning black ski masks, every snapshot of police cars tipped onto their tops and blazing away, all come from Greece. In fact, I am such a fan that I consider it the biggest achievement of my life that I wrote a statement in support of Black December posted on 8 December last year, and 5 days later Greek rebels burned down a military building and quoted me. That is a benchmark in my life. I brag about it. I’m impossible to be around. I tell everyone who will listen to me that I wrote a statement and Greek anarchists quoted me after torching a military building.
It makes me want to write a thousand more statements in hopes that you will burn a thousand more buildings.
So, I say all that as context so what I say next won’t hurt your feelings…
Greece brought about swivilization. It all started in Greece. You Greeks refined this hierarchy program, developed democracy as its most appealing form, fashioned great works of art to decorate it—mostly depicting naked people, which really attracted the attention of the rest of the world—and you exported the program on great fleets of sailing vessels.
Fastforward, we now have a global slavery system where we all drag stones up the side of some rich asshole’s pyramid and the vast majority of us do not have the imagination to think that there could be anything better than democracy. We live in a world run by banksters and industrial sociopaths engaged in the mass destruction of everything living, including us.
So, it seems more than appropriate to me that, in the birthplace of swivilization, we now witness its assassination. In Greece, out of all the geographic spaces of the world, we now find the most determined, the most energized, the most radical resistance to swivilization, to this program that distorts and murders us in installments.
It started in Greece. It’s ending in Greece.
Please don’t think I say this in an effort to flatter you. I’m terrible at flattery. I’m great at talking myself into trouble. So, this isn’t flattery, but, I think, a fairly objective observation: The experiments in resistance that you have pushed forward, the strategies and tactics, the theories you have explored, all of this has become communal property for the rest of the world. Even now, as we just begin to find our own way, stumbling along, anarchists in the United States and other places in the world, divided as it is into artificial nation-states, we look to you. We see what you have done.
Not to make excuses for us in the United States, but part of our inaction, I think, is as a consequence of seeing what you have accomplished, how far you have pushed, and we think, whether correctly or otherwise, that such resistance isn’t possible here. We are paralyzed, I think, by a sense that we cannot do what you have done, that somehow the situation or the “conditions” in the United States are different, that the surveillance is too pervasive, the potential sanctions too overwhelming, the social climate too pacified. And so, we sit in front of our computers and log on to watch the footage of Greeks wild-eyed and screaming, chasing the bewildered pigs who run for their lives, the hierarch order trembling at the knees, and we dream.
You must be wondering, Where are the Americans?
We’re coming. I’m certain that we are.
Just this month, millions of Americans voted against the established order that has failed them for their lifetimes. By the millions, they cast ballots, ostensibly for the candidate who will “change” everything, who will “shake things up,” because that candidate seemed to be talking for them, expressing their frustrations.
Giving them the benefit of the doubt that most of them are stupid rather than evil, they unknowingly voted in the most virulent fascist sociopath since Hitler and Mussolini, a fascist of the highest order whose lip service to the forgotten majority will yield to policies of war-mongering and corporate give-aways and “austerity” for the people. Those voters will soon have “buyer’s remorse,” when the fascist in whom they pinned their hopes betrays them thoroughly.
And where will the Americans turn? Will they turn back to the corporate parties that they rejected by the tens of millions, the same parties with the same failed ideas? Will they find a new hero with promises of glory and greatness, speaking much like the hero who drove the knife into their back?
No. They will turn to the example set elsewhere, the example of rejecting the imposed order, the images and ideas exported not on fleets of sea vessels but transmitted electronically via satellite, demonstrating the true dignity of rebellion.
The Americans are coming.
In just a matter of months, this docile and pacified population will be transformed by rage and fury, and will find voice in flames and blood. They will follow into a battle against this common enemy, going where many of you have already gone, and you will see faces covered in bandanas, concealed under ski masks, and you will see the police cars turned and burning, maybe even see the pillars of smoke rising as you look to the western horizon.
The Americans are coming. And when we do, we will be walking in the footprints left by Greek rebels who went before us.
On that day, the day of victory over our common enemy, we will all be Greek.
And we will all be free.
This is Anarchist Prisoner Sean Swain from Warren Correctional in Lebanon, Ohio, in the Fascist States of America. If you’re listening, you ARE the resistance.
On Wednesday noon November 9th 2016, at the junction of Tositsa and Bouboulinas St. in Exarchia, a white Volkswagen with the liscense plate IZY 5183 was spotted having on display the nazi newspaper Empros on the inside of the front windshield. A group of comrades mobilized fast and smashed up the vehicle.
We send isurrectionary signals to those who fuck up the streets in the US against the democratic election of fascist Trump.
Life in the modern civilized world comprises false representations, false patterns, and false formalities. Formalities that determine our upbringing within a family, our education, our professional career, our relationships, our emotions, our smiles or tears. Patterns that castrate the scope of our perception so that our thoughts are directed onto a moving walkway going only one direction. Representations that disguise the system’s functions and pathogenies so that we see life unfold only on stage, and never wonder what’s hidden backstage. So, the thousands of suicides of desperate debtors is just another statistic among the unpleasant consequences of the economic crisis, the impoverishment of the so-called third world is just an unfortunate fact, and its wounds will heal by charity organizations, the countless dead of modern crusades, the unfortunate victims of the absurdity of war, and the convict slaves in American prisons are simply antisocial elements that provide social services to Democracy.
Prison itself is exile from life; a non-place and non-time behind the screen of a decent society, to make the ugliness that bothers the eyes of reputable citizens unseeable. Prisons are a proof of the perverse intelligence of authoritarian minds. They’re built onto walls echoing the screaming and weeping of thousands of people who’ve learned to sleep with anguish and despair. Prison is the country of captivity, the country where one learns to kneel before the “Forbidden”, a landfill for the disposal of human waste, an industrial dump where the social machine’s hazardous waste ends up. For most people, however, for all those who never learned to doubt, to question, to look beyond the obvious, prison is a security wall necessary to protect their peaceful and quiet life.
It’s certainly hypocritical on the part of a society to display the supremacy of its democratic civilization, its humanitarian values and social sensitivities so vulgarly, when those deemed unfit to exist within the same society are piled up in souls’ warehouses. But it’s infinitely more hypocritical, and infuriating at the same time, to turn these imprisoned existences, these living dead, into a marketable value through a modern and sophisticated slave trade.
Yet this is the reality for nearly 2.5 million inmates in US prisons, whom the modern Empire has turned into slaves. These prisoners-slaves are the lowest caste of social margins. They don’t only experience the cruelty of captivity, but are condemned to lose their human beingness altogether; to become slaves in the modern galleys of American hellholes to the financial benefit of privatized prisons and multinationals that, using part of this dirty money, support election campaigns of various politicians who promise order and security to their voters. In turn, the voters—predefined coefficients in a rigged equation—fulfill their role, and the solution is always obedience. That’s exactly why the happiest slaves are the greatest enemies of freedom.
But there are other slaves who aren’t so happy. They are the “fallen angels” in a society whose authoritarian perversion treats humans as cogs. But these human cogs are slowly turning against this very society. Throughout the US and the prisons in that territory, an increasingly growing whisper starts to spread. On September 9th, this whisper is transformed into an angry cry of freedom, screaming in the face of the almighty corrections system the ancient cry of rebellion: “Non serviam – I will not serve.”
September 9th is a landmark day for inmates in American prisons because 45 years ago, on September 9th 1971, the fire of Attica prison was lit. Nearly 1,500 prisoners rioted, took jailers hostage, and put forward a series of radical demands. Power replied with zero tolerance: four days later, on September 13th 1971, New York state troops stormed and retook the prison. The crackdown took a heavy toll, killing almost 40 (about 30 inmates and 10 hostages) and wounding 89 others. Because of this exact symbolic character, September 9th is a landmark day for the new coordinated prisoner mobilization, too.
Struggles as this one, despite their intermediary nature, are qualitatively upgraded—compared, for example, to strictly personal claims or unionist demands. Because this particular struggle concerns the total abolition of an institution that’s a pillar of repression and economy, social control and the security doctrine policy. Moreover, prisoners are waging a struggle under extreme and multifaceted oppression, so even calling it an intermediate struggle is something that may not eventually apply to the situation. Because forced labor in prisons is an institution that serves the system in many parallel ways. This is precisely the institution that defines a gray-zone status of millions of slaves for a limited or lifetime tenure. The fact that these are humans designated criminals one way or another, legitimizes this gray zone in the eyes of the rest of society, that don’t care to express some moral or values-related objection and, worse still, benefit from its existence. A struggle for the abolition and the denial of such an institution, a fight which also includes a form of sabotage against the interests served by this very institution, is nothing but a barricade of the most basic dignity against the cruelest face of Power. Certainly, this struggle alone will not determine the entirety of the repression policies that domination may adopt. Regardless of its outcome though, this struggle can be a civil disobedience beacon against the system, and the fact that this beacon will owe its strength to all the damned, the outcast, the socially disinherited—who nowadays receive “revolutionary” anathemas on some occasions—has its own special meaning.
Of course, we don’t seek to make any idealization or embellishment of the entirety of prisoners. Being exiled in the country of captivity for several years already, we’ve seen the composition of a prison population up close, and we don’t harbor any illusion whatsoever that they’re deterministically some kind of revolutionary subjects. In most cases, in fact, an abyss of values separates us from other inmates because of their choices or contradictions over the course of their lives. However, being captives ourselves, we cannot but feel the agony of all those prisoners in the US.
Beyond all this, it’s also a lucid political composure that allows us to put aside any differences we feel we may have with the subject of detainees, as these differences are not enough to make us stand indifferent and unmoved in front of the size, the moral implications, the stakes, the historical and political legacy of such a struggle. In other words, our solidarity reflexes haven’t been activated by emotional and experiential criteria only, but also originate in a political consistency. For all these reasons, we feel the need to express our support to the concerted campaign that began inside the US prisons from September 9th onwards, during which prisoners deny the role of the slave imposed upon them by the democratic society, and factually demonstrate defiance and disobedience. And, as has been said: “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty.”
The internationalization of this struggle through callouts of prisoners themselves, who ask support from every solidarity initiative, enhances the dynamics of international solidarity in total, making it, even coincidentally, another piece in the mosaic of international solidarity calls such as June 11th or the International Solidarity Week every August. But, for us, it’s not about limiting solidarity to dates marked on the calendar; instead, it’s about highlighting the beauty and authenticity of an informal anarchist coordination. That’s why we’ve endorsed the proposal of ABC Anarchist Solidarity Cell, to coordinate solidarity gestures on an International Solidarity Day (October 1st), as we believe their callout contributes to this direction.
Finally, we want to send our warm greetings to all anarchists and all politicized prisoners willing to be part of this struggle, regardless of their reasons for doing so.
PS: Words are sometimes not enough to capture all the intensity of one’s emotions in certain circumstances. The truth is we were struck at the news that the filth of the Italian counterterrorism unit (DIGOS) launched yet another anti-anarchist attack against comrades in Italy, under the imaginative name “Scripta Manent” (written words remain). Raids, house searches, persecutions, suspect lists, arrests, pretrial detentions…
Once again the target of repression is the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI), but now they remembered to dig up cases concerning the placement of explosive devices back in 2006 and 2007. Anna Beniamino, Marco Bisesti, Emiliano Danilo Cremonese, Valentina Speziale and Alessandro Mercogliano passed the prison threshold, while a new detention order was issued against our incarcerated brothers Alfredo Cospito and Nicola Gai, members of FAI’s Olga Cell (that claimed responsibility for the shooting of Roberto Adinolfi, the chief executive of Ansaldo Nucleare). In a separate investigation, during a house search where police found an electrician’s manual and some batteries, another comrade, Daniele Cortelli, who’s active in Croce Nera Anarchica (Italian Anarchist Black Cross), was charged with possessing materials for potential manufacture of explosive devices, and then sent to custody, too. We may be familiar with the notion of captivity, but we will never be able to accept the bad news of comrades’ arrest, no matter how far they are, without feeling tightness in our heart. Our thoughts are with them and everyone else who’ve abruptly entered into a new chapter in their life—the prison chapter.
Finally, we send our warmest salute to our brother Alfredo Cospito. On August 30th 2016, with complete disregard for any consequences, he smashed the glass partition window of the visitations room in the security wing of Ferrara prison in solidarity with the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire in Greece, after the 115-year prison sentence that was recently imposed on all of its imprisoned members.
Comrade, your act brightened our hearts and filled us with emotion. Such fraternal gestures prove the real beauty of authentic anarchist solidarity. We wish you strength to go through whatever might come next.
The Conspiracy of Cells of Fire members: Haris Hadjimihelakis
September 12th 2016
Koridallos prison (Athens, Greece)
Anarchist prisoner Lukáš Borl, currently held in a remand prison in the Czech Republic, has expressed his solidarity with all oppressed and exploited people around the world regardless their origin, sexual orientation or gender. From this perspective, he decided to send a few words of solidarity to every striking person in prisons across the US.
“I wish for you and for myself also that the strike will grow and resist the repression. I wish for you and for myself also to be able to connect it with other important struggles in prisons and outside of them. I wish for you and for myself also that the strike is not misled to fall into the mud of social-democratic politics and the social peace with the exploiters. Because the way to freedom is not through reforming exploitation but only through abolishing it. I wish for you and for myself also that the strike will go further than reformist demands for changing the prison regime and for better working conditions. All the prisons of the world, and all the paid and unpaid work in those prisons and outside them, are all part of the dictatorship of capital. Let’s struggle to abolish it, not to reform these prisons and forms of exploitation. Let’s not ask for anything. Let’s take what belongs to us. Our lives and human dignity. Prisons, states, and capitalism—all must fall.”
“Gentlemen, the Dragon Will Fly Out” In Support of September 9th Mobilization in US Prisons
“Gentlemen, the dragon will fly out” is a saying attributed to prisoner George Jackson. On August 21st 1971, holding a pistol, he opened all the cells in an adjustment unit, taking jailers hostage. George Jackson was killed in his attempt to escape…
A multitude of “invisible” slaves (there are about 2.5 million prisoners in the United States) are condemned to forced labor, or as jailers of their own selves (internal work in prisons, cleaning, repairs, technical operations), or as cheap meat in the service of corporate behemoths (Honda, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Victoria’s Secret, Starbucks, and many others). Besides, the 13th amendment to the US constitution clearly states: “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, EXCEPT as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted…” To put it simply, detainees are considered slaves as part of their punishment.
Prisons in America—and not just there–aren’t only bars, walls, surveillance cameras or lockdowns. They’re also an enormous lucrative business. Prisons are a dirty dealing for continuously supplied shackled labor force without name and without voice. They represent a modern slave trade, making billion-dollar profit, that not only supplies the companies-caretakers but also the industry of lawyers, judges, cops, corrections officers, private prisons.
Not long ago yet another judicial scandal, the “kids for cash” case, was revealed. President Judge Mark Ciavarella convicted juveniles (from 10 to 18 years of age) for the slightest offense, taking million-dollar kickbacks from the owners of private prisons Powell and Mericle with the purpose of supplying them with thousands of children prison slaves.
In Greece, incarceration is much more “velvet”, but it doesn’t cease to be incarceration. Greek prisons may not supply multinational companies with slaves, but that doesn’t mean they’re not a well-staged business operation. Not only do prisons fund an army of leeches (lawyers, cops, corrections officers, judges), but they make big business with construction companies (through overpriced contracts), pharmaceutical companies (after Greek hospitals, Greek prisons are the second best customer of the pharmaceutical industry, since handfuls of psychiatric drugs are administered to prisoners to keep them asleep), and large supermarket chains (always making sure to overprice items sold to prisoners).
Throughout America, massive arrests of suspects—that include humiliations, beatings, and shootings in the back—do not just serve “the restoration of the law”, but are a modern slave hunt for exploitation.
“Let the crops rot in the plantation fields,” write the prisoners in their callout against slavery, recalling the history of slaves in America; because sometimes, to move forward, you must go back to the roots, into the past. For every story of slaves there’s a story of a Spartacus.
Prisoners didn’t randomly choose the date of September 9th to begin their struggle. Forty five years ago, on September 9th 1971, a unique day was written in the calendar of dignity and struggle. It was on the fourth day of Attica riots that 1,000 cops stormed the prison, leaving behind 43 dead, including 33 inmates and 10 hostages (corrections officers and civilian employees), and 250 wounded. Back then, prisoners demanded amnesty, the release of political prisoners, and an end to torture. Now, they want to stop being slaves.
The Attica prison rebellion wasn’t a firework but the culmination of a decision taken by prisoners, expressed through slogans like: “If we cannot live as human beings, we will at least try to die as humans.” With so much blood already shed in a tide of events and acts, they had ruled out any possibility of making a return to prison normalcy.
Prisoners George Jackson, Fleeta Drumgo and John Clutchette, known as the “Soledad Brothers”, were accused of killing a prison guard at Soledad prison on January 16th 1970, in retaliation for the murder of three fellow prisoners by a corrections officer during a fight between inmates three days prior.
On August 7th 1970, George Jackson’s brother, Jonathan, stormed the Marin County courthouse armed with a shotgun and revolvers and alongside three prisoners, who attended a trial inside, took the Judge, the District Attorney and three jurors hostage. Jonathan and the prisoners demanded the release of the “Soledad Brothers”. The court was surrounded, and a shootout with cops and jailers ensued. Two of the prisoners, Jonathan Jackson and the judge held hostage were gunned down.
On August 21st 1971, George Jackson was shot to death by a guard at San Quentin prison. Jackson was carrying a gun and intended to escape. A disturbance in the prison occurred just before the killing, when three guards and two inmates-snitches were executed.
All these individual acts of rebellion were not detached from the collective power that the prisoners had begun to develop. These actions exceeded the prison walls and nurtured, and were nurtured by, the rebellions of blacks against racism and the movement against the Vietnam War at the time. Nowadays, the struggle of prisoners in the US against slavery is also tied to the movement in protest of police violence and shootings against black people.
Naturally, such struggles are closer to civil rights movements rather than total liberation movements. However, the prisoners themselves state: “We are not making demands or requests of our captors.”
Oftentimes in these struggles, such as we’ve experienced in Greek prisons, there’s a large portion of the prison population who insist on non-violence and “negotiating unionism” logic that leads to wire-pulling and emergence of representatives with personal ambitions. We therefore don’t want to falsify the characteristics of an intermediate struggle to make it appear as anarchic.
Anarchist prisoner Michael Kimble, apparently designated as a “ringleader” of rebellions, has criticized the pacifism that lurks in such mobilizations, stating: “I struggle within F.A.M. (Free Alabama Movement) not because I believe in the system, but because it causes pain to the state, but in no way do I think F.A.M. or any of the Freedom movements are going to topple the state.”
Intermediate struggles, when restricted in sectional demands, maim any total liberation perspective. The interest of an anarchist towards intermediate struggles is, through their intervention, to turn them into the accelerator of insurgency and revolution. There were plenty of moments when instances of prison struggle and armed urban guerrilla experiences mutually fed into one another. In the US, the Weather Underground organization attacked courts (Marin County courthouse, Long Island courthouse, and corrections offices) in solidarity with rebellious prisoners. In Germany, the RAF attacked several judicial officers and prosecutors in retaliation for the isolation of their imprisoned comrades, while in 1993 they literally blew up the Weiterstadt prison. In Italy, the Red Brigades, NAP (organization originating within prison walls), Prima Linea and many more armed cells organized escapes and kidnappings to release their comrades, and executed judges. On October 2nd 1979, political prisoners revolted and set fire to the Asinara maximum security prison. In Spain, GRAPO targeted prison governors and prison doctors.
In Greece, Conspiracy of Cells of Fire blew up the Thessaloniki courthouse and the Athens administrative court of first instance, placed a bomb outside Koridallos prison in 2010, and in cooperation with the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI) attacked interrogating judges, prison directors and corrections officers.
In every part of the Earth, prisons are a monument of people’s enslavement. Prisons are the most concentrated form of tyranny; the face of Power, without any makeup; the punitive nature of democracy; the vengeful sense of its justice. Every attack, every act of rebellion, every mobilization that disturbs the operation of prisons is a kick in the guts of oppression. It challenges its omnipotence, within its own walls. Certainly, the September 9th mobilization against slavery in US prisons may not be the anarchic utopia of freedom we wish for, but it can be a pebble in the pond that creates small ripples in the water. And oftentimes these ripples precede the outbreak of an enormous tide…
For nine months before the state police came
and opened fire at Attica penitentiary
prison doctors said to sick Puerto Ricans
who understood only Spanish
“First learn English, then you can come back.”
It’s difficult to learn English when you’re dead
but they will come back for sure… (Erich Fried, “The Return: Attica State Prison”)
Conspiracy of Cells of Fire / Urban Guerrilla Cell
FAI/FRI Gerasimos Tsakalos Christos Tsakalos Giorgos Polidoros Olga Ekonomidou
September 9th 2016
Koridallos prisons (Athens, Greece)
We send our solidarity to all prison rebels!
Strength to the striking prisoners in the US and beyond!
Text from the poster:
THE BEST SLAVES ARE THOSE WHO BELIEVE THEY ARE FREE
Every institution that tries to turn us into oppressed or handcuffed slaves are our enemy: fascism, patriarchy, authority, borders, the state and the capital!
Against Prison! Against Slavery!
Prison was created by a social order based on domination and exploitation. The aim is to create a structure to segregate, repress and confine all undesirables. Until today the bosses make capital with forced labor in prisons, and control is increasing with little difficulty, while the politicians speak about liberty, equality and democracy.
Oppression, subtle and violent, is always inherent in a capitalist society. Acceptance of a miserable life among the exploited and oppressed makes capitalist production possible. An anti-nationalist consciousness, the rejection of democratic dictatorship and the fight against every polluted aspect of life is therefore vital.
The starting point for truly explosive struggles is taking position, attacking the exploitation machinery, exposing cannibalistic governments, destroying militarized borders, intensifying social conflicts and building fertile structures for anarchist and non-anarchist people with common enemies and common targets on a global scale.
Given that it is not a revolutionary tactic to spread fairy tales, we can’t just talk about getting away from it all. We must position ourselves along lines of various anarchist tendencies. The struggle we want to intensify includes revolutionary attacks and armed resistance. Above all we express our solidarity with anarchist and rebellious prisoners through attacks for the total destruction of prisons and the prison society!
SUPPORT PRISON REBELS!
FIRE TO THE PRISONS!
LONG LIVE ANARCHY! ANARCHISTS IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE PRISON STRIKE AGAINST SLAVERY
It hardly seems necessary to summarize what has gone down inside U.S. prisons since September 9th. Hunger strikes, work stoppages, and riots have spread throughout the country on a scale that we likely aren’t even fully aware of yet. Some uprisings appeared took us by surprise, such as in several Florida prisons, while others presumably grew from recent organizing endeavors on the inside, such as at Kinross in Michigan or Holman in Alabama. By rough estimates, over 20,000 prisoners were involved in some way. That’s huge.
On the outside, solidarity burned so brightly all over the world. Banner drops, graffiti slogans, noise demonstrations and more showed that we had the backs of all who would partake in the strike. It is worth noting however that the vast majority of this took place the first weekend of the strike. But this prison strike—and the struggle against prisons more broadly—is about more than a day or a week. It didn’t start on September 9th and it isn’t ending any time soon. Some prisoners may return to work while others decide to stop working for the first time. It’s easier when there is a definitive date to take action on, to build momentum towards, but that’s not going to be enough.
Therefore, we would like to offer a call for renewed actions in solidarity with the prison strike and the struggle against prison society. Right now many are organizing anti-repression campaigns for striking prisoners and that is of course very necessary and not nearly as exciting work. But it would be a mistake to conceive of this struggle in a linear fashion—that is to say, a single wave where we demonstrate as it crests and write letters as it crashes. How many prisoners hadn’t heard about the strike until after it had started? How many knew but didn’t think people would actually be there to support them? Three weeks after the start of the strike, inmates in Turbeville, South Carolina rebelled against a guard and took over their dorm. How can we stop while inmates are still risking their lives for freedom?
We propose the week of October 15th – 22nd for a concentration of actions to remind everyone locked up by the State that we will always have their back. Once again, it is important to take these dates with a grain of salt. No one’s going to judge you if you take action on October 23rd, or in November, or even in 2017. Neither should anyone sit on their hands waiting for the 15th to get going. New Year’s Eve should also be kept in mind, which has traditionally seen noise demonstrations outside of prisons every year, despite being an equally arbitrary date.
“When times seem slow and uneventful we let ourselves stagnate, but imagination and revolt are like muscles: the less we use them the weaker they become. We can push back the boredom of less eventful times and point towards insurrection. Solidarity actions and struggling on our own timelines is a way we can create momentum and tension when there isn’t much.”
– “Our Own Timelines” Anathema, Vol 2 Issue 6
It is undeniable that many comrades exist outside of realities where organizing a protest or noise demonstration is tenable. Many of us are still searching for a few like-minded comrades, let alone attempting to bring out a crowd. There are still opportunities to act, whether it is a one or two person team dropping a banner or putting up posters, or hosting a letter writing or informational event that can help connect future accomplices. It certainly can never be overstated how important writing letters of support and calling in to prisons is in and of itself, but why pass on an opportunity to build our capacity?
If nothing else, we should all feel ashamed that the most active city in terms of U.S. prison strike solidarity actions is Athens, Greece. They already have such a head start but we can at least give them a bit of challenge, can’t we?
About 12:00am a prisoner was stabbed by another prisoner while in the bed asleep. The disturbance came after the perpetrator ran out the dorm. The pigs let the prisoner in C-dorm even after being told earlier not let anyone in C-dorm by prisoners who are housed in C-dorm. Prisoners ran after the prisoner who committed the stabbing, got out the dorm, surrounded one pig who came out the control cubicle, but was asked to wait before doing anything and just help the injured prisoner to the infirmary.
What you are seeing in this short clip is a bunch of angry prisoners who see the pigs as facilitators of violence against one another.
State Can’t Crush Prison Rebels | September 29th 2016
It is being reported that last week while at the prison, after attending the funeral of the pig who was stabbed here on September 1st and died from his injuries, the regional Coordinator Grantt Culliver stated to several prisoners that he was going to bring the CERT, the department of corrections’ special response squad, to Holman prison in Atmore, Alabama on the 1st of October and that they will be here for the next ninety days to search the prison for every knife and cell phone, and that are going to take the prison apart piece by piece until they have found every weapon and phone.
This is an attempt at intimidation and move to reestablish authority and total control. Control over human beings who have been resisting and saying fuck your authority! Humans who no longer accept the narrative that they are worthless and that the state has a right to punish and use violence without it being returned. No longer will we allow the gross injustices to go unchecked.
We want you all out there in the open air prison called the free world to keep an eye on what happens here. We know that the pigs are angry about the death of their colleague at the hands of a prisoner and all the resistance that has sprung up here within the last year, and have / are planning to crush the resistance. Keep an eye on Holman and continue to show solidarity through direct action.
No gods, no masters! Death to the state! Long live anarchy!