June 11th is an international day of solidarity with Marius Mason and all long-term anarchist prisoners. A spark in the eternal night of state repression. A day set aside for honoring those who have been stolen from us. On this day, we share in songs, events, and actions to celebrate our captured comrades and loved ones. In years past, June 11th celebrations have been international and wide-ranging – from potlucks with friends to various inspiring attacks; fundraising benefits and prisoner letter writing nights to all of the untold and unknown ways we keep the flame alive.
Le 11 juin est une journée internationale de solidarité avec Marius Mason et tou.te.s les anarchistes condamné.e.s à de longues peines. Une étincelle dans la nuit fatale créée par la répression d’État. Un jour pour célébrer celles et ceux qui nous ont été volé.e.s. Ce jour-là nous partageons des chansons, des évènements, des actions, pour célébrer nos camarades et nos proches emprisonné.e.s. Les années passées le 11 juin a été une journée d’action internationale, célébrée aussi bien par des piques niques entre ami.e.s, des attaques inspirantes, des levées de fonds, des soirées pour écrire des lettres à des prisonni.èr.es, que d’autres actions plus discrètes, dans le but de garder la flamme vivante.
Pour organiser cette journée, nous nous retrouvons chaque année pour tirer des leçons des années précédentes, et renouveler cet appel à la solidarité. Continue reading “Le 11 juin, une journée contre l’oubli: Journée internationale de solidarité avec les prisonnie.ère.s anarchistes longues peine.”
There was a call put out for a bike bloc to go” All Out for Pablo” and go all out we did. In response to our comrade Pablo Avendano being murdered by the gig economy relegating millenials to a precariat class, we set out on this bike bloc armed with bricks and ceramics. A car that was in a bike lane will need a new paint job after it met the force of our anger through a projectile brick. Pablo was murdered even though he was riding in a bike lane, it seems like drivers need to be reminded to stay the fuck out of our way. Pieces of brick were thrown at the windows of yuppie luxury condos, however the windows did not shatter :(. After the ghost bike memorial to Pablo, a fuck the police chant was started and a bank was attacked with bricks, unfortunately again the windows did not shatter. A mercedes benz was attacked with a piece of ceramic. Those scratches are probably costly $$$$, sorry not sorry ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. A lock was thrown at the windows of the Law Enforcement Benefits office because fuck every LEO who has ever breathed (except Chris Dorner), unfortunately we missed the tiny windows. Some light barricades were built of tires and wooden police barricades, to stop traffic in commemoration of Pablo. This is a fun and interesting tactic to play with, a bunch of angry cyclists attacking capital and anything that gets in their way, moving swiftly in all black attire. It can also be said that many people who did not participate in the attacks did participate in the barricade building, showing that a few folx demonstrating the possibility of conflictuality can spread to others who may want to express their emotions in a more confrontational manner. Some set backs were our aim and force, it is difficult to throw things effectively and hit targets at a distance from the back of a bike, but this situation was more a test of the waters for this kind of action in broad daylight in Philly. Hopefully more rowdy black clad bike rides happen in Philly for less somber occasions.
We claim these actions with hate in our hearts for the bourgiosie and the cops who protect their dying world, and in commemoration of Pablo. May you rest in power comrade. We also act in solidarity with All prisoners in commemoration of June 11th. Until all prisons are ash we will never stop fighting.
May this dying society tremble at our anger, in it’s destruction may we find joy. Every time their society kills one of us, we will attack them with furious revenge in our hearts and a wild fire in our eyes. Our future is already dead, but in the rubble of modernity may we be able to live in the now.
L’11 giugno è una giornata internazionale di solidarietà con Marius Mason e tutti i prigionieri anarchici di lunga detenzione. Una scintilla nella notte eterna della repressione statale. Un giorno dedicato a coloro che ci sono stati sottratti. In questo giorno, condividiamo canzoni, eventi ed azioni per celebrare i nostri amati compagni catturati. Negli anni passati, le celebrazioni dell’ 11 giugno sono state di ampio respiro, a livello internazionale – dalle cene con gli amici a vari attacchi ispiratori; dai benefit e dalle notti di scrittura di lettere ai prigionieri, a tutti gli indicibili e sconosciuti modi in cui possiamo mantenere viva la fiamma.
Nel costruire questo giorno, ogni anno molti di noi si riuniscono per discutere e riflettere sulle lezioni dal passato e per rinnovare questo appello alla solidarietà continua. Quest’anno vi invitiamo ad esplorare e a riflettere con noi su come il supporto dei prigionieri di lunga detenzione dipende direttamente dal sostegno dei movimenti e delle lotte di cui tutti continuiamo a far parte. Come possiamo pretendere di continuare con il supporto attraverso i decenni mentre i movimenti, i gruppi e le persone vanno e vengono, si esauriscono, e si perdono negli estenuanti flussi e riflussi della lotta? Andando in profondità, che cosa possiamo imparare dai prigionieri di lunga detenzione e dai loro insgnamenti di solidarietà?
Come possiamo sostenere e migliorare la salute dei nostri movimenti e contemporaneamente rafforzare questo supporto?
In this interview for the June 11th International Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason and all long-term anarchist prisoners, we spoke to Ray Luc Levasseur, former political prisoner and member of the United Freedom Front. We talked with Ray about his history with anti-prison organizing, going underground to wage armed struggle against the state, fighting for parole for political prisoners, solidarity he received while behind bars, supporting aging and ill comrades behind bars, having children while underground, and how to support his imprisoned comrades Tom Manning and Jaan Lamaan.
For more from Ray, check out previous interviews with The Final Straw Radio and Kite Line. To get in touch with Ray about supporting the remaining United Freedom Front prisoners, email him at rayluclev [at] gmail [dot] com. You can write to Tom Manning or Jaan Lamaan at the addresses below, or check out NYC Anarchist Black Cross’s prisoner listing for the most up-to-date addresses.
Jaan Laaman #10372-016
Post Office Box 3000
Pine Knot, Kentucky 42635
Thomas Manning #10373-016
Post Office Box 2000
Bruceton Mills, West Virginia 26525
June 11th: Today we’re speaking with Ray Luc Levasseur. Ray, thanks for joining us. We won’t make you go through your whole biography, as fascinating as it is, because you already have done some really good interviews and pieces that go through all of that. But with that said, would you like to say a few words of introduction?
Ray Luc Levasseur: Greetings to whoever is reading or listening to this at some future time. I don’t want make any assumptions about what people know about me or the United Freedom Front or any of my co-defendants and comrades. I was doing a public speaking engagement at a library the other day and I got asked this question I get asked quite frequently. People want to know how you get from growing up in a small mill town in Maine to being on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List for underground activities targeting the government and corporate criminals. Like you said, I think you’ve got material about some of my background, but I’ll just touch on a few points that were significant crossroads for me early in life, that proved to be significant life experiences that were the foundation of the political person I became.
In previous years, I have used the occasion of June 11 to roll out what I thought were pretty big ideas. In 2015, for example, I described how blastblog.noblogs.org had posted the home addresses of Ohio prison officials, including those who had orchestrated the torture regimen I endured at Mansfield. In that statement, opposing torture, I suggested that we collectively adopt a policy of self-defense against state terrorists, that when they torture us, we burn their cars and houses down; that when they stop the torture, we stop the burning.
The ODRC claimed that what I said constituted a threat to every single employee of the ODRC and their families. As what I wrote was a statement opposing torture, to me, it seems like something of an admission that every single employee of the ODRC was threatened. This means that even the ODRC recognizes that all of its employees participate in torture.
At any rate, as fate will have it, in 2017 when I undertook at 50-day hungerstrike, those home addresses were still posted. I have it on good authority that prison officials received death threats at their homes, at all hours of the night and day, phoned in from “exotic area codes.” I have also heard a rumor that, at one of those state terrorist’s residences, an item of property of significant value somehow ended up getting torched. I don’t know whose home, and I don’t know whether the significantly-valued property was a house or a car or even a barbecue grill, but I know this: After that piece of property got torched, state terrorists began negotiating an end to my hungerstrike and I got all of my communications restored. Continue reading “On Slavery, Nat Turner, John Brown, and Drones: A Statement for June 11”
One of the most important parts of the June 11th International Day of Solidarity with Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners is that we bring our ideas about solidarity into the world. By keeping our imprisoned comrades’ names on our lips and on our towns’ walls, we strike a small blow against the system of disappearance embodied by the prison system.
Each year, we try to create new posters, zines, handbills, stickers, radio programs, and other media to keep our solidarity alive and vibrant, always striking out in new directions and responding immediately to current circumstances faced by our comrades behind bars. Here’s some of what we’ve put together this year. Be sure to check out these ideas for how to use these materials. And if you have anything additional to contribute, email us at june11th [at] riseup [dot] net.
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First and foremost, a clenched fist salute to my imprisoned anarchist comrades in the U.S. and around the world!
It’s been 28 years since I was first incarcerated in 1990 for armed robbery. So, to give everyone a quick update on my personal history… I first entered the California prison system when it was racially segregated, and quickly became politicized after coming into contact with anarchists and abolitionists during the 1991 Folsom Prison Food Strike, for which I was sent to solitary confinement on “inciting” charges. As a young prison rebel in the early 1990s, I experienced the brutality and torture of solitary confinement first-hand, from beatings to gladiator fights to food deprivation and murders covered up by the corrupt pigs. I was defiant and resisted these inhumane conditions by single-handedly sabotaging and breaking 13 prison cell windows in the Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU) at Folsom. In retaliation for the beatings and torture I suffered, I attacked a pig and received 16 years added to my sentence! Subsequently, I was charged with possession of a weapon by a prisoner, battery on a state prosecutor during an attempted escape from the Sacramento courthouse, and assault with a deadly weapon on a prison warden, for which I was given multiple 25-year-to-life sentences. All of these events occurred more than 20 years ago, and I spent more than a decade in Pelican Bay SHU.
Now, in 2018, I have a new appeal under California’s Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012 which was “granted review” and is pending in the California Supreme Court. My attorney, Cheryl Anderson, says she expects me to be given a new hearing to determine if I will receive a sentence reduction and early parole date! The recent parole granted to long-time political prisoner Herman Bell gives me hope!
I’ve also recently filed an Application for Commutation of Sentence to California Governor Jerry Brown. The recent commutations of Chelsea Manning’s sentence and Oscar Lopez Rivera also give me hope for that!
I’m currently being reevaluated for sex-reassignment surgery (SRS) under California guidelines implemented as a result of lawsuits by trans prisoners Michelle Norsworthy and Shiloh Quine, seeking transgender healthcare.
I’m very grateful to my support team comrades for setting up a website and organizing an online legal fundraiser on my behalf to pay a legal consulting fee of $3000 to National Legal Professional Associates (NLPA). I appreciate all of the support and solidarity I’ve received, with special shoutouts and thanks to S—, N—, R—,S—, and I—.
I’m involved directly with Maine Anti Racist Action and Bloomington Anarchist Black Cross in bringing together a new anarchist prisoner initiative to build and strengthen our support networks, communications, and collective struggle. A fund and a paper are in the works to amplify the voices of imprisoned anarchist comrades in the U.S. specifically, and toward the concept of an anarchist prisoner conference in North America. We’ve reached out to Marius Mason, Michael Kimble, Eric King, Sean Swain, and Jeremy Hammond, among others, and I’m hopeful that we have a general consensus of the need for a new combative position toward anarchist insurgency, as expressed by our Greek comrades’ international call for Black December.
With that said, I want to express my heartfelt love and solidarity to our dear compañera Tamara Sol! Keep your head up sister! We want our freedom now and all prisons demolished immediately! ¡A la calle!
Solidarity to Antifascists!
Solidarity to Prison Rebels!
Love and Rage!
The June 11th International Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason and all long-term anarchist prisoners is quickly approaching.
This year in our call, we focused on questions of sustainability and burnout, asking how we can nurture relationships and projects that can nourish us as we fight for our comrades’ freedom. These are not easy questions and we think that developing any “one solution” is bound to lead to further burn out and disillusionment. We want more than anything for June 11th to be a counter-point to deleterious forms of activism that erode the joy of living and leave us exhausted and hopeless.
It’s easy, when faced with the overwhelming odds of destroying prisons and freeing all prisoners, to lose heart and give up. The beauty of June 11th is that it attempts to take a large problem (that our friends in struggle are locked in the state’s dungeons) and convert it to real, material, and immediate acts of solidarity. Anyone can act for June 11th and contribute to a living coordination of solidarity that has persisted for over a decade. Whether one is alone or in a city with a vibrant anarchist presence, it is possible to look at your local context and formulate plans. (For example, one member of our organizing collective has organized humble actions as a lone anarchist youth, small events in a town with few radicals, and larger celebrations in an anarchist hub.) Contrary to the defeatism that surrounds us, we echo the cries of half a century ago as France burned in revolt, “Anything can happen!”
In hopes of stirring up some ideas, let’s explore some possible ways to show solidarity with the longest held anarchist prisoners.
If you have an event planned, or if you want to share news of some act of solidarity, send us an email at june11th [at] riseup [dot] net.
One of the primary concerns that we come up against as anarchists is how to generate the funds necessary to offset the deprivation our comrades in prison are forced into. Obtaining healthy (or vegan) food, buying basic necessities like toothpaste, affording phone calls that help break isolation, purchasing stamps and stationery, and buying books all cost money. With so few people doing consistent support for anarchist prisoners in the US, this requires constant work on top of what is already necessary to create real solidarity with imprisoned comrades.
June 11th offers a focused day in which all those who feel compelled to can organize events to help with these constant material needs. Those who can’t commit to regular correspondence or consistent organizing around a prisoner’s case can host an event to raise funds for them. Each year, June 11th proves essential to maintaining a few of our comrades’ well-being for the rest of the year.
Ideas: music shows, dance parties, dinners, poetry readings, bake sales, movie screenings, performances, karaoke, college speaking gigs, asking for money from someone that has it.
The reality of many anarchist prisoners’ cases is that they are unlikely to garner support from liberals due to the actions they undertook or their uncompromising stance while in prison. This leaves it up to us to generate support among those who see no problem with actively confronting the state, economy, and prison society. With the full weight of state and capitalist media disinformation against us, we must offset this by keeping our comrades’ situations constantly present in our lives, explaining their actions, and offering news of their current conditions.
Informational events allow us to spread news and strike a hammer blow against the isolation fostered by prison and its world.
Ideas: tabling at events, presentations on one (or many) comrades’ situations, flyering on the streets, talking to friends and family about prisoners, pirate radio, microphone demonstrations
One of prison society’s primary functions is to isolate those held within its walls. Establishing contact with imprisoned comrades is a vital first step in undoing that isolation. Whether this means writing consistently to one person, writing one-off letters, or hosting public letter writing events – every letter, postcard, news article, and photograph sent to an imprisoned comrade is a step toward creating the sort of solidarity we need to tear down the walls once and for all.
Ideas: Writing a letter, printing photos of the world to send to imprisoned comrades, hosting letter writing nights, setting up letter writing tables at events, sending books
Prisoner letter writing tips by NYC ABC
Taking it to the streets
It has been said that no one should ever be able to walk down the street without seeing the faces and names of our comrades on every wall. There are many ways of keeping our comrades present in our daily lives and in the world around us. Experiment, stay safe, and have fun!
The most essential element of revolutionary solidarity is keeping our comrades’ struggles alive and vibrant; to confront, directly, the control imposed upon us by the state and all institutions of control and exploitation. Every June 11th, the outpouring of solidarity-in-action from anarchists internationally shows the many diverse forms that solidarity can take.
Ideas: Work within your context and capacity, in line with your desires, by yourself or with people you trust.
Keep it up,
the June 11th crew
Welcome to the 2018 June 11th International Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason and all long-term anarchist prisoners interview series. With these interviews we seek to keep alive the recent histories of repression, resistance, and prisoner solidarity. To better know the prisoners we support, to grapple with some of the challenges of prisoner solidarity, to learn from and support each other across generations, struggles, borders, and ideologies. Last year we spoke with Sean Swain, Josh Harper, Daniel McGowen, supporters of Eric King, the Cleveland 4, and both Joseph Buddenburg and Nicole Kissane. Those can be found under the resources tab in the 2017 section at June11.org. They turned out so amazing and moving. They turned out so amazing and we really encourage everyone to check them out if they haven’t yet!
That brings us to 2018.
The theme for June 11th this year is how to maintain the long-term movements and commitments that are necessary for supporting our comrades both 7, 10 years and in turn be regenerating and nourishing to us in our struggles. We hope through y’alls engagement with June 11th events, writing, music, actions and these interviews, we can really dig into these questions.
So with all of our guests this year, we’ll be discussing those concepts that as well as their own stories, their passions, and their work. First we have with us Panagioti from Fight Toxic Prisons, or FTP as it’s often been affectionately referred to, which is “organizing resistance at the intersection of mass incarceration and the environment.” One of the main ways they do this is holding a major convergence every year right around June 11th. And those connections is really important because of the history of June 11th beginning with solidarity for eco prisoner Jeff Leurs in 2004, and then after Jeff’s release eco anarchists Marius Mason and Eric McDavid.
Eric of course was released in 2015, but Marius remains a primary focus for June 11th. The Fight Toxic Prisons convergence started in DC in 2016, moved to Texas in 2017, where Marius is currently held in federal prison, and is coming to Pittsburgh later this year.
June 11th: Did I get all that right? Can you tell us more about how FTP got started and why this focus on the intersection of prisons and the environment?
Panagioti: So the focus of looking at prisons and the environment – I think that looking at the organizing around June 11th is a big part of what led to this organizing and this idea of having an annual convergence and building a movement that looked at the intersections of incarceration and environmental impact. I think that some of the prisoners you listed in the introduction have seen these things first hand and I think that we’ve learned largely from prisoners that have come largely from the environmental movement and have seen first hand what’s happening on the inside, as well as social prisoners who’ve been in for decades and watched the development of mass incarceration build up in this country. For example, Eric McDavid was at FCI Victorville which is on a military base surrounded by superfund sites; Daniel McGowen was held at Marion, a federal prison that’s also a military base and also a notoriously contaminated site known as Crab Orchard; and Marius Mason at the moment is still at FMC Carswell, a military base that’s been contaminated for years. Also, Jeremy Hammond is on a prison site that was until last year a former coal mine in Eastern Kentucky.