Communication is a weapon: June 11th 2017
This year, the International Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason and All Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners emphasized how communication aids our struggles against prison society and disrupts the isolation imposed on comrades who are locked up for the long term.
The state aims to make our comrades disappear, but we want their names and deeds spread throughout the world. During the months preceding June 11, word was circulated far and wide about both our imprisoned comrades and the upcoming day of solidarity. Newly designed June 11 promotional materials – including stickers, flyers, and posters – reached individuals, social centers, and distribution projects around the world. The call for June 11th this year was translated into French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
We conducted several moving and insightful interviews with former prisoners and outside supporters, who eloquently wove connections between past and current struggles. Solidarity with long-term prisoners can strengthen our struggles by forcing us to look back and learn from theirs, and deepen our collective memory.
As June 11th has come and gone, we want to affirm again that our commitment to our imprisoned comrades is not limited to one day, but extends in all directions:
We do not forget our comrade sentenced to 7.5 years for robbing PaxBank in 2014.
In Italy, the state continues its attempt to disrupt efforts of solidarity with the anarchists ensnared in operation Scripta Manent – now investigating RadioAzione, Anarhija.info, and Croce Nera Anarchica. Knowing that our infrastructure for counter-information and prisoner solidarity are essential to our revolt, the state seeks to demobilize them through its usual course of raids, restrictions, and disruption. We send unending solidarity to the comrades in Italy, who in their unwillingness to forfeit these weapons, show that insurgent hearts will not be stopped by the state’s petty machinations.
We send our love to comrade Davide Delogu, who, in his stubborn refusal to accept being locked in a cage by brutal pigs, attempted to free himself.
And finally, we encourage everyone to organize events and take action for the upcoming International Day of Solidarity with Eric King on June 28th. Eric’s uncompromising spirit in the face of persecution keeps our hearts strong as we navigate and fight against this world that is not ours.
(We’d also like to remind those who raised funds for Marius this year to donate via his support page, rather than sending money directly to his commissary fund.)
The following is a collection of event reportbacks, prisoner statements, and actions taken for June 11th in 2017.
Athens (Greece): Molotov attack against Evelpidon Court
Australia: Graffiti and banners
Bloomington, Indiana (USA): Banner drop for Marius Mason
As a small, anonymous gesture of complicity, we hung two banners to honor June 11, day of solidarity with long-term anarchist prisoners. These banners are on the main north/south roads into and out of Bloomington. No matter how long he is held at FMC Carswell or in any other cage, we will make sure Marius isn’t forgotten here, especially given the vital role he played in defending the land and building a community of resistance in our region.
Bloomington, Indiana (USA): Movie showing, letter writing, picnic, wheatpasting
In the month leading up to the June 11th International Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason & All Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners, we set up two tables at Boxcar Books with an array of free zines, stickers, and posters for June 11th and about anarchist prisoners.
On June 6th, the bi-monthly Read & Revolt anarchist reading group met at Boxcar Books to discuss “The Sun Still Rises,” a text written by imprisoned fighters of the Conspiracy Cells of Fire (CCF) urban guerrilla group in Greece. It had been nominated by regular attendees of Read & Revolt and, given that it was written by long-term anarchist prisoners, was scheduled for discussion the week before June 11th. Those in attendance for this session seemed to appreciate how concisely it was written, how clear the authors’ intentions were, and how it was written passionately yet without unnecessary flair. The conversation bounced between topics relevant to local conditions, while various ideas throughout the text acted as conduits for people to discuss ideas related to their own personal problematics.
On June 9th, we showed Sacco & Vanzetti, a 2006 documentary on the two militant anarchists. Without falling back on idolization and martyrdom, we want to affirm our history. As we continue on a path as anarchists of action, as enemies of this and all states, we carry with us the spirit of those who have, before us, carved out their own path of defiance. After the movie, folks wrote 25 cards and letters to long-term anarchist prisoners in the US.
On June 11th, we held a picnic in a public park as a celebration of anarchist action and in honor of our imprisoned fighters. Beneath black flags, people talked, wrote cards to anarchist prisoners, and shared food. Some comrades prepared a songbook and performance of classic anarchist songs. Anarchists in the early 20th century often held picnics on holidays of their own creation, and we hoped to carry on this tradition. As the world becomes increasingly dominated by the technological mediation of the internet, it is imperative that we create spaces in which we can be together, face-to-face, without the noise of alienated chatter. There is, for us, a clear connection between the walls that separate us from our imprisoned comrades and the walls that separate us all from each other. We celebrate, with joy, the crumbling of both.
Earlier that day, anonymous individuals dropped two banners in solidarity with Marius Mason and against social control.
On the evening of June 11th, anonymous individuals wheatpasted dozens of posters and put up stickers about imprisoned comrades.
While our efforts this year were modest, they exist within a continuum of action for our imprisoned comrades that manifests every day. We take time on June 11th to remember and act for imprisoned anarchists, but this does not stop when the clock strikes midnight. For us, solidarity is not a one-off event, an act of charity, or something removed from our daily lives – it is an inseparable part of our existence as anarchists, a tension affirmed through action. Solidarity is the word in our mouths, the rock in our hand, and the blood in our veins.. The prison walls cannot break us.
Brisbane (Australia): Benefit for Jock Palfreeman
Anti-Fascist Action Brisbane had a fucking rad night tonight. We had a film screening and raised some money for the Free Jock Palfreeman Committee. We are in total solidarity with Marius Mason, Eric King, the comrades in CCF, YPG/J, IPRGF and all anarchists fighting.
Denton, Texas (USA): Food sharing & letter writing
Around a dozen anarchists gathered in Denton, TX to host a public food sharing in a popular, centrally located park, and to write letters of support to long term anarchist political prisoners and prison rebels. It is important to us that we stay in contact with radicals and prison rebels being held captive by the state. We want to make sure that our comrades know that they are not alone, despite the isolating conditions of captivity. As we shared food, wrote letters and made art together, we thought about Marius, Krow, Sean, Jeremy, Kara Wild and many other friends who may be locked up, but who will never be forgotten.
Derry (Ireland): Banner drops for political prisoners
Each year, June 11th serves as a day for us to remember our longest imprisoned anarchist comrades through words, actions and ongoing material support.
Anarchists in Derry took part in a Banner Drop today to high light the continued imprisonment of political prisoners. Several banners, displayed at Free Derry Corner, were used as part of its part in a day of action and international solidarity. For 13 years, anarchists and environmentalists have observed June 11th as a day of action to mobilise around our imprisoned comrades.
Over that time, the pace of revolt has quickened, with so many uprisings, clashes, attacks, indictments, raids, mass arrests, grand juries, and deaths. In this constantly shifting terrain, it’s easy to lose track of the origins of our traditions. For anarchists our goal is to mark June 11th as we work throughout each year to ensure that our imprisoned comrades will not be forgotten.
In solidarity anarchists locally will continue to support political prisoners and in particular highlighting the ongoing incarceration of Tony Taylor, a local republican activist interned by the British State without charges, without trail or legal justice.
Elgin, Illinois (USA): Art against gentrification
Today in solidarity with Marius Mason and long term anarchist prisoners some of us decided to be artistic! Inspired by Elgin’s advertisement for public art alongside its hip new reconstructive (gentrifying) city landscape, we have a piece of artwork of our own to display. We found a welcoming post at the busy intersection of Highland and State St. for all to view while waiting for the lights to change.
Armed with anger, there is an artist in every single one of us; an artist with an arsenal of creative potential to be discovered through action. Ungovernability can be the art of evasion and acting out against the laws of conformity and passive obedience. And there is so much fun to be had. With every single attack against this prison society, there is an artistic element of creativity materializing it’s destruction.
Free all prisoners!
War against the industrial-capital machine!
Nothing less than total liberation!
– Elgin Art and Anarchy Club
Exarchia, Athens (Greece): Banner drop for Michael Kimble
On Sunday June 11 2017, international day in support with long-term anarchist prisoners, we dropped a banner from Themistokleous 58 squat in solidarity with the comrade Michael Kimble, incarcerated in Holman prison, Alabama.
Michael Kimble is a gay black anarchist serving a life sentence for taking out a white homophobic racist. Even though he has been held captive for three decades, Michael keeps resisting the everyday imprisonment by all means necessary, and also propagates violent rupture with all Power.
With this banner we send him back some of the strength we get whenever we read his incendiary texts. Hold strong, comrade: your ideas and determination reverberate to the other side of the ocean.
NO PEACE WITH THE PRISON-SOCIETY!
Fort Worth, Texas (USA): Demonstration at Carswell federal prison
After 3 days of networking, movement building and organizing at the Fight Toxic Prisons (FTP) Convergence in Denton, TX, approximately 50 organizers and revolutionaries from across the country gathered outside the Carswell federal prison Monday morning, June 5, 2017. The protest marched to the remote back gates of the facility, which is located on a massive military base that has a long history of environmental contamination and contains a repressive, secretive Administrative Unit.
Today’s demonstration kicked-off of an international effort to demand the immediate closure of Carswell’s Administrative Unit, a unit similar to draconian Communication Management Units. The Carswell Admin Unit has been used to isolate female and trans political prisoners as well as prisoners with serious mental health needs.
Armed with a mobile sound system and bullhorn, the demonstration was able to create a loud disruption for guards and establish contact with prisoners across the razor wire fences with amplified chants of “You are not forgotten, you are not alone, we will fight to bring you home!”
Prisoners replied with waves and raised fists as they viewed banners reading “Close Carswell Admin Unit Now!”, “Free Aafia Siddiqui” and “Fight Toxic Prisons.”
Demonstrators highlighted political prisoners currently held in the facility, such as Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, Marius Mason and Ana Belen Montes, all of whom have experienced extreme sentences and isolation as a result of their political and/or religious affiliations.
They also noted a decade of extensive complaints regarding abuse, mold and medical neglect among the general population, handing out a printed collection of these stories in the surrounding neighborhood and passers-by.
For more info visit CloseCarswell.wordpress.com and FightToxicPrisons.org
If you want to help support the above prisoners, please see their websites:
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui: www.aafiamovement.com
Marius Mason: www.supportmariusmason.org
Ithaca, New York (USA): Graffiti for June 11th & Marius Mason
Graffiti found in Ithaca, NY along Cascadilla Creek. Written in solidarity with Marius Mason and all anarchist prisoners on June 11th.
Komotini (Greece): Banner drop for Sean Swain
On Monday, June 12th 2017, we hung a banner at the Old Law School in Komotini as a small sign of solidarity with all long-term anarchist prisoners. We do not forget the comrade Sean Swain.
– Utopia A.D. anarchist squat
Melbourne (Australia): Action at Flinders St station
We acknowledge that we are standing on stolen land and respect tradional owners and sovereignty never ceded, aboriginal deaths in custody in so called austalia must stop as Aboriginal prison rates soar despite recommendations in to the royal commision into aboriginal deaths in custody since 1987, as in recommendation 92: Imprisonment should be utilised only as a sanction of last resort. Solidarity to long term anarchist prisoners. Their inside for us we are outside for them. Bbut we can not forget about the prison industrial complex within australia that is part of the colonisation of so called australia. Solidarity to all long term anarchist prisoners.
New Orleans, Louisiana (USA): Banner & graffiti
New York City, New York (USA): Graffiti in solidarity with Marius Mason
We just wanted to share a message writ large in the belly of the beast that Marius might enjoy. We wrote ‘Visualize Industrial Collapse’ approximately 90 feet wide and 8 feet tall on a fence in Brooklyn with the infrastructure and financial symbols of Manhattan across the East River as a backdrop.
We weep at the thought of the heinous, all-too-familiar devastation called Progress that was wrought on the once lush forests of these islands after settler-colonialism forced the indigenous Lenape off of them. We grow tired of the condo-dwelling yuppies that displace us through gentrification. We hone our skills, preparing to attack.
For anarchy, against civilization.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA): Posters for anarchist prisoners
As a small show of solidarity with anarchist prisoners I put up posters in West Philly and South Philly. Along the way I also took down some annoying infowars and right libertarian stickers.
Fire to the Prisons
For a Dangerous June
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA): Sabotage of machines for Dangerous June
During the first half of dangerous June some machines decided to experiment with freedom. They expressed their solidarity with J20 arrestees and anarchists facing repression worldwide before taking their own liberating actions:
* Four security cameras flew away from their posts to see the rest of the world.
*A digital advertising billboard by a highway got a makeover.
*Four fare checking machines tried new foods and got constipated.
*A door to a security force’s building chose to sleep in and delay work.
-Mutinous Machines Solidarity Cell – Philadelphia
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA): Solidarity march
Pittsburgh anarchists held a march in solidarity with anarchist prisoners on June 11th, 2017. Full marching band in tow, the group disrupted traffic patterns and whatever the fuck else gross yuppie shit goes down on Butler Street, Pittsburgh’s “hipster” strip. Banners in solidarity with Eric King, Marius Mason, and Fernando Bárcenas were on display, along with other anti-prison banners.
After the march, a picnic and info fair was held near by, where t-shirts and buttons were traded in exchange for commissary funds for Joseph Buddenberg, Nicole Kissane, Eric King, and Marius Mason.
Until Every Cage Is Empty
Portland, Oregon (USA): Tabling & food distribution
The flyers said 12PM. The Facebook event page (how I hate myself for typing those words) said 12PM. We had every intention of being there by 12PM. At 12:20, we finally rolled up.
The open spot on the street right in front of the staging area was like a sign of fate – and we considered ourselves forgiven for our tardiness (damn lazy anarchists!!). For those of you who’ve tried finding parking in any metro downtown, you know what a tax on one’s patience this usually is. Even showing up 20 minutes late, we were still the first people there. Just before arriving, our other comrade had called us to give us the heads up that it was technically illegal to set up a table in the park.
We saw the pigs 50 feet away and debated if we should just try setting up on the sidewalk instead. (The point of our action was to hand out zines and food, not fight with the cops, and for once we thought it best not to antagonize.) One in our group remembered that another comrade was bringing a banner with posts to dig into the ground, so we figured we’d take our chances in the park. Glad we went with that hunch, because the pigs paid us (almost) no mind after all.
Shortly after carting all the supplies over to the staging area, a human walked up and introduced themselves to us as a friend of a trusted comrade. We welcomed them, and they helped us setup the table with all the food and zines. Soon, other comrades arrived with another table and more food. Then our banner arrived in all it’s glory to truly make our event feel official. We battled hardily with the wind to get that banner raised, but in the end we were triumphant. Thanks to some liberated bookends from a designer store, our zines managed to mostly stay on the table as well.
We had Fleet Week as our backdrop, so there were lots of young Navy sailors walking by as well as families come to tour the guts of the giant war machines parked in our river. The crowd was surprisingly diverse and not as capital R republican as one would expect. We even managed to get some lit into the hands of some sailors. Many people seemed baffled at the idea of a free lunch (anarchists know no other kind!), and we had to fend off a number of attempts to hand us cash. “Who just gives out food?” “What’s the catch!?” “But somebody had to pay for it, right?” “Well, can I give you a donation?”
We managed to get zines into most people’s hands, with an emphasis on lit focusing on the flaws and failures of democracy, as well as basics of what anarchism means. My favorite moment was handing a comic explaining the failings of capitalism to a kid no older than 5 and his dad asking if he wanted to read it together later.
Most people were receptive, if not outright thankful, and the few jerks in the crowd mostly kept their comments to themselves. At one point, a socialist Sikh came to my personal defense as a guy got in my face about getting a real job. (I work in food service, he does construction. I commented that many people would say construction wasn’t a “real job” either, at which he got indignant that I bite my thumb at his heaps and heaps of money.) We didn’t convert the socialist, but at least he’ll think better of us next time he watches the 5 O’clock news. In fact, we had quite a bit of luck opening dialogues with people who were ignorant of what we were really about.
Turns out lots of people trust everything they see the news say about us, so this was a great opportunity to bash liberals together and champion no taxes and generally confuse the right wingers who confused us anarchists with run-of-the-mill Dems (Blechh!!). Of course, since we took this action to show solidarity with anarchist prisoners, we had lots of literature on folx behind bars as well. Sean Swain’s story in particular is a good one to tell fence sitting conservatives to at least get them to listen to what you’ve got to say. Show mothers the picture of Jeremy Hammond and you can see them become visibly moved. Sunday was immensely humbling as we got to share the stories of our comrades with people who may have never heard of their struggles otherwise. From the octogenarian couple who stopped for granola bars and left with a handful of zines to the crust punk from Salt Lake City who wants to start a collective and an infoshop, we reached so many different types of people who hopefully feel empowered to fight the State or at least support those of us who do.
We were starting to run out of reading material and food when reinforcements came in the form of more zines and a couple cases of Lara Bars. With the added supplies, we managed to hold the space from about 12:30 to 6:30. We ran through most of the food we had, excepting about a dozen bagels. We also managed to deplete the bulk of our zines, with only a small reserve left over.
As one comrade pointed out, since people were actively coming to our table as opposed to just taking what was being handed out the likelihood that they’ll get read is significantly better. On top of all the people we reached just because they passed by us, we had several people tell us they intentionally came back after passing by earlier. We also had a couple pigs come over to chat. They didn’t hassle us or ask us to move on, and we managed to get some literature into their hands. Maybe, if we’re real lucky, they’ll trade in those blue uniforms for black masks, but I’m not gonna hold my breath.
Lots of folks were interested in how to get involved or how to start actions in their own town. Luckily, we had several zines on how to organize marches, etc., as well as a stack of zines explaining affinity groups. Here’s hoping our action resulted in more people joining us in the street. To wrap everything up, below we’ve broken down all the numbers (if you’re the wonky kind of anarchist who enjoys that sort of thing…). All numbers are rough estimates, on the conservative side.
$1000: Amount in USD of food given away. All food was dumpstered or expropriated from gentrifying chains.
15: Number of meaningful interactions and discussions lasting over 5 minutes
25: Number of positive interactions involving some sort of praise of anarchists
100+: Number of positive interactions involving individual taking food
100+: Number of positive interactions involving individual taking zines
4: Number of negative interactions with individual expressing anti-anarchist sentiments
Stanwood, Michigan (USA): Demonstration at Nestle’s Ice Mountain bottling plant in hometown of Marius Mason
Lake Effect EF! demonstrated at Nestle’s Ice Mountain bottling plant on June 11 in Stanwood MI, the hometown of Marius Mason. Marius had organized with Sweetwater Alliance against Nestle’s bottling plant and waterwells in Mecosta County, as well as the water shut offs in Detroit in the early 2000’s.
Nestle is currently seeking a permit to increase their withdrawal at White Pine Springs Well #101 from 250 gallons per minute to 400 gallons per minute. Additionally water shutoffs continue in Detroit with 19,000 residents currently losing their access to water. Bottled water has been utilized as a false solution to the Flint Water Crisis. Rather than being solutions, privatization and water table depletion will only continue to create more ecological and social problems.
We stand in solidarity with Marius and all long term anarchist prisoners. UNTIL ALL ARE FREE!
Tampere (Finland): Solidarity for June 11th
Thessaloniki (Greece): Placement of incendiary device
We perceive anarchist and antiauthoritarian spaces as structures in which we organize struggles and live collective moments outside the authoritarian relations that the State and capitalism would like to impose on us daily.
Lately, the State has carried out various attacks against squats and hangouts in Athens, Thessaloniki, Agrinio and Larissa.
In response to these attacks, during the night of 11th to 12th June 2017, we placed an incendiary device in a van belonging to AKTOR company on Makedonikis Amynis Street in Thessaloniki.
We know that this company constructs the enemy’s structures, such as the Skouries mine in the Halkidiki Peninsula, that destroys the earth for the benefit of capitalists, or the Thessaloniki metro, intended to support and strengthen the flow of capital.
We chose June 11th, international day of solidarity with anarchist prisoners facing long sentences, to express our solidarity with all captive comrades worldwide.
Fire to all prison cells.
Death to the State and Capital.
Direct action for anarchy.
ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA (USA)
Vegan cookout, presentations, and movie showing
AUSTIN, TEXAS (USA)
Fundraiser, live music, silkscreening
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA (USA)
Anarchist reading group The Sun Still Rises by CCF
Screening of Sacco & Vanzetti & letter writing
Anarchist picnic & music
Film Screening of Chasseur de Skins
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK (USA)
Political Prisoner letter writing Dinner
BUENOS AIRES (ARGENTINA)
Almuerzo fraterno por lxs presxs anarquistas de large condena
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (USA)
Letter writing party
CHICO, CALIFORNIA (USA)
Benefit screening of If a Tree Falls
CINCINNATI, OHIO (USA)
Goth/punx party! in solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners
COLUMBUS, OHIO (USA)
Listening party and potluck
DENTON, TEXAS (USA)
Fight Toxic Prisons 2017 Convergence
Vegan ice cream brunch to support anarchist prisoners
HOUSTON, TEXAS (USA)
Film showing and dinner
HUNTINGTON, WEST VIRGINIA (USA)
Punk show for June 11th
LAKE WORTH, FLORIDA (USA)
Film screening & fundraiser
LIVE OAK, FLORIDA (USA)
Solidarity rally at Suwannee Correctional
Action at Flinders Street Station
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA (USA)
Letter writing, potluck, and movie screening
MONTPELIER, VERMONT (USA)
Potluck & letter writing
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA (USA)
Potluck & letter writing
OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON (USA)
Sing Me Home: Album Release and Benefit Show
OMAHA, NEBRASKA (USA)
Fundraiser for anarchist prisoners
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA (USA)
All you can eat vegan cookout
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA (USA)
March & picnic
PORTLAND, OREGON (USA)
Call for Community Food Distribution
RUTLAND, OHIO (USA)
Musical lunch-in with songs by Marius
TORONTO, ONTARIO (CANADA)
Letter writing & movie screenings
YPSILANTI, MICHIGAN (USA)
Street party & benefit concert