Abolitionist or Demolitionist? (Words Carry Meanings)

During the 19th century those who were against chattel slavery were called “Abolitionists” and they organized what was called The Underground Railroad, a vast conspiracy consisting of slaves, escaped slaves, free-Blacks, whites, Natives, secret codes, routes, safe houses, defense forces, etc. and actively fought to free those being held as chattel and end chattel slavery in the U.S. Chattel slavery was eventually “abolished” after the Civil War and the enactment of the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, except for those who was to be “duly convicted of a crime” in a court of law.

The point is that those “Abolitionists” of the 19th century didn’t attempt to destroy the state, only the institution of chattel slavery, but left the oppressive government intact, thereby allowing the state to continue slavery as enacted by the 13th Amendment, denying the right of individuals to hold Blacks in slavery, but allowing the state the right to enslave anyone.

Today, there are those who call themselves “Abolitionists,” even some anarchists. But there are other anarchists who have begun to use the term “Demolitionists” instead, and for good reason. Continue reading

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New Year

A new year, same shit! I’m not really a writer and don’t really like writing, and don’t have anything in particular to write about, so I’ll just put things down as it pops in my head.

Lately, my mind has been troubled about a lot of things and I do feel compelled to write something. One is how we keep going for the same old stuff that power be putting down. It’s really depressing when I see that even some anarchists, who should know better, decry the election/selection of Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton. Don’t we realize that Clinton is just another piece in the power matrix and that she would only continue that status quo of power’s domination? Continue reading

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A Look at the Free Alabama Movement

“Non-violence is itself just an insidious hypocritical form of violence, a sign of certain people’s inability to stand up for themselves as human beings.”

My critique of the Free Alabama Movement (FAM) springs from my belief as an anarchist and anarchists’ opposition to authority, domination and the state. It also comes from my participation in and observance of FAM. I sincerely hope that FAM changes its mode of action and incorporate a diversity of actions into its tactics when it comes to fighting the state, and abandon its reformist goals which only strengthen the state.

When FAM first came to Holman in its debut workstrike it seemed leaderless and militant,which I found most attractive, but now FAM appears to have deformed and twisted itself into this vulgar leadership kick.

The FAM insistence on non-violent/peaceful protest is bordering on the pathological, the sheepish pandering to liberal activists, reformist goals; and the abandoning of prison rebels who swerve from the non-violence/peaceful protest mantra is also bordering on treason. Case in point, a staunch member of FAM has been charged with the stabbing of notorious Warden Carter Davenport in March of 2016 at W.C. Holman prison. From all reports the comrade has not received any support from FAM. As a matter of fact, an anarchist comrade on the outside recently contacted FAM, but never received a response. Another instance of FAM’s pathological denigration of prison rebels who resort to violent direct action against brutal beasts whose only control mechanism known is violence, is the decrying the release from lockup of twenty prison rebels who had been placed in lock for allegedly taking part in a riot against prison guards on August 1, 2016, as if their release was a plot by prison officials to escalate prisoner-on-prisoner violence, calling these rebels “violent prisoners.” That’s the same thing politicians talk when they talk politics on the 5 o’clock news, “violent prisoners.” Not true! I was among the twenty placed in lock-up and released back into general population, so I know what I speak of. And there has been other misinformation disseminated by FAM spokespersons.

It was reported that FAM had organized a “Peace Summit” here at Holman where an agreement was reached among the warring gang factions and that announcements were made in each dorm that gangs would provide protection for the elderly and as security in the dorms. No such “summit” took place here and no such gang agreed to act as security. The FAM spokesperson who has been saying these things has been in lock-up going on three years for posting on Facebook. I don’t know who or where he is getting this info, but I know it’s inaccurate and untrue.

Then there is the misleading report that the striking guards were striking in support of prisoners. Also not true. Those guards were striking against the refusal of prison officials not giving them a pay raise and the shortage of staff. Yes, there has been prisoner-on-prisoner violence facilitated by prison officials, but in this instance it’s not true. It seems as if any violence against prison officials by prisoners is frowned upon by FAM. Only prisoners themselves can bring a halt to prisoner-on-prisoner violence.

Another critique I have of FAM is its reliance on the state to enact new lats (see FAM Bill on FAM website). FAM speaks against “mass incarceration” in one breath, but asks the state to legislate “new laws” that FAM sees as “fair” in another breath. And FAM refuses to see that not all prisoners have jobs inside. What about those that do not? Are they not included in those who are to be released according to the “new laws” FAM wrote and lobbied to be enacted?

FAM is one-issue oriented and as an anarchist I see that as a hindrance to the liberation from a society of domination, authority and control. Laws are made to control the behavior and thoughts of the individual. And prison is for those who refuse to be controlled, dominated and dictated to be authority. Anarchists are in opposition to all forms of oppression, in all its manifestations. And we fight them all simultaneously in our everyday lives. And that includes fucking, fighting the state, working, rearing children and just relating to each other in new ways.

The tactics of FAM (workstrikes, boycotts, lobbying for new laws) are methods that continue a certain practice that have proven throughout history to be a failure when employed alone. And the insistence on these methods only impedes the creation of other means of action. We must reject the old practices of struggle.

The one thing that FAM is excellent at is the spreading of information on the outside, but not so good at it when it comes to articulating and spreading word of actions within the prisons. Many of the prisoners I talk with are confused about the goals of FAM. Most do not even know about FAM/IWOC.

The disorder, Department of Justice investigation, staff shortages, etc. taking place in Alabama prisons, especially Holman, are the result of rebellious prisoners and violent prisoners who have nothing whatsoever to do with FAM/IWOC. Out of the three workstrikes, nothing really concrete came out of it. Not the disruption to the smooth running of prison, more space opening up for dialogue among prisoners themselves, regaining agency, etc.

In order to end prison slavery, prison society must be destroyed and the same goes for mass incarceration. I would advise prison rebels to not allow so-called free-world allies to dictate how we fight. We really don’t need allies, we need accomplices, conspirators. I know prisoners who are a part of FAM, just as I am, who feel the same way, but feel hampered because their thinking is not accepted or they are not part of a select clique and refuse to accept self-appointed leaders.

Most folks, in and out of prison, don’t see that a war is being waged upon the oppressed and that the state, through its institutions (police, military, local/national governments, schools, etc.) carries out the dictates of power through various means. And that there are going to be casualties – but it’s time to inflict some casualties on the other side.

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Kuwasi Balagoon: Anarchist Warrior

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[Note: December 2016 marks both what would have been Kuwasi’s 70th birthday and the 30th anniversary of his death (murder) from AIDS-related illnesses while serving a life sentence on charges related to the robbery of a Brinks armored car undertaken to fund guerrilla activities.]

I became acquainted with Kuwasi Balagoon in the 1990s through his writings and the writings of revolutionaries that knew and fought alongside him. What is clear is that Kuwasi had an intense love for New Afrikan people and all oppressed people, and an equally intense hatred for racist and oppressive authority, and dedicated the bulk of his life in defense and liberation of all oppressed people. First as a member of the Central Harlem Committee for Self-Defense and later as a Black Panther and soldier within the Black Liberation Army. Soldier is really a misnomer, because a soldier is one who follows orders and the dictates of authority without question. And that wasn’t Kuwasi. We see that Kuwasi was rebellious as a young kid and later in his stay in the military. Kuwasi can best be defined as a warrior who lived to fight.

Sundiata Acoli, a comrade of Kuwasi’s within the Black Liberation Army, wrote that if we had read Kuwasi’s poem “I’m a Wildman” we would know Kuwasi, because he was a wildman – and that we need more of today. Sundiata also wrote that Kuwasi hated authority. I don’t know when Kuwasi officially or theoretically became an anarchist, but it’s clear that he was always an anti-authoritarian. He exemplified that through the numerous actions he carried out, from bucking in the military to the numerous prison breaks after being captured, which one isn’t supposed to do simply because authority says you should. It’s against the law, right?

Well, Kuwasi didn’t give a flying fuck about the law. He understood to really be free, one must act outside the law and destroy the lawmakers and their authoritarian institutions. Kuwasi’s trial statement says it all – it’s brilliant, defiant, and clearly shows what we should be about. I’m sure Kuwasi caught a lot of grief and heartache for becoming an anarchist because it’s seen as a white thing, just as Ashanti Alston spoke about. But I’m sure Kuwasi said fuck you to those who criticized him for being an anarchist.

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Update from C-dorm (10/7)

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This is Michael reporting from Holman. Oct. 7th at 2:00 am there was/is a disturbance where prisoners in C-dorm got into an argument with other prisoners, and the riot squad pig that is temporarily working at Holman placed a chain on cell door, locking everyone in. Now pigs waiting on full riot squad to arrive. Crip gang say they will fight. I don’t know if you got this report so I’m responding it with the latest. The full riot squad arrived about 4:00 am and just stood outside the cell looking in. Then, about twenty minutes ago, the riot squad entered C-dorm and escorted two prisoners with their property out the dorm to place them in lock up or transfer them. These prisoners are influential within the Crip gang.

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Riot squad attacks C-dorm (10/3)

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The riot squad hit C-dorm like a tornado. Destroyed much of our property. Confiscated over forty knives and I don’t know how many phones. They came early this morning, Monday the third of October, in full riot gear. They are now searching other dorms. I’m going silent now.

Michael

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Riot squad arrives at Holman (10/2)

As of 6:00pm at shift change, the riot squad arrived at Holman, but not in riot gear. They say they are here due to the shortage of staff. That may be true, but we believe that they also have more nefarious intentions. We know that they want to disarm us, confiscate all cellphones because they know that the strikes were organized through prisoners networking by way of contraband cellphones. And to crack some skulls in retaliation for the death of a pig on Sept. 1st by a prison rebel, and all the other actions that has taken place. We will continue to resist.

Michael

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Update from Holman (10/2)

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Clenched fist salute: this is a short update to inform everyone that the riot squad did not arrive at Holman prison as was expected, but we do believe that they will most likely come sometime this week. Holman prison is at a real shortage of pigs. They are quitting, some just refuse to come to work. We are having an impact and know that the state has the intentions to destroy the resistance here and regain total control of our bodies and mind. Will keep you posted.

MICHAEL

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Report from Holman (9/27)

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. This is Mike reporting from Holman prison.

Watch video here

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Michael’s out of segregation

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As of September 15th, 2016, Michael and others out of segregation. He says he thinks the call-in played a major part in them getting released. Thanks to everyone who called in!

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