Running from the Devil

An interview with grand jury resister Steve Jablonskiexilehigh-1024x662

by Doug Gilbert / CrimethInc.

If you were contacted by the FBI, what would you do? Do you know who you would call? Would you be able to find a lawyer? Would you quit your job? Would you talk to your partner, your comrades, your parents? More importantly, would you talk to the government? If the FBI informed you that you were being made to stand before a grand jury, at which you could not have a lawyer present and you might face jail time if you did not answer questions—what would you do?

In 2012, several anarchists in the Pacific Northwest had to answer these questions. They were brought before the court to determine if they knew anything or anyone that was connected to a riot that broke out on May Day of that year. Three people kept their mouths shut and did several months in jail. One other person talked and was released, and quickly vanished without telling her former friends what she had done.

What follows is the experience of another person, Steve Jablonski, who took another route. While standing in solidarity with other people in the Pacific Northwest who resisted the grand jury, Steve instead decided to leave the country in order to avoid spending time in jail. Steve, like his comrades, kept his mouth shut in the face of government repression, but also faced other obstacles. He had to contend with the police forces of another country, and continues to face the realities of political repression now that he has returned.

There are many ways to defy the powers that be. Sometimes, you keep your mouth shut and do a few months; other times, you flee the country. We leave it up to you, dear reader, to choose what is right for you.“Wherever you find injustice, the proper form of politeness is attack.”
–T-Bone Slim

Can you tell us a little about yourself? How did you arrive in the Pacific Northwest and become an anarchist? Continue reading

Freedom Friday to fight repression

ALL OUT at the Durham Jail FRIDAY the 13th

June 12, 2014

durhamFrom Amplify Voices

Statement by Inside-Outside Alliance, June 2014

“Cause summer’s here and the time is right for dancin’ in the streets.”
‑‑Martha and the Vandallas, 1964

“Cause summer’s here and the time is right for fightin’ in the streets.”
–The Rolling Stones, 1968

We endorse the call out for a demonstration at the Durham jail on Friday June 13th and invite anyone to join us in filling the heavy June evening air with the sounds of drums, shakers, kazoos, pots, pans, whistles and anything that makes noise. It is right to rebel, and it is always right to show solidarity with those who rebel in creative and courageous ways. So, we will stand strong for targeted eco-activists and longterm anarchist prisoners, along with prisoners poised to strike at Polk C.I. (in Butner, NC) and, of course, prisoners in the Durham jail.

Coinciding with international days of action in support of targeted radical environmental activists, we are taking the occasion of this lone Friday the 13th of 2014 to show support for the ongoing struggles of Durham jail prisoners and to register our disgust for the so-called protest rules introduced by Durham’s city council this winter.

Freedom Friday to fight repression

What do the cases of Marie Mason, Eric McDavid and other long-term eco-activist prisoners (see june11.org/) have in common with the situation faced by those organizing in the Durham jail against conditions and those on the outside in Durham who have been pulling back the curtain on police misconduct? Repression by state forces. This occurs and can be expected whenever there is a level of success and where official power deems that example must be snuffed out by any means necessary. To honor all prisoners in motion against their oppression, we must also fight what we face on the outside. To relight the flame of popular revolt, we must bring a good mix of Martha & the Vandallas and, if necessary,the Rolling Stones, as always we should.

Although we come in a festive mood to conjure images of a world without prisons and jails, cops, or borders, we also come in a militant mood, because Durham city council attempted this winter to straitjacket dissent and to sow the fear of resistance in the future. What more absurd thing could come from a council which in one breath in late January declares its ‘support’ of public dissent and in the other delivers its new rules of protest? The only thing more absurd is they are not new rules at all, but were only re-established after police actions and the council’s own missteps this winter.

While the fog of time may cloud some memories, it does not obscure the actual events of the winter and especially December 19, the night of the second of three vigil/demonstrations against the police. It was on that night that people, angry at the death of Jesus ‘Chuy’ Huerta and in support of his family, marched on the sidewalk to the police station in order for the family to erect a memorial, and kept to the sidewalk all the way back to CCB Plaza. Restraint and discipline were the order of the evening—and still this crowd, while dispersing, was attacked by the police, with riot cops teargassing and batoning anyone and everyone who stood in their way, and literally charging and attempting to arrest dispersed groups of young people for no reason whatsoever. City council covered for the cops’ incredible excesses that night by laying down rules for protest, specifically prohibiting night marches and the use of masks.

Interestingly, though not surprisingly, these rules were broken first not by anti-police radicals hellbent on justice, but by folks with presumably considerable disposable income at their disposal at a Mardi Gras celebration in March. Therefore, along with being a demonstration of solidarity with prisoners near and far, this noise demonstration is a clear and decisive “Piss off!” to Durham city council and its supporters. It is not time to make nice. As the poet T-Bone Slim said, “Wherever you find injustice, the proper form of politeness is attack.” We say, whenever you are presented with restrictions on protests, the only way to respond is to protest. And, we call for one that celebrates our creativity and existing struggles and points a way toward a new world.

 

Environmental dead-endism and prison society

“To be honest, the world is at its limit…the air is constantly polluted…This jail is not for me.” 
                                                                                                    –inmate at Durham County Jail

It may be natural for one who follows the amplify voices blog, or keeps tabs on Inside-Outside Alliance to ask, ‘Why are you making a point to support ecological activists or long-term anarchist prisoners?’ A natural question, perhaps, but one borne more out of the logic of our enemies, and the enemies of freedom everywhere. It is our enemies who seek to divide, to keep our struggles apart. In fact, the mainstream, middle-class environmental movement, which in 40-plus years has created for itself a business if nothing else, shows the fatal weakness of such an approach. In its attempts to ostensibly address serious problems—climate change, pollution, endangered species and extinction.–this moribund movement rarely acknowledges that the economic system by which we are organized–capitalism–is itself an ecocidal system. We live on a sinking ship of a planet, and the only way off—save zombie apocalypse or divine intervention—is through radical thinking and radical action, the kind for which Marie Mason, Eric McDavid, and a number of others are being so severely punished.

Related to the city council’s so-called tolerance for dissent is the city’s cultivation of a label as being green and environmentally conscious, as it grabs for investment capital and burnishes its credentials as cool. Durham is full of environmentalists, and we, like so many cities, are nary the better for it. In a city largely being ‘redeveloped’ on the backs of the descendants of enslaved people and migrant laborers, and becoming more livable only by people with increasingly more money, ‘deep ecology’ is equated with individual actions such as riding one’s bicycle or ELF, composting or recycling, or with the enlightened policies of elected leaders and business elite, which result in something like the city’s monstrous embodiment of ‘green building,’ a symbol of both the bankrupt state of environmentalism and the city’s longtime marriage to white supremacy: The Durham Justice Center. A building which at every turn—even the bathrooms—heralds its energy use and sun-drenched corridors, but has less room inside its courtrooms for supporters and observers than the previous, still-standing courthouse. But what more would we expect from a building which only exists to criminalize and extract money from poor, mostly black and brown people? And whether they start out there before going to court or end up there, we must remember the next bed for a number of visitors to the “Justice Center” is a mat at the Durham County Jail.

It has been on such mats that a number of prisoners have awakened from the nightmare of existence, and sometimes dreamed of something new. That is why we endorse the noise demonstration June 13th. Just as anti-capitalist eco-warriors through their actions combat the logic of economic growth, we affirm that it’s not redevelopment or revitalization (a racial code word if there ever was one) that’s needed in Durham, it’s regeneration, nothing less than the creation of a free society. And regeneration can only come through a glorious interplay between struggle and participation, to make our dreams—not of condos and beer gardens for the few, but of bountiful gardens and beautiful music for all—a reality.

This is hell, nor are we out of it

 “Rather, the jails, like the high schools, like the swollen cities, like the polluted rivers, like the congested traffic, like the TV, like slow or quick violence, are taken for granted as the nature of things.” –Paul Goodman, 1971

Death can come in so many ways, and pondering all the ways our sick world can kill us can nearly paralyze us, but perhaps the scariest thought of all is that we live on a dying planet, one that is increasingly becoming less capable to sustain human and other animal life. It is scary because it is true. Sabotaging the system—be it destroying genetically modified crops, shutting down a plant where chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing are produced, or any number of other actions—requires boldness, creativity, and an understanding that it may be necessary to destroy what we have in order to build something new. The activists behind bars who are remembered in actions and events around June 11 know that—in fact, they have lived it. They face long prison sentences, often on flimsy or manufactured evidence, or testimony by handsomely paid entrappers/informants. But there are also many in this city who recognize that the time for patience was never, and many of them are those left behind by the city’s planners—those in jail, or maybe headed toward it. Largely, these are black and brown youth, who have been ‘endangered species’ their whole lives, and for whom there actually are a ‘million ways to die’ in the city.’ Some of these youth were in the streets this winter, some of them will be the next time. All of them have the chance to be rebel workers/eco-warriors/freedom fighters in their own right.

We would like nothing better than to see the radical ecology movement to continue to learn and take initiative from those fighting for their survival in our cities, and those engaging in collective struggle from the inside, be it in a county jail or state or federal prison. An example to heed is that of West Virginia prisoners (and those outside in solidarity) resisting the state’s forced poisoning of them in the face of the coal slurry spill that despoiled the entire region’s water. Or, closer to home, the newly formed Brotherhood in N.C. prisons, as well as those coming together inside Durham jail. The slogan cannot be simply Earth First, because on a planet that’s dying it’s dying more quickly for some, and in this country, especially, it must be remembered that white supremacy and domination of the earth are two sides of the same coin.

One small but bold step. And open to leaps toward the liberation of humankind (and the rest of Earth, too)

“We were not able to choose the mess we have to live in – this collapse of a whole society – but we can choose our way out.”  –C.L.R. James

We urge anyone and everyone to join us at the jail to bring the noise and break down the walls of isolation for those inside and outside. This event is important, and not just another thing to do on a calendar, because Durham prisoners want people there; because it raises awareness of repression against radical activists; and because it is a retort to Durham city council’s attempts to shoot down the people’s power to raise serious questions and contend for space. Regardless of our individual affinities, we as a group in Inside-Outside Alliance are not especially interested in defending or raising awareness about anarchists or eco-activists being targeted. Although we think it is important to fight repression and the attempted isolation of radical activists, it is not in general what we do. This is to take nothing at all away from or diminish the principles and boldness of activists who find themselves behind bars, but we think it’s necessary to make the following assertion: all prisoners are political prisoners. We support all prisoners in motion to assert their humanity. We think these inside struggles, and those outside against police terrorism, will continue to pop off in small and large cities. It is no coincidence that this is happening and will happen in places with some of the worst air and water quality and access to healthy food, and in places that are being rapidly re-developed for the benefit of the few.

Like Marie Mason, Eric McDavid and others, we believe that a defense of the wild is urgent and necessary, but we think it must be materially connected to the destruction of what in many ways is its opposite: the penal system of cops, courts, jails and prisons. And these struggles need to be firmly connected to even more struggles, so that we may find a way not to live a little better, but to truly live. We come today as a group and with others as a modest effort to find each other in the cauldron of public protest and link struggles in the cause for freedom. We urge you to join us.

– Inside-Outside Alliance, June 2014

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Calling for Anti-Capitalist Bloc at the People’s Climate March in NYC

from AnarchistNews

black blocOn September 20, 2014, Bill McKibben’s 350.org and a host of other Green NGOs are calling for a massive march through New York City to demand “the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet. A world safe from the ravages of climate change. A world with good jobs, clean air, and healthy communities for everyone.”

They are expecting tens of thousands of people to arrive, and the current Facebook page already has 5000 confirmed attendees with three months until the actual event.

While we stand completely opposed to the Green Capitalist alternative that these NGOs and politicians are demanding, we do not want to let this golden opportunity pass us to once again spread anarchy through New York Fucking City and beyond. If you would of told us 3 years ago that Adbusters Magazine’s call to occupy Wall Street and produce one single coherent demand would be transformed into demand-less tent cities and months of unrest across most of the country, we would’ve mocked you openly. And yet with a extraordinary amount of anarchist intervention, we witnessed something unbelievable come to pass.

So. On September 20, we are quite simply calling for a large anti-capitalist bloc of the march to spread subversion and unrest throughout the City in ways that are as contagious and re-producable in the same way that pitching tents in parks was in 2011. Continue reading

Image

Reset The Net: Protect Yourself from the NSA

Reset The Net: Protect Yourself from the NSA

NC to start test drilling for natural gas to lure energy industry

 
  • Robert Willett – rwillett@newsobserver.com
    Governor Pat McCrory, flanked, from left, by Sen. E.S. Newton, Sen. Bob Rucho, legislative staffer Jeff Warren, and Rep. Mike Hager applaud the governor after he signed a bill to allow fracking in North Carolina, at the N.C. State Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering on the Centennial Campus in Raleigh, N.C. on Wednesday, June 4, 2014.

RALEIGH Gov. Pat McCrory’s signing of major energy legislation into law Wednesday sets the stage for preliminary exploration of North Carolina’s shale gas potential, with the state government taking the lead where private industry has been reluctant to commit.

State-sponsored drilling is expected to get underway this fall in Eastern North Carolina as part of a $550,000 state effort approved last year to help the energy industry assess fracking prospects here.

Boosters of energy exploration want to expand the state’s drilling activities beyond the six counties designated last year. The Senate’s proposed budget would add more counties throughout the state and includes nearly $1.2 million to aid the energy sector by drilling, analysis and marketing. The governor’s budget includes $500,000 for drilling up to three test wells near Sanford in Lee County.

“It’s a great thing for the government to be willing to do that,” said Mark Miller, co-owner of Tar Heel Natural Gas, a Charlotte company interested in energy exploration here. “If the government can help the industry ascertain, that’s a huge hurdle to climb over to get industry to come into the state.”

The actual areas to be drilled will be determined after the state budget is finalized. The Senate passed its budget last week and sent it to the state House for consideration. The House is expected to discuss its own budget next week. While the two chambers differ on some budget provisions, the House is likely to endorse the test wells.

Critics of fracking want subsidies directed to promote solar power and wind energy, not a booming industry sector that is thriving on its own.

“It looks like a taxpayer subsidy going to the oil and gas industry,” said Cassie Gavin, lobbyist for the North Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club. “If they’re interested in the resource, then they should invest in exploring.”

State ready to help

But energy development has lagged here, and lawmakers eager to promote drilling in North Carolina want to send the industry a clear signal that the state is ready to help.

The Energy Modernization Act, enacted into law Wednesday, clears the way for issuing fracking permits 61 days after safety rules are adopted. Permits could be issued as early as March and almost certainly by the fall of 2015.

McCrory signed the law at N.C. State University’s Centennial Campus flanked by key lawmakers and Cabinet secretaries who are involved in developing an energy sector for the state. Security was tight with both campus and Raleigh police, but there were no protesters.

“Now for the first time North Carolina is getting into energy exploration,” McCrory said, who passed out the pens used to sign the legislation. “North Carolina has been sitting on the sidelines for too long.”

An inducement to industry

Still, energy companies are not likely to spend millions of dollars to explore here if their investment won’t pay off. Producing natural gas for commercial use would require drilling horizontally through several thousand feet of prehistoric shale rock and using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to release natural gas trapped in the rock formations.

North Carolina’s shale gas potential remains speculative and is based on about 15 core samples collected in past decades as well as a handful of test wells in Lee County that have struck gas, said State Geologist Kenneth Taylor. Lee, Moore and Chatham counties are believed to be the state’s epicenter for natural gas and related fossil fuels commonly called “wet” gas.

Pinpointing the best sources of the shale gas could require drilling several hundred test wells, Miller said. North Carolina’s offer to drill several more test wells would be an inducement for the industry to pick up the slack, he said, but no guarantee of success.

Bids from contractors are due June 21 for drilling the core samples in the Cumberland-Marlboro basin, approved by the legislature last year for a swath that includes Wayne, Sampson, Scotland and Hoke counties.

Drilling could start in fall

If the funds for drilling remain in the state budget, Taylor said, the core samples could also be drilled as early as this fall. He said the drilling locations haven’t been selected but they would be on state-owned property.

Drilling core samples doesn’t produce gas; instead, it provides cylinders of soil and rock that can be chemically analyzed for organic carbon, the common marker for natural gas, oil and other fuels.

Vertical core samples are also cheaper than drilling gas test wells, costing between $400,000 and $500,000 for a 4,000-foot core, versus more than $1 million per gas well, Taylor said. Drilling for gas is more complicated and requires “stimulating” the well by fracturing the surrounding rock with high-pressure water or nitrogen foam.

“It’ll get information that companies need to make a decision,” Taylor said of core samples. “We can get information if there’s gas there or not without going into the exploration business.”

Republican Sen. Buck Newton of Wilson, one of the advocates of shale gas exploration, said he has discussed the state’s energy prospects with several energy companies that have expressed interest in North Carolina.

Newton predicted that, by 2017, “the picture will become very clear for the industry as to the extent of the resources” in the state.

Murawski: 919-829-8932

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“Put Pittsboro First!” Rally, 6 p.m. • Before PBOC Meeting Chatham County Historic Courthouse, June 9

Reposted from Pittsboromatters.org

Address: US 64 and US 15-501, Pittsboro Pittsboro, NC 27312

US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) sent comments to the Town of Pittsboro on May 22, 2014 expressing concerns about the need for protection of Chatham Park waters and lands that are habitats to endangered and threatened species. These comments on the revised PDD Master Plan are the third time that USFWS has weighed in on Chatham Park urging the Town of Pittsboro “to uphold their obligations under the Endangered Species Act”.

“The Service’s previous comments to the Town have encouraged the Chatham Park Investors to work with the Town staff to address issues of secondary and cumulative impacts, and we have offered assistance to the Town as considerations are made for protecting fish and wildlife resources in its jurisdiction. Our review of the revised PDD Master Plan Site Elements indicates that these measures have not been incorporated, and thus have not been adequately addressed. The Service is concerned that without detailed natural resource-focused planning and wildlife-friendly zoning, the secondary and cumulative impacts associated with increased development in this area (particularly Residential Areas l.I, 1.2, 1.3, and 1 .5 indicated on the Land Use Plan map) could result in significant degradation of aquatic habitats or extirpation of listed species. Again, we urge Chatham Park Investors to work with Town planning staff to address issues of secondary and cumulative impacts, especially since the Town has previously committed to protective measures in the watersheds draining to the Haw River.”

Specific concerns raised:

  • Concerns about how the magnitude of a project like Chatham Park will impact streams that drain directly to occupied habitat for the federally endangered Cape Fear shiner. “Because the Cape Fear shiner is present in low numbers and the range of surviving populations are restricted, this fish species is vulnerable to threats to its habitat such as land use changes,… the entire length of the Haw River flowing through Chatham County, ending at Jordan Lake) as necessary habitat for the recovery of the species”.
  • Several federal at-risk species (yellow lampmussel, brook floater and Septima’s clubtail dragonfly are also present in the project area. Federal goals for the conservation of trust resources depend explicitly on the sustained integrity of the Haw River ecosystem.
  • Many areas along the Haw River are recognized for their rarity, ecological function in the landscape, and unique natural resources that they support. The importance of the habitats these areas provide for fish and wildlife makes protection from habitat degradation essential.
  • On October 2, 2013, USFWS proposed the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis, or NLEB) for listing as endangered under the ESA. USFW Service has evidence that NLEB are found in Chatham County, near the project site.
  • USFWS points out that when the Town of Pittsboro got approval for its wastewater discharge (NPDES) permit on the Haw River “ committed to adopt several protective measures that were detailed in NCWRC’s Guidance Memorandum to Address and Mitigate Secondary and Cumulative Impacts to Aquatic and Terrestrial Wildlife Resources”. These measure specifically indicate that protective measures will be implemented , “including 200ft buffers on perennial streams and 100ft buffers on intermittent streams draining to the Haw River, 300ft buffers along the Haw River, and for new developments draining to the Haw River (i.e. Tract 1 in the EIS, which equates to areas 40,60, and 63 in the Chatham Park Investors Assemblage Map) exceeding 6%imperviousness, the Town requires the developer to include stormwater controls designed to replicate and maintain the hydrographic condition at the site prior to the change in landscape.”

To read the full letter from USFWS to the Town of Pittsboro go to: USFWS to PBO BoC_comments on revised Chatham Park PDD Master Plan

North Carolina governor signs law paving way for fracking

RALEIGH N.C. Wed Jun 4, 2014 1:28pm EDT

Republican Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina makes remarks during a ''Growth and Jobs in America'' discussion at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington, February 23, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Theiler

Republican Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina makes remarks during a ”Growth and Jobs in America” discussion at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington, February 23, 2014.

(Reuters) – North Carolina’s governor signed a law on Wednesday that will lift a longtime state ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, allowing shale gas exploration to begin as early as next year.

The Republican-led state legislature moved quickly last week to fast-track permits for fracking, in which rock formations are cracked and infused with chemical-laced water to extract natural gas. Continue reading

Event with the Botanical Hiker: Plant Identification on the Mountains-To-Sea Trail

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella)

 

 

 

Adventures in Hiking, Wild Foods, Herbal Medicine, and Gratitude

Monday, June 9th  at 7:00pm

Discussion with Heather Houskeeper, author of A Guide to the Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail at Internationalist Bookstore 405 W. Franklin St. Chapel Hill, NC

Internationalist Books has  the book in stock now! Come check it out, and join us for this informative conversation! The book is a backpacker’s practical guide to identifying and harvesting edible and medicinal plants found along the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, complete with recipes to transform them into delicious backcountry meals and snacks.

For more info: http://www.thebotanicalhiker.blogspot.com/

There will also be an event on Tuesday: Continue reading

North Carolina GOP Pushes Unprecedented Bill to Jail Anyone Who Discloses Fracking Chemicals

by Molly Redden / Mother Jones

Chris Carlson/AP

As hydraulic fracturing ramps up around the country, so do concerns about its health impacts. These concerns have led 20 states to require the disclosure of industrial chemicals used in the fracking process.

North Carolina isn’t on that list of states yet—and it may be hurtling in the opposite direction.

On Thursday, three Republican state senators introduced a bill that would slap a felony charge on individuals who disclosed confidential information about fracking chemicals. The bill, whose sponsors include a member of Republican party leadership, establishes procedures for fire chiefs and health care providers to obtain chemical information during emergencies. But as the trade publication Energywire noted Friday, individuals who leak information outside of emergency settings could be penalized with fines and several months in prison. Continue reading

Duke Energy begins work to remove large coal ash deposit in Danville

sludge from river bottom
Enlarge Photo
Dan River Basin Association

Coal ash sludge scooped from the Dan River near the Duke Energy spill in Eden.

 
Digital Content Editor- Triad Business Journal

Duke Energy Corp. has begun to remove a 2,500-ton coal ash deposit in Danville, Va., with high-tech machinery, the News & Record and Fox 8 report.

The machine agitates the river bottom and vacuums up the water and sediment. The coal ash is then filtered out and sent to a lined landfill in Person County, while clean water is returned to the river.

The deposit, a result of the Feb. 2 spill that dumped between 30,000 and 39,000 tons of ash into the Dan River, is near the Schoolfield Dam and close to where Danville draws its drinking water.

It is the largest deposit found outside of where the spill occurred at the Dan River Steam Station in Eden. Nineteen tons were cleared there.

No coal ash containments have been found to date in drinking water downstream from the spill, including in Danville.

While work at the dam is likely to last through June, the News & Record writes that prospects look grim for recovering most of the ash that spilled. The two other known deposits — both in North Carolina — are a combined 60 tons. Officials say monitoring for deposits will continue for years.

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