#34: Staying Safe So We Can Be Dangerous Together

Eric McDavid, Phil Africa, Jason Hammond, Operation Pandora, Whistleblowing

Listen to the Episode — 156 min

Summary

In our 34th episode, we follow themes of repression, security, and resistance through several different short features. In celebration of former Green Scare prisoner Eric McDavid's release after nine years inside, we reflect on the lessons of his case for our efforts to resist today. We share part of a recent CrimethInc. essay that assesses the possibilities and limits of whistleblowing, as well as an inspiring statement by Jason Hammond (sibling of incarcerated hacktivist Jeremy Hammond) as he heads to prison for his role in an anti-fascist action. Ramona Africa speaks to us about the MOVE 9 case and the life and death of Phil Africa, and an anarchist from Barcelona gives a report about the recent wave of repression by the Spanish state in Operation Pandora. Listeners weigh in on cable access TV, iTunes, and an insider view on security and entrapment strategies. We conclude with reflections on the lessons to be learned from these various cases and recent events on staying safe in order to be truly dangerous to authority. Plus as usual there are a lot of global news reports, event announcements, prisoner birthdays, and plenty more.

Notes and Links

  • Contents:
    • The Hot Wire [2:21]
    • Jason Hammond’s Sentencing Statement [15:07]
    • Interview with Ramona Africa [24:15]
    • Eric McDavid: His Case, His Release, and Lessons to Learn [45:16]
    • Interview about Anti-Anarchist Repression in Barcelona [1:05:05]
    • Beyond Whistleblowing [1:20:08]
    • Listener Feedback: TV, iTunes, Security and Entrapment [1:36:35]
    • Conclusion: Staying Safe So We Can Be Dangerous Together [1:43:07]
    • Next Week’s News [1:52:00]
  • The Hot Wire [2:21]
  • Jason Hammond’s Sentencing Statement [15:07]
  • Interview with Ramona Africa [24:15]
  • Eric McDavid: His Case, His Release, and Lessons to Learn [45:16]
  • Interview about Anti-Anarchist Repression in Barcelona [1:05:05]
  • Beyond Whistleblowing [1:20:08]
  • Listener Feedback: TV, iTunes, Security and Entrapment [1:36:35]
  • Conclusion: Staying Safe So We Can Be Dangerous Together [1:43:07]
  • Next Week’s News [1:52:00]
  • To learn more about the MOVE organization, check out onamove.com. Here’s their announcement about the death of Phil Africa.

  • We received this message from Ramona Africa about harassment of another member of the MOVE 9, and how you can offer him some support: "ONA MOVE, everybody. Another disturbing situation has surfaced at SCI-Dallas. Our brother Delbert Africa has been without a cellmate since the passing of our brother Phil Africa. Dallas officials told Delbert that they would not give him a cellmate for a while, yet the other day Delbert was brought a new cellmate. The issue is, C.O. Lindler who works on Delbert’s block (Block I) has been trying to provoke Delbert, whether it was on his own because he hates MOVE, or because he had orders. Lindler was saying things like, “Everybody else has cellmates, what’s so special about him?” If this guard has a problem with MOVE people then he should request not to work Delbert’s block and leave our brother alone. This example is so outstanding because the whole jail knows that our brother, Phil, just passed and people don’t usually antagonize and try to provoke a person that has just lost a loved one. So what is Lindler’s problem? We are alerting people to this situation because it looks like they’re trying to provoke something with Delbert and we won’t let them get away with this treachery, we’re doing as JOHN AFRICA teaches us to do, we’re exposing it. Understand, this is not about Delbert having a cellmate or not, it’s about this guard misusing the situation to try to provoke Delbert. Robin Lucas is the superintendent’s assistant and the person to contact with your concerns. Her number is 570 674–1101, after the recording push 0 for operator and ask for her. Her email address is rlucas@pa.gov. Thanks for your continued support—-Ramona for the MOVE family

  • The celebration of Phil Africa’s life that Ramona Africa announced for January 31st has already taken place, but if you couldn’t make it, you can watch the Livestream coverage of the event here

  • Check out the full text of Jason Hammond’s powerful sentencing statement, from which we read a long excerpt.

  • Here’s footage of Eric McDavid’s release from prison](http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/09/eco-terrorist-eric-mcdavid-released_n_6441966.html) - keep the tissue box or snot rag handy.

  • Eric McDavid still needs our help with his post-release fund. If you can contribute, please do so at youcaring.com/EricMcDavid.

  • If you’re a radio or podcast aficionado, there have been a few episodes of this American Life which cover stories of informants and entrapment: Episode #381, Turncoat, which speak with and about an activist named Brandon Darby (and, in our opinion, goes way too easy on the monster); Episode #387, Arms Trader 2009; Episode #471, The Convert, which goes in depth about an FBI sting operation at a Mosque. For more on FBI infiltration of Islamic communities, see this film from Al-Jazeera on FBI informants. Also see this infographic on mass incarceration for some more helpful info.

  • Check out the zine After Prison for testimonies from former earth and animal liberation prisoners about their reflections on post-release support.

  • For more information on keeping yourself safe from informants and state repression, don’t miss the CrimethInc. primer on security culture.

  • Here’s the sentencing statement by environmental and indigenous rights activist Krow, who is heading to jail for helping resist mining in Wisconsin.

  • The website EfectoPandora.wordpress.com covers updates from anti-anarchist repression in Spain under Operation Pandora.

  • The interview we shared with a Barcelona anarchist comes from Crna Luknja, a Ljubljana-based anarchist radio show (mostly in Slovenian, with some English-language features). Listen to the full episode

  • In our conclusion to the episode, we cited anarchist prisoner Bill Dunne’s recent “hit” from the parole board.

  • Prisoner Birthdays we announced in this episode:

    Marius Mason #04672–061{January 26}
    FMC Carswell
    Federal Medical Center
    P.O. Box 27137
    Fort Worth, TX 76127
    Please address outside envelope to Marie Mason, inside card or letter to Marius.

    Veronza Bowers Jr. #35316–136 {February 4th}
    P.O. Box 150160
    Atlanta, GA 30315