Repression of Czech anarchists by Operation Fenix, Zolo Azania, Jared Chase, and the State of Emergency at la ZAD
Airs on WSFM-LP 103.3 in Asheville / streaming at AshevilleFM from 3am EST on February 1st, 2016, through February 7th, then podcasting at radio4all.net. Also airing this week on KOWA-LPFM in Olympia, WA, KWTF in Bodega Bay, CA, KXCF in Marshall, CA, and WCRS-LP Columbus Community Radio 98.3 and 102.1 FM. The show will later be archived at TheFinalStrawRadio.NoBlogs.Org. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can send us mail at:
The Final Straw
864 Haywood rd
Asheville, NC 28806
We'd love to extend a loving thank you to the folks who attended and put on the benefit for The Final Straw last night at the Odditorium including the staff of that place, Ashley for putting the show together, the bands (being Asherah, Autarch, Desperate Measures and Lacrymosa), AshevilleFM staff who tabled, Asheville Anti-Racism and the lovely faces who attended. The show was a smash-bang success!
For the majority of this show, we spoke with Sascha and Igor who live in Prague about Operation Fenix, which began in April 2015 when the police of the Czech Republic commenced an operation against the anarchist, anti-authoritarian and animal liberation movement. During the course of this wave of repression, there were a number of house raids during which equipment was confiscated, and it has since come to light that agent provocateurs were used heavily in the arrests which took place. In this interview, we talk about how anarchists in Prague are handling this scrutiny, as well as ways to combat divide and conquer tactics used by cops, how the media is weaponized against anarchists, and what someone might do about these things.
For more information on this and for sending support, visit http://antifenix.noblogs.org/
We also present an update on the land occupation near the town of Notre Dame des Landres in France called la ZAD, which is a long running resistance against the building of an airport which would devastate the ecology of the area, destroy farmland, and evict many long term residents. This is specifically an update on the State of Emergency which has been declared and the call to action being requested. Included in the show is a statement read for us by a comrade in Asheville.
You can find the text of the post here, at the end of this posting.
But first, here is an announcement from the North American ABC network:
In February 2017, political prisoner Zolo Azania will finally be
released from prison. He will have served 35 years, 27 were on death
row. During his final year inside, Zolo wants to participate in the
Indiana Dept. of Corrections (IDOC) Work Release Program.
As Zolo says: “I want to be moved into some type of viable program so
that I can gain additional life skills in preparation for my re-entry
into the community.”
The IDOC should grant Work Release to Zolo based on the person he is
today, his record of good behavior, his re-entry needs, and Indiana’s
commitment to rehabilitation. However, the IDOC has denied Work Release
for Zolo, apparently based on the fact that he was convicted of murder--
34 years ago.The IDOC's denial of access to Work Release for Zolo is
unfair and unwarranted!
PLEASE CALL, EMAIL OR WRITE TO COMMISSIONER BRUCE LEMMON, INDIANA
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND SAY:
(1) Offer Zolo the kind of re-entry plan he deserves: Work Release (WR)
(2) After 34 years Zolo needs WR to gain skills and money necessary for
(3) Zolo is a model prisoner and has shown a commitment to better himself
(4) Evaluate Zolo based on who he is today, not on his 34-year old
COMMISSIONER BRUCE LEMMON
Address: 302 West Washington Street, Room E-334
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
To find more information about this issue, and for access to a sample letter to send to Commissioner Bruce Lemmon, you can visit http://www.zoloazania.org and if you like you can call the number 773.425.6716 to contact supporters.
The following is an excerpt from an article entitled
*Last member of 'Nato 3' may die in prison from Huntington's Disease*
by Kevin Gosztola
Jared Chase is the last member of the “NATO 3,” who remains in prison.
Chase suffers from Huntington’s disease and faces additional charges for an
alleged aggravated battery against a prison guard. He is set to go on trial
in April. If convicted, there is a significant chance Chase could die in
prison because of how his imprisonment has compounded the effects of this
In May 2012, Chicago hosted a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
meeting to discuss policies in the Afghanistan War. A number of activists
traveled to the city to protest NATO, including Chase, Brian Jacob Church
and Brent Betterly. They became known as the “NATO 3” after they were
targeted by undercover Chicago police and arrested on May 16. The state of
Illinois accused the “NATO 3” of making explosives.
The Illinois State’s Attorney Office quickly labeled the young men
“terrorists” in a criminal complaint and charged them with state terrorism
offenses. On February 7, 2014, after a lengthy trial in which the key role
of undercover cops became even more apparent, a jury acquitted the “NATO 3”
of all terrorism charges. But they were found guilty of arson-related
offenses and “mob action” charges.
In April 2014, a judge sentenced Church to five years in prison, Betterly
to six years, and Chase to eight years for arson offenses. The judge
allowed prosecutors to present evidence against Chase related to the
alleged aggravated battery incident involving the spraying of urine and
feces on a guard, even though the state intended to pursue a separate trial.
“He’s Dying Before My Eyes”
Betterly, who was released from prison in April 2015, was last with Chase
while they were beat up by guards during their arrival at the Stateville
prison’s receiving center. After sentencing, they were put on the same bus
and moved to the prison. Guards from the Illinois Department of Corrections
awaited their arrival, which resulted in a “pretty violent interaction,”
according to Betterly.
During a recent pretrial hearing on December 7, 2015, Chase showed up to
court with a black eye and a swollen face. Betterly said he’s lost a
considerable amount of weight, perhaps fifty pounds. Supporters are
terribly concerned about his health.
“He’s dying before my eyes. That’s not embellishment at all,” Betterly
declared. “The charge he carries now—it carries a minimum of three years.
He won’t survive it.”
Betterly noted the prisons are not capable of taking care of diseases “that
are generally serious but treatable.” A disease like Huntington’s is
“probably something they don’t encounter much. They completely have no idea
how to care for somebody with Huntington’s. They’re not equipped to do it.
He’ll die. If he’s found guilty and sentenced to even the minimum, he won’t
make it. That’s my opinion.”
Chase is in solitary confinement at the Pontiac Correctional Center, a
facility where a number of violent and/or mentally ill inmates are
State prosecutors allege that on October 4, 2013, Chase sprayed “human
waste” on a Cook County prison guard, Officer Trevor Hapanionek. He was
charged with four different charges for one alleged act.
Multiple Cook County guards testified during sentencing about the basic
details of what they claim happened on October 4, but Dr. Kathleen Shannon,
a neurologist who had assessed Chase, testified that his misconduct against
guards was likely a result of Huntington’s disease.
Shannon informed the court the disease makes it difficult for a person to
avoid outbursts. It makes one easily irritable and can lead to mania. On
average, a person who develops the disease can die in 17 years. A person
usually goes through multiple stages of disability until spending the final
8 years of their life in a nursing home or hospice care.
It is hereditary. Chase’s dad died from the disease, and according to
Shannon’s best estimate, the onset of Huntington’s disease began in 2008.
To read the rest of this article and find out ways to support Jared Chase and get him the medical attention he needs to save his life, check out the links at http://freethenato3.wordpress.com
Playlist is at http://www.ashevillefm.org/node/15168
The statement about la ZAD in NDDL:
"People continue to mobilize, and there is a big demonstration planned for February 27th and callouts for decentralized action everywhere to call for an end to the airport project for once and for all. There is also a call for donations for legal fees! It seems that whatever decision is made, will come from president Hollande. The new president of the region and the prime minister are vocal about their desire for a ZAD eviction, but have repeatedly implied that it's not their decision. The eviction attempt with military force in October of 2012 backfired in that it brought awareness of the struggle to the general public and made the State look both cruel and weak- through images of robocops dragging people from their homes, but also images of police running away from things being thrown at them or while being charged, and ultimately withdrawing. It seems that the State doesn't want to risk losing face again, especially as the “socialist” party is wildly unpopular and it's a year away from a presidential election. So a legal eviction that makes it financially unsustainable for people to stay in their homes looks softer, but is just as violent. It would also not only separate and take some meaning from the movement, but leave the squatters more vulnerable to attack if the people living there are less diverse. That's why this trial is being resisted as much as would be a military-style eviction attempt (which may follow anyway). *Note* the trial results were delivered January 25th, and the 4 farms are immediately evictable, while 8 of the 11 families have a delay until March 26th , at which point it's illegal to cut trees and thus start work on the project. Also, there were no daily fines given, so the legal responsibility is now on the government to evict by force. The farmers and many of the residents have declared their refusal to leave willingly.
Here is what's been going on these past weeks.
Two weeks ago, on Saturday, January 9th, 20,000 cyclists and pedestrians took over the ring road in Nantes, leaving from 6 points and converging on a bridge (that is a major axis of the region) for a banquet. The demo was organized in ten days to protest the eviction trial of families and farmers who live legally in the area since a long time, and supported by simultaneous actions in 40 other cities. If carried out, the legal eviction process would impose massive fines and seizure of land, homes and livestock. A group of farmers, called COPAIN, decided to occupy the bridge with a group of around 500 supporters until they received a confirmation from the president that he would keep his engagements (taken in 2012 during the presidential election following an anti-airport hunger strike). The government's response was to send military police and ambulances (as a threat tactic), and it was decided to pack down the camp and make a “strategic retreat”, whilst being watered with cannons and tear gas.
Monday, Jan 11th there were surprise blockades in five points around Nantes to continue to demand that there be no evictions before the end of the legal appeals process against the airport. 80 tractors and several hundred people took part, and the blockades were mainly well received by the population. There is a communique saying, “imagine if there were actual evictions- nobody would be able to go to work anymore”. At the end of the day, as three farmers were going back to their farm for the 7pm milking, they met a police blockade, which they passed around on the sidewalk. Further on, they met another police blockade, and some military police were lightly injured by the tractors as they tried to pass. The three were arrested and have trials at the end of Febuary where they risk up to 2 years in prison and to lose their drivers liscences, and their tractors have been impounded.
Tuesday the 12th an “Operation Snail” was proposed, where people drive really slowly on important axes of circulation to make a moving blockade. There were many actions- 9 different convoys in the region. Plus communiques from 8 different cities, where there were blockades and occupations of ring roads, police headquarters, and courthouses. 19 people are arrested and 19 cars impounded. There is a callout for donations and expropriations for legal fees and getting their cars back. Vinci (the airport contractor) builds pay parking lots and toll roads, so there are some actions to physically open the barriers and ask for donations to support the struggle from people who come through.
Wednesday, January 13th was the trial of the landowners and renters, with 2-3 thousand people present, with some famous leftist politicians trying as always to recuperate the struggle. The decision will be delivered on Monday, January 25th. Well over 20 solidarity actions happen across france, from roadblocks to tags to marches to farmers union rallies in the basque country. People are doing legal support and prepping for the demo, 40 farmers go to the vehicle impoundment to try to reclaim the tractors.
Actions have continued almost every day all over the country. Last Saturday was a demonstration to block the nearby city of Rennes, and there have been blockades of other major cities. There has also been a major media push to both separate the ZAD occupation movement from the anti-airport movement, and label the entirety and diversity of ZAD occupants as scary foreign-born black clad monsters who are incapable of passing windows without breaking them. Some local right wing people have made up a petition calling for the eviction of the ZAD whether the airport project is cancelled or not. Tomorrow (Monday) is the results of the trial, where the families and farmers find out if they are immediately evictable, if there is a delay, or if the trial is sent to another court to see if the trial is legal.
The farms and families are now legally evictable, and a farmer group have demonstrated that they will encircle the farms and chain their tractors together if there is an eviction attempt. This weekend is a work weekend- in response to the call by the state for subcontractor offers to start work on the project, the ZAD has called for people to come continue work on our counter projects, by building a collective climbing wall, a place to dry and store medicinal plants and do consultations, and pour a new concrete floor, amoung the 30-some projects proposed for this weekend. This week the city halls in Nantes and Rennes saw simultaneous image makeovers during demonstrations the night of the verdict. The hacker group Anonymous shut down access to the ruling Socialist Party website to protest the state of emergency and eviction trial results at Notre dame des Landes, 7 construction trucks from Eurovia (a subsidiary of VINCI) were burned in solidarity with the ZAD and against the state of emergency, and there were many creative demonstrations across france. RDV the 27th of February to call for an end to politicians dodging a clear answer, and an end to the airport (and the world that goes with it!) for once and for all."
More info at http://zad.nadir.org