North American Anarchist Black Cross Medical Justice Committee statement on the state of health care of Political Prisoners in the U.S.

Contact person: Agili Chuj For Immediate Release
Telephone contact: 434-305-4531
Email contact: abclonewolf@yahoo.com

Political Prisoners in the U.S.: Systematically Neglected and Ignored
North American Anarchist Black Cross Medical Justice Committee statement on the state of health care of Political Prisoners in the U.S.

Denver, October 16, 2013 - On October 4, 2013, the world lost one of its greatest fighters in the struggle against oppression and injustice. Herman Wallace spent 41 years in solitary confinement after being targeted by the state for his work against racism and oppression from within the prison system. Amnesty International and mainstream news sources recently highlighted the release of Herman Wallace from prison. Tragically, Herman was able to breathe the air of freedom for only 3 days before he passed away. Herman was denied any kind of compassionate release by the state of Louisiana, despite his advanced liver cancer and the prognosis of a mere two months to live. Though it was the circumstances of his original conviction that compelled a judge to grant Herman his freedom, it was the state’s lack of concern for his medical condition that led to the resurgence of public and media interest in his case.

Herman was just one of many, ageing political prisoners (and prisoners of war) in the United States who are currently being denied adequate medical care and the compassionate release for which they qualify. These people are incarcerated for their opposition to actions or policies of the US government that are in violation of human rights, and as such should be afforded the protections of international law. It is the opinion of the North American Anarchist Black Cross Medical Justice Committee that these captured dissidents and combatants be granted compassionate release and dignified medical care, with respect to their age, health and sacrifice in service of legitimate struggles against oppression and exploitation. It was too little, too late for Herman; that must not be the fate of our other elder comrades.

Unfortunately, cases like Herman’s are far too common. Albert “Nuh” Washington, Bashir Hameed and Marilyn Buck are other recent victims of prison medical neglect. Some, such as Merle Africa, have died under suspicious medical circumstances. More will soon follow, if swift action is not taken.

Lynne Stewart is a 73 year old movement attorney convicted of materially aiding a terrorist organization for issuing two press releases on behalf of her client Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman. Lynne was initially sentenced to 2 years in prison. But after publicly claiming that she could survive the 2 years, the government appealed her sentencing and she was punitively re-sentenced to an outrageous 10 years in prison. Diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer prior to her sentencing in 2009, Lynne was denied compassionate release because the BOP (Bureau of Prisons) claimed "she is not suffering from a condition which is terminal within 18 months," though treating physicians have estimated her life expectancy at 12 to 18 months. She is currently awaiting a decision from an independent committee within the BOP. From there it will go to the director of the BOP for the final recommendation and request for a motion to the Judge. Lynne’s health deteriorates daily. Her case is one example of many ongoing cases of medical neglect, including Abdul Majid, Robert Seth Hayes, Tom Manning, Jalil Muntaqim, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Chelsea Manning, and Leonard Peltier.

There are currently over 100 political prisoners in the United States. These women and men are listed and recognized as political prisoners by numerous human rights, legal defense and progressive/socialist organizations. They come from the Civil Rights/Black Power/New African Liberation struggles, the Puerto Rican Independence Movement, Indigenous Peoples survival struggles, Chicano/Mexicano Movements, anti-imperialist/anti-war movements, anti-racist/anti-fascist struggles, the Women’s Movement, social and economic justice struggles, and especially in the past several years, from the Environmental/Animal Rights movement. They are Black, white, Latino and Native American. Most of these political prisoners have been in captivity since the 1970s and 80s. Some were convicted on totally fabricated charges, others for nebulous political conspiracies or for acts of resistance. All received huge sentences for their political beliefs or actions in support of these beliefs.

Despite international recognition of political prisoners within the US, the US government continues to deny their existence. An article in the Harvard Black Letter Law Journal Vol. 18, states that “Despite their prevalence in United States society, U.S. Government officials have long denied the very existence of political prisoners. When Andrew Young, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, publicly acknowledged the existence of over100 political prisoners in his country, he was swiftly removed from office.” - The Reality of Political Prisoners in the United States: What September 11 Taught Us About Defending Them by J. Soffiyah Elijah

The harsh punitive conditions of confinement, often in special “control unit” type prisons, that political prisoners face daily, decade after decade, exposes and refutes this government myth.

The Geneva Conventions contain the internationally recognized standard of care for prisoners of war. The standard of care for Political Prisoners in the United States ought to be at least as sound as the Geneva Conventions. It currently is not. We have many ageing comrades struggling for the most basic health care while incarcerated. Even the Office of the Inspector General found that the existing BOP compassionate release program has been poorly managed and implemented inconsistently, likely resulting in eligible inmates not being considered for release and in terminally ill inmates dying before their requests were decided, as noted in the Department of Justice April 2013 review of the BOP compassionate release program . We cannot allow this to keep happening. What’s happened to Herman Wallace should never happen again. No one should die in prison. Least of all, perhaps, those who have spent their lives fighting oppression and injustice.

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For more information on how medical neglect is affecting other political prisoners in the US, please see the attached “The Faces of Medical Neglect" below.

The Faces of Medical Neglect

The problem of medical neglect is a systematic one and affects many Political Prisoners / Prisoners of War. Following you will find some examples of folks who are suffering right now, as well as a list of people who have died because of medical neglect in prison or who were denied compassionate release before dying in prison:

•Abdul Majid: Black Liberation Army / Republic of New Afrika POW who recently suffered pressure on his sciatic nerve and was rendered unable to walk. After a week in this condition, he still had not been seen by a doctor, despite following the "sick call" procedure and all other necessary steps to get medical attention. After a call-in campaign, he was seen by a doctor but had not received the surgery he needed. It is presumed he is still unable to.

•Oso Blanco (Byron Shane Chubbuck): Indigenous POW, long-term chronic liver patient. Oso Blanco has been denied medical treatment for daily vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, irregular breathing, etc. He was unable to eat and had a large, hard mass in his liver, though Florence medical staff refused to do anything about it except look in his cell and pronounce him "fine." A call in / letter-writing campaign was necessary to get him a blood test, and he still did not receive a proper ultrasound (which was part of the call-in request). More answers from Oso are required before Dr. Lana Habash can properly interpret the results of his blood test. Oso also faced retribution from the call in campaign in the forms of mail being held and phone calls being cut short. As of right now he is still experiencing liver pain.

•Robert Seth Hayes: Black Liberation Army POW with Type II diabetes and Hep C. Seth has been fighting for adequate blood sugar monitoring since 2000. He had been consistently denied medical care for frequent, insulin-shock-induced blackouts in 2004 at Clinton Correctional facility. In 2009, when his sugar plunged to 32 and then up to 620 in a short amount of time, he had a seizure, for which he was taken off of honor block and thrown in keep-lock in Wende Correctional facility (supposedly a medical facility, though they denied him the diabetic diet necessary for his health). In August of 2012, at Sullivan Correctional Facility, he broke his index and middle fingers (injuries to the hands and feet, which can heal on their own, are very dangerous for diabetics). He was given x-rays and seen only by a physician’s assistant (not a doctor), and the diagnosis as to which fingers were broken kept changing. He has now lost the full range of motion in his hand.

•Tom Manning: United Freedom Front POW. In February of 2010, he needed a transfer to a medical prison to biopsy a lump in his groin, under his nipple and inside his shoulder blade. Recently, he was in need of knee replacement surgery. Also suffering from two tears in his shoulder tendons and advanced muscle atrophy, he was unable to lift a cup and unable to participate in the physical therapy necessary for walking (after eventually getting the knee replacement surgery). Nothing was done until a call in campaign was launched.

•Jalil Muntaqim: Black Liberation Army POW. Jalil had a stroke in January. The treating physician recommended he be transferred to an outside hospital, but the head physician refused. Four months later, he was given a CT scan, which reported brain damage consistent with a stroke. In June he was finally taken to Wende, where a neurologist examined him. After refusing Jalil's request for an MRI, the neurologist said that all the damage that will be done has been done, and that he should continue to exercise as he has been.

•Mutulu Shakur: Black Liberation Army / Republic of New Afrika POW, up for release in 2015. Mutulu has yet to be given physical therapy for the stroke he suffered in February.

•Chelsea Manning: "Whistleblower" who made available thousands of classified files pertaining to US war crimes / crimes against humanity. We do not know if her gender reassignment needs will be met by the military prison in which she is incarcerated, and how this will affect her physically and psychologically (she has already been subjected to torture while in the penal system).

•Leonard Peltier: American Indian Movement POW who had a prostate cancer scare (was exhibiting symptoms) in 2010. In June of that year, after being pressured by lawyers and the community, the BOP ordered blood tests. He received the results 4 months later. A biopsy was deemed necessary for proper diagnosis (and had not been performed as of April, 2011), and even if cancer is/was not present, a serious medical condition was nonetheless indicated by his symptoms. He has suffered a stroke which left him partially blind in one eye. For many years, he had a seriously debilitating jaw condition which left him unable to chew properly and caused consistent pain and headaches. The prison medical facilities could not properly treat this condition. In fact, two prison surgeries only worsened Leonard Peltier's condition. A physician from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, offered to repair Leonard Peltier's jaw free-of-charge, but was turned down again and again by prison authorities until the United Nations sharply rebuked the United States for subjecting Leonard Peltier to inhumane conditions. Surgery was performed and Leonard's condition improved somewhat. Subsequent surgeries are required, however, to fully address his condition. To date, such treatment has not been approved by prison officials. In recent years, Leonard Peltier has again begun to experience severe discomfort related to his jaw, teeth, and gums. Today, Leonard Peltier suffers from bone spurs in his feet and is affected by diabetes, high blood pressure, a heart condition, and other emerging health issues. According to an affiliate of Physicians for Human Rights, he risks blindness, kidney failure, and stroke given his inadequate diet, living conditions, and health care.

- Bashir Hameed, a Deputy Chairman in the Black Panther Party and COINTELPRO target, was charged and convicted of the murder and the attempted murder of two police officers in April 1981. This conviction came as a direct result of his political activity. Bashir Hameed and his co-defendant, Abdul Majid were tried three times (Queens Two) before the state was able to convict them. Bashir was serving a sentence of 25 years to life when, in 2008, he began to physically suffer. He was continuously denied any kind of medical attention or care. In May 2008, the Anarchist Black Cross Federation joined with comrades from Malcolm X Commemoration Committee, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and Jericho Movement to coordinate call-in days during the month of June of 2008, demanding immediate medical attention. By early July, Hameed was receiving the requested care and testing thanks to consistent agitation from his family and supporters. Bashir Hameed died from complications of a triple bypass surgery at the New York prison system on August 30th 2008 because the prison administration refused to take him to an outside hospital.
-Kuwasi Balagoon, a member of the Black Liberation Army. Captured and convicted of various crimes against the State, he spent much of the 1970s in prison, escaping twice. After each escape, he went underground and resumed BLA activity. He was captured in December 1981, charged with participating in an armoured truck expropriation in West Nyack, New York, on October 21 of that year, an action in which two police officers and a money courier were killed. Convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, he died of pneumocystis carninii pneumonia, an AIDS-related illness, on December 13, 1986.

-Albert Nuh Washington, former member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army. Washington was imprisoned in 1971 as a result of the U.S. government`s war against the Black Liberation Movement and subsequently spent 29 years as a political prisoner (one of the New York Three). He died of cancer in the U.S. prison system on April 28, 2000.

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Comments

"Chelsea" Manning??? You've got to be kidding!

IGTT 1/10

not kidding chelsea has requested that folks refer to her by that name and female pronouns. its a simple and small act of respect any decent person can easily do. pronouns aren't rocket science, ask, listen and then try and remember. also after reading this entire article that's your only comment?

"Her"??? Don't you mean "It"? manning is a pervert who has gone off his rocker!

IGTT 0/10

I so fucking HATE this society...

THEY HATE IT

How come no mention of Joe Remiro,of the SLA, who has been caged in California for nearly 40 years now? Anyone know his current state of health???

Jeezas hasn't he done enough time fuck this society for their retribution and lack of empathy!

Seems like this needs to be brought up every few months or years. What is it about the North American versions of the ABC that make it anarchist? Certainly not the prisoners they support. It's not as if there aren't anarchist prisoners in US and Canadian lockup, but the various incarnations of almost every ABC chapter have gravitated toward those deemed "Political Prisoners/Prisoners of War," those who allegedly took up arms against some US domestic or foreign policy that made them mad, and who were arrested and imprisoned for these spectacular (in the worst possible sense) actions. Such actions are virtually mandated by the Marxist-Leninist ideology to which virtually all of these prisoners adhere. The substitutionism (the intellectual for the worker; the party for the class; the central committee for the party; the chairman for the central committee) inherent in the alleged actions for which the majority of these poster children are serving time is not -- or at least shouldn't be -- on the agenda of any anarchist individual or project. I'm not saying these aren't some badass dudes, or that their particular struggles outside and inside aren't important; I'm saying that making it a specifically anarchist project to support them is confusing.

What good are you doing for anyone by providing reasons "anarchists" should not support members of the BLA (which had at least two Anarchists locked up under cointelpro), AIM, the Macheteros / FALN, MOVE, the RATF, etc.? If we only supported other "anarchists," we'd be limited (for the most part) to young, white, middle-to-upper class students / crusties locked up for adventurist DA stuff or grand jury resistance. We support Mexican Anarchist comrades (Cruz Negra Anarchista), Mediterranean / Slavic / European Anarchist comrades, the Cleveland 4, the Tinley Park 5, NYC / PacNorthWest GJ resisters and, of course, Anarchist ELF / ALF warriors. We ALSO support the self-determination and liberation of People of Color, whether or not they adhere to the Eurocentric / white supremacist concepts of Anarchism. To do otherwise is culturally chauvinist at best, and straight-up racist at worst...
BLA folk, and other ageing prisoners happen to be the ones most affected by the atrocious medical conditions in prison, hence they are of primary concern for this press release. If you don't "get it," or agree with it, that is fine. It won't kill you to keep your opinions to yourself in (at least) this context...

Hey! Shit for brainz! How is Anarchism "Eurocentric" (did you learn that word at some community college?). And how is it "White supremacist"????? Are you Maoist-Third Worldist? Just plain ignorant? Or just a loudmouthed punk?

Hey punk! Answer the question! How is Anarchy "Eurocentric", or "White supremacist"??? Are you a Pig troll???

Anarchism is Eurocentric and white supremacist when it displays crypto-fascist tendencies.

"Crypto-fascist," not actually fascist. Troll harder.

If you don't like anarchists, why are you posting on an anarchist website?

Anarchism: Because the only response you deserve is an insult.

Marxism-Leninism: Oh it's like that then!

You and your pals can and should support anyone you like for as long as it amuses you.

Your characterization of anarchist prisoners is clearly recent -- as in the last five to seven years. You may not remember that the ABC refused to support anarchist prisoner Rob los Ricos (not white, just in case you were wondering) because he merely threw a rock at the cops (seven year sentence), so he was not deemed a "Prisoner of War" under the insane ABC protocols. You may not remember that long-term anarchist prisoners Harold Thompson (deceased from neglect of his cardiac condition) and a few others were so disenchanted with the ABC Federation's ridiculous reasons for not supporting them (even going so far as to insinuate that Harold was a snitch!) that they began to refer to themselves as Klingons. Thompson and Avi Naftel (also deceased), both serving time in the US, were supported by ABC chapters in the UK and Canada respectively, but no US ABC groups could be bothered to interact officially or informally with these two straight up serious anarchists needed it; both were pro-animal liberation ethical vegetarians who had to file tons of legal paperwork to get their diets approved by prison adminstrators. Thompson also had to file a First Amendment lawsuit to force the Tennessee prison scum to allow anarchist print media to reach him.

If you believe that anarchists adhere to Eurocentric and white supremacist ideas and practices, then call us out on specifics, instead of insinuating that we are racist because some of us don't subscribe to Third Worldist and Anti-Imperialist (tm) ideas.

BUT, if the overwhelming majority of the prisoners you support are not anarchists, and if you are part of an outfit that has a shitty history toward supporting actual anarchist prisoners who need it, then WHY THE FUCK do you insist on calling your organization "Anarchist Black Cross"? That's the confusing part.

In terms of keeping my opinions to myself, well, you don't know me very well, nor apparently do you know anarchists very well. Any time you start a project, or write an essay or manifesto or press release, or say anything in public and the term "anarchist" is anywhere in it, other anarchists are going to pay attention and have opinions about it.

The ABC in the US has a well-deserved bad reputation among those of us who take anarchist prisoner support seriously, and who've been doing it longer than a few months. You and other pro-Third World nationalists want to gather our resources to funnel to folks who, if they were outside, wouldn't give us the time of day, and who, if outside and in any position of power, would line us up against that famous wall. Using the term "anarchist" in this context is a sick joke.

But again, organize yourself and your pals to support whomever you please. I can't and wouldn't want to try to stop you. Just know that when you call it "anarchist" you'd better believe I'll take it personally.

whoa did that dude really got seven years for throwing a rock at cops

Rock hits head, skull breaks, bone fragment enters brain, brain dies moron. Intent = throw rock to kill brain, therefore attempted murder maybe 2nd degree. Anarchist justice = eye for an eye, therefore apply this to all people, even your enemy, SO WHAT'S SO SURPRISING THAT THERE ARE REPURCUSSIONS? NO-ONE HAS IMMUNITY FROM HUMAN RETRIBUTION IN WHATEVER SOCIAL FORM IT TAKES. ROB'S KARMA FROM HIS ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH WOMEN ACTUALLY PRECIPITATED THE PROJECTION OF HIS AGGRESSIVE SELFISH BEHAVIOR THUS CONFINING HIM< ALLBEIT FROM A DIFFERENT EVENT.

... is like that of most Leftists, liberals, radicals and even superbadassnihilistterorists (TM). I (as a mixed-race New Afrikan) often am less offended by neo-nazis than I am by those of my own political tendency (of which I have been a part, as a prisoner support organizer, for many years). You know where you stand with the honest enemy; the internalized, indirect white supremacy of, say, the white dredlocked "insurrectionist" who squats a Black neighborhood is more insidious... Hatred (the white supremacy of the reactionary, the Right Wing, the overt oppressor) is but ONE manifestation of white supremacy; there is invisibilizing (which you have done by calling me a third worldist - - Ashanti Alston, Ojore Lutalo, Martin Sostre, Lorenzo Kom'Boa Ervin and the late Kuwasi Balagoon are but a FEW very real, very Black anarchists in this "first world" who support the ABC and don't fit into your assumptive box), assimilation, tokenizing, fetishizing, dismissing (as you have also done with your accusations of "third worldism" because YOU cannot understand the nuances POC colonized in this society have had to experience and internalize for more than a few months) and straight up patronizing, which we get from more than enough white "anarchists" seeking "specifics." You can't help being a racist (well, you can, but that would require abandoning your hyper-individualist white anarchism in favor of community-based anarchism based in POC self-determination, and I haven't the energy, interest or responsibility to prove shit to the likes of you (who become anarchists because it maximizes your power... my people adopt it as a path to liberation from genuine oppression, not mere dissatisfaction - - gotta love assumptions, huh). At the end of the day, the ABCF of the last few decades does not speak for the entire tendency, just as neither you nor I speak for "anarchism" (thank fucking god... wait, anarchists don't believe in god, right? I guess I am a Maoist)...
Fall the fuck back, whiteboy, and shut your mouth for once. If you don't understand something, maybe it is not for you to understand, but just for you to respect...

this be one liberal nigga man... that is grounded on being, let us say, this has come to be one liberal nigga

Are you of New Afrikan descent? If not, it is super fucked up that you post this. I should expect nothing less from a board either trolled by police / nazis / etc. in an attempt to derail any serious organizing, or populated by cretins that think pain is funny.

maybe if your liberal

Then get off the board, and stay off!

why do third world marxists like Agili Chuj pretend they are anarchists? i never could figure this out.

and i love the argument that anyone who disagrees with them = racist. now THAT'S a way to win an argument.

clap. clap. clap.

honestly, the fact that people like this are part of the ABCF shows why we should not support this group.

precisely my point - - one does not have to "argue" about racism, and I have no interest in "winning" anything related to it. Racism is a lived experience, and a feeling, that does not require intellectual debate or "proof." A truly revolutionary society would respect feelings (compassion? empathy? anyone?), minimize ego and work to eliminate the need to dominate (in discourse, as well as in social organization). A revolutionary comrade would allow me to define myself and what anarchism means to me (and in my case, it means living in accordance with anarchist principles, seeking to destroy this "civilization," and supporting anyone who is working toward the destruction of the status quo)... See my previous posts on Nazis being more my friend that scum like you.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchist_Black_Cross - - if you want to start your own ABC (as I have in the past) or join an existing, autonomous one, do so. You need have nothing to do with the ABCF to be part of the centuries old ABC movement.
If name-calling and prattle about "third world marxists" is more important than getting our comrades (even if it is just the white anarchists who agree with you) out of cages, then, seriously, fuck off and die. I haven't the time or energy.

liberal

"See my previous posts on Nazis being more my friend that scum like you."

This is stupid for so many reasons I'm just like whoa, easy there buddy.

Get outta here you cockroach of a four-eyed, mousy Maoist slime ball!

Respect my fist you cockroach of a Maoist-Third Worlder maggot!

... because apparently he conflates all ABC chapters with the ABC Federation, as if dozens of ABC chapters did not support Rob and Harold and others. Apparently, Mr Grumpy can just re-write history and completely implicate every ABC chapter and every person who has organized under that banner as somehow being members of a Federation that has always only represented a small fraction of active US ABC chapters.

But maybe facts nor history matter to Mr Grumpy as he works to tirelessly slay the Maoist boogie man hiding in us all.

Excused despite his messianic tendencies? I don't think so, whether it be grammar or ideology, we are all failures in the eyes of Grump's neo-anarchist totalitarian idealism.

The question was why isn't Joe Remiro listed amongst the political prisoners above? He has been imprisoned at least as long as the other prisoners mentioned. Do you even know who he is? If not, you should research his case.

Nothing is stopping you from writing up a summary of his case or situation and sending it to the email above. abc work isn't that specialized, anyone who gives a shit can do it. Less haters more support/solidarity. Also ideologically splitting hairs and only supporting @ prisoners is silly and plays into state repression which is why most abc's try not to do it. Who can pass @ purity tests? Shit we can't even pass our own...

thank you!

That's the horrors you get from a civilization driven by (demented) idealism. No empathy, no basic respect for the life of someone that spent most of his life in jail. Just like those beautiful innocent lives they kill on the roads all the time, just because, you know... car wants you to move on.

Keep pushing the pedal,
right towards that concrete wall.
Society will never get you any further...

Every State determines the severity of punishment for its enemies according to a predictable legislated gradient of time behind bars spelt out in its constitution. Laws are self-explanatory evidence, which in a revolutionary court become grounds by inversion to prosecute the legislators as war criminals. This is old rhetoric that every revolution has had to deal with, and there will always be a fall guy, in this case the unfortunate SLA member, or in other cases just the person who worked at the desk of an anti-state activist organization. Even folk who download ' How to make a bomb ' are liable to prosecution. In a polarized society, the social paranoid schizophrenia extends into the daily lives of everyone who harbors malicious thoughts against the State, whereas the 'artiste' approaches insurgency from a positive creative tangent, thus maintaining a consciousness clean as a slate, the blank canvas of the creative nothing forever being filled with impeccable ideas for alternative systems.

get the fuck out you fucking maoist

The SLA were Maoists duh! I'm critiquing their culpability as Statist reformists.

Get off this site Maoist-Third Worldist cockroaches!

Why can't we have a serious discussion? Why is EVERYTHING about childish trolling and "jokes"?

fuck you maoist

Answer the question mealy-mouth Maoist-Third Worldist cockroach! Why is anarchism "White supremacist", and "Eurocentric"?

its not thats just something maoists say

Why hasn't Cockroach answered the question?

Whether these prisoners should be supported or not is a stupid question. Of course they should. A better question is however is does how we talk about these prisoners broaden and deepen the anti-prison struggle or does it constrict it to just talking about the 100 or so official political prisoners. There are literally thousands of organizers on the inside and how do we support them while still not forgetting these other folks?

If anyone knows of individuals / groups that would be down to support working on Medical Justice, compassionate release, amnesty campaigns or anything else that might work (leave the below ground shit off this board, obviously), please hit me up... let's do something real and beautiful and free imprisoned folk who actually fought the state (be they anarchist, communist, Left constitutionalist - - Christopher Monfort, specifically - -, even "moderate democrats" like Chelsea Manning (in her own words)), rather than needle each other like cretins and distract from the task at hand...

Get outta here Denver RAIM or LLCO maggot weasel, or whatever you are!

The short version of your entire position:
"If you dare to disagree with anything I do or say, you are a racist." This is the worst part of identity politics: expanding your personal perspective into that of an entire class, which you, of course, as some quintessential representative, get to define. Not only do you get to define the parameters of who's inside -- but much more importantly *outside* -- the class of people you presume to represent, but you also get to decide what the correct political line is supposed to be. Since that is par for the course for non-anarchist identity politicians, it's not surprising. What *is* surprising, and what remains confusing, is that you have not shown how any of this is even partially, peripherally, or tangentially compatible with anarchism (even allowing you to define it and its principles however you may prefer: "living in accordance with anarchist principles, seeking to destroy this "civilization," and supporting anyone who is working toward the destruction of the status quo" is delightfully vague, especially the last bit -- since it can include just about anyone, especially [again!] if you are the one who gets to decide what it means...). Your entire attitude approaches a self-parody of someone celebrating personal definitions and feelings -- just not for others, and certainly not for those who disagree with you.

The longer version:
As a New Afrikan, can you please explain how the Republic of New Afrika would be formed and maintained with anarchist principles? It seems to me, from all the literature I've read, and from corresponding in the past with self-identified New Afrikans, that the idea of New Afrika is inseparably entwined with statist ideology, if not practice. Most of the literature is suffused with militarist language. I understand that much of this has to do with a desire/ability to enter into treaties with existing states, but that really just begs the question.

You think you know all about me by virtue of disagreeing with you. You have some hints, and a few statements, and you then extrapolate onto me all of the assumptions and preformed conclusions about allegedly white anarchists (and which tendency do I belong to again?) whose racism is so much more insidious than the white supremacy of neo-nazis (really? I find that particularly tough to swallow, but hey, if that's your actual lived experience instead of a feeling...) without knowing my relationships to black anarchists. What follows is not a defensive justification of what could appear to be my desperate yearning for some anti-racist credentials, but merely some information to explain why you are innocently mistaken. I was a regular subscriber and diligent reader of "The Anarchist Panther" when it existed. I corresponded with Ojore for several years, and visited him twice in Trenton. I got to know Lorenzo when he visited my area twice; the second time I was responsible for driving him to several speaking engagements. Of course all of that could be an even more insidious cover for my actual hatred for black anarchists... right. I have no hatred for black anarchists or other anarchists who identify as POC, nor have I ever deliberately engaged in invisibilizing, tokenizing, or otherwise devaluing their lives, experiences, and contributions to anarchist theory, history, and practice. I have disagreements with many of their ideas about anti-hierarchical practice, anti-authoritarian ideas, and interpretations of history, but that's true of my disagreements with almost every anarchist. These disagreements do not preclude respectful interactions, and I'm trying really hard to leave the patronizing behind.

It looks like you toss around the term "individualist" and "individualistic" (forget the "hyper" for now) as generic curses of dismissal, like "racism." What makes me "individualistic"? That I'm perceived as white, and therefore presumably have no experience of community?

Using the jargon of "self-determination" within a New Afrikan framework just sounds like nationalism. Talk about not noticing nuance.

Please explain how being an anarchist "maximizes" my power. In social terms, being an anarchist minimizes one's access to power. Perhaps you're talking about the big fish in a small pond kind of power? Even then, this is the interwebz, where anybody can write and post anything and not have to deal with any real consequences; maybe that's what you mean by "power"? I can only speculate, since you have not explained this. I presume it is you personal lived experience of anarchist assholes, but you blame the anarchism rather than the surely pre-existing assholism of the person(s) involved.

Again, I'll not shut my mouth (or in this case, my fingers). If you presume to engage in any public activity that purports to be anarchist, you must expect and accept that other anarchists will pay attention and have one or two opinions.

As for your "back on track" post, well, it's both disappointing and satisfying (what a dialectic!). Listing all the ideologies that purport to "fight the state" is typical generic leftist bullshit. Fighting the state is not the same as fighting to abolish the state. Most of the people who identify as communist are fighting for a communist state, to say nothing of "Left constitutionalists" and "moderate democrats." What a giveaway. How does supporting statists further the cause of abolishing the state?

So again, we come down to this: you are demanding that anarchists specifically (the only way I can interpret your insistence on calling your outfit an ABC) support people who, if they were not in prison, wouldn't ever think about giving anarchists the time of day, let alone extending us the kind of respect you're (presumably) showing them. That is, if they are seriously adhering to any kind of nationalism, which is incompatible not only with the internationalism at the heart of anarchism, but also the anti-statism that defines anarchism. You are also demanding that anarchists in particular concur with this strategy on pain of being labeled racists -- and not just run of the mill unconscious racists, but insidious racists who are more dangerous than neo-nazis. And then you think there might still be anarchists interested in working with you? Stay used to disappointment.

Nevertheless, it's probably also worth reaffirming that you should support anyone you like for as long as it amuses you, and work for the release of any particular prisoners you like until the time when we might be able to abolish prisons forever. Find like-minded folks to help you and make you feel more able to influence wardens and parole boards with letters and phone calls. Working with prisoners to help them get better conditions, better access to medical treatments, literature, and eventually free is a thousand times better than ignoring people the state takes hostage. And you should call it whatever you like as well, just don't be surprised when one or two anarchists who know one or two things about anarchist theory and history question the way you portray a project you label anarchist that doesn't look like it's doing much (if anything) that is recognizable as anarchist.

hey grumples, you do realize your beef against abc groups is fucking dumb and that your magazine has always sucked right?

~Please explain how being an anarchist "maximizes" my power. In social terms, being an anarchist minimizes one's access to power
don't fall into liberal language games dude

~if that's your actual lived experience instead of a feeling...
no stop

...and I have no wish to debate with you. I define my terms ("New Afrikan Anarchist" means what it means to me, and there are no thought police I am bound to respect to prove otherwise) for myself, and I let my own feelings and ideas determine my own life and reality. I don't want anyone in prison, and I certainly want to support someone incarcerated for fighting the state, regardless of what they would do were they not in a cage (cross that bridge when we come to it, and hopefully we do). Supporting anyone incarcerated does not "amuse" me; I am not so glib. My "entire position" is not something that can be translated into anything other than the exact words I've used. I just want people to leave me alone, and communicate with me on points of unity. I have little time for the theoretical, and don't delude myself that I've access to anything other than the subjective. If you want me to cosign onto your summation of me as "right," I will gladly do so and fax you back the John Hancock-ed copy. If you don't see how your smug intellectualism and need to challenge in the above respects could FEEL like white supremacy to me and others, fine. I am still allowed that opinion, and I am done here. I just wish I had known that you, with your "knowledge of anarchist theory" (and here I was thinking that it was a fluid, ever-evolving ideology that respected individual subjectivity and community autonomy; I read to much crimethinc, I guess, in my pre-racial-analysis days) would have been so incisive in your accurate assessment of how UN-anarchist the ABCs I'm with are, so I could have saved myself this time and energy and just called it what you think it should best be called (or whatever 't "amuses" you to call it; after all, amusement is all I concern myself with)...

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more or less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

As a straight cisman, when asked by a womyn or queer persyn to shut the fuck up, I do so, whether or not I am "right"... That is all...

whoa full liberal

as a queer person, i have absolutely no respect for any straight person who is going to obey me just because i belong to a certain identity category.

that kind of neo-authoritarian politics -- both of someone thinking they have the right to tell someone else to "shut the fuck up," and someone who is dumb enough to actually obey such as command --- has absolutely nothing to do with anarchism.

to be honest, these kinds of identity politics are more like a S&M game than real political work. the person from the dominant group acts like a submissive, and the person from the oppressed group gets to be dominant. feelings of powerlessness and guilt are released. this game is played out in the little subculture bubble of the anarchist and queer/feminist cliques... then, like with sex, you get up and go back to the rest of the world - and your actions have changed nothing.

best non-grumpy post in the thread

clap clap clap

what's fucked up is if you didn't preface this with "as a queer person" it's pretty likely the rest of the post would've been written off because you don't have the right identity politician credentials to say something like this.

That's just it; I am not talking about an "identity category," I am talking about very real pain and lived experience. I am a community-minded anarchist that believes the right of oppressed people (especially comrades) to be safe(r) from oppression is more important than the "freedom" of doing or saying whatever the fuck you want at all times - - this latter freedom is more like the hyper-individualist avarice of the capitalist / settler, the white man who asserts principle over compassion and... fuck. I've said all this before, so if you don't get it by now...
Respecting that someone has had a unique experience of being hated in the world for certain characteristics intrinsic to who they are, and wanting to do all I can to create a space where they feel they can heal and thrive has nothing to do with "S&M Games" or other cold, witty analogies. Whether one "obeys a command" or merely respects a request (which can seem LIKE a demand since so many shitheads glibly refuse to respect others unless they can stipulate the terms) has nothing to do with being "dumb" - - it has everything to do with having a heart bigger than an ego...

^liberal liberal

Boo-hoo-hoo! Poor, poor you!

Where I use linguistic constructs... Meaning... OCCURS

~and I let my own feelings and ideas determine my own life and reality
you slipped up in your speaking nigga

i mean no rudeness so don't take it bad okay

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