This week William and Disembodied Voice had the chance to interview Walidah Imarisha, who is an Oregon based writer, educator, public scholar and spoken word artist about her book Angels With Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison, and Redemption, her 2016 book out from AK Press and IAS, which highlights three distinct experiences that are all in different degrees tangential to the realities inherent to the prison industrial complex.
(This piece was originally published as a broadside in 1994 but remains particularly relevant today)
Virtually everyone in the united states claims to support freedom of speech and expression. When debate arises around attempts by certain individuals to exercise this freedom, however, one frequently finds purported free speech advocates among those hoping to suppress the speech of others. Unfortunately, the position taken by many anarchists and leftists on this issue is no more principled than that taken by more mainstream conservatives and liberals.
There seem to me to be two main ways that people come at fighting oppression. One way is to think about how all the things are similar/the same. I think antifa is that style in practice if not in theory. The other way is the style of (for example) Black Lives Matter, which takes a group of people with (what many consider to be) a primary identifying characteristic and organizes around that.
On 11 February 2016, I issued an initial personal statement on the Michael Schmidt affair. I completely rejected the irredeemable racist and right-wing statements attributed to Schmidt, which were mainly posted under false names online. They represent positions I have consistently opposed, for decades, to the best of my abilities. I noted problems with his explanation, centred on the claim that his posts and false personas were solely means for infiltrating the radical right for undercover research.
As Anarchist Radio Berlin we documented a presentation on the Prison Strike in the USA 2016.
As Anarchist Radio Berlin, we recorded a presentation about the ongoing prison strike in the United States of America, its backgrounds as well as the methods of support and solidarity that are used in- and outside of prisons. The presentation was held in October 2016 in Berlin.
Length: 57:47 min
We have focused a lot of energy, as anarchists and as human beings, in the past year and a half on the history of oppression that we call racism in this country. Those conversations have looked like reflections on the impact that slavery, segregation, and jim crow laws have had on today. What we haven't done, and should, is plan for the future. What would we like to see the future of race relations look like?