Saturday, April 08, 2023

Main Blog Moved to Kersplebedeb.com!

Since March 2013, the main Kersplebedeb website has been migrated to a primarily wordpress format.

What this means in practical terms is that everything you are used to seeing on Sketchy Thoughts is now being posted straight to Kersplebedeb and simply being automatically mirrored here. So in general, you will probably have a better reading/viewing experience if you head over to Kersplebedeb.

For those who prefer the Sketchy Thoughts blogger layout for whatever reason, this page will continue to be automatically updated whenever something is posted to Kersplebedeb, for at least the short-term future. However, as additional functionality is added to the Kersplebedeb site via wordpress, the Sketchy Thoughts page will probably begin to show its age more and more.



Thursday, April 09, 2015

Daring to Struggle, @ UQAM

10320531_10152700300631176_4926701094343594572_n


RESPECT to the strike defenders at UQAM and their allies. It was a full-day battle today (April 8), from early morning till late night. I only observed first-hand the crescendo tonite, after the intervention of what was clearly over 100+ riot police, backed up by bike cops, at the Da Sève Building occupation. The resilience of UQAM resisters is inspiring.


For a sense of what happened earlier today at UQAM, and the solidarity and support shown by students when the cops got called in, check out this video:


There were 21 arrests (some reports of 22) with at least 11 women-identified protesters among the group. There would have undoubtedly been more arrests if not for the fight-back by students. People arrested are facing criminal charges (mischief, illegal assembly). Many of those arrested weren’t released until just a few hours ago.


A student strike is messy, especially with a repressive administration, scab-enabling mainstream media, and certain moderate sectors of the movement that has second-guessed a strike that “this time” is too radical in scope and not firmly controllable. Student strikes are at their heart the grassroots students and their support networks actually enforcing and defending the strike (a much fewer number of dedicated activists, disproportionately the so-called masked radicals, and definitely not mainstream-media friendly).


Because of the police intervention in the afternoon, and the arrests of dear comrades, students and supporters had a spontaneous assembly in the Da Sève Building (near Ste-Catherine & St-Denis) that turned into an open-ended occupation.


I got there after 9:30pm tonite, and the atmosphere at the occupation was festive and rambunctious. Music, dancing, food, conversation, and a lot of debriefing of what’s been happening in the past few days and week, particularly the heavy-handed approach of UQAM administration. There were several hundred people present.


[A musical highlight was George Moustaki’s “Sans la nommer”]


I didn’t see anything directly myself, but I eventually saw the aftermath of the systematic removal of UQAM’s pervasive surveillance cameras. Kudos to whoever was involved with that! Amazing work.


Eventually, it was obvious that the police would intervene, after getting a request from the UQAM administration. The SPVM (Montreal police) even tweeted about it:


spvm_uqam_tweet


It was also clear what the police had in mind via their communications on police radio (which I only heard about second and third-hand: it was journalists who were listening to the scanner most intently). The cops were claiming: “we want arrests, not a dispersion” and they made sure to talk about the ambulances that were on-call to deal with anticipated injuries.


I was part of the outside support group, while inside the building was fully barricaded. All available furniture and material – chairs, desks, couches, shelves, recycling boxes, garbage bins – became barricades to keep the cops out. A huge oversize banner – with the expression: Oser lutter, c’est oser vaincre [Daring to struggle is to dare to win] – was used to cover the metro level approach to the main occupation area. Here’s a photo of the banner from a demo:


CBm5UdPUIAM42Ro


Around 12am, the occupation divided into the people barricading inside, and the outside supporters (I was in the latter group). I personally observed at least 100 police officers mobilized to take over the street and break into the occupation. Here’s a video of the cops breaking the doors to get in: http://ift.tt/1DnH033


Meanwhile, outside, the group I was part of (on Ste-Catherine, moving east) was attacked with tear gas and pepper spray, while being pushed back by bike cops and riot cops in succession.


Eventually, I headed back to the QPIRG Concordia mothership, but not before trying to get reports of possible arrests inside. The early reports are of upwards of five or more arrests, which are minimal compared to the numbers who were actually barricaded inside. But, it’s a big building, with lots of spaces to avoid cops, and lots of ways to get out (so, a big fuck you to the SPVM and UQAM administration).


Solidarity with all who kept up the fight inside Da Sève, and of course with everyone who was arrested and now facing criminal charges, and their support people.


[If you’re facing criminal charges and want some support, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Contempt of Court: A Legal Clinic by and for Social Movements / Outrage au tribunal: clinique juridique par et pour les militantes et militants: http://ift.tt/1OdpAtB]


Already, there are multiple responses planned today (Thursday, April 9), with at least three demos, starting at 8:45am (rendez-vous: J-M770), another in the afternoon, and yet another night demo slated for 8pm (rendez-vous: Place Émlilie-Gamelin / métro Berri-UQAM).


With the unabashed entry of police, including armed riot police, into the heart of a university campus seen as a linchpin of the social strike against austerity, the ever-evolving Spring 2015 has decisively escalated.


– Jaggi Singh, member of No One Is Illegal-Montreal.

twitter: @JaggiMontreal


1508008_10152700478646176_712230349227650442_n


11143469_10152700370106176_4697191825897775100_n






on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/1FqjteQ



10320531_10152700300631176_4926701094343594572_n


RESPECT to the strike defenders at UQAM and their allies. It was a full-day battle today (April 8), from early morning till late night. I only observed first-hand the crescendo tonite, after the intervention of what was clearly over 100+ riot police, backed up by bike cops, at the Da Sève Building occupation. The resilience of UQAM resisters is inspiring.


For a sense of what happened earlier today at UQAM, and the solidarity and support shown by students when the cops got called in, check out this video: http://ift.tt/1DnH1E5


There were 21 arrests (some reports of 22) with at least 11 women-identified protesters among the group. There would have undoubtedly been more arrests if not for the fight-back by students. People arrested are facing criminal charges (mischief, illegal assembly). Many of those arrested weren’t released until just a few hours ago.


A student strike is messy, especially with a repressive administration, scab-enabling mainstream media, and certain moderate sectors of the movement that has second-guessed a strike that “this time” is too radical in scope and not firmly controllable. Student strikes are at their heart the grassroots students and their support networks actually enforcing and defending the strike (a much fewer number of dedicated activists, disproportionately the so-called masked radicals, and definitely not mainstream-media friendly).


Because of the police intervention in the afternoon, and the arrests of dear comrades, students and supporters had a spontaneous assembly in the Da Sève Building (near Ste-Catherine & St-Denis) that turned into an open-ended occupation.


I got there after 9:30pm tonite, and the atmosphere at the occupation was festive and rambunctious. Music, dancing, food, conversation, and a lot of debriefing of what’s been happening in the past few days and week, particularly the heavy-handed approach of UQAM administration. There were several hundred people present.


[A musical highlight was George Moustaki’s “Sans la nommer”: http://ift.tt/1OdpAtw]


I didn’t see anything directly myself, but I eventually saw the aftermath of the systematic removal of UQAM’s pervasive surveillance cameras. Kudos to whoever was involved with that! Amazing work.


Eventually, it was obvious that the police would intervene, after getting a request from the UQAM administration. The SPVM (Montreal police) even tweeted about it: http://ift.tt/1DnH02Z


It was also clear what the police had in mind via their communications on police radio (which I only heard about second and third-hand: it was journalists who were listening to the scanner most intently). The cops were claiming: “we want arrests, not a dispersion” and they made sure to talk about the ambulances that were on-call to deal with anticipated injuries.


I was part of the outside support group, while inside the building was fully barricaded. All available furniture and material – chairs, desks, couches, shelves, recycling boxes, garbage bins – became barricades to keep the cops out. A huge oversize banner – with the expression: Oser lutter, c’est oser vaincre [Daring to struggle is to dare to win] – was used to cover the metro level approach to the main occupation area. Here’s a photo of the banner from a demo: http://ift.tt/1OdpAtx


Around 12am, the occupation divided into the people barricading inside, and the outside supporters (I was in the latter group). I personally observed at least 100 police officers mobilized to take over the street and break into the occupation. Here’s a video of the cops breaking the doors to get in: http://ift.tt/1DnH033


Meanwhile, outside, the group I was part of (on Ste-Catherine, moving east) was attacked with tear gas and pepper spray, while being pushed back by bike cops and riot cops in succession.


Eventually, I headed back to the QPIRG Concordia mothership, but not before trying to get reports of possible arrests inside. The early reports are of upwards of five or more arrests, which are minimal compared to the numbers who were actually barricaded inside. But, it’s a big building, with lots of spaces to avoid cops, and lots of ways to get out (so, a big fuck you to the SPVM and UQAM administration).


Solidarity with all who kept up the fight inside Da Sève, and of course with everyone who was arrested and now facing criminal charges, and their support people.


[If you’re facing criminal charges and want some support, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Contempt of Court: A Legal Clinic by and for Social Movements / Outrage au tribunal: clinique juridique par et pour les militantes et militants: http://ift.tt/1OdpAtB]


Already, there are multiple responses planned today (Thursday, April 9), with at least three demos, starting at 8:45am (rendez-vous: J-M770), another in the afternoon, and yet another night demo slated for 8pm (rendez-vous: Place Émlilie-Gamelin / métro Berri-UQAM).


With the unabashed entry of police, including armed riot police, into the heart of a university campus seen as a linchpin of the social strike against austerity, the ever-evolving Spring 2015 has decisively escalated.


– Jaggi Singh, member of No One Is Illegal-Montreal.

twitter: @JaggiMontreal


1508008_10152700478646176_712230349227650442_n


11143469_10152700370106176_4697191825897775100_n






on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/1DnH035



Sunday, April 05, 2015

AK Press Fire Update #1

akpress_update1 The following is an update from the AK Press collective, who are coping with the aftermath of a deadly fire on March 21st. If you can, please help AK by donating here.


It’s been almost two weeks since the fire at our warehouse and we know some of you have been waiting for an update and wondering how you can plug into the relief efforts. Very briefly, here is where things stand: our building is still red-tagged by the City of Oakland. We are hopeful that, after more inspections and some repairs are completed, we’ll be able to stay. In the meantime we have been able to get some access to our stock and so we have been able to send out orders for titles that weren’t damaged. We are still waiting for insurance inspectors to come and review the damage in our unit, and until that happens, we can’t make any more progress with clearing out destroyed stock. So at this point there is just a lot of waiting, which we can’t do much about, and it means it’s going to be a while still before our work can return to any semblance of “normal.”


We can’t thank you enough for all of the support we’ve gotten in the last two weeks. Your generous donations to our crowdfunding campaign add up to almost $45,000 so far, and that money will be shared with 1984 Printing and our neighbors in the building who have been displaced by the fire. We plan to give out the first round of checks this week. We’re not quite to one-third of our goal, so if you can still donate, please do! Recovering from the fire is going to be a long and difficult process, and your support will help us all get back on our feet sooner.


Besides donating, here are a few things folks can do to help (since some of you have been asking!):



  • Spread the word about our fundraiser, even if you can’t give yourself.

  • Organize a benefit. Maybe you’re in a band; maybe you can organize a film screening or a house party. Make it a benefit for our fire relief fund and we’ll happily share it on our events calendar. Please understand that we are stretched pretty thin labor-wise at the moment so we probably can’t send a collective member to your event, but we’ll be ever-so-grateful for your help!

  • Bookstores and other retailers: this might be obvious, but if you owe us money, now would be a great time to pay up! We’ve also heard from stores that want to have benefit events or donate a percentage of a day’s sales to our fund, which is amazing and we certainly appreciate the mutual aid!

  • And finally, yes, you can still place orders with us! Just understand that there will be slight delays shipping things out, so we appreciate your patience. If you’re into this sort of thing, we suggest ordering e-books (which require almost no work to process and you can download instantly). And if you’re able to support us more consistently, we would love it if more folks signed up as Friends of AK Press. You can do all of these things at akpress.org.


Thanks again, so much, for your support.


-The AK Press Collective






on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/1IAwyoP



Friday, March 20, 2015

Inside Canada’s Five-Year-Long Anti-Terror Investigation of a Group of Quebec Communists


On November 30, 2004, a bomb buried under two bags of sand went off, shaking the foundations of a hydroelectric tower near the Quebec-US border. Two years later, a car bomb decimated an oil executive’s car outside of his home, northwest of Montreal.


Read the rest of this article on the Vice website.






on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/1xFwzlx



Thursday, March 19, 2015

Windi Earthworm, circa 1979

Two photos just sent to me by François Couture — thanks!


Windi Earthworm, photo by François COUTURE, circa 1979

Windi Earthworm, photo by François COUTURE, circa 1979



Windi Earthworm, photo by François COUTURE, circa 1979

Windi Earthworm, photo by François COUTURE, circa 1979







on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/1OamMhN



Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Some Interesting things i read in February






on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/1EYVd6E



Victory! Shaka Zulu Transferred!

shaka_zulu_s Comrades and those who are fast becoming Comrades –


We have a victory! Our enemy buckled under the People Power you sent there way. We in NABPP-PC say that unity passes through struggle. Hopefully these last 60 days brought you all closer to realizing that the Power of the People is Stronger than the walls of Repression.


On 2-26-15 I was transported to South Woods State Prison. About 10 minutes before crossing into Philadelphia (PA) – deep into South Jersey. I was placed in a specially designed Isolation Unit that hold only 20 men (more on this place in a forthcoming letter). I am compelled by enemy sanction to complete my 55 days stuck in this kage.


I want to say, “All Power to the People!” And Sincerely extend Panther Love to you all. My new address is:


Shaka Zulu #244128/661323-B

S.W.S.P.

215 Burlington Road

Bridgeton, New Jersey

08302


Chairman Shaka Zulu

NABPP-PC






on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/1HDQpmZ



Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Monday, March 02, 2015

“I Can’t Breathe,” Could You?, By Chairman Shaka Zulu

Shaka Zulu

Shaka Zulu



All power to the people!


Northern State Prison, like most prisons, constitutes one huge cesspool of corruption, connected to one huge machine called Mass Incarceration. This huge machine conforms to the capitalist logic of maximization of the rate of profit.


Our minds and bodies (mental and manual labor) in the Mass Incarceration system undergird the foundation of profit. They utilize our labor power to manufacture “things” that are then put on the “Market” for a price. We get nothing in return. Northern State Prison is a part of that nation-wide system of exploitation.


So for 15 years – 8 years at Northern State Prison – I’ve been in my battle stance raising my voice in opposition to terroristic practices of the correctional officers who flagrantly violate and traduce our human and Democratic Rights. As a leading member of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party – Prison Chapter (NABPP-PC) it is my duty to make prisoners aware it is Right to Rebel! against our capitalist oppressors. This rebellion and unity of action spring out of a sense to simply be ourselves, to be able to stand with the Black and Brown oppressed communities bellowing that Incarcerated Lives Matter as well.


Our oppressors have other plans, and those plans require conformity and silence from the prisoner-class. Panthers don’t bow down to social injustice. We resist. To let the rapacious enemy reduce us to subhuman creatures, fit to be ruled by stick and carrot, and tied forever to menial work disturbs our conscience, because the oppressor wants us to accept the erasure of our dignity and self-determination. We will not kowtow. People that study and identify with comrade George Jackson don’t beg … they mass the people for revolutionary education, agitation and organization.


We are aware that the racist pigs here at Northern State Prison want me to “shut the fuck up” – to use the phrase of the Special Investigation Division (S.I.D.) who recently railroaded me on a bogus disciplinary charge. We will not comply.


To speak is an act of revolutionary resistance. That is why the Mumia Gag Law won’t work on us. When you hear and read a Mumia Abu-Jamal, Kevin “Rashid” Johnson or Jalil Muntaqim, you are seeing prisoners affirm their rights to be human beings.


Northern State Prison opened in the late 1980s as a way of addressing the economically strapped urban areas that surround the prison. The advent of de-industrialization not only left the rural area looking like a wasteland, a non-community, but with racism as a driving force, Black and Brown oppressed communities resembled favelas and shanty-towns we see in underdeveloped nations. Jobs were really non-existent, food was non-existent. Communities of love were non-existent as the Washington Consensus or Neo-Liberalism uprooted the factory – literally the whole production plant was shut down, put on a ship and re-opened in Economic Enterprise Zones based in Asia, Afrika, and Latin America.


So there was nothing to bribe and pacify the multi-racial working class. The workers were able to see the capitalist class for what it is: a small group of rapacious thieves! Anger was mounting in the country. The prospect of Bacon’s Rebellion part two, sent fear throughout the bourgeoisie.


So our oppressors stumbled on an idea: Build prisons in depressed economic areas! To do this they first needed to make the case. Black and Brown youth were depicted in the enemy corporate media as violent, depraved, gun-toting monsters out to rape white women in Central Park. With the youth totally demonized and dehumanized, the U.S. Government declared a “War on Drugs,” a “war on crime,” and like robots the political class in consultation with Corrections Corporation of Amerika (CCA) devised nefarious legislation that allocated monies to the prison binge in white rural communities. Most whites hired on as correctional officers didn’t have the “stuff” to cut it as Army and police officers. These white recruits carried with them a psycho-social conditioning manifested in white supremacist culture that the main “problem” with Amerikkka is the Black and Brown youth who needed a karate chop to the throat every chance the opportunity avails itself.


With the construction and opening of the prison, institutions like housing, shopping malls, hospitals and recreation centers arose on the foundation of the prison.


New Jersey was reading the reports from the capitalist-imperialist think-tanks and foundations (Brookings and Heritage): it works! With then Mayor Sharp James presiding over the City of Newark, New Jersey, state legislators and construction companies sat together to negotiate the terms and conditions. It was stipulated that for a number of years only Black and Brown people from the adjacent urban areas could be hired at Northern State Prison.


For nearly 30 years, Northern State Prison was a meal ticket for members of the aspiring Black and Brown middle class. That has all ended now. The racial demographics have dramatically changed. Those first Black and Brown correctional officers hired nearly 30 years ago are now retiring or being forced out. Taking their place are young white officers who hate anything moving. They have preconceived ideas on how to keep Black and Brown youth in their place, which usually involves violence. They have paramilitary mentalities. Correctional officer Bobby Wasik is the undisputed leader of these unsophisticated and impressionable white correctional officers. We should make it clear to the whole prison establishment in New Jersey that they need to put pig Wasik back in the pigstye or else face the prospect of court proceedings.


Repression is a part of the revolutionary process. The fascist state has outlawed revolution. We revolutionaries in New Jersey are operating from the premise that they can jail and kill our bodies, but an idea whose time has come cannot be jailed orkilled. The New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter is committed to serving the people mind, body and soul, as enumerated in our 10-point program, and with our strategy of “Turning the prisons into Schools of Liberation,” and building base areas of cultural, social and political revolution in the context of building a united front against capitalist-imperialism.


I am no longer with my comrades in general population. But Pantherism, the ideological and political line of NABPP-PC, holds us together. When Comrade Rashid and I founded this party in 2005, we were in separate states and separate prisons, but what held us together was Panther Love and the principles ofcomradeship.


I want the comrades in general population across the country to know that we are bound by a supreme unity that our oppressors should not be able to sever.


Long Live Revolution!

Panther Love!

Dare to Struggle – Dare to Win!

All Power to the People!


Chairman Shaka Zulu






on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/1B1TDyp



Saturday, February 14, 2015

“diversity of the offender population”


The most visible change during my tenure as Correctional Investigator has been the growth in the overall size, complexity and diversity of the offender population. It is not a new observation that some of Canada’s minority, vulnerable or disadvantaged groups are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system. These trends are accelerating within federal prisons. Since March 2005, the federal inmate population has increased by 17.5%. Over the same period, the Aboriginal population grew by 47.4% and Black offenders by over 75%. These groups now comprise 22 8% and 9 8% of the total incarcerated population respectively. The federally sentenced women population has increased 66%, with the Aboriginal women count growing by 112%. Over the same period, the number of Caucasian offenders has actually declined by 3%.








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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Fire the Cops! A Book Review



The Prevention of Our Breathing and Catching Our Second Wind, by Sanyika Shakur


  • We Can’t Breathe without control of our destiny!

  • We Can’t Breathe under neo-colonialism!

  • We Can’t Breathe with capitalism’s hands around our throats!

  • We Can’t Breathe under bourgeois democracy!

  • We Can’t Breathe under genocidal violence!

  • We Can’t Breathe under imperialism!

  • The Can’t Breathe in overcrowded u.s. prisons!

  • We Can’t Breathe under amerikan dyseducation!

  • We Can’t Breathe believing the lies that we are amerikans!

  • We Can’t Breathe as soldiers in your military!

  • We Can’t Breathe under reformist slogans like “No justice No peace!”

  • We Can’t Breathe being mis-led by oppo-same preachers, teachers & presidents!

  • We Can’t Breathe under your pledge of allegience, flag or Constitution!

  • We Can’t Breathe without an Army of our own!

  • We Can’t Breathe with our political prisoners in your kamps!

  • We Can’t Breathe without scientific socialism!

  • We Can’t Breathe in your super-max SHU units!

  • We Can’t Breathe under homophobia, patriarchy or heterosexism!

  • We Can’t Breathe under pathological lies to protect & serve!

  • We Can’t Breathe because Our Nation is Not Free!


So, We’re going to catch our breath and get our second wind, and this time we’re gonna get free. Free, that is, to control the qualitative factors of our lives which determine the destiny of our own nation. A nation of people with pride & dignity long denied this right by amerika’s spirit-killing, mind-warping, brain-draining drive to dominate & control all in its reach.


Stand up & struggle forward you mighty nation! Breathe, catch your second wind, overstand what’s at stake & begin again to Free the Land!


Re-build!

Sanyika Shakur


August 3rd Collective

Republic of New Afrika

12-14-49 Adm*


*49 years after the death of Malcolm X






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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Interview with an Antifascist Prisoner in Sweden

sthlmantifa


Joel is an antifascist prisoner in Sweden. In July 2014, he was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for attempted murder, violent disorder, and carrying an illegal weapon. The sentence followed a collective defense against a Nazi attack on an antifascist demonstration in Stockholm. The interview was conducted in the fall of 2014. Explanatory notes have been added.


You were sentenced in connection with an antifascist demonstration in Kärrtorp, a suburb of Stockholm, in December 2013. Can you tell us about that day?


During the weeks before the demonstration, there had been trouble in Kärrtorp and the neighboring suburbs. The Swedish Resistance Movement (Svenska motståndsrörelsen, SMR) had tried to establish itself in the area. They went through the usual Nazi routine of spraying swastikas on the local school and attacking people who have no place in the world they envision – in some cases with knives.


I’m not sure, but I think Network Line 17 already existed before the demonstration. In any case, it was this network that organized it.1 There were indications that Nazis might show up to disrupt the event, but when I checked in with people in the morning it seemed that everything was going to be fine. Since there was a solidarity benefit for an imprisoned antifascist the same night, I thought I would only stop by the demonstration for a short while before heading into town to help prepare the evening event. When I got to Kärrtorp with a few friends, we were about ten minutes late.


Five minutes later, the Nazis came.2 We saw them from about 200 yards away. Everything became very chaotic; we weren’t prepared and spread out across the square. We also had very little to defend ourselves with. The Nazis began to shower us with bottles. It didn’t seem to matter to them that there were many children and pensioners among us. They advanced onto the square while we retreated.


One of the strongest memories I have from that day is a policewoman standing between us and the Nazis and then suddenly running away. When I read the police report later, I understood that she went to get her helmet because of all the flying bottles, but at the time it felt like this was going to get really dangerous, even life-threatening. Everyone knows how happy SMR members are to use their knives.3


Once the initial confusion was over, we managed to gather and start a counterattack. We stopped the Nazis’ advance but that was not good enough. A front line formed. The police didn’t have a clue what was going on and beat us at least as hard as the Nazis. It was still chaotic, but now we were at least coordinated. We pushed back the Nazis further, and this is when I first saw one of them with a knife. I started heading towards him but lost sight. Meanwhile, the Nazis tried to regain ground. There were serious skirmishes and I saw another Nazi with a knife. If, at that point, the Nazis had gotten the upper hand and one of us had fallen to the ground, it could have been fatal. That’s when the Nazi closest to us got stabbed.


A number of demonstrators who had first left the square now returned. With their help, we managed to push the Nazis from the square to the adjacent bus station, then past some buildings out into the forest. More police arrived only when we were already at the bus station. I had hurt my knee in the melee and didn’t go with the others. Soon, the police shielded off the Nazis and protected them.4 I waited for my friends to return to the square, then I went, as planned, into town to help prepare the evening event.


You said that it wasn’t “good enough” to stop the Nazis’ advance. What do you mean by that?


It is important to understand that the Nazis came to attack us. They didn’t come to have a counter-rally, as they claim. Had it been up to them, they would have chased everyone from the square and, ideally, hurt some folks in the process. The attack was not just about preventing people from taking a stand against them, it was also about propaganda. The goal was to prevent any resistance to their recruitment efforts in the area and to use the action itself as a recruitment tool. Anyone who doesn’t understand this, chooses to ignore reality. Kärrtorp isn’t unique, that’s how it works everywhere. If we don’t fight on the streets, where are we going to fight?


I’m digressing, but it’s really important to point out how crucial it was to not only stop them but to chase them out of Kärrtorp. If you want their activities to end, this is needed.


You also mentioned that everyone knows how happy SMR members are to use their knives. Can you give examples?


The readiness of SMR members to use knives is well documented. About a year before the Kärrtorp attack, a person was stabbed to death by SMR members in Vallentuna, just outside of Stockholm. Only a few days before the Kärrtorp attack, someone was severely injured just a few suburbs away. And at least one of the people who murdered the union activist Björn Söderberg (rest in peace) was connected to SMR.5 There are more examples, but these should suffice. SMR tries to attract people – mostly young ones – with revolutionary romanticism and a sense of community that builds more on violence than ideology.


When did you get arrested?


About a week later. I was picking up my son from school.


It seems that you’ve been active in Sweden’s antifascist movement for quite some time. Can you tell us a little about this?


I grew up in Linköping during the 1980s and ’90s. Just like in the rest of Sweden and Europe, Nazis were on the rise. In Sweden, the “Laser Man” wreaked havoc, and the band Ultima Thule topped the charts.6 Linköping was strongly affected by this. It was a center for the production of White Power music and several leaders of the different Nazi organizations that existed in Sweden at the time were living in or around the town.


I was born in Chile, so I have personally experienced the everyday racism that still exists in Sweden. When I was little, I was physically attacked by Nazis. Once I got older, I started to fight back and defend myself. I realized that this made things much easier for me.


When I was 13 years old, I started going to hardcore punk shows. At the time, the hardcore punk scene was much more political than today. At a gig in 1995, someone asked me if I wanted to travel with him to Denmark to protest a march celebrating the German Nazi Rudolf Hess. I didn’t hesitate a second.


It was during this trip that I really embraced antifascism. I hadn’t known that there was a real antifascist movement out there. Everything in Denmark seemed so organized. There were lots of people from all ages at the demonstration, and this didn’t change even when we got into skirmishes with the police trying to keep us away from the Nazis. You could call it an initiating experience. It took some time before I got organized myself, but it was during this trip that I really understood that I was an antifascist.


Was the antifascist movement in Denmark better organized at the time than in Sweden? Has this changed?


I can’t really say how well antifascists were organized in other parts of Sweden at the time, but in Linköping there was no organization at all, or at least you didn’t notice it. In the late 1990s, however, an extraparliamentary left developed in Linköping as well.


I don’t want to go into details regarding antifascist organizing in Sweden, but once I had gotten involved myself, I noticed that things were really progressing. All aspects improved: research, recruitment, infrastructure. We only dropped the ball in one respect, and that was tactics. While the Nazis experimented successfully with new forms of politics, we didn’t make that leap.


Is the far right a big danger in Sweden? What does the movement look like today?


That depends on how you define the far right. The Sweden Democrats are now the country’s third biggest party. I reckon that is a big threat.7 It seems that the political situation in Sweden mirrors that in the rest of Europe. Far-right parties are gaining ground everywhere.


With respect to Nazi organizations, there is little risk that they will enter parliament.8 But Nazis will always pose a physical threat to anyone fighting them. Whenever Nazis are left alone, they grow. This is evident if you look at what has happened in Sweden during the last ten years: in towns where antifascists were strong, Nazis pretty much had to abandon their efforts. Those who deny that connection don’t know what they are talking about.


Antifascist activism can sometimes feel tough and unrewarding, but in a town like Örebro, for example, where Nazis were very active just a few years ago, there is now basically no activity at all. Other towns where militant struggle on the street has brought results are Linköping and Gothenburg. For different reasons, Stockholm is a difficult town to work in, but even there Nazis have been pushed back several times.


Internationally, Sweden is still seen as an open and liberal country. How does this go together with the far-right currents that you’re describing?


I think that whenever Nazis go from talk to action, that is, when they kill immigrants or rob banks, it is usually swept under the carpet. And whenever this is not possible – for example in the case of Malexander9 or Kärrtorp – the politicians make a big media circus out of it, full of condemnation and outrage. So either Nazis aren’t seen as a problem, or, when they are, the politicians give the impression that they will take care of it.


What are the perspectives for the country’s left?


I assume you mean the extraparliamentary left. Not sure if I’m the right person to ask since I’ll be out of the game for some time, but I think there needs to be better collaboration between different leftist groups and we need to establish more common goals.


Can you give examples for such goals?


I think we should be active in the areas that concern us all, especially in those where the underclass is attacked most heavily – this concerns, for example, the privatization of council flats or precarious labor relations. I also think that it is important to engage in small projects where you can actually experience victories and see that it’s possible to change things. That’s crucial for our morale. A good example was the campaign against JobbJakt.


What was it about?


JobbJakt is a website offering jobs. Some years ago, they wanted to introduce a bidding feature where the person ready to do the job for the lowest wage would get it. So, say, someone wants his bathroom redone, and then one person offers to do it for 150 crowns an hour, another for 100 crowns, etc. This is clearly wage dumping and hostile to the working class. It was important for us not to let such practices take root in Sweden and so we campaigned against the website – successfully.


You’ve been stressing the importance of organization in political work. Can you elaborate on this?


The importance of organization speaks for itself. If we do things together we are stronger. How exactly we are organized is secondary. It can be in a band, a union, a militant group, a pacifist group, a cultural center, a social center, a publishing house, a bookshop, or whatever. It doesn’t need to be die-hard activism either. But it’s important that organizing doesn’t stop with your own project. We need to make use of our movement’s diversity. Networks and umbrella organizations are important. At this point, the extraparliamentary left hardly feels like a movement at all.


What is your personal situation like? As a prisoner, what kind of support do you consider most important?


Right now, I’m at the prison in Kumla waiting for an evaluation. Kumla is a “Class 1 Prison” in Sweden, that is, a maximum security facility. Once the evaluation is done, I will probably be transferred to another maximum security facility.10


Support? I’d be very happy if more people got active and, especially, organized.


Some final words?


Let me quote Madball: “Times are changing for the worse / Gotta keep a positive outlook / Growing up in such violent times / Have some faith and you’ll get by.”


If you want to send mail to Joel, please check the current address at the Facebook page “Free Joel”.



  1. The Network Line 17 (Nätverket Linje 17) is a network of community groups along the southern end of Stockholm’s subway line 17.

  2. There were about thirty SMR members involved in the attack.

  3. During the attack, there were only about handful of police officers present. Reinforcements took several minutes to arrive.

  4. Twenty-eight SMR members were arrested. So far, sixteen have gone to court, seven of whom have been sentenced. The highest sentence so far has been eight months in prison for violent disorder.

  5. On September 21, 2012, Joakim Karlsson was murdered in Vallentuna. On December 7, 2013, Fidel Ogu was severely injured in Hökarängen. On October 12, 1999, Björn Söderberg was killed outside his apartment in Sätra in southern Stockholm.

  6. From August 1991 to January 1992, the “Laser Man” John Ausonius killed one person, the Iranian student Jimmy Ranjbar, and severely injured ten more in a series of shootings targeting people he considered “foreign” (in the beginning, Ausonius used a rifle with a laser sight, hence the name). Ultima Thule was a popular Swedish rock band with ties to the neo-Nazi milieu.

  7. At the 2014 parliamentary elections, the far-right Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna) received 12.86% of the vote.

  8. The Party of the Swedes (Svenskarnas parti), which until recently was called the National Socialist Front (Nationalsocialistisk front), also participated in the elections. It received 0.07% of the vote.

  9. On May 28, 1999, two policemen were shot dead by neo-Nazis in the small town of Malexander in southern Sweden following a bank robbery.

  10. Shortly after the completion of this interview, Joel was moved to the maximum security prison of Tidaholm. For updates, please see the Facebook page “Free Joel”.






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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

November Sale at Leftwingbooks.Net!

That’s right, we’re having a sale!


Dozens of books on special, with a selection that will be changing throughout the month of November, so check and then check back


Settlers, The Communist Necessity, David Gilbert’s Love and Struggle, Maroon the Implacable, Undoing Border Imperialism and more…


At leftwingbooks.net !






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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Justice for Jennifer Laude

jennifer_laude






on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://ift.tt/1sRiLW7



Monday, October 06, 2014

Anarchy for Her

Anarchy for Her






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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Windi Earthworm on Queer Corps

Windi Earthworm was an institution of the radical anglo left in 1980s Montreal. A crossdressing openly gay street musician who took it upon himself to educate the public about the Vancouver 5, the genocide of Indigenous peoples, the destruction of nature, and the miseries of life under capitalism, Windi was a frequent performer at benefits put on by the scene. Indeed, generally he was by far the most popular act.


Windi was diagnosed HIV+ in the mid-eighties, and had moved to the countryside by 1986 – and when his health started to noticeably deteriorate, he left Quebec for the West Coast, settling in Victoria, B.C. He died in 1993.


A month ago, on August 11, 2014, Queer Corps (on CKUT 90.3 FM) devoted an entire show to Windi’s music, and to talking to people who knew him and sharing their memories with us. It is well worth listening to, and has been uploaded to soundcloud where you can do just that.


You can read more about Windi, and listen to his music, here.






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