Tag Archive: Ohio

Sean Swain, Blackjack & The Army of the 12 Monkeys

This week’s show is about the case of two prisoners in Ohio. In 2011, the staff at Mansfield Correctional Institution (MANCI) became aware of a nascent guerilla sabotage movement starting among prisoners called the Army of the 12 Monkeys (A12M). A12M sabotage and organizing manual and propaganda began circulating among prisoners. Cells were searched in detail and James “BlackJack” Dzelijilja was found to have angry hiphop against prison he’d written and also a book on Ericco Malatesta, the long-dead Italian anarchist. Sean Swain, an outspoken anarchist prisoner and jailhouse lawyer at the same institution, was found to have an article he was writing criticizing the privatization of the prison system. Neither were found with A12M materials. As time passed, 2 other prisoners were accused and assented to membership in A12M and that Swain and Blackjack were unaffiliated. Ohio’s prison court, however, disagreed. Now this movement has spread throughout multiple facilities in Ohio, such as Noble, Lake Eerie and Toledo.

This episode is a conversation with Blackjack and Sean Swain, both serving in high security at Youngstown (OSP), and also with Ben Turk of Redbird Prison Abolition and supporter of Sean Swain. We talk about Sean’s activism and writing, how the A12M case has effected Sean & Blackjack, the targeting of anarchists within prisons and more. (more…)

Sean has been transferred!

sean-swainFrom SeanSwain.org

After many months of waiting in awful conditions in the segregation unit at Mansfield, Sean has been transferred to the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown, Ohio.

Please take a minute to write to Sean, or to send him a book or zine. Getting transferred is really hard on people in prison, even if we hope that his conditions will be slightly better at O.S.P. than in the segregation unit at MANCI. He would love to hear from friends and supporters to boost his spirits while he adjusts to new conditions of confinement.

Also, Sean has not been allowed access to books for the last year, and receiving books right now would be a real relief.

Seriously, fuck the State and every person who makes a penny off keeping the people we love in cages.

Sean’s new address is:

Sean Swain 243-205
Ohio State Penitentiary
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd.
Youngstown, OH 44505

Three Updates About Repression of Anarchist Prisoner Sean Swain

12_monkeysFrom Anarchist News

Update #1: Sean has been approved for transfer to level 5 supermax and according to officials at ManCI he’s “#1 on the list to go” but according to the ODRC website, he is still at ManCI. We expected Sean to be transfered to level 4B in Lucasville. Sean has faced two conduct reports for the same incidents. It appears they approved the transfer on the basis of the first conduct report, which recommended level 5, and was thrown out / redone by ODRC legal counsel Trevor Clark because it “relied too heavily on Sean’s ideology” I’m paraphrasing that quote, rather than citing the actual letter because i’m hundreds of miles away from Sean’s legal work and because…

Update #2: SeanSwain.org mysteriously went down following the posting of “Days of Teargas, Blood and Vomit” (see full text of that below). We’re investigating to make sure this wasn’t an accident or coincidence, and hope to have the site back up, in some form, soon.

Update #3: The ManCI mail room is acting up worse than ever. Mail from publishers / distributors appears to be thrown in the trash with no notice of withholding (a violation of prison rules) and personal letters from some people are returned with messages written on them by Sean. So they show / hand him the envelope but won’t let him open it. We’re not really sure exactly what is going on with that, but it seems like sending sean lots and lots of mail to swamp the fascists in the mail room is a direct way to intervene in the situation. Calling and complaining is another option. (more…)

Anarchist Prisoner’s Ideologically Motivated Transfer to Super Max Immanent. Meanwhile, Guerilla Warfare Continues in Ohio’s Prison System.

12_monkeysFrom Sean Swain

Wednesday, Feb 13th, Mansfield OH- Tomorrow is the deadline for Sean Swain to file his final appeal to Warden Terry Tibbals. Supporters are asking people to call the Warden on Friday to oppose the transfer. The Rules Infraction Board found Sean guilty of leading The Army of the 12 Monkeys, a group calling for sabotage and low intensity guerrilla warfare against the prison system. They had no evidence against Sean other than an alleged “ideological match” with the propaganda put out by this group.

Sean has been under strict supervision in a control unit since September, but the activities of the Army of the 12 Monkeys have continued in Mansfield and may have spread to a second correctional institution in Ohio. On January 15th, at least four prisoners were transferred from general population in Mansfield to segregation for allegedly engaging in 12 Monkeys activity including breaking windows. (more…)