Tag Archive: Sean Swain

The Final Straw: Hunger strike at Westville in IN, Sean Swain radio and more!

This week’s episode of the Final Straw starts off with a couple of announcements about recent prisoner resistance from around the U.S. and the upcoming court dates for the NATO3.
http://freethenato3.wordpress.com/
http://prisonbooks.info/2014/01/10/inmates-strike-to-protest-alabama-pri…
http://www.illinoisprisontalk.org/index.php?topic=31966.0

Secondly, we’ll present a short audio essay by Sean Swain, a regularly occurring segment we hope to become a regular portion of our show. Find out more about Sean Swain at http://seanswain.org

This’ll be followed by an interview with Deedee, a member of Saving Our Families, a network of those with loved-ones in the Prison Industrial Complex, based out of Indiana. Deedee is also a supporter of Control Unit Prisoners on hunger strike at Westville Correction Facility in Indiana about the strike and the atrocious food distribution, run by Aramark Corrections Services based out of Philly PA. More info can be found at http://dignityatwestville.wordpress.com

(more…)

Voices from Solitary: “This Massive Mind-Fuck Machine”

sean-swainFrom Solitary Watch

Sean Swain is has served 22 years of a 20-to-life sentence for a murder he maintains was committed in self-defense. He has done many long stints in solitary confinement, and is currently being held at the supermax Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown. A self-proclaimed anarchist, he has twice run for governor of Ohio from his prison cell. His writing appears at www.seanswain.org. The following comes from a letter to Solitary Watch written in December. He welcomes mail at: Sean Swain 243205, OSP, 878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road, Youngstown, OH 44505.  –Jean Casella

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

I arrived here at Ohio’s super-duper-uber-meza-ultra-max on 29 August. I call it that because super-max sounds so ridiculous. If maximum is maximum, the most, what can be “super” or “beyond” the maximum? If it’s more secure than the already-existing maximum, then it supercedes it as being the new maximum, but it doesn’t become super-maximum. This is my deliberate, hyperbolic use of multiple prefixes to heckle the state’s grammatical euphemists.

They even have to abuse language. (more…)

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For November/December 2013 Is Now Available

birthdayHello Friends and Comrades,

1) Here is the extremely late political prisoner birthday poster for November and December. As always, please post this poster publicly and/or use it to start a card writing night of your own. FYI, the graphic on the poster this month is a picture of a Russian activist who nailed his testicles to the ground at Red Square to protest the extension of the prison further into all parts of society.

Some News And Updates:

2) As most of you already know Herman Wallace passed away on October 4th after enduring 42 years of solitary confinement. Here is his obituary as well as pictures of a couple of public remembrances for Herman in North Carolina.

3) The Final Straw, an Asheville, North Carolina based podcast, has been putting out a lot of great episodes on anti-prison struggles. Here are links to episodes on the Lucasville Uprising, Red Bird Abolition, and Anarchist Prisoner Sean Swain. (more…)

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…)

Ben Turk on Insurgent Theatre & Prison Abolition

InsurgentTheatre_Know_Your_Enemy_600From The Final Straw

This week’s episode is a conversation with Ben Turk. Ben’s a co-founder of Insurgent Theatre, the decade-old theater troop that has presented a number of original and refurbished theater workshops and performances around the country. Topics of IT’s works have ranged from discussions around Militancy framed through Homer’s Odyssey to Administrative Segregation to a Terrorists Fairytale.

Insurgent Theatre’s current play is called “Know Your Enemy.” The play is a one-person presentation based around a community liaison cop with a liberal heart of gold. As the play goes on, the cop begins to question whether he can actually do his job and help the community. A psychological study into the head of the “good cop” and community/cop relations, it also serves as a history of policing in the United States (ala “Our Enemies in Blue” by Kristian Williams) and a discussion of safer practices when interacting with cops (a sort of Know Your Rights presentation).
http://insurgenttheatre.org/acab/acab.html

“Know Your Enemy” is touring with the second film by D Jones in the “The Great Incarcerator” series. That film, “The Shadow of Lucasville” includes some eye opening just came out and a preview can be found online at: (more…)

The Ex-Worker #10 Are The Issues The Issue?

ep10-250From Crimethinc.

Building on our previous exploration of insurrectionary anarchism, the tenth episode of the Ex-Worker examines how these ideas apply to environmental struggles today. We share excerpts from a debate about “The Issues Are Not The Issue,” a critical discussion of tactics and strategy in eco-defense movements, and grapple with the limitations of campaign organizing, connections based on identity versus affinity, critiques of the green left, and staying involved in struggle for the long haul. We also take a look at Desert, an anarchist analysis of climate change and the possibilities for resistance in a world of ecological disaster, share updates from imprisoned grand jury resistors and hunger strikers, round up a ton of news from global uprisings, share new reading recommendations, and plenty more.

You can download this and all of our previous episodes online. You can also subscribe in iTunes here or just add the feed URL to your podcast player of choice. Rate us on iTunes and let us know what you think, or send us an email to podcast@crimethinc.com.

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…)

Sean Swain Frame-up Thrown Out, New Frame-up in the Works.

sean-swainFrom Seanswain.org

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) Legal Counsel Trevor Clark has taken over Sean’s case from Angela Hunsinger. Clark says he plans to throw out the Rules Infraction Board (RIB) decision and re-do the investigation himself.

Hunsinger’s RIB report relied on an “ideological match” between Sean’s anarchist beliefs and the propaganda distributed by the Army of the 12 Monkeys. Sean appealed the decision, all the way to ODRC director Gary Mohr. All of his appeals were denied, nobody in the ODRC thought there was a problem. Sean was on his way to supermax, when his lawyer, Robert Fitrakis, threatened a civil rights lawsuit, claiming that Sean’s ideology is rooted in neolithic indiginism, his state-approved religious belief. The ODRC sent Head Legal Counsel Trevor Clark in to look at the situation and prepare a defense against the lawsuit. After reviewing Hunsinger’s conduct report, and listening to the RIB hearing, Clark admitted to Sean that listening to it, he “wanted to shoot [him]self in the fucking face” because the hearing and report was so poorly conducted. (more…)

Monkey Number Nine Exonerates Sean Swain

12_monkeysFrom Seanswain.org

In a recent sworn affidavit Leslie Dillon admits to heading the Mansfield faction of the Army of the 12 Monkeys. He states that as Monkey number 9 he knows that his co-accused Sean Swain and James “Blackjack” Dzelajilija are not members of A12M. He states that he is the only member of the Army of the 12 Monkeys at ManCI, and that he did not recruit or attempt to recruit any members. He also explains the circumstantial evidence the Rules Infraction Board used against Swain and Blackjack and describes an attempt to coerce testimony from him against Swain.

Dillon states that Swain’s 12 Monkeys tattoo pre-dated the emergence of the Army of the 12 Monkeys and is simply a reference to the 90s movie starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. The “propaganda” found in Dzelajilija’s cell was actually rap lyrics he wrote based on 2Pac Shakur’s song “Everyone Rise”. Dillon aquired a copy of these lyrics and remembered the 2Pac song, so he typed the lyrics and signed it Monkey #12.

Dillon states that he has attempted to explain these circumstances to ManCI staff repeatedly with no response. He goes on to describe an interaction with unrecognized staff member at ManCI on December 3rd, 2012. This staff member offered Dillon a deal where ManCI investigator Angela Hunsinger would overturn his RIB conviction if he would testify that Swain was the leader of the Army of the 12 Monkeys. Dillon refused and that evening his cell was searched and his property destroyed. The next day ODRC Director Gary Mohr affirmed Dillon’s RIB sanction. (more…)