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Tag: Texas

Juneteenth Prison Protest Targets Prison Slave Labor In Austin, Texas

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, and Journalism

Last week, Austin anarchists marked Juneteenth a day early with a protest against modern-day slavery.

Juneteenth, honored on June 19 each year, marks the day that news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached slaves in Texas. However, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution legalizes unpaid or shockingly underpaid slave labor by those behind bars. The Juneteenth prison protest in Austin targeted two offices operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Around dawn, activists scaled flag poles at the Austin offices of the TDCJ parole board to replace the U.S. and Texas flags with an anti-prison slavery banner. Later, more anarchists (and this reporter) gathered to protest at a showroom where corporations come to hire prison labor.

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Texas is one of the few states where prisoners receive no paid compensation for their labor, yet are expected to afford commissary items, $100 medical copays, and post-release expenses,” a representative of the group told me.

Hemp & Garden Show Educates Austin Locals & SXSW Visitors About Hemp

Posted in Austin, Journalism, Ministry of Hemp, SXSW, and Video

The Texas hemp industry is booming despite the obstacles faced by Lone Star State entrepreneurs.

That’s the message of the Texas Hemp and Garden Show, which took place on March 13 and 14 in Austin, Texas, at a downtown nightclub near the heart of the popular SXSW festival and not far from the capitol building.

2018 marked the Hemp and Garden Show’s second year, and there were about a dozen different vendors or organizations represented when I dropped in on the second day. Activists helped passersby fill out voter registration cards on the sidewalk, a DJ spun tunes from a small stage outside, and inside a succession of experts spoke about topics ranging from agriculture to the war on drugs. At night, musicians took over for the speakers including a surprise appearance from rapper Lil’ Flip.

How A Texas Winery Created Hemp Wines Despite The Odds

Posted in Journalism, and Ministry of Hemp

You can wear hemp fashion, put hemp seeds on your oatmeal, even write on hemp paper, so would you try hemp wines?

It’s a product years in the making, but Americans in 37 states can now try hemp-infused wine, the creation of Texas-based TVM Wines.

TVM’s new hemp wines are actually wine cocktails, infused with flavors like “rum and Coke” and “Texas tea,” and graced with playful names like “Forbidden,” “Covert” and “Taboo” that invite drinkers to take part in something secretive and daring. However, for the wine’s creators, the product is about more than just capitalizing on an increasingly “hip” ingredient: they’re believers in the benefits of hemp too.

Richard Spencer’s Ties To Violent Nazi Will Fears (Newsweek)

Posted in Austin, and Journalism

Last week, Texas neo-nazi Will Fears, along with his brother Colton and another local fascist, Tyler Tenebrink, were arrested after a speech by the notoriously punchable Richard Spencer at the University of Florida. 

Fears was, once again, working with Patriot Front, the neo-nazis who attacked the Houston Anarchist Bookfair and themselves a spin off of Vanguard America, the neo-nazi group that included Heather Heyer’s killer in Charlottesville. Patriot Front and other fascist groups like Anti-Com were working as security for Spencer’s event, according to a document leaked by Atlanta Antifascists that has since been verified by multiple sources including Spencer’s think tank.

The Fears brothers and Tenebrink were arrested after the speech when Tenebrink, under encouragement from Will Fears, opened fire on a group of antifascist activists.

I recently spoke with Newsweek reporter Michael Hayden about Fears’ long history of violence against antifa and the left in Texas, which includes his participation in the May Day fascist attack in downtown Austin and an assault on a clergywoman at Houston airport during the Muslim Ban protests.

Security Culture And Punching Nazis In Texas (Kit O’Connell On Radical Underground Podcast)

Posted in Act Out!, Audio, Austin, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Occupy Wall Street

I really enjoyed talking with the Radical Underground podcast and the episode turned out great, full of lively conversation and fab music.

In our conversation, we talked about security culture and the ways our smartphones turn us into snitches against ourselves — but also touched on the human element, which is just as vital as technology when it comes to staying secure.

We also talked at length about the Oh Shit What Now collective, the recent incident at my “Punching Nazis” class in Houston, and other fascist and antifascist activity in Austin, Texas (including copwatching).