High Fives and hugs to all fellow defenders of the land/bioregions out there and Happy June 11-the two year anniversary of the raid on the Penokee mine site which I’m currently incarcerated for, as well as International Solidarity with eco-prisoners Day. A continued decline of taconite (low grade iron ore) in conjunction with continued resistance to industrial mining in the Ojiibwe territory of the northwest Great Lakes Bio region in Wisconsin will keep air, land and water colonialists at bay for now, but there’s constantly wild to defend and re wilding to do around every corner. As the word “resources” in this context connotes pretentious anthropomorphism, I will continue to refer to miners as “air, land and water colonialists”
There’s always so much happening and so many things to say and not say, so let’s start with the fun and obvious one: Fuck the State, the FBI, the NSA, more often than not the DNR, state repression, oppression of all kinds, snitches, police and all their lackey affiliates, liberal reformists, modern day work, many symbolic actions, pacifism and finally fuck totalitarian style agriculture and all that it supports, such as the military and endless urban and industrial expansion of western consumer culture. May creative resistance to eco-cide continue and the fires against police brutality rage on, as the first line of resistance against our resistance is usually the cops.
That being said, though I am making the most of my current situation, I despise being caged and feel deeply for all my rad comrades who have endured or continue to endure prison/jail sentences, as it can be a lonely place emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. I was an anti-domestication advocate prior to incarceration and even more so now because of it. We must not forget our comrades in lock up, as prisoner/jaillee support pre and post release is of the utmost importance, having advocates in the relatively free world makes a big difference for the wellness of those in lock up. I want to extend a big heartfelt thanks to all who’ve written and supported me the past five months, as three of those were spent confined to the indoors. Utilize your “freedom” to keep up the fight, let’s work towards a future where jails and prisons are abolished.
Though I disdain pacifying tools and techniques utilized by these institutions, such as television, unless all prisons and jails burn down tomorrow, we need to advocate for jails to be required to offer outdoor time to all inmates (it’s already mandated in prisons) and also offer a more diverse and healthy selection of foods. Ex inmate congrats on your release! Eric Mc David suffered pericardins from being denied his request for vegan food (thus his denying of the “stock” food) and folks such as my old cellmate developed a diagnosed thyroid disorder from a vitamin D deficiency, stemming from a lack of adequate outdoor exposure to the sun. WTF?
As I never want to see any of my fellow comrades incarcerated and and we want to strive to be as effective as possible, not just symbolic, we need to be more creative than the average “lock down.” What the rad cats in the Mattiole forest had going on last summer in the coastal “Nor Cal” bioregion was rad as fuck and we could all learn something from it.
A lot of us have also left the full time traditional workforce long ago to make a better and more productive use of our skills, time, happiness, thus are constantly diabolically opposed to many counselors, lawyers and programs that aim to “get us back on our feet.” Utilizing our personal agency as individuals-and as a collective to resist financial and “work” entrapment putting a damper on our greater resistance efforts is always something to improve upon as well.
Getting back to issues regarding “Corrections” institutions, it should be noted that while communication and media exposure are monitored and often censored, correspondence between myself and other inmates in regards to the Uprisings in Baltimore, oil spill around Santa Barbara and blockade of the Port of Seattle have been stifled, if not shut down completely by the prison systems. I’ve received five “return to sender” letters, three from Wisconsin, one from Texas and one from an Oregonian correctional institution stating that the content of of letters was “not” approved inmate to inmate communication or “potentially elicits illegal activity or violence.” It’s clear that “authorities” prefer inmates to remain in the dark and not organize those or any issues. All of my correspondence that was denied delivery thus far, happened to be addressed to black prisoners whom I will continue to attempt to correspond with. If people do no understand why we should be organized/raging against the police and furthermore do not understand why the “Black Lives Matter” campaign has gained so much momentum, they serve as reminder about how much decolonization there is yet to be done and how many privileged ideas there is left to smash.
I have a new found respect for anyone who has attempted to organize themselves or other inmates, as the stakes are high-your freedom and aspects of it. Various forms of repression can be bestowed upon you, i.e. solitary confinement, loss of various “privileges” communication declination, and sometimes people on the outside cannot find out easily. My outdoor privileges were revoked for three weeks just for verbally defending my cell mate.
At any rate I could go on and on, so instead I will make a list of messages, points, and preferences I want to drive home in no particular order.
You don’t have to travel to find something to fight for or against. Evil roads, evil farms, industrial projects and spaces to defend or re wild exist in your respective bio region.
Foraging (urban and wild) permaculture and re wilding NOT farming of any kind or totalitarianism over the land.
Defenders of bio regions NOT Activists.
Comrades and Accomplices NOT “allies”
Struggles NOT Movements
Effectiveness over Symbolism
Multiple insurrections NOT singular revolutions
Don’t trust liberals as far as you can throw them; I am incarcerated partially because due to the misguided and self important actions inadvertently made by liberal snitches and I want to share this because I want people to learn from my experience.
All of our struggles are connected but it doesn’t always make sense to combine them; diversity and diverse execution of tactics should be recognized and respected.
“Elders” are folks who have earned the title, not all advice is wise advice and everyone is subject to critique.
Tell the IWW that industry, regardless of whether it’s owned and operated by a ‘liberated” work force or not, only feeds further oppression of the land and people and perpetuates destructive consumer culture…In the meantime “general strikes” can still be very effective but we should be working towards exchanging the concept of work with “productive play” and abolishing industry altogether.
Call out sexual assault, sexual harassment and all forms of oppression with more confidence. Some of the conduct that transpired at the original Penokee Harvest Camp should have been called out sooner. Though it can be painful speaking up always opens up opportunities to create safer spaces sooner than later.
There’s a proposal circulating to form a more cohesive “national” forest/ecological defense network based on non compromising bio centric ideals…I think it’s a rad idea and I hope it gets discussed and explored at the 2015 EF Rondy.
Lastly, if anyone’s interested, some comrades and myself have been working on- a multi tiered fundraiser for some stellar projects and my legal fees that breaks down like this:
40% for my legal fees and some envelopes for correspondence
40% for the Womyn Warrior Project we’ve been working on which entails utilizing resources for forest/ecological defense in the northwest Great Lakes bio region.
Finish the “The Ethnobotany of the Penokee Hills” zine and host a “womyn” oriented (queer and trans inclusive) rad gathering in the spring in the northwest Great Lakes bio region (time and local TBA).
10% for production and distribution of Earth First Journal.
10% to the non religious house less shelter project in Ashland Wisconsin.
Please see penokeedefenders.wordpress.com for more info.
As of June 30 I am the only female bodied inmate at the Iron County jail I also still have an appeal pending, but my alleged bail jumping for supposedly being on “GTAC” land while on bond was recently dropped to a trespassing forfeiture and fine, less than a misdemeanor, with an additional 100 hours of community service tacked on to my current sentence.
Thanks so, so, so, so, so, so, much for being supportive of me and continuing the struggle for the wild.
Love, Rage and Wildness
Krow (Katie Kloth)
[You can write Krow at:
Iron County Jail
300 Taconite Street
Hurley, WI 54534]