Mount Sinai Hospital Set to Hire Unvaccinated Worker With Religious Exemption | 27 Jan 2023 | A source has informed m[e] that Mount Sinai Hospital has offered an unvaccinated highly trained medical professional a job, and communicated to this individual they will accept their religious exemption to vaccination! This is because even though Hochul filed a notice of appeal -- and now has 6 months to follow through on that appeal -- she has not received nor asked for a stay in the ruling of the lower court where Sujata Gibson and Children's Health Defense won exactly two weeks ago. That means it is illegal for anyone to be denied an opportunity to work as a Healthcare Worker in New York simply because they are unvaccinated. If any employer does so, they are in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Woman to Be Tried for Involuntary Manslaughter in Austrian Court for Infecting Neighbor With COVID --If found guilty, the woman faces up to three years imprisonment. | 28 Jan 2023 | An infected 53-year-old woman allegedly ignored a quarantine decree. A neighbour fell ill with Corona and died. Now the Carinthian woman has to go to court. A case unique in Austria will be heard on 23 February at the State Court [Landesgericht] in Klagenfurt. A Carinthian woman, 53, is said to have used Corona as a "weapon," because she had disregarded the quarantine and thus infected a neighbour, 69. Now she finds herself accused of involuntary manslaughter [fahrlässige Tötung] and intentional endangerment of the community by a communicable disease, reports the Kleine Zeitung. The woman became infected with Corona in December 2021. After a positive test, she received a quarantine order [Absorderungsbescheid]. Nevertheless, the woman repeatedly left her flat, stayed in the stairwell of the apartment building, or outside. Neighbours complained to the health authorities and the police were called in.
Top U.S. official hails Nord Stream 2 blast | 28 Jan 2023 | U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs [and Grade 'A' sociopath] Victoria Nuland has expressed joy over the destruction of Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. She also argued that, even if the US had sanctioned the infrastructure weeks before the Ukraine conflict broke out, this would not have prevented hostilities. During a Senate hearing on Thursday, Nuland was asked by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) whether his legislation aimed at sanctioning the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which was voted down in January 2022, could have stopped the conflict before it began. "Like you, I am, and I think the administration is, very gratified to know that Nord Stream 2 is now, as you like to say, a hunk of metal at the bottom of the sea," Nuland said... The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines were heavily damaged by underwater explosions in September, in what were widely thought to be sabotage attacks. Moscow has consistently denied involvement and denounced the incident as a "terrorist attack."
Putin: Ukrainian Neo-Nazis Terrorize People, Commit Ethnic Cleansing as They Forget WWII Lessons | 27 Jan 2023 | During Moscow's ongoing special military operation in Ukraine, Russian soldiers are fighting the "evil" that became possible due to the forgetting of the lessons of history, President Vladimir Putin has stated. In a telegram to organizers and participants of the events dedicated to the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of Victims of the Holocaust and the 78th anniversary of the liberation by the Red Army of the prisoners of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, Putin stressed that it was the Soviet people who put an end to the barbaric actions of the Nazis in 1945. According to the Russian president: "We must clearly understand that any attempt to revise our country’s contribution to the Great Victory actually means justifying the crimes of Nazism, and opens the way for the revival of its deadly ideology."
The Ex-Worker is back! After a hiatus to work on other projects, our newly reassembled audio affinity group is leading the charge to produce audio versions of a wide range of CrimethInc. materials. Stay tuned for updates!
Since Elon Musk kicked us off of Twitter at the urging of a certain far-right troll, we haven’t slowed down—you’ll find us publishing regularly here at crimethinc.com and circulating our texts and ideas through accounts on Mastodon, Kolektiva, and other platforms. But we want to make sure that the analysis, reporting on current events across the globe, historical accounts, calls for action, and other anarchist content we’ve been providing for over two decades can reach the widest possible audience.
To that end, the Ex-Worker Podcast has committed to producing audio versions of most of the new content we produce. Beginning this month, you’ll be able to find links at the top of each page to an audio version of the article you’re reading. You’ll also be able to get the latest audio releases from the Ex-Worker by streaming or downloading directly from the podcast page, through your favorite podcatcher, or from other audio/video platforms including YouTube and Soundcloud—stay tuned for updates as we roll these out.
Today, we’re releasing the first of two episodes on the struggle to Stop Cop City and defend the Weelaunee Forest in Atlanta, Georgia. In the coming days, you’ll see episodes appear on our banning from Twitter and our analysis of social media, navigating fascism and left electoralism in Brazil, and an audio version of our article on the Battle of York in 2002. Stay tuned!
Additionally, we’re working our way through the back catalog of our most popular articles and zines that haven’t had audio versions produced yet. You can already find audio versions of some classics, including To Change Everything, From Democracy to Freedom, and our book No Wall They Can Build. Coming soon, you’ll be able to listen to a wide range of articles and zines, including Why We Don’t Make Demands, Against the Logic of the Guillotine, There’s No Such Thing as Revolutionary Government, and many more! If you’ve got requests for audio versions of your favorite article or zine, you can drop us a line to podcast at crimethinc dot com.
Finally, in response to popular demand, we’re working on a major project to produce an audiobook version of Work, our classic analysis of capitalism, economics, and resistance. Today, revolt against work is spreading across the world in the aftermath of the pandemic, and a wave of strikes and union organizing offers possibilities but also limits. We want to make sure that as many people as possible have tools for understanding the functioning of the economy from the bird’s-eye-view down to the cash register and the factory floor—and ideas about how to challenge the mythology of work and take action to escape from its clutches into a freer world. Stay tuned!
Since 2013, the Ex-Worker Podcast and our comrades at The Hotwire have offered an audio strike against a monotone world. The project has evolved over the years, and will continue to change as our lives and the terrain we’re fighting on goes on shifting. When we got started nearly ten years ago, other than our friends at The Final Straw Radio (who are still going strong!), there were hardly any anarchists working in the medium of podcasting. Today, we’re a part of the Channel Zero Network, which has hosted dozens of different audio projects produced by anarchists and anti-authoritarians. We have participated in international gatherings networking with podcasts, radio shows, and radio stations across dozens of countries.
But we still think there’s a vital role for audio projects in support of our broader mission to hasten the end of all forms of hierarchy and domination and dream a free world into being. From your headphones to the streets, we’ll be seeing you!
The Ex-Worker Podcast CollectiveTags: crimethinc.podcastthe ex-worker
RNC's Ronna McDaniel declares 'this is my last term as chair' | 27 Jan 2023 | Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel says that winning an unprecedented in modern times fourth term as chair of the GOP, there won't be a fifth term in her future. "This is my last term as chair. I'm saying it on Fox News. It's done," McDaniel declared in an exclusive interview with Fox News on Friday. Minutes earlier, McDaniel won the support of 111 committee members who cast ballots in a secret ballot vote for chair, more than the majority of the 168 members needed to secure re-election. The vote took place on the final day of the RNC's winter meeting, which was held this year at a seaside resort in southern California's Orange County. McDaniel topped her main challenger, RNC committee member from California Harmeet Dhillon, who won the support of 51 committee members.
From confirming his detention in 41 bis, the most afflictive detention regime in Italian prisons, to which Alfredo was transferred on May 5th.
In the face of this attempt at annihilation, it is of the utmost importance that the ideas, deeds, and contribution of the comrade are not forgotten, condemned to oblivion as desired by the repressive apparatuses with the Scripta Manent trial, Sibilla repressive operation, and the transfer to the 41 bis prison regime. To the isolation and censorship of the State and its prisons we oppose, today as yesterday, the tenacity and consistency of our ideas and practices.
“Allow me to say, with a modicum of pride, that my life (like the life of every anarchist worthy of the name) is characterised by the attempt to make theory and action coincide. To the servants of Power I say only one thing: you can keep me in jail for the rest of my life but resign yourself, you will not succeed in taking away my coherence and self-respect, let alone the pleasure and desire to fight you“.
(Alfredo Cospito, ‘About Sibilla Operation’, 2021)
An update on the current health condition: the comrade collapsed, the torturers took him to hospital and then returned him to 41 bis
Serious news is arriving from Bancali prison, where Alfredo Cospito has been on hunger strike for 99 days. Our comrade now moves around in a wheelchair, he has worrying microchemical values, he has serious thermoregulation problems, that is, he is getting colder and colder, he covers himself with many jumpers and several pairs of trousers.
Perhaps in order to warm himself up, he decided to take a shower last night, around 11:30 p.m.. There Alfredo allegedly collapsed, fell and broke his nose in a compound manner. In addition, due to low platelets, he allegedly started to lose a lot of blood from the wound. For these reasons he was rushed to the hospital in Sassari. After initial treatment, the murderers of the prison police took him back to prison.
A few hours earlier, yesterday [January 25th], came the Minister of Justice rejection of Alfredo’s transfer to a prison with a hospital ward: according to Nordio [Carlo Nordio is the Minister of Justice], Cospito is ‘in excellent health’…
The comrade’s health condition on the 99th day of hunger strike
On January 26th, the 99th day of the hunger strike against 41 bis and life imprisonment without possibility of parole, the antagonist radio station Radio Onda d’Urto broadcast a fifth speech by the doctor who is regularly visiting comrade Alfredo Cospito. As with the updates on the 71st (December 29th), 78th (January 5th) and 85th (January 12th) day of the hunger strike, we report a transcript of the broadcast:
“So […], I found him quite bad; quite bad because his thermoregulation is practically non-functional, that is, he can no longer thermoregulate: he’s in four shirts and three pairs of trousers, he’s always cold. As if that wasn’t enough, when last night to warm himself up he had the idea of taking a shower around 11.30 p.m., he fell ruinously to the floor because he had hypotension, so he landed on the shower tray with his face and found a decomposed fracture of the base of his nose, so he was taken to the emergency room where they reduced the fracture, which was later tamponaded in the otorhinic department, and sent back to prison. Now he has no pain, all in all the bleeding has reduced, but what is important is that the white series of the haemochrome has also been reduced, i.e. the lymphocytes, the leucocytes, that is, all those corpuscles that serve to fight infections. And the platelets have also been reduced, which is probably why he has lost more blood than he should have lost; today he still had his shirt all bloody because he went to bed, he slept very little, he’s starting to get insomnia, and the electrolyte drop continues, so we’re in a bit of a downhill situation. […] The discourse is that [the situation] can change from one moment to the next, it depends on how much his organism is still able to affect the proteins as little as possible and therefore to save them, because what concerns the blood series, the albumin […], also depends on this, so the moment he exceeds 50 per cent of the protein catabolism we are very, very, very much at risk. […] In my opinion, yes [the situation can become life-threatening at any moment]. […] Since the last time he lost 2.00 kg, all in all not very much, also because last week he had lost more because he kept on walking, so since there was no possibility to have a food intake, therefore an energetic production, the organism drew from the muscles, so the previous week he had had a muscular decrease, a very important muscular catabolism […]”.
The injunction issued by the Department of Penitentiary Administration to the trusted doctor and the health condition of the comrade on the 92nd day of hunger strike
On January 23rd, the comrade’s lawyer, receiving from the management of the Bancali prison the authorisation for the visit of the trustworthy doctor for the following January 26th, received jointly an injunction, addressed to the doctor herself, who is admonished not to give any more interviews to the radio station Radio Onda d’Urto “in order not to frustrate the purposes of the regime under the former article 41 bis of the penitentiary order. Further statements made in this sense, could lead […] to consider the revocation of the authorisation to access the Institute“. A threat, even more serious as it occurs in the days when the comrade’s condition is seriously worsening, which once again expresses all the will of isolation that the State officials intend to impose on the comrade and his condition.
In order to provide a picture as complete as possible of the serious worsening of the physical condition that has occurred in the last week, we also publish a transcript of the doctor’s fourth speech on Radio Onda d’Urto (dating from January 19th, 92nd day of hunger strike):
“[…] Despite the further weight loss – because today he weighed 87 kg, we are on the 90th day of the hunger strike, he has lost about 40 kg, starting from 115 kg – all in all his health condition is stable. Let’s say that we’ve reached the limit of what can be a precipitation of the precarious condition in which he now lives, because all his glucose reserves are practically exhausted, he no longer has any fat, and he’s heading towards muscle catabolism, as his muscles are greatly reduced in volume. He is, however, still conscious, he always uses the usual honey when he has periods of obnubilation, but all in all I can’t say that I found him bad today, he’s fairly well. We find ourselves in that situation where, a month ago, I could say that there was still a good margin for the situation not to deteriorate, whereas now this great margin is no longer there. […] So, no, he’s not sick, I wanted to say that what could have been the margin where the situation still had some time, quite a bit of time to be able to precipitate, now [instead] it can precipitate at any moment, that’s all [… ], we’re on a narrow path where there can be a trifle, even an emotional stress… So, he was telling me, for example, if it was good for him to walk during the hour of free time, because he was having a little fun with the other three people with whom he shared the hour of free time. Now, it is clear that a walk, to another ‘patient’, could be good, a good thing, because it is always good to move; in Alfredo’s case a further energy consumption, as there is no possibility of reintroducing these lost energies, is not. In fact, I told him: ‘walk as little as possible, stay in the free time break, this yes, but as physical activity at this time it is not indicated that you do it’ […]”.Tags: Alfredo Cospitohealthupdatehunger strikeanarchist prisonersItaly
Memphis releases video showing police stop that led to Tyre Nichols's death | 27 Jan 2023 | The city of Memphis has released police body camera and surveillance video showing the January 7 traffic stop and violent police confrontation that led to the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols. The video clips released by the city include three police body cams and an overhead angle from a pole-based police camera, city officials have said. Five Memphis officers were fired this month and then charged Thursday over Nichols's death, which happened days after the traffic stop police initially said was on suspicion of reckless driving. Nichols was Black, as are the five officers. Two Memphis Fire Department employees who were part of Nichols's initial care have been relieved of duty, pending the outcome of an internal investigation. Earlier Friday, Memphis's police chief said the video would show "acts that defy humanity."
Are you ready for the next phase of the war on freedom? Big tech is now admitting that they are getting ready to phase our human content and fill the web with AI algorithm-generated content. [...]
This Article Welcome to the Matrix: Soon, everything you read online will be written by AI algorithms is an original article from OFFGRID Survival If it is appearing on any other site but OFFGRID Survival, that site does not have our permission to use our copyrighted content!
Federal Judge Blocks California Law Punishing Doctors for 'COVID Misinformation' | 26 Jan 2023 | A federal judge in California on Wednesday granted Children’s Health Defense (CHD)-California Chapter’s request for a preliminary injunction to block a California law that would have allowed the state’s medical boards to punish doctors for spreading “COVID-19 misinformation.”
In his 30-page opinion, Senior U.S. District Judge William Shubb determined the defendants in the case -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Rob Bonta and California Medical and Osteopathic Boards -- provided “no evidence that 'scientific consensus' has any established technical meaning,” and that the law provides “no clarity” on the meaning of the word “misinformation.”
Judge Shubb also found the “plaintiffs have established a likelihood of success on the grounds of their Fourteenth Amendment vagueness challenges.”
The ruling pertains to a lawsuit filed Dec. 1, 2022, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California on behalf of plaintiffs CHD-California Chapter, Dr. LeTrinh Hoang and Physicians for Informed Consent.
Mastering the Future: The Megalomaniacal Ambitions of the WEF By CLG Founder Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. | 26 Jan 2023 | The fifty-third annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) brought together fifty-two world leaders, seventeen hundred corporate executives, sundry artists, and other personalities to address "Cooperation in a Fragmented World." Fragmentation is the nemesis of the World Economic Forum and its United Nations (UN) and corporate partners. "Fragmentation" means that segments of the world population are not adhering to the agenda of climate change catastrophism and the precepts of the Great Reset. The Great Reset, meanwhile, amounts to a hybrid state-corporate woke cartel administering the global economy (and by extension the world's political systems) under the direction of the WEF, the UN, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the World Health Organization, as well as top corporate decision-makers like BlackRock's CEO, Larry Fink. Lest we imagine that the WEF and its meetings merely represent the grandiose delusions of some ineffectual clowns, it should be noted that the WEF’s "stakeholder capitalism"--introduced in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, the WEF founder and chair, in Modern Enterprise Management in Mechanical Engineering--has been embraced by the UN, by most central banks, as well as by the world’s leading corporations, commercial banks, and asset managers. Stakeholder capitalism is now considered to be the modus operandi of the world economic system. [Michael's new book, The Great Reset and the Struggle for Liberty, is available here.]
Colorado woman, 97, froze to death outside assisted-living center after banging on doors, lawsuit alleges
Colorado woman, 97, froze to death outside assisted-living center after banging on doors, lawsuit alleges --Mary Jo Staub, 97, left 'blood trail in the snow' outside Colorado assisted-living facility, attorneys say | 27 Jan 2023 | A Colorado family is suing an assisted-living facility alleging their 97-year-old loved one "froze to death" outside of her building last year despite being seen on surveillance footage "banging on the glass panes of the French doors located directly adjacent to the nurses' station for help." The wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of the family of Mary Jo Staub says the "beloved mother and grandmother" became trapped outside the Balfour at Lavender Farms facility in Louisville in frigid temperatures [around 15 degrees] 12:40 a.m. on Feb. 26, 2022, but nobody working there found her body until more than five hours later... "Once locked out, Mary Jo tried to walk around the northwest side of the building toward the nurses' station for help. Using her walker, she trudged through the snow and climbed a snow mound," the lawsuit added. "At some point, she abandoned her walker and injured her ankle. She continued, crawling on her hands and knees 75 feet to the exit immediately adjacent to the nurses' station. She left a blood trail in the snow marking her path of travel."
Margaret and Nadia talk about harm reduction, what it is, how it relates to community preparedness, strategies for including harm reduction in your preparedness routines, and a little bit of history and legality as relates to different kinds of drug use.Guest Info
Nadia works with Next Distro and can be found at https://nextdistro.org/Host Info
This show is published by Strangers in A Tangled Wilderness. We can be found at www.tangledwilderness.org, or on Twitter @TangledWild and Instagram @Tangled_Wilderness. You can support the show on Patreon at www.patreon.com/strangersinatangledwilderness.Transcript
LLWD: Nadia on Harm Reduction
Hello, and welcome to Live Like the World is Dying, your podcast for what feels like the end times. I'm your host today, Margaret killjoy. And today, I am really excited about this episode, I think you'll all get a lot out of it. I guess I say that every time but I wouldn't record these episodes, if I didn't think you would get a lot out of them. Today, we are talking about harm reduction. And we were talking about preparedness that includes drug users. Because, if you think you don't know any drug users, you just don't know anyone who is willing to tell you that they're a drug user. And we will talk about that and a lot more. But first, this podcast is a proud member of the Channel Zero network of anarchists podcasts. And here's a jingle from another show on the network.
Okay, we're back. And if you could introduce yourself with your name, your pronouns. And then kind of a little bit about your background about the kind of stuff that we're gonna be talking about today.
Yeah, sure, hey, Margaret. My name is Nadia, I use they or she pronouns. And I am a harm reductionist, a drug user. And I have both worked at in-person syringe service programs, and currently work for an online meal based program, where we ship safer drinking supplies to folks all over the country.
That's cool. So we talked about having you on, because we wanted to talk about preparedness that includes the drug users in your community, whether the person listening to this as drug user, or whether they care about drug users in their community. And I know it's a big open question, but I kind of wanted to ask you that. How prepare that?
Well, you know, I think that when we talk about prepping, disaster prepping and harm reduction, they're really similar, because it's really boils down to a risk assessment and thinking critically, right? The world isn't black and white, it's not really an easy question to answer, for example, should I evacuate or not in a disaster? Similarly, how do I protect myself as a drug user, in a world that isn't concerned about my health or safety? And you know, for people who historically lack access to resources, and healthcare, I think talking about how to prepare or what readiness looks like, is especially important.
So, I guess I kind of want to start with some of the practical questions. It's like, what are the things that one should do that are different from what one would otherwise do? Like I'm like thinking about like, even for my own sake, right. Like, I'm like, like people say, like, carry Narcan, for example, like, how does one access that? What is the shelf life on that? Is that a thing that if community like mutual aid groups or individuals who have like large stashes of things or whatever? Is it like worth having a bunch of. Is it depend on community access? Is it better to just like, specifically coordinate with existing harm reduction and like needle exchange groups in your area? Like, it seems to me that like, like, one of the prepper mindset things is like, "Oh, there's a thing I need, I should go out and get a bunch of it". Right? And my instinct here is that maybe that rather than run out and get a bunch of say, Narcan, it would be more about like, be aware of how people can access that and which groups do distribute that and then maybe have like enough for me to carry around? I don't know. Yeah, like, I guess let's start with Narcan. What's What's the Narcan?
Sure. Um, so for folks that are listening that don't know, Narcan or naloxone is a medication that will reverse an opioid overdose. And you know, it, it should be kept in a relatively temperature stable area, but there's there's been a lot of studies on it. And they have shown that it maintains its efficacy, much past expiration dates and the kind of temperature parameters. So you don't want to keep it somewhere freezing or super hot, but it is more resilient than you think. And having some naloxone is better than having none. And you mentioned, you know, going out and sort of stocking up. And I think that this is a broader conversation about prepping too, the difference between being ready and hoarding, right, yeah, and sometimes that line definitely gets blurry. Do you really need 100 pounds of rice? Are you going to go through it before it gets bad? Do you have a proper place to store it? I mean, you can talk about naloxone in the same way. And you know, just like you can keep Narcan in your bag. If you're going to a show going to a bar, you can also keep some in your gobag, if you have one, to evacuate, for example.
What's the....you know, I usually present myself as sort of the the person who pretends like she doesn't know what she's asking in these episodes, but I actually don't know as much about this as I would like. Alot of my friends are way more knowledgeable about this stuff. Like what is the difference between Narcan and naloxone? And how would I go about getting some to carry around with me?
Sure. So Narcan is really just a brand name, that's the the nasal spray. Naloxone is the actual medication. You can pick it up from certain service programs in your area. If you don't have a needle exchange in your area, you can go just Google Next Distro. We mail Naloxone to folks, so just check the website, see if you live in a state or an area where we do that. But we do try to encourage people to sort of seek out resources where they live. But yeah, there's there's a lot of different organizations, everything from sort of anarchist collectives, running needle exchanges to health departments that are, you know, offering trainings and providing Narcan.
What's the legality of it?
So, as far as you know, carrying it with you, there is what is called a standing order. It's basically a sort of blanket prescription. You can go to the pharmacy, purchase Naloxone, it can be prohibitively expensive, especially if you don't have insurance, which is why I kind of mentioned, you know, needle exchanges and health departments first. But I think, you know, as far as having it on your person, it's not going to be a situation where it's illegal. However, we know that cops like to fuck with people. So if you do happen to have Naloxone, and you have syringes on you, I'm not going to say you'll be fine. However, the law is on your side in that regard. And another piece of that, too, is different states have different Good Samaritan laws. So if you are with someone that is experiencing an overdose, in many states, not all, you can call 911, without the fear or threat of potentially being arrested for small possession, or things like that. They are very narrow in a lot of places. But that's something that you're going to want to look into for your state.
So it's like, this makes sense, like so probably, if I have some drugs on me and my friend has some drugs on me and my friend overdoses. There's a fear of involving the medical establishment because there's a fear of me or the person who's overdosing getting arrested for what we have on them. Is that what you're saying that this law protects? Like, yeah, in some states protects people about?
So you know, there's, there's a lot of stigma, right? And you know, just the the illegality piece. And at the end of the day there, there is an overdose crisis in the United States, in many places. And so these laws are designed to sort of take some of that fear away. And if you are responding to someone who's experiencing an overdose, you don't have to tell 911 when you call that this person is on drugs or that they are overdosing. You can just merely describe the symptoms and what is happening to them. For example, this person is not breathing, they're turning blue. I can't hear a heartbeat, whatever it might be. And you know, if you do have to leave and you have given them Naloxone, you can just leave the vials or or the package next to the person that way when EMS does arrive, they do know "Okay, this person has been given Narcan, "and they can kind of go from there,
Right. Okay, so like if you have reasons that you don't want to interact with emergency personnel and need to leave the scene, okay.
Yeah, and you have options. And that's kind of the whole thing about harm reduction, right? It's a pragmatic approach to drug use and a realistic one. And so, you know, that's why there, there are no hard and fast rules of do this, or don't do this, but, you know, sort of a continuum of human behavior. And, you know, acknowledging the risks at any point of it.
I want to come back to that in a little bit, because I want to have this whole conversation about what harm reduction...like why the work that y'all do is so like, philosophically important, to like disaster preparedness, and probably life in general. But first, I want to, I want to keep talking about some of this stuff, like with, like, you're talking about the, you know, there's an overdose crisis in the United States, I feel like everyone, on some level knows that. And one of the things that's so interesting to me, I would think I was thinking about before we did this episode is that it's like, you know, this is all about like, disaster preparedness, right? The whole show. And it feels like a lot of communities and certainly including drug communities. I don't know the way phrase that.....
You can say, "people who use drugs."
Okay. But so there is a disaster happening right now. Like, there is a crisis. Like there's a reason we call it crisis, you know, it's like a really fucking bad thing. And I'm wondering if, without necessarily going into it, like, too great, but I'm curious, like, what is happening? Like, what is what's happening right now? Why is everyone OD'ing? ,
Well, you know, there's a lot of different facets to the overdose crisis and a lot of different solutions. Some of them sort of more triage, you know, we were just talking about Naloxone, and, and it's a great medication, it saves lives. But ultimately, what we really need is a safe supply of drugs. If people are aware and knowledgeable of what they're taking, how potent it is, if there are any adulterants in it, you know, that's where we would like to go. Obviously, drugs are illegal. Most drugs are illegal in most places in the United States. And, you know, there there has been pushes for access to safe supply in places like Canada in, you know, I believe Oregon has, has I think, legalized some drugs, right? You can purchase I think mushrooms now. Don't quote me on that. I'm not actually familiar with Oregon law.
Anyone listening this, you can go out and buy mushrooms legally. And if the police stop you, you can say "it''s okay. It's not a crime." Don't do that. Okay. Anyway. Yeah.
I mean, you know, philosophically, it's not a crime. It's not a crime to do drugs. And, you know, the, the idea that some of these drugs are illegal, and some of them aren't, really, is sort of goes back to like this puritanical history of our country. You know, why is alcohol legal when we know that drunk driving rates are through the roof, and you know, it can cause incredible damage to your body over time. But then, you know, smoking marijuana is, is still illegal in a lot of places. where I live, for sure, especially in the south. So, you know, I think that there's there's that moral component
So we should bring back prohibition?
Yeah, exactly. And so I think, you know, as far as having access to drugs that are safe, drugs, that that you know, what you're getting, you know, I think that we don't want to short....when I say 'we,' I mean people who use drugs, I mean, people in the harm reduction community. We don't want to shortchange ourselves. I don't want to say, "Oh, well, the overdose crisis would be so much better if everyone had not Narcan." Yes, that's true. But that's a temporary fix,
Right. It's...no, that's such a good point. Because I feel like that's like the...I know I owe came out the gate with like that as the first thing that was on my mind. And I, and I'm, like, kind of embarrassed about that because it's such the like, it's the band aid we always keep getting presented. And it's like a real good band aid. It's more like the tourniquet we keep getting presented. But, it does seem like yeah, what you're talking about decriminalization, it's almost like when you make things illegal, it doesn't make the problem go away.
Yeah, and you know, I think about it in terms of living under capitalism for so long our entire lives, right. And you get to a point where it's hard to think about solutions outside of the current system. We're so focused on kind of again, that that triage, right, how do we make things better within this oppressive state that we live in? But really, ultimately, the goal should be moving past that and moving beyond it, right?
Yeah. Yeah. So to go back with preparedness, I know that you do a little bit of preparedness yourself. We talked before we started recording about, you know, canned vegetables and things like that. How does it impact your preparedness, both that you are a drug user, and also that you, like, care about and take drug users into consideration in your preparedness?
Yeah, I mean, I think a lot of it is planning, right? I'm gonna use the example of of evacuating, I lived in the Gulf South for a very long time. Hurricanes were a yearly occurrence. And so I had to think about it a lot. But, you know, just in terms of what your risk is, and making a decision based on that, for example, if you are evacuating, do you bring drugs with you and sort of chance getting pulled over? Or do you try and score in a new place? And you have to decide what the bigger risk is for you. For example, if I'm driving with five of my friends in an unregistered van with acab stickers all over it, I might not want to be riding dirty, I might not want to have drugs on me. Versus, you know, if I am going somewhere completely unfamiliar to me, I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to score when I get there. It might be worth the risk, right? And so thinking of those things in advance is really important. And the longer you wait in an emergency situation, the longer it's going to take you to get out of that cone of impact, right? If you wait to the last minute, there's going to be you know, traffic on the road, it's harder to to get out, it's harder to find a hotel room, for example. So really, that thinking of it in advance, you know, I think can save you a lot of critical time when you need to act.
Yeah. Yeah, like, I don't envy a lot of my friends who live in the Gulf South, are like, "What do I need?" And I'm like, I don't know, a house in the mountains somewhere. And then I'm like, No, that doesn't. That doesn't help. You know, I can't just tell people that.
Well, and I mean, you know, we're talking about preparedness, we're talking about disaster prep. And, you know, a lot of places that haven't had to deal with disasters, like hurricanes or flooding, or wildfires are seeing more and more of that now. And there's a greater impact on bipoc, queer and trans folks, disabled people, you know, marginalized groups whose access to resources is already more limited. And, you know, I think we really need to look towards communities that have been repeatedly harmed, especially by structural and environmental racism, I think they're best informed as to how to survive and how to support each other. And I don't want to say just in the Gulf south, but I'm talking about Flint, Michigan, I'm talking about, you know, Jackson, Mississippi, there's a lot of places where, you know, people are painfully aware that no one is coming to save you. It could be weeks or months for FEMA to arrive. In many places, local governments rely on mutual aid networks and charity groups to provide support. And so that kind of vacuum speaks to the importance of building dual power. Because it leaves the field open, I think for kind of any group that wants to become entrenched or inevitability, to sort of step up, right, whether that's a homophobic church group, right wing militias, especially in rural or remote areas, because, people remember who took care of them. You know, that's one of the reasons why the Black Panthers were such a threat with free breakfast programs and community care, is why Food Not Bombs is illegal in some places. There's just there's a lot of power in community sufficiency.
Yeah. I mean, and so you, you mentioned that there's like lessons that you draw from these specific places, especially bipoc. communities that are under like constant threat. What are some of the lessons that you feel like you draw from that? I mean, besides the one that you just pointed out, maybe that's the answer to the question, what you point out that like, building mutual aid networks and stuff like that, but....
Yeah, absolutely, figuring out who is in your support network. Also in a disaster or crisis situation, how will you communicate with that network is really important. You know, do folks know where you're staying and vice versa? Yeah. Also, you know, we're talking right now and 2022, almost 2023, the COVID pandemic isn't over. So figuring out how you can shelter places safely, you know, do you have masks on hand? That sort of thing. And then going back to prepping for people who use drugs, stocking up on drugs, you know, you might be thinking, "Oh, well, after the fact, I can just XYZ," whatever your plan is, but what if your dealer evacuated? You know? And, you know, the, as far as staying with other people, how do they feel about drug use? Does everyone know where the naloxone is and how to use it, you know, disasters are stressful, you might be dealing with extreme temperatures, hunkering down with people and their different temperaments, and, you know, for most of us to, stress impacts drug use, and it's important to keep that in mind. If you're, you know, for example, trying to cut back or regulate your use. I think all of these things, you know, are useful for people who use drugs, but ultimately, I think they're all skills or at least, you know, aspects of preparing that are beneficial for anyone.
Yeah. Well, so interesting, because it you know, normally we think of like, okay, if you can get more of a medication that you need ahead of time, right? That's great. And, you know, there's this limitation, it's actually very similar limitation, the limitation is legality. In this case of like, you know, it's, it's sometimes very hard for people who even have a prescription to get more than, you know, a month's worth of supply or whatever, at a time of any given prescription. And it's, it's something that people run up against a lot. And then obviously, with, I don't know, whether the way to phrase it as street drugs or not, or like drugs that are not being bought through the pharmaceutical networks or whatever, you know, there's an accessibility that is hit and miss. And then there's also an increased danger of stockpiling, because it seems like the the level of risk that you're carrying for getting busted changes a lot based on how much of any given drug you have on you.
Yeah, definitely. And I do want to kind of speak to one of the pieces you talked about, as far as having medications, you know, if you're on prescription medications, you know, you can check in with your provider, see, if you can get a larger refill than normal say, you know, instead of 30 days, can you get a 60 day supply, especially for people who use drugs, who might be on, you know, medication assisted treatment, they might be taking methadone, naltrexone, and, you know, these are highly effective in terms of either regulating your use, or perhaps, you know, not using it all. But they can be difficult to access. And in some places, it's harder to pick up the prescription for Vivitrol or suboxone because of stigma, because pharmacists, you know, have this idea of, of drug users, or they just might not know the the regulations and laws in their area. And you might not know them either, because you're new. So, I think that checking in, like I said, with providers ahead of time, if that's possible, and you know, doing what you can in terms of stocking up, but this, that whole plan needs the assistance of people in the medical field. And even they have, you know, that kind of stigma, unfortunately,
Yeah, yeah. To self insert this, I got refused a COVID shot because I was wearing a harm reduction shirt once.
Wait, why what was the excuse that they gave you?
I went in, I was like this dirty punk wearing a Steady Collective shirt, which is the harm reduction group in Asheville, North Carolina. And I, it's funny, I feel like it's like Stolen Valor that I wear this shirt. Because people like when I wore in Asheville people were like, I love what you do. And "I'm like, thanks. What I do is I designed the logo." And the reason I wear the shirt is because I designed the logo for it. So I'm very proud of...and it's just crossed hypodermic needles. And
It's a cool logo.
Thanks. Thanks. And I was in like, rural fucking right wing California. And I wanted a COVID booster. And so I went into the pharmacy. I found out ahead of time that this particular pharmacy did walk ins. And I walked in, and the the pharmacist at the counter was talking to a doctor who was in line in front of me. And they were both just complaining about drug users. And they were just both sitting there being like, "Oh, these damned, you know, junkies," or whatever. I don't remember how they phrased it, but it wasn't polite. And then like the person finally leaves and I walk up and I'm like, Yall take walk ins? and she's like, "No." And I'm like, "Can I make an appointment? And she's like, "Not for today."
That is wild. I mean, also you have a lot of people in the medical community that don't really believe that COVID is a thing or that vaccines are effective. I mean, you can have an anti Vaxxer pharmacist, which is, yeah, I mean,
And, like, this is such a, like, I face stigma once....I so it's like, it's really easy for me to imagine after that, that like, of course, people face stigma coming in and picking up their fucking medications, if they're like, the kinds of medications that are, like methadone and stuff like that. That's fucked up. I don't know, that sucks.
Yeah, and I mean, you know, we're talking about COVID. And I think harm reduction is a huge piece of you know, how we can kind of move through the world right now. People are continuing to die and be disabled by COVID. And, you know, we were talking a little bit before, before we started about, you know, kind of the beginning of COVID. And I was really optimistic at first kind of seeing mutual aid networks spring up and more people coming to the realization that the government will kill us for the sake of the economy. But you know, now I think even in radical spaces, that sort of care and community level protection has given way to the more mainstream sentiment or desire to return to normalcy. And that's just something that isn't possible. And it's not desirable to many, many people for whom normalcy was oppressive and a danger. Yeah, you know, I think that, especially as anarchists or folks that consider themselves radical, preppers, as well, we know that we keep us safe, right? That's kind of the tagline. But, that should also apply to immunocompromised people as well, and disabled folks. And, you know, now, I think it's a really great time to take stock of your existing protocols, and safety measures and sort of ask if those things that you're doing or not doing are still in line with what our current risk is. And right now, going into winter, you know, nationally, over 10% of tests are coming back positive. And we know that we're severely under testing, and we know that COVID reinfections, wear down your immunity. That increases your risk for long COVID or kind of lingering COVID symptoms, and, you know, makes people more susceptible to things like the flu, RSV, or Strep A, all three of which we're seeing a surge of in this winter.
Yay. Yeah. I think about it, like the fact that...I don't know how to put this. Like, I wear a mask for the same reason I carry a gun. And it...and not that I want everyone to carry guns, that is a very personal decision based on the legality and the threat models that you're facing. Bu,t I carry a gun, so that it is harder for someone to murder me and it is harder for someone to murder the people I care about who are near me, right? I wear a mask, so that I am less likely to die, and other people around me are less likely to die. This seems like such a, like the idea that there's people who are like preppers or prepper adjacent, who are anti mask, and then anti vaccine is just so nonsensical to me. And I mean, I do think that like protocols do like, they do need to shift, we do need to realize it as we realize that this is endemic, and you know, we can't...like we probably can't just say no more live music in the course of human history. Right?
I would hope not.
But I especially like, when I walk into the grocery store, there is literally no cost to me to wear a mask. There is just, there's only positive effects of me wearing a mask minus social stigma.
You know, I think that we need, if we're going to survive, care, kindness, and a lot of grace. Which requires us to acknowledge that there's a huge cognitive dissonance people are dealing with right now. We're three years into a global pandemic that's killed six and a half million people around the world, the rise of fascism, I mean, there's a lot and people's responses are going to vary wildly. Kind of the metaphor I like to use is, it sort of feels like a house fire. And we've all just gone through this traumatic experience, and we've run out of the house in the middle of the night, and everyone is sort of behaving in a trauma informed way, some people are trying to run back into the house, some people are claiming that there was never a fire. And, you know, it's, it's trying to take care of each other, and hold ourselves accountable to being, you know, I think responsible for our communities, but while also acknowledging, you know, this is a weird fucking time. You know, I think too, this kind of goes back a little bit to our Naloxone conversation. You know, when we talk about masks, when we talk about boosters, these are sort of individual steps we can take, right? But ultimately, that's, that's only a piece of it, right? We need a societal shift. We need proper air filtration in schools, we need access to rapid testing, we need the working class to have the money and ability to take time off of work when they're sick. I mean, all of these things are sort of interconnected to this larger struggle. And one way that capitalism and our sort of overlords here and Imperial core, are able to shift blame is by you know, kind of making everything this individual choice and individual responsibility when it's not at all.
No, that's such a good point. And there's it, it shows that there's even like, some of those things are small scale community, things can be done as well, like, it would be a shame for a small scale community to have to suddenly like come up with the resources to provide rapid testing to everyone constantly or whatever, right. But like, I don't know, like, helping your local venues get real good air filtration systems, you know, or like, expanding outside infrastructure in climates that allow it, and like, there are the steps that we can take that are sort of medium. They're not....And I think that's actually where anarchists and radicals actually do best is not at the individual level. And frankly, if I if I'm being honest, not necessarily at the systemic level, but like this sort of in between level, this community based this community size level of like, how do we? Yeah, I mean, we can't....the punks or the anarchists, or whatever is can't pass a mask mandate, but like, we can create, like, cultures where, when there's no reason not to, we wear masks, and we work on our air filtration. And this is really just me thinking about COVID instead of the whole point of this conversation was drug use stuff, but...
Well I mean, they're, I think they're interrelated. You know, if you are putting on a punk show, is it accessible, right? Does that mean, you know, for folks in wheelchairs, folks with, you know, mobility aids, as well as immunocompromised people, and ensuring that you know, this is a place that they have access to? Or if it's not, saying that. I at least want you to say, "Hey, this is a dangerous place for you. And, making it accessible is not our priority or isn't possible in this situation. Therefore, you can make your own decision about whether or not you want to attend."
I've been in like, an now I can't remember if it was France or Montreal, somewhere where people spoke French. I've been in places where like any anarchist event will put on the fliers the accessibility or lack of accessibility for wheelchair access. And that's such an interesting, good point, right? Because if you have to flag on it, "This is not wheelchair accessible." It means you have to think about it when you do it, right. And like, Which isn't to say you shouldn't...I don't know one way or the other about what I'm about to say, which doesn't mean like you can't put on an event if you can't find it, accessible space, but you should have to own it, and you should have to be working on making the space more accessible. Is that, uh??? I'm really talking about my ass here. I haven't I haven't been part of these conversations. But.
I mean, as someone who is struggling with long COVID still a year in, you know, I am also new to the disability conversation. And I definitely feel grateful for the folks who have been activists and have been organizing around these issues for you know, forever, honestly. And it really was shocking to me, even though I'm fairly realistic about how our society treats folks they deem unworthy or undesirable, but it was really shocking the level to which you become invisible. All. And you know, I think, to sort of shoehorn a little segue back to our orginal conversation, people who use drugs also live in that sort of liminal space, right? There's so much that is invisible about drug use. But also, this kind of caricature of drug users is sort of trotted out anytime people want to talk about society's ills, right? When people are talking about folks without homes, inevitably drug use comes up as if people aren't sitting in their houses doing drugs. They just have walls and you can't see them.
Yeah, well, and then one of the things that I really appreciate about this conversation with you is that you're talking about the implication, or the the inference that I'm picking up on, is that basically saying, It's okay, if people use drugs, that is their choice, it seems to be like, like a lot of the conversation that I've feel like I'm exposed to is this, like, we should have pity for these poor drug users, and everyone is trying to stop using drugs. Whereas, it seems like you're trying to present an alternate case where people can choose whether or not they want to engage with drugs in different ways?
Yeah, I mean, you know, harm reduction is the sort of set of principles or tenants that allows for autonomy and allows for people to make informed decisions about what they do. You know, abstinence doesn't necessarily work or isn't feasible for everyone. And so, you know, giving people the space and acknowledging that there's always going to be some risk in the things that we do, you know, helps us kind of approach it with clear eyes. But the I think the moral question around using drugs really does us a disservice. Doing drugs is fun, and cool. And that is, I think, an important message to have out there because, you know, so often, we're just inundated with all of the terrible things that can happen to you. And again, this is normal human behavior. This is normal behavior in other other species, you've got monkeys eating, you know, fruit that's gone, gone bad and getting drunk, you've got bears eating psychedelic honey. We do this because it's enjoyable. And to deny it that, I think, sort of leaves us on our back foot in terms of "Okay, well, how do we do this safely?"
Yeah, presenting as this is a bad thing that someone shouldn't have done and now we have to deal with the bad parts, as compared to being like, every animal on the planet wants to do this, we should figure out ways that people can have freedom to do it as safely as they want or to not do it, if they don't want.
Right, and you know, both are fine. It's also cool to not do drugs. I do want to put that out there. But as a drug user, you know, this touches on our conversation about safe supply, right? When you're buying and you don't know the quality or if there's cross contamination, obviously, a lot of folks are very concerned about things like fentanyl right now. There's also you know, other sort of fillers or things people can use. Xylazine is something that is sort of making the rounds right now that can have potential, like negative health impacts. So yeah, I think this, this goes back to sort of those bigger picture solutions as opposed to the band aids.
Okay. And then, how useful is it? You know, like, as you pointed out earlier, right....Again, before, we had a long pre conversation. We knew each other back in the day for, now, people can know that about us, I guess. You know, pointing out because like, I mostly don't do drugs, but I do drink sometimes, right, and that is a drug and alcohol is absolutely a drug. It's a very dangerous drug. And it's one that I engage with very rarely, but I do engage with, and it does seem like a fairly useful comparison for talking about other drugs. Like cause there's this drug that is socially acceptable while also being massively destructive, right? And it seems like that actually maps fairly well to most of the other drugs that are like, problems for people. I don't know is that too simplistic?
No, I don't think so. You know, and that's also not to say that people don't struggle with their drug use that people you You know, might be really unhappy with their relationship to drugs. And, you know, the more openly we can talk about it and the more access to different options people have, that sort of allows them to, you know, find the most comfortable place for them. Right, there is this, you know, kind of individual piece to it, even though we're talking a lot about sort of community care,
Right. No, that's what I mean, that, in some ways, is part of why alcohol feels like such a good comparison. It's not even a comparison, it's literally a drug. It's a drug that is somehow held into a different class than the others, is that I think we all know people who....for whom alcohol is a problem. And we all know people for whom alcohol is not a problem. And then we all know, people who completely abstain from alcohol, who are in one of those two camps, if they weren't abstaining, you know? Hmm. I don't know, I'm having this like, epiphany, that should have been obvious a long time ago, I think about this.
Well, and, you know, thinking in terms of alcohol, and using that as an example of how constrained we are in terms of our choices, you know, if if you are someone that struggles with drinking, really the the options that are given to you are abstinence, right? 12 steps, complete sobriety, and the message that that is the only way that you will be able to, you know, become a functioning member of society. And the fact is that that's simply not true.You know, abstinence really doesn't work for many, many people. You know, I think most of us can remember the "Just Say No," campaigns of the 90s, or maybe the 80s, depending on how old you are. And we know those didn't work. It don't work for children, it doesn't work for adults. And, you know, I think I don't want to get too far down the rabbit hole. But I think it would be important for folks to sort of think about, "Well, why is alcohol illegal? And all these other drugs aren't?"And I think it all goes back to capitalism. It goes back to money. It goes back to social control.
Yeah. Well, ironically, one of the reasons that alcohol is legal, is that a bunch of people fought the KKK to the death to make alcohol legal. I only learned as kind of more recently when I did a bunch of....one of my other podcasts is a history podcast. And I didn't realize that the second incarnation of the KKK was like, one of their main things is that they were the foot soldiers of prohibition. They were like the Proud Boys of the prohibition era. And it was this whole thing where it was like Protestants versus everyone else, including reasonable Protestants. It was white Protestants against Irish Catholics, Italians, all of the people who were, you know, bootlegging, and all of that other stuff. And there were these like massive violent street fights. And I mean, mostly, it was massive violence, street fights about fuck you, you're the KKK, we want to...you can't run our town. But, what they wanted to do was run the town on a prohibition model. And there's this like, really interesting tie between white supremacy and prohibition. And it? I don't know, I mean, like, I know, I know how to immediately draw the same thing between the outline of weed and anti blackness. And I'm suspecting that if I dug very hard, I would find similar things with like, drugs, period. I don't know. I just got really excited about people beating up the KKK and that's why we're allowed to drink.
Yeah, that's always a win, both of those things.
But, what anyway, sorry, I got lost in rabbit hole thinking about that. Okay, so you've brought up this topic a couple times: harm reduction. And I suspect most people have at least an idea of what harm reduction is, but I'm wondering if you could kind of introduce it because, one, it feels very relevant to this specific conversation. But it also feels very relevant to conversations around disaster preparedness in general, because it seems to be implying that there is no perfect and that in some ways perfect is the enemy of good. And that we should just like, figure out what can go wrong and do the best we can rather than expect to succeed in everything. Maybe that's a misunderstanding.
That's, that is I think, a really core piece of it, you know, and I don't want to belie the the history behind harm reduction too, you know, this was a movement that was created in platformed by people who use drugs, by sex workers, especially during the HIV AIDS crisis. And again, you know, from groups of marginalized people that realize that they are the only ones looking out for each other. And you know, that many behaviors carry some form of risk. And so talking about that honestly, and figuring out how to mitigate that risk is far more helpful than shaming people and that is connected, you know, directly to the criminalization of HIV and AIDS too, you know, there's the sort of moralizing, right, when folks become sick. There's this idea, I think, that is rooted in very, like old school, Brimstone Christianity, that, you know, it's some form of punishment. And I think that the way our society looks at people who use drugs, and the potential risks are viewed as appropriate punishment for the behavior, which is wrong and fucked up.
Yeah. Okay, so. So what is harm reduction?
So, you know, I think that if we're specifically talking about drug use, that can be, you know, practical tips, anything from making sure that you're using sterile supplies, making sure that you have syringes, and you don't have to share them, to prevent the transmission of diseases, you know, that can be, you know, figuring out different routes of administration. So for example, if you're someone that likes to snort a lot of drugs, maybe you want to give your nostrils a break, and, you know, smoke or boof. There are a lot of things that you can kind of adjust, right? You don't even have to necessarily be adhering to this strict set of rules as far as your drug use, but really being sort of flexible based on your own needs.
Okay. And then, what are some of the ways that harm reduction either applies to other things besides drug use, or like has been successfully applied, or like some of the ways that like harm reduction, as jargon, has been, like, kind of co-opted by other things?
Yeah, I mean, I feel like especially after 2016, the the idea that voting is harm reduction really picked up speed. And I personally disagree.
For the most part, because harm reduction is something that you know, you can use for yourself, for your drug use, and so when we say voting is harm reduction, my question is, "Whose harm is being lessened?" You know, we currently have a Democratic president, and there's still concentration camps on our southern border, you still have Democratic mayors and city council's introducing regressive anti homelessness laws, throwing more money at more cops. And so I just think the notion that we can affect the kind of change necessary to liberate us by voting is....it's short sighted. And I think it can be an excuse for people to not have to invest so much in their allyship. Yeah, I think at its very base, most like literal definition, voting potentially reduces harm, but most of that is going to be in the immediate or short term.
Well, so that's really interesting to me, right? Because I think that I had a kind of misunderstanding of harm reduction in some ways, because from my point of view, I mean...voting as harm reduction just seemed to be the rephrasing of vote for the lesser evil. Because in my mind, voting for the lesser evil is acknowledging an evil, right, it is acknowledging like Like, like, Biden is an evil, the Democratic Party is an evil, that does evil things in the world. And so for me, there's a there's a sensibility to the argument of thinking that voting is how we make systemic change is terrible. And I actually thought that the kind of concept of, but they always lose their meaning, right, in the 80s. and 90s It was vote for the lesser evil and people were like, yeah, that's how we make things better. It's like, no, it's clearly not how to make things better. It's how you make things evil. You're just controlling the amount of evil. And then with harm reduction argument, the reason I bought it at first was because it was like, "Oh, yes, because it's, it's saying there is going to be harm, but we want to do less of it." But, with what you're talking about, about how drug use or sex as two of the spaces that we talk about harm reduction a lot, right? Like those things can rule, right? Like sex and drugs, there's a reason that people talk about them positively. They're very dangerous activities sometimes, right. And people should go into them as clear headed as...well, maybe not clear headed depending on their preferences, but you know, people should should be aware of the risks, but then go and have all the sex and drugs and rock and roll or whatever that they want, as compared to... and so this is where the metaphor to the political system seems to fall apart to me is because like, well, the existing political system that we have is just doing bad. And it's really about what tiny little bits of mitigation or picking, something's going to kill. It's the trolley problem, right? You're still killing people. And that's not fun and cool. That's not sex, drugs and rock and roll. I don't know. That's what I got.
Yeah. And, you know, I think that you really laid it out very well there. You know, yes, I can reduce the harm to myself if I am using drugs or having sex, but I can't get these politicians that I voted in to reduce the harm that they are causing. Because, you know, if you're voting for one of the two dominant political parties in the United States, I think you're just asking yourself, if you want to get to fascism, the short way or the long way, because I think, you know, voting in Democrats does make a material difference when it comes to some social services, and some environmental protections. But ultimately, both of these parties work at the behest of the ruling class. And capitalism requires ceaseless consumption and growth. And neither of those are sustainable. And they require the subjugation of working class people. So I think, you know, if, you know, it's, it's a question of capacity, if you and the people in your community that you organize with have the time and resources to engage in electoral politics, while simultaneously building dual power, and fighting encroaching fascism, like, go with God. There's space for a lot of tactics, and you gotta find where your skill set is and where your comfort lies. And I do just want to say this one last piece, too, when we talk about voting as harm reduction in the United States, that often I think tends to overlook the international implications of maintaining the current political system here,
Right, which is, that's where it becomes even more of the same as like, yeah, it's never...the solutions don't lie in the ballot box, and like, Oh, whatever. I'm just like, speaking cliches or whatever. But it's like, even if we can make things like slightly better, like, because like, literally, if someone was like, "Well, do you want fascism tomorrow? Do you want fascism in five years," I'd be like, "Five years, please, that gives me a little bit more time to try to fight it." But of course, the problem, obviously, we're way off topic, but the problem is, of course, then people think that like, oh, that's the solution. The solution is engaging with this political system that has no fucking reason for existing besides driving us closer to Ecocide and fascism.
Right. That's, that's the band aid. That's the triage. You know, there are so many different things that I think harm reduction principles can be applied to whether that's sex work, you know, mental health issues, eating disorders, tobacco use, I think there's a really natural evolution of the harm reduction philosophy to extend it to other health risk behaviors and to a broader audience in that way. I just, I think that, again, using harm reduction to sort of Pantious Pilate wash your hands of a lot of things and just say,"I voted and that's enough," is it's not going to work. It's not.
Okay. No, and now I'm thinking, I'm like, Oh, shit, is my like, I just carry around naloxone. Is that my, like, wash my hands of addressing the larger systemic things and like, well, it doesn't affect me, it clearly affects me because it affects people I care about and it like, I don't know, is the takeaways. Okay, wait, I'm gonna try and some of the takeaways I've gotten from you, is that carry Naloxone, but it's a band aid. And it is a useful one, but the larger systemic problems have to do with criminalization and they have to do with access to safe supply. And so working on the kind of pressure involved to fight for that is good having mutual aid networks....Oh, okay. One of the questions that kind of had actually is, in your experience existing mutual aid networks, how well do they get along with existing harm reduction networks? Does it tend to be the same players and everyone's excited, or do you run across some mutual aid networks do they kind of like to step up their game about actually care about, you know, drug users? Or like, How's that look right now,
In my personal experience, and I can't really speak to, you know, places I haven't lived or, you know, different communities that I'm not a part of. But there is a great deal of overlap. You know, a lot of folks that are working in harm reduction, people who use drugs and sex workers are sort of use to you know, fending for ourselves, we're used to creating these these networks of care that exist outside of the current system. And, you know, that's not to say that, when disaster strikes, it can sort of hit some folks harder than others. If the needle exchange in your town closes down, because there was a disaster. You know, there, there might be some time before they opened back up. And that's not going to stop people from using drugs. It will just create a situation where people have to use drugs more dangerously. And so, you know, yes, I think that there's a lot of overlap. But also, it shouldn't be this sort of jerry rigged, you know, last line of defense, the folks that have just experienced a disaster now having to turn around and all care for each other. Because again, no one is coming to save you.
Yeah. Yay. That's
that's the real point of it. Yes.
But I mean it's really liberating. I think that like, I'm not super into political nihilism, personally, a lot of my friends are and I don't mean to slight it. But, the thing that reminds me of what like my like nihilist friends get out of like hopelessness, not hopeless, whatever, out of nihilism is comparable to the like, I find something joyous and liberating about the realization that no one's coming to save us. Because it's this like concept, one of my favorite cliches from like, when I was a baby anarchist was just like, "We are the ones we've been waiting for." Because it's less about, no one is coming to save us, we're doomed. And it's more about like, it is up to us to build the power and capacity necessary to bring about the changes that we need to see in this world. And there's a lot of us, and there's a lot more of us all the time, and the problems we're facing, seem to be getting bigger and bigger, depending on the position you're coming from, right, the problems facing me have gotten bigger and bigger as all the anti trans stuff comes through, or whatever, you know, but there's also more of us. Even to just continue the trans thing as a metaphor. It's like, the reason there's all this anti trans shit is that we all came out of the fucking closet. Like, there's a ton of us. And like, there always were a ton of us, but we were all fucking scared. And like, and what they want to do is make us afraid and get back in the closet. And so I get a lot out of, 'no one is coming to save us.' Because of the flip side being. We're going to save us.
Yeah, I mean, I think it's really liberatory. That's something that I love about anarchism, too, you know, yes, that means that, you know, the system isn't here for us, because it's never been here for us. But ultimately, we have to take responsibility for our lives, for our communities, and for the future that we want, as opposed to sort of being handed these these goals and expectations, the rules that were supposed to have, the lives were supposed to lead. And you know, it can be scary to not have that safety net, but I think through, you know, both political discourse, but also just, you know, having lived a life, you quickly become aware that that safety net never actually existed in the first place.
Yeah. Well, are there any last words on preparedness that you want to, you want to shout out? Everyone should fill their basement with needles? I don't know.
Well, I mean, don't do that. Or if you do that, make sure that they are, you know, safely kept somwhere that only you have access to, or the folks that need them. You know, I know I've kind of hammered this home a lot. But, it really, when I say 'it,' I mean harm reduction. And I think what we're trying to do for ourselves really comes down to community and it comes down to having these bigger goals and not taking, 'no,' for an answer or taking, you know, half measures for an answer. The overdose crisis is very real. And there are pharmaceutical companies and families that have directly caused a lot of pain and death, and they should be held accountable. And that is slowly happening over time. But, I just want to keep clear, you know, who are the folks in our community who are doing the work? And who are maybe the people that are sort of preventing us from living our best lives?
Yeah. All right. Well, is there anything you want to shout out here at the end of like, what people...I don't know it was anything you want to draw attention to any projects? Any of your work?
You know, support your local needle exchange, support your local sex workers. You know, if there is a call to fight back against fascists, or show up at your local library, because people are doing some fuck shit against trans people, you should be there. That's my shout out. Yeah.
That's a good shout out. Well, thanks for being on...it's funny as like, every now and then I do these episodes where I'm like, it like challenges my own like weird....I don't want to say puritanical upbringing, I didn't have a puritanical upbringing. I was around a lot of people, you know, all my friends did a lot of drugs when I was in....whatever. And it's just like, interesting to every now and I'd have these episodes like, it's like the first couple times I did firearms episodes. I was like, It's not that I was like, Oh, I'm being so edgy. It was just being like, Oh, right. Information is dangerous because I and then I'm like, that's true about everything. I don't know where I'm going with this. Basically, thanks for coming on to talk about something that I feel like doesn't get talked about because people are afraid to acknowledge it, because we all walk around with this, like, 'drugs are bad,' and then we just secretly all do drugs. And so it's just better to just actually be like, drugs are complicated.
Yeah, and people are complicated.
What? Not me. I'm a paladin. I adhere to my moral code. That doesn't sound great. Okay. Yep. All right. Well, thank you for coming on this episode.
Thanks for having me.
All right. Bye.
Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this podcast, please tell people about it by whatever means that you prefer to tell people about things, like skywriting, please sky write Live Like the World is Dying above a beach. Ooh, get one of those banners that goes behind the like little plane that flies by the beach and usually advertises auto insurance. And instead it should just say, "Live Like the World is Dying." Don't tell people it's a podcast. Just tell people to live like the world is dying and become a cool, no future punk or a only a future if we imagine it....Okay, I'm off track. So, yeah, you can tell people about it. You can also support us. This podcast is published by pa...not by Patreon, it's supported by Patreon. It's published by Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness, which is a publishing collective that I'm part of along with a bunch of other people. We put out books we recently put out Cindy, Barukh's Milstein's "Try Anarchism for Life" and soon possibly, actually, I don't know when this episode is gonna be released. February 1st, 2023, we are releasing my book, "Escape from Incel Island." If you're listening to this before February 1st, 2023, you can pre order it at tangledwilderness.org. If you're listening to it after February 1st, 2023, you can buy it wherever books are sold, or go to the library, or steal a copy from Barnes and Noble. I don't care. And but, don't steal it from an info shop. That's just, it's just mean. Why would you do that? Get a library to carry it and then get it, or steal it from a big corporate place. Whatever. You can support us on patreon at patreon.com/strangersinatangledwilderness and your donations, go to pay the transcriptionist and pay the audio editor to keep all of this stuff happening. And in particular, I want to thank Aly, and Paparouna, and Milica, and Boise Mutual Aid, Theo, Hunter, Shawn, SJ, Paige, Mikki, Nicole, David, Dana Chelsea, Kat J, Staro, Jenipher, Eleanor, Kirk, Sam, Michaiah, Chris, and Hoss the dog. I really appreciate all of you and I really appreciate that there's enough of you that I read your names fast and maybe that's like really rude. But, I just like I don't know, I'm kind of like humbled by the support that Strangers gets and I hope that you who are listening well I only hope you support us if you can afford it. If you can't afford it, just continue to get our shit for free. And that's the whole point of supporting, is it helps other people get our shit for free. Anyway I'll talk to you all soon be as well as you can
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Feds adapting AI used to silence ISIS to combat American dissent on vaccines, elections --The federal government, working hand-in-hand with universities, private companies and Big Tech, is funneling millions of dollars in taxpayer money to fund an AI censorship program to be used on American citizens. | 26 Jan 2023 | The government's campaign to fight "misinformation" has expanded to adapt military-grade artificial intelligence once used to silence the Islamic State (ISIS) to quickly identify and censor American dissent on issues like vaccine safety and election integrity, according to grant documents and cyber experts. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded several million dollars in grants recently to universities and private firms to develop tools eerily similar to those developed in 2011 by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in its Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program. DARPA said those tools were used "to help identify misinformation or deception campaigns and counter them with truthful information," beginning with the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East that spawned ISIS [I-CIA-SIS] over a decade ago. DARPA set four specific goals for the program.
Canada to send four Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine | 26 Jan 2023 | Canada will send four Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine, Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand said on Thursday, after Germany this week allowed other countries to re-export the German-built tank. "This donation, combined with the contributions of allies and partners, will significantly help the armed forces of Ukraine" in the their defense against the Russian invasion, special operation, Anand told reporters in Ottawa.
World War III Update: Germany Joins Biden and Sends Tanks to Ukraine to Escalate War With Russia | 25 Jan 2023 | On Tuesday the Biden regime agreed to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine to fight the Russian military. This means the US will be forced to send men and women to operate the tanks and perform maintenance. It is the Biden regime's attempt to escalate the war in Ukraine. Less than 24 hours later, Germany announced they will be sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Chancellor Olaf Scholz asked German citizens, who are paying record gas prices this winter to warm their homes, to "trust the government." [LOL!]
British MPs call for probe into massive spike in deaths --Nearly 3,000 more Britons are dying than average on a weekly basis, and Covid-19 is not responsible | 24 Jan 2023 | Troubled by national statistics showing 20% excess deaths per week, UK MPs have demanded an investigation, the Daily Mail reported on Tuesday. Unlike the last time excess deaths reached such levels, during the second Covid-19 wave, few of these deaths could be attributed to the virus. Speaking before the House of Commons on Tuesday, Conservative MP Esther McVey skewered Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty for blaming the spike in non-Covid excess deaths on "patients not getting statins or blood pressure medicines during the pandemic," pointing out that the monthly figures for statin prescriptions had remained constant. "Where is the evidence? And if there isn’t one, what is causing these excess deaths?" she asked, demanding the minister "commit to an urgent and thorough investigation of the matter." ..."There were 50,000 more deaths than we would have otherwise expected in 2022," Labour Shadow Public Health Minister Andrew Gwynne told the House of Commons on Tuesday. "Excluding the pandemic, that's the worst figure since 1951."
Russia didn't blow up gas pipeline - Nord Stream boss | 26 Jan 2023 | Russia is unlikely to be behind an attack last September on the Nord Stream gas pipelines, according to Matthias Warnig, the head of Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 AG -- two Swiss-based companies operating the undersea Russian gas pipelines. Warnig, who is said to have long-standing personal ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, spoke to German newspaper Die Zeit recently. "The Russians? No," he responded, when asked about Moscow's potential complicity in the incident that left both Nord Stream 1 strings and one Nord Stream 2 string severely damaged... Warnig, who has been the managing director of the Nord Stream AG company since it was founded in 2006, provided no definitive answer to a question on who might be behind the incident. When asked whether London might have been behind it, he called it "speculation" and suggested that the journalist "think about it."
Stroke After Pfizer Booster May Be Connected to Flu Vaccine - Officials | 26 Jan 2023 | Instances of stroke following receipt of Pfizer's new booster in the elderly may be connected to the influenza vaccine, officials said on Jan. 26. One-hundred thirty cases of ischemic stroke, which can be deadly, were recorded among people aged 65 or older within 21 days of a bivalent Pfizer booster, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee heard on Thursday. That was higher than the 92 cases recorded in the 22- to 42-day window following vaccination, triggering a safety signal... A preliminary review of medical records at one site, which saw 24 ischemic stroke cases in the three weeks following Pfizer vaccination, revealed that a majority of the people who suffered a stroke had an influenza vaccine administered on the same day as the COVID-19 vaccine.
Rep. Matt Gaetz introduces 'PENCIL' resolution barring Adam Schiff from accessing classified information
Rep. Matt Gaetz introduces 'PENCIL' resolution barring Adam Schiff from accessing classified information | 26 Jan 2023 | Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., introduced the "Preventing Extreme Negligence with Classified Information Licenses," or PENCIL Resolution, on Thursday that would bar Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Deep State-Calif., from accessing any classified information. "The resolution expresses the sense of the U.S. House of Representatives that Congressman Adam Schiff should not have access to classified information, should be investigated by the House Ethics Committee, and should have his comments made during any proceeding of Congress regarding Russian Collusion and the Trump campaign be officially struck from the record," Gaetz's office said in a statement... "Every member of Congress can access classified information by virtue of their election. Only the most egregious actions would warrant removal, and Adam Schiff has undoubtedly crossed the Rubicon," Gaetz told Fox News Digital. "Democrats have willfully ignored the national security consequences of members like Schiff misrepresenting and leaking classified information to the press." Schiff has recently announced his candidacy to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstain, D-Calif., in the Senate.