underground since'89

send vinyl, tapes and zines for review to:

tobi vail P.O. Box 2572 Olympia, WA 98507 USA

email mp3's, links, photos and flyers to:


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Katya

Dear Katya,

I don't know if you will get this message but I want to write and say Happy Birthday from all of the (old and new) riot grrls and punks in Olympia, WA (who now live all over). We are thinking about you today and have been trying to figure out a way to support you through solidarity work and talking to the press.

I read your statement this morning in English and watched it live in Russian on the internet at 2am. It is incredibly articulate and clear. If anything this trial and your arrest are giving people in the west an education about Russian history, politics and culture.

It is tricky to give words of support without perpetuating the idea that the US is somehow superior to Russia. I disagree that our society is free. Our criminal justice system is racist, classist and punitive. We have one of the biggest prison systems in the history of the world. The death penalty is legal here. People of color are discriminated against and oppressed by the prison industrial complex. There is a prison abolition movement here, which I support.

Political prisoners exist here too. Anyone called a "terrorist" or an anarchist is treated unfairly. At the end of July the FBI raided punk houses in Olympia and Portland looking for anarchists. There is something here called The Green Scare, which we can talk about later, but basically it means people are persecuted for their political affiliations. Additionally, cops beat and jail non-violent anti-war protesters regularly. Activists who protest political conventions are also beaten and jailed. Members of the Occupy movement have been arrested and victimized by police brutality.

Also, as I wrote about in my statement, sexism and sexist oppression exist here as does homophobia and heterosexism - so more than not - I feel we have a common struggle. It is terrible that you are in prison but your unjust imprisonment creates a moral basis for international solidarity. I hope this means the struggle will grow into an international one.

Happy Birthday Katya, we are thinking of you today and hope you will be set free.


Tobi Vail Olympia, WA

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

cool post particularly liked 'It is tricky to give words of support without perpetuating the idea that the US is somehow superior to Russia.'