Category Archives: General

New: “Opposing Torture” by Sean Swain

cover of "Opposing Torture" by Sean Swainfrom

Sean Swain’s third book, following (with Travis Washington) Last Act of the Circus Animals (a parable), and Ohio (lessons in a life, in history, and in theory), is a collection of examples of how prison officials in general, and a few very specific ones, treat prisoners badly, and some of the many ways that prison bureaucracy works in tandem with some terrible people to instigate and maintain torture, and the remarkable tactics that Sean has employed over the years to fight back.

Sean continues to be an amazing example of how to remain active and difficult even under some of the harshest conditions that the u.s. can bring to bear.

This is anarchist prisoner Sean Swain’s first hand account of  domestic torture that the FBI and Ohio prison officials never want you to see.

With a foreword by CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, who exposed the u.s. torture program in Iraq.


Will Sean Be Extraordinarily Renditioned… Again?

In early 2019, intrepid anarchist author and prisoner was swept away by the ODRC without legal process (requiring a hearing) to the hands of Virginia. His time in VADOC was basically without incident, but due to circumstances beyond Sean’s case (the interstate transfer agreement between VA & OH) he has been sent back to Ohio and is being held at OSP Supermax at Youngstown, in his prior cell. Sean’s support crew fears that Sean will be sent to another state, far away from his partner, his lawyer and many of his longtime supporters. His support crew is asking that Swainiacs contact Ohio State Senator Teresa Fedor ((614) 466-5204) and Ohio State Representative Lisa A. Sobecki ((614) 644-6017) and express your concern for Sean Swain #A243205 currently being held at OSP Youngstown.

Here is a basic script, see if it resonates with you:

My friend, Sean Swain #A243205, is a prisoner in Ohio. From prison he earned his college degree, a paralegal certificate, wrote two books, and he’s currently working on a chilren’s book. He contributes weekly commentary to a globally syndicated radio show. Sean was honored in 2002 for his peace work in prison by Rosa Parks personally. He’s been incarcerated for thirty years without even a single fight, no drugs, no alcohol. He has been a model prisoner.

Sean has been critical of the Ohio prison system and officials have retaliated by calling him a gang leader and making him look like a danger on paper. In 2013 Sean was sexually victimized by a then-ODRC lawyer named Trevor Clarke. Clarke ran the prison’s torture program and Sean reported Clarke for the sexual abuse, filing a PREA grievance. Clarke retaliated by fabricating misconduct. In 2018, Sean sued Clarke and within thirty days Clarke (and another defendant) fabricated disciplinary charges of rioting, gang activity, and extortion and they illegally renditioned Sean to Virginia to cover up their crimes, without even the requisite legal hearing he was owed. Sean’s time in Virginia was uneventful, clear proof of his carrying himself as a model prisoner at a medium security facility.

A few weeks ago—Sean was returned to Ohio and placed back at the Supermax in Youngstown. Although Trevor Clarke no longer works for the ODRC, ODRC seems to continue to be bent on again illegally renditioning Sean to yet another state in order to silence him and stop him from earning his release. Sean’s lawyer and his spouse, Lauren, have attempted to get details from ODRC Interstate compact coordinator Glenn Elder, but are getting the run-around. Transferring Sean out of state again will move him away from his legal support, his spouse and his friends, all of which are of immeasurable importance to rehabilitation and to Sean earning his release.

Please look into this situation and help put a halt to Sean Swain’s mistreatment. Sean has stated his intention to abide by the rules set down by the ODRC and is commitment to earn his release through good conduct.


Painting of the Swain-Freedom pic

Swainiac Fest 2021 Updated! (Sept 30 in Toledo, OH)

Swainiac Fest 2021!

Painting of the Swain-Freedom picfrom Facebook & DABC:

Sean has been denied parole and his supporters are fundraising to cover legal costs to challenge this travesty. Thus begin SWAINIAC FEST 2021!!!!

When?:Thursday, Sept 23rd6-11pm

Collingwood Garden
2472 Collingwood Ave.
Toledo, Ohio


During our regular Thursday night bonfire, Food Not Bombs will be hosting a benefit show to raise legal funds for Sean Swain, an anarchist political prisoner recently denied parole.
We will have multiple live performances, a talk with Sean’s partner Lauren Swain, a vegan/ vegetarian cook out, our pop-up free store, a table to write letters to Sean, lit distro from Black Swamp distro and lots of swag for raffle or purchase.
We are suggesting a $5-20 donation but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Sept 3 is also Food Not Bomb’s regular sober night, but in honor of the event we will lighten that restriction after 9PM.

Lineup is subject to change

What to expect:

  • Multiple live performances
  • A talk with Sean’s partner Lauren Swain
  • Vegan/ vegetarian cook out
  • Pop-up free store
  • Letter-writing to Sean
  • Lit distro from Black Swamp Distro
  • Lots of swag for raffle or purchase!
  • Sober event until 9pm


  • 6:30-7:00 SCMC
  • 7:00-8:00 Words from Sean & Lauren
  • 8:00-8:30 Prometon (Southern Michigan)
  • 8:30-9:00 Propolis (Michigan)
  • 9:00-9:30 Dan Cooper
  • 9:30-10:00 Devil Dolls
  • 10:00-11:00 SCMC

Listen to Sean’s rant here
More details forthcoming!

Call for Support: Sean Swain Denied Parole

reposted from Detroit Anarchist Black Cross

This past Wednesday, the Ohio Parole Board denied parole to Sean Swain on the basis of lies and political targeting perpetuated by Trevor Matthew Clark, former ODRC Counsel. Read Sean’s account of what happened and his call for support below.

On August 25, I had my 4th parole hearing.

In 1991, I was convicted of Aggravated Murder in what was a provable case of self defense. The judge sentenced me to 20 years to life, the minimum allowable by law, and said I would be expected to serve 12 years before being paroled. I have now served 30. I was told on Wednesday that I will be expected to serve 5 more.

In their decision, the parole board relied upon their own wildly inaccurate characterizations of my political speech, which they construed as “threats.” They also relied upon contrived misconduct engineered by former ODRC Counsel Trevor Clark, who, in 2013, subjected me to inappropriate sexual touching, and, during an interrogation, revealed to me the home addresses of Ohio lawmakers. I reported both the sexual touching and the violation of lawmakers’ personal privacy, and Clark responded with a years-long campaign of state terror, to include suspension of my communications for years at a time and theft of my incoming legal mail.

In 2018, I filed 2 civil actions (18 CV 004272) that named Trevor Clark. Weeks later, in retaliation, he ordered a minion of his to fabricate the misconduct that the parole board now relies upon to extend my imprisonment for 5 years.

Lauren and I are fortunate to have retained attorney Eric J. Allen, who has successfully litigated against the parole board more than once. He promises to aggressively fight to right this injustice, but we need to raise some loot to pay the cost of the litigation.

SwainiacFest 2021, to raise funds for counsel, is in the planning stages… save the date September 23 in Toledo, OH.

Donations can be made via CashApp to $Swainiac1969.

Sample letters and parole board members’ emails are provided below for anyone who wishes to email the parole board on my behalf.

Open in email client | Open in Gmail

Subject: Concerns about 8/25/21 Parole Board decision on Sean Swain (A243205)

I am contacting you in concern for the decision that the Parole Board made for Sean Swain, A243205, following his fourth parole hearing on August 25, 2021. Mr. Swain has already served 30 years of a 20-to-life sentence for a provable act of self defense. During his recent hearing, however, you decided that Mr. Swain must serve five more years.

I am writing to you because the information through which Parole Board members reached this decision was inaccurate. During his time at Warren Correctional Institution, Mr. Swain endured mistreatment including sexual harassment, mail theft, and inhumane living conditions at the direction of former ODRC Counsel Trevor Clark. It was Mr. Clark's erroneous characterization of Mr. Swain's political speech that led Mr. Clark to commit actions against Mr. Swain that were both wrongfully discriminatory as well as illegal. In 2018, Mr. Swain filed two civil actions that named Mr. Clark. Weeks later, in retaliation, Mr. Clark ordered one of his employees to fabricate incidents of misconduct by Mr. Swain. These reports of misconduct have since been overturned - yet these false accusations ordered by Mr. Clark informed your decision to keep Mr. Swain incarcerated for five more years.

Mr. Swain's attorney is currently working on filing for reconsideration of your decision. As a public servant entrusted with making responsible parole decisions, I urge you to investigate the falsehoods that informed your decision and reconsider Mr. Swain's eligibility for parole.

Thank you.

Two Weeks Since My Second Dose…

gloved hand holding syringe in covid-19 vialI got my second covid-19 vaccine shot two weeks ago. Moderna.

After the first shot, I felt a little lethargic and slept it off for a day. After the second one, just had a sore arm for a while. The needle was about 18 feet long, I think. When the nurse stuck me, the tip of the needle came out of my armpit. But aside from getting impaled, I didn’t have any problems.

I got covid twice. First time I had it last February, before covid was even officially here. Medical staff told me I had food poisoning.

Food poisoning… In my lungs… I guess in a prison setting they chock up a lot of stuff to food poisoning.

I got covid again this past January. I had to move into what they call a ‘red zone.’ I called it the ‘zombie apocalypse block.’ It wasn’t so bad. The first time I caught covid, I was stuck in my bed for about four days, only got up to puke. The second time, I had a lingering cough for about two weeks. I lost my taste and my smell. Each week all of us in the zombie apocalypse block had to take these swab tests. Those are fun. It’s like having a q-tip scraped against your brain. I lost I portions of my cerebral cortex. Each time I took the swab test, I lost the ability to do simple math for a few days.

I got my sense of smell and taste back. That’s not necessarily a good thing. You know, prison food being what it is and the internal ventilation system constantly recycling stale farts.

Here, the vaccinations began in early February but I had to wait until the third wave of vaccinations here because I had just gotten over covid when the first shots became available. But now, they’ve cycled through. I was one of the last ones here to get my second shot.

I know there’s a lot of controversy over the vaccine because they were fast-tracked. Probably there are reasonable and legitimate concerns about potential long-term effects that are currently unknowable. But my thinking on that goes like this…

A vaccine is a vaccine. There are only so many ways to develop a vaccine. There’s a process. And in the course of modern life, our scientists with big, big brains have developed hundreds of thousands or even millions of vaccines for things like Polio and Small Pox and even the mundane Flu that we normally face. We’ve had these vaccines, some of them, for more than half a century. None of those vaccines have caused widespread sterilization, or contained nanobot computer chips or delivered Satanic identifiers that work like a bar code for the times of revelations. I have no reason to believe that this vaccine is going to be any different in terms of it’s long term health impacts, than any of the other vaccines for other diseases. Vaccinated people have gotten pregnant, nanobot technology is really expensive and impractical, and if Satan were really that ambitious, Trump would have gotten a second term.

There are guys here at the prison, a few, who opted not to get the vaccine. That’s a matter of personal choice, I suppose. I question the wisdom of it.

Some of those guys tell me they believe that this mass vaccination of prisoners is to do biological testing on us. What that testing is, varies according to each prisoner. Some say those in power want to see how the vaccine works or doesn’t work on us, getting data on how many of us fall over dead. So far, that number at this prison appears to be zero, by the way, for any secret scientists keeping score at all.

Others claim this is an extension of a long history of experimenting on Black and brown bodies, going back to the Tuskegee Experiments, when government scientists isolated Black men and infected them with sexually transmitted diseases just to see how those diseases progressed. This included infecting those men with Syphilis, which causes nuerological damage including dementia and even death. The US did this, something akin to what the Nazis had done.

And to be fair, this isn’t just the distant past. I did time with a guy named Dan Starkes at Mansfield, OH, in the 1990’s. He had served a sentence in Michigan where he was paid pretty well by prison standards for allowing pharmaceuticals to be tested on him. Last time I saw him, Dan was gaunt and hollow, riddled with cancer and wondering if years of pharmaceutical tests had been worth it.

No doubt, we are expendable as prisoners and the majority of us are Black or brown and there’s a long history of de-humanizing experiments on people of color. But even acknowledging that, I have to suspect that if those in power wanted to experiment on us, they’d just put stuff in our food or the cleaning chemicals we all use or pump it through the vents.

When someone tells me they really don’t know what’s in the vaccine, I remind them that they can’t identify what they just had for lunch. For all we know, we just had a main course of radio active isotopes, with a side order of Zyklon B. If you’re going to tell me you don’t know what’s in the vaccine, explain to me what’s in that bag of cheese puffs you’re eating.

I’m not saying I trust governments or large pharmaceutical companies, I just think they have easier and more practical ways of killing us that aren’t quite so conspicuous and don’t have the extraordinary danger of exposure and widespread blow-back.

And to the question of why they’re vaccinating prisoners so early in the roll out. Well, I suspect it’s not because they love us so much, it’s because they don’t want this disease bouncing around in this petri dish prison complex and then spilling back out. And they can get large numbers in a short time, which looks good for the politicians. That’s my thinking, anyhow.

Then I look at the main proponents of the anti-vaxer movement. Most of them are conservative, White men floating in the orbit of the Q-Anon conspiracy, believing that a nefarious group of satanic child molesters is carrying out a secret plot to ruin America. When I hear this, I’m convinced that the American public school system is what ruined America, by failing to teach these White conservatives how to think.

What I’m saying is, it appears that most of the anti-vax theories are originating from folks who have a particular agenda. As a matter of intellectual honesty, I have to dismiss their claims as just a lot of “White” noise.

Anyway, it’s two weeks since I got my second vaccine shot, my brain is still functioning as badly as it ever was, no erectile dysfunction (for anyone who wants to know). I haven’t felt the urge to shamble or bite anyone and the blood work from last week shows no significant change in my health status. I feel pretty nanobot free, I don’t regret choosing to get vaccinated.

This is anarchist prisoner Sean Swain in exile from Ohio in Buckingham Correction, in Dillwyn, Virginia. If you’re listening, you ARE the resistance.

Paul Swain’s Son

Sean Swain’s segment on the loss of his father, first broadcast September 13, 2020

Also, formatted as a zine, and the audio can be found here.

One of my earliest memories, I couldn’t have been older than three years old. It was in the kitchen of my parents home in Des Moines, Iowa, and my dad was holding me while my mom was on the phone and I was trying to reach out to grab the ceramic Pillsbury Doughboy cookie jar. I lost my dad on March 24th due to complications after heart surgery. He had been waiting to get scheduled for the surgery since before Thanksgiving, but he wasn’t a priority. He didn’t matter to the people to make life and death decisions.

He should have. He was a really extraordinary guy. I know I’m biased because he was my dad, but even so, he was an exceptional human being. He was kind and generous and gentle and he really loved life. He and my mom were together for something like 55 years. This has really devastated her. My dad wanted to be cremated, so my mom has his ashes in an ornate walnut box that he would have liked, as he loves to do woodwork and make chains after he retired.

I’m an only child, so my mom’s alone now and it’s hard on her—because she’s really alone. She’s in her 70s and can’t risk getting Covid 19. She’s constantly injuring herself, doing yard work and other nonsense she has no business doing. She needs to be home. I’ve been meaning to share this for some time to help maybe work through this loss, but it’s hard to reduce the words. There’s the pain of missing him. But there is more.

I think, of all that he went through and the sacrifices that he made for my mom and for me. He worked at Ford for 30 years. He hated it. Factory work. Another of my earliest memories, my mom and I were in the car dropping my dad off at the Ford plant. He had on a denim jacket, one of those old black metal lunchboxes, the kind that was rounded at the top, the whole performance. He was in his 20s, that shaggy hair and beard.

Beyond this loss and grief, I feel a sense of injustice for him. The day he died, the world kept spinning. There was no pause, no moment of reflection, traffic kept moving on the highways, everyone kept shopping. The stock market closed slightly up for the day. Apart from my mom and me and a handful of close friends family. It was as if he had never existed, as if he never happened.

Somewhere at the Ford plant on Romeo Plank Road in Michigan, an assembly line worker stood right where my dad spent decades and that worker perform the same job my dad used to do. He or she is probably never even heard of Paul Swain.

So beyond the grief, it was hard for me to wrestle with the sense that the world moves on like that. In fact, it doesn’t even blink, not just for my dad, but for all of us. It makes it feel sometimes like all the struggle and the sorrow, the misery and even the joy that none of it counts. It’s there a God like ashes and a strong breeze. And then so we.

I share this house because it feels like the world over we’re in an era of loss. With covid-19 raging and the fascist march with knees on our necks, with knees on our necks of guns pressing our backs. It feels like everything is for nothing. It feels like doom and gloom. So maybe that is the point. Maybe these cumulative losses, this intolerable meaninglessness, this sense of the hopeless, it all confronts us and it confronts all of us, and it awaits our collective response.

For me personally, I never met George Floyd. I didn’t know him, but I knew Paul Swain. I remember when he was young and that denim jacket, facing the daily small injustices, the humiliations and the reductions. To the thousands of spectacular and terrible atrocities we witnessed, also accompanied by hundreds of millions of more mundane ones that we all experience.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that as I navigate the loss of my dad, it’s important for me to think about how this collective struggle against the current dystopia is to stop the brutality like we saw on the streets and the Minneapolis for nine minutes. But it’s also to stop the slow roasted brutality to which we are all victims.

I don’t just want to end police or prisons. I want to end factories and sweatshops and wage slavery and nation states and chemical warfare and all the components of this immiserating shit society in which we live and shop and work and die.

I want to struggle and win because all of our lives and all of our deaths should matter. Until we have that kind of a world, we owe it to those we love, and to those we’ve lost, to fight for them and for ourselves.

This is Paul Swain’s son. If you’re listening, you are the resistance.

Getting the silent treatment again…

ODRC Fears Swain’s Reason

Sean Swain is being silenced by the Ohio Department of Retribution and Corruption again. In a classic move of an abusive, one-sided relationship, ODRC Director Annette Chambers-Smith (former General Manager of Payment Services at dastardly prison profiteer JPay Inc) and her underlings are overseeing the shut-out of JPay (the monopoly communication and digital media choice of many state prison systems) email and GTL phone services for Sean Swain with no explanation. Remember, while Sean is a prisoner IN Virginia, he is a prisoner OF Ohio (in exile).

This comes shortly after Detroit ABC published Sean’s An Open Letter to Annette Chambers-Smith from Anarchist Prisoner Sean Swain, copies of which were intercepted by mailroom goons alongside portions of Sean’s forthcoming LBC book, ‘Ohio’ (an expansion of his formerly published zine). Here we reproduce the contents of Sean’s open letter and invite readers and supporters to reach out to the ODRC and the VADOC and enquire as to Sean’s communication.

Trigger / Content Warning, the below text contains descriptions of sexual assault by ODRC employees that Sean experienced while in Ohio prison.:


Dear Exploitation Annie:

You might not remember me. You illegally exiled me to Virginia more than a year and a half ago, so I’ll have to jog your memory.

In 2012, I wrote a public criticism of JPay, the company you ran before getting appointed to the ODRC. When I criticized your old company, your predecessor equated journalism with terrorism, had me tortured, and declared me a gang leader based upon my “ideology.”

During that year of torture, ODRC attorney Trevor Matthew Clark interrogated me and, during that interrogation, he subjected me to sexual assault, cupping my testicles in his hand and demanding sex acts that I did not perform.

Clark no longer works at the ODRC. He’s now at Wexner Medical Center for Ohio State University. They must need a lawyer experienced in grabbing balls.

After Clark grabbed my balls and the torture ended, Clark enlisted a number of officials as accomplices to torment me, including Paul Shoemaker, Roger Wilson, Brian Wenstrup and others– subjecting me to contrived disciplinary actions, baseless communications restrictions, and a whole host of really petty and childish retaliations.

The lesson is pretty clear: when a coked-up prison system lawyer grabs your balls, just let him grab your balls.

All of the reprehensible and mind-numbing torments concocted by Clark’s accomplices were recounted at Then, free world people found it so shocking, they posted prison officials’ home addresses at

That’s the consequences when you conspire to carry out the agenda of a creepy ball-grabber.

They are all ball-grabbers-by-proxy.

So, by the time you came along, these clowns were continuing to ramp up the repression and it escalated until something got torched at your predecessor’s home. Gary Mohr resigned, took up a consulting job in North Carolina, fucking up their prisons like he fucked up Ohio’s.

On his way out, he hatched a plot to have me killed at Lucasville. That got exposed when prisoners there blew the whistle.

And then you came along, perfectly unqualified, after running a predatory, profiteering company that exploits prisoners. One of your first acts in office was to illegally subject the critic of your company to rendition, exiling me to the Virginia prison system.

Best thing you fuckweasels ever did to me. The food is fantastic. The weather is wonderful. The prisons are run by responsible adults, unlike Ohio.

Then COVID-19 hit and you responded to it with historic mismanagement, killing off more prisoners through ineptitude and apathy than any other prisons director. Hundreds of preventable deaths.

You really suck at this. I got exiled just in time.

I hear you got COVID-19. Unfortunate for all those prisoners that you didn’t get it sooner. Also unfortunate for them…you survived.

So, at any rate, I’ve been here in Virginia more than a year and I still don’t have my music or email from JPay. I bought it in good faith and you deprived me of access by renditioning me. JPay says they can’t transfer it from my Ohio account to Virginia.

Since you ran JPay, and because your illegal exile of me caused this fiasco, I was thinking you could get my music and emails to me.

If not, I’ll accept a personal check for the amount of my loss. I’m sure you’ve got more loot than you know what to do with, given your time with JPay… swindling prisoners…

Thanks again for exiling me to Virginia before the apocalypse hit.


Anarchist Prisoner Sean Swain

Coming Out of Isolation Stronger

This audio can be heard in the April 5th edition of The Final Straw Radio or in Sean’s archive collection (or just right here):

The latest concern that folks are expressing during this zombie apocalypse is their inability to cope with isolation and quarantine. We’re just a few weeks into this thing and already folks are going a little bonkers. This is strange to me, given that I’ve spent years at a time in total and complete isolation. It’s almost hard for me to fathom that someone wouldn’t know how to cope in such an environment. So, this week is going to be something of an instructional video – only, without the video, and maybe not very instructive.
OK, first things first. You gotta stay mentally organized, and staying mentally organized means living in a way that’s organized. You need a routine. Routine is key to long-term segregation. You want to get up in the morning at the same time. Set an alarm. Get up, get out of bed, make the bed. It doesn’t matter that you have nowhere to go. It doesn’t matter that you’re not leaving that living space. You get up at the same time and you make the bed, because the sleeping period is over. Create for yourself set times for eating your meals, or a small range of times for those meals to happen in. Set a time for showering or bathing and personal grooming. It doesn’t matter that you’re not going anywhere.
Laying in bed all day in the same sweater and underwear from last Tuesday is not mental organization. It’s surrender. Yes, I’m talking to you. No, you, there. Yes, the one in the sweater and the underwear. Right.
Break up your day into chunks. Fill those chunks with activity. Maybe you like to read. Designate a period of your day for reading. Designate another part of your day for writing, another part for skyping and twitter and social interaction. Doing this gives you routine, but it also gives you benchmarks as you travel through your day. You can say to yourself “I’ve gotten this done, at such-and-such a time, it’s time to do X.” You are now doing your time,  your time is not doing you.
Your time will move faster, you’ll get more accomplished. Which brings me to my next point: accomplishing. Each day will bring you multiple opportunities to fulfill goals. Get something written. Get something read. Go a certain time on your stationary bike. Dispose of the body of that annoying next-door neighbor… former neighbor. Just kidding. Don’t kill your neighbor. There are security cameras everywhere. I digress.
The thing is: each day you meet some small goal, then another, then another. You take in calories, you move from activity to activity. Most importantly: you survive. Each day you end still breathing is a mission accomplished. You’re not just writing emails or riding your stationary bike, you’re fighting for your very survival, albeit in a mundane kind of way.
Physical exercise. The human body is a machine made for motion. So move. My captivity workout, I do sets of push-ups, crunches and squats, one set after another. It works major muscle groups, gets my heart pumping, gets me sucking oxygen, and helps me to think more clearly. It allows me to release tension. Now more than ever, that’s important, not just for your survival, but for the survival of your annoying neighbor. So get exercise and whenever possible, in a way that’s safe, try to get an hour of direct sunlight outdoors. Go outside and breathe deeply and feel sunlight on your face. It matters.
Now, if you’re all alone, you can organize your day any way that you want. You can modify your routine at will until it works for you. But if you’re not alone, you have to synthesize your routine with the lives of those around you. Urge them to adopt a routine. Socially, it helps keep the peace. You know what other people are doing at given chunks of the day, and they know what you’re doing. You want periods of solitude and periods of social interaction, time set aside for your own projects and time for collective and communal activities.
Through the course of this, you’re going to experience heightened anxiety. It’s easy to dwell on your own situation and let the worry spiral out of control. It’s easy. We all do it. So what you do, to get out of that spiral, you focus on the struggle of someone else. Get out of your own head. Contribute to someone else’s plight. This isn’t just some Mother Theresa kumbaya crap. It’s not just some virtuous selflessness. It’s a selfish act. It’s motivated by your desire to further your own survival. If you get out of your own head and help someone, you’re exiting that spiral of anxiety.
Some other tips: While it’s good to do some planning for the future, force yourself to stay grounded in the now. Daydreaming about when this is over just makes the now suck worse. A little of that can go a long way. Also, be realistic about how long this is. Don’t wake up every day thinking that we’re all going to pour out into the streets like some flashmob dance routine. It ain’t happening, probably for months. So get yourself into a comfortable routine, for months. This is your reality. It is what it is. Also, when that reality feels overwhelming, remind yourself that this is just temporary. It will pass. Even if it takes months, it doesn’t take forever. Nothing is forever.
Don’t forget, however bad you’ve got it, others less capable than you have gotten through longer chunks of time in far worse conditions. I did a year with virtually nothing, on starvation rations, with very little soap, locked in a space the size of a bathroom with another poor bastard. We were both idiots, and yet we both survived. You will too.
Resolve to survive this. Walk around your living space. Tell the walls: “You won’t defeat me.” Tell your couch: “You won’t defeat me.” Tell all your furnishings: “You won’t defeat me.” Then look in the mirror and tell yourself: “This won’t defeat me.” And mean it.
You have two choices, flat-out. You can survive this, or you can sit down on the curb, and sooner or later the dogs and the birds will eat you. It’s your choice. I’ve made my choice. Hope I see you on the other side of this shit.
This is anarchist prisoner Sean Swain in exile from Ohio at Buckingham Correctional in Dillwyn, Virginia. If you’re surviving, you are the resistance.

How Buckingham Medical Made Me A Potential Death Statistic

Sucks to be me.
Back in early February, I got the flu. I hugged the toilet for two days.
Terrible. In the midst of it, a staffer witnessed me puking and insisted I go to medical.
At medical, I was seen by Nurse Amy Starkey who told me I didn’t have a fever despite the sweat pouring off of me… in February. She listened to my lungs and didn’t hear the sludge that was broiling in there. She suggested I had food poisoning– which would only make sense if all eleven hundred of us were puking… since we all eat the same shit.
Medical did nothing for me. Nothing. I shambled back to my cell, an hour older and a lot more annoyed.
So, early March, when I still had the gurgling sludge in my lungs, I signed up for sick call. I wanted to get that cleared up before the zombie apocalypse arrived at the prison gates, since people with
preexisting conditions sputter out at a far greater rate than those who don’t have them.
I got called back to the medical clinic. Nurse Amy Starkey again. I told her I had pneumonia in 2012 and it felt like this lung sludge only more intense. She listened to my lungs and documented the congestion, then got up and left. A few minutes later, she returned. “The Nurse Practitioner says its normal to have that kind of congestion up to eight weeks after you get over the flu.”
I don’t know if the nurse practitioner said that or not. If the nurse practitioner said that, they both need fired. Medical did nothing for me at all.
Days later, another prisoner (who shall remain nameless) told me he had a prescription for an antibiotic. It’s the same antibiotic given to me when I had pneumonia. He let me take his pills.
So, for several days, I took antibiotics. By the time I finished what he gave me, my lungs were clear. Clear. And that means the sludge in my lungs was a bacterial infection, since the antibiotics got rid of it.
Three days after the antibiotics ended, the sludge started coming back.
So, I currently have a bacterial infection in my lungs and I have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting medical personnel to get me the antibiotics I need to shake that off before COVID 19 hits here. And
that’s all bad for me.
I can’t use the grievance process because I’m not an “offender” as defined by the rules; I don’t have a conviction in Virginia. And even if I could use it, I’d be dead before I was ever vindicated.
I want to live through this. So, my “play nice” promise to Virginia be damned. Anyone reading this should feel free to contact Buckingham at (434) 983-4400 . Either Warden John Woodson or Assistant Warden Jeffrey Snoddy are here each day during normal business hours. Ask for one, and he’s not there, ask for the other. Feel free to fax this update to them, (434) 983-4017 . Attach your demand that they do something to clear my infection now.

“I Was Subjected To Torture”: Sean Swain’s Testimony to the OAS IACHR

One blessing of Sean’s transfer to the Virginia prison system is that he’s no longer suffering the petty (and not-so-petty) abuses at the hands of Ohio authorities that have accumulated after decades of Sean’s defense of his dignity. One tangible effect of this can be seen in his access to the mail sent his way. With no fart-goblins hiding or destroying his communications as they were at various Ohio prisons, Sean receives sometimes revelatory communications.

Back in 2012 during the whole manufactured “Army of the 12 Monkeys” kerfuffle, during which he was accused of helping to mastermind a successful prisoner-led sabotage movement in Ohio prisons against privatization and privation, Sean endured torture for his criticism of changes occurring in the ODRC and for holding anarchist beliefs. Recently, Sean was finally able to receive the communications from the OAS that his case was in consideration. He was only able to receive this because his mail was no longer being censored and tampered with by the ODRC flunkies.

But don’t take our word for it, check out his segment from The Final Straw Radio airing on September 15th, 2019 explaining his experience. Content warning, it contains descriptions of sexual violence by ODRC employees.

Below is a recording of his testimony to the Organization of American States Inter-American Commission of Human Rights. Please give a listen and help Sean to get these words into the hands of competent legal workers who can help him gain justice in this case.

Sean Swain Testimony to OAS IACHR