Why I Am Straight Edge

WALTER EDMUND BOND (37096013)
5/13/2018 7:37:27 AM
Why I Am Straight Edge

I am Straight Edge because I hate drugs and alcohol. I don’t want to use them, I don’t want to be around other people who use them and I want nothing to do with drug culture, the bar scene, etc. What separates me from being simply drug free is that I actively stand against drug culture and I have taken a life time oath to abstain from the filth of inebriation.

I suppose every person that claims Straight Edge has their own set of reasons and values that they ascribe to it. for most it is a phase that they go through, a music scene with associated fashions they identify with, or a peer group to belong to that is obscure enough to satisfy a tribal desire. I went through all that decades ago and while it was fun and I still enjoy the music it ceased to be about crews, and bands, and dance moves for me along time ago. Being honest that was never my main stay in Straight Edge to begin with. so I guess………. Well, I guess I’ll start at my beginning.

I was raised around drugs and alcohol. My biological father whom I never knew went to federal prison for meth. I met him when I was a teenager. I went to visit him at the prison camp. I talked with him two more times when he got out but there was no chemistry between us. The father I grew up with drank. And I mean drank more alcohol than I would think is humanly possible, his insides must of looked like a pickle jar! And he played music on top of working fulltime as a welder.

My mother drank as well but nothing like dad. She preferred to smoke weed and had a habit of marrying drunks. Without getting into all the minutia it suffices to say that drugs and alcohol led to my parents divorce when I was ten years old and the stability of my dysfunctional home life was never to return.

By 12 years old I was smoking weed. By 13 I was doing every drug I could get my hands on (turns out I have an addictive personality). By 16 I crashed and burned. I don’t know how long I had been awake on meth, and I don’t know how many other drugs I had in my system. Honestly, I only remember bits and pieces. I remember coming home and arguing with my step-dad. I remember having a kitchen knife in my hand. I remember being face down on the couch with a knee in my back. I remember the cops coming in the door with hands on their guns and I remember them tackling me. Then I remember waking up in a mental hospital.

Apparently I had an episode of drug induced psychosis which is just a fancy way of saying I went nuts from drug use. After this I was not the same. I felt shaky, unsure, and honestly frightened that I could not control myself. I was sent to a rehab for a couple months which didn’t really help. All I learned there was that I should never believe in myself but instead a ‘higher power’ and that I was somehow diseased and there was no cure except to get involved with a 12 step group. I decided to bypass the whole mess and I took one step. Which was this: next time I felt like using any drug or alcohol…….I didn’t.

For me this worked. However it worked because I already knew what I needed. I heard it growing up in the music I listened too. Gorilla Biscuits, Youth Of Today, Uniform Choice and Sick Of It All. I had already decided from the day I woke up from my drug induced insanity that what I needed was Straight Edge. Now to take you back a little bit. This was the early 90’s and Straight Edge in my town was becoming judgmental, it was becoming purist, it was at times violent and it was becoming very proud to be exclusive. And I fucking loved it! I knew from everything I had experienced in my young life that drugs and drink were a sickness an illness of the willpower and a social cancer within society. But it wasn’t until I really embraced Straight Edge that I believed in myself enough to rise up and overcome this demon within me.

Everything I had experienced against drug addiction either sought to get me not to believe in my own ability and become dependent on programs or was just trying to push me into religion. Neither of these appealed to me. Ever since I can remember people in the scene have complained about the hyper-masculinity of Straight Edge (I wouldn’t say it was hyper-masculine as much as it was simply aggressive) and the judgmental attitudes often displayed in the lifestyle. But the other side of it is that when your a kid, from the streets, a broken home, with addiction and anger boiling up inside of you this was the place where it could come out and be directed not only in a more positive way than a street gang but at the actual antagonist, at the problem itself!

And so it was, I was reborn. I loved my sobriety and with an equal passion I grew to hate not only addiction but the drug users and dealers as well. Today when I reflect back I see where I was too absolute in my views but I don’t think I was far off the mark. In my experience you can help the occasional individual IF they have the propensity and earnest desire to change. However, as a group it’s undeniable that addicts are morally deficient, underhanded and cast blame everywhere but on the self. What is truly horrible is not the horrors that a drunk or druggie puts themselves through but the high price and the emotional and physical damage that innocent bystanders, loved ones and the communities where they live suffer.

Anyways to continue, I noticed that as I got older many of the people around me sold out, gave up or dropped the title. this never really bothered me. I didn’t feel that those that left had betrayed the scene or lied to us all. The only time it pissed me off and still does is when they want to cash in on, reunite, or relive the Straight Edge days as if they are still valid. To those individuals I have only contempt because if it ever meant anything to them they would feel awkward and out of place after having pissed all over what they once held so dear. Of course, that never happens in a social vacuum and there are, unfortunately, always plenty of other sellouts, nostalgia mongers, and ‘non-judgmental’ Straight Edge kids that support these losers.

But as I said in the beginning I’m older now and am not so much interested in this or that music scene or fashion show. But I am every bit as against drugs and drug culture as I ever was and that won’t change. I feel like somewhere in my late 20’s I quit being part of Straight Edge and it just became part of me. A large part of my character was shaped around this because I never left it, I never gave it up and in one way or another I have always been proud to represent this.

And my hope for the future of Straight Edge is for it to retain itself outside the music and after the show is over as a personal force AGAINST drugs and alcohol and FOR a sane and sober way of life. Because as we age the peer pressure to use and to drink, is more than it is in youth. But so also is our personal power to make a change.

Regards,

Walter Bond
ALF POW

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Veganism At The Intersection

WALTER EDMUND BOND (37096013)
5/3/2018 11:08:46 AM
Veganism At The Intersection

Intersectionality. The places where all the various struggles for social justice movements intersect, and the places many feel we should all come together linking our struggles, becoming stronger together and fortifying a united front against racism, sexism, ableism and all other forms of human oppression.

But what about specieism? It seems that when intersectionality gets applied to Animal liberation that it is largely a one way road. We are to sacrifice the integrity of our movement to once again focus on human issues as the core, as the primary concern. We are called upon to stop with all this Vegan nonsense which, don’t you know, is just so elitist and privileged! we are asked to only see the suffering, torture, exploitation and death of hundreds of species, billions of lives lost and brutalized as equal to one segment of our own species not enjoying full social equality?

I don’t buy it….. Pluralistic movements often fail from lack of a definitive goal. When your dealing with large groups of people with various beliefs, ideas and points of view the more complicated you make the goal the more you alienate your own cause from the mainstream and in the case of Animal Liberation we want Veganism, concern for Animals and the Earth to be accessible to all, to be practicable by all, not just by those who we feel have right ideas or politics or views, right?

Veganism and Animal right is not a punk rock movement where we don’t want the ‘conformists’ or ‘posers’ to take ‘our thing’. It’s very good that Veganism along with concern for those outside of our species is becoming more mainstream, this is what makes it relevant and turns that stream of consciousness into eventual and long term change for Animals. Continue reading

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Back In The CMU

From: WALTER EDMUND BOND (37096013)

Date: 2/22/2018 9:08:48 AM

Subject: Back In The CMU

Message:

I was transferred from solitary confinement in FCI Greenville Tuesday, the 13th of February, 2018. According to my notice of transfer I am here because “On December 4th, 2017, the SIS office at FCI Greenville completed an investigation and determined that on November 15, 2017, you enlisted the help of the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, (NAALPO relays anonymous communiques, photos and videos to the media about direct action undertaken by radical animal rights activists) to encourage members of the public to e-mail and call FCI Greenville, in order to disrupt normal operations in an effort to pressure the executive staff to agree to several demands to address perceived grievances you have with the institution and the Bureau Of Prisons. Utilizing the inmate telephone system, you provided a recorded message which was released as a podcast, announcing your intention to engage in a hunger strike, outlining your grievances and encouraging supporters to contact the institution in support of your demands. To deter your continued attempts of using inmate communications to convey threats to injure and/or kill civilians; it is recommended that you be placed in a Communications Management Unit (CMU) for increased monitoring of your communications to protect the safety, security and good order of BOP institutions, government officials and the public.” Continue reading

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Walter Bond has been transferred to the Terre Haute CMU

Walter Bond has been transferred to the Terre Haute CMU.

Here is his new mailing address:

Walter Bond
37096-013
FCI Terre Haute CMU
PO Box 33
Terre Haute IN 47808

If you recently wrote to Walter at the Greenville Illinois prison address, your letter will probably be forwarded to the new address. If your letter is returned in the mail, just re-send it to the new address.

Thank you to all the supporters who have sent funds for Walter over the last few months while he was on hunger strike and later while he was in the SHU. Now that he is no longer in the SHU and transferred to a new location, your donations will be put to good use.

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Seventh anniversary of Walter Bond’s sentencing in Denver Colorado on Feb 11, 2011

Sheepskin Factory
WALTER EDMUND BOND (37096013)
1/12/2017 12:35:24 PM
Feb. 11

At the time I wrote this statement it’s really impossible to convey accurately what life was like for me at the time. Although before my incarceration I was an activist for Animal Rights and Veganism I was never a visible person within the movement. I worked in a local health food store. on the weekends I worked for an Animal sanctuary and I tabled events in my spare time teaching people about the Animal’s plight and the ethics behind Veganism (not just about the food).

In late April of 2010 I burned down the sheepskin factory in Denver and never again would my life be the same…. I don’t feel the same. It no longer matters to me if I can change the world, I don’t spend long hours ranting and raving about how terrible my non-Vegan family or friends are or how they just don’t get it. I don’t waste my time or emotional energy crying over the cruelties of this world. And I don’t give up on, or compromise Animal Liberation because I can’t change things single handedly. These are the unfortunate phases that many who come into this movement go through. A kind of activist burnout ritual that is both superficial and selfish.

It’s not about crying all the time for Animals, Being angry on their behalf, or inventing a new line of feel good Vegan crap to make consumers and companies feel the activist fever. It’s not about me in this prison, or how you, I, or we feel about anything! It’s about positive action that saves Animal’s lives today! that stop their exploitation and enslavement today! no matter what we feel like or think about it! Continue reading

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Essay received via postal mail from Walter Bond

Essay received via postal mail from Walter Bond
(dated December 14, 2017, postmarked January 23, 2018, received on January 29, 2018)

A month ago I got locked up in solitary confinement for going on hunger strike. I didn’t eat for a week until I could get some resolution on my Vegan diet and my mail in a timely manner. I was appeased enough for me to come off hunger strike but by no means did I achieve anything like an unequivocal meeting of my demands. Not at all surprising in the federal prison system the ultimate bureaucracy. And not at all surprising is the fact that I have been referred back to the highly repressive and suppressive CMU unit. A so-called counterterrorism prison unit of which I have already done over 3 years. And it would not even surprise me if they sent me somewhere worse than I’ve ever been. I mean, I had the audacity to demand food and mail, the horror!

So here I sit in the hole. The last time I was here was Father’s Day after seeing a friend, a Puerto Rican, just like me, stabbed in the stomach. And the ensuing fight that broke out. The time before that it was the hole inside the CMU after I broke my hand on someone’s very deserving face. I was refused medical treatment for the telescopic fracture in my hand, although the doctor did tell me to aim with my top two knuckles next time.

In the last 7 odd years I have seen stabbings, beatings with locks, razor blade attacks, etc. Prison’s not a pretty place. So here I reside in my concrete box. I have no idea for how long maybe another month, maybe a year. It’s not my call it’s the systems and they have hated me ever since I showed defiance in the courtroom on sentencing day in Denver, Colorado.

I remember in my statement I said “prison is no great hardship to me.” And you know what’s changed since then….. not a fucking thing! Not one fucking thing! Continue reading

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The Roots of Compassion by Walter Bond (Jan 2014)

WALTER BOND (37096013)
1/16/2014 7:55:37 AM
The Roots Of Compassion

According to the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 11th edition the definition of the word “compassion” is: “Sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it”. Very well, by the definition thus given we see right off the bat that compassion is more than just a feeling, or a pretentious connection with others’ pain. It is far more than a buzzword to be bandied about in the name of a cause.

Compassion is the precursor to acting on behalf of another’s well being. Without this “desire to alleviate another’s distress” we don’t have compassion, we have sympathy. And sympathy is really more about our own feelings towards another than any serious desire to help. It’s not my intention to split hairs or play games with words. However, far too much of what we hear today when it comes to the rights, welfare and liberation of Animals and the Earth is just that, wordplay.

In reality when you go to a Vegan restaurant or wear a t-shirt with an Animal Rights message (even the ‘radical’ ones) the Animals aren’t thanking you. The Animals are in cages, behind walls, on their way to slaughter or suffering from the nefarious designs of human exploitation. The male chicks thrown into the grinders because they can’t lay eggs aren’t thanking you or me for anything. They are dying and wishing that they were living, just as we all wish to live. Continue reading

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Patterns of Oppression by Walter Bond (Feb 2014)

WALTER EDMUND BOND (37096013)
2/18/2014 10:11:58 AM
Patterns Of Oppression


Whenever we the human race set about oppressing another group from within or from outside our own species the justifications we use are not only similar in design but often times exact verbatim. There is a fairly intricate pathology to how we determine the otherness of different groups. Unfortunately, it is far too complex for the scope of this slim essay. However, I would like to highlight a couple prime examples that I have come across in my years as an activist for the liberation of Animals and the Earth, as well as my experience as a political prisoner because of that fight.

I will say from the outset that what I am making are correlations of the way in which various groups are oppressed, along with the arbitrary justifications for those oppressions. But these are in no way comparisons. Animals suffer worse injustices in vastly greater numbers than any segment of humanity. The annual death toll due to war in the middle east is roughly 91,000. For people murdered by the police it’s between 500 and 1000 annually. There are currently over 2,300,000 imprisoned in the United States. This is nothing compared to the annual confinement, torture and murder of: 9,500,000,000 Chickens, 100,000,000 Pigs and 70,000,000 Animals in laboratories!

That said, one major thing we do in order to feel comfortable oppressing a group deemed as other is to infantilize them. We do this with Animals in a myriad of ways. We take domesticated Animals and baby talk to them as if they were an ‘itty bitty widdle bawby’! Even though these creatures have, in certain arenas, aptitudes that are far beyond our own. Sure your dog or cat cannot read Shakespeare but neither can you smell a foot print and tell the age of its maker. Nor can we see in the dark, fall from several stories and walk away unharmed and many other amazing aptitudes and abilities that are shared by canines and felines. Continue reading

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Reposting of “The Cruelty of Industrial Technology”


Walter Bond sent a letter asking us to repost this essay from June 2013.
____________________________________________________________
WALTER EDMUND BOND (37096013)
6/25/2013 2:40:01 PM
The Cruelty of Industrial Technology

There is no brutality as wicked as systematic cruelty, and systematic cruelty only becomes widespread by aid of technology. When I was a young man before and leading up to my Vegan awakening I built slaughterhouses. Industrial plumbing, welding. structural steel and machine installation were my daily routines. One of those machines was called ‘the beater’. The beater is a 10’x10′ stainless steel monster. It is one in a series of machines set in a row and dedicated night and day to the disembodying process of hogs.

After a 500 pound hog has had his or her throat cut and been hung upside down to bleed to death, he or she then gets disemboweled by a series of slaughterhouse workers evenly dispersed along the kill floor. After disembowelment is complete all organs are sent to another area of the kill floor via stainless steel trays rolling on a conveyor belt. The next part of the process is what’s called the ‘hog bath’ (which I also installed). The hog bath is a 50 foot scalding hot tubular bathtub that the hog carcasses go through mainly to slacken the skin to be peeled, salted and stacked. But before that happens, the now dead and hollow remains of a once living and feeling being must go through ‘the beater’.

The inside of the beater is similar in design to a car wash except the rollers all stand vertically and are on immobile swing arms. There are four spindles on each side and each spindle contains five, six foot metal lengths, each six inches wide and known as ‘strapping’. Every six inches on center running the length of the strapping is a bolt. Around each bolt is a large nylon rope with a loop and two knots that hang out of the strapping approximately 18 inches. When the machine is operational the spindles whirl with incredible torque and the nylon knots beat the hair of the hogs dead and softened skin.

One must always lock and tag out the electricity box while working inside the beater so that it is not possible to start it by accident while anyone is inside. Failure to do this has actually ended with workers being beaten to death while working inside the beater. Since all the strapping and bolts are made of stainless steel, impact drills cannot be used for quick assembly because stainless steel binds. What this means is that someone must individually set every single nylon rope and screw the bolts down by hand. That person was me in 1995 in Logansport, Indiana. It took me five 12 hour shifts to complete the task. Continue reading

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