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This Is America #13: #OccupyICE encampment in Tacoma

From It’s Going Down

Welcome to This Is America, June 25th, 2018.

In this episode we are joined with someone at the #OccupyICE encampment in Tacoma, Washington, but first, let’s get to the news.

Trump That Regime

Following a trajectory much like that of after the Great Depression that helped set the stage for World War II, the United States has continued to push for an “economic nationalist” line of protectionism and trade tariffs. As one report wrote:

The United States, invoking “national security,” has imposed tariffs of up to 25 percent on steel and aluminium imports from the European Union, Canada, and Japan. The EU will today impose retaliatory tariffs, and Canada is likewise preparing to impose tariffs on the United States.

…the economic warfare being conducted by the United States is bound up with the drive to reduce China to the status of an economic semi-colony, and this agenda will be imposed by military means if necessary.

As if right on cue:

Senate Democrats joined Republicans this week to approve a massive expansion of the US military as demanded by President Donald Trump. Congressional action on the near-record Pentagon budget is taking place behind a veil of silence, with no public discussion and virtually no media coverage.

The cost to working-class tax payers will be massive:

The so-called “John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019”, which passed the Senate 85-10 Monday after having been approved by the House of Representatives in May, allocates $716 billion for the Defense Department, an increase of $82 billion.

Whatever the costs to the vast majority of the public, the Trump administration pushes forward, and with House approval, helped slash $23 billion dollars from food stamps, and is currently discussing consolidating the departments of Labor and Education. The military budget also means the funds for domestic repressive forces will increase, along with nuclear arms and weapons construction.

But as both Democrats and Republicans push to slash millions from the poor, recent studies point towards mass wealth concentration only continuing to become more and more consolidated, with millennials and aging baby boomers hit the hardest. One recent report found that seniors ready to retire:

[H]ave seen their median incomes stagnate and even decrease, reversing the pattern that had prevailed since the post-World War II era.

The reality is that instead of retiring, many older Americans will be forced to remain in their jobs after age 70 or take jobs for which they are overqualified to supplement their meager retirement income and savings. These older workers will find themselves in competition with younger workers for low-wage, temporary and part-time employment.

But while the vast majority of us are facing a future defined by growing poverty, declining health and life expectancy standards, as well as global warming, one new study found that by 2030, the richest one 1% is on track to own more and 2/3 of all of the world’s wealth. Leading to fears from some elites that this reality will only “fuel growing distrust and anger over the coming decade unless action is taken to restore the balance.”

Amidst both the rise of the American security State and increasing stratification within our society, we are also seeing rising attacks on migrants across the world as an easy scapegoat to the problems faced by Western nation-States such as the US. According to a US Navy memo that was released to TIME, the US is set to house tens of thousands of migrants in both Northern and Southern California as well as Alabama and Arizona.

As TIME wrote:

The Navy memo outlines plans to build “temporary and austere” tent cities to house 25,000 migrants at abandoned airfields just outside the Florida panhandle near Mobile, Alabama, at Navy Outlying Field Wolf in Orange Beach, Alabama, and nearby Navy Outlying Field Silverhill.

The memo also proposes a camp for as many as 47,000 people at former Naval Weapons Station Concord, near San Francisco; and another facility that could house as many as 47,000 people at Camp Pendleton, the Marines’ largest training facility located along the Southern California coast. The planning memo proposes further study of housing an undetermined number of migrants at the Marine Corps Air Station near Yuma, Arizona.

With that in mind, now, let’s turn to the growing #OccupyICE movement.

#OccupyICE Continues To Grow as Mass Protests Continue

  • Portland: It was an eventful day in Portland. Members of DHS began the day by handing out flyers that said that anyone blocking entrances to the establishment or driveways would be subject to arrest. In response, occupiers put up flyers telling DHS it was in fact illegal to kidnap children.
  • Much like arrests during Occupy, this helped law a weak legal excuse reasoning for the police later to fall back upon. This evening, DHS agents reportedly open fire with pepper-balls on the crowd holding signs outside of their building, and then closed the doors again. Rose City Antifa reported on Twitter:

Two rounds of pepper balls were fired at occupiers. Now they have stopped. It seems like they are not trying to clear the camp but singled out those building a barricade.

  • Occupiers remain on the scene by re-enforcements are encouraged.
  • Tacoma: See our interview later in the show for a more in-depth update, but the encampment outside of the Northwest Detention Center is growing. At one point today, ICE almost hit protesters as a vehicle drove out of the facility and through a group of demonstrators.

  • San Diego: Reports of street blockades as well as drivers attempting to run over protesters.
  • Los Angeles: The occupation outside of the ICE facility in LA continues, but organizers are requesting more people come out.
  • New York: Occupiers in New York were successful in shutting down ICE operations for the day. More bodies are needed, but the encampment remains steady and growing.
  • Detroit: Blockades of ICE vehicles entering facility.
  • Mass protests continued in McAllen, Texas, where migrant children are being separated from their families. Mass marches also took place in San Diego.

And now, resistance and repression news.

Living and Fighting

  • The June 25th day in solidarity with J20, Standing Rock, and other political defendants all facing repression was a success. Anarcho-syndicalist and anarchist groups took action across 5 countries, including the US, Canada, Switzerland, German, and Spain. Expect a roundup with photos soon on IGD.
  • Anti-Line 3 and anti-pipeline banners were dropped in Minneapolis, MN.
  • In San Francisco, anti-ICE banners were dropped.

  • Former members of the NSM, TWP, and other neo-Nazis attempted to rally against PRIDE in Knoxville, but were quickly surrounded and laughed at.
  • “Hate Preachers” at Seattle PRIDE were also quickly shown the door by antifascists.
  • People continue to rally and organize in East Pittsburgh against the police murder of Antwon Rose. Also on June 23rd, police murdered a man in north Minneapolis, Unicorn Riot was on the scene and reported that those in the community who witnessed the killing claim that he was unarmed, protests soon followed. Check UR for more updates.
  • Forest defenders and Earth First!ers announce a new blockade and campaign to prevent logging in the Mattole forest of Northern California. Updates and more info here.