This Is America #22: Pop Mob on Mass Community Defense in PDX

From It’s Going Down

Welcome, to This Is America, August 3rd, 2018.

There’s a lot happening this weekend. Starting today, people in Tacoma are calling for backup in the face of threats from Patriot Prayer that they will disrupt and attack those protesting outside the ICE facility.

In Portland on Saturday, a massive popular mobilization, or the “Pop Mob” is coming together on Saturday, in order to support the community defense work of antifascists and also to counter en masse the Patriot Prayer rally happening along the waterfront. It is unknown how many people are going to show up in support of Patriot Prayer, however they have been promoted heavily on InfoWars and other platforms, and we know that members of the far-Right and the Alt-Right are mobilizing across the country to attend.

Also on Saturday in Providence, Rhode Island, people are coming together to counter “Resist Marxism,” a pan-far-Right group which includes out right neo-Nazis.

The next day in Berkeley, California, people are gathering to confront Proud Boys and other far-Right supporters who are set to rally. Many far-Right supporters are expected to travel from Portland to Berkeley as well.

These rallies will set the tone for the upcoming Unite the Right demonstrations in Charlottesville and DC, which will then be followed by rallies organized by Resist Marxism on August 18th. In other words, it’s important that we all not only support these mobilizations, but do everything we can to make them big, successful, and keep each other as safe as possible.

As we recently argued in a larger text, the far-Right is attempting to reconstitute a broad street fighting force who’s principle aims are to attack whatever is seen as ‘the Left,’ and support the Trump presidency. At the same time, the Trumpian State moves to support grassroots far-Right movements more and more, while under the pressure of the Mueller investigation (not that we place any hope or faith in the Democrats or FBI) becomes more and more unstable and afraid.

With our eyes towards this weekend, we present the following interview with someone from Pop Mob, or Popular Mobilization, which was formed after the violent Proud Boy and Patriot Prayer rally on June 30th. Pop Mob is a broad coalition of faith, community, labor, and antiracist groups which are uniting to mobilize against the Patriot Prayer rally on August 4th.

But first, let’s get to the news!

Living and Fighting

  • #OccupyICE in Sacramento, California was cleared, however actions remain ongoing.
  • In Tacoma, Washington, people came out to protest a tattoo parlor run by neo-Nazis.
  • #OccupyICE in San Antonio Texas keeps going strong, organizing actions against ICE after an attempted attack by the neo-Nazi group, Patriot Front, which is a “Patriot” version of Vanguard America, the group connected to the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville in August, 2017. Members of Patriot Front came to the camp last weekend, knocking over several items before leaving as a group. People at the camp report that only a few cooler were damaged and things quickly returned to normal.
  • In Philly, after the #OccupyICE encampment was evicted, another camp, led by houseless African-American organizers, was established, in part to combat stop and frisk policies used by the police. Arrests and repression soon followed, specifically on July 31st when police brutally attacked a march, however action continues and a new encampment is now being set up and supplies are needed.
  • Picket actions continued in Detriot against ICE, in San Francisco #OccupyICE held a vigil as did Portland, in Tacoma noise demonstrations continued day in and day out, in LA, #OccupyICE celebrated over 43 days, and in Denver, lockdowns against ICE were carried out, leading to several arrests.
  • In Chicago, the Autonomous Tenants Union along with the newly formed Kimball Tenants Union held a rally and a press conference addressing horrible conditions at Stark Holdings apartments.
  • In the LA area, people organized an anti-gentrification free store that was very well attended.
  • Fascist, Alt-Right, and neo-Nazi stickers, flyers, and graffit was cleaned up and destroyed in a variety of cities including Berkeley, Beckley, and Denver.
  • In Vancouver, Canada, people painted a mural to honor Nia Wilson.
  • Actions continued against the Mountain Valley Pipeline in Appalachia, with lockdowns and protests.
  • Actions also continued against the Bayou Bridge pipeline, as lockdowns and protests continue to delay construction. In other big news, a new tree sit has been launched that is now into its third week. Groups like FANG have also been busy carrying out solidarity actions outside of banks.
  • On Tuesday, a wildcat strike took place in Dangerfield, Indianapolis when, and the video of it has gone viral. As one report wrote:

a small number of Latino workers (millwrights, welders, and conveyor installers, in his telling) working for a different contractor but in the same hub were ordered home after disobeying the orders of a white boss he calls racist.

In response, the entire group of workers — over a hundred, in Dangerfield’s estimation — walked out.

  • In the LA region of Southern California, rent strikes continue, with more and more tenant groups starting to take action. In Portland, a rent strike was also launched.
  • In LA, banners were dropped in support of the #PrisonStrike. See IGD for support events happening across the US.
  • In some great news, Glo Merriweather from the had their charges dropped by the Mecklenburg District Attorney! The fight continues however, with other comrades still facing charges.
  • In New York, after neo-Nazis from Identity Evropa did a banner drop and a flash demo, hundreds poured out to rally against them.
  • Marches and protests took place in Minneapolis after police were let off the hook for the killing of Thurman Blevins.
  • Water Protector and political prisoner Red Fawn has a new address, please write to her! Also, a very happy birthday to anarchist prisoner, Eric King!
  • A neo-Nazi in Asheville with ties to the Traditionalist Worker Party has been fired! Thanks to local antifascists who alerted the community.

Workers at Tata Steel Minerals’ Schefferville mine, near the Labrador-Quebec border, have been sent home after a blockade was set up by members of a local First Nations community.

Five hundred fathers being held in an immigration detention facility in Texas after reunification with their children announced a hunger strike Wednesday, out of frustration and despair over being “restrained from our freedom as human beings,” as one father put it.

The fathers involved in the strike planned to sit down in three public “patio” areas within the Karnes Residential Facility, one of the family detention centers in Texas in which reunited families are being held, and refuse food. Their children have also agreed to a modified strike in which they refuse to participate in activities.

That is gonna do it for us today, see you in the streets!