reposted from It’s Going Down
Welcome, to This Is America, September 27th, 2018.
In this episode we bring you two interviews from the Pacific Northwest, the first with someone that reports on the unfolding struggle in Olympia, Washington against the anti-homeless initiatives by the city to shut down a public park. This weekend, people opened the space back up and were violently repressed by the police who used flash bangs and other projectile weapons in broad daylight.
We also talk with two organizers in Portland about a recent occupation on the Portland State University campus that is calling for the disarming of campus police, a campaign that has been put into motion after the police murder of Jason Washington. During the interview we talk about how the campaign began, how it has been influenced by recent high profile acts of police brutality against antifascist protesters as well as the Abolish ICE movement, we discuss how police have attempted to repress students on campus who have taken action against rapists, and much more.
But first, let’s get some headlines.
Trump That Regime
Content warning, we will be discussing the situation with Kavanaugh and sexual assault.
As of this writing, four women have come forward stating that Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assault them during his high school and college years, a period in which many of his former friends say that he was often highly intoxicated. Kavanaugh and Trump have responded to these claims by painting them as part of a vast conspiracy to “destroy his good name.” The third person that has come forward however has a sworn affidavit, and has stated:
Kavanaugh and others, while in high school, spiked the drinks of girls at parties to make it easier for them to be gang raped.
“I witnessed Brett Kavanaugh consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women during the early 1980s,” Swetnick says in her statement, which she signed under penalty of perjury.
As many have already pointed out, Kavanaugh is meant to be used as a battering ram against women’s productive freedoms, and as someone that will “legislate morality,” while he now stands accused of numerous counts of attempted rape and sexual assault.
Meanwhile, marches, sit-ins, and protests remain on going against Kavanaugh.
In immigration news:
“The Trump administration is proposing a new regulation that would make it extremely difficult for many immigrants to come to the US or receive green cards if they’re deemed likely to use public benefits like food stamps or Medicaid.”
“As in 1929 and 2008, debt bubbles eventually burst. We’re getting dangerously close. By the first quarter of this year, household debt was at an all-time high of $13.2 trillion.
Almost 80 percent of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. In a recent Federal Reserve survey, 40 percent of Americans said they wouldn’t be able to pay their bills if faced with a $400 emergency. The underlying problem isn’t that Americans have been living beyond their means. It’s that their means haven’t been keeping up with the growing economy. Most gains have gone to the top.
Ten years after Lehman Bros. collapsed, it’s important to understand that the real root of the Great Recession wasn’t a banking crisis. It was the growing imbalance between consumer spending and total output, brought on by stagnant wages and widening inequality.”
Lastly, in the face of potential Keystone XL protests, The Guardian writes:
“[D]ocuments suggest…that police were organizing to launch an aggressive response to possible Keystone protests, echoing the actions against the Standing Rock movement in North Dakota. ”
The path of the project, which was revived by Donald Trump last year, would cross dozens of rivers and streams and run near a number of Native American reservations, sparking legal challenges and a judge’s recent order for a full environmental review. If the pipeline gets final approvals and construction advances in the coming months, some are anticipating massive demonstrations similar to the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline (Dapl). That conflict galvanized a global movement, but also led to FBI monitoring and the prolonged prosecution of hundreds of activists.
Documents obtained by the ACLU of Montana and reviewed by the Guardian have renewed concerns from civil rights advocates about the government’s treatment of indigenous activists known as water protectors.
Notably, one record revealed that authorities hosted a recent “anti-terrorism” training session in Montana. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency also organized a “field force operations” training to teach “mass-arrest procedures”, “riot-control formations” and other “crowd-control methods”.”
This reality blows any bed-time stories we are told of a “free market” or separation between corporations and the State right out of the water. This government is a protection racket for the ruling class, and will act in defense of the infrastructure that keeps industrial capitalism alive, which in turn, is also killing the planet. As always, the biggest threat to the State is not a foreign body, nation, or group, but instead, the potential for insurgency within the supposed borders of the State itself. Instead of fixing any of the problems that we can all list off, from crumbling water infrastructure to drug overdoses to lack of housing, the State is busy arming its troops, to defend the black snake, against us.
In that spirit of resistance, let’s get to the news.
Living and Fighting
- Autonomous Student Media out of Austin, Texas has a brand new column, check it out on their site here.
- A chapter of Redneck Revolt has released a great report back on strategy in regards to where chapters in the Southern states want to build towards, which includes organizing in the labor movement in a post-Janus world, autonomous disaster relief, and community self defense. In closing they wrote:
“We must bear well in mind that no progressives from the academic ivory towers of the liberal urban centers of the Northeast or West Coast are going to come to the South to “save” the southern working class. It is the task of ALL elements of the southern working class regardless of color, sexuality or gender identity, to unite together in the face of the reality that our local governments, local old-moneyed blue blood oligarchs and wealthy gentrifying carpetbaggers will not save us from a constant barrage of natural disasters, bigotry-fueled violence or institutionalized poverty. If we want the South to become more fair and equal for ALL of the working class in the south we must defend each other in our own communities and organize the southern working class to fight and win!”
“Come visit Tiny House Warriors village at Blue River, Unceded Secwepemc Territory, site of a proposed Kinder Morgan 1000-worker man camp.
Man camps provide temporary housing to thousands of mostly non-Indigenous male workers in the resource sector. Reports show direct correlations between these encampments and violence against women.
The Tiny House Warriors: Our Land is Home is a part of a mission to stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline from crossing unceded Secwepemc Territory.
Ten tiny houses will be built and placed strategically along the 518 km Trans Mountain pipeline route to assert Secwepemc Law, title and jurisdiction and block access to this pipeline.”
- On September 21st, UNC students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina held a rally to demand that the charges against antiracist protesters be dropped in the wake of the coming down of the Silent Sam statue.
- Great Plains Resistance shuts down Line 3 pipeline construction again, this time in so-called Manitoba, Ontario.
- In Chicago, people held a demonstration outside of an LGBTQ job fair in order to protest the non-profit Heartland, which has been exposed as incarcerating migrant children torn from their families at the US border. Little Village Solidarity Network wrote:
“Heartland Alliance, which operates child detention centers in the Chicago area, had its job fair recruitment efforts disrupted on 9/12. It was a success—they ended up packing up early!”
Protesters again mobilized against Heartland at future dates, however, they were no shows.
- IWOC reported:
“Strike activity now confirmable at Corcoran, CA; a group instructed us to keep their commissary boycott quiet til now. Just for boycotting, they are now on modified lockdown, had programming & education cut, and had their shitty jobs taken away.”
- The West Virginia chapter of the IWW reports in antifascist news:
“On-the-ground and online actions have forced the Patriots of Appalachia to, in their words, “rebrand” themselves. Flyering and leafleting has been down since our joint mutual campaigns with
@HollerNetwork and @epwvdsa began.”
- In so-called Ontario, tens of thousands of students walked out of class in response to cuts to sex-education. Checkout an audio interview with students about the walk-out here on No Borders Media.
- On September 22nd, West Virginia IWW had a bonfire with copies of The Nationalist Times, a neo-Nazi paper distributed to local residents.
- In Austin, after a “Free Alex Jones” rally flopped, bringing out only 70 or so local far-Right organizers joined with Patriot Prayer from Washington and groups of Proud Boys, the trolls took the streets to harass African-American youth at the local Pecan festival. As the SPLC wrote:
“After a poorly attended rally of about 60 to 70 people earlier in the day, which featured Alex Jones himself as a last-minute surprise guest, right-wing demonstrators took their signs, their message and a bullhorn to the Pecan Street Festival and began, as one organizer put it on Facebook, “trolling 6th” street. Soon after they arrived, Toese, Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson and others in the group began what appears in Shroyer’s video to be an animated discussion with three young men. According to commentary in the video, demonstrators were upset by their Obama hats, which Shroyer insisted they wore on purpose “just to trigger you,” and they also objected to one man’s sweatshirt, which featured the name and likeness of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
When two of the men retreat into the store behind them to escape the confrontation, Toese flies into a rage. “You think you a badass? You think you a badass? Get out here!” he yells. “Why you standing there like a little bitch? Bring your ass here, then! Let’s see, let’s see who the little bitch is!” “I’ll blow through your fuckin window!” he said, and then two police officers intervened and removed him from the fray.”
NW RASH wrote on Twitter that on the livestream, Tiny also claimed to be a member of the “SOS (Sons of Samoa) Crips, a gang known for sex trafficking, meth dealing, robbery, & murder.”
- Knoxville Radical Alliance wrote:
“[This weekend], Mike Pence and Marsha Blackburn canceled a fundraiser that folx protested, Shieldwall Network [a neo-Nazi group] never showed up despite saying they would defend conservatives [at a CPAC conference] from “antifa.””
- The Leonard Peltier Freedom Ride arrived at FCC Coleman where Peltier is locked up and held a rally and ceremony outside.
- Gay Shame and Defend Boyle Heights held an anti-condo and anti-techie march through San Francisco’s Mission District.
- In Boston, local anarchists held an ‘Anarchy in the Park’ event, with free zines and ice cream.
- On September 23rd, Water Protectors shared on Twitter that over the weekend while they were fighting the Bayou Bridge pipeline in Louisiana, their car tires were slashed. Please, see how to donate on the flyer below:
- In Minneapolis, a colonial statue was again vandalized. The communique posted to Conflict MN wrote:
“At least a few times in the month of September, the so-called “Pioneers” statute was repainted in red. Bright lights nearly also were covered in red during at least one occasion. As long as these racist statutes remain on display here and elsewhere, may they be toppled, repainted, dismantled and destroyed.”
- Autonomous Disaster Relief volunteer in Lumberton wrote in an update:
“Lumberton is home to the lumbee tribe of about 60,000 people, mostly living in surrounding counties, for the past 300 years, since moving into this area escaping the brutal colonialism of the coast.
people here tell me that much of the community still hasn’t recovered from hurricane matthew two years ago. some families who lost everything during that storm struggled to put their lives back together only to lose everything again last week. for them, the need will long outlive the flood.
FEMA and other government agencies will not declare this region a disaster area, but for anyone who comes here, the disaster is clear. I haven’t seen the red cross, or any other “major” organizations at all here. in fact, on a run to pick up supplies from an autonomously organized airdrop from the regional airport, two military guys standing by there asked if they could help load up. they told us they have to stay at the airport, with their shipments of government aid, and await orders. they said it felt nice to be useful.
what aid is here has been undertaken on a grassroots level by members of the community, and a rotating group of out of town volunteers, many of whom have been in the impacted areas since days before the storm, preparing staging grounds for relief. the solidarity has been beautiful and overwhelming, but the need is even greater than the resources available to those people.”
- Several massive strikes lay just on the horizon. As the Wall Street Journal wrote:
In Seattle, a large strike by crane operators recently has come to an end, while earlier this month hotel workers in Chicago also launched a strike, as did teachers across the Pacific Northwest.
- In Haiti, mass demonstrations against government corruption continue.
- In Tacoma and beyond, the struggle against the Northwest Detention Center continues. On September 23rd, people demonstrated outside of SeaTac prison to call for them to end their contact with ICE. As one report wrote:
“Yesterday at SeaTac Prison. The Bureau of Prisons hasn’t stopped their contract with ICE, and we won’t stop showing up until they do. ”
For daily updates, see the NWDC Resistance Facebook page here.
- Also on September 23rd, it was announced that the League of the South was cancelling their September 29th rally.
- On September 24th, antifascist protesters drove Texas politician and Trump shill Ted Cruz out of a posh Washington DC restaurant.
- Mutual Aid Disaster Relief reported:
“We have lost a devoted volunteer, friend, comrade, organizer, and fearless freedom fighter. Syd [Eastman] engaged in mutual aid relief efforts in Florida after Hurricane Irma and in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Syd, you are with us. And we continue to struggle that much harder to realize the world you spent your life fighting for.”
- Antifascists in Montreal destroyed fascist posters.
- Sit-in begins at Yale Law School “in silent protest over allegations that Brett Kavanaugh assaulted at least 2 women.”
- Mass #DisarmPSU march and occupation begins in Portland, leading to an ongoing occupation of the campus.
- On September 25th, Idavox reported that Steve Smith, the neo-Nazi skinhead organizer of Keystone State Skinheads is still employed at a Pennsylvania chocolate company despite a call-in campaign. However, the company has put out a statement saying they are reviewing the information. This means that calls are needed now more than ever!
- In Philly, a rowdy demonstration, complete with “Chinga La Migra” banners and free taco giveaways took place outside of “Illegal Tacos,” as a swarm of people denounced the racist presentation of the store.
- Posters from the neo-Nazi group Patriot Front were destroyed by Appalachian antifascists in Mount Hope, West Virginia.
- On September 26th, Kurdish, anarchist groups, and those in support of the Rojava Revolution turned out for a demonstration in New York against a speaking event featuring Erdogan.
- The tree-sit in the Hellbender Autonomous Zone is now 22 days old, and the folks at Appalachians Against Pipelines continue to release almost daily updates from the trees. Check them out here. As of this recording there is a call for a mobilization in support of the tree sitters, as MVP workers look to be gearing up to remove them.
- Lastly in Mexico City, a mass march was held for the 43 disappeared students of Ayotzinapa.
- Saturday, September 29th: Benefit for antifa arrestees and medical expenses in Portland, OR.
- Saturday, September 29th: Mobilization against Joey Gibson and American Guard white nationalists at Kent State in Ohio. More info here.
- Sunday, September 30th: Anti-gentrification free store at Leimert Park in Los Angeles. 2 – 6 PM. More info here.
- Thursday, October 4th: Mass mobilization in solidarity with PSU occupation and to demand police be disarmed at PSU. 8:30 AM to 12: 30 PM. Academic and Student Recreation Center (ASRC), University Boardroom, Suite 515, 1800 SW 6th Avenue, Portland.
- Monday, October 8th: Trial for the Vaughn 17 begins. The first trial will begin at the Leonard L. Williams Justice Center in Wilmington, DE. More info here.
- October 19th – 22nd: Gathering in West Virginia to discuss ongoing resistance to pipelines in Appalachia.
- Saturday, October 6th: Mobilization against Alt-Right ‘Resist Marxism’ group returning to Providence, Rhode Island. More info here.
- Saturday, October 20th: Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the LA chapter of the Anarchist Black Cross federation. Going down in La Puente, CA.