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Oct 4, 15

All the News You Didn’t Even Know Was Going Down

It continues to go down across Mexico. Massive protests took place on the anniversary of the disappearance of 43 Normalista students in Ayotzinapa. Further protests drew connections between the state repression of the Mexican student movement in 1968 with what is happening currently. The ongoing demonstrations and clashes with the government and police have pointed to a deep seeded and growing rift between the population and those in power, making many believe that Mexico is on the brink of revolution. The response by the government has been only to declare the students officially dead and place blame on several construction workers they pegged as cartel enforcers for the students’ deaths. Many investigations and reports have disputed the governments claims as flat out lies. Non-stop organizing by the parents and supporters of the 43 have sought to gain support for the search for the students and also draw connections between aid from the United States to the Mexican state to train police forces. As one mother of a disappeared Ayotzinapa student stated:

“The government of the United States has to see that it is sending money and resources to Mexico that are being used to murder and disappear Mexican citizens.”

In Mexico City, anarchists and other militants clashed with riot police and threw molotov cocktails:

In other cities, other groups of anarchists took part in more major demonstrations, both to commemorate the 43 and also for anniversary of the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre. Check out this footage in Oaxaca:

In Cancun:

Also in Mexico, people threw down against a mining project, blocking roads and an airport.

In the United States, militants in the Pacific Northwest were also busy. In West Olympia, the police station was attacked with nearly all of the windows being broken out, graffiti painted on the walls, and glue was placed in the locks. According to one report:

“We believe that they were either listening to our radio traffic or watching the station, waiting for the patrol cars to leave,” Lower said.

The windows appear to have been broken using rocks, baseball bats and jars of paint, he said. All of the outside locks were filled with glue, and the suspects also applied glue around the edges of one door in a possible attempt to seal it shut. The graffiti spelled out anti-police messages such as ACAB, which stands for all cops are bastards. Other graffiti included anarchy symbols, and a message that reads, “no charges.”

Another report wrote:

Anti-police messages were also spray-painted on the outside walls, police said. One of them read “No charges.” That’s prompted some to believe the vandalism may be in retaliation to the decision not to charge officer Ryan Donald in connection with an officer-involved shooting in May.

In Seattle, animal liberationists fighting the construction of an animal testing lab took to the streets against the project.

Also in Seattle, anarchists announced plans to gather and demonstrate as a bloc on October 22nd, historically a day when cities across the US protest police brutality. Although generally the demonstrations on O22 have been organized by the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) and their associated front groups, anarchists in the past have taken the initiative and used the day to mobilize their own forces. Good luck Seattle!

Also going down in the Pacific Northwest, people continued to rally against an LNG natural gas-pipeline. More protests across the US also attacked pipelines and called for various projects to be shut down.

Global assclowns Shell Oil announced that they will be pulling out of the Arctic in the face of mounting pressure. According to The Guardian

Its decision, which has been welcomed by environmental campaigners, follows disappointing results from an exploratory well drilled 80 miles off Alaska’s north-west coast. Shell said it had found oil and gas but not in sufficient quantities.

The move is a major climbdown for the Anglo-Dutch group which had talked up the prospects of oil and gas in the region. Shell has spent about $7bn (£4.6bn) on Arctic offshore development in the hope there would be deposits worth pursuing, but now says operations are being ended for the “foreseeable future.” Shell is expected to take a hit of around $4.1bn as a result of the decision.

Indigenous militants continued to disrupt test drilling near Lelu Island by a Los Angeles based contractor. According to action report on Warrior Publications:

We followed them to the dock at Port Edward where they were told again that they were not permitted on Lelu Island. They refused to identify which company they worked for and aggressively insisted that they were authorized to work on Lelu. A second boat, Tymac 7, from Vancouver, arrived at the dock with what appeared to be 6-8 drill workers and technicians. After the Tymac left the dock and the surveyors returned to their vehicles we left to continue our regular patrol of the area.

Later in the day, at 4pm, without warning, Petronas contractor vessel Glacial Mist, along with Port Authority boat the Charles Hays, entered the cove by our base camp to lay down what appeared to be underwater high voltage cable. Two of our skiffs intercepted them and chased them off but they continued to lay electrical cable in the shallow water in another cove west of the camp. This cable will be exposed during low tide and visitors to the island should be cautious until the cables are removed.

Also, a big shout out to Warrior Publications who has new shirts in. Snag one and help them out!

In Northern California (yaaa-yaey), hundreds rallied in the small town of Mount Shasta, as indigenous elders of the Winnemem Wintu led a march against Chrystal Geyser’s moves to take over control of the Headwaters of the Sacramento River. Chrystal Geyser hopes to reopen a formerly closed bottling plant and begin bottling water for sale on the mass market. Indigenous people and angry locals in the area are fighting this move to privatize the water as well as attempts by the government to raise the Shasta dam.

In the future we hope to talk in greater depth about increased water privatization, the ongoing drought caused by industrial civilization, and the potential of struggle over water.

In Montreal, workers protested austerity measures. According to Ashoka Jegroo:

Thousands of Francophone teachers, along with students, parents, and other supporters, flooded Montreal’s streets for a one-day strike on September 30. The strike is the first of six planned by the Federation Autonome de l’Enseignement, or FAE, a coalition of eight of Quebec’s French-speaking teachers unions, as part of their negotiations with the provincial government over proposed cuts to education.

“We are taking the streets today to tell the population and the parents that we are with them, and that their schools, teachers and their students, deserve more,” Nathalie Morel, vice president of the FAE, told CTV Montreal. “We deserve better.”

As of this writing, a staggering 901 people have been killed by the police in 2015 in the United States. Protests continued to happen across the US against a backdrop of murders and continued outrages.

Anger continues to mount in the San Francisco Bay Area against gentrification.

In Oakland, it was announced that UBER will buy a large formerly vacant Sears building to turn into a corporate office, leading many to speculate that this will accelerate the building of condos, the displacement of poor and working people, and the continued growth of the tech economy.

In Carmel California, vandals threw paint on the statues of a recently declared Saint, Junipero Serra, who participated in the genocide and displacement of Native Americans in the area. Indigenous groups have protested this recent decision.

In Washington, DC, angry renters took to the streets against their landlord:

Museum Square owner Bush Properties has defied DC law and told residents of Museum Square at 401 K street that they would no longer participate in Section 8, instead issuing vouchers they demanded be used elsewhere and asking them to be out by Oct 1. On the last day of September, at least half the building backed by supporters from as far away as Boston instead participated in a rally defying these demands and emphasising they intended to exercise their legal right to stay put. Furious with Bush Properties for illegally refusing to accept their vouchers, residents took to the streets, but not in the way Bush Properties had hoped.

First the Museum Square residents and their supporters marched to a parking lot next to a tall building with a banner advertising new luxury apartments. The parking lot next to it was formerly the Temple Courts apartments, another low income housing project until Bush properties emptied them out. Next, they marched to the Wah Luck House, where the other half of Chinatown’s remaining Chinese population sucessfully resisted a similar eviction attempt two years ago.Finally they marched under the Chinatown arch, through the iconic 7th and H st intersection so often closed down by Black Lives Matter protesters, and to the Chinese Community Church for continuing events inside. Some of the housing activsts from Boston stayed behind at Museum Square to wait for their bus, also effectively guarding the building against any attempt by Bush Properties to try anything wierd while half the building was out.

Rose City Antifa has recently produced an excellent report which details the main players in the growing Neo-Nazi skinhead scene which has attempted to support the police in ongoing demonstrations. From the report:

Recent skirmishes in Olympia, WA have drawn public attention to white supremacist organizing in the Pacific Northwest. We are glad that the problem of white power organizing is being exposed and are encouraged by the determined opposition of anti-racists in Olympia and beyond. Our intent is to strengthen efforts against white supremacist and neo-fascist organizing with the research presented here.

On a similar tip, One People’s Project has a series of great reports out on the racist Right and their attempts at entering into the mainstream. Check them out here.

The wealth gap between the richest Americans and the rest of us continues to grow:

The wealth of the 400 richest Americans continues to soar, according to the results of the new Forbes 400 list, published annually by the business magazine of the same name. At $2.34 trillion, the total net worth for the multi-billionaires on the list set new records, displacing last year’s all-time high of $2.29 trillion.

In 2009, the total net worth of the Forbes 400 was $1.27 trillion. Today, nearly six years into the so-called economic “recovery” fostered by the Obama administration, the wealthiest Americans have nearly doubled their hoard. The total wealth of the richest 400 Americans managed to reach new heights even while financial markets have been roiled by tumultuous swings.

The Forbes report notes that in 2015, “It was harder than ever to join the 400. The price of entry this year was $1.7 billion, the highest it’s been in the 33 years that Forbes has tracked American wealth.” Forbes makes note that the wealth threshold was so high this year that 145 billionaires failed to make the list.

While a majority of billionaires have prospered, their wealth underwritten by the massive government bailouts of financial institutions and near-zero interest rates from the Federal Reserve, a significant fraction of the wealthy elite have lost ground in the turbulent stock markets of recent months.

While safeguarding the ill-gotten wealth of the Forbes billionaires remains an ironclad principle of both the Republican and Democratic parties, working people throughout the US continue to suffer the brunt of attacks on their living standards. A US Census report released earlier this month shows that 14.8 percent of the US population lives in poverty; a figure that is unchanged from a year earlier. The Census findings show that 6.6 percent of the population lives in “deep poverty,” or less than half of the already unrealistically low official poverty line in the US.

Lastly, this week saw activists associated with the Rising Tide Network take to the streets across the US. In San Francisco, one of the largest mobilizations, demonstrators blocked streets, painted a big blue earth on the road, and stood inside of a bank until the police came and made several arrests. The demonstrations are timed to take place before the UN Climate Summit in Paris where more protests are planned.

Writing about the emerging direct action wing of the climate movement is something that we want to do more of and with more depth (and we hope that people write in with their thoughts), but we can’t help but wonder where these demonstrations are going. Last year, Rising Tide pushed to push the climate movement, headed by the non-profit empire in a more militant direction by trying to ‘Flood Wall-Street,’ which included people wearing blue and trying to swarm the financial district.

Much of what Rising Tide articulates is correct and their mobilizations bring to mind the various direct action campaigns which targeted war profiteers during the Iraq War in 2003. They seek to return the struggle against climate change into the hands of those on the ground of communities impacted by it while advancing an anti-capitalist politic. While we find affinity with this, we aren’t just trying to stop a war or an austerity campaign; we’re trying to destroy an industrial system of production and way of life that is unsustainable.

Regardless of the rhetoric, the question must be asked, when will these struggles and demonstrations move from the symbolic (even if they ‘directly’ blocking traffic and ‘occupying’ banks for short periods) and into the direct: the physical shutting down or destroying of energy extraction facilities, fracking sites, water bottling plants, etc. What has to happen before this is possible? How can momentum build in a real way? Many would contend that these sorts of mobilizations are necessary if such struggles are to develop – and perhaps they are right.

We believe however that it is also entirely possible that they will continue to only remain simply symbolic protests of numbers in the streets; only affecting the rhetoric pumped out by the politicians. What is more likely, and we see as more desirable, is that community based or local struggles will develop their militancy and grow much more radical in their process and tactics. Protests will turn into land occupations and grow into riots to defend territory. People will storm the meetings and offices of companies that are polluting their water, poisoning the air, and begin to beat these bastards back.

If the mass mobilizations in the run up to the Paris climate conference can show anything, its that the people are ungovernable. That these meetings should not be allowed to happen and that the facade of social peace is a complete and total lie. Just as the riots against the WTO in Seattle sparked a wave of anti-capitalist and anarchist resistance in 1999, so could mass riots against climate chaos as world leaders and heads of industry urge for calm. Such resistance will give people around the world fighting climate change, fracking, and pollution more confidence in their fights locally.

Also, in IGD! news, we are going to switch our news round-ups to Sundays. Please continue to send in your articles, round-up suggestions, and more! This coming week we’ll have a new column of Bloc Party so stay tuned!

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It’s Going Down is a digital community center from anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements. Our mission is to provide a resilient platform to publicize and promote revolutionary theory and action.

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