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Aug 8, 15

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

Originally posted to It’s Going Down

In Guerrero, Mexico, Normalistas staged a rally, blocking roads and shutting down stores as they demanded more teaching positions. According to one report:

[Normalistas were] demanding 700 teaching positions. [Stopping trucks,] Normalistas arrived at the store that is within the main shopping complex and surrounded facilities at the Chilpancingo department store.

Twenty business owners shut their curtains for fear that the Normalistas, some covering their face, would damage their business or take merchandise. State riot police came to guard the facilities. The Normalistas argued that they had to make ” these radical measures ” to ensure that the federal and state governments recognize them…The protesters surrounded the shops and prevented people from entering to buy. The Normalistas warned that they will continue their protests until their movement benefits all who are applying the teaching positions.

In the US South, in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a massive Confederate Flag rally took place, as vandalism continued against statues and monuments. In Rockville, Maryland, the city put a box around one statue in an attempt to curb vandalism.

In Flatbush, New York, neighbors rallied against the brutal arrest of a man at a Target. According to one article:

For the dozens of people standing outside the Flatbush Junction Target Monday evening, the video showing a 25-year-old neighbor, Alando Brissett, being punched and pinned to the ground while being arrested at Target a little more than a week ago was emblematic of what they described as a broken system in which rapid gentrification, racism and classism have made staying in the communities many have spent their entire lives in downright dangerous.


In Long Island, retired police union members are pushing for the creating of a new “Law and Order” party, to run in local elections. Read the article here.

In Texas, a 16 year-old undocumented man set a patrol car on fire as an act “of war” against ICE. According to one online report:

A 16-year-old illegal immigrant was arrested Saturday in Texas after he set a deputy constable’s patrol car on fire and pointed a rifle at authorities before leading them on a 35-minute car chase, authorities said. The teen, whose name was not released, also reportedly said that the incident was about a war against the government, because Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is always deporting Mexicans, who are the ones in America doing all the work, police told the Pearland Journal.

In New York, in Tompkins Square park, demonstrators occupied and camped out to bring attention to homelessness in the city and to mark the anniversary of the riots in 1988.

In Nebraska, prisoners at Tecumseh disputed official narratives of the prison riot that left two dead and damaged thousands in property. As reported:

In letters to The World-Herald, inmates said the May 10 rampage began as a “peaceful protest” over the loss of time outside their cells and other privileges. They said hostile feelings have been simmering for years about the loss of recreation time; mistreatment from some corrections staff, including perceived favoritism and racism; and their view that the staff has ignored such concerns. “No one listens to our cries from the inside,” wrote one inmate, Charles Duncan.

Another inmate maintained that Rashad Washington, an inmate who was shot toward the beginning of the riot, was not trying to harm any prison employees but was holding a folder containing a petition of grievances when he was shot. “By pulling that trigger, they showed a lack of training and professional restraint,” wrote inmate Joshua Ballew. “It wasn’t a heroic act, nobody was in danger. The guards in that tower should be charged with a hate crime.” A state report on the riot stated that inmates initiated the violence by assaulting two guards after refusing orders to disperse.

On Maui, Native activists continued to resist plans to build a telescope on a sacred mountain and  faced more arrests. Check out Warrior Publications for continued updates.

In Ontario, Canada, First Nation opponents of a pipeline engaged in a long trek to bring attention to the project. As CBC News reported:

A group of First Nations activists in Treaty 3 territory in northwestern Ontario are walking 125 kilometres of the proposed Energy East pipeline route to demonstrate their opposition to TransCanada’s plan to convert the natural gas pipeline to transport oil.

The walk began at Eagle Lake First Nation, near Dryden, Ont., on Monday and is expected to arrive at Shoal Lake 39 First Nation, west of Kenora, Ont. on Saturday. Chrissy Swain, from Grassy Narrows First Nation, said she is concerned about the safety of the pipeline and the potential any leaks will harm lakes and rivers. “We have the small percentage of clean water that’s left in this world here in this area,” she said.

Teamster Port drivers continued to strike in the Long Beach area, over wage-theft and low-pay.

In Halifax, Canada, the family of Rehtaeh Parson, stated in an article on the Canadian Press that they credit the online group Anonymous with reopening the case after Parson was sexually assaulted and photos began to circulate at her school. According to the article:

While experts and officials decry recent instances of vigilantism by the hacktivist group Anonymous, one beneficiary of the group’s activism is adamant that justice would never have been served without involvement by the clandestine organization.

Glen Canning said he believes Anonymous’s threats to publicly identify boys allegedly involved in the cyberbullying that predated his daughter Rehtaeh Parsons’s death prompted Halifax police to reopen their investigation and eventually lay charges. None of this would have happened if Anonymous hadn’t stepped in, said Canning. “I believe that absolutely. I have no question about that at all.”

In ecological news, a red bloom of toxic algae is growing from California to Alaska. As one report stated:

A vast bloom of toxic algae off the West Coast is denser, more widespread and deeper than scientists feared even weeks ago, according to surveyors aboard a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel. This coastal ribbon of microscopic algae, up to 40 miles wide and 650 feet deep in places, is flourishing amid unusually warm Pacific Ocean temperatures. It now stretches from at least California to Alaska and has shut down lucrative fisheries.

Salmon populations continued to face die-off as rivers warmed, and an article in Rolling Stone entitled, ‘The Point of No Return‘ stated:

Historians may look to 2015 as the year when shit really started hitting the fan. Some snapshots: In just the past few months, record-setting heat waves in Pakistan and India each killed more than 1,000 people. In Washington state’s Olympic National Park, the rainforest caught fire for the first time in living memory. London reached 98 degrees Fahrenheit during the hottest July day ever recorded in the U.K.; The Guardian briefly had to pause its live blog of the heat wave because its computer servers overheated. In California, suffering from its worst drought in a millennium, a 50-acre brush fire swelled seventyfold in a matter of hours, jumping across the I-15 freeway during rush-hour traffic. Then, a few days later, the region was pounded by intense, virtually unheard-of summer rains. Puerto Rico is under its strictest water rationing in history as a monster El Niño forms in the tropical Pacific Ocean, shifting weather patterns worldwide.

In Mexico, protests organized by teachers unions and Normalista groups drew tens of thousands. Teachers are fighting Oaxaca against education reform, and Normalistas are continuing to struggle for the 43 disappeared students as well as for more access to public education. Oaxacan teachers are currently planning a boycott of the upcoming school year.

In repression news, according to a piece in the Tampa Bay Times, police were able to infiltrate and direct protest groups during protests at the 2012 Republican National Convention. According to the article:

The undercover intelligence, he said, was “at the highest level of importance” for an RNC that had no violent clashes, little property damage and fewer arrests than are typically made in the fourth quarter of a Tampa Bay Buccaneers home game. Normally, police wouldn’t acknowledge, let alone discuss, such an undercover operation. But Hamlin talked a little about the 2012 RNC efforts Monday because the secret was already out. Last month, a reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, attending a maritime security conference in Cleveland (which is hosting the 2016 RNC), heard him describe how police managed to join and “take over” protest groups.

“They became, like, the leaders of the group,” Hamlin confirmed Monday.

Using undercover officers for protests or big public gatherings is not unusual, either in Tampa or anywhere else, he said. Plainclothes officers work Tampa’s annual Gasparilla pirate parade. Organizing for the undercover operations began as soon as police began planning for the Republican convention, which took place the last week of August 2012. “You’re only as good as your intelligence,” Hamlin said. “Everything else is reactive.” During the convention itself, plainclothes officers joined protest marches and used smart phones to send live video to commanders. The National Journal reported in 2012 that RNC authorities could use facial-recognition software to help identify demonstrators, if necessary, but Hamlin said, “we didn’t use it in Tampa. I don’t know about St. Pete.”

The ACLU has also released a new report about surveillance by the government against the Black Lives Matter movement:

Records from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Operations Coordination show that since August 2014, DHS officials have been trolling public social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, and Vine, to map and collect information on #BlackLivesMatter protests –and supposedly related events. Targeted activities include silent vigils held across the country following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, an anti-police brutality protest in Philadelphia, and an April 2015 #BlackLivesMatter protest in Washington D.C.  The documents even show a plan to gather information on a funk music parade in a historically Black neighborhood in the nation’s capital.

Perhaps most troubling are the Google maps and live updates tracking, minute-by-minute, the movements of participants in an April 2015 #BlackLivesMatter protest in Washington, D.C.  A DHS email released to the Intercept confirms that on the day before the event, several DHS officials were aware of a Federal Bureau of Investigation joint intelligence bulletin characterizing the protest as a “First Amendment-protected event,” and noting that there was “no information suggesting that violent behavior is planned for Washington, DC.”

As of this writing, the number of people killed by police was 705 in the United States. Shootings, beatings, and police murders continued to grab headlines and spark anger. Some unions have even begun to push for police associations to be kicked out of the AFL-CIO. Protests continued throughout the country, and in Phoenix, Black Lives Matter demonstrators faced arrests, while in Ohio, supporters of John Crawford shut down a Wal-Mart to mark the one year anniversary of his death. This weekend, members of Anonymous will host a ‘Day of Rage’ across the US in response to the in-custody killing of Sandra Bland.

Meanwhile, in Ferguson, Missouri, demonstrators began to gather outside of the police station to mark the one-year anniversary of the death of Mike Brown, who was killed by Darren Wilson. See you in the streets! 

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