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Mar 31, 18

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

In the past week, the mass spectacle of the Democratic Party backed ‘March for Our Lives’ rallies across the US are now counter-poised to freeway shut downs, mass disruptions of sporting events, sick-out and wildcat strikes, ongoing pipeline battles, and the occupation of buildings on university campuses. Everywhere it seems, people are being forced to decide: will they continue to place their faith in the hands of bureaucrats, career politicians, and social managers, or will they seek instead to tear shit up? To instead start asserting not only our needs front and center, but moreover our power.

In the meantime, the tasks at hand remain: to unite struggles across the exploited and excluded and through them increase both the capacity of these manifestations to do things and also to build the confidence needed to do so. This means placing faith in our own abilities as everyday people to solve our own problems and manage our own affairs, but moreover understanding the need to confront and reject those who seek to channel our struggles back into politics.

As society and civilization continues to crack apart under its own contradictions, we must be prepared to move quickly, but also at the same time have a long term vision and strategy that also places impetus on growing, fostering relationships, as well as building up our ability to meet our own needs on our own terms. Above all, we must strive to not be simply reactionaries; always shocked when the bad things happen, but instead point to how the world crashing around us is part of the fallout to a wider system of industrial capitalism and firmly state that a different kind of world must be created if we are to survive.

In that spirit, let’s get to the news.

Sacramento Spring

In Sacramento, California, located about an hour and a half east of the bay area, over the last week, continued mass marches, shut downs of NBA matches, blockades of streets, disruptions of City Council meetings, and protests have taken place in the wake of the police murder of Stephon Clark, a 22 year old husband and father of 2. Like most police killings, media and law enforcement have attempted to demonize Clark, however the release of the shooting’s footage quickly went viral and spawned massive outrage, as it showed police shooting an unarmed Clark 20 times, and then leaving him on the ground to die while police turned their body camera mic’s off, presumably to get their stories straight.

In the wake of the the release of the footage, on March 22nd people took to the streets, blocking downtown traffic before then shutting down traffic on the I-5 freeway, a major commodities corridor. Following the freeway shutdown, the crowd then shut down a Sacramento King’s game, and the next night more protests led to people holding the streets and driving out the police from a neighborhood after clashes and the throwing of objects. This night marked a high point in the struggle and showed that the growing movement would not be contained or have its teeth cut so easily.

Then another round of protests was called for starting on Tuesday, March 27th, where the City Council meeting was quickly shut down by hundreds and another Sacramento Kings game was largely shut down and disrupted. Over the next two nights, demonstrations and street marches continued, and on Thursday night, Stephon Clark was laid to rest. Speaking at the service was Al Sharpton, a long time operative for the Democratic Party, and members of Clark’s family called for calm, nonviolence, and an end to the disruptions of daily life.

Demonstrations began again on March 30th, as hundreds took to the streets in the wake of Clark’s autopsy being released, which showed that he had been shot several times; largely in his back.

While we respect the Clark family’s position, at the same time, it should be clear that the mass disruptive actions of the thousands of people in the streets that shut down major sports events, freeways, and kicked out the police, helped created a spotlight on Clark’s case, not through polite protest and respectability politics. What the future holds in Sacramento is up to those on the ground, but we hope that this is just the start of things to come.

Since Stephon Clark’s killing, at least 49 have been killed by US law enforcement – an average of over 3.75 people per day. During the period in which the Stephon Clark demonstrations have grown, news also broke that the police that killed Alton Sterling would not face any charges, and solidarity demonstrations with Stephon Clark also took place in other cities, most notably New York.

#HUResists Occupation of Howard University

Hundreds of students at the historically Black college, Howard University have occupied four flours of the campus and have issued a set of demands including the resignation of the President, affordable housing, and more. The occupation is caused by a variety of factors, but key among them is the fact that campus staff stole upwards of $1 million dollars from the financial aid office. According to DC Direct Action news:

[S]tudents at Howard University occupied the main administration building at 2400 6th st. The administration attempted without success to get them out by turning off the HVAC and letting the building become quite hot inside. Demands included housing for all students under 21, stopping tuition hikes, disarming the Howard University Police, sacking the university President and many more.

The Washington Post implies in an article that the student takeover was triggered by the previous day’s report that six “employees” had been double-dipping financial aid plus university grants. This however may have been but the last straw among many other issues. While student leaders have condemned the culprits in that case as having “stolen huge sums from deserving aid recipients,” student demands go well beyond just dealing with the fallout from this wholesale theft of financial aid funds.

CNN reported:

A group of Howard University students say they’ve taken control of the school’s administration building and won’t leave until their demands — including the resignation of the university president — are met. They are protesting after university workers were accused of “double-dipping” on financial aid.

The protesters — more than 350 of them, leaders said — had nearly the entire building on the Washington, DC campus to themselves Friday evening, save for some campus police officers and maintenance staff, demonstrators Juan Demetrixx and Alexis McKenney told reporters.Students met with two members of the University’s Board of Trustees on Friday evening.

During a press conference, McKenney said that students wanted to start negotiations, but accused the board members of not actually reading the students’ demands. “We now put this call out to the Board of Trustees to actually read our demands. That all alumni, students, facility, community members read the demands of Howard students and why we are actually here,” said McKenney.

Here’s a roundup from social media:

Teacher Rebellion and Wildcat Actions

A large scale sick out and wildcat strike involving thousands of teachers went down in Kentucky on Friday in response to attacks on pensions that was passed by politicians on Thursday. The strikes, organized completely outside of official union channels, closed schools across the state, as teachers rallied at the state capitol, taking a page from the West Virginia teacher’s strike. The Kentucky strike is part of a wave of self-organized teacher strike activity that is being organized in the face of union bureaucracy and years of inaction:

The eruption in Kentucky is part of an expanding wave of strikes and protests by educators across the United States and internationally. Oklahoma teachers will hold a statewide strike this Monday to demand wage and school funding increases, while teachers in Arizona are calling for walkouts in the wake of the nine-day February-March strike by 30,000 West Virginia teachers and school employees.

The Kentucky Education Association (KEA) has opposed any walkouts from the outset, instead seeking to channel opposition behind the dead end of electing Democrats in the November 2018 midterm elections and 2019 gubernatorial election. On Thursday night, KEA president Stephanie Winkler told teachers protesting at the state capitol in Frankfort to tell their colleagues: “There will be no more votes like that after November.”

As CNN reported:

More than 20 Kentucky counties had schools close Friday after the state Legislature approved changes to their pension the day before. Educators, who are furious over the pension issue, called out of work sick or requested substitutes in protest. The bill, which overhauls the state’s pension, passed mostly on party lines and heads to Gov. Matt Bevin, who supports reforming the system. State leaders say it’s critical to fix the pension crisis, which ranks as one of the worst in the US.

Teachers in Phoenix also held a sick-out strike and protest in recent days, citing some of the lowest wages in the US as well as decades of inaction form labor unions, and on Monday, teachers across Oklahoma are also set to go on strike. As with the West Virginia wildcat strike, we are also seeing continued participation by students in these actions, as well as mutual aid programs by the teachers in areas hit by school closures.

Anarchists and autonomous anti-capitalists should be monitoring these strikes carefully, walking picket lines, talking to people and making relationships, gathering and distributing food, and also pushing the struggle as far as it can go and out of the hands of the Democratic Party and union bureaucrats.

War on the Black Snake

There’s be a lot going on across the US in terms of resistance to pipelines. The fight against the Bayou Bridge pipeline has seen almost daily disruptions in Louisiana, the tree sit in Pennsylvania against Energy Transfer Partners continues, as does the fight against Line 3 in Minnesota and the battle in Lancaster. All of these battles have witnessed almost continuous action and resistance and are in need of support and solidarity.

Meanwhile in West Virginia and Virginia, tree sits and an encampment continues forward and is building support among the broader population, as people have been holding solidarity rallies and bringing those in the trees and in the resistance camps food and supplies. Many local residents are facing eviction from their homes and lands through eminent domain. Most recently in West Virginia, a “monopod,” (someone very high up on a pole) was erected on a service road, blocking construction trucks.

Also in Canada, resistance to resource extraction and pipelines is full on as well. In so-called British Columbia, there is an escalating battle against the Kinder Morgan pipeline, where both Camp Cloud and the Tiny House Warriors are fighting, and in Nova Scotia, there is an encampment against Alton Gas.

While each of these battles deserve and need more media attention, here is a roundup of what has been happening on the ground:

No Cop Academy

In both Chicago and Carbondale, Illinois, students and community members have been organizing against two different proposed police academies at the Southern Illinois University and in the South Side of Chicago. The Daily Egyptian reported from a recent demonstration at SIU:

Approximately 40 to 50 students, faculty, and community members gathered Thursday in the Student Center cafe in opposition to the proposed School of Public Safety, otherwise known as the proposed cop academy.

“Many of us believe that this cop academy will do the opposite of what we want to do, which is to learn,” speaker Joshua Bowens, a senior studying political science said. “We all come here to get a better education, to go out to the world and make a difference; to make a real change.”

In Chancellor Carlo Montemagno’s reorganization plan, he proposed a School of Justice and Public Safety. The school was previously called the School of Homeland Security.

A grassroots group, Save SIU also produced a bad ass video here:

Meanwhile in Chicago, people also are organizing against a cop academy in South Side Chicago, and last weekend protested at City Hall:

Rando Roundup:

There was a lot happening this week, so let’s look at some of our comrades shinning out in the streets.

Bash the Fash

In Hamilton, Ontario, antifascists are able to counter a group of Proud Boys and others on the far-Right from marching in a neighborhood where an anti-gentrification march led to an anarchist social center being attacked. To check out a report back and photos go here and for background information on the far-Right in Canada, go here.

Near Phoenix, people organized against a speaking event by Gorka:

There has been a wave of doxxes, publishing of personal information, and call-in campaigns in the past week as well. These include a call by Antifa Sacramento for people to call in to the workplace of Jason Judd, one of the Traditionalist Worker Party/Golden State Skinhead members which stabbed multiple people on June 26th, 2016:

Eugene Antifa still has a campaign to get a member of Atomwaffen Division fired from a bakery. Check out the info here:

Philly Antifa has a campaign against Mark Reardon, Atlanta Antifascists has an article up about Charles Tinsley, and Torchlight in Pittsburgh has a new guide to local neo-Nazis and fascist trolls who have been putting up stickers in the last few weeks.

We also want to stress that while some in the media have promoted the idea that the Alt-Right is falling apart, and in many ways it is, some groups are continuing full steam ahead. This includes Identity Evropa which just took part in the North West Forum conference in the Seattle area as well as Patriot Front, which just carried out a flyering campaign in a suburb of Chicago. We need to remain vigilant and continue monitoring their social media accounts; putting in the day to day antifascist organizing that includes outreach, education, and research.

On March 24th, some far-Right trolls came out of their holes to counter the ‘March for Our Lives’ protests, but still were not able to manifest themselves in any real way:

Patriots of Appalachia and Nationalist Initiative are both two new groups which are attempting to organize. PoA (not a TWP offshoot as our below post implies) seems to be influenced by groups like Rise Above Movement and the Wolves of Vinland, while Nationalist Initiative is a re-branding of TWP by some of its leftovers and led by Derrick Davis.

And now for some of that sweet tear down/antifa sticker and propaganda goodness:

Mexico On Fire

In Chiapas:

Meanwhile in Oaxaca:

On March 26, after 8 pm, Rubén Alcides Miguel, mayor of Nochixtlán, Oaxaca, ordered the withdrawal of the evidence of the violent events that occurred on June 19, 2016, resulting in 8 deaths and hundreds of injured.

These tests are part of the legal process that follows the route of the investigations to resolve these events, therefore, “the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) is the only one that has the legal jurisdiction to remove the evidence”, and not “the mayor, “announced the Victims Committee on their social networks.”

Meanwhile, the mayor, along with his municipal police and drivers of local taxis, accompanied by heavy machinery, when trying to remove these evidences, received an immediate rejection by the population, so he responded with luxury of violence injuring the bullet until 11.30 at night to Juan Acevedo Martínez, and Martín Silva, both survivors of the events of June 19, 2016.

While these events were happening immediately the professors of Section 22 and civil society began to concentrate on the historical center of the city of Oaxaca to decide the actions they would take. On the other hand, several people were already blocking the Huitzo toll booth on the Cuacnopalan – Oaxaca highway.

Shout Outs

Burgerville Workers Union is killing it! Stay up with them for updates and good luck on their recent NLRB election campaign. Also big ups to Parkland Organize for winning their recent rent strike.

Next our friends in so-called Flagstaff will be holding an anti-colonial and anti-fascist gathering. More info here.

There is a call-in campaign in a few days to demand the dropping of upcoming J20 charges. Please make calls!

There are still a lot of tours happening around the US, check out upcoming dates here.

It’s Going Down!

Next week, IGD will begin the process of rolling out a new fundraising campaign as well as some other announcements. In short, if IGD is going to continue to grow, and continue at all, we’ll have to build back up our donation stream. If you can help by donating once a month, please do so here. If you can give us a one time donation, please do so here. We know that this site has become a central piece of infrastructure and a clearing-house of information, and we hope that people will stand behind us to see us continue into the future.

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