Filed under: Canada, Mexico, Roundup, US
Originally posted to It’s Going Down
Across North American this weekend, people took to the streets for May Day, the anarchist holiday against capitalism that has been celebrated for over 100 years. In the preceding days, intense clashes and riots broke out outside of a Trump rally in Costa Mesa, CA, in Orange County, and also in Burlingame, CA, located outside of San Francisco, at a California Republican Conference. The intensity we saw with the dramatic anti-fascist mobilization in Atlanta, Georgia showed no signs of letting up. Demonstrations were also held outside of prisons and jails, as people sought to build bridges with prisoner groups which have been carrying out strikes and other actions for the last several months. Seems we’re in for a hot summer, both on the streets, in our workplaces and schools, and also inside the prisons, jails, and detention facilities.
In that spirit, let’s get to the news.
Destroy the Elections
— helga silva (@helgasilvaNOW) April 29, 2016
Goddamn Costa Mesa. A riot broke out as a youthful crowd fought with police outside of a Trump rally. According to the LA Times:
Hundreds of demonstrators filled the street outside the Orange County amphitheater where Donald Trump held a rally Thursday night, stomping on cars, hurling rocks at motorists and forcefully declaring their opposition to the Republican presidential candidate.
Traffic came to a halt as a boisterous crowd walked in the roadway, some waving American and Mexican flags. Protesters smashed a window on at least one police cruiser, punctured the tires of a police sport utility vehicle, and at one point tried to flip a police car.
One Costa Mesa police officer was struck in the head by a rock thrown by a protestor, authorities said. The officer wasn’t injured because he was protected from by his riot helmet.
About five police cars were damaged in total, police said, adding that some will require thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs.
— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) April 29, 2016
The next day in Burlingame, CA, outside of San Francisco, several hundred people showed up at 9 am to blockade an entrance to a hotel in order to prevent Trump (and in theory others) from attending a statewide GOP gathering. A lock-down was conducted on the streets in front of the hotel, which caused Trump to have to get out of his motorcade on the freeway and jump across the freeway median and enter into the back of the building as riot police held off the angry crowd. The hundreds of demonstrators then became bolder, and rushed the entrance several times, throwing eggs and breaking windows. Several arrests were made and fights broke out with small groups of Trump supporters.
— Brad (Schenck) Caldana (@BradCaldana) April 29, 2016
— Kimberly Veklerov (@KVeklerov) April 29, 2016
— Occupy Oakland (@OccupyOakland) April 29, 2016
— Michael J. Buell (@buell003) April 29, 2016
May Day 2016
As the dust settles from May Day, we’d like to encourage everyone to please submit reports on activities that occurred in your city or area. As with every year, there are so many demonstrations and actions to keep up with, it would be impossible to list them all here.
To be to the point, over all May Day 2016 in North America was combative and saw anarchists, anti-authoritarians, anti-fascists, and autonomous anti-capitalists engaging in a wide variety of actions, both large and small. Some cities saw large scale clashes with the police and full on riots, such as in Seattle and Montreal. Other cities saw smaller interventions and actions. Some areas used the day to show solidarity with striking prisoners, and at the time of this writing we have yet to hear word on how the May Day actions inside prison walls have gone. Other groups used the time to hold spaces and gather people together in celebrations, block parties and picnics, and open discussions. We’re excited about this wide range of activity as well as new groups and crews get organized and take action.
When submitting a report—and this goes for every report submitted—we’d like to encourage authors to consider a few things: was the action conflictual, or merely symbolic? How can the conflictuality of the action be expanded? On May Day, we often end up sharing the streets with liberal and leftist groups, labor unions, and others who prefer us to remain passive. How, if at all, were these deterrents circumvented? Did anti-authoritarians plan a separate demonstration, or organize a coherent bloc that could take autonomous actions?
If we hope to accomplish any one thing with IGD, we hope it can be the refinement of strategic thinking amongst anarchists and other antagonists. Which tactics worked, which didn’t, and why?
So once again, please submit a report back from May Day! And don’t forget to provide a way for people to support anti-repression efforts for anyone arrested.
Next week we are going to have a round up of actions that did not submit reports along with some other analysis and highlights, but for now – tell us how it went down!
Members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and rank-n-file workers at BurgerVille in Portland have launched a new union initiative against the fast good chain. Workers are pressing for better wages, conditions, and schedules. It’s exciting to see anarchists and autonomous anti-capitalists organizing outside of the top-down business unions, but the real question is, what are they going to do differently? I guess we’ll find out. Get more info on the campaign here.
Members of the Seattle Solidarity Network picketed outside of the Silver Cloud Hotel in solidarity with a member who had a heart attack while washing dishes and then was fired. According to a submitted report:
Seattle Solidarity Network and allies were able to rally close to 25 people at 7am on a Saturday, leading a rowdy picket line to wake up every guest at the wage-stealing Silver Cloud hotel. While customers who engaged with us were understandably grumpy, they were almost all very supportive of our action once we had a chance to speak with them about our fight.
SeaSol and their allies marched on the hotel at 7am on the dot which is when the sound ordinance expires. As we rounded the corner to the hotel, a roar broke out as we hit play on our patented “Proletarian Party Platform” (a nice set of computer speakers duct taped to a car battery but boy do they bump!) and began blasting revolutionary tunes. Jovial members of the working class blew their whistles, banged pots and pans, tooted their vuvuzelas, and made enough to noise to ensure nobody was going to sleep through the wake-up call the hotel management unknowingly scheduled for them.
Silver Cloud management has had nearly 5 months to come to the table to discuss with us their firing of a kitchen worker, Prospero, who had been with them for a cumulative nearly 9 years. He suffered a massive heart attack while on the job and after much reluctance, management gave him $20 to cab himself to the ER. During his 6-week recovery from open heart surgery, management never once checked in on him but rather chose to fire him for a “no show no call” and refused to pay him the nearly 2 years of accrued sick and vacation time he had.
In Stockton, hundreds of people rioted at a sideshow outside of a Cinco de Mayo festival, damaging several police cars.
The occupation at UC Davis has finally led to the Chancellor being placed on leave. We hope to see actions in Davis continue, bringing students together despite these cosmetic changes.
A City in Dire Straits – Detroit dealing with teacher “sick-out” and water shut-offs Dean Reynolds has full details pic.twitter.com/uouEn1SSMA
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) May 2, 2016
In Detroit, 87 out of 100 schools were shut down as teachers protested threats to their pay and general school conditions such as rodent infestation. According to one report:
A few hundred Detroit teachers are picketing outside the district headquarters, protesting the possibility that some will not receive paychecks during the summer months if Detroit Public Schools runs out of money.
Latest Detroit teacher sick-out shuts over 90 schools. https://t.co/bxy2kyhV9n
A look back at Detroit's classrooms: https://t.co/iAYwo4ENsf
— AJ+ (@ajplus) May 2, 2016
Mexico On Fire
Be sure to check out Scott Campbell’s latest column of Insumisión, for updates on social struggles and movements in Mexico. We’d also like to encourage people to check out Dorset Chiapas Solidarity for their Zapatista news summary for April.
People are also still throwing down in Atenco against the construction of an airport. According to one report:
On Saturday 23 April at about 11 in the morning, residents from San Salvador Atenco and members of the Community Front in Defence of the Land (or in Spanish “Frente del Pueblo en Defensa de la Tierra” FPDT) went to ejido lands to denounce the arrival of heavy machinery with which to begin building the new airport, the so-called “Future City”.
Prior to this, residents had removed construction materials from the ejido San Miguel Tocuila, as well as digging up pipes which were marking out the area where a road paved with volcanic rock was to be built. This road would have facilitated the access for vehicles delivering construction materials despite a protection order for the area.
“All we are doing is defending our land, … And let us be clear: we’re not going to give them a bloody metre,” stated an Atenco resident as the vehicles with building material were arriving.
At the same time, residents declared their rejection of the “Eruviel Law” which permits the police to use fire arms during public assemblies, meetings or demonstrations which might become violent. The law is named for the PRI governor Eruviel Ávila.
The airport project includes building new runways each with capacity to handle 300,000 flights a year, and a transportation hub for mainly transnational passengers and goods.
Occupations across Canada by indigenous people who are responding to an ongoing suicide crisis of Native youth have largely ended or claimed victory in the INAC reopening their doors.
Demonstrations are set on May 27th against Imperial Metals in British Columbia.
The Elsipogtog First Nation is planning to erect barricades to keep out drug dealers. According to a report:
John Levi, the warrior chief at Elsipogtog First Nation, is planning to erect roadblocks on the three routes into the Mi’kmaq community in an attempt to curtail what he says is a steady stream of street drugs entering the reserve.
“It’s been many years that we’ve had problems with drugs in our reserve,” said Levi.
“It’s not only Elsipogtog that’s having problems, it’s every community, but after so many years you know we decided we’re going to stand up and get our community back.”
Members of the community name hydromorphone, an opioid pain medication, and crystal methamphetamine, an illegal street drug, as some of the substances being brought in to the community.
Levi says people with drug problems are stealing others’ personal property and sometimes sending their kids to bed hungry because any family income is funneled into drugs.
Vermont Rising Tide has ended a tree-sit that was erected to stop a pipeline from being built:
After a two week occupation of an active fracked gas pipeline construction site, Burlington resident Addie Herbert has been cited with criminal trespassing and released. On Friday, April 15th, Herbert climbed high into a white pine in advance of Vermont Gas Systems’ tree removal crew to prevent pipeline construction and protests its contribution to climate change.
“I chose to stop construction because fossil fuels are forcing society into an existential climate crisis,” said Herbert. “Our neighbors in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and New York have shown us that mass resistance to the corporate agenda works, and I want to build that resistance locally,” she said, referring to the two major gas pipelines that have been defeated in the last two weeks. “This action has been the most successful construction stoppage in the history of this ill-fated project. I chose to come down after two weeks because I felt it was important to join with hundreds of others at the Vermont People’s Convention this weekend to share ideas about how to take effective direct action.”
Herbert, a flower farmer, folk singer, and activist, agreed to come down from the tree on the terms that her supporters would be present to ensure safety, and that she would not be arrested. She says she will continue to fight the pipeline, starting with this weekend’s gathering of grassroots organizations planning how to push back against corporate power and unaccountable governmental structures.
“Since this pipeline was first proposed in 2012, our state government has failed the residents of Vermont every step of the way,” said Monkton resident Jane Palmer. “This June, we’ll be taking on the responsibility that the State has been shirking, and enforcing a public stay of construction, where hundreds of people are going to shut down pipeline construction sites across the project. Addie’s been an inspiration to all of us, and now it’s time to follow her lead and finish putting nails in this pipeline’s coffin.”
In southwestern Ontario, local media reported several hundred mink had been freed from the Brant County farm.
Joseph Buddenberg has been sentenced under the Animal Terrorism Enterprise Act (ATEA). According to his support website:
This morning in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Joseph Buddenberg was sentenced to two years in federal prison for Conspiracy to Violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). The sentencing follows his signing a non-cooperating plea agreement in which he plead guilty to conspiring to free thousands of animals from fur farms throughout the U.S. and to cause damage to businesses associated with the fur industry.
“Today’s sentencing must be understood in the context of the complete illegitimacy of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act,” said Rachel Meeropol, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the lead lawyer on several constitutional challenges to the law. “This is a law bought and paid for by corporations that profit from the exploitation of animals, in the service of nothing but their own bottom line. Prosecuting non-violent liberation of animals as ‘terrorism’ is a transparent attempt to silence an entire movement. The AETA violates fundamental constitutional principles of free speech and due process, and we will continue to challenge it wherever it is used. ”
Buddenberg and his co-defendant Nicole Kissane were indicted under the AETA last July. Earlier this year, both signed non-cooperating plea agreements; Kissane’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for June.
As the All out ATL demonstrations were taking place last weekend, members of the National Socialist Movement (NSM) and other fascist, Neo-Nazi, and white nationalist groups were gathering several miles away and putting their differences aside and have now formed an Aryan Nationalist Alliance. With a gathering force of Ku-Klux-Klan and Neo-Nazi groups, autonomous anti-capitalists and anti-fascists are also going to have to think better, smarter, and more strategically about how we confront and shut-down these threats.
Steve Smith, a co-founder of the neo-Nazi Keystone State “Skinheads” as well as a former member of Aryan Nations, the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke’s European Rights Organization, was re-elected to his committeeman position in the Luzerne County Republican Party, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Smith, 45 announced the results in a Stormfront post with a photograph of the results showing that he won 69 out of the 73 votes that were cast in his ward in Pittston.
Men identifying as KKK members were seen in a white van intimidating a mother and her child in Auburn [a town near Sacramento] this past week. We are collecting information and will be addressing this shortly. If anyone has any information about these men or other white supremacists in the Sacramento region, please let us know so we can further monitor their activities and seek to end their racist terror. Antifa Sacramento will be releasing an intelligence report later this month and will be exposing the scum of our community. We must confront and prohibit them from recruiting.
Our media homies and super video ninjas at Submedia are looking for a few good anarchists. If you are interested in working on the project – and get paid! – hit them up here.
Fire to the Prisons is also looking for help in putting out a new issue and several anarcho-punk bands in Canada are launching a new tour called ‘Against the Industrial Hydra,’ which will feature workshops and music. More info here.
Lastly, if you are in the California area and want to check out a great show, Antifa Sacramento is hosting a Rock Against Racism concert along with a bunch of speakers. They are gearing up for a variety of anti-fascist actions next month, including confronting Matthew Heimbach’s Traditionalist Workers’ Party. If you are in the area, please come out!
It’s Going Down!
Send us your May Day reports and try and keep up with us here.