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Sep 20, 17

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

It hasn’t even been a week but already it feels like there needs to be a roundup and collection of news before it slips through our fingers. In the last several days, riots and clashes with the police have kicked off in Atlanta at the Georgia Tech University in the wake of the police killing of student organizer, anarchist, and antifascist Scout Schultz as well as in St. Louis against the police acquittal of Jason Stockley in the murder of Anthony Lamar Smith. Meanwhile, more storms are headed directly towards both the Caribbean, Puerto Rico will be without power for months, and in the United States Republicans are pushing for health care ‘reform’ yet again as Trump’s base cracks apart.

As we go forward, both the media and the State are going to ramp up calls for a crack down on “left-wing violence,” against anarchists, antifa, Black Lives Matter, and the black bloc, and anything else that is autonomous and combative that they can demonize. As with youth and people of color in general or recently with Juggalos, the point will not be to criminalize just one set group, but instead entire broad populations. For the State, the drive is to attack the relationships that people have outside of the framework of power and cripple them through making them illegal. This demonization will not be logical; unless you believe that the State holds the only legitimacy to violence in ‘our’ society.

We need to use this moment to articulate clearly to as many people who will listen exactly what we are about, what we want, and the kinds of strategies we see at our disposal to get there. As always, IGD remains a resource in that struggle, but we also encourage people to grow and develop their own counter-information and grassroots media infrastructure and platforms. There more of it we have, the better off we will be.

It is also time to articulate that beyond Trump, this entire system is illegitimate, it isn’t helping us, and it serves its own interests and those of a set elite class. We can see this in the mass anger directed at the police, who only serve and protect private property and the interests of those in power. We can see this in the government’s response to hurricane victims, telling them they are on their own, as they come back to homes that are destroyed with little hope of rebuilding. We see this in the economy, where one side speaks of ‘economic nationalism’ and the other ‘neoliberalism,’ but both simply seek to destroy the living earth for the sake of profits while we work longer hours for less money. We can see it in their drive for war, in their denial of climate change, and in their push for greater and greater surveillance, control, police, and domination. This system as a whole, from it’s colonial founding to it’s current militarized and neoliberal incarnation – is not legitimate. 

Lastly, we have to move beyond the politics of protest. We aren’t speaking truth to power. We aren’t trying to get someone in power to listen to us. We are trying to create the kind of world we want to see. We need to take space in hold it. We need to push out the apparatuses of control and domination which kill, police, and attack us. We need to begin to organize ourselves to meet our needs directly. The time of asking for those in politics to listen to us is done; it’s gotten us nowhere.

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

St. Louis Rebellion: A Day by Day Breakdown

Friday 15th: The first day of the rebellion, thousands of people took to the streets over a period of several hours. During the daytime, the police made multiple arrests and knocked down several people during an advance, including one elder. Later in the night, up to a thousand surrounded the Mayor’s home and broke windows and threw paint. A local synagogue and Unitarian Church opened up their door in order to protect people from the police. A pizza store owner giving out water and pizza to protesters and almost hit by police projectiles, went on to criticize police on social media who then launched an online campaign against him through the police association. Also of note, small groups of people were also open carrying throughout the demonstration. Check out the full round up here.

Saturday 16th: Protests continued with economic disruptions, specifically targeting two malls. As LibCom wrote:

In both cases police arrived to shut the mall down, and the protesters moved on to the next location. These protests are interesting because they cause immediate economic disruption, make any potential police violence highly visible to staff and shoppers, and in Chesterfield allowed protesters to directly communicate with bystanders as they took over a podium and mic to address shoppers.

Meanwhile STL Today reported that concerts by U2 on Saturday and Ed Sheeran on Sunday had both been cancelled due to ‘safety concerns’. While the only real safety concern in STL is the continued violence by police departments against its residents this shows that street protests themselves can cause economic disruption too. It is only when business as usual is disrupted that concessions can be won.

As we reported on the second night, people began to target corporate property and clashes with the police continued to break out.

Sunday 17th: Street demonstrations continue; police reverse a car through a contingent of day time demonstrators. Police began to come down hard on protesters, shooting projectiles and attacking people as darkness falls. Several cops are treated for exposure to their own tear gas, which they attempted to blame on “unknown chemicals” from protesters. Ironically, these “chemicals” turned out to be apple cider, a common treatment for tear gas. Up at 80 arrests are made as police attempt to crush the rebellion. Reportedly police also chanted, “Who’ streets? Our streets!,” after clearing demonstrators.

Monday 18th: Students back to school after three days of revolt launch walkouts. According to LibCom

This morning, students at schools including Kirkwood High School, Webster Groves High School, and University City High School walked out in the early morning. The UCHS high school protest was supported by and organised by school staff, however students took matters into their own hands with a disciplined and determined march away from the school when an administrator announced the protest was over via loudhailer. Unfortunately school administrators managed to corral them back towards the school before they’d managed to get too far away.

That evening, a large group of people gathering at the so-called Justice Center to demand the release of people who were arrested. The huge crowd chanted “Fuck Jason Stockley,” and called for the freeing of the prisoners:

Tuesday 19th: Protests continue as interfaith gathering marches on City Hall.

Wednesday 20th: Protests continue and intersections were blocked. Disruptions of upscale shopping districts continued:

Protesters took to the streets again Wednesday in the St. Louis area to demonstrate against a judge’s recent acquittal of a white former police officer who fatally shot a black suspect in 2011.

The demonstration was the latest part of an effort by protesters to disrupt business as a way to draw attention to their cause. It had been announced for Shaw Park in the suburb of Clayton, Missouri, and about 100 people gathered there. They quickly left, though, and a larger group met up near the St. Louis Galleria in nearby Richmond Heights, where they blocked traffic.

Demonstrators marched and chanted near the upscale shopping mall and briefly moved toward an interstate on-ramp, but police blocked the entrance and pushed the protesters back.

“No justice, no profits,” the marchers chanted. “Whose streets? Our streets!””

The revolt in St. Louis, which is by no means over, is informed by both the memory of the Ferguson rebellion and the knowledge of what is needed to potentially force the State to grant any kind of concessions. With all of these lessons in mind, we must think about what is means to engage in an anti-police struggle in the present day, and how we can take things forward beyond simply asking for those in power for “justice” which we know will never come through their system. Also, we must ask ourselves why the revolt did not spread? And the next time a large scale anti-police rebellion breaks out, how can we aid and expand it?

Cornell University Is Occupied

Over 300 students marched with Black Students United and occupied a building at Cornell University. According to one article:

More than 300 students marched with Black Students United to Willard Straight Hall on Wednesday afternoon and occupied the building at Cornell University for hours after delivering a list of demands to the University’s president Martha Pollack.

The protest follows the arrest of a Cornell student on Friday who police charged with assault after a black student said he was punched by a group of white men who had called him the N-word in Collegetown.

The group’s 12 demands to Cornell include requiring coursework on “privilege and power,” hiring additional mental health personnel of color, and permanently banning the Psi Upsilon fraternity from campus and converting its building into a cultural center for black students.

Black students seized the same building that they occupied on Wednesday, Willard Straight Hall, in 1969 following a series of racist acts on campus, and BSU members noted the political and historical importance of the location.

Students are occupying the building in 2017 “for the same reason that they chose it in 1969,” Traciann Celestin ’19, a co-chair of BSU, told The Sun inside the hall, surrounded by blaring music and a crowd of students wearing black clothes in support. “This is the heart of the campus so we want to disrupt the heart of campus.”

Antifascist Updates 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about people in Seattle who knocked some neo-Nazi idiot wearing a swastika armband and harassing an African-American person back to the stone age. By and large, the response has been positive:

Another man ran across the street at that point and punched the neo-Nazi in the jaw, knocking him unconscious.

Duff admits he was very high on marijuana during the incident, so he did not get involved, but said he was hoping someone would punch the neo-Nazi.

“Everyone was so joyous,” Duff said. “It was like a bonding for the community.”

He said a few people came forward to help the unconscious man, but he said they backed off when another bystander pointed out he was “Nazi trash.”

“Nobody wanted to help him,” Duff told the newspaper.

The crowd dispersed when police arrived, and officers said the man declined to provide information about the incident and left after removing his swastika armband.

In Berkeley, Alt-Right trolls chalked the campus up with anti-immigrant and anti-antifa slogans in the run up to the growing dumpster fire of Milo’s ‘Free Speech Week.’

In Chapel Hill, NC, students have launched an economic boycott on campus in order to push for the removal of a Confederate statue.

Lastly, an activist with a British antifascist group went undercover for a year in the Alt-Right. Starting in the UK, the mole then went on to make connections with with the Alt-Right in the US, most notably Greg Johnson of Counter-Currents. Johnson has come to represent a split within the Alt-Right between the camp representing Richard Spencer and the Alt-Right Corporation, which includes Aktos Media and Red Ice Productions.

While undercover, the mole met with various Alt-Right groups that openly talked about killing Jews and political enemies while celebrating the Nazis. The biggest revelation in the investigation however, is when the mole sat down with Jason Reza Jorjani of the Alt-Right Corp. and Jorjani stated that he had a connection within the Trump administration and that connection was none other than Steve Bannon. Jorgani goes on to state that the kind of world that he wants will see it’s fruition through concentration camps, war, deportations, and the death of upwards of 100 million people.

Hope not Hate plans to turn their findings into a documentary. We hope that their work is widely read. View their intimidate report here.

Shout Outs

People in Portland held a march remembering the life and death of James Chasse, who was killed by police over 10 years ago. Check out pictures here.

A new film is coming out about Copwatch. Check out the trailer and find out about screenings in your area.

In the bay area, actions are coming up against a series of Alt-Right “free speech” events at UC Berkeley. Check Berkeley Antifa for more info.

There’s a lot of anti-pipeline actions happening around the US – try and stay up with this new podcast here.

Actions continue in St. Louis and in Atlanta. Please support imprisoned rebels.

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