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Nov 25, 15

Bloc Party: Rage and Loss

Originally posted to It’s Going Down

Last week we thought our old, crusty, bad kid hearts were at a loss for words. We were left with just those of broken glass, gasoline and fire that felt fitting to describe where we find our own thoughts and where we can only assume many of you find yours as well. Fuck. Fuck the entire last week of news, social media updates, Twitter feeds and desperate texts from friends late at night. Because this hasn’t just been a hard week, friends. This has been a hard year.

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The last year of resistance has been inspiring. There are many moments where we felt that kind of joy that can only come from seeing smiling faces literally dancing on top of smashed cop cruisers. We’ve felt the glimmers of insurrection and the taste of what victories could be. We’ve seen folks push further than some of us could have even dreamed of before this year. But, there is a pain that comes along with the knowledge that we all have been throwing the fuck down since August 2014 and things just seem to get worse. The struggle just feels all the more desperate this week. So, while we are much more comfortable with the sass and the snark, we have none of that to offer tonight. We have a lot of rage mixed with loss topped with an unrelenting willingness to keep fighting. Y’all, keep fucking fighting.

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Minneapolis, don’t stop til we all get it. Chicago, turn up and know we all have your backs. Denver, don’t let the liberals get you down. Oakland, never stop being anarcho-disney-world where anything is possible and everything is flammable.

This week, events are continuing to unfold in Oakland, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Denver. Minneapolis seems to have seen the biggest and most intense confrontations with authorities, after the occupation at the 4th Precinct was evicted. After a sneaky move from the cops, rebels then turned and laid siege to the entire precinct! We especially appreciated this tactful turning of the tables. After the police closed gates surrounding the building, protestors remained outside, covering the fence in some places with debris or at least blankets, to obscure the cop’s view of the crowd. This cover was then used to break down at least one security camera, throw rocks over the fence, and reportedly even a couple Molotov’s, in an apparent attempt to burn those pigs in their own home! The Big Bad Wolf would be quite proud. Check out this video here.

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Meanwhile in Denver, Michael Marshall, the 50-year-old homeless Black man beaten into a coma by Denver Sheriffs last week has died. The Marshall family, along with their supporters, gathered outside the jail to hold a press conference. Their lawyers are the same lawyers who represented the family of Marvin Booker, an elder Black man beaten to death in eerily similar circumstances in Denver back in 2010. Many in the crowd remembered the protest movement that sprung up in response to Marvin’s murder, as displayed on a large banner unfurled for all the cameras to see. The Booker Family only recently won a settlement of $6.5 million, but none of the deputies involved were charged or even lost their jobs. Many of the Marshall family carried his name on their lips, as well as the names of the countless others who have been murdered by Denver authorities in the last 6 years. Aside from the press conference there was also a night vigil outside the jail earlier in the week in which protestors let themselves in, demanding to talk to someone who could tell them Michael’s condition. The Sunday following Michael’s death, the Denver DA, Mitch Morrissey, was visited once again by a loud group of protesters who have made it a habit to hold home demos every time another person is murdered by Denver law enforcement. The City of Denver, like so many other places in the US, could very well be the next Minneapolis, the next Ferguson. All it will take is a one spark to catch.

https://twitter.com/SpokaneIWW/status/668227144787632128

After 5 protestors in Minneapolis were shot during an attack by white supremacists, we cannot stress the point we’ve made several times in this column enough, repression isn’t just in the hands of the state. What seemed like just a few wingnut, racist trolls coming to be shitheads at the 4th Precinct occupation turned into 5 people almost losing their lives to racist pieces of shit. Naturally the pigs let them run rampant and then went on to refuse aid to those harmed for fifteen or more minutes. This flirtatious relationship between neo-nazis and the state we’ve been discussing couldn’t be more overt than last night. Being ever vigilant against white supremacists isn’t just for your drunk “antifa” bro at the punk show, friends.

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What happened in Minneapolis is likely to add fuel to the fascist fire that is sparking in the Pacific Northwest right now. There have been calls from fascists there for a more public display for their so called “martyr’s day.” Rumors are flying about what exactly these nazis have planned, but keep your eyes on Rose City Antifa for more concrete updates and calls to action.

As upswings of insurgency brew across the U.S., we can only assume we have another long Winter ahead of us. We anticipate jail solidarity, calls for packed courtrooms, bullshit charges popping up months later and all the usual tricks these motherfuckers try to get us down. Stay fierce in the face of all of it, just like you have been. Though, as bad as all you bad kids are, don’t be afraid to say this has been a brutal year and take a minute with your crews to acknowledge that. Don’t worry, no one thinks you’ve gone soft if you do.

Before we sign off for the week, here are a few important calls for support from those on the inside:

Jennifer Gann is a trans woman and anarchist prisoner who would greatly benefit from some broader support these days. Jennifer is serving life out in California under the exceptionally bullshit “three strikes,” laws. Can we get a round of FUCK YOU for the California prison system? You can check out her support site for more information on her current needs! Also, a letter from a dope new friend is a lifeline for folks in prison. Send one!

J. Gann #E23852

KVSP-C2-112U

P.O. Box 5103

Delano, CA 93216

Speaking of FUCK YOU California prisons: Jesse Perez, one of the prisoners involved in the ongoing struggle at Pelican Bay, is in a court battle against the guards who have retaliated against him and others after some ground was gained in the courts to significantly limit the use of SHU in California.

Perez’s suit claims the guards attacked him and destroyed his property just days after his 2012 settlement. His attorneys are arguing that guards retaliated against Perez for exercising his right to file a lawsuit. Perez has also been politically outspoken and participated in the historic California hunger strikes that started inside of Pelican Bay’s solitary units, another reason Perez claims prison guards targeted him.

CT9kHUXUwAA72ycKeith Lamar (Bomani Shakur) ended his hunger strike, but there is still an active call for your support. From his support site:

Keith LaMar is wrongfully on death row. He recently ended his 9-day hunger strike against cruel restrictions at the Ohio State Penitentiary after the warden agreed to meet his demands.

But the much larger fight is still ahead of us. We are asking you to join the fight to #FREEKeithLaMar.

We are launching a social media campaign to spread the word far and wide that Ohio hid the evidence that proves Keith’s innocence. We must call for freedom not death.

We ask you to join us in this fight by:

Watching and sharing this 2-minute video calling people to join the fight to #FREEKeithLaMar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaiDWvwBYzk.

Helping us grow the campaign by posting your own #FREEKeithLaMar photo with a strong message on social media (watch the video to get a sense of the images we are going for or see below)

Forward this email to your own network and contacts.

Guidelines for taking a photo:

Please keep it a serious sign which includes a message and the hashtag #FREEKeithLaMar.

Some examples of messages include:

Keith = Ohio’s scape goat

Freedom not death!

Ohio hid the evidence

State sanctioned murder

It truly will require a mass of people supporting him together to make the kind of impact he needs. Join us in this fight to #FREEKeithLaMar!

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Next week we’re back on the Bloc with a longer look at what’s been going down on the inside. Until then, remember that they believe they’re dealing with anarchists out there.

Wear that shit like a mantle and live up to the expectations!

 

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Bloc Party is an ongoing column that looks at State repression, counter-insurgency, prisons, political prisoners, as well as what people are doing to resist them.

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