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Feb 27, 16

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

Originally published to It’s Going Down

The brand spanking new magazines are back from the printer and over the next week we are going to start sending them out first to those that ordered them as well as infoshops, radical bookstores, and autonomous spaces across the US. If you have a place in mind that could use some love, send us an email at: info [at] itsgoingdown [dot] org

It’s been a busy week so without further ado, let’s get to the news. 

Tenant Struggles

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As our friends wrote in the latest Bloc Party column, longtime anti-foreclosure advocate Martin Wirth was shot and killed by sheriffs after he shot and killed members of law enforcement who were attempting to evict him as across the US. City governments also cracked down on homeless encampments as displacement grows in record numbers. Many supporters showed up at a homeless camp in San Francisco to defend against rumored police sweeps.

Tenants in Clarendon, VA confronted their landlords, as DC Direct Action News reported:

On the 25th of February, tenants from Museum Square and Mt Vernon Plaza backed by ONE DC and API Resistance showed up outside their landlord’s office in Clarendon, VA. Originally the plan was to send a delegation inside to deliver their letter demanding an end to illegal attempts to intimidate tenants into moving out. The tenants themselves though had another idea, with almost the whole group essentially storming the building and taking over the lobby. Bush Properties accepted their letter, but the person taking denied that they were even at the right office. Organizers knew better than to buy that excuse but everyone marched back outside, chanting “we’ll be back!”

Protests took place in Oregon as well, according to Eviction Free Zone

After the Oregon legislature brings forwarded a dramatically weakened minimum wage proposal and undercut possible renter protections, organizers occupy the Governor’s office and disrupt the active legislative session.

[…]

After activists stormed into the active legislative session to drop a banner that read “Housing S.O.S. Fight High Rent and Low Wages,” more than four dozen protesters occupied the entrance to Gov. Kate Brown’s office to demand local control over the minimum wage and rent control.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, where rental and home prices have abounded to some of the highest in the nation, the wealth gap has widened between the super rich and poor. In particular, black and brown workers have been hit the hardest, with the black population of SF and Oakland falling drasticallyAccording to one recent study:

In 2013, the top 1 percent of income earners in San Francisco and the Peninsula made 44 times more than everyone else: about $3.6 million compared with $81,000 — the biggest disparity in the state, the study showed. The nonpartisan think tank also revealed that the region’s wealthiest residents saw a 220 percent increase in average income since 1989, compared with a 35 percent gain for the remainder of the population.

The numbers underscore a sentiment common in the Bay Area: While the economic tide is rising, it’s not lifting all boats proportionately, creating an increasingly large gap between the very wealthy and everyone else.

In San Francisco, a rent strike has been unfolding over the last several months in the neighborhood of midtown. Global Uprisings put the above video together to document the rent strike.

In big cities, gentrification drives up rents and threatens poor and working-class renters, homeowners, seniors, and those living on a fixed income. Rent strikes are an inspiring example of collective action that is based on a simple concept: refusal. Just like when we strike on the job, refusing to work and generate profits for a boss, a rent strike refuses to put money into the hands of those that own property.

The most daunting task then becomes how to shed the liberal narratives that has accompanied the Midtown rent strike. Recognizing the strike not as a form of negotiation from which to receive concessions—undoing rent hikes, obeying certain contracts, etc. Without doing so, the refusal of the rent strike loses all potential in the struggle against capital (and this is a lesson that workplace strikes ought to learn as well.)

A question arises: how can people from the outside of the building on strike support? In the Bay Area, people have helped to organize BBQs and social events to bring attention to the rent strike and strengthen bonds between various people. Moreover, people can show up to meetings and demonstrations in support, but also by inviting rent strikers to come to other events in order to build links between different battles happening in different neighborhoods.

Resistance to Pipelines

The struggle against pipelines has been ongoing. Here are some collected tweets:

Class War 

The United Steelworkers Union (USW) has ended a lockout in an effort to ram concessions down the throats of its members. Steelworkers have fought both on the picket lines as well as against union concession attempts. According to a report by Evan Winters:

The United Steelworkers union (USW) and Pittsburgh-based specialty steelmaker Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI) announced Monday that they had come to a tentative agreement to end the six-month lockout of 2,200 workers at the company’s flat-rolled products division.

The ATI picket line at Leechburg

Any agreement reached by the USW after it deliberately isolated the embattled ATI workers can only be a miserable betrayal, which should be decisively rejected. From the beginning, the USW’s goal has been to supply ATI with millions of dollars in concessions to keep the company competitive amid a deep global slump in the steel industry.

In Flint, Michigan, anger continued to build against the known poisoning of the city’s (among others in Michigan) residents through led pipes and polluted water. Currently, key Democratic Party (who had a key role in covering up the water disaster) hitters like Jesse Jackson have come to town to try and corral public anger into a manageable way. People are angry at the slow pace of the pipe replacement, not to mention the staggering poverty and blatant corruption of the local government. At the same time, liberal commentator Michael Moore has also supposedly been working with the Michigan Militia to all move within the enveloping crisis in the state. According to one report:

In some ways, a big government screwup that leaves poor people in a lurch is the perfect cause for bringing together everyone from liberal activists to dudes so right-wing they see license plates as a form of tyranny. The Genesee County Volunteer Militia arrived outside of City Hall on Sunday afternoon bearing “Don’t Tread on Me” signs. The militia, who have pledged their support for their buddies occupying an Oregon wildlife refuge, have been handing out water bottles for the Red Cross. “What happened here is a crime,” Dave McKeller, a militia liaison who helped organize the rally, told the Detroit Free Press.

Another reported one militia member as saying:

“For [Moore] to step forward and say something good… this time I agree with him,” Dave McKellar, a member of the militia group, told the Free Press. “We’re trying to coordinate so the protests don’t stop.”

We shouldn’t be waiting for liberal blowhards like Moore or Jackson to lead us, or hoping for a coming together of bureaucrats and far-Right forces. It’s up to us to rebuild, to come together, and organize on our own.

Indigenous Resistance

According to Apache Strongholdthe Apache people recently celebrated the one year anniversary of the occupation of the Oak Flats in Arizona. According to the report:

Apache Stronghold is marking the one-year anniversary of the occupation of sacred Chi’chil Bildagoteel, also known as Oak Flat. The year-long encampment has drawn support to protect Oak Flat from destruction by the proposed largest copper mine in North America.

Apaches, Tribal leaders and supporters, representing scores of groups that have endorsed the struggle, will “walk off the reservation” on Friday February 26th and spend the night in Globe, Arizona. The walk will continue the next day and end at Oak Flat with ceremonies and a unification of tribes and others committed to protect this sacred place.

More info can be found here.

Meanwhile, in Canada, BC Hydro is attempting to stop protesters from continuing an occupation that attempts to stop the Site C dam. As CBC News wrote:

BC Hydro is seeking an injunction today in B.C. Supreme Court as it looks to end to the protest against its controversial Site C dam project.

The Crown corporation says the injunction is necessary to keep the project on schedule and budget, and claims protesters have prevented contractors from completing their work. It is also seeking punitive damages and costs.

Demonstrators have been camped out in a remote area near Fort St. John since Dec. 31.

The Zapatistas have also been releasing a lot of communiques as of late, detaining life in the indigenous communities that support the EZLN and the National Indigenous Council. Check out some of their most recent releases here at Dorset Chiapas Solidarity and the Chiapas Support Committee.

Student Struggles

In Pittsburgh, students marched against austerity, low wages for on campus workers, and crippling student debt.

Anti-Fascism 

Support among neo-nazis, fascists, and racists continues to grow for Trump, who himself ruffled feathers when a protester wearing a “KKK Endorses Trump” shirt was thrown out of a recent rally. Trump declared afterward that “in the old days” law enforcement would have dealt with the disturbance much faster. It is possible that the inspiration for the disruption came from David Duke, the ex-neo-nazi and KKK organizer who is a former Louisiana State Representative, who officially has endorsed Trump as other white nationalist groups who continue to rally behind him. Duke stated on his radio program that not voting for Trump was ‘treason to your heritage.’

Duke also called on his supporters to get involved in the campaign to elect Trump, volunteer at campaign officers, and hit the streets to galvanize voters. For white nationalists, this isn’t a new strategy. From campaigns for Pat Buchanan, George Wallace, Barry Goldwater, and David Duke himself, those within the White nationalist movement that are interested in working within the established field of politics have often attempted to use the elections of reactionary and racist politicians to their benefit.

Anti-fascist organizers in Atlanta Georgia have announced that racist pro-Confederate flag organizers made up of KKK and neo-nazi groups are planning an after concert featuring the band, Definite Hate, well known for their fascist and racist lyrics. Atlanta Anti-Fascist Notes writes:

In 2012, one of Definite Hate’s guitarists, Wade Michael Page, murdered six people (and then killed himself) in an attack on the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek. Definite Hate remains affiliated with the violent Hammerskin Nation organization, and the band continues to call for bloodshed in its lyrics. The fact that “Rock Stone Mountain” planners are using this notorious act to draw a crowd to their event reveals the organizers’ violently racist political vision. It also makes clear why we must come together against such race war politics.

They go on to write about this after concert as part of a wider mobilization by racist groups which anti-fascists and others are currently working to counter-organize:

On April 23, 2016, two nationally-organized white supremacist gatherings are scheduled to take place in Georgia. The National Socialist Movement (NSM)–a blatantly neo-Nazi organization–has announced that it will hold a rally in Rome, GA on April 23. Also that day, another group of Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi militants will hold “Rock Stone Mountain,” an event which organizers have billed as a “White Power March up Stone Mountain.”

The two separate white supremacist rallies slated for April 23–and the differing styles of the two groups of organizers–have been discussed elsewhere on this site. Both the NSM and the “Rock Stone Mountain” organizers claim to have evening entertainment lined up following their respective daytime rallies. The NSM has advertised an evening event taking place at the white power-friendly Georgia Peach Oyster Bar in Draketown (near Temple) GA. The “Rock Stone Mountain” organizers are currently being more guarded about their evening plans, stating that their “after-event party/concert venue will not be released until the day of the event.” (If you have additional information about this event, please get in contact.)

Atlanta will also be the scene of another pro-fascist event taking place in early April, this time, linking up with Occultism. Atlanta comrades write:

An occultist gathering to be held at the Sheraton Atlanta Airport Hotel on April 8-10th will feature a Florida lawyer and candidate for US Senate who circulates fascist iconography plus writings online, and who proudly claims to be “friends” with militant neo-Nazis.

The “International Left Hand Path Consortium” gathering in April has included Augustus Invictus as a presenter at the occultist event. As a Libertarian Party candidate for US Senate, Invictus’ campaign website prominently displays the fasces, the original symbol of Italian fascism. In October 2015, the then-Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida, Adrian Wyllie, resigned from his position within the Party in protest of Invictus’ nomination as Libertarian for US Senate, citing Invictus’ far-Right politics as the reason for this resignation.

If you wish to object to Invictus’ speaking engagement at the “International Left Hand Path Consortium,” the event organizers may be contacted at: [email protected]. Contact info for the Sheraton Atlanta Airport Hotel may be found here.

In Anaheim, California, located in Orange County, the KKK has been hard at work over the last few months distributing poorly designed flyers with candy and calling for a rally on February 27th in a public park against “white genocide.” Counter-demonstrators outnumbered the KKK, who failed to appear for a long time, and when they did, they came in small numbers with a police escort. As soon as they arrived, a brawl broke out, racists were attacked as well as their vehicles, and 2 counter demonstrators were stabbed by a KKK member wielding a flagpole. One KKK member was also apparently stabbed (others appear to have been beaten) and several arrests on both sides were made.

Some have complained that the police did not arrive with enough personnel fast enough to prevent the stabbings, but this obviously misunderstands the false ‘safety’ enforced by the police. More importantly, it removes the actions of fascists and anti-fascists from the real world—as if they would prefer the two groups to passively demonstrate their opposition to each other. It’s clear that people on both sides came prepared to physically engage in conflict, and we have nothing but admiration for those who stood their ground against the KKK and APD.

This is just one more example of escalating fascist and white supremacist actions that is growing across the US in the wake of Trump’s presidential race and the unfolding crisis within the US. If you have a report on the incident, please send it to us as well as information about how we can support the comrades who were attacked and arrested.

Elsewhere in Orange County, hundreds are taking to the streets against the police killing Ernesto Canepa in Santa Ana as this is published. We hope to read a report back soon!

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SAPD's "community policing" means they'll kill you and then get away with it. Justice for Ernesto Canepa and all lives stolen from the State. #Justice4Ernesto #FuckSAPD

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It’s Going Down is a digital community center from anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements. Our mission is to provide a resilient platform to publicize and promote revolutionary theory and action.

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