Filed under: Editorials, Roundup
In the past two weeks, we saw the continuation of the rage directed at police across the US build and grow, leading to protests outside of police association offices and open occupations of police buildings. We saw an occupation spring up in Chicago, where people took over a vacant lot outside of the Homan Square black site. We also witnessed the insane pageant and spectacle of both the RNC and the DNC. At the RNC, as we reported several weeks ago, the Republicans unveiled their most right-wing program yet, and sought to attack queer and trans people, promote a “law and order” platform of repression, surveillance, and prisons, grind down labor unions, the poor, and public education, and expand fossil fuel extraction and oil pipeline development.
ah just off work let's check the news and see how the RNC is doi- pic.twitter.com/6xSRDiMJ4I
— Jacob Wohl premium snapchat (@Cryptoterra) July 21, 2016
In the face of such a massive police build up that was proceeded by FBI harassment of organizers, many people seemed to choose to stay in their communities and organize there. At the same time, fascist, far-Right militia, and Neo-Nazi groups also seized on the RNC in order to create a media spectacle of their own, again showing that the white nationalist movement is indeed growing and seeking to gain more and more mainstream legitimacy. Meanwhile at the DNC, anger grew in the streets at the betrayal of the Bernie Sanders’ “political revolution.”
Destroy the Elections
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) July 29, 2016
The DNC proved to be a much different kind of show although in some ways had much of the same window dressings. Just as Trump took the nomination against a backdrop of ever growing controversy over rape allegations, labor violations, and tell all interviews from former employees, Wikileaks released emails that showed that the DNC was actively trying to shut down the Bernie Sanders campaign and the DNC was involved in a variety of dirty dealings. During the convention, Bernie Sanders supporters booed and protested as their candidate begged them to back Hillary Clinton (who has a long history as a lap-dog for Wall Street and the Pentagon) and a barrage of DNC faithfuls exalted Clinton as the second coming of Christ. As Jerry White wrote:
Bernie Sanders’ ringing endorsement of Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention Monday night was an exercise in deceit and cynicism aimed at painting the candidate of Wall Street and the Pentagon as a champion of ordinary working people.
Listening to his servile remarks, one might be forgiven for asking why Sanders ran against her in the first place. From the beginning, however, the Sanders campaign was a political trap aimed at corralling growing anger and opposition and channeling it back into the Democratic Party. The fundamental mendacity of his campaign is fully exposed in the concluding act.
In the primaries, Sanders won popular support for his call for a “political revolution” against the domination of the “billionaire class.” He is now telling his supporters to back a woman who epitomizes the incestuous relationship between the two big business parties and the “billionaire class” of financial and corporate elites.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) July 27, 2016
The “betrayal” of the Sander’s campaign (he always stated that he would back the DNC nominee against Trump if he lost) has set into motion a growing pool of angry “Bern Outs” who the last two days nights, have taken to the streets in anger against the Democratic Party. Check out some of this footage from Unicorn Riot:
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) July 27, 2016
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) July 27, 2016
Where will this anger take the hundreds of thousands of youth and low-wage workers that poured so much money and support into Bernie’s campaign? Left of center groups rallied during the DNC hoping to catch some of this energy into the campaigns for Jill Stein and other progressive politicians. As Joseph Kishore wrote:
Many [socialist and progressive organizations]…gathered in Philadelphia this week for their own “Socialist Convergence” meeting held simultaneously with the DNC. Much of the discussion within and between these organizations is over whether or not to endorse Jill Stein and the Green Party. Beyond support for Stein in the election, the pseudo-left outfits gathered in Philadelphia are discussing the possibility of forming a new political organization, in part modeled on the “Coalition of the Radical Left” (Syriza) in Greece.
All of these organizations are part of the structure of bourgeois politics, representing more privileged sections of the upper middle class. Whether it is through the Sanders campaign, the Green Party campaign or the creation of some new political outfit, the aim is the same. On the one hand, they hope to create more favorable conditions for upper middle class elements within the state, the trade unions and academia…On the other hand, they are working desperately to prevent the working class from organizing as an independent…force in opposition to the capitalist system.
We have to have our own alternative. We have to show people what is happening on the ground and in the streets in their own communities, workplaces, environmental regions, and neighborhoods. We have to build organizations, crews, campaigns, projects, and movements that speak to building a real counter power that uses direct action, not the ballot box. That seeks to create a force that is autonomous from the State in every way and instead pushes towards land, freedom, and autonomy and against the systems and mechanisms of control and domination.
In that spirit, let’s get to the news.
A lot has been happening lately against gentrification and rent increases. In British Columbia, actions continue against the eviction of an apartment complex:
A video of the Stop Demoviction Parade. July 23, 2016. Thanks to Mr Wu for creating this . https://t.co/BxDsfNFhvY
— Metrotown Residents (@MetrotownRA) July 25, 2016
— Against Displacement (@stopdisplacemnt) July 24, 2016
Protests also continued in SF against an eviction wave and rampant gentrification:
Community members at 22nd & Mission streets protest eviction of artists, educators from their Bernal Hill home pic.twitter.com/z71qRLIrPH
— Mission Local (@MLNow) July 15, 2016
— Emily Price (@Emily) July 15, 2016
In Washington DC, people protested a slumlords home in a fight against gentrification of the Congress Heights neighborhood:
— Law Students in Court (@LSICJustice) July 23, 2016
Meanwhile, in LA, residents hit with a rent increase are going on rent strike:
News about the Los Angeles rental market is usually pretty painful these days, and many renters feel like they have little recourse to fight back. But residents of one Highland Park apartment building who say they were recently hit with a $1,000 rent increase are not taking the news sitting down.
KPCC is reporting that 51 tenants of the 60-unit Marmion Royal apartment building in Highland Park plan to go on a rent strike instead of moving out. Apparently the increase is due to the new owners of the building wanting to remodel.
The North East Los Angeles Alliance, a community activist group, has been working to organize tenants into a unified front in their fight against new owners, Skya Ventures and Gelt Inc.
“People just want to stay in their homes,” John Urquiza, a community organizer with the alliance told KPCC. Urquiza says he wants the landlords to meet face-to-face with tenants.
Also, in Georgia, police came down against Teamster organizers attempting to sign up drivers to the union. According to the Huffington Post:
Workers in the state of Georgia are less likely to be union members than workers in almost any other state. After watching an encounter between three union organizers and a pair of cops in the state last month, it’s easy to understand why.
As the Teamsters later learned, someone from XPO called the police to report them. When two officers arrived, Ben Speight, one of three organizers, explained to them that he and his colleagues were merely passing out fliers.
But the police said they were impeding the flow of traffic ― even though the public road dead ends at the company gates, and there was no traffic other than the occasional truck leaving the facility. The organizers only stepped into the road when a trucker waved them over to accept a leaflet, Speight said.
“It ain’t like it was back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, with all those wildcat strikes and the [unintelligible] and everything,” the officer says. (It’s unclear exactly what labor unrest the officer was talking about. He may have been referencing the national wildcat strike by postal workers in 1970.)
Protests and resistance to fracking and pipelines continue:
— Rising Tide NA (@RisingTideNA) July 19, 2016
In Colorado, the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) has pushed local police to brush up on their counter insurgency theory in order to deal with fracking protesters and sent cops undercover to try and disrupt the movement. According to The Intercept:
Lee Fang and I have published a piece up on The Intercept* based on emails and documents obtained from the Lakewood Police Department in Colorado that show that the BLM — the one environmental NGOs have pushed to “Keep It in the Ground” — have utilized their law enforcement agents to go undercover and infiltrate the activist movement.
Further, we got ahold of documents (and a scan of the check) showing that the BLM reimbursed the Lakewood Police Department for its overtime pay for its policing and undercover agent activity at the protest of the May BLM oil/gas auction in Lakewood at the Holiday Inn hotel. Also, the documents reveal intelligence-sharing between fracking company Anadarko (infamous for saying it considers enviro activists “insurgents” in the “counterinsurgency” it is waging, while recommending that its PR/community affairs team read the Counterinsurgency Field Manual) and the BLM/Lakewood PD.
American Indians in North Dakota say they will continue to protest the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois, even after the Army Corps of Engineers approved most of the final permits needed for the project.
Native Americans have been staging a nonviolent protest for months at a “spirit camp” established by the Standing Rock Sioux at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers. Protesters have been spending time in contemplation, conversation and prayer.
The 1,172-mile pipeline planned by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners will pass through the Dakotas and Iowa on its way to Illinois. It received approval in all of the states earlier this year, and the Corps of Engineers has now approved crossings of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, agency spokeswoman Eileen Williamson told The Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/2apLBtc).
Energy Transfer Partners still needs approval of three more easements for Corps property — one in South Dakota and one in Illinois.
Construction of the pipeline has already begun in many areas, and “we can now move forward with construction in all areas as quickly as possible in order to limit construction activities to one growing season and be in service by the end of this year,” said Lisa Dillinger, a project spokeswoman.
The pipeline will carry nearly half a million barrels of crude from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields each day. Opponents fear a spill could damage the environment.
For more information and to check out more developments, go here.
The US continues to see a heavy wave of anti-police vandalism, arson, and attacks on police. Police have responded with passing “Blue Lives Matter” legislation and arresting people for posting anti-police posts on social media. As Ajamu Baraka on Black Agenda Report wrote:
The state will use the attacks in Dallas to attempt to silence the voices of those who continue to oppose the systematic slaughter of black and brown people by the police across the country. Barack Obama, the hypocrite-in-chief who cold-bloodily decides who lives and dies every Tuesday in his illegal drone war, proclaims that we need more love and peace. He uses this incident to increase his calls to disarm the people in the form of gun control. But Obama and all of those who make gratuitous declarations of commitments to “love,” non-violence and rule of law when police are killed, strangely don’t seem to have the same level of moral indignation in response to the almost weekly stories of a black woman or man being murdered by a cop, even when the murder is caught on video.
But we know that Obama, the Black Mis-Leadership Class, the majority of the U.S. public really does not believe in the equal value of all life, and certainly not in the value of poor, working class black life. That is why there is such a small anti-war and peace movement and why the state finds it so easy to align public support – even among “radicals” – for its imperialist violence across the globe.
What this means is that the lives of poor and working class black and brown people have to mean something – to us. While strategically we continue to make demands on the state for “justice” we cannot afford any illusions regarding the nature of the state, the role of its police forces and the impossibility of a racist, capitalist state to render justice to a captive, colonized population.
According to The Guardian, at the time of this writing, 611 have been killed by law enforcement in the US. This month also marks the 1 year anniversary of the death of Sandra Bland. Recently, it has come forward that an ex-guard falsified jail logs and a Texas officer wanted to testify on Bland’s behalf but faced death threats. Since her death in police custody, at least 815 people have also died in police custody as well.
Protests at police officer association buildings, takeovers of police department HQs, and continued protests and freeway shutdowns have also been ongoing:
— Jessie Sandoval ?✍? (@slenderbutter) July 20, 2016
— Betulapendula (@Betulapendula22) July 20, 2016
— ?Dr. Gadget ??? (@bgirlgadget) July 17, 2016
— Chicago Rising (@ChicagoRising) July 16, 2016
— Jenna Lyons (@JennaJourno) July 16, 2016
— Ash J (@AshAgony) July 17, 2016
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) July 19, 2016
13 Black Lives Matters protesters arrested after shutting down I-95 SB https://t.co/0nekMuAB0c
— BlackOUT Collective (@blackoutcollect) July 19, 2016
Family of Luis Gongora, killed by SFPD in April, speaking at rally outside SF Hall of Justice pic.twitter.com/R86ZH2vVS9
— Jessica Christian (@jachristian) July 19, 2016
Both the RNC and the DNC saw a lot of fascist and white nationalist media stars come out for the show. Check out Idavox for more info.
Identity Evropa, (think the Peta2 of white nationalism), continues to put up posters across the US. What’s been great however is that as fast as they but up their posters, people have been ripping them down and destroying them. Check out our roundup here and watch their twitter here to find out where they putting up their crap.
Anti-Fascist News has a great new article on Red Ice Creation, the multimedia platform that continues to be a major media player in the growing white nationalist and neo-fascist movement.
The International Day of Solidarity with Anti-Fascist Prisoners is here. People are taking action and organizing benefit events for antifa comrades. We hope you do the same!
The National Socialist Movement, the OGs of Hollywood dress up Neo-Nazism and who’s former members describe as being run by FBI informants, are planning a rally in Buffalo, New York on July 30th. A counter-demonstration has been planned.
Also, Matthew Heimbach’s Traditionalist Worker Party is planning a rally in Tennessee in the small town of Ocoee on Saturday, July 30th. The rally will be in support of the congressional electoral campaign of Rick Tyler, who made a name for himself several months ago after he placed up billboards reading, “Make America White Again.” The opening event at (9:30 AM) will take place at the Whitewater Grill (1224 Hwy 64, Ocoee, TN) which is owned by Tyler. Others have already called for a boycott campaign but we encourage everyone to call at: (423) 338-4400 and be sure to check out their yelp page. Heimbach then plans to take people to nearby Cleveland, TN, where the group will listen to speeches and check out the Confederate memorial. More info here.
— S O L E (@mcsole) July 23, 2016
Rest in Peace to Levi Shirley Arvada, Colorado, who died fighting with the YPG (Kurdish liberation forces) against ISIS. More info on his life and struggle here.
Another big RIP to Erik Peterson of the anarcho band, Mischief Brew. The AMN Collective in Kansas wrote a nice piece about the recent Plan-It-X Festival which memorializes Peterson and we encourage people to check out.
It’s Going Down!
We started a Facebook, so like us here!
Try and stay up with us on twitter here. Email us with hatemail, suggestions, corrections, or submissions at info [at] itsgoingdown [dot] org.