Filed under: Canada, Mexico, Roundup, US
Originally posted to It’s Going Down
It's going down in #SanDiego
— NUEMONEY (@NUEMONEY) May 28, 2016
It did indeed. It was a weird and scary week so let’s not waste any time getting to the news.
Destroy the Elections
— Michael J. Buell (@buell003) May 28, 2016
— Kimberly Hunt (@10NewsHunt) May 28, 2016
Protests took place in a variety of cities as California became the latest in a highly contested race between the two corporate and imperialist parties in the United States. The most violent and confrontational were in San Jose and San Diego, where people faced numerous arrests as police used batons to keep people from storming into the convention center and shot at demonstrators while clearing roadways. As always, if you have a report from one of these cities, please don’t hesitate to send it to us.
The strike called by the radical Mexican teacher’s union, the CNTE against continued attempts by the state to pass education reform is till unfolding. In the tweet above, we can see as just as in the Oaxacan Insurrection of 2006, the struggle is expanding outside of the the bounds of a labor dispute and into the terrain of social and community conflict with the established order. Support for the strike is also strong. According to one article:
Up to 14 administrators and head teachers were marched barefoot through the town of Comitan after they defied a strike. A faction of Mexico’s teacher’s union, the CNTE, allegedly placed signs around their necks saying they were traitors. Many of them had their heads shaved while crowds of people watched.
The Driscoll’s boycott continues, despite a refusal by the United Farm Workers (UFW) to recognize the boycott. According to an article on Indybay.org:
The UFW’s clear lack of support for the farmworkers in San Quintín, México and Washington state who are leading an international boycott against Driscoll’s was dramatically demonstrated on April 3, 2016 at the annual Cesar Chavez March in Salinas, California.
Prior to parading through the streets of Salinas, Michael Garcia of the Watsonville Brown Berets enthusiastically approached UFW Vice President Lauro Barajas and asked if it was OK if members of Families United for Justice (FUJ), which is a local independent union of farmworkers in Washington, and the Watsonville Brown Berets carried a “Boycott Driscoll’s” banner towards the front of the march. Garcia was denied and told that the UFW did not want the banner carried at all during the march. When FUJ boycott coordinator Andrew Eckels approached a UFW representative to ask permission to speak from the stage about the FUJ, Eckels was given the cold shoulder and completely ignored.
A rally in the park continued after the Cesar Chavez March, and despite previous instructions from the UFW, the stage owner granted advocates of the Driscoll’s Boycott a few minutes to address the crowd. FUJ member Lázaro Matamoros primarily spoke followed by closing words from Eckels. This came after all the other organizational representatives had already spoken, and following a performance by the mariachi band. Still, UFW wanted nothing to do with farmworkers fighting for dignity and justice against Driscoll’s. Garcia recalls, “As soon as we started talking, the main UFW representative [Lauro Barajas] started pulling out UFW flags from around the stage.”
Although it is now obvious that the UFW is working against the farmworkers in San Quintín, Mexico and Washington state who are leading the international Driscoll’s Boycott, the UFW continually refuse to answer any questions regarding their support for, and close relationship with, Driscoll’s.
For more information on the boycott and how you can plug in, go here.
The Verizon strike, which involved tens of thousands of workers, led to millions of dollars of sabotaged corporate property, and mobilized large numbers of the working-class in direct support of the strike has ended. As Jerry White wrote:
The circumstances surrounding the calling off of the strike were particularly despicable. After 10 days of secret talks overseen by Obama’s labor department, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) announced that they had reached an “agreement in principle” over the Memorial Day weekend (when workers were off the picket lines) and were ending the seven-week strike. The unions ordered workers back to work without releasing the full contract—since there was not one—or allowing workers to vote on it.
Union bureaucrats shouted, “We got everything we wanted!” at highly skeptical workers showing up for work Wednesday morning. In an effort to exploit their advantage, Verizon management sought to make an example of militant workers wearing strike t-shirts by sending them home for not wearing “proper attire.” A CWA business agent in midtown Manhattan immediately took management’s side.
In reality, the wholesale capitulation of the unions gave Verizon, in the words of top executives, all the “key changes sought by the company” to boost its competitiveness and profits.
The deal will shift hundreds of millions of dollars in health care costs onto the backs of active and retired workers. It will also give the world’s second largest telecommunications company a free hand to streamline operations by consolidating customer service call centers and prepare the spinoff of its less profitable wire telephone, internet and cable TV unit, which has already seen mass job cuts in recent years.
The struggle at Verizon is far from over. As the consequences of this betrayal become apparent, opposition will grow as voting on whatever actual contract emerges takes place before June 17. Moreover, the struggle of telecom workers is part of the growing resistance of the working class and radicalization of workers and youth throughout the US and internationally, from last fall’s rebellion of autoworkers against the UAW sellout deals, to the spreading waves of strikes and mass protests in France and Belgium against anti-working class labor “reforms.”
White goes on to write:
The tocsin for the attack on wages was sounded with the 2009 restructuring of the auto industry, overseen by the White House, which was based on the halving of wages for new hires and a significant lowering of health care costs for current workers and retirees. This was followed by the passage of Obamacare in 2010, fraudulently packaged as a “reform,” the essential purpose of which was to shift the costs from corporations and the government onto the backs of workers.
The consequence of these policies can be seen in the record growth of social inequality since 2009, with 95 percent of all income gains going to the top 1 percent. Yet this restructuring of class relations is far from over. Under conditions of growing opposition in the working class, and signs of a renewed economic crisis on the horizon, the ruling class is pressing ahead.
What this means for the rest of us is that we now have another opportunity to make a connection with Verizon workers who are now back at work but will have to decide if they will accept a sell-out contract. If you find yourself in a Verizon store, take moment and make a connection. Talk with workers about what they think and about what solidarity could look like in the communities around them. Be prepared for pissed off workers voting down their contract and walking right back the fuck out.
In Detroit, people continue to organize against a wave of evictions and recently an occupation has begun of a foreclosed home following a block party. If you live in the area, be sure to check them out!
— M1 (@1stOfMayAA) May 28, 2016
Not to be outdone, in Montreal, anti-gentrification forces looted and vandalized a high end grocery store:
Dozens of masked vandals raided a high-end grocery store in Montreal Saturday night in an apparent demonstration against gentrification in the neighbourhood.
A lone cashier was working in the store, named 3724, when about 30 looters dressed in black barged in around 8 p.m., set off smoke bombs and stole thousands of dollars in food. The shop’s window was vandalized with the words “Long live de-gentrification.”
— Fight For 15 Chicago (@chifightfor15) May 29, 2016
The encampment against the Dakota Access Pipeline continues:
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) May 27, 2016
Also, people took their rage out against Imperial Metals outside a shareholders’ meeting:
— Earth First! Journal (@efjournal) May 28, 2016
Kinetik and Ben on May Day… https://t.co/AwGzP1sMRE
— IWOC (@IWW_IWOC) June 2, 2016
People are continuing to build for the national prisoner work strike on September 9th.
Support Prisoner Resistance has a FAQ guide up, as well as some ideas for upcoming days for outreach and building capacity for the mobilization.
Also, be sure to check out this awesome interview with Ben Turk from IWOC on the strike here, an interview with the Free Alabama Movement on The Thread here, and another interview here on the strike and FAM.
In Texas, prisoners also rioted during flooding and a power outage, causing evacuations and in Susanville, CA, a rioted also broke out.
Smash the Patriarchy
This was literally a week of people not giving any fucks against patriarchy.
Send some love to Tabitha Brubaker, a 19 year old who is accused of hitting a street preacher with a baseball bat for flying a pro-rape sign near a high school. According to Anti-Fascist News:
The internet erupted when a video came to light of an angry street preacher standing in front of a Phoenix high school with a sandwich board sign that said “You Deserve Rape.” The video, taken by the preacher himself, showed him yelling at students with aggressive homophobic, sexist, and violent rhetoric. Several people came up to him to ask him to leave, yet eventually someone had enough and hit him in the head with a baseball bat. The video shows the preacher, named Brother Dean Saxton, walking away defeated and bleeding.
A fundraiser was created by Phoenix Anarchist Black Cross to support the woman that was charged with the assault on Saxton, which is intended to fund her getting adequate legal support so she can get a fair hearing. Saxton has been harassing young women around Phoenix for years, and even if people do not condone violence like this it is easy to understand how his behavior could be triggering to survivors of sexual assault.
A White Rose for Tabitha Brubaker Defense Fund https://t.co/WQNQ5GEvIQ
— Apparently because I'm a leftist I'm braindead (@cosmo18) June 1, 2016
cool stickers bro pic.twitter.com/wPlr6oZgF6
— New York Year Zero (@newyorkyearzero) May 30, 2016
In New York, people mobilized to shut down a pro-Nazi music festival. In short, two venues were forced to shut down concerts after people raised hell. While some portions of the concerts did happen, this is an example of people power when physical numbers can’t force a venue to close. We hope that in the coming months, people can build on this by showing other communities that even in big cities, Neo-Nazis and white nationalists are openly recruiting. According to Anti-Fascist News:
Feeling the force of antifascist pressure from NYC Antifa and others, the Black Bear Bar in Brooklyn finally decided to cancel the Oi!Fest 2016 skinhead concert they were hosting. The bar had provided cover to the neo-Nazis organizing the concert, just as they did previously by supporting the neofolk Operation Equinox tour, using the few multi-racial members of the skinhead bands as a cover. As people have noticed, this group of nationalist skinheads have reached out to nationalists of color to create a more “multi-racial” fascist subculture, and one that often confuses those looking for traditional racial separatism.
Another post wrote:
After the announcement came in, people went to their social media and called in to share their disappointment with Black Bear once again siding with Nazis. This time Black Bear Bar eventually caved in and canceled the show. They quickly put up an apology, backtracking for their booking:
“It is with deep remorse, shared by all members of the BlackBear Bar team that we write this statement expressing our apologies to our neighbors, customers, patrons, friends and the artistic community for our part in the Oi fest, which was scheduled at BlackBear this past weekend. We have decided to cancel the remainder of this event and sincerely regret our negligence in allowing this to happen
We acted as fast as we could and have cancelled the duration of the program. We have made it clear to the parties involved that we want absolutely no part in the values represented by and through this event.”
The sudden closing of Santos Party House immediately after it hosted the second day of the pro-Nazi, “Rock Against Communism” 2016 Oi Fest has been the focus of a media onslaught. Santos manager Sean Kane told DNAinfo that, in principle he was fine with having pro-Nazi bands play there, although in this case he was unaware of their affiliations: “I do tons of parties here…. I don’t sit here and do a background check on people. I don’t know what these peoples’ religious beliefs are or what their affiliations are…as long as they don’t display aggression towards people in my venue I’m not going to have an issue here.”
Momentum continues to build against the Neo-Nazi and KKK rally planned in Sacramento, California on June 26th. Organizers encouraged people to:
1.) Invite everyone you know! Please take just a few minutes and add your friends.
2.) If you are part of a political group, religious group or church, labor union, crew of friends, band, or political formation or collective, please tell them and ask them to endorse the mobilization.
3.) Talk to your co-workers, neighbors, fellow students about how they can get involved in attending the event.
4.) Print out flyers and share them with others.
5.) Share this event and the associated images on social media. Go to both antifasac.weebly.com and itsgoingdown.org for more info.
In Canada, the war on fur continues in Toronto:
Last week I gained access to the roof top of the North American Fur Auction and sabotaged air conditioning units. I also lit several petrol bombs to send a clear message to those who make their living killing and torturing animals that the times are changing. This action was done in solidarity with all the lovely persons giving freedom to animals trapped in fur farm hell.
Also, there’s going to be a Northwest Animal Liberation Conference happening this weekend. More info here.
Next weekend in Portland: Northwest Animal Liberation Forum! https://t.co/NY0pNRuE3h
— No New Animal Lab (@NoNewAnimalLab) May 30, 2016
The court had just called. The verdict in her felony “lynching” case was in. The charge is now officially known as Attempting to Unlawfully Remove a Suspect from Police Officers, but until quite recently, CA Penal Code § 405a described the charge of “taking by means of a riot of any person from the lawful custody of any peace officer” as “a lynching.”
Richards, 28, was the first African-American ever actually tried on these charges, said Gyamfi. Others had been initially charged, but the charges had been eventually dropped or reduced. No African-American had actually ever stepped into a courtroom to face the charge.
Richards has been a very visible member of the Black Lives Matter Pasadena community over the last year. She consistently refused to speak with the press, and advised her group of followers to do the same, yet spoke up loudly at City Council meetings, usually in matters concerning the Pasadena Police and the Black community.
— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) June 2, 2016
The 'Blue Lives Matter' Bill Is Bullshit https://t.co/nO2yKOsqCP
— Copwatch Patrol Unit (CPU) (@CopwatchCPU) May 26, 2016
Bill Bratton, one of the architect’s of the application of ‘broken windows theory‘ also made headlines this week:
NY Police Commissioner blames all the world's problems on rap music. Aren't white people rap's largest fan base?https://t.co/AhcPkXxZyX
— Black Youth Project (@BlackYouthProj) May 29, 2016
According to The Guardian’s ‘The Counted,’ at least 432 people have died at the hands of law enforcement in the United States this year so far.
— Earth First! Journal (@efjournal) May 31, 2016
There’s a new place to donate to the Rojava Revolution! Please send some money here if you can.
If you want to support the Albuquerque rebels who rioted outside of the Trump rally several weeks ago, you can do that here.
It’s Going Down!
Sorry we got behind this week! Things have been hectic. Try and stay up with us here!