Filed under: Canada, Mexico, Roundup, US
Originally posted to It’s Going Down
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) March 13, 2016
Protests have given way to full on brawls and bloody clashes, as anti-Trump protesters took to the streets and convention centers, disrupting rallies in several cities this week, including St. Louis, Missouri, Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Chicago, Illinois, among several others. Just today, several campaign rallies were disrupted and in Kansas City, more arrests, disruptions, and fights broke out.
A little back and forth here. Verbal only. pic.twitter.com/ZwXdsXHACg
— Ian Cummings (@Ian__Cummings) March 12, 2016
— Revolution News (@NewsRevo) March 13, 2016
Across all of these events, a trajectory of escalating violence was matched only by the fiery rhetoric of the multi-billionaire real estate mogul and reality television star, who referred to protesters as “thugs” and applauded the violence. According to one report, this is only the latest in a string of instances where Trump has openly endorsed attacks against protesters:
On Wednesday, at a rally near Fayetteville, North Carolina, a supporter of Trump attacked a 26-year-old black man, Rakeem Jones, as he was being escorted out of the Crown Coliseum by Cumberland County sheriff’s deputies. Jones was one of a small group of anti-Trump protesters at the event.
The attacker, 78-year-old John McGraw, punched Jones in the face, knocking him down. Afterwards, McGraw boasted of the attack. He told a television interviewer, “You bet I liked it,” adding, “He deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him… He might be with a terrorist organization.” McGraw was subsequently arrested and charged with battery.
At a press conference Friday morning in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump defended the attack, blaming it on the victim. “It was a guy who was swinging—was very loud—and then started swinging at the audience,” the billionaire real estate mogul said. “And you know what? It swung back. And I thought it was very, very appropriate.”
Trump has repeatedly incited violence against protesters, beginning last fall but with increasing frequency once the primaries and caucuses began:
• On February 1, he told a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of ‘em, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell—I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.”
• On February 22, at a rally in Las Vegas, Trump denounced a protester, saying, “I’d like to punch him in the face, I tell ya.” He added, “You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher.”
• On March 9, in Fayetteville, he said of interruptions by protesters, “See, in the good old days this didn’t used to happen, because they used to treat them very rough. We’ve become very weak.” Shortly thereafter, the assault on Rakeem Jones occurred.
In St. Louis on Thursday, confrontations took places between Trump supporters and protesters, leading to arrests, disruptions of the event, and violent attacks.
— Rising Tide NA (@RisingTideNA) March 11, 2016
The next day, protests broke out both inside and outside of a Trump rally in Chicago, at the University of Illinois, as Black Lives Matter groups and other militants blocked streets and confronted Trump supporters inside of the event, forcing Trump to cancel his appearance before he could even get to the rally. It is clear that Chicago is a turning point, where protesters seemed to even outnumber the amount of Trump supporters on the ground. People in the streets also drew connections between Trump and Anita Alvarez, a state attorney who has failed to indict police officers in several police related murders. Several people have been arrested and more info about how to support them is here. Check out these tweets:
— Eviane Leidig (@evianeleidig) March 12, 2016
— Jenny Korn ~ Groovy! (@JennyKorn) March 12, 2016
— natalie solidarity (@constantnatalie) March 12, 2016
In the aftermath of the clashes, both the mainstream media, Donald Trump, and Donald Trump, Jr., were all quick to attribute the disturbances as the work of Bernie Sanders. Think Progress wrote that Trump, Jr. falsely reported that an older woman giving a Nazi salute and wearing a Trump shirt in a photo that has gone viral, was in fact a Sanders organizer. Later, this claim turned out to be a lie, and it turns out that the false information came from a white nationalist source and the woman in question was nowhere near Chicago. Clearly, the ties between Trump and the far-Right are only growing.
The ongoing tension highlighted by the recent clashes, along lines of both race and class, are becoming even more clear across the United States as the Trump campaign continues to slip out of the reins of politics and into the terrain of civil war.
Trump did not appear out of nowhere. He is the continuation of decades of statecraft around the politics of white supremacy, free-trade, misogyny, and free-market economics. From the “Southern Strategy” that worked to gain support for Republicans by playing on racism against African-Americans, to the “color-blind” white nationalism of the Reagan era that sought to attack the gains made in the civil-right struggles and the labor movement. This was bolstered by the growth of the prison industrial complex and the “War on Drugs,” which lead to the increasing militarization of the police and the booming rate of people incarcerated. It is important to keep in mind that both the Republicans and the Democrats cut their teeth on these policies and campaign slogans, just as Hillary Clinton in the 1990s refereed to young men of color as “super predators.”
Meanwhile, as the “culture wars” divided the US in the 80s and 90s, the Democrats pushed a politics based on the deregulation of the banking system, the growth of the power of financial capital, and neo-liberal economics based around the “Washington Consensus.” This set of neo-liberal ideas promoted such free trade deals as NAFTA and later the FTAA. In short, both neo-conservatives and neo-liberals were united in a push towards a globalized version of a corporate capitalist system, as inequality in the US increased along lines of race and class.
During the Clinton era, unionized jobs, which were already attacked under Regan, were gutted and moved over seas. As the Bush and then Obama eras transpired, these policies lead to a massive financial crash, which further stratified the wealth gap between the super rich and the majority of the country.
The people out in the streets for Trump today, largely white and working class, are from a generation that has seen the affects of de-industrialization, increasing poverty, and the ill effects of “free-trade.” In their eyes, Trump stands in contrast to the attacks against working-class white Americans and seeks to “Make American Great Again.” In his campaign, Trump plays heavily upon the use of scapegoats, from immigrants to Muslim-Americans to Black Lives Matter protesters, in an attempt to further appear tough and strong.
— Muehlhans (@Muehlhans) February 28, 2016
For many, it’s a tactic that works. “Trump can’t be bought, he’s an outsider to Washington,” many working-class whites have stated. But just as in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign for governor in California, this belief will have disastrous affects on the poor and working class, while only further the racial, religious, and ethnic divides that exist in the US. As Patrick Martin wrote:
[T]he entire political system is beset by a deep crisis of legitimacy. Masses of people are alienated and disgusted with both parties. This takes an initial, though distorted left-wing form in the broad support for the campaign of Sanders, who calls himself a socialist, and a right-wing form in the support for Trump.
Whatever the outcome of the primary process, which remains uncertain in both big-business parties, the official US two-party system is headed for unprecedented political upheavals. There is a powerful class dynamic at work. Both corporate-controlled parties are moving to the right, while broad masses of working people and youth are moving to the left.
The racism and fascistic tendencies of the Trump campaign must be seen as a serious warning.
If anarchists and autonomous anti-capitalists are going to make headway in the coming terrain, not only against Trump, but also against the Democratic Party, then we area going to have intervene in this moment in a real way that pushes against both white supremacy and corporate capitalism. We have to fight against the very real racial divisions in this country while also pushing for the common class interests that unite all working and poor people. While doing so, we’re going to have to show the pitfalls and hypocrisy of both the Democrats and Trump while coming up against an increasingly powerful white nationalist far-Right.
This is a tall drink of water, and one that surely won’t end after the Trump campaign, as it is a task that we will have to continue to work on inside of working-class white communities during the struggles to come. In the spirit of that heavy reality, let’s get to the news.
In some good news, the venue that was hosting the after party and white power concert for the upcoming KKK and Neo-Nazi organized Confederate Flag rally in Atlanta has pulled out. According to Atlanta Antifascist Notes:
The venue for the evening show accompanying the April 23 “Rock Stone Mountain” white power rally in Georgia has canceled, according to the event’s Facebook page. Event organizers are now scurrying to secure a replacement venue.
“American Fascist” August Invictus, the same Libertarian Party hopeful that recently got chased out of the Pacific Northwest, is set to speak at an upcoming meeting and rally organized by the National Socialist Movement (NSM), a Neo-Nazis organization. The event will take place on the same day as the All Out ATL mobilizations in Atlanta, Georgia:
Florida lawyer, candidate for US Senate and fascist Augustus Invictus has announced that he will give another speech in Georgia this April. As discussed earlier, Invictus is being hosted as a speaker on April 10th by the International Left Hand Path Consortium occultist gathering in Atlanta. Now, Invictus has also agreed to talk at the National Socialist Movement (NSM)national meeting plus white power rally planned for Rome, Georgia on April 23rd. The NSM is a blatant neo-Nazi organization. Its April 23rd rally in Rome GA is co-sponsored by groups such as the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan as well as remnants of the Aryan Nations.
In Milwaukee, according to Raw Story:
A 39-year-old Milwaukee man has been charged with three counts of homicide for tracking down and shooting three neighbors after confronting one over the fact that he didn’t speak English, the Journal-Sentinel reports.
According to police, after refusing the offer of beer, Popp asked where they were from and, upon learning they came from Puerto Rico, replied, “Oh, that’s why you don’t speak English. You’re Puerto Rican.” According to Manso-Perez’s son, they were returning to their own apartment when they encountered Popp on the stairs landing pointing a rifle at them. “You guys got to go,” Popp reportedly said before shooting Mans-Perez in the head and then firing at — and missing — his son.
The banner wars continue. Rose City Anti-Fascists unfurled one in solidarity with Anaheim fighters at a recent soccer match:
— Always Antifascist (@RoseCityAntifa) March 7, 2016
Meanwhile in Boston, MA:
— Calais Solidarity (@calaisolidarity) March 8, 2016
According to Anti-Fascist News, Patriot and militia groups rallied across the US, in response to the killing of Lavoy Finicum, a pro-militia rancher that was a part of the Malheur Refuge occupation. According to the report:
On Saturday, March 5th, supporters of the militias and “patriots” came out in Portland and other cities on a call from the Oath Keepers. Beyond calling for the abolition of federal land, many are calling for a prosecution of the law enforcement officers who killed LaVoy Finicum. Many have gone online calling for a “citizen’s grand jury” where individuals are “deputized” to “indict” the people involved in Finicum’s death. Memes, t-shirts, and signs show an LV logo to remind people of LaVoy, as well as the more common symbols associated with the movement, such as excessive number of American flags and notices including coded racial language.
While these coordinated rallies show a sign of both the rise of the radical wing of the “patriot” movement, it also indicates the mainstreaming of many of their ideas. While there were regular conservative supporters that came out for the openly racist and Nativist core of the movement, there is also a public “land grab” that is happening on the state level around the country. In Alaska, a legislative committee is going against federal law by assigning 222 million acres of public lands over to the state for dissemination. The Outdoor Industry Association notes that public land brings in over $646 billion in “economic benefit,” not to mention 6.1 million jobs. The attempt to take out federal land is not one that would give it further access to “the people,” but instead an ideological war that large extractionist companies would benefit from as they would gain access to land that was considered a part of the commons. The militia camp sees it as a sign of an overreaching government, which is a point at which lacks even the most basic understandings as to what elements of the state maintain systemic oppression or enable the elements of capital. The militia instead make up a cultural segment of a growing reactionary core that is protesting progress, whether it is environmentalism, racial multiculturalism, or a multi-religious community.
Global warming news continues to be worse and worse. The Guardian reports that energy use per person across the world is expected to rise in the coming decades:
The world is on track to reach dangerous levels of global warming much sooner than expected, according to new Australian research that highlights the alarming implications of rising energy demand.
University of Queensland and Griffith University researchers have developed a “global energy tracker” which predicts average world temperatures could climb 1.5C above pre-industrial levels by 2020.
That forecast, based on new modelling using long-term average projections on economic growth, population growth and energy use per person, points to a 2C rise by 2030.
— Aashik KC (@KcAashik) November 18, 2014
A new report from the National Academy of Sciences lays more claim to the increasing correlation between extreme weather patterns and global warming, while the journal Nature reports that there is new evidence that global warming will further increase massive rainfall and increased flooding. Meanwhile, ocean temperatures continue to rise to unprecedented levels, leading to, among other things, starfish to physically melt.
In Chicago, the teachers union which has pushed to shut down sick-out strikes, has called for a one day strike and for school students to not attend class for one day. Hopefully this is an opportunity for people to push the envelope of what is possible, especially out of the hands of union beaucrats and protest managers. DNA Info wrote:
The Chicago Teachers Union announced plans Wednesday for a day of action April 1 and basically called for a general strike, asking “all concerned Chicago citizens” to skip work and boycott classrooms.
— Block Club Chicago (@BlockClubCHI) March 9, 2016
A boycott and protest actions against Driscolls has begun in solidarity with farmworkers who are fighting against horrific conditions and attacks on their organizing efforts.
In Utah, members of the American Indian Movement (AIM), disrupted the Utah Senate:
Just before 3 PM Monday, as the Senate resumed normal business on second reading calendar, a group of 5 to 6 people who had patiently waited for the right moment, broke into shouts and unfurled banners and signs bearing symbols of the American Indian Movement, (AIM) condemning what they termed as the genocide of America’s native peoples.
The demonstration stemmed from the previous Senate defeat of SB 170 – Indigenous Peoples Day, sponsored by Senator Jim Dabakis (Democrat -Salt Lake City).
Angry shouts of “You’re on stolen land!,” and “Stop treating us like we’re dead! We’re still here, you know ?!” reverberated along the marbled walls normally reserved for polite and ordered discussion.
There was nothing polite or ordered about this demonstration that lasted several minutes before the disruptors could be led from the chamber gallery and into the hall on the fourth floor of Utah’s capitol building. From there, the noisy procession moved down a flight of stairs and to the same level as the Senate floor itself.
According to Last Real Indians:
Last fall, the Lakota and Dakota Nations and other tribes along the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline celebrated their long hard fought battle over the Black Snake when President Obama rejected its permit for construction. The multi-year battle saw the birth of a unique alliance between tribes, environmentalist, farmers and ranchers in what was dubbed the Cowboy Indian Alliance. Jointly, through tireless campaigning, awareness raising and direct actions the alliance put a stop to the proposed pipeline that would have brought tar sands crude from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico.
Now, just several months later, the Lakota, Dakota, farmers and ranchers find themselves preparing to battle yet another cross country pipeline.
The proposed Dakota Access Pipeline, backed by Texas based Energy Transfer Partners, is a 1,168-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline that would carry Bakken crude from western North Dakota to a distribution hub Illinois on route for refinement in the Gulf Coast.
If built, the Dakota Access Pipeline would transport as much as 450,000 barrels of oil per day with a future capacity of 570,000 barrels per day.
FireWorks has a new interview with the longest running rent strike in San Francisco. Residents at the Midtown apartments wrote:
We started the rent strike on August 1st, 2015. It is currently the longest rent strike in San Francisco history that we know of. A rent strike of this proportion took place in 1978 by residents of the Ping Yuen apartments in Chinatown and lasted for two months, then again the next year for another two months.
Save Midtown tenants regularly take part in direct actions to stop gentrification. We are involved in the fight to stop the development of more luxury condos in the Mission: (The “Monster in the Mission” and the “Beast on Bryant”) as well as trying to prevent the evictions of tenants at 1964 Larkin and the eviction of SF artist David Brenkus.
The Midtown cause has reverberated across the City. Obviously there is a massive displacement crisis in San Francisco, but not many people are in a position to effectively fight their displacement. Its very hard to fight eviction as you are losing your home. Rent strikes like the one that is happening at Midtown could definitely be happening throughout the City. You could argue that a generalized, City-wide rent strike would be one of the best ways to stop evictions and loss of rent-controlled units.
Mexico On Fire
Violence broke out at the Autonomous University of Oaxaca between people police. The university has been the site of previous occupations, strikes, and protests.
— Black Rose Books StL (@BlackRose_Books) March 11, 2016
Some friends in St. Louis are starting a new book and literature distribution project. Please, help them out! They write:
We’re a few friends pooling our energy and resources to get some of our favorite radical books & zines out into broader circulation in the greater-Saint Louis-metro area. Our project is non-hierarchical, operating on principles of individual autonomy and group consensus, de-centralized, and non-profit. Rather than trying to make money off book sales, we just wanna get these books out into folks’ hands and make them as affordable as possible while keeping our project sustainable for us well into the future.
We’ll be announcing the first of at least three St.L locations opening in 2016 on April 2nd, and our first location will celebrate its grand opening on May 1st of this year.
If you feel how we feel about this project, you can help fund the wholesale purchase of the last little bit of our opening inventory, as well as the printing of fliers and signage for our first St.L location by donating to our GoFundMe page,
That’s gonna do it for us this week! Stay safe out there and please, when you catch your breath, take time out and send us a report of what is happening in your local area. Stay up with us here!