The spectacle of the RNC and the DNC came and went as flags were burned outside of police barricades in Philadelphia and metal fences were broken down by former Bernie supporters, disgusted at the political machine at work. At the same time, much of the ‘anti-capitalist Left,’ from the remnants of Occupy Wall Street to the various socialist and communist groups, simply argued for “angry voters” to line up behind the Green Party, while others called for the seizing of the Bernie ‘Political Revolution’ by pushing for the creation of a new political party that would maneuver within the existing system. In some ways, the grouping proposed at the recent ‘Socialist Convergence’ outside of the DNC, which brought together the Green Party, Left Democrats, socialist and communist groups, and a variety of progressives, mirrors recent attempts by groups like Syriza in Greece and other ‘anti-capitalist’ left parities that grew out of the ashes of the popular mass anti-authoritarian and directly democratic social movements following the economic crash of 2008. Just as in Greece, these reformist ventures have been fruitless, misdirected movement energy, and above all, done nothing to steam the tide of repression, austerity, climate chaos, and poverty for poor and working people.
But beyond growing disgust at the established political landscape of electoral politics and capitalism in general, grows continuous signs of not only the militarization of the police, but the ramping up of political repression against the broader population in general, and against Black people in particular.
As the US lurches towards possible war with China, the Pentagon prepares its apparatus for the possibility of large scale social revolt on US soil, as the police show no signs of letting up on their continual slaughter, which at the time of this writing has reached 651 in 2016. This continuous barrage of violence is coupled with the revamping of policing within everyday life, such as extensive spying on social media and a doubling down on drug arrests. This week it was also released that police and FBI have used drones and other aerial technology to spy on Black Lives Matter protests. According to Motherboard:
The cache is likely the most comprehensive collection of aerial surveillance footage ever released by a US law enforcement agency. The videos, which the FBI claims are its “complete” recordings of the Baltimore unrest, cover the period of April 29 through May 3, 2015, when protests and riots erupted following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody under suspicious circumstances. Last month, prosecutors dropped all remaining charges in the case, concluding with no convictions for any of the police officers involved in the incident.
The footage shows the crowds of protesters captured in a combination of visible light and infrared spectrum video taken by the planes’ wing-mounted FLIR Talon cameras. While individual faces are not clearly visible in the videos, it’s frighteningly easy to imagine how cameras with a slightly improved zoom resolution and face recognition technology could be used to identify protesters in the future.
Previous investigations have shown that these surveillance flights are commonplace. The FBI flew their spy planes more than 3,500 times in the last six months of 2015, according to a Buzzfeed News analysis of data collected by the aircraft-tracking site FlightRadar24. The Bureau claims that the planes are only used to track suspects in specific serious crime investigations, but the fact that pilots seems to have the weekends off suggests the surveillance flights are used for quotidian police work.
This use of such surveillance flights is nothing new. In the Californian city of Compton, police used similar techniques to spy on the city for an entire year in 2012 without residents knowing. This technology is not only expanding on US soil, but also across the world thanks to US imperialism. As Patrick Martin wrote on recently released documents that detail the workings of Obama’s drone program:
The 18-page document makes clear that what has taken place since Obama entered the White House is the routinization and bureaucratization of state killings. Literally any individual on the planet could be targeted for assassination by a Hellfire missile fired from a US Reaper drone.
Derek Chollet, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs from 2012 to 2015, described the atmosphere inside the Obama administration in an interview last month with the Washington Post. “[T]he use of military power—the United States killing people overseas—occurs so frequently now that it just kind of washes over the debate,” he said. “It has become almost too easy. No one even notices it any more. It’s just a constant.”
According to former Obama administration officials, there are currently seven countries where drone missile killings are taking place: Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. But Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, as active war zones, do not require advance approval. They are essentially “free-fire zones” for the drone missile operators.
Last month, the White House released data for the first time on civilian deaths caused by drone missile strikes, but its figures were widely dismissed as a gross underestimation by journalists and human rights groups that have investigated the program.
At the same time, the security state is working in tandem with social media companies in order to stifle dissent and keep a lid on anti-police sentiment. For example, in the police murder of young African-American mother Korryn Gaines of Baltimore County (more information on her murder in the ACAB section) police had her Instagram and Facebook account (which she was posting to during a stand off) actually shut off after she was killed. Gaines was visited by police over traffic tickets and armed her self with a legally owned shotgun before being killed. This incident shows the police using extreme amounts of force for petty offenses, and again illustrates the savage degree of violence that is dished out against black people that choose to arm themselves.
Also, just as in the case of Alton Sterling who was legally armed when he was pulled over with his girlfriend who filmed his grizzly murder, overwhelmingly white and conservative gun rights groups have largely been silent on these matters. What is clear is that such organizations support the right of whites to arm themselves against blacks and people of color, but never are they for the people and especially black people to arm themselves against the police. According to The Intercept:
At the request of law enforcement, Facebook deleted Gaines’ account, as well her account on Instagram, which it also owns, during her confrontation with authorities. While many of her videos remain inaccessible, in one, which was re-uploaded to YouTube, an officer can be seen pointing a gun as he peers into a living room from behind a door, while a child’s voice is heard in the background. In another video, which remains on Instagram, Gaines can be heard speaking to her five-year-old son, who’s sitting on the floor wearing red pajamas.
“Who’s outside?” she asks him. “The police,” he replies timidly. “What are they trying to do?” “They trying to kill us.”
But this electronic draconianism goes much further as the Electronic Frontier Foundation argues:
The problem became especially clear this year during the San Bernardino case, involving the FBI’s demand that Apple rewrite its iOS operating system to defeat security features on a locked iPhone. Ultimately the FBI exploited an existing vulnerability in iOS and accessed the contents of the phone with the help of an “outside party.” Then, with no public process or discussion of the tradeoffs involved, the government refused to tell Apple about the flaw.Despite the obvious fact that the security of the computers and networks we all use is both collective and interwoven—other iPhones used by millions of innocent people presumably have the same vulnerability—the government chose to withhold information Apple could have used to improve the security of its phones.
Other examples include intelligence activities like Stuxnet and Bullrun, and law enforcement investigations like the FBI’s mass use of malware against Tor users engaged in criminal behavior. These activities are often disproportionate to stopping legitimate threats, resulting in unpatched software for millions of innocent users, overbroad surveillance, and other collateral effects.
In short, the state and it’s police forces have managed to make a public project of COINTELPRO, or essentially, building counter-insurgency and surveillance methods into the everyday policing of large scale populations. This means massive spy networks and surveillance operations, but also using technology to change the media impression of police interactions, as in the instance of cops shutting down the social media accounts of Gaines. At the same time, it’s interesting to note that police also aren’t stupid. They know that social unrest is, will, and continues to break out in the face of this reality and continued police killings. After the police murder of Paul Oneal in Chicago, law enforcement issued a statement saying that officers should prepare for civil unrest once the video was released.
In short, police and the state more broadly are playing all angles. They seek to attack social movements with extreme brutality, surveil entire populations, distort the media, stifle dissent, but also prepare for the inevitable clash between the people and power. It’s in this climate that actions and projects like Abolition Square in New York and Freedom Square in Chicago are so important and need to be defended, grown, multiplied across the social terrain.
In that spirit, let’s get to the news.
Destroy the Elections
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) July 28, 2016
The mainstream media spent most of the last two weeks ruminating on Donald Trump saying “titties” or threatening that his supporters would shoot Hillary Clinton. Beneath the scenes however, there was a lot more interesting things happening.
The first is that the CIA has come out hard for Hillary, stating that Donald Trump lacks the much needed skills to be President and promoted an op-ed in the New York Times and pushed a variety of Republicans to denounce Trump as well. As Patrick Martin wrote:
Morell retired from the CIA in 2013 after a 33-year career, having spent two decades in high-level positions in Washington. His duties included preparing the President’s Daily Brief for George W. Bush. For three years he was deputy director, running the agency day-to-day, and he had two stints as acting director, for three months in 2011 and for four months in 2012-2013.
The crimes with which Morell is associated are legion. He was a top official throughout the period of CIA kidnappings (renditions) of victims who were then held in secret prisons and tortured. He helped lead the CIA when it was carrying out drone missile assassinations and other forms of covert state terrorism. Throughout his tenure in Langley, Virginia, the CIA was engaged in war crimes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria and many other countries.
After Morell left the agency, Obama appointed him to the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, which prepared a whitewash of National Security Agency spying following the revelations by Edward Snowden. He then moved seamlessly to a position as a well-paid media commentator for CBS News, while joining the campaign of former CIA officials to block the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture.
In the form of Trump vs. Clinton, the US electoral system has provided working people the “choice” between an openly fascistic demagogue and an avowed representative of the Pentagon, the CIA and the financial establishment hell-bent on launching new imperialist wars.
The barrage of claims by the corporate media that Trump, as distinct from “normal” US politicians, is deranged deserves only contempt. Both Trump and Clinton are deadly enemies of the working class. They may be opposed to one another in the election campaign, but that is no argument for working people to take sides. Rather, workers and youth must draw the conclusion that the entire political system is deeply dysfunctional and should be swept away.
The Democratic Party’s presidential candidate attended a $50,000 per place fundraiser in Aspen, Colorado on Tuesday, hosted by fracking magnate Charif Souaki. The event raised $650,000 for the campaign.
As the International Business Times reported, Souaki “amassed his fortune working for natural gas companies including one he founded last year, Tellurian Investments.” A subsidiary of Tellurian, Driftwood LNG, filed for a license in June with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to construct a natural gas export facility in Louisiana.
The DNC leaks, confirming what the Sanders campaign had been saying for a year, followed by the resignation of the hated DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her immediate hiring by the Clinton campaign, charged up his base. Now that the whole world had material proof of the DNC conspiracy against Sanders on behalf of Clinton, some believed Sanders would withdraw his endorsement of her. This hope would be erased the next morning.
Predictably, much of the Left opposition to Clinton has rushed to back Jill Stein of the Green Party, run in local elections, back Hillary in swing states, or build up the various socialist and communist parities. In short, more of the same, and nothing that speaks to building a longer term social movement and struggle that can carry us into the future. In reality, what is really needed is the nurturing and creation of authentic resistance movements on the streets and in our workplaces, schools, and communities that can be used to fight in the terrain that lays before us, regardless of who wins the Presidential race.
We encourage people to check out Black Agenda Report for their recent series on the legacy of the Obama Administration (here’s a hint, they don’t like it), and also this excellent interview with Glen Ford of the BAR on Democracy Now! Lastly, resistance to Donald Trump’s candidacy continues, as people keep hitting the streets against him at a variety of campaign stops. Check “The Donald’s” schedule here to see where he is coming next.
— Cindy Milstein (@CindyMilstein) August 8, 2016
Fight for Turtle Island
The Sacred Stone Camp in North Dakota fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline has officially called for backup. If you are in the area or can travel there, please do, and send us a report about the situation on the ground. In solidarity, people held demonstrations in Washington DC as well as in New York City in Union Square. While it’s great that people are showing solidarity, we hope that people will continue to attack and put pressure on more than just symbolic targets or demonstrate outside of politicians offices. Let’s hit them where it hurts and raise the stakes for them building this fucking pipeline. As Brenda Norell wrote:
Protesting in front of the White House, and in New York City’s Union Square, Native American youth runners from Standing Rock in North Dakota battled the Dakota Access Pipeline now threatening the Missouri River. The Native runners ran to Washington with these messages, “Protect sacred water,” and “You can’t drink oil.” The Youth of Standing Rock Indian Nation ran 1,500 miles from North Dakota to Washington, D.C. to protect their water from the Dakota Access Pipeline, a crude oil pipeline being built on their river. They arrived in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, August 6.
“The Standing Rock Reservation Youth finished the run from North Dakota to Washington D.C in protection for the waters. The proposed Dakota Access Pipeline has just been recently approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who are already starting construction in the Dakotas,” the runners said in a statement.
Native youths pointed out that all over the U.S. and Canada, pipelines break and poison water supplies. The crude oil from Alberta’s tar sands has already poisoned the land and water of the the Cree in Canada. Widespread oil and gas drilling in North Dakota has poisoned the air, water and land.
The ‘Colonialism No More’ protest in Regina’s downtown continues, after forcing talks with politicans over the treatment of detainees, among other issues.
beautiful solidarity <3
"After 100 days of living in a camp in Regina's downtown, members of the protest group… https://t.co/ufCa34YHZ9
— No One Is Illegal (@nooneisillegal) July 29, 2016
Also, another reminder that Black Mesa Indigenous Support is looking for solidarity and volunteers. If you can help indigenous people stay on their lands and resist resource extraction, hit up: [email protected] and check out their website here.
Action against Driscoll’s Berries continued. In Watsonville, which has a deep history of farmworker resistance, people rallied, protested, and dropped banners at the Watsonville Strawberry Festival. For more updates on the campaign, go here. Bradley Allen reports here for Indybay on the action:
On August 6 and 7, 2016, local activists engaged thousands of people at the 22nd Annual Watsonville Strawberry Festival to raise awarenessabout the Driscoll’s Boycott and the harsh realities of farmworkers who pick the precious berries. The Boycott Driscoll’s movement is led by, and in solidarity with, farmworkers in San Quintín, México and Washington state fighting for union contracts.
Demonstrators, including the Watsonville Brown Berets, handed out thousands of flyers for Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ), an independent union formed by farmworkers in Washington state in July 2013. FUJ has over 450 members and holds elections as well as democratically run business meetings. FUJ maintains a website, Boycott Sakuma Berries, which is the best resource online for information in English about the ongoing labor struggle.
Activists also arrived with newly created signs and banners. A banner declaring “No More Blood Berries” was displayed from the third-story of theLettunich Building on Saturday and from the roof of the Mansion House on Sunday while shouting, “Boycott Driscoll’s” and “No More Blood Berries.” The buildings are the most iconic structures in downtown Watsonville and stand as subtle reminders of the apple growing, packing, and export industry in the Pájaro Valley. Both buildings are Santa Cruz County Historical Trust Landmarks on Main Street and overlook the Watsonville Strawberry Festival.
— Boycott Driscoll's (@BoicotDriscolls) July 28, 2016
The state continues to crack down on homeless people. In Salinas, California people have camped outside of City Hall after police conducted a sweep of a large homeless camp. Meanwhile, in Portland, the overturning of rules that allow outdoor sleeping has led to anger from residents at increasing amounts of homeless people and a fear by homeless advocates that police will conduct a massive sweep.
According to Katie Bernhardt, New Mexico is now officially one of the poorest states in the US, with over 1/5 of the people in the state living below the poverty line. They write:
In 2014, it was reported that approximately 28 percent of children live in poverty with Indigenous and Hispanic/Latino children being disproportionately affected. In the course of a year, as many as 17,000 people are homeless in the state with one third suffering from mental illness.
It is difficult to find affordable housing in New Mexico; the average rent is $774 while the minimum wage is only $8.50/hour. In 2015, 6.2 percent of the population was unemployed. Out of approximately 2,086,000 people, that’s 129,332 without jobs!
New Mexico also claims the highest rate of police violence per capita in the country with 6.23 police related deaths per million residents. This astoundingly high rate of police murder is demonstrated with consistent civil lawsuits, such as those involving the notorious James Boyd and Mary Hawkes cases that wind up costing New Mexican tax payers more than 30 million dollars.
The culture of state violence often manifests itself in targeting homeless individuals. Police are routinely encouraged to brutalize and incarcerate the homeless usually charging them with “trespassing” on private property. In other words, the homeless are criminalized for simply not having any money or their own place to go. This violence is heavily racialized with police disproportionately targeting Native people on the street.
In New York, people are “swiping it forward” for subway riders in an effort to stop police from harassing riders who try and jet through without paying. Check out Ash J’s twitter feed for more info:
— Ash J (@AshAgony) August 2, 2016
The Flint, Michigan water system continues to break down while the state drags its feet in bringing politicians to court that helped to cover up the disaster. According to one article:
For more than a year, the city pumped corrosive Flint River water through its system. Then, on top of that, it failed to add corrosion control. We’ve all heard what that did to the lead service lines in Flint, at a devastating human cost.
But now it looks like the wider system is also breaking down. That means Flint has to figure out how to fix a whole water system, without making residents foot the bill.
Because if nothing changes, water bills are on track to keep climbing: they’ll double in 5 years, a state-funded study finds. That would make the average water bill in Flint around $100 a month.
In St. Paul, nurses went on strike for a week over health care coverage. As one article stated:
The 4,800 nurses at five St. Paul, Minn., area hospitals conducted a one-week strike in late June to pressure Allina Health to provide basic information they need to bargain effectively. As of July 22, the nurses, represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association, an affiliate of National Nurses United, are still in negotiations with Allina management, which hasn’t budged since April. The critical issue is health care coverage.
In Green Island, New York, UAW members are locked out but are being supported by those within their community. As Martha Grevatt writes:
Honeywell locked out 317 members of United Auto Workers Local 9 in South Bend, Ind., and 42 members of Local 1508 in Green Island, N.Y., last May 9. This followed the workers’ overwhelming rejection five days earlier of the company’s “last best” offer.
Honeywell is operating the factories with management employees and scabs provided by the professional union-busting firm Strom Engineering. Locked out workers in Indiana, none of whom have crossed the picket line, have been waiting for months for the state to determine their eligibility for unemployment benefits due to the lockout.
Unity on the round-the-clock picket lines remains solid, bolstered by the presence of other union workers and the material assistance from UAW regions and locals around the country. Green Island pickets were joined in May by Verizon strikers, who later secured a contract that prevented Verizon management from imposing major concessions. Teamsters are honoring the strike lines. Community support is also strong.
A former Trump owned casino, which is currently owned by billionaire Karl Icahn in Atlantic City, will be shut down after the longest labor strike in the establishment’s history as soon as October.
Scientists are claiming that CO2 levels are still rising to dangerous levels despite the hot air coming from yearly climate talks in Geneva. From the The Guardian:
[A]verage global temperatures were already more than 1C above pre-industrial levels for every month except one over the past year and peaked at +1.38C in February and March.Keeping within the 1.5C limit will be extremely difficult, say scientists, given these rises.
These alarming figures will form the backdrop to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change talks in Geneva this month, when scientists will start to outline ways to implement the climate goals set in Paris. Dates for abandoning all coal-burning power stations and halting the use of combustion engines across the globe – possibly within 15 years – are likely to be set.
Speaking of turning up the heat, police are investigating fires at three Bakken pipeline sites as possible arson. According to one article:
Equipment fires at three construction sites in Jasper and Mahaska counties on the Dakota Access Pipeline construction route over the weekend are being treated as acts of arson by local law enforcement.
Protests and disruptions continued the last two weeks, especially in the wake of two more high profile police murders, namely of Paul Oneal of Chicago and Korryn Gaines in Baltimore County. Paul Oneal was killed by police after crashing a car and running from police who began shooting at him. Oneal was shot in the back and was handcuffed as he bled out. Police were seen on camera high fiving each other, assaulting his body, and complaining about being stuck behind a desk after their involvement in his murder. All of these actions by the Chicago police point to the inherent brutality of the institution and their failure to recognize human beings as such. Police in America do nothing to bring down crime or stop anti-social behavior and instead are designed to keep the divisions and inequalities of race and class firmly in place.
— ColorOfChange.org (@ColorOfChange) August 7, 2016
Interestingly enough, the police officer that shot the fatal bullet that ultimately killed Oneal reported that his body cam was not turned or or working and thus the footage has not been released. While everyone agrees this is obvious bullshit, the footage that has been released is so damning, that police put out a call that stated law enforcement should prepare for potential unrest.
— Chicago Rising (@ChicagoRising) August 6, 2016
The killing of Korryn Gaines by Baltimore County police is also telling, as Gaines was a frequent Copwatcher with no illusions about the role of police within society. Police came to Gaines home over unpaid traffic tickets and shot the young mother as she sat with her young son (who was also shot, but not killed) and a legally licensed shotgun. Gaines told her son as she recorded the incident:
You see what they do to us, right? You fight them.
Mother: They are not for us.
Mother: They want to kill us. You never, ever, back down from them.
During the standoff last week, as a SWAT team approached, Gaines once again schooled Kodi and recorded it.
Mother: Who’s outside?
Son: The police.
Mother: And what are they trying to do?
Son: They’re trying to kill us.
A Maryland woman holding her 5-year-old son was shot dead by police on Monday, when officers tried to arrest her for miscellaneous traffic violations. The boy was also shot in the leg.
According to Johnson and spokeswoman Elise Armacost, police knocked on the apartment door to no avail, even though they heard people inside. When they obtained a key from a landlord, an officer walked through the door to find Gaines sitting with her son in her lap and pointing a gun at the cop.
More officers were called to the scene for tactical support and other tenants in the building were told to evacuate. Johnson said police tried to talk to Gaines for several hours before things turned deadly around 3 p.m. At that time, Gaines said she would kill the police if they didn’t leave.
One of the cops fired a single shot at Gaines, in response. When the woman fired back, officers gunned her down, striking the child in the leg as well. Gaines was killed at the scene, and the boy was immediately taken to a hospital.
Protests continued across the US as part of the evolving Black Lives Matter movement and as organic responses to police violence and murder. Here are some badass photos over the last two weeks:
Meanwhile, #FreedomSquare continues into almost three weeks:
— BPNC (@BpncChicago) August 9, 2016
— Love+Struggle Photos (@sarahdashji) August 8, 2016
As does #AbolitionSquare:
— Millions March NYC (@MillionsMarch) August 9, 2016
#DecolonizeLACityhall also continues strong:
— Matt McGorry (@MattMcGorry) August 8, 2016
— Tiffany Guerra (@tiffanyruns) August 8, 2016
What can we say. It was one of those weeks. Zimmerman got punched again and Dylann Roof got attacked in jail while the person that kicked the shit out of him got set free through donations.
Meanwhile, in Buffalo around 300-350 angry residents turned out to shut down the National Socialist Movement and a handful (about 7) of other Neo-Nazis from holding a rally in a public park in a working-class neighborhood. The crowd was racially diverse and included a large amount of blue-collar white folks that weren’t having any of that white nationalist or fascist shit shoved down their throats. If you were there, please send us a report! Check out some of these awesome videos and tweets until then:
at least one other Nazi supporter showed up in Buffalo yesterday, crowd tore his "White Pride" t-shirt off. https://t.co/yAce8c9fWP
— New York City Antifa (@NYCAntifa) July 31, 2016
— Danny Spewak (@DannySpewakWGRZ) July 30, 2016
3 groups endorsed the Buffalo neo-Nazi demo today, but only one person showed vs 300 counter-protestors. https://t.co/W1tZKVuRrR
— New York City Antifa (@NYCAntifa) July 30, 2016
Members of the NSM also took part in a private event in Tennessee along with the leadership of the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP), which is headed by Neo-Nazi media star, Matthew Heimbach. The event took place at the Whitewater Grill in Ocoee, Tennessee, located outside of Cleveland, Tennessee. The Whitewater Grill is owned by Rick Tyler, who made headlines earlier this year with billboards that attacked interracial couples, featured Confederate flags over the white house and read “I Have a Dream,” and stated his campaign slogan for US House, “Make America White Again.” The meeting featured the leadership of TWP, NSM, Matthew Johnson of the Barns Review, a Holocaust Denial outfit, along with the Neo-Confederate organization, League of the South, (represented by William Flowers), which recently held a rally in Mississippi.
One People’s Project writes on that event here:
[A] local group fighting against police brutality held a rally downtown to call for justice for a young man that was killed by a police officer last month, and two hours later many from that group went to a park to oppose a rally originally promoted as a League of the South event to defend the Mississippi state flag and particularly the Confederate flag that adorns it.
500 protesters sponsored by the group Our Lives Matter 2 marched to support the family of Antwun “Ronnie” Shumpert, 37, an unarmed Black man who was shot and killed by Tyler Cook, a White police officer on June 18. Marching from the Bancorp South Arena through downtown and to Tupelo City Hall demonstrators sang gospel songs, chanted and spoke out against police brutality.
After the meeting at the Whitewater Grill, the Neo-Nazis then went to Cleveland, Tennessee, where they were then kicked out of their hotel after staff complained about their racism and anti-Semitism.
In a report on the Traditionalist Youth Network, Heimbach states how he worked with NSM leader, Jeff Schoep, to craft the Aryan Nationalist Alliance (ANA), which brings together Neo-Nazi skinhead groups such as the Aryan Strike Force and other white supremacist gangs for the purpose of creating a fascist ethno-state. Heimbach goes on to write that Neo-Nazi, fascist, and white nationalist groups have to support each other and show solidarity, regardless of their sub-cultural baggage or appearance to the mainstream society. In short, Heimbach has positioned himself further and further in both the Alternative Right camp as well as within Neo-Nazi skinhead circles. Expect to see the TWP holding more rallies across the US, calling on a variety of Neo-Nazi groups to back them up, much in the same way that the NSM did in the early and mid-2000s. Lets also work to support our comrades in the South, and build those networks and organization that already exist there.
Speaking of the TWP, Derik Punneo, Neo-Nazi skinhead and stabber of anti-fascists at the TWP rally in Sacramento, also an attempted rapist, gang member, and all around defender of Faith, Folk, and Family, also seems to have embarrassed a large group of police supporters. Punneo became media face of the ‘Blue Crew,’ which put up “Blue Lives Matter” ribbons throughout the Central Valley and foothills northeast of Sacramento. After info was released about Punneo and he’s Neo-Nazi connections (guess the swastika on the back of his head didn’t give it away), other media outlets picked up on it and the story has been circulated through various outlets across the US.
Guess that plan didn’t work out.
Identity Evropa clowns continue to waste time and toner on stickers and posters. New posters have popped up in Seattle and IE recently held a small conference in Detriot with Richard Spencer from the National Policy Institute and Freedom Front, a white power “super group” collection of lawyers that engages in legal support for the wider movement. Definitely a group to keep your eye on with resources, connections, and money; so read up on their board of directors. Freedom Front includes Kyle Bristow, a longtime feature on the campus Alternative-Right scene, William Johnson of the Neo-Nazi group American Freedom Party (AFP) who also was a short lived delegate for the Trump campaign, and Jason Robb, a long time fixture in KKK circles.
In the shadow of the sexual exploitation scandal which has rocked the Oakland Police Department and neighboring departments, including the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, it is fitting that we are able to announce a small victory in achieving policy changes at Santa Rita Jail, SRJ, reducing the sexual harassment of women arrestees and improving the conditions under which they are held.
The plaintiffs, Anne Weills, Tova Fry, Alyssa Eisenberg, and Mollie Costello were taken to Santa Rita Jail; after their complaint arrest for civil disobedience at the Harris State Building in downtown Oakland on February 13, 2014. The four were part of a larger group demanding that State Attorney General Kamala Harris prosecute killer cops across the state, particularly Miguel Masso, the OPD officer who killed young Alan Blueford on May 6, 2012. Harris has yet to prosecute a single killer cop in the state, despite all the growing evidence and pressure to do so, particularly in the case of Mario Woods, killed by SFPD, and most recently Jessica Nelson Williams, also killed by SFPD.
Incarcerated following arrest, the Four were held taken into a public hallway and told to strip to their bras. Outraged at this, the Four protested, and one was forced to walk around in that state in front of male guards and prisoners. Two of them were then locked in isolation cells, and denied access to a toilet for hours.
The Four were then held with other women, including in filthy jail cells. Toilets were overflowing. There were no menstrual pads for women who needed them. There were no garbage containers so used menstrual pads sat on top of left over food. All the women in those cells are “presumed innocent”. The Four and their attorney Yolanda Huang filed this civil rights complaint in order to be a voice for other women and demand they be treated with respect and human dignity.
In achieving this settlement, our goal has been to make changes to the conditions at Santa Rita. We were able to win changes to specific jail policies: Policies and Procedures 8.12, 11.03, 15.01, 15.02 and 15.03.
Meanwhile in Washington, DC:
Also, as the September 9th strike approaches, we will be making a list of upcoming events before, during, and after the strike. If you have something planned, hit us up at: info[at]itsgoingdown[dot]org.
Check out this great interview with Josh Harper on the Which Side podcast:
Jeremy Hammond could use some love, please write to him:
Got a message from Jeremy. The news is…not good. Please write if you can. It would mean a lot to him. pic.twitter.com/kjIV8EVbMV
— Free Jeremy Hammond (@FreeJeremyNet) August 6, 2016
While it is now halfway over, if you are in so-called British Columbia, be sure to check at the Art of Resistance tour.
Don’t forget about the Bend the Bars Conference, happening in Columbus, Ohio.
Workers at Forever 21 in the Philippians are calling for comrades in anarchist networks in NA to respect a boycott. Check out 325 for more info.
Be sure to check out the latest political prisoner birthdays poster here.
Shining Soul is set to release a new album, check out their new single and video at the top of this post.
Also, Antifa International is doing a fundraiser – so get some awesome stickers and other swag.
It’s Going Down
IGD is going to go through some changes soon, hopefully in the next two weeks. We’ll be changing, but ultimately we will come back stronger than ever, with even more content on more mediums. Until then, you can get a hold of us at: info[at]itsgoingdown[dot]org and stay up with us here.