Filed under: Canada, Mexico, Roundup, US
Originally posted to It’s Going Down
This week Bernie Sanders essentially dropped out of the race, meeting with President Obama who had taped a support message for Hillary Clinton before the California primary was even finished and also delayed the release of her “sensitive” emails until after the election. Patrick Martin wrote:
After meeting with Obama at the White House for an hour, Sanders spoke to the media, reading out a three-page type-written statement in which he did not explicitly endorse Clinton, but made it clear that he would no longer challenge her for the nomination.
“I spoke briefly to Sec. Clinton on Tuesday night, and I congratulated her on her very strong campaign,” he said. “I look forward to meeting with her in the near future to see how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump and create a government that represents all of us and not just the one-percent.”
This pilgrimage to Washington shatters Sanders’ claims to be leading an insurgency against the domination of right-wing, pro-corporate politics in the United States. While winning the support of millions of youth and working people on the basis of his attacks on the “millionaires and billionaires” and his calls for a “political revolution,” Sanders has worked for decades as a loyal ally of the Democratic Party establishment.
From the outset, his campaign has been driven by the political aim of preempting growing social opposition and anti-capitalist sentiment, containing it and channeling it back into the dead end of the Democratic Party. He is now preparing to openly pursue this underlying agenda by agreeing to hustle votes for Clinton, the candidate of Wall Street and the military/intelligence agencies.
Predictably many Bernie supporters are shocked by this turn of events and are also up in arms about the degree in which the Democratic Party has gone to push them out of the political process. At the same time, many people are pushing to cut ties with the Democratic Party once and for all. In this context, there is a potential for many people angry around concerns over wages, police violence and mass incarceration, the environment, and housing to potentially come into more revolutionary and autonomous anti-capitalist movements.
Rage and resistance to Donald Trump continues as we have seen cities such as Richmond, Virginia have strong radical showings. At the same time, the liberal establishment, from those that own the media to the bureaucrats within the Democratic Party, all are calling for an end to the raucous protests that show no signs of ending. As we speak, mainstream news media sources are being used as a vehicle to condemn the protests, brawls, and riots and also attempt to get people to snitch on those being sought by the authorities. On this topic, the Richmond Struggle Committee Imitative wrote:
Keeping Trump out of office is not enough. Focusing on electing the “right” candidate completely misses the point. Real political change comes from mass movements. Even if Trump loses, the fascist movement will not simply go away. It will still be stronger than ever, and it will be angry.
Militant opposition is the only way to deal with fascists. Liberals complain about us denying fascists their “right to free speech” as if we do not already know where that sort of “free speech” always leads. They expect us to give fascists the benefit of the doubt, and to wait until we re all in concentration camps before we start resisting. We refuse. The radicals in San Jose, across the country, and tonight in Richmond understand that white nationalists must be shut down wherever they appear. They must know that they are not welcome in Richmond or anywhere else. No matter what liberals say we have no obligation to respect the “rights” of those who deny our humanity. It is of paramount importance that we get organized and remain vigilant, ready to smash white supremacy wherever it appears. They have promised us violence, and we must promise them the same.
Tonight marks a significant shift in the intensity of protests in Richmond. The march was emboldened by every person who left the sidewalks to join the protesters, and at no point did the energy of the crowd waiver. The cops, the white supremacist Trump supporters, the lecherous reporters, and the frightened, sage-burning liberals were all taken aback by this action, which surpassed our expectations.
Currently, it remains to be seen what will materialize at the DNC and RNC protests and if these events will in turn spill out of the hands of protest managers and become something real and concrete. At the DNC is appears that Bernie supporters will erect a encampment in an effort to protest Hillary’s nomination while at the RNC mostly marches and non-protest events are planned.
For people that remember past election cycles, debating, talking with, and trying to engage people that are extremely passionate about a set candidate can be daunting, hard, and sometimes pointless. However, we do feel that the multi-racial and working-class element that supports Bernie Sanders, especially those that are becoming disgusted with the Democratic Party as well as establishment politics, is worth engaging with. At the same time, the white poor and working-class is also a demographic that needs massive outreach too. We need to find the cracks in all these situations and try and break them apart and expose their contradictions.
Towards this end, we’ve recently put together some texts with the help of our friends at the Graphic Design Committee in an attempt to offer tools for potential intervention. With lots going on, please use this as an opportunity to reach out and start conversations with people. Follow the links to download PDFs for printing. Also, don’t let this be the final word, design and make your own! The texts we have so far include:
Now let’s get to the news!
Destroy the Election
Resistance against Donald Trump continued, as the media howled for blood of those arrested and published pictures of those that police looked to catch from an anti-Trump riot that broke out in San Jose. We encourage people to donate to help those that have currently been caught up.
Anti-Trump protests across the US continued:
— Brad (Schenck) Caldana 🇺🇦 (@BradCaldana) June 11, 2016
Check out Richmond, Virginia:
— Steven Embree (@stevenembree) June 11, 2016
— tree (@treekisser) June 11, 2016
— Diana DiGangi (@dianadigangi) June 11, 2016
Also, despite Trump presenting himself as a friend to the everyday worker he exploits in the millions to clean his hotels and make his shitty ties in Mexico and China, he has recently landed himself in hot water for wage theft. USA Today wrote:
Donald Trump often portrays himself as a savior of the working class who will “protect your job.” But a USA TODAY NETWORK analysis found he has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans, like the Friels, who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them.
Of course all of this is nothing new. Trump and his family have long been a key enemy of poor and working people and have attacked and busted workers and unions throughout his career. Clinton of course is no friend to anyone, and has long attacked poor people of color and the working-class more broadly.
In extremely big news that you won’t hear on major channels, hundreds of workers in Washington have walked off their jobs in protest of low wages and bad conditions. For more information on ongoing actions and also to an upcoming mobilization in Washington in July, go here. From Indybay:
Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) members, an independent farmworker union based in Burlington, WA, and other farmworkers walked out of the Sakuma Bros Berry Farms this morning after more than 120 workers demanded an increase of the $0.24 per pound of strawberries that they were receiving. Workers are asking for an increase of their wage to $0.35 per pound of strawberries, along with the ongoing ask for a union contract.
Since the summer of 2013 there have been at least six walkouts to demand an increase in wages, and farmworkers created FUJ to demand Sakuma negotiate a union contract that includes labor protections, $15/hour minimum salary, allowing workers to take time off when ill, an end to intimidation, better treatment of workers, respect, a clean workplace and improved housing conditions, and no yelling or threatening workers, among other demands.
Sakuma has refused to sit at the negotiation table, FUJ and supporters have continued to promote and expand the boycott of both Sakuma Berries and Driscoll Berries, a client of Sakuma Bros Berry Farms, at both a national and international level.
— Boycott Driscoll's (@BoicotDriscolls) June 10, 2016
In LA, port truckers have returned to work after another week long strike against wage theft. In Detroit, people resisting foreclosure and eviction continued to fight to keep Jennette Shannon in her home.
A new article discusses how prisoners should organize “on the job” and strike against working in prison as a method of struggle. Raven Rakia writes:
The strike [on May Day] in Alabama was organized by the Free Alabama Movement, a nonviolent grassroots organizing group created by prisoners that focuses on the human rights of Alabama’s imprisoned. Not only does Alabama have one of the highest incarceration rates in the United States, but it also has one of the most overcrowded prison systems. The system’s current population sits at about 80 percent over capacity. With nearly double the inmates that the prisons were designed to hold, the packed prisons produce violence, unsanitary conditions and medical neglect.
“We view prison labor as real slavery … [in] 1865 when the 13th Amendment was ratified … they started the first wave of mass incarcerating black people,” said Melvin Ray, co-founder of the Free Alabama Movement. In the years after slavery, a formal prison system formed in the South. Some plantations were bought by the state and turned into prisons. “They use [these prisons] as a tool of control. They target African-American communities. They target politically conscious people, politically conscious organizations. And they use these prisons as a form of social control in addition to a plantation [that’s] generating revenue.”
The far-Right is starting to increase the level of violence directed against transgender people. In Illinois, a small bomb exploded in a Target store. According to one news report:
A small bomb exploded in the women’s bathroom at a Target store in Evanston on Wednesday, and officials are investigating whether it’s connected to the company’s policy allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice.
Commander Joe Dugan says no one was inside the bathroom when the small explosion happened a little after 4 o’clock. It caused minor damage and no one was injured. Early indications are that a plastic bottle was used but no projectiles like nails or tacks were inside it. Investigators are gathering evidence including examining store security camera video.
Target has been criticized recently for its stand on allowing people in the LGBT community to choose whichever bathroom they identify mostly with, either male or female, stating the company welcomes, “transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”
Meanwhile the Loyal White Knights of the KKK is starting to use the bathroom issue as a means to recruit. One article wrote:
It is being reported that the Ku Klux Klan has been spreading anti-transgender propaganda in multiple states across the U.S. Fliers paced in clear plastic bags filled with sand are being found in the yards and driveways of residents in Alabama, Kentucky and Georgia.
Chris Simcox, one of the major leaders of the anti-immigrant movement and organizer for the Minutemen was found guilty of molesting a 5 year old girl.
In Brooklyn, a bar that hosted a Neo-Nazi Oi! Festival is crying:
The owner of Williamsburg’s Black Bear Bar says she is attempting to pick up the pieces of her venue’s tattered reputation after it hosted a controversial skinhead punk show last Saturday, dealing with bands and disc jockeys pulling out of gigs and angry residents yelling at staff.
“I’m devastated, my staff are getting threatened, I’m getting threatened,” said Jessica Wertz, who also owns the bars Lone Wolf in Bushwick and No Name in Greenpoint. “Our reputation is destroyed.”
In Delaware, several bands are starting to distance themselves from musical acts associated with the Traditionalist Workers Party. Ryan Cormier wrote:
The appearance of two local musicians with a well-known white nationalist has spawned outrage among some in the Delaware music scene with several bands refusing to play shows with them.
Delaware-based bluegrass/folk singer Patrick “Paddy” Corcoran, and Sean Giffing, a member of the Cecil County, Maryland-based punk band Plague Bubonika, both appear in the video with Heimbach.
Cormier goes onto state that while the members of Plague Bubonika have distanced themselves from white nationalism, Patrick “Paddy” Cardigan and The Slaughterhouse continue to be well associated with Heimbach’s Traditionalist Workers Party and continue to play in the Delaware area. Under the name Paddy Tarleton, Patrick has gone onto become a large player in TWP’s operation and is currently a chapter leader and has produced music for sale by the party.
Speaking of the TWP, opposition continues to build towards shutting them and a host of other Neo-Nazi groups down in Sacramento on June 26th. Recently, Sacramento Antifa have set up a bail fund should the need arise to get anyone out of the pokey. Please donate and share that link here.
Mexico on Fire
Support for striking teachers is spreading across Mexico. Mass marches took place in Mexico City and elsewhere:
— Scott Campbell (kolektiva.social/@susurros) (@incandesceinto) June 4, 2016
Fire to the Patriarchy
In the past week there’s been a lot of talk about Brock Turner, who in January of 2015 was found by two young men to be sexually assaulting a young woman next to a dumpster on the Stanford University Campus. In a moving statement the survivor of the assault wrote:
I thought there’s no way this is going to trial; there were witnesses, there was dirt in my body, he ran but was caught. He’s going to settle, formally apologize, and we will both move on. Instead, I was told he hired a powerful attorney, expert witnesses, private investigators who were going to try and find details about my personal life to use against me, find loopholes in my story to invalidate me and my sister, in order to show that this sexual assault was in fact a misunderstanding. That he was going to go to any length to convince the world he had simply been confused.
I was not only told that I was assaulted, I was told that because I couldn’t remember, I technically could not prove it was unwanted. And that distorted me, damaged me, almost broke me. It is the saddest type of confusion to be told I was assaulted and nearly raped, blatantly out in the open, but we don’t know if it counts as assault yet. I had to fight for an entire year to make it clear that there was something wrong with this situation.
I was pummeled with narrowed, pointed questions that dissected my personal life, love life, past life, family life, inane questions, accumulating trivial details to try and find an excuse for this guy who had me half naked before even bothering to ask for my name. After a physical assault, I was assaulted with questions designed to attack me, to say see, her facts don’t line up, she’s out of her mind, she’s practically an alcoholic, she probably wanted to hook up, he’s like an athlete right, they were both drunk, whatever, the hospital stuff she remembers is after the fact, why take it into account, Brock has a lot at stake so he’s having a really hard time right now.
Brock was a member of the swim team with hopes of reaching the Olympics. His father made the case that for “20 minutes of action” he shouldn’t have his life seriously impacted with prison. In turn, the judge Aaron Persky, gave Brock only 6 months in jail.
— wiseoldsnail (@wiseoldsnail) February 20, 2016
The case highlights the huge pandemic of campus rape and sexual assault and also the lengths in which universities go to either blow over such attacks, shut up those that report them, or cover them up completely. A new documentary, The Hunting Ground, goes into this issue as well as discussing the push by authorities to shield elite male students from public scrutiny and consequence.
It’s this shielding that as also generated much backlash from those that are angered and horrified by the Brock case. Compare Brock’s six months to the case of Jasmine Richards for instance, an organizer with Black Lives Matter in Pasadena was recently sentenced to one year for unarresting another protester at a demonstration. We can also look to Brian Banks, an African-American football star spent 5 years in prison for a rape that he was later found to be not guilty of. Banks spoke on the unequal nature of their cases:
“I would say it’s a case of privilege,” Banks said. “It seems like the judge based his decision on lifestyle. He’s lived such a good life and has never experienced anything serious in his life that would prepare him for prison. He was sheltered so much he wouldn’t be able to survive prison. What about the kid who has nothing, he struggles to eat, struggles to get a fair education? What about the kid who has no choice who he is born to and has drug-addicted parents or a non-parent household? Where is the consideration for them when they commit a crime?”
Because Brock was an elite youth, connected to wealthy parents and going to a good school, he was given a huge break in his sentencing. “We can’t ruin him,” was the thinking. Where as someone like Banks, because they were black, were already ruined in the eyes of a racist system. After all, prison was built for people like him. Brock however was spared from being impacted by the institutions which are designed to repress the poor and the non-white.
But as we can see that there is an unequal application of the law and also punishment, the courts also work to uphold the position that women are essentially the property of men and thus are free to be subjected to sexual assault. This logic is backed up by institutions such as universities that actively work to cover up and hide rape because we live in a patriarchal culture where rape and sexual assault is rampant. For institutions to enforce laws against such behavior would thus bring them up against the very young men they are spending so much money on training to become the next group of elites. Likewise, in police departments across the US, rape and sexual assault is also exposed in scandal after scandal because police officers are in a position of authority that gives them the ability to get away with rape and murder.
All of these institutions expose themselves as being non-neutral within society; courts and the “justice system” don’t exist to stop anti-social acts from happening but instead act as a purely repressive force. At the same time, these institutions are also powered with the same logic and ideology as the systems that created them: namely class society, white supremacy, and patriarchy.
A hunger strike has begun at Waupun prison. From an article:
A group of inmates at Waupun Correctional Institution is refusing to eat food in an attempt to limit the use of solitary confinement, and to improve medical care for inmates with mental illnesses.
The food strike began this past week for at least seven inmates, according to organizers of a Saturday rally in support of the action. Most of those inmates began refusing meals on Friday.
Additional inmates might be involved, said rally organizers Jason Geils and Bernie Gonzalez. But it’s difficult to confirm that because the Wisconsin Department of Corrections restricts communicating with prisoners, they said.
At least one Waupun inmate involved in the food strike was transferred to Columbia Correctional Institution, while others were released from solitary confinement into Waupun’s general prison population, Gonzalez said. He got his information Friday from inmate Cesar DeLeon, who began refusing to eat food on June 5.
Construction around the Dakota Access Pipeline has begun, meaning those on the ground will need more help to stop the construction. If you are able, consider joining the encampment at Sacred Rock.
Anarchist prisoner Eric King got hitched! Congrats yall!
Its officially June 11th so stay tuned here for updates!
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