Filed under: Roundup
Welcome to 2017.
This is the first installment of the All the News column this year and already it feels as if so much as happened, and so much has yet to happen, that it can be overwhelming to even begin to compile the information in an effort to think about what the current economic, political, and ecological situation looks like. While this continues to be a daunting task, we will continue to do our best.
While in the anarchist movement and among autonomous anti-capitalist circles, much discussion exists around the #DisruptJ20 mobilizations happening across the country, but we’d like to take this opportunity to bring attention to a lot of things happening behind the scenes and not being discussed in most mainstream media channels.
First off, as General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Defense has outlined in recent Senate Armed Service Committee meetings with support from both sides of the aisle, (including the leading ‘left’ Democrats) there continues to be intense build up and support of a coming war with both Russia and China. This is coupled with the fact that now, 4,000 US troops are now stationed along the Russian border for the first time since the Cold War:
Some 4,000 US troops, together with tanks, artillery and armored vehicles, arrived in Poland over the weekend, further escalating tensions with Russia ahead of the January 20 inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump. It is the largest US troop deployment in Europe since the Cold War.
The troops will be dispersed over seven Eastern European countries, including the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, all of which border Russia. After nine months, the troops will be replaced with another unit, making the deployment effectively permanent. NATO plans to deploy a further four battalions to the Russian border later this year, including one each to Poland and the three Baltic states.
Now, as the United States seeks to cement its stranglehold over Eurasia in preparation for a showdown with its main international rival, China, it prepares for a military clash with Russia, the world’s second-ranked nuclear power.
While for now Trump has signaled a more accommodative stance toward Russia, this is only for the purpose of focusing US diplomatic, economic and military aggression against China. In an interview published this weekend by the Wall Street Journal, Trump simultaneously said he was open to lifting economic sanctions against Russia and reiterated his willingness to reconsider Washington’s longstanding policy of not recognizing Taiwan. The Chinese have warned that such a policy move would lead to a rupture of diplomatic relations.
Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, used his Senate confirmation hearing last week to declare that the US under Trump would block Chinese access to its island possessions in the South China Sea. Chinese sources in response called any such action an act of war.
This deployment comes hot on the heels of the Trump administration’s calls for an escalation of aggression with American ‘roadblocks’ to global hegemony that includes threats of the use of possible nuclear weapons:
General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, used his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday to outline an aggressive war policy, designate Russia and China as enemies and call for a dramatic expansion of military spending, including the “modernization” of nuclear weapons and expansion of cyberwarfare.
There will be no end to these global wars, the senators’ questions and Mattis’ answers made clear. The US will “be engaged in global conflict for the foreseeable future,” McCain declared. “Believing otherwise is wishful thinking… Hard power matters, having it, threatening it, leveraging for diplomacy and at times using it.”
Starting with McCain, senators repeatedly invited Mattis to denounce Russia and to separate himself from Trump over the president-elect’s less publicly bellicose stance toward Moscow and his open conflict with US intelligence agencies over unsubstantiated allegations of Russian “hacking” of the US election.
Mattis labeled Russia a “strategic competitor” and said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to “break” the NATO alliance, which he hailed as the greatest military alliance in history. “[T]here’s a decreasing number of areas where we can cooperate actively and increasing number of areas where we’re going to have to confront Russia,” Mattis said. He also signaled his deference to US intelligence agencies, saying he has a “very, very high degree of confidence in our intelligence community.”
When asked by Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico to identify “key threats” to the US, Mattis began with Russia, but from there developed a list that could include any nation in the world.
“I would consider the principal threat to start with Russia,” Mattis responded, “and then it would certainly include any nations that are looking to intimidate nations around the periphery or nations nearby them whether it is with weapons of mass destruction or—I would call it unusual, unorthodox means of intimidating them.”
This theme was taken up by Warren, who, alongside Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, is promoted as the “left” face of the Democratic Party.
Many of these moves would seem bizarre to most, considering most news media has generally just discussed the ‘connections’ between the US election and ‘Russian hackers,’ however in Washington DC there is talk within elite political circles about creating a consensus around the growing need to engage in a military conflict with Russia:
“Is Vladimir Putin a war criminal?” Senator Marco Rubio (Republican from Florida) demanded of President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, at a hearing on Wednesday. “Do you believe that Vladimir Putin and his cronies are responsible for ordering the murder of countless dissidents, journalists and political opponents?”
While replying that Russia is a significant threat to US interests, Tillerson refrained from repeating Rubio’s language. This prompted Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen to express her dismay that Tillerson was “unwilling to agree with Senator Rubio’s characterization of Vladimir Putin as a war criminal.”
The performance was repeated at a Senate hearing on Thursday for the secretary of defense nominee, General James Mattis. Republican Senator John McCain, who last month denounced Putin as a “thug and murderer” and called the alleged hacking of Democratic Party emails an “act of war,” declared that the US will be “engaged in global conflict for the foreseeable future… Hard power [that is, the military] matters, having it, threatening it, leveraging it for diplomacy and at times using it.”
The script always has the same ending. The US does not negotiate with “war criminals,” “butchers” and “thugs,” it organizes regime-change operations, wages war and, in the end, generally kills them. In this case, the target of the propaganda offensive is the president of a country with the second largest nuclear-weapons stockpile in the world. The next stage in the orchestrated offensive threatens to have catastrophic consequences for the entire world.
But wait, there’s more! No satisfied with a war with Russia, let’s throw in a war with China:
The confirmation hearings for Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees confirm that his administration intends to vastly intensify US demands for massive economic and strategic concessions from the Chinese regime. In pursuit of the predatory ambitions of a tiny layer of corporate oligarchs, policies are being put forward that could result in a military clash and trigger a nuclear exchange.
On Thursday, Rex Tillerson, Trump’s proposed secretary of state, made unprecedented statements on the attitude the next US government will take toward China’s land reclamation activities and construction of facilities on the islets and reefs Beijing claims as sovereign territory in the South China Sea.
Tillerson declared: “We are going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.”
The implications of such a policy are immense. The islands referred to by Tillerson are occupied by Chinese military personnel. The waters surrounding them are patrolled by the Chinese Coast Guard and Navy. The airspace above them is patrolled by the Chinese air force. The only conceivable way to deny China access would be through the large-scale deployment of US aircraft carriers and associated military forces into the South China Sea.
Taken together, the predatory agenda of the American oligarchs toward China challenges the core interest of the Chinese capitalist class and the political stability, and even survival, of the Chinese Communist Party regime. The CCP, the representative of a brutal and corrupt Chinese oligarchy, is incapable of any response except to threaten US imperialism with nuclear war, while appealing behind the scenes for a compromise. The bankruptcy of American capitalism, however, and the desperation of its ruling elite to reverse the decline of its global dominance, excludes the prospect of any long-term retreat from its aim of transforming China into a semi-colonial client state.
Out of all of these moves comes a clear picture of a Trump Presidency that wants to construct a nationalist economic policy which uses a massive military apparatus to “Make America Great Again.” As Nick Beams argued:
The shift in orientation by the US ruling class has profound historical significance. One of the lessons drawn by the American ruling elites following the disasters produced by the decade of the 1930s, when the division of the world economy into currency and trading blocs led to World War II, was the need to base the post-war order on free trade, with protectionism eschewed at all cost.
What was called the “liberal” trade agenda was itself based on, and underwritten by, the unchallenged global economic dominance of American capitalism, which emerged relatively unscathed from the carnage of the Second World War, in contrast to the devastation of Europe and much of Asia. The war amplified the already dominant position of US industry and finance. American capitalism sponsored the establishment of a set of institutions and programmes—the dollar-based Bretton Woods monetary system, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the Marshall Plan—to stabilise and pry open the world market to its exports and investments and facilitate the profit-making of US corporations.
Today, after decades of protracted decline, US economic hegemony is a thing of the past and American capitalism finds itself threatened by the rise, in particular, of China. This is fundamentally what underlies the breakdown of the post-war economic order and the turn of the American ruling class to unbridled economic nationalism.
To put it in simple terms, the big gains that neoliberal American financial capitalism used to make ain’t doing it like it used to, and now another form of globalized capital makes sense for some parts of the ruling class, but a much more ‘nationalistic’ version:
Fears about the new US orientation were voiced in a column by Financial Times economics correspondent Martin Wolf published on January 6. It was headlined “The long and painful journey to world disorder.”
“It is not true that humanity cannot learn from history,” Wolf began. “It can and, in the case of the lessons of the dark period between 1914 and 1945, the west did. But it seems to have forgotten those lessons. We are living, once again, in an era of strident nationalism and xenophobia. The hopes of a brave new world of progress, harmony and democracy, raised by the market opening of the 1980s and the collapse of Soviet communism between 1989 and 1991, have turned to ashes.”
Moreover, the capitalists are scared. Why? Well, capitalism is actually shrinking:
In the years following the financial crisis, the central bankers and capitalist politicians insisted that the financial measures they had enacted would eventually bring about an economic recovery. But this fiction has now been well and truly exposed. Investment, the key driver of the economy, remains persistently below pre-crisis trends. Productivity is falling. Deflation has become widespread. And, most significantly, world trade growth has slowed markedly. Last September, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) noted that in 2016, the growth in world trade would fall below the rate of growth in global gross domestic product, only the second such occurrence since 1982.
The overall situation is graphically depicted by the fact that the world economy as a whole is one sixth smaller than it would have been had pre-crisis growth trends been maintained.
In response to this situation, the past year has seen, as the WTO noted, the increased use of protectionist measures, especially by the major economies, notwithstanding all the pledges to the contrary. It is within this broad economic context that Trump and his “America First” agenda, and the turn to such economic nationalist policies by other major powers, must be placed.
In the final analysis, they are the response by the ruling elites to their inability to devise any measures to promote sustainable economic growth. Consequently, the world market is increasingly becoming a battleground—a development that will become ever more apparent in the coming year.
Let’s make an effort to understand, not only oppose these changes in the ruling class that are of course, not always uniform or united. Neoliberal capitalism is not our friend any more that right-wing populist/nationalist capitalism is. It’s all fucking got to go.
In that spirit, let’s get to the news.
Smash the State, Trump that Regime
This week brought both a collection of reflections on the end of the Obama era, which was marked by massive bailouts, the transfer of billions from the working-class to the wealthiest elites, unending wars abroad which grew to include deadly drone strikes, mass deportations, the erosion of democratic rights and the ushering in of indefinite detention, and the ramping up of repressive infrastructure and the militarization of the police in the face of an explosion of social movements. Joseph Kishore wrote:
Obama is the first president in American history to serve two full terms in office with the nation at war. This includes the continued bloodletting in Afghanistan and Iraq, the bombing of Libya, the six-year-long war for regime change in Syria, and support for the Saudi-led destruction of Yemen. A recent survey reported that in 2016, US Special Operations forces were deployed in 138 nations, or 70 percent of the countries of the world.
On the subject of Obama’s record on health care and attacks on the working-class and poor, Kishore wrote:
Obama came into office in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis, and the focus of his administration has been to restore the wealth of the financial aristocracy. Since their low point in March of 2009 (two months after Inauguration Day), stock values—fueled by the “quantitative easing” policies of the US Federal Reserve—have more than tripled, with the top one percent the overwhelming beneficiary of this new orgy of speculation. Aggregate quarterly corporate profits rose from $671 billion at the end of 2008 to $1.636 trillion in 2016, and the wealth of the richest 400 Americans increased from $1.57 trillion to $2.4 trillion.
At the other pole, eight years of the Obama administration have produced declining wages, rising living costs and growing indebtedness. Nearly 95 percent of all jobs added during the Obama administration’s “recovery” have been temporary or part-time positions, according to a recent study by Harvard and Princeton, with the share of workers in temporary jobs rising from 10.7 percent to 15.8 percent. Obama presided over the bankruptcy of the auto companies early in his administration (imposing an across-the-board 50 percent cut in wages for new-hires). He supported the bankruptcy of Detroit and slashing of city workers’ pensions. In the name of education “reform,” he oversaw a wave of public school closures and attacks on teachers, who were laid off in the hundreds of thousands.
As for Obama’s principal domestic initiative, the Affordable Care Act, its intended and actual outcome has been the shifting of health care costs from corporations and the state to individuals, with corporations slashing coverage and workers forced to pay exorbitant prices for substandard care. One statistic sums up the consequences: For the first time since the height of the AIDS epidemic in 1993, life expectancy fell in the US between 2014 and 2015 due to rising adult mortality from drug overdoses, suicides and other manifestations of social distress.
Furthermore, while liberals applauded the election of an African-American as the ‘realization’ of the civil rights movement, close to 10,000 people have been killed by police since Obama took office and a disgusting 3 million people have been deported, more than under any other President. Kishore goes on to comment:
For the ruling class, Obama’s particular function was to fuse in his person and his administration identity politics with the absolute domination of Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus. The “change” Obama was to represent was in the color of his skin, not the content of his policies.
While many herald Trump as a sign of the end times, the stage he is set to enter was made possible by the policies and repressive build up of the Obama administration.
But while liberals are often blind to this reality, many on the Right are likewise blind to the fact that Trump stands not to confront “the elites,” but instead to usher in a new framework for their rule under nationalistic and reactionary lines. Speaking of Trump, last Wednesday, Trump announced that he would be putting his two weird ass looking sons in charge of the Trump Organization. At a press conference:
A significant portion of the event was given over to Trump’s legal advisor, who declared that the “business empire built by President-elect Trump over years is massive,” and proceeded to explain why conflict-of-interest statutes do not apply to Trump. She assured the American people that Trump “is not exploiting the office of the presidency for his personal benefit.”
Trump aides piled up hundreds of manila folders allegedly comprising documents showing the various arrangements to be made with respect to the Trump Organization. While the president-elect boasted of his wealth and success, he reiterated that he is exempt from conflict-of-interest rules (due to an obscure 1978 law passed to retroactively legitimize the free pass given to billionaire Nelson Rockefeller when he was appointed vice president by Gerald Ford in 1974).
Trump was not just citing a legal technicality. He was declaring the complete immunity of the capitalist oligarchy from the laws and regulations that apply to the general population. All laws and democratic principles are subordinate to oligarchic privilege.
Far from “standing up to the elites,” Trump represents a championing of their power over any illusion of checks and balances. But as Patrick Martin noted:
There is deep and growing anger among workers and youth. According to the latest poll figures, Trump—the most unpopular president-elect in history—now has a favorable rating of only 37 percent, with the majority of the population viewing him unfavorably. This is before he even takes a single action as president of the United States. Masses of people are in for a shock beyond anything they are prepared for.
As we get nearer to the Trump Inauguration, plans continue to change as both the far-Right and the police ramp of threats against those mobilizing against the billionaire oligarch. Several days ago, Trump made statements saying that he would remove the head of the National Guard before 12:01 Noon, however now these statements seem to have been recanted:
The Trump transition team has reversed course and is now asking the head of the Washington, D.C. National Guard to not resign at 12:01 PM on Inauguration Day, after massive nationwide outrage including from at least one local city councilman. Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz received a memo instructing him to tender his resignation effective 12:01 PM January 20, the moment Donald Trump is sworn in as president – which is a customary expectation of all presidential political appointees and cabinet members on every Inauguration Day, even when a president is re-elected.
People are pouring into Washington in record numbers. Bikers for Trump are on their way. It will be a great Thursday, Friday and Saturday!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2017
Also, in a proto-fascist move, Trump gave a nod (or maybe more of a plea) for far-Right forces within ‘Bikers for Trump’ to bow before their new billionaire at his upcoming inauguration on Friday. While there are some interesting reports online stating that “low numbers” are expected for Trump when compared to the 1-1.8 million that turned out for Obama, according to the Department of Homeland Security (who actually reads all our emails and text messages) they think around 700,000 or so will be out. Despite this, it does appear that attendance for the inauguration for those everyday people that actually want to see him inaugurated will be smaller than the thousands that are expected to pour into the city to protest and disrupt Trump being sworn in. The role that far-Right groups like Bikers for Trump will play in all this, either as passive spectators or as auxiliary forces to the cops (cause bikers and cops are like this son!) – remains unclear. Meanwhile, approval ratings for Trump continue to drop and the majority of Americans are apprehensive about their new commander and chief.
— Robert Rutledge (@rerutled) January 17, 2017
In regards to numbers present at the Inauguration, one journalist had this to say:
Britain’s The Independent today reports that ticket scalpers are getting scalped – there’s little demand to buy inauguration tickets.
Even before Trump’s tweet, The Hollywood Reporter noted D.C. may be flooded, but with Trump protesters, not supporters.
You’re fired. Sad!!
Protesters were arrested when they disrupted a meeting held by Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for Attorney General who (supposedly) used to have soft and fuzzy feelings for the KKK:
On the 10th of January, Trump’s attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions began his confirmation hearings before Congress. He was known 30 years ago as a KKK sympathiser and this came up in the hearings. He claimed he would support civil rights, but anti-Trump protesters begged to disagree. Several were removed from the hearing, including two Code Pink activists dressed as KKK members to mock Session’s past. Both of the protesters in the hoods were arrested.
Also, if you want to get your counter-insurgency read on as to what the police will be brushing up on before #DisruptJ20, check out:
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) January 13, 2017
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) January 17, 2017
One big shock that seems to be ruffling the feathers of many people who supported Trump but said “he’d never touch” the Affordable Care Act, is that now Trump has made public his clear plans to do just that:
In a weekend interview, Donald Trump said that he is close to completion of a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act that will include “insurance for everybody.” In comments to the Washington Post late Saturday, the president elect said of his proposal, “It’s very much formulated down to the final strokes. We haven’t put it in quite yet but we’re going to be doing it soon.”
There is every reason to dismiss Trump’s claims that under his plan people “can expect to have great health care” that is “much less expensive and much better” as so much hogwash. He has not provided any specifics on how he will achieve a replacement plan with “much lower deductibles,” and a simplified and less expensive system in which all Americans are “beautifully covered.”
A new report confirms that rich people continue to have most of the wealth – imagine that:
Eight billionaires, six of them from the United States, own as much combined wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population, some 3.6 billion people, according to the latest report on global inequality from the British-based advocacy group Oxfam.
The report was released Monday, on the eve of the annual World Economic Forum in the mountain resort of Davos, Switzerland, at which many of the ultra-rich will converge this week. The Oxfam document contains a range of figures that highlight the staggering growth of social inequality, showing that the income and wealth gap between a tiny financial elite and the rest of the world’s people is widening at an accelerating rate.
The report points to the systematic character of the siphoning of global wealth to the heights of society. The business sector is focused on delivering “ever higher returns to wealthy owners and top executives,” with companies “structured to dodge taxes, drive down workers’ wages and squeeze producers.”
This involves the most barbaric and criminal practices. Oxfam cites a report by the International Labour Organisation estimating that 21 million people are forced labourers, generating $150 billion in profits every year. The world’s largest garment companies all have links to cotton-spinning mills in India that routinely use the forced labour of girls.
Under Obama, the decades-long growth of inequality accelerated, along with the descent of the ruling class into parasitism and criminality. He paved the way for the financial oligarchy to directly seize the reins of power, embodied in the imminent presidency of casino and real estate billionaire Donald Trump, to whom Obama will hand over the keys to the White House on Friday.
Trump has also pledged to slash taxes on the uber-wealthy and large corporations, only adding to the amount of wealth flowing from the hands of the working-class and the poor.
Actions took place across the US marking MLK Day, including a land occupation in Oakland, CA:
— Movement Generation (@MoveGen) January 17, 2017
Finally, Andrew Puzder, a former fast food CEO is set to become labor secretary:
Andrew Puzder, Donald Trump’s nominee for labor secretary, is uniquely unqualified for that job. As secretary, he’d be charged with enforcing health and safety, overtime and other labor laws. But as CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., he’s made his considerable fortune from violating these very same laws, according to a report by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United released this week.
ROC, which advocates for restaurant workers nationwide, surveyed 564 CKE workers, 76 percent of them women. In discussing the results of the survey, it’s important to note that while ROC surveyed a large number of workers, the respondents are people who chose to fill out a survey distributed by a workers’ rights organization, which they learned about through their social media networks. Still, ROC reported “unprecedented” interest in the survey among workers at CKE and their eagerness to be part of the study, and the experiences they reported, are striking reminders that by tapping Puzder, Trump has made clear that his administration will be a dystopian nightmare for U.S. workers.
Smash the Patriarchy
Pro-patriarchy, Alt-Lite troll, and Men’s’ Rights Activist (MRA) Milo Yiannopoulos got his shit fucking shut down in Davis, CA this week. While you dedicated readers at IGD probably saw the report back that was written, but to reiterate, overall it was a delicious shit show. Essentially Milo lied about the entire thing and of course wasn’t there, but then used the situation to his advantage to create a media spectacle on the campus the next day. Imagine that. From the report:
The alt-light Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at the campus of UC Davis on Friday the 13th. Similar to other campuses where Yiannopoulos has spoken, he was invited by the campus Republicans. Just days before the event, he announced that in addition to his appearance, the pharmaceutical ex-CEO Martin Shkreli would be joining him. Shkreli made headlines in 2015 for raising the price of Daraprim, an HIV and Cancer drug, by 5000%. They have both been suspended by Twitter for harassment.
After meeting with campus police and UC Davis Student Affairs officials, DCR leaders decided to cancel the event. Hale told TheSacramento Bee that the university did not in fact order the shutdown of the event, but rather presented DCR with their concerns about attendees’ safety.
Hale told the Bee, “They [the College Republicans] were presented with the details of what was happening around the venue that evening. Protesters were blocking the entrance, so to be able to get the ticketed persons inside the venue, that would have been difficult.”
Following the event’s cancellation, Yiannopoulos and Shkreli took to social media to malign the protesters and campus administration, and to incite their right-wing audience. Even though the university did not itself cancel the event, Yiannopoulos wrote on Facebook, “Left-wing thugs scared UC Davis into canceling my event last night by damaging property, hurling excrement at guests and starting fights. […] Come join us at 1pm today in the quad at UC Davis to protest the university’s pathetic failure to protect free speech.”
In fact, the university has said that no property damage was reported due to the protests.
At campus Saturday, Yiannopoulos reportedly stood on a picnic table with a loudspeaker and denounced the university for canceling the event, and then led a march of protesters through part of the campus, chanting, “USA! USA!” A group of counter-protesters simultaneously denounced him, shouting, “No Milo, No KKK, No Fascist U.S.A.”
Check this literally shit out:
In proof the universe bends towards poetic justice, Martin Shkreli caught dog shit w/ his face at the defeated fascism soirée at Davis. pic.twitter.com/1gnejtVI2N
— Scott Campbell (@incandesceinto) January 14, 2017
Also, in a glorious open letter to Milo, one person called him out as the rich-kid troll that he and his supporters are:
You don’t frighten me.
I’m going to take my heels off so I can get down to your level. Let’s cover some basic ground: your bleach job and concealer several shades too light don’t make you Aryan, it just makes you look like Gerard Way failing to get into a frat party. You’ve taken all your self-hatred, warped it, and levelled it at vulnerable people. I think you’re pathetic and sad.
I’m not going to waste time telling you that you’re a bigot. The faculty has pretty well covered why you shouldn’t come here in their open letters to the chancellor. Besides, being called a Nazi doesn’t appear to stop you or anyone else on the alt-right from doing a goddamn thing.
I ought to sue your “Dangerous Faggot” tour for misleading the public. The only thing you’re dangerous to is a skinhead’s self-esteem. The world is full of very dangerous faggots, but you are not one of them. I raise a glass to the real dangerous faggots, from the AIDS survivors and queer anarchists to the gender warriors and the mincers of Fire Island. Here’s to every disobedient queer body to ever walk the streets in defiance of state and society.
If we, the gender deviant, were not dangerous, you would not be so clearly threatened by us.
I’d like to address the real reason you’re coming here — Berkeley College Republicans, a pit of snakes, money and Pepe memes, agreed to host you, upping their game from the cardboard Trump cutout. I, for one, am just happy that their tacit white supremacism is now completely undeniable. They bring you here and then complain that It’s Going Down compiled [Note: We did not write the article mention, we reposted it.] their members’ public information and that UCPD would like to be compensated for the heightened security your presence on our campus will require. Hey BCR, what happened to Blue Lives Matter?
Frankly, I hope BCR gets their dads’ checkbooks out and raises the coin to bring you here. I hope our chancellor remains spineless in the face of justified faculty and student outrage.
When you get here on Feb. 1, we will be waiting here to strip you of your gay identity. You can have sex with all the men you want, but you’re not gay anymore. You’ve used your sexual orientation as an excuse to spit bile and galvanize cowards for long enough. Put your badge and gun on my desk. The community rejects you. You have never been one of us.
You never should have booked this UC tour, Milo. But you want to come to my town? I say, welcome to Berkeley, motherfucker. I’m the meanest gay on this coast. I was assigned to raise hell at birth. You come through me.
See you soon, Milo.
More anti-Milo confrontations are coming up, see them here.
Also, across the US, people are fighting to keep Planned Parenthood open with demonstrations planned in various states.
Black Snake Killaz
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) January 16, 2017
Pipeline resistance camps, headed by indigenous people are growing across the US. Unicorn Riot has a great report up on their website we encourage you to read:
Direct opposition to fossil fuel extraction projects continues to spread throughout the USA. Resistance camps mirroring the #NoDAPL encampments opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) have sprung up to resist the Sabal Trail, Trans-Pecos, Comanche, AIM, and Pilgrim Pipelines.
Water protectors are concerned about the threats to the environment posed by the fracking process and the boring that occurs when pipelines are constructed underneath waterways.
Drawing from the Unicorn Riot article, we present these various sites of struggle:
- Comanche Trail, Texas: On January 7th, a week after the camp was founded, two water protectors were arrested for locking down to construction excavators in a direct action that stopped construction for the day. In a video from the Jan. 7th action Two Rivers Camp organizer Frankie Orona states:“People are coming in from other states, people are coming down from North Dakota, the momentum’s growing and its growing here in Texas and that’s what we need. All the fracking that’s going to be happening here that’s gonna be contaminating not just the water, the land, the air, but sacred sites and land that’s owned by people who have lived here for generations and they’re feeling like they’re getting bullied.” – Frankie OronaAnother action involving lockdowns to construction equipment occurred during Saturday, January 15th. Two people who called themselves Earth Protectors, were arrested, one of whom was charged with felony criminal mischief as well as felony interference with a state machine.
- San Eli, Texas: In San Eli, Texas, on Wednesday, January 12th, 2017, two water protectors targeted Pumpco construction equipment, owned by ETP’s CEO Kelcy Warren, in attempts to stop work. One person locked down to the backhoe and another locked themselves underneath it.
- Sabal Trail, Florida: The Sabal Trail Transmission is a three-state, $3 billion natural gas pipeline project that is due to be completed by June 2017. Partners in this joint ‘Sabal Trail’ project which starts in Alabama, goes through Georgia, and ends in Florida, are Spectra Energy Corp., with 59.5% ownership, NextEra Energy, Inc. with 33%, and Duke Energy with 7.5%.In a report-back from the direct action camp, Panagioti Tsolkas states: “There is a bounty of reasons to oppose this project, from the regional threats our waterways and wild lands to the global impacts of climate change. For a few examples, the project is slated to impact 4,370 acres of forests, 1,958 wetland systems and 699 waterbodies; it will emit greenhouse gas and toxic pollutants through its compressor stations, not to mention the impacts from power plants that will burn the fuel for electricity and the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals that will process and store the fuel. Add to that the utter disregard for low-income/minority “environmental justice communities”—the Environmental Impacts Statement (EIS) acknowledged that 83.7% of the Project would cross or be within one mile of environmental justice populations, including 135 environmental justice communities. That is to say nothing of ongoing eminent domain proceedings and the potential impacts of leaks and combustion.”
- DAPL, Illinois: The historic autonomous #NoDAPL encampments continue near Cannonball, North Dakota, on 1851 treaty land, to preserve the Missouri River and prevent pipeline construction. As they move through the harsh winter conditions into mid-January of 2017, construction continues away from Lake Oahe, where the Army’s Dec. 4th denial of the Lake Oahe easement has prevented full boring under the Missouri River.
- Pilgrim Pipeline/AIM Pipeline Expansion, New Jersey: Pilgrim Pipeline, in the Northeast region of the USA, is being constructed by Pilgrim Holdings, LLC. to move oil through the region. “The 178-mile parallel underground pipelines will run between supply and distribution terminals in Albany and Linden, New Jersey.” The Ramapough Lenape Nation, a tribe recognized by the states of New Jersey and New York, but not the federal government, are still trying to clean up from years of toxic contamination of its lands by a Ford plant decades ago. Now they’re dealing with the new Pilgrim Pipeline and the expansion of the AIM pipeline.
Police attacks against the Standing Rock encampment continue, as this MLK Day saw continued actions:
Yesterday, water protectors at Standing Rock were reportedly tear-gassed and shot at with rubber bullets by militarized police again. Three unidentified people were also arrested by the Morton County Sheriff Department for trespassing onto private property, inciting a riot and resisting arrest, after cutting a wire fence and dismantling industrial lighting.
According to several sources, around 200 peaceful protectors — some of whom called the march a response to Martin Luther King Jr. Day — marched over the frozen Cannonball and Missouri River to the site of the oil drill pad. It is supposedly the largest confrontation since construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline was halted last month. As Fusion reported, there was also another assembly near Backwater Bridge, where law enforcement reportedly deployed tear gas, ran over activists and fired rubber bullets at the crowd — in the same spot they were filmed using excessive force on protesters last November.
When the United States Army Corps of Engineers announced on December 4, 2017, that it would not grant the easement that would allow construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota—threatening the drinking water supply for the Standing Rock Sioux reservation—water protectors were weary that the victory was only temporary. Though an environmental impact assessment was ordered to explore alternate routes, the company constructing the pipeline vowed to continue pursuing completion of the project.
Despite the positive news, several water protectors have stayed at the Standing Rockcamps to preserve the infrastructure and continue the movement to protect the Standing Rock Sioux’s water supply and tribal rights for when the pipeline construction resumes.
On January 16, police allegedly resumed firing rubber bullets at water protectors praying peacefully at the barrier along the pipeline construction site. A new National Guard site has allegedly been set up within the vicinity of the camp in preparation for escalating action between water protectors and police after President Obama leaves office. A missile system was reportedly sighted in the hills behind the barriers that is apparently intended to take down any drones attempting to acquire aerial footage of the pipeline construction site.
Unarmed Water protectors are being shot by rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, pepper spray and chased on ski-doos tn in Standing Rock, ND pic.twitter.com/3mZy22koY9
— Steven Thompson (@stevestrr) January 17, 2017
People within the Trump organization remain steadfast that they will increase the amount of drilling and pipeline construction, at an even faster rate than under Obama:
President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to run the Department of the Interior, Representative Ryan Zinke of Montana, said during his confirmation hearing Wednesday that he would review President Barack Obama’s moves to limit oil and gas drilling in Alaska and some other parts of the country if confirmed.
Yes,” he said in response to a question from Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska about whether he would review drilling limits on federal land in her state as head of the department. “The president-elect has said that we want to be energy independent. I can guarantee you it is better to produce energy domestically under reasonable regulation than overseas with no regulation.”
Mexico On Fire
The Zapatistas celebrated another anniversary of their insurrection against the Mexican State. One article wrote:
“If we had spent those 23 years exchanging gunshots,” says Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in an evening address to the many gathered for “The Zapatistas and ConSciences for Humanity” encounter currently taking place in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, “would we have been able to build this?”
The Subcomandante was referring to the flourishing infrastructures of self-organized Zapatista life, lived by thousands of rebel Indigenous people in the Lacandon jungle of Chiapas, Mexico. The Zapatista movement today celebrates the 23rd anniversary of its uprising in San Cristóbal on Jan. 1, 1994, the day the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect. In the 23 years that have followed the Zapatistas are organized by small communities known as caracoles and have built autonomous hospitals, schools, health clinics, security, transport, and communications operations.
The Zapatista “command” of which Subcomandante Moisés is a member had, as the Subcomandante was recounting in his address, begun shortly after the uprising to consider “another way of fighting” the system of neoliberal economics and bad government that currently has humanity in its grip, with Indigenous peoples of the world being squeezed the hardest. That is, they began to explore a resistance to this death grip that did not rely on weapons and violence and in which only guerrillas played a role. The leaders of the movement began to speak with the “compañ[email protected]*” of the Indigenous communities that comprise it about alternatives to fighting the war against them. The alternative, they discovered, was to include all the rebel Indigenous who struggle — the women, the children, the older people — all together building the just and rational world being fought for “from below” while continuing to face the threat of extermination by the state and capital. As such, the Zapatistas decided they would stop using their weapons against their aggressors and develop a system of self-government, completely autonomous from the state and capital.
For a round up of current Zapatista and indigenous news from Chiapas, check out Dorset Chiapas Solidarity’s monthly round up here.
The #Gasolinazo uprising continues. As Forbes wrote:
The present wave of gasolinazo in Mexico is torching more than social order, peace and property. It has left President Enrique Pena Nieto’s political capital and credence in blisters. His government hiked the gasoline prices by up to 20% with less than a week’s notice, sending millions into a last-minute scramble for filling tanks and jerry cans. The ensuing chaos, fuel shortages, stockpiling, protests, riots, arson, widespread mass looting and at least six deaths since the new year began is nothing but a spillover of public anger at Nieto’s failure to curb corruption and his toothless reforms to boost living standards.
To worsen their woes, Mexicans now fear a steep rise in food prices and basic necessities is imminent. Consumer prices, according to analysts at Banamex, are expected to go up by more than 1.6% in January, highest rise in 17 years in month-on-month comparison. The cost of maize has already soared by 5% – touching 80 cents per kilogram. As a result, tortilla prices – the country’s staple food – have already begun going up in several cities. Half of Mexico’s population lives in poverty, with a significant number subsisting on $3.8 in daily minimum wages. Not being able to afford tortilla was once unthinkable, today millions of Mexicans are bracing to face the stark reality. In 2007, a similar spike in tortilla prices had triggered nationwide protests. But this time, the Mexicans know, it’s different.
teleSur reports that the militant CNTE teachers union has entered the struggle:
Unionized education workers launched actions across the country Saturday, in order to protest against the gas price hikes that have sparked massive protests in recent weeks against the gasolinazo.
Since the protests broke out, clashes between police and protesters and looting have left six people dead, 1,500 arrested, 420 businesses affected and several roads blocked.
— Saulo Corona (@saulocorona) January 13, 2017
Another article discussed some of the economics fueling the revolt:
Last week, the currency fell another 2.5 percent as investors grappled with potential changes in trade policy. Ford Motors, for example, has yielded to Trump’s protectionist threats, cancelling Mexican projects worth billions of dollars. Fiat Chrysler is also considering closing its Mexican factories.
The spike in fuel prices, or “gasolinazo” (gasoline blow), coupled with the weakened currency, has sparked discontent across the country.
At the time of this writing, police have killed 46 people in the United States in the last 17 days, an average of 2.7 per day. This included one man in Queens armed with a screwdriver:
Police in the Springfield Gardens section of Queens, New York killed Jahlire Nicholson Friday after he allegedly threatened his mother with a screwdriver.
Nicholson was the third person killed by the NYPD in less than two weeks. Nine people were fatally shot by the NYPD in all of 2016.
The shooting was the fourth police-involved shooting in New York City so far this year, with three people shot by police in a span of 36 hours in the first week of January.
Fire to the Prisons
In Kentucky, a massive prison riot kicked off that led to several buildings getting torched:
Rioting inmates armed themselves and “were getting ready for war” during a disturbance at a maximum security prison in Massachusetts, the state’s top public safety official said Tuesday.
The riot at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center began with a Monday afternoon fight between two inmates and quickly escalated when 47 inmates refused orders to return to their cells. The disturbance ended about three hours later after a state police response team flooded the unit with pepper spray and the inmates gradually gave up, prison officials said.
After the guards left the unit, Bennett said nearly four dozen inmates began smashing tables and other furniture, removing fire extinguishers from walls and destroying computers in the area where the officers normally would be stationed. Security video captured before camera systems were destroyed showed inmates fashioning makeshift knives, clubs and other weapons out of the broken items. Bennett said the prisoners intended to attack corrections officers with the weapons.
“They armed themselves,” Bennett said. “They were getting ready for war.”
Chelsea Manning & Oscar Lopez are coming home because you fought like hell & wouldnt allow them to be forgotten pic.twitter.com/ud8TUMF1nE
— agitator in chief (@soit_goes) January 17, 2017
Ironically, on the eve of Trump’s election, officially the Alt-Right in many ways, as internet subculture attempting to be a movement, seems effectively to have ended. At this point, the splits within it are deep and hardcore, and the contradictions among the various factions are causing large amounts of infighting and denunciations to the point of keeping it from functioning on any real level other than limping forward.
Since the start of 2017, several big things have been going on. First, Andrew Anglin, kind of the Pauly Shore of Neo-Nazism, only but dumber and much better actor, (Anglin edits the geocities grade level website, The Daily Stormer) set out to hold a march in Whitefish, Montana in order to support Richard Spencer’s rich ass mom who was getting pressure from people to distance herself from her Neo-Nazi son. In an effort to ‘defend’ Spencer’s madre and to attack ‘the Jews’ of Whitefish, Andrew Anglin claimed he would hold a Neo-Nazi march on MLK day, claiming it would feature armed skinheads from the bay area marching with high-powered rifles and was billed as a “James Earl Ray” celebration by Anglin, in reference to the white racist who assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While we all collectively rolled our eyes, people still mobilized in case Anglin did materialize, or random fascists decided to make their presence know.
But this move by Anglin made Richard Spencer look really bad, like even worse than he looks when he tries to give a speech, and although just days before the march was announced Spencer appeared on a podcast with Anglin where the two talked about their shared Neo-Nazi ideology, Spencer did backflips to distance himself in the press from his troll bruh breh. This ploy signaled that Spencer was moving closer to the world of internet Nazi trolls, after the old guard of white nationalist ‘leadership’ largely tossed him under the bus following his latest National Policy Institute (NPI) conference in Washington, DC, which ended in Nazi salutes for Trump.
As the date of Anglin’s Nazi march in support of Spencer got closer, it became clearer that not only was Spencer’s ‘good name’ essentially ruined, but that Anglin himself was a total troll that never had any intention of holding the march and more than likely, called for the march in an attempt to get money from his supporters and publicity for his shitty website.
— Antifa-GB (@Antifa_GB_1) January 17, 2017
Regardless of Anglin’s lies, over 60 anti-fascists rallied in Whitefish without a Neo-Nazi in sight. This is a victory on multiple levels. First, because it shows that Anglin and his Neo-Nazis are not a movement, they are an internet subculture. When they say they are going to do something, they are lying through their teeth in an attempt to use the mainstream media to promote themselves. We on the other hand, get next to no media attention. Through our networks and organizations, we put boots on the ground, not them. We are powerful, not them. This shows that Anglin is a troll, not a leader. If Anglin attempts to come out of his hole again, people will be there to smash him right back down. Big ups to everyone that showed up in Montana! From one glowing media article:
About 50 self-proclaimed anti-fascists gathered in downtown on Monday to show solidarity with the community on the day a neo-Nazi group had been planning an armed march through town that was later postponed.
Despite the cancellation of the Jan. 16 event, anti-fascists and others gathered in Whitefish in case neo-Nazis did move forward with their plan to march down Second Street from Memorial Park to City Hall.
Many of the protesters came from out of the area and were organized by a coalition of groups, including the Missoula chapter of the Industrial Workers of the World and the Queer Insurrection Unit. Some were masked and dressed in all back with pink armbands. One man, who asked not to be identified, said organizers chose to wear black to show the neo-Nazis that they were “militant” and would not be deterred by their weapons.
“We’re here to stand in solidarity with the community of Whitefish,” said Damon Rodriguez, an IWW organizer from Missoula. “We’re ready to show up to stand against the neo-Nazis, and if they do show up and march, we’ll be back.”
Jacob Johns, a community organizer from Spokane, Washington, was returning from the ongoing oil pipeline protest on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota when he heard about the proposed march in Whitefish. Johns said he helped organize rides for protestors from Washington and Oregon to stand against fascism.
“People from all different backgrounds are here to stand united and show solidarity with the community,” Johns said.
Speaking of Spencer, he has now officially moved from his mom’s big ass mansion into a place near Washington DC. According to Red Brick Town:
This month, Spencer’s rebooting again: He is renting a “hub” for the alt-right movement in a townhouse in Alexandria, Virginia. Spencer and Jason Jorjani, the editor-in-chief of Arktos, a publishing arm associated with the alt-right, have bought the domain name altright.com. Spencer and Jorjani met at the conference for the National Policy Institute, Spencer’s innocuously named think tank, where attendees gave Nazi salutes as Spencer shouted “Hail Trump” from the stage. They quickly formed a bond, and are now joining forces to brand themselves as the intellectual leaders of the alt-right.
This means that Spencer is now based out of Alexandria, Virginia, located literally 20 minutes from downtown Washington DC. So, expect to see Spencer out in about at the Trump Inauguration. Also, Spencer’s mom only pays his rent! She didn’t by the house?! Spencer…are you cut off from that sweet momma milk? Your poor dapper young, almost 40 year old, prince. What’s next, a job?
“Can I have a Hitler poster in my room mommy?” “Not now Spencer, momma needs another xanax.”
But while that was going on in Montana, a war was brewing in the sewers of the internet between supporters and participants of the Right Stuff podcast network. To make things really easy to understand, various factions got mad at TRS being “soft on Jews,” which led to to threats of doxxing (releasing of private info online), and low and behold, people began putting info on various internet messages boards. This war took place as Ghoul from TRS offered to snitch on his former comrades to IGD and info began to be released on two leaders within TRS, Bulbasaur and Seventh Son.
Soon after this, a report and doxx was released on the website Medium that included info on the final, head leader of TRS (Mike Peinovich aka Mike Enoch). What came next was even more damning, as Peinovich took to white power boards and told the world that he was in fact, married to a Jewish woman who got paid giving talks on diversity. Can’t make this shit up folks.
The fault lines of Nazi land shook. Everyone from David Duke, to the Traditionalist Worker Party, to Richard Spencer all rushed to get behind Mike Enoch, the head of TRS. Meanwhile, the rank-n-file trolls and meme frog fucks cried their collective eyes out that their leader who based his entire career of a show called “The Daily Holocaust” and who rose to fame off of racial slurs and advocating violence against Jews, had been ‘sleeping with the enemy’ the whole time.
We won’t get into a deep and lengthy dissection of who said what and who supports who, but what does this show us? First, these people aren’t a movement. They are LARPing with these ideas and more than anything, putting on a show from the comfort of the internet. Also, while members of TRS seem hardcore dedicated to these ideas, what their actions in the real world show us, is how stupid and dumb these actual positions are and how divorced from reality they quickly become.
Despite this, TRS continues to have a mass audience of over 100k listeners a show. Also, it appears that Enoch is now divorcing his wife and will continue with the show:
The Daily Shoah then put out a special episode where the hosts said that Mike was unavailable because he was in the process of separating from his wife. Apparently, the opinions of Nazis on the Internet were enough to peer-pressure him into literally leaving his wife. At the same time, they allege that his family has completely disowned him and that he is out of a job. They are saying that this is going to make him come back to the show, likely because he has nothing left to lose.
This loss of anonymity is likely going to dissuade many others from getting involved in this type of project as few people want to get a divorce, lose their job, and get shunned by their family.
Also, lastly on the Neo-Nazi fail train, we wanna give a lol out to Matt Parrott of Traditionalist Worker Party/Youth Network. TWP has become essentially the ‘God Hates Fags’ (meaning failures that feed off of media) of white nationalism (that says a lot), largely moving all of their discussion and talk off of their public websites and facebook accounts, and now largely rely on Matthew Heimbach’s falling media spotlight in order to bring people in. Their ‘Trad Worker’ website and twitter account haven’t been updated in months, and despite claiming to have hundreds of members, they don’t seem to be doing all that much. What this means is that Parrot is now largely the public voice of TWP (through tradyouth.org) and spends most of his time writing long ass rants that make him come off as a near 40ish man who spent 7.5 years at junior college and lives on youtube watching Ancient Aliens reruns. Here’s a recent gem:
Knocking back Mountain Dews until three in the morning to help keep a pro-white hashtag trending on Twitter is real struggle. It’s real work. Many namefags become namefags for the ego boost, and then cash in on the ego boost by bragging about it and leveraging it as a sort of get out of jail free card when they’re losing Facebook arguments.
Well said Matt. I thought you were George Lincoln Rockwell for a second.
Recently TWP held a rally in Chicago that was not talked about online beforehand at all, and instead acted only as a media stunt. TWP, this time putting on their ‘Nationalist Front’ hat; the NF being a collection of Neo-Nazi, white power skinhead, TRS meme frogs, and KKK groups. The group rolled up, held banners while Heimbach spoke, and then dipped. Also, in the video online they begin their rally by chanting, “National! Socialism!” Great job guys, that’s what the white worker wants, Nazism! Four years ago, Heimbach wrote this about National Socialism:
One other issue to address is the topic of National Socialism. “Nazism” as it is more commonly known…Backwards men in funny costumes are given the microphone and allowed to spew hateful and downright foolish rhetoric which only serves to deter legions of passionate white men and women who genuinely love their people and keep them sitting on the sidelines, waiting for a true banner to rally behind.
Now you’re you’re the one in the funny costume Matt! You’ve come so far!
What does the rally show? First, it shows that TWP and by that extension their puppets in the NF aka, the NSM, who look to Heimbach for ‘leadership,” do not want to release information about their activities online. If they do, it is always after the fact in order to make themselves appear strong. Also, its our guess that they could not get a permit (aka, get police protection) for their event, and thus decided to do a quick rally but without advertising beforehand in order to get a handful of people to come out. Too bad they weren’t out there for very long, because sure as shit someone would have gotten wiser.
Lastly, the number were really low, only 15 people. Less than even their failed Sacramento rally. TWP boasts 500 members, but yet they could only get 15 people out to their event? The NSM is based out of Detroit, 4 hours away, but only 15 people could attend? What is going on? Clearly the rank and file of these groups don’t want to come out into the open, or more likely, they don’t fucking exist or are pacified with Trump in office. Check out their Chicago video here.
There is a new zine out about prison strikes in Greek prisons. Check it out here.
Antifa International has new shirts to support Rojava. Get one!
A man from Edmonton in Canada, Nazzareno Tassone, has died in the service of the YPG in the fight against ISIS. Rest in power brother!
It’s Going Down
#DisruptJ20 is right around the corner.
Stay safe. Be organized. Get the right tech tools, like Signal for your smartphone to encrypt your shit. Be smart. Move as a group. Don’t leave your friends behind.
If you are organizing an event, also please send us a report back. IGD will be active throughout the day. Our plan is to have multiple pages going that are constantly updated along with our twitter feed. If you can, please consider making a donation to IGD in order to help us continue to do this work.
See you in the streets!