Filed under: Canada, Mexico, Roundup, US
Originally posted to It’s Going Down
Actions against the Trump campaign have multiplied across the county, with demonstrations and interruptions occurring in several cities.
Protesters who rallied against a Trump rally in Kansas City were blasted with pepper spray and even trampled by police horses. A zine was put together on the night which is available here from the AMN Collective.
Things also got tense in Salt Lake City when protesters attempted to rush the door but were eventually beaten back by riot police.
BREAKING: ugly scene as trump protesters tear down security tent. Officers forcefully pushed back pic.twitter.com/VLEebqVUZA
— Peter Doocy (@pdoocy) March 19, 2016
In New York City, a large march to Trump towers was organized by “anti-fascist” football fans who appear to have no understanding of the basic anti-fascist principle No Platform, nor any analysis of the police.
— Ash J (@AshAgony) March 19, 2016
Protesters blocked a major road into Fountain Hills, AZ where Trump had scheduled a rally. Traffic was backed up for miles, and prevented drivers from other cities from attending. A few days later in Washington, DC protesters also attempted a blockade at the Verizon Center during Trump’s speech at AIPAC.
With actions spreading and escalating, it remains vital to reflect on strategy. It remains to be seen how precisely the clashes will impact Trump’s actual support, but it primarily functions to make openly supporting Trump dangerous. And it is for this reason (amongst others) that we should drop the victimizing narratives that the police assaulted nonviolent protesters or that Trump fans threw the first punch: we need to be ready to meet these repressive forces with our own strength.
This is not a battle to be dealt with on the level of discourse, where clever signs and photogenic rallies are expected to simply convince others to abandon their support for Trump. This is a battle that aims to stop not simply Trump, but the growing neo-fascist movement that has coalesced around his campaign.
Notable is the announcement of the Lions Guard that intends to protect Trump rallies from disruption. Fighting has erupted with Trump fans before, but they are intent about increasing their coordination. The group seems to have stemmed from the militia movement, but it is also reminiscent of the groups who assembled in the Bay Area to defend stores and restaurants from rioters after the acquittal of George Zimmerman and later the non-indictment of Darren Wilson. Rather than outrage against ‘violence’ from some moral high-ground, we need to get organized in order to defeat them.
Many demonstrations have taken place near Trump Towers or hotels Trump owns, which also suggests a direction for action to take that could damage Trump financially, however so far these have only been sites of activist rallies.
Meanwhile in Asheville, NC antifa there have some new updates about local efforts. Also, in Dallas, TX the Huey P. Newton Gun Club organized an armed counter-demonstration outside a mosque that was the scene of an anti-Islamic protest. Ironically, the group was joined by the Nation of Islam, a group who’s leader Louis Farrakhan has recently articulated various pro-Trump and anti-refugee statements.
Students at UC Davis have started and kept going an occupation of Mrak Hall (which was also occupied during the wave of student strikes and occupations in 2009 and 10), demanding the resignation of Chancellor Katehi, who presided over the famous “pepper spray” incident several ago during one campus protest. For more information and to stay up to date with the occupation, check out @FireKatehi and this blog here.
In Detroit, police fired tear gas on high school students. According to Democracy Now:
In other news from Michigan, police in Detroit fired tear gas on students at Detroit’s Central Collegiate Academy on Tuesday, sickening a number of people and arresting more than a dozen students. Police responded after they say fights broke out during a false fire alarm at the school. There were reports of asthma attacks, and reporters said they saw some students bent over, coughing uncontrollably.
Meanwhile, students at Palisades High School in Southern California staged a massive walkout and protest rally in the face of a string of racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, and pro-KKK graffiti at their school.
— Revolution News (@NewsRevo) March 14, 2016
Fights broke out last week in Chester, PA after police killed someone in a shootout. Rocks were thrown at officers at the scene and the police used pepper spray on the angry crowd.
— Randy Gyllenhaal (@RandyGyllenhaal) March 13, 2016
Three officers were hospitalized after being shot in Chicago.
— BLMChicago (@BLMChi) March 14, 2016
People marched in Tacoma against the police killing of a native woman named Jackie.
Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, people continued to keep it real at People’s Monday, a weekly demonstration for those killed by police across the US.
In Toronto, Black Lives Matter protesters have begun an occupation outside of the police headquarters. Demonstrators faced pepper spray and other chemical attacks as police attempted to stop the demonstration and put out a fire that was started. Check out this video from SubMedia:
Lastly, in San Francisco, supporters of Mario Woods and Alex Nieto continue their protests, calling for the firing of the police chief.
Appalachia Resist! has finished their action camp and continues to organize in poverty stricken areas. According to one press release:
Black Life Action Coalition (BLAC) and Appalachia Resist! have formed a coalition to address the ongoing human rights abuses linked to ongoing water contamination to drinking water supplies. We demand water justice for all and will be hosting a water drive for Flint, Michigan residents and a Demand Water Justice Rally: Fight for Flint, Fight for Appalachia at the Athens County Courthouse Steps on Monday March 21st from 11-1.
We will be collecting monetary donations to help Flint churches, American Red Cross and United Way to buy much needed lead testing kits and water filters, but also full cases of commercially packaged water or commercially sealed gallon containers of water. Testing for lead costs around $55/per test and filters run from $40-$200.
— Earth First! Journal (@efjournal) March 13, 2016
Be part of #StormSkanska: Fracture Their Finances, a Week of Action from March 30 to April 7!
Skanska’s annual shareholders’ meeting is coming up on April 6 in Stockholm. All of the most influential executives, insiders, and shareholders from around the world will be in one place, with all eyes on Skanska.
The No New Animal Lab campaign will be focused on Skanska too. And we are broadening our focus to Skanska’s finances—investors, bank accounts, mutual funds, equity. The next phase in the campaign will be centered on applying pressure to Skanska’s market viability. We need to build leverage with Skanska’s Executive Team—based in both New York and Stockholm—to essentially tip the financial balance in favor of severing the contract.
Start preparing now. Contact [email protected] if you want to know how to participate. More information will be announced soon.
LIST OF PARTICIPATING EVENTS & LOCATIONS (more TBA)
In Vancouver, a hunger strike has started against the Site C Dam project:
Five days ago, Kristin Henry started a personal hunger strike to protest B.C. Hydro’s Site C Dam project. She, along with some other supporters, have camped outside the provincial utility company’s head office in downtown Vancouver.
Earlier this month, supporters of Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land began a daily, 9-hour hunger strike after B.C. Hydro was granted an injunction against protesters at Site C. This culminated in a rally outside of B.C. Hydro on Sunday March 13, which drew about 50 protesters.
Now, Henry has carried on the strike and hasn’t eaten since the rally. “Spirits are high; the sun’s out so I feel pretty good,” she told rabble. “But my brain’s getting a little tired.”
— RT America (@RT_America) March 19, 2016
Meanwhile, in Tennessee, hundreds marched in an anti-pipeline protest while in Massachusetts, residents have constructed a replica of Henry Thoreau’s cabin next to Walden pond, in an effort to stop the expansion of a pipeline being built by a Texas company.
Also, in Vermont, a tree sit has been launched against a fracked gas pipeline. Rising Tide Vermont writes:
Vowing to stay aloft until construction is halted, climate justice advocates have launched an aerial blockade directly in the path of the fracked gas pipeline on Rotax Road. An activist with Rising Tide Vermont is currently suspended on a tree platform 30 feet above the ground, preventing the tree from being cut down, and blocking the right of way for pipeline construction.
“Monkton residents and Vermonters from across the state have used every available legal channel to speak out against this pipeline for the last three years” said Monkton resident Jane Palmer, “Our voices have not been heard, the public good has not been respected, and at this point it is no surprise that people are putting their bodies on the line to halt this fracked gas nightmare” Palmer said.
The aerial blockade was launched at 6:30 am this morning in advance of crews slated to clear this portion of the pipeline route later today. “As pipeline construction ramps up this spring, we will continue to take direct action” said Will Bennington, a spokesperson for Rising Tide. “We won’t back down, and we’re asking anyone who agrees with us that fracked gas is a climate disaster to join us.”
Prisoners Fight Back
In Texas, prisoners aligned with the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) are planning a series of work strikes and stoppages across various prisons. According to one report:
Monday April 4th 2016, Texas prisoners will begin a SERIES of Statewide Work Stoppages, Strikes, and Slowdowns to force the Texas Legislature to address much needed Reform to the Parole, Medical, Grievance, and, Legal System in Texas. Prisoners are also DEMANDING Humane Living Conditions and Treatment.
The above FACEBOOK PAGE is for your Freeworld Friends and Family to join – Their support is essential to show that these issues can no longer be ignored. The Facebook Page is also a place where you can report about the Work Stoppage and make YOUR voice heard – get them to post your testimony/stories about why our DEMANDS (see above) must be met. This is a valuable resource for the MEDIA to see what is really going on in Texas Prisons.
It is also a tool for COLLECTIVE ACTION, if, for example, the Guards on your Unit retaliate against you for exercising your Right to peacefully protest unjust laws and treatment, you can write or call home and get your family to post on Facebook for everyone to call the warden, ombudsman, or the Media and DEMAND the retaliation STOP.
— Atlanta Antifascists (@afainatl) March 22, 2016
Mexico On Fire
A massive and bloody strike has erupted in Baja California, after farm workers have refused to work and thus blocked the harvest of key export goods to the United States, demanding better wages and working conditions. The LA Times reports:
Everything in this fertile agricultural region 200 miles south of San Diego has changed, it seemed, except her wages. Zaragoza said she still earns 110 pesos per day, about $8 — a little more than when she started picking as a 13-year-old.
Zaragoza, now 26, joined thousands of pickers this week as they spilled onto the streets to protest low wages in a bold demonstration — the first strike by farmworkers here in decades.
Pickers not only stayed out of the fields, they stood shoulder to shoulder blocking the main highway, stalling traffic for hours and all but stopping the harvest at the height of the season.
The clash was shaping up as an early test of a newly formed alliance of produce industry groups dedicated to improving conditions for farmworkers in Mexico.
The group, the International Produce Alliance to Promote a Socially Responsible Industry, was established in February, after The Times documented widespread labor abuses at Mexican export farms in a series called “Product of Mexico.”
Hundreds of police and army soldiers dispersed crowds with rubber bullets and tear gas in running skirmishes that have resulted in more than 200 arrests.
Zaragoza, a mother of three, was among those detained and corralled in a field surrounded by police for 17 hours before being released. By Thursday morning, she was back protesting outside a government building in San Quintin where dozens of others remained in custody.
“We haven’t done anything wrong,” she said. “We just want better lives.”
If you’re looking for a way to plug into this struggle, remember that in the US there is a call for a boycott of Driscoll’s berries. Protests and demonstrations have already been called. Link up, get creative, and get going!
Mohawks in Montreal are giving a huge middle finger to a pipeline project. One report wrote:
Despite perceptions opposition to the project is harboured mainly by mayors in Quebec, a Mohawk-driven Canadian First Nations movement against the project is picking up steam in other parts of the country.
Besides the official opposition of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec and Labrador representing 43 Quebec chiefs, the list against TransCanada’s pipeline now includes the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs — who are fighting their own pipeline battle — and the Iroquois Caucus regrouping Mohawk nations in Quebec and Ontario.
— Louisette Lanteigne ?✌️⚖️♥️ (@lulex) March 14, 2016
Fire to the Clintons
The SF BayView newspaper has released a damning report on the relationship between the Clinton’s and big banks and finance capital. According to the report:
The total here is $83.72 million for the six campaigns, disbursed from 11 congenial banks: Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, UBS, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo, Barclay’s, JP Morgan Chase, CIBC, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, and Morgan Stanley.
Then there were the speeches. Sixteen days after leaving the White House in 2001, Mr. Clinton delivered a speech to Morgan Stanley, for which he was paid $125,000. That was the first of many speeches to the New York banks. Over the next 14 years, Mr. Clinton’s Wall Street speaking engagements earned him a total of $5,910,000.
No other political couple in modern history has enjoyed so much money flowing to them from Wall Street for such a long time – $92.57 million over a quarter century.
If you’re looking to support an awesome project, consider donating to the Black Women’s Defense League. The group writes:
Black Women’s Defense League is a coalition of women of color from all walks of life on the path to total liberation. BWDL focus’ on self defense through martial arts and and other hand to hand combat techniques armed training with various types of artillery including knife fighting ,marksmanship,and weapons of opportunity. BWDL also engages in emergency preparedness , urban survival training , and battered women’s rescue. In addition to training BWDL works towards raising awareness and solutions to the areas of concern that face black women…
Black Women’s Defense League through physical & educational training will prepare current and future generations to combat and destroy all forms of oppression imposed on the people by fascist, imperialist and capitalist regimes. BWDL seeks to replace these oppressive systems with more social, equal ,free societies which serve the interests of the people.
People in Salt Lake City are trying to get out to NOLA to engage in solidarity work against fracking and resource extraction. If you can, help ’em out here.
Spring is here and that means there are a bunch of anarchist bookfairs around the corner. Coming up is the SF Bay Area Bookfair, the NYC Bookfair, and the Scranton Bookfair. While these events are extremely limited, (a subject we hope to address soon), for the time being the serve as a means to bring people together and connect. IGD peeps may be seen at the SF event giving out copies of our new magazine. If you see us and want to chat, please do!
That’s gonna do it for us this week. Stay up with us here and keep sending us those action reports!