This is the week of solidarity with arrestees in the struggle against Trump, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the world they represent. Here, we’ll share a few examples of what people are doing to spread awareness about the arrestees and raise funds to support them. You can draw from a wide array of resources to do these things yourself and to advance the struggles for which so many people are currently facing charges. If you do nothing else this week, go to this list of support funds and donate. Better yet, take action to contribute to the movements that Trump and his cronies hope to suppress.
Don’t Stop Loving, Don’t Stop Fighting
Our comrades Black Mosquito in Germany have made a new shirt to sell as a fundraiser for J20 arrestees in the US–an inspiring act of international solidarity. If we coordinate worldwide to push back every assault, those who hope to divide, conquer, and rule will never succeed.
Banners on the East Coast
Banners seen in Richmond, Virginia
Banners hung in North Carolina
Fundraising: How to Do It Right
On January 20th, 2017, 214 people including 19 North Carolinians from Asheville, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Wilmington were subjected to the brutality of police force and subsequent illegal kettling and arrests that took place at the corner of 12th and L in Washington DC during anti-Trump inauguration protests. In response to the call put out by CrimethInc., It’s Going Down, and SubMedia for a week of solidarity (April 1-7) to support arrestees from Standing Rock to DC, comrades across North Carolina organized several actions and events.
To kick off the week of solidarity, on April 1st a “Black Masker Aid” dinner and dance party benefit was held at The Bar in Durham to raise money for the North Carolina defense fund. The event featured black masquerade masks distributed at the door, face painting in the back of the venue, a smorgasbord of vegan food prepared by the Durham Food Not Bombs, and a distro with fundraiser t-shirts, patches, buttons and zines. There was also a photo booth where event-goers could have their picture taken with a cardboard flaming limo that had “We the People” emblazoned across the side in gold.
Everyone had fun with the photo booth, including an entire bridal party wearing matching rainbow leggings that showed up for the event.
A local DJ spun a set for the evening, with an array of rock ‘n roll and soul jams, punk, disco, and other dancey, trashy tunes. Hung across the room were banners that read:
“Against White Supremacy & Patriarchy/Total Liberation from Domination/Against the State & Capitalism”
“From NC to the border / From NC to Standing Rock: Solidarity Against Repression.”
There was even a candy-filled Richard Spencer piñata complete with Pepe pin that folks lined up eagerly to have a swing at. The mood was light and festive, a morale boost for all.
And for dessert–a black velvet vegan chocolate cake, adorned with a circle “A”, that was decadently delicious.
The event raised over $500, which goes directly to the NC J20 Defense Fund to support legal, housing, and transportation fees for all of the NC defendants.
On Sunday morning, a mysterious and fantastical series of stickers appeared around the block surrounding The Bar, communicating a message of overall support for anti-fascist action. A pint-sized favorite reads, simply: “FCK NZS.”
Later Sunday evening, a showing of “Killing the Black Snake,” the first episode of Submedia’s new series “Trouble,” was held at the Pinhook. The episode highlights the months of resistance that took place in Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline, the need for a diversity of tactics, and the ongoing movement against colonization and pipeline development. A local activist who spent time at the action camps at Standing Rock spoke about their experience: the beauty and struggle of life at the encampment, the frustration with tourists who arrived incessantly for photo-ops and to speak over indigenous water protectors, the deep social relationships carved out of solidarity and struggle, the threat of sniper rifles from the surrounding hills pointed at everyone at all times, and the pain of knowing that oil is currently flowing through the pipeline.
On Monday morning, several banners went up in solidarity with Standing Rock, DC, and immigrants who have been swept up in ICE raids over the last several months. These banners were hung on the fence at the intersection of Weaver Street and Main in Carrboro. As of 6:45am Tuesday, these banners are still in place and will hopefully remain there throughout the week.
We’re sure to see more autonomous actions and events organized throughout the week. North Carolina shows up for their comrades!