Filed under: Anarchist Movement, Featured, Housing, Interviews, Radio/Podcast, Southeast, This is America
Welcome, to This Is America, December 19th, 2019.
On this episode, first we talk with two folks from the Palm Beach Tenants Union, about the ongoing struggle of Section 8 tenants inside the Stonybrook apartments in Palm Beach, Florida, who recently barricaded themselves inside several units to stop a slew of evictions.
Over the last few years, Millennia Housing Management, a Cleveland based company, has waged an unrelenting campaign against the tenants living there. Plagued with black mold, pests, and leaking sewage – made worse by recent hurricanes, the tenants have organized to try and improve their conditions. In response, the landlords have retaliated by harassing tenant organizers, vandalizing their vehicles, threatening them with violence, and hiring outside security who have even refused to allow people to congregate outside of their homes.
Recently, the landlords have attempted to evict some of the tenants, leading members of the Palm Beach Tenants Union to barricade themselves inside several of the units. During our interview, we talk with people involved in the blockade and how people can support (GoFundMe here!) their struggle.
Blockade Day 4 is on at Stonybrook. No sign of PBSO 96 hours after their 24-hour writ of possession. pic.twitter.com/tf40fwEwpB
— Palm Beach County Tenants Union (@PBCTenantsUnion) December 16, 2019
We then switch to our discussion, where we talk about both the UK elections, the recent impeachment of Trump, as well as the shocking revelations about the Afghanistan war.
All this and more, but first, let’s get to the news!
It’s Going Down
- You can now hear It’s Going Down on the Pacifica station based out of Seattle, at 96.9, KODX at 7PM on Saturday.
- We’re still very much still encouraging people to sign up to become monthly supporters of It’s Going Down as we go into the new year. For this project to not only grow, but also continue, we’re going to have to add around 100 more monthly supporters. Donating just $2-20 a month will go a long way towards sustaining this project and ensuring another 100 episodes of This Is America.
- Speaking of which, this episode marks #100 for This Is America! We’re celebrating by asking our listeners to send us questions, feedback, or topics to discuss on the show. If you have a question, some feedback, or a topics that you want discussed on TIA, let us know! Email us at: info [at] itsgoingdown [dot] org
Living and Fighting
- The Trump administration is pushing forward more draconian measures to deal with rising levels of homelessness. According to City Lab:
On Monday, Housing Secretary Ben Carson met with local officials in Houston…The secretary visited an emergency shelter and was slated to tour a former jail facility, according to advocates familiar with his agenda. Officials at HUD have been looking at real estate in several cities since the fall, when President Donald Trump ordered a sweeping federal response to homelessness.
Advocates say that the government is looking closely at ways to turn former correctional facilities and federal buildings into shelters, a controversial approach backed by Robert Marbut, the newly appointed White House czar on homelessness.
- In Central California, despite large protests according to the Sacramento Bee:
The Trump administration signed off on an order Thursday that’s intended to open up more than 1 million acres of land in California, from the Central Coast to the San Joaquin Valley, to fracking and conventional oil drilling.
- In the halls of the US government, while attention has been focused in impeachment, the Democrats and Republicans have recently set aside literally billions of dollars for the Pentagon’s war budget and Trump’s border wall. As one report wrote:
[Congress] approve[d] the National Defense Authorization Act, which provides the Trump administration with record funding for the military, some $738 billion. The legislation removes most provisions to which the White House objected, including barring US military assistance to the Saudi war in Yemen… It strips out a requirement for Trump to get congressional approval for military strikes on Iran. It also removes language that would have barred Trump from transferring funds from the Pentagon budget to build his border wall, as he did earlier this year.
This news come hot on the heels of new documents being released that show that the US military purposely lied to the public about the now near 20 year war in Afghanistan; the military conflict which was launched by the Bush administration immediately following the 9/11 attacks. According to one study, the war has led to the deaths of over 31,000 civilians and over 3,000 US soldiers.
- Wildcat strikers at UC Santa Cruz are now in their second week of the strike and are refusing to turn in grades, which were due on December 18th, until they receive a cost of living raise. As two wildcat strikers stated in the last episode of This Is America, students are hit hard with rising rents and cannot afford to live where they are working and going to school. Students at UC Berkeley also rallied in solidarity while the UC Santa Cruz Student Union Assembly has also come out in support of the strike. Meanwhile, the students’ official union, the UAW, has seemingly ignored the strike and has a “no strike” clause in the workers contract.
Moms 4 Housing Rally at Oakland Courthouse
- In Oakland, California, Moms 4 Housing has won a stay of eviction in court, which stops in theory the police from dragging them out, but now puts the struggle into the hands of the courts which now have 15 days to decide if the mothers can stay. Follow them here for updates.
- Never Again held actions across the US against ICE. These mass actions included shutting down the Border Patrol HQ in San Diego, protesting ICE in Kansas City, the Wyatt ICE Detention Center in Rhode Island, and UM bank which supports ICE, in Missouri. In San Diego, members of Never Again were also joined by a group of doctors who were attempting to administer medicine to children in detention but were denied entry by police.
I got on these guys' mailing list, which is making me feel a little more ready to mobilize, at least. https://t.co/HleuW4AWQF
— Zora O’Neill ? (@zora) December 11, 2019
By shutting down the Wyatt, we will signal to the rest of the US that the era of making money through prisons is over.
— ✡️ Never Again Action ✡️ (@NeverAgainActn) December 10, 2019
- In Pennsylvania, the Mama Bear Brigade has been mobilizing to shut down construction of Sunoco’s Mariner East pipeline. The group has recently blockaded construction and protests and actions remain ongoing. Check out their Facebook page for updates.
- In some news we missed, a bar in Philadelphia where the Proud Boys had recently gathered, leading to calls to shut the event down, had its windows broken out. In a communique sent to Philly Anti-Capitalist:
We would like to claim the attack on Millcreek Tavern committed in the early morning hours of Trans Day Of Remembrance. The window was smashed after Philly proudboys were allowed to set up a table with literature in the bar. This is a clear message to anyone who’s been paying attention “This is what you get when you allow fascists to openly congregate in neighborhoods where good people live and work.” I broke the window, and if you’re reading this you should too. They cost $1500 each. This action was intentionally taken on Trans Day Of Remembrance, in loving memory of an antifascist trans woman who’s body was found in the schulkyill earlier this year. She was a fucking mess and we love her. She lives on in every broken fascist/capitalist window, every American flag stolen and burned, and every girl who bums her last shot of E to someone who needs it more.
- In San Francisco, California, climate groups blockaded the entrance to PG&E in response to recent power shut offs and the utilities role in the deadly wildfires which have swept through Northern and Southern California in recent years.
We have shut down the PG&E building in San Francisco in the name of disability and climate justice! We refuse to accept a false choice between deadly fires and deadly shutoffs. #PGEisKillingUs #ReclaimOurPower pic.twitter.com/ObnrJkSVWx
— Rising Tide NA (@RisingTideNA) December 16, 2019
- Lastly back in Philadelphia, sabotage actions happened across the city on Black Friday, with anti-capitalist banners being dropped, ATMs being smashed, graffiti written, and various corporate targets sabotaged.
- Donate to Tucson 12 legal defense campaign here.
- Palm Beach Tenants Union fundraiser here.
- Phone zap for anarchist prisoner Michael Kimble on December 23rd. Kimble has been placed in segregation after he came to the defense of another prisoner who was being beaten by a guard. More info here.
Call for a phone-zap campaign on December 23rd for long-term anarchist prisoner Michael Kimble, who has been placed in segregation after coming to the defense of another inmate who was being beaten by guards at the infamous, Holman prison in #Alabama. https://t.co/XjbKogcBk6
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) December 19, 2019
- December 21st: 1st ever Really Really Free Market in Phoenix, Arizona. More info.
- December 24th: Call for fare strike in Philadelphia. More info.
- December 31st: New Year’s Eve Noise Demonstrations. All over! More info. Announced so far is:
- New York, NY: More info.
- Omaha, NB: More info.
- Oklahoma City, OK: More info.
- Alexandria, VA: In solidarity with Jeremy Hammond and Chelsea Manning. More info.
- Montreal, QC: More info.
- Norfolk, VA: More info.
- Tacoma, WA: Outside Northwest Detention Center. More info.
- January 9th: Confront La Migra Where They Live. Colorado Springs, CO. More info.
- April 9th – 12th: Conference on Jewish Anarchism in Chicago. More info.
- April 25th: Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair. Oakland, CA. More info.
00:35 – Let’s get to the news!
8:35 – Music Break
12:15 – Interview with Palm Beach Tenants Union
45:15 – Music Break
47:45 – Headline News Discussion
1 Hour 53:30 – Outro