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Feb 12, 20

This Is America #106: Riot Police Attack Wildcat Strike at UC Santa Cruz

Welcome, to This Is America, February 11th, 2020.

In this episode we speak with a member of the Black Rose Anarchist Federation and also rank-n-file member of the United Auto Workers who is participating in the wildcat strike at the University of California in Santa Cruz. They report on the first day of the strike, the autonomous forms of organization that the the strike has utilized, how strikers are push back against the administration and the official union structure, and an account of the violence that transpired on the picket lines at the hands of riot police.

We then switch to a discussion, centered on an anarchist and autonomous anti-capitalist critique of Bernie Sanders and social democracy.

All this and more, but first, let’s get to the news!

Living and Fighting

  • While Trump continues to lie to his shrinking base that he will not attack public health care programs, his newly proposed budget for 2021 unsurprisingly calls for increased military spending for war, his so-called “Space Force” program, and billions for the disastrous border wall project. The budget also calls for deep cuts to food stamps, health care programs, and social security.
  • Tribal leaders report that O’odham and other Native sacred burial sites have been blow up to make way for the construction of Trump’s border wall. In the led up to wall construction, “Trump waived the Native American Graves Protection Act,” along with dozens of other environmental regulations. As one report wrote, “Construction crews in Arizona have begun blasting away boulders and cutting down cacti in an area directly abutting a Tohono O’odham Nation burial site, which at least a dozen Native American nations claim a connection to…”

  • Actions in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en and against the RCMP and Coastal GasLink continue to be carried out across Canada Tuesday, the fifth consecutive day of active resistance and disruption of industrial capitalist infrastructure, as freeways and railroads continue to be blocked by demonstrators and First Nations. According to the Transit Minister, the blockades are “crippling parts of the country’s transport network, including one of the main rail arteries in southern Ontario.” In Victoria, the encampment in front of the BC Legislature continues to be occupied and today, the President of the legislature was blocked from entering the building amid chants of “Take apart the settler state!”

  • The wildcat strike at UC Santa Cruz continues into its second day, with hundreds of students taking part in shutting down the campus and pushing back against riot police. Yesterday, other UC campuses also saw actions in different cities. Students in San Diego, Los Angeles, Davis, Santa Barbara, and Berkeley held rallies and marches to demand a cost of living wage increase. Check out our interview with someone on the ground at UCSC for a full report later in the program.

  • According to Quartz, thanks to the release of new court documents, it has come to light that Leonard Drake, a registered sex offender angry at being kicked out of Civil War re-enactment group, in revenge started a conspiracy that “ANTIFA” was plotting extreme violence by sending fake letters filled with violent threats and planting a pipe bomb. The story was picked up by a variety of pro-Trump and far-Right publications.
  • Last Thursday, long time antifascist organizer Daryle Lamont Jenkins spoke in front of a large crowd at a church in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, which has currently been mobilizing against the neo-Nazi group, Patriot Front. In the last several weeks, the fascists have put up stickers, flyers, and dropped banners, pushing many locals to come together and begin organizing. Before the talk, the neo-Nazi group also vandalized the church with Patriot Front propaganda in an attempt to scare the working-class patrons at the church from turning out to the event. They were unsuccessful and the event went off without a hitch, with over 125 people attending – which is more locals in one room than Patriot Front was able to fly in from across the country for the recent march on DC.

  • In Bakersfield, a group of abolitionists crashed a dinner party and meeting being held by the GEO Group.

  • People rallied outside of the Metropolitan Detention Center in New York due to reports that the facility has not been supplying those inside with heat and other basic necessities; a repeat of a similar situation last year that last to massive, rowdy demonstrations, which forced prison officials to turn the heat back on. Prisoners responded to demonstrators outside the facility that they were indeed without heat.

  • In Portland, Oregon over the weekend, hundreds of people rallied against a call by a local KKK leader to hold a white nationalist demonstration. While in the end the KKK did not show up, people were successful in pushing back several far-Right grifters and the police. Graffiti was also written over a monument to the Spanish-American war.

  • Members of the Philadelphia chapter of the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM) participated in a rally to free Mumia and also celebrated the release of Chuck Africa, the last of the MOVE 9 to be freed from prison.

  • Meanwhile in New York, groups like Declonize This Place have taken a lot heat following the #FTP3 mass mobilizations. Despite this, the group has held firm, continuing to release photos and video of autonomous actions and also putting out communiques and statements.

  • Lastly, members of Parkdale Organize in so-called Canada are stepping up to stand in solidarity with striking teachers. They are even mobilizing to set up a “strike school” while teachers on the picket lines. For more info, follow them on Twitter.

Show Solidarity

  • Anarchist prisoner Eric King has a new Twitter account run by his supporters. Please follow it here.
  • Several Abolish ICE activists in Florida have been re-arrested and now face a slew of new felony charges, stemming from a blockade of a GEO Group facility in early December. For more information and ways to help, go here.

Upcoming Events

  • February 14th: Migrant Solidarity Benefit. Chicago, IL. More info.
  • February 14th: Benefit for IWW and SBC. Atlanta, GA. More info.
  • March 6th – March 15th: Appalachian Climate Action Camp. More info.
  • March 22nd: Anarchist Assembly. Caguas. More info.
  • April 9th – 12th: Conference on Jewish Anarchism. Chicago, IL. More info.
  • April 25th: Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair. Oakland, CA. More info.
  • July 3rd – 5th: Dan and Spit Antifascist Music Festival. Asheville, NC. More info.

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