This Is America #11: Portland Occupation Evicts ICE, #Juneteenth

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Welcome to This Is America, June 20th, 2018.

#OccupyICEPDX

On today’s show, we were lucky enough to catch up to someone with the Portland General Defense Committee (GDC) who was on the scene of the growing occupation at the Portland ICE facility.

On Sunday, as people in McAllen, Texas were in the thousands converging on the immigrant detention center were families were being separated, another group of people were mobilizing for a vigil in Portland, Oregon. As the evening wore on, people opted to camp outside of the building, and an occupation quickly evolved to include people camping around the various entrances and exits of the building. The occupation also stopped the ability of ICE agents to leave the facility. At one point, one person came out of the building to plead for those still inside saying ironically, “They just want to go home to their families.”

The occupation then continued on into Tuesday, which is when we were able to interview the Portland GDC member. Right before our interview took place, a swarm of DHS agents armed with semi-automatic weapons and riot gear converged on the space, in order to help evacuate the remaining ICE agents; many of which covered their faces as they left, and many officers had to leave the cars in the parking lot.

Later that night, supporters reported that upwards of 1,000 people participated in the nightly vigil at 8:30 PM. Later that night however, antifascist groups began to report that Proud Boys were making their way towards the encampment, and confirmed visual sightings of them on the edges of the facility. Due to a strong showing however, antifascists later tweeted that the Proud Boys had packed up and called it a night without incident.

Currently, the Portland occupation is growing, as cities across the US are also making plans to take action, hold demonstrations, and continue the fight forward. Some other anti-ICE actions that have taken place since Sunday:

  • Outside of a Trump Hotel fundraiser, people blasted leaked audio of children in immigrant detention facilities crying.
  • Finally in Washington DC, members of the local chapters of the DSA and IWW surrounded and chanted “shame” and “end family separation” at Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as she ironically ate at a popular Mexican restaurant in Washington, DC. In recent days, Nielsen has become one of the key figures within the Trump administration to defend the practice of child separation.

We should also keep in mind that despite the growing amount of resistance on the streets, mass raids are still happening. Just this week, over 100 people were rounded up in an Ohio meat packing facility. Meanwhile, Trump and his supporters on the far-Right and in the mainstream media, have only doubled down on mainstream white nationalist talking points while continuing to pump up fears of migrants.

As Vanity Fair wrote about Stephen Miller, who went to college with Richard Spencer and organized events with far-Right speakers with him, and is the architect behind the family separation policies at the border:

“Stephen actually enjoys seeing those pictures at the border,” an outside White House adviser said. “He’s a twisted guy, the way he was raised and picked on. There’s always been a way he’s gone about this. He’s Waffen-SS.”

The window opened by the Portland occupation is encouraging more and more people to take action in a real way, and putting once again social movements ahead of anything that the Democrats are doing or saying. We need to continue this trajectory, expand and grow these occupations, as well as our confidence to continue to fight and build autonomy.

Also, if you are not in the Portland area and want to help, please donate to the occupation here.

Junteenth and Capture the Flag

Yesterday was Junteenth, a celebration of the day in which slaves in Texas finally learned of the Emancipation Proclamation, and marked the end of one form of racialized slavery. Soon after, the 13th admendment was passed, which legalized slavery of prisoners, and soon, many former slaves found themselves in similar circumstances after having been arrested by the State. In this context, the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM) called for #CaptureTheFlag actions to make Juneteenth.

Here’s a roundup:

Living and Fighting

  • Deadre of the Black Pride 4 got their felony dropped in exchange for community service and probation and will not serve prison time.
  • On late Monday it was announced that the Berkeley 5 were found not guilty on all of the charges brought against them. Moreover, it was revealed that the violent fascist and racist Daniel Quillinian had worked with the police to push for charges against the 5 arrested antifascists.
  • Released audio shows “Crying Nazi” Chris Cantwell calling the Charlottesville Police department to tell them that they should murder “communist protesters” by putting them through a woodchipper. The police staff employee on duty replied, “That’s awesome,” and then thanks them for their kind words. We’re going to play a clip of the call so you are able to hear what was said.
  • Resistance and construction of anti-pipeline encampment infrastructure continues in so-called British Columbia. Check out the Camp Cloud page for more info.

  • A heavily armed man was arrested and now faces felony charges after he used his truck to block the Hoover Dam in order to demand the release of Hillary Clinton’s emails. As CNN wrote: “The 568-page report was released this week, leaving Wright’s message unclear.”
  • It was reveled that Virginia GOP Senate Candidate Corey Stewart got 2017 campaign help (in the form of money and security) from neo-Confederate and white supremacist group League of the South, a part of the Nationalist Front which clashed with antiracist protesters in Charlottesville in 2017. Stewart was endorsed by Trump and is also close to neo-Nazi darling Paul Nehlen.
  • Former political prisoner and part of the MOVE 9, Debbie Africa, completed an amazing press conference the other day. See photos from Philly Anarchist Black Cross in our show notes.

That’s gonna do it for us! Until next time, please sign up to donate monthly, or give us a one time donation to help us meet our fundraising goal this month. Also, we are in the process of sending out orders of shirts and stickers, so if you ordered some IGD swag recently, please hold tight – it’s on it’s way!


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