Filed under: Interviews, Radio/Podcast, This is America
Welcome, to This Is America, April 10th, 2020.
On this episode, first we speak with someone from Mountain Access Brigade, who discusses the “relaunch of a confidential abortion support line” in the Appalachian region.
From a press release:
Starting Sunday, April 12th, people seeking information and support about their reproductive options can call or text 1-855-888-MAB8 (1-855-888-6228) and will receive a response within 24 hours from one of our trained abortion doulas. Our line has been closed since October 2019 to allow the development and deployment of the second version of our proprietary communications software, Katie, and to welcome new internal structures and co-directors. While this launch is premature to the launch of our new website, we found it necessary to reopen our support line as soon as possible to provide remote care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During this pandemic, we recognize that it may be particularly difficult for people to access in-clinic care. Our doula staff is fully trained on offering accurate information about self-managing abortion at home. Self-managing abortion with medication up to 12 weeks of pregnancy has very little medical risk, but some legal risk. We are prepared with information and resources to empower clients to make the best decision for their situation.
We welcome referrals from other agencies and opportunities to work together to further abortion access and decrease abortion stigma. If your organization is interested in an encrypted communications solution, please email [email protected] to inquire about receiving our Katie platform.
We then speak with two folks from Portland, Oregon representing both PopMob and the Rose Hips Medic Collective, who talk about the evolving network of mutual aid efforts in their city and their recent efforts to mass produce hand sanitizer for those living in the PDX area. For a more indepth look at those efforts, go here.
We then switch to our discussion, where we are joined with someone from CrimethInc. and talk about what lessons we can pull from the failure of Bernie Sanders’ 2020 electoral campaign. We then discuss just how far the political and economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus will go, and what this means for social movements, and the State.
All this and more, but first, let’s get to the news!
Living and Fighting:
- Across the US, Canada, and the world, rent strikes continue to grow. This week on It’s Going Down, a group of tenants in Philadelphia announced that they are launching a rent strike in a series of units. Outside of Washington DC in Alexandria, upwards of 300 families are calling for a rent strike at a large housing complex if the landlord refuses to work with the renters. According to a new report, around 1/3 of households did not pay rent on April 1st. Moreover, in Toronto, rent strike organizers claim that their platform has been “used to send over 100,000 letters to landlords in Toronto, stating that they will not be paying rent” on May 1st.
- In Chicago, Minneapolis, and other cities people – people also organized street marches and ‘car bloc’ noise demonstrations, to demand that rent be canceled.
— AJ+ (@ajplus) April 4, 2020
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) April 6, 2020
📢 As the #coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on daily life, 100+ people in #Minneapolis participated in a socially-distant car demo demanding the cancellation/freezing of all rent & mortgage payments.📢#RentFreeze #CancelRent #COVIDー19
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) April 10, 2020
- Across the US and beyond, wildcat strikes continue to kick off. On April 9th, over a dozen Amazon workers walked off the job after a case of COVID-19 was discovered. Anger continues to grow at Amazon, after the firing of Chris Smalls, a strike leader from Staten Island, New York, claiming ironically that he didn’t follow property “social distancing” guidelines. Gig workers at Shipt also took their first action at Target and other stores, refusing to clock in. Across California, fast-food workers staged demonstrations to demand higher pay and access to masks and other essential items to protect themselves from the COVID virus. In Massachusetts, over 13,000 carpenters refused to work after being labeled “essential workers,” citing the threat of potentially spreading or constracting the coronavirus. Meanwhile in Denver, healthcare workers walked off the job to protest lack of access to protective gear. Lastly, transit union leaders are claiming they will take “aggressive” action if more is not done to protect frontline workers interacting with the public.
As the economy continuously subdivides us all between essential and surplus, mutual blockades like this are essential to establish a truly dignified deceleration of the world. https://t.co/fCLRj44Jv4
— Vitalist International (@VitalistInt) April 5, 2020
— award losing author (@fictionalizer) April 5, 2020
- Speaking of strikes, the wildcat strike at the University of California continues into it’s fourth month, as student-workers continue to withhold grades. At UC Irvine, strikers held a noise demonstration and car bloc protest outside of the Chancellor’s mansion this week. A strike has also kicked off at the New School in New York, with students issuing several demands.
- Autonomous mutual aid projects continue to flourish and grow – with more and more groups opening up and utilizing public spaces and infrastructure. Be sure to check out our list of autonomous mutual aid projects, which is updated almost daily, here.
We will now be having a regular supply of fresh duck eggs at the Mutual Aid Hub. Part of our work in Portland over the years has been building up autonomous food networks. Despite the crisis we are still getting fresh organics to the people! Thanks to our friends in @PortlandSRA pic.twitter.com/Ck6aWNLNSd
— Symbiosis PDX ☀️❤️🌻 (@Symbiosis_PDX) April 10, 2020
Food pantry with Hungry Monk tomorrow, Wednesday April 8th at 10am, each bag has an assortment of chicken and veggie dumplings, egg rolls, carrots, mixed greens, onions, parsley, shallots, coffee grounds, and pre-packaged meals. https://t.co/V2aMUf6Su6 pic.twitter.com/pGDQgoryQe
— Woodbine (@woodbinenyc) April 8, 2020
🚨SF Neighbors Solidarity Network🚨is delivering free groceries + supplies (hand sanitizer, gloves, mask) to our elders & vulnerable neighbors throughout the City every week. Get involved, donate (venmo: SFNeighbors) or link us with a neighbor who needs help. Please share !💘🙏✊ pic.twitter.com/nCXNqr6Xgi
— AntiDisplacementCoup (@AsterZephyrIsis) April 9, 2020
We are humbled to be lifted in our purpose by a powerful network of grassroots communities across NYC.
We KNOW we cannot depend upon the system to love & care for us.
If you are building for abolition in your hood show us below.
— We Keep Us Safe – Solidarity rooted in Marronage (@WeKeepUs) April 9, 2020
- Lastly, in the past week, there’s been a flood of revolt across US prisons, jails, and detention facilities, as we’ve watched uprisings, hunger strikes, and full on riots kick off as prisoners fight back in the face of spreading COVID-19. To chronicle this resistance, we have started a new column entitled, OutBreak, so don’t miss it!
Introducing new IGD column, BreakOut, chronicling prisoner resistance to the spread of the #coronavirus. In the past week, we've seen a wave of hunger strikes, uprisings + prison riots kick off, as #COVID infections explode inside the prison walls. https://t.co/iKh39TFzDR pic.twitter.com/cwzhsNTvel
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) April 11, 2020
It’s Going Down
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