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Jun 28, 20

This Is America #120: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

Welcome, to This Is America, June 28th, 2020.

On this episode we feature an interview with journalist Robert Evans, known for his work on the Behind the Bastards and It Could Happen Here podcasts. Evans speaks on the Boogaloo Boys, the rise of far-Right violence and attacks against Black Lives Matter demonstrations and also what has been happening in the streets of Portland.

We then catch up with David Rovics, a long-time anarchist folk musician who talks about rent strike organizing in Portland and how people are getting ready to fight against a wave of upcoming evictions in the midst of the continuing COVID-19 crisis.

We then turn towards our discussion, where we discuss everything from repression, the ongoing rebellion, the economy, Trump, and the latest spike in coronavirus cases.

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

MUSIC: Sole, Evan Greer, Fever 333, and David Rovics

Living and Fighting

Repression continues to ramp up, as Trump tweets photos of protesters the FBI is looking for in connection to attempting to pull down a statue of Andrew Jackson. Already, four people have been charged in connection to the attempting take down in Lafayette Square. Meanwhile, Bill Barr has announced that he will form a “task force” to go after “anti-government extremists,” which includes “antifa.”

In New York, three people face charges for supposedly setting fire to a police van. In Atlanta, the girlfriend of Rayshard Brooks faces arson charges for supposedly setting fire to the Wendy’s that called the police on him and a man faces charges for vandalizing the CNN building in the first days of the uprising. Several folks in Chico, California face charges for damage done to a police vehicle. In Oklahoma City, people arrested in the riots are even being charged with terrorism.

Finally, in North Carolina:

The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office said Friday that no protest permits will be granted for the city of Graham, North Carolina, shortly after announcing it also wouldn’t enforce Gov. Roy Cooper’s face mask mandate.

“This is to advise that effective June 26, 2020, no permits to protest in the city of Graham, NC, to include the Alamance County Courthouse, have been granted, nor will be granted for the foreseeable future,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. “Any group(s) attempting to protest without a permit, will be in violation and subject to arrest.”

As we enter into the second month of the rebellion, things show no signs of slowing down. Massive demonstrations are still being organized, encampments are still going strong, statues are still coming down, and new tactics are being experimented with.

  • In Seattle two shootings near the boundaries of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) have led to the city government and self-appointed leaders to push for the occupants of the small zone to leave the area. Last weekend, a shooting took place that left one 19 year-old person dead and another, 33, injured, both were Black. The survivor stated that the the shooters dropped anti-Black racial slurs before shooting. Both shooting victims were transported to the local hospital by medics, however one person did not survive. The next day another shooting also took place, and a 17 year-old was transferred to hospital and then discharged. Police, politicians, and far-Right grifters have spent weeks now attacking the CHAZ, playing up fears of “ANTIFA” and anarchists; leading to a wave of far-Right trolls descending upon the area to make click bait social media content and engage in assaults. Local officials have also played up and spun various incidents, such as an attempted sexual assault in which a volunteer CHAZ medic was able to stop the attack.
  • In Phoenix, AZ Central reports that police during a recent Trump appearance:

…Forcibly scattered a crowd of protesters shortly before the president’s departure, firing flash-bang grenades, pepper balls and bursts of pepper spray. Adults and children at the protest had no warning before the shots were fired; many scrambled to run from the blasts.

  • In Portland, nightly riots and demonstrations continue, with hundreds continuing to face off against riot police, building barricades, writing graffiti, and clashing with authorities.

  • Also in the Portland area, fast food workers at Burgerville and union members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) held a picket to demand hazard pay.

  • In Santa Monica, California, people took to the streets, shutting down traffic and clashing with police.

  • In Madison, Wisconsin, a riot kicked off several nights ago, leading to clashes with police, and attempt to set fire to a government building, the tearing down of a statue, and someone even fought a Senator from Milwaukee!

  • In Chicago, Illinois, youth-led demonstrations outside of the home of the Board of Education, demanding that police be removed from schools.
  • In Worthington, Ohio, marchers shut down highway 161.

  • In Aurora, Colorado, there was a mass rally for Elijah McCain, which shut down streets and freeways.

  • In Carbondale, Illinois, people held a demonstration in solidarity with Breonna Taylor.

  • In Denver, Colorado, people pulled down a statue of Christopher Columbus last Friday.
  • In Louisville, Kentucky, a protest encampment has now continued for a month; sadly on Saturday a gunman opened fire on the protest, killing one person, and injuring another.
  • In Richmond, Virginia, clashes around the Robert E Lee statue remain ongoing nightly, with heavily armed police continuously attacking larger crowds, despite the police chief stepping down.

  • In Charlottesville, Virginia, slogans were spray painted outside of the police station during a rally calling for the defunding of the police.
  • In Raleigh, North Carolina, students led a Black Lives Matter rally, which marched on a local prison and shut down a highway for several hours.

  • In Washington, DC protests remain ongoing nightly, as people heave pulled down statues and also attempted to set up the Black House Autonomous Zone.
  • In Florissant, Missouri, protests continued outside of the police station, as people continue to gather after a video surfaced showing a now former Florissant police officer drive his SUV into an unarmed man. Clashes with the police broke out and people threw projectiles at officers.
  • In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, an encampment organized by abolitionist groups and Black houseless organizations continues and one group has also begun to move people into abandoned buildings. Mass marches also continued.

  • Also in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a IWW organized “Care Not Cops” rally ended in a brief occupation of a shuttered hospital. Nurses set up tents and began to administer free aid and barricades were built to defend the space; however under threat of a massive police raid, the occupation ended after several hours.

  • In Boston, Massachusetts, hundreds of anti-racist and antifascist counter-protesters mobilized against a Blue Lives Matter rally organized by “Super Happy Fun America,” a re-brand of Resist Marxism, a pan-far-Right group that includes white nationalists and neo-Nazis.
  • In New York City, an encampment has begun outside of city hall, with people demanding a massive cut from the police budget and large marches continue nightly.

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