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Sep 17, 20

This Is America #125: Report from Rochester, Anti-Colonial Analysis of #1492LandBackLane & Against the Fascist Push Toward Civil War

Welcome, to This Is America, September 16th, 2020.

On today’s episode, first we speak with two medics who report about the ongoing situation in Rochester, New York, as protests there against the police killing of Daniel Prude have continue to grow.

We then speak with Russ Diabo, an Indigenous author and analyst, about the historical context of the ongoing Six Nations land reclamation of #1492LandBackLane.

We then switch to our discussion about the Trump administration’s growing embrace of political violence and the recent political assassination of anti-racist protester, Michael Reinoehl.

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

Living and Fighting

Repression continues to ramp-up, with vigilante attacks continuing and police are doubling-down on arrests and draconian charges in an attempt to scare people off the streets:

  • In DC, federal agents raided the home of one DC activist, one of 14 individuals who were attacked by DC police and illegally kettled on August 31st, reports journalist Chuck Modi. This arrest comes after the local Democratic Mayor called for harsher charges against protesters in an effort to stop demonstrations while also blaming make-believe “outside agitators” for the continuing Black led revolt. In the face of continued arrests, the DC District Attorney fired back, stating that many of those arrested over the “past month lacked the “bare minimum” of evidence to charge someone with a crime.”

  • In so-called Los Angeles, riot police showed up and surrounded a press conference organized by the National Lawyers Guild; pointing weapons at people gathered and assaulting one attorney. The press conference was called to denounced the use of force by police against nightly demonstrations following the police shooting of Dijon Kizzee, which had led to protests and street clashes.

Funds are needed to support O’odham and allies as they protect their homelands from the devastation of Trump’s border wall, and the threat it poses to O’odham sacred sites and O’odham lives. Costs include; immediate bail relief, long term legal support, vehicle impoundment(s) and continuation of sustained organizing efforts to protect O’odham land. Donate here.

On the morning of Thursday September 10th, the Denver Police Department drove a SWAT vehicle into a residential neighborhood to serve a search warrant at a home shared by five roommates and a two year old baby – for a MISDEMEANOR CHARGE.

Three adults and the baby were inside the residence that the Denver Police aimed assault rifles at from the tank parked on the lawn. They surrounded the house, dressed like they were ready to go to war, carrying high powered rifles and battering rams.

The damage done to the residence was extensive. They destroyed several windows, both the front and the back door, including one of the door frames. The shattered glass covered the floor, the furniture, and the baby’s toys. As they conducted their “search” they also destroyed a TV by throwing it on the floor…

Because of the use of excessive force and violence by the Denver Police Department, those targeted are now facing eviction…roommates are also being doxxed and harassed by the “blue lives matter” crowd. Donate here.

  • According to The Appeal, while some charges against Salt Lake City Black Lives Matter protesters has been drop, the:

…additional gang enhancement charges for [some] Salt Lake City protesters accused of property destruction this spring [is] still pending.

The Pacific Northwest continues to go hard:

  • Despite most night-time demonstrations being put on hold due to poor air-quality from the growing wildfires, Portland protester remained out in the streets passed the hundred day mark – and with mutual aid programs exploding, people show no signs of slowing down.

Riots and street clashes continue to kick off against the police across the so-called US:

  • In Rochester, New York, nights of clashes, riots, and mass marches flooded the streets of the Northeastern city of around 200,000 after a video was released showing the police torture of Daniel Prude, who died a week later, back in March of this year. Demonstrations, riots, and mass protests have now entered their second week. On Sunday night, a four-hour long standoff between police and demonstrators ended with projectiles being thrown and police using a “sound cannon.”

  • Clashes with police, looting, and barricades went up in the streets of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, after officers shot and killed a man armed with a knife after responding to a domestic call from the man’s mother. Rioters broke windows out at the police station, while law enforcement responded by firing munitions and tear-gas. 7 people that were arrested now face upwards of $1 million bails, a move which the ACLU denounced as an attempt to scare other potential protesters off the streets.

  • In Minneapolis, riots and clashes with police have continued to break out while mass protests have died down following the police murder of George Floyd. This has included a riot outside of the Minneapolis precinct against the city’s attempts to remove the blocked off roads around the George Floyd memorial site and in solidarity with the Kenosha uprising.

In Indigenous resistance news:

  • Along the border, O’odham people are continuing to take action against against border wall construction. Follow the O’odham Anti-Border Collective for ongoing updates.

  • The Tiny House Warriors also continue to take action against the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

Meanwhile in Michigan, members of the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) are continuing a strike on the Michigan University Campus as the university is seeking a restraining order and injunction against the strike. The strike has centered around demands to stop the push to re-open the school, properly testing for the coronavirus, a call to cancel rent, and to demilitarize the police and slash their funding by 50%.

Students at the University of Michigan have extended their strike by another week in opposition to being forced back to school as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread. A recent report from USA Today found that “19 of the 25 largest outbreaks in the US are in communities with colleges that have reopened for in-person learning.” Students in Iowa are also organizing to join the strike in solidarity and on other campuses, anger is also growing. Meanwhile, MLive reports that:

The university is seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the union strike. UM is asking the Washtenaw County Circuit Court to order striking members of the GEO to return to work. The union represents about 2,000 graduate student instructors and graduate student staff assistants.

The strike began Tuesday, Sept. 8, as graduate students marched and chanted at five different locations on UM’s campus. It has gained the support of undergraduate students; graduate student organizations from other colleges, such as Harvard and Western Michigan University; and even some construction workers on UM’s campus who picketed with them in solidarity.

Antifascists and anti-racist groups continue to mobilize. In Montreal, neo-Nazis had their cars graffitied. Also, while we reported on the mass actions recently at Stone Mountain against neo-Confederate and militia groups, we didn’t get a chance to mention that folks in New York marched in solidarity with them!

Members of the Youth Liberation Front in the North Bay area held their ground against far-Right Trump supporters, and in Southern California, people continue to oppose the Proud Boys and other violent groups on the streets.

Not to be outdone, students in Florida organically came together to push back against Alt-Right troll Kaitlin Bennett who showed up on their campus to troll students for her white nationalist and pro-monarchy outlet, Liberty Hangout. Students clashed with Bennett’s bodyguards while Bennett hid inside a closet, before making her swift exit.

In the Mexican State of Chihuahua things continue to heat up; military police executed two farmers in response to protesters opposing the State’s decision to divert water from a dam to people in the United States. People responded by occupy the dam and shutting it down, leading to a violent response from law enforcement.

Upcoming Events

  • Saturday, September 19th, 12PM, Philadelphia, PA, Clark Park: Defend West Philly From Proud Boy Fascists. More info here.

  • Saturday, September 26th, Portland, OR: Stop the Proud Boy Invasion of Portland!

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