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Mar 23, 21

This Is America #137: Social Struggles Heat Up; Importance of Peer-to-Peer Support

Welcome, to This Is America, March 23th, 2021.

On today’s show, we start off with an action roundup, from ongoing resistance to the Line 3 pipeline, continued battles on the streets with the State, to the growing struggle for housing and much more.

We then switch to our discussion, were we tackle the need for peer-to-peer support in both our movements and lives.

There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get into it!

Living and Fighting

Situation at Border Worsens

Biden administration officials confirmed that they are expanding the number of camps to hold the influx of migrants including a convention center in Dallas that will be used to imprison children. Another camp in Midland, Texas, is also being used.

The White House is desperate to cover up a swell of migrants coming to the US-Mexico border, the overwhelming majority of whom are escaping extreme violence and poverty in Central America. The worsening conditions in the camps have proven to be a political embarrassment for a government that was voted in on a promise to reverse the anti-immigrant policies enforced by Trump.

  • Newly leaked photos show that conditions inside migrant detention facilities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic remain just as bad under Biden as under Trump. According to one report:

Although the Biden administration ended one particularly egregious practice, separating parents and children and detaining them in separate facilities, it is keeping families “united” by expelling them back across the border, denying their rights to file asylum claims once they reach US soil. In response to political attacks from Republicans demanding even more cruel treatment of immigrants, Biden sent envoys to Mexico and Guatemala on Monday to ask officials to assist the US in blocking migrants from reaching the border.

The Mexican government has already increased its presence of law enforcement at its southern border, under pressure from the Trump Administration. Mexico has been engaged in its own deportations, which it euphemistically calls “assisted returns.” Immigrants in “migration stations” face abhorrent conditions and attacks from police.

Biden’s promises of reversing Trump’s asylum policies have proven to be lies, as his administration has continued to arrest, detain, and deport migrants in large numbers. More than 100,000 people were detained by immigration officials in February alone. This includes 9,460 unaccompanied minors, a more than 60 percent increase from January.

Rebellion in Haiti

  • People across Haiti’s capitol of Port-au-Prince and beyond continue to riot as a massive uprising sweeps the country in opposition to the US-backed Haitian president, tied to widespread kidnappings, authoritarian violence and massive corruption. VICE reports that in the last two years, at least 180 people have been killed by security forces during demonstrations against the regime.

The Fight Against the Line 3 Pipeline

Actions against the Line 3 pipeline continue across the so-called United States as part of a week of action aimed at stopping the construction of the pipeline. If you’re looking for on the ground reports and action updates, Resist Line 3 on Twitter has been doing weekly action roundups that are worth checking out. Here’s some notable actions:

  • On March 18th, there was a blockade of a Line 3 pump station. Lockdowns against machinery also stopped construction.
  • In Portland, there was a militant march on a Chase bank location, one of the banks involved with funding the Line 3 project. Clashes broke out and graffiti slogans were written.
  • Across the US, groups also protested outside of various banks demanding divestment from Line 3.
  • In so-called Vancouver, people also blocked railroad tracks in solidarity with the struggle against Line 3.

Antifascist Action

  • In New York, a coalition of antifascist and anarchist groups held an antifascist block party last weekend featuring music, speakers, and presentations on local struggles. Here’s the homie Daryl Lamont Jenkins addressing the crowd:
  • In Sandy, Oregon, the Proud Boys rallied in support of a local church who had called for a “Celebrate the Natural Heterosexual Family” event,  while pro-LGBTQ groups and community members held a counter-rally across the street:
  • Across North America, thousands rallied against anti-Asian attacks:

Mutual Aid in the Face of Water Crisis

  • People across Mississippi and in cities like Jackson, have been without water for over a month following winter storms knocking out failing and dilapidated infrastructure. In response, autonomous anti-capitalist groups like Cooperation Jackson have been involved in mutual aid, water distribution efforts. To find out more and how to support them, go here.

Abolitionist Struggle

  • Autonomous comrades protested outside of ICE in Adelanto against the continued imprisonment of individuals and families.
  • In Portland, Oregon and Los Angeles, California people threw down in the streets against police on the one year anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s murder, clashing with police and throwing projectiles.

 

Tenant and Housing Struggles

  • A struggle by residents and supporters of the Near North encampment in so-called Minneapolis has been escalating in recent weeks as people have been actively resisting attempts by the police to evict them. Last week, people blocked major intersections in response to a brutal, yet ultimately unsuccessful police attack on the Near North encampment, as authorities attempted to evict residents.
  • In Berkeley, California, tenants held a rally against attempts by UC Berkeley to evict tenants at 1921 Walnut Street. Resistance to UC Berkeley’s attempts to bulldoze and evict those at People’s Park also continues to be met with resistance, as people continue to occupy the park. According to the Daily Cal:

Between the evening of March 4 and the early morning of March 5, there were seven reports of vandalism at the private homes of UC Berkeley employees and officials, which are believed to be connected to the pending development on People’s Park. The alleged vandals slashed tires and broke vehicle windows, threw a brick in the window of a residence and spray painted “highly threatening, hateful” graffiti, according to a statement from campus.

For one member of the campus administration, the vandalism stated, “you try it, we riot,” the spokesperson said. They added that some people were called “murderers” and other “disgusting” language was used, much of which they could not relay, leaving those affected “deeply concerned.”

We want more than to simply end State and Private terror against our houseless friends. Eradicating displacement, gentrication, and those other buzzwords won’t satiate us. The administration at UC Berkeley and the City are prophets of a liberal, high-tech, ruthlessly policed capitalist society that is already killing us and our planet. We want to rip every rose out of the flowerbeds of their planned society and make their and every one of their cronies’ lives and jobs miserable.

 

Solidarity Needed

Upcoming Events

  • Sunday, March 28th: 2pm, Union Square, New York. Rally and Newroz celebration in solidarity with Rojava Revolution.
  • Sunday, March 28th: George Floyd Square, Minneapolis, MN, 1 PM. “How to Fight Repression 101.”
  • Sunday, March 28th: 12pm, Salem Capitol, Oregon. Rally against far-Right.
  • Saturday, April 3rd: 1pm, Auburn, IN, DeKalp County Courthouse. Mobilize against KKK Rally.

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