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Jun 10, 21

This Is America #141: Mass Action Against Line 3; Sean Swain and June 11th

Welcome to This Is America, June 10th, 2021.

On this episode, first we bring you an interview with Lauren Swain, the partner of anarchist prisoner Sean Swain who currently has launched a campaign in order to help them hopefully transition out of prison later this summer. We discuss Swain’s case and his amazing life, his journey to anarchist politics, and the repression he has faced as a politicized prisoner. For ways to support Sean, check out this Instagram account here.

We then switch to our discussion, where we tackle the attempt by the Republicans to solidify their base increasingly within the far-Right and what this means for the wider political terrain.

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

Living and Fighting

Line 3 Resistance Shuts Down Construction in Mass Action

This week, thousands of people have responded to a call put out several months ago to converge against Line 3 and blockade the construction site of the pipeline. Police and DHS agents responded with arrests and flying helicopters low to the ground, in an effort to frighten Water Protectors and to stir up dust storms around those locked down to construction equipment.

According to reporters with Unicorn Riot on the ground, some of the lock-downs put in place by Water Protectors have impacted construction significantly and in one case, last for over 30 hours. Be sure to check their extensive coverage of resistance on the ground.

According to a press release on the action:

In Minnesota’s largest ever anti-pipeline mobilization, water protectors Monday morning halted construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 toxic tar sands pipeline. Over 1,000 people marched with Indigenous leaders to the headwaters of the Mississippi River for a treaty ceremony at the site where the pipeline is proposed to cross. Further south, over 500 Indigenous people [and] allies shut down an active Line 3 pump station in a massive direct action in solidarity with the Giniw Collective, an Indigenous women, two-spirit-led frontline land defense group.

These actions are a part of the Treaty People Gathering, a mass mobilization of more than 2,000 people planned by Indigenous-led groups, communities of faith, and climate justice organizations, and the beginning of a summer of resistance. At day break, hundreds of land defenders reached the Two Inlets Line 3 pump station . Some climbed ladders or locked themselves to equipment, while others blockaded the entrance…

Donate to the bail fund here.

Actions in Solidarity with Palestine Expand

Block the Boat actions and mobilizations have taken place at various ports across the US and Canada over the past week. Mass picketing (which have been honored by union port workers of the ILWU who have refused to cross the lines) at the Port of Oakland and in so-called Vancouver has been successful in stopping the unloading of Israeli goods from ZIM ships.

According to on report:

In May, members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union in Durban, South Africa, responded to a call from the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions and refused to offload cargo from a ZIM ship.

Dockworkers in Livorno, Italy, withheld their service to load a shipment of arms going to Israel.

On May 25, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Northern California District Council also expressed its support of the Palestinians in a written statement.

A communique posted to Abolition Media Worldwide also took credit for an action in solidarity with Palestine. It read:

The brutal bombardment of Gaza, the mass eviction of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque; these can only described as acts of ethnic cleansing and extermination.

Last week, in an act of revolutionary solidarity with autonomous Palestinian resistance, we started a fire at the Pratt & Whitney engine facility in Orange County, CA, completely destroying a fleet van and damaging the exterior of the building. For us, revolutionary solidarity can’t mean mere words or symbolic gestures; it means putting our entire bodies into the struggle and causing material damage to the war machine.

Pratt & Whitney is a division of Raytheon Technologies, the fourth largest arms dealer in the world. Pratt & Whitney have deep ties to the Israeli defense industry. In 2015, Pratt & Whitney signed a 15 year contract with the Israeli Ministry of Defense, in support of the Israeli Air Force, designed to provide 100% daily propulsion readiness for the entire Israeli fleet of F-15 and F-16 aircraft. Pratt and Whitney also supplies the engines used in the Israeli Air Forces entire fleet of F-16 fighter jets. These same fighter jets are now being used to rain down all hell on Gaza.

As we approach the one year anniversary of the burning of the 3rd Precinct in Minneapolis following the police lynching of George Floyd, we can’t forget the role that arms dealers such as Raytheon play in the militarization of law enforcement. Raytheon supplies police departments across the country with surveillance technology and training software. We know that all liberation is tied together, and that the Israeli settler state is enlivened by the same racism and colonial ambitions that the United States is embodied by. The same multinational corporations arming the IDF to crush Palestinian resistance are also arming law enforcement agencies in the US to brutalize Black and Brown communities.

From the alleys of Gaza City, to mountains of Kurdistan, to streets of Minneapolis; solidarity with all who struggle against colonialism and state power

-Anarchist Cells of Abolitionist Fire

Strikes by Miners and Auto Workers Continue

Over 3,000 auto workers at the Volvo New River Valley Plant in Dublin, Virginia are back on the picket lines following their second mass rejection of a sell-out contract, which forced the union to re-authorize the resumption of the strike.

Meanwhile in Alabama, a strike by over a thousand United Mine Workers fighting against attacks in their pay and benefits by Warrior Met Coal continues to heat up. Last week, video surfaced of a boss hitting a striking miner with their truck.

According to one report, the recent attack is only the latest in a string of assaults against strikers, who “have been hit by cars three times in the past three days while on the picket line.”

George Floyd Square Faces Down Another Attempted Eviction

On the morning of June 8th, the City of Minneapolis attempted another eviction of George Floyd Square, however community members swiftly put back barricades. According to the Associated Press:

City crews returned early Tuesday to a Minneapolis intersection where a memorial to George Floyd was assembled after his death last year and worked to reopen it to traffic by removing…barriers, only to have activists barricade the area again. As soon as workers left the area on Tuesday, activists moved back in, again blocking traffic with parked cars, trash cans, traffic signs and other items in a repeat of last Thursday’s scene.

As the Star Tribune noted:

Members of the Agape Movement, a community group hired by the city to provide security in lieu of police, and protest organizers argued over the wooden pallets and concrete barricades remaining on the west side of the square…As soon as workers were finished, protesters began parking cars and piling pallets in the streets again.

A new zine has also been created, mapping the various non-profits and “community organizations” actively working as a force for counter-insurgency on behalf of the police and city of Minneapolis. View it here.

Upcoming Events

June 9th: Peninsula Park, 6:30 PM. Presentation on ‘History of Rose City Antifa.’ More info here.

June 11th: International Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason and Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners

  • Philadelphia, PA: BBQ and movie fundraiser.
  • Detroit, MI: Noise demo.
  • Cincinnati, OH: Film screening and benefit. More info here.
  • Portland, OR: Letter-writing event. SE 17th and Taylor, 6 PM.

June 12th: Letter writing and book packaging for prisoners to mark June 11th. Chicago, IL. More info here.

June 12 – 13th: Philly Skillshare Convergence featuring workshops, discussions, and tabling. For more information and updates, check here.

June 18th: Counter-protest against the Proud Boys in Oregon City, OR. 2pm.

June 26th – July 1st: Earth First! Summer Gathering in so-called Minnesota. More info here.

August 21st – September 9th: Call for abolitionist actions in support of prisoner struggles. More info here.

November 12th – 14th: Protest against white nationalist ‘American Renaissance’ conference in Burns, Tennessee.

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