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Jul 3, 21

This Is America #143: Line 3 Fight Continues; Discussion on Biden Administration’s Attack on “Both Sides” Extremism

Welcome, to This Is America, July 3rd, 2021.

On today’s episode we launch straight into our discussion, where we tackle how the Right has  built an AstroTurf campaign around the demonetization of ‘Critical Race Theory,’ and how this relates to broader attacks on basic rights. We then dive into a blow by blow of the Biden administration’s newly published report on “domestic terrorism” and what it all means.

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

Living and Fighting

The Fight Against Line 3

As cities across the world sweat through record breaking heat, the State continues to attack autonomous movements and struggles attempting to stop the extraction of fossil fuels and destroy the natural environment for profit.

In so-called Minnesota, police in an attempt to finish the drilling of the Line 3 pipeline, set up a barricade on the outskirts of someone’s property where Water Protectors were staying. The resistance “camp woke up to Hubbard County handing over a letter stating they would be barricading the sole access to camp in 4 hours. As the day wore on, police formed a riot line and attempted to push into the premises. County sheriffs were met with fierce resistance… Hubbard continued to escalate the situation into the night, arresting a dozen people and towing vehicles off the road. Over-policing and militarization by Enbridge-backed police in the north country is out of control,” the Giniw Collective reported.

In solidarity:

Dozens of climate-justice protesters…occupied the northeast regional headquarters of Canada-based Enbridge Corporation, near Boston, MA. The occupation lasted for a total of 26 hours.

On July 1st, direct actions continued to put a halt to pipeline construction.

For continued updates on resistance to the Line 3 pipeline, follow the Giniw Collective and Unicorn Riot. Donations to the bail fund are also needed. To donate, go here.

Week of Action to Defend the Atlanta Forest Wraps Up

Support for the campaign to defend the Atlanta forest is growing. Here’s a report from someone on the ground on the recent week of action:

A week of action took place June 20-26 for the movement to Defend the Atlanta Forest. The movement has taken off as two project proposals threaten over 1,000 acres of forest in South Atlanta, Georgia. A vibrant and varied week of action brought out hundreds to spend time in the forest. Events included ecology walks and talks, movie night in the forest, a shabbat dinner, Kid’s Day, a non-monogamy discussion group, a hardcore show with several hundred attendees who got confrontational with the police, a forest rave that brought out hundreds to dance in Intrenchment Creek under the full moon, and a demonstration which resulted in a smashed window at the Atlanta Police Foundation offices, firefly monitoring, mycology education, tree planting, a two night encampment in the forest, and much more. City officials, the Atlanta Police Foundation, Blackhall Movie studios and major corporations are attempting to devastate this forest by building a major regional police training center as well as the largest movie soundstage in the U.S., but resistance to these projects grows stronger every day. Follow @defendatlantaforest on Instagram and @defendATLforest on Twitter as well as #NoCopCity and #dtfatl to keep up with the movement.

Mutual Aid Heats Up

This past week gave us a glimpse into the horrors that lie just on the horizon from climate change, as new reports pointed to the growing threat to the arctic and horrifying examples of monstrous weather patterns. In the face of a crippling heat wave across regions like the Pacific Northwest, which left hundreds dead and many more hospitalized and saw literal firestorms, autonomous groups are mobilizing to provide mutual aid. This includes organizations like Symbiosis in Portland, OR and Cooperation Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi, who are running cooling centers and water distribution hubs. Both groups have already been involved in the distribution of emergency supplies, including water, as Symbiosis has been working with rural communities in the face of ongoing water shortages following last summer’s devastating fires and Cooperation Jackson has been distributing water following massive hurricanes which knocked out water infrastructure. Check out our interview with someone from the Willamette Action Collective in the next episode for a discussion on autonomous disaster relief in an age of global warming.

The Fight for Abolition

As Biden doubles down in support of the police and the Right and the neoliberal center attempt to play up misconstrued reports of rising crime, anger remains high as police killings continue to push many into the streets.

  • In Lonoke County, Arkansas protests broke out following the police killing of 17-year old Hunter Brittain, was was killed by a Sheriff as he was fixing his car so he could get to work in the morning.

  • In Elizabeth City, NC protests have continued now for two months strong, demanding justice following the police murder of Andrew Brown, Jr.

  • In Bloomington, IN, people took to the streets to march on the Sheriff’s office to demand authorities release the body cam footage in the shooting death of Malik Ali Malik, who was killed in a police chase back in April.
  • In Minneapolis, MN, protests continue in memory of Winston Smith, who was killed by federal authorities several weeks ago and Deona Marie Erickson, who was killed by a driver while protesting Smith’s assassination several days later. People have been holding space in the area where both were killed and last week people overturned dumpsters in the street and set them on fire as fresh clashes with police broke out. An autonomous zone, known as Smith-Marie Square, has also been set up that includes a garden, while back and forth with the city continues over control of the space, as well as at George Floyd Square, which the city and non-profits have recently been successful in opening up to traffic. Events remain ongoing at both spaces. Follow Smith-Marie Square on Twitter for updates.

In response to the Portland Police murder of Michael Ray Townsend on June 24, a parking lot containing multiple Portland Police Bureau squad cars was attacked. A hole was cut into the surrounding barbed wire fence, and a dozen vehicles were hit. All cars had their windows, windshields, lights and mirrors smashed, and abolitionists / anarchists messages were painted across their exteriors. A fire extinguisher filled with paint was used to completely cover multiple squad cars, as well as their interiors.

Everyday the pigs turn our public spaces into open air prisons. We call on all abolitionists to take the defunding and disarming of the pigs into their own hands.

  • ICE detainees in New Jersey on hunger-strike have been transferred. Recent direct actions have targeted the facility, attempting to blockade deportation vans. As The Guardian wrote: “Abolish Ice NY-NJ, a coalition of organizations seeking to shut down prisons and immigration detention centers, believes 39 detainees were on a hunger strike before the transfer, and that among their concerns were their video tablets being taken away – preventing them from communicating with attorneys and families about their potential move.”

Class War

  • Members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) at Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, Oregon, went on strike in response to poor pay and conditions.

  • In Chicago, workers at a co-op grocery store are also going on strike, after management has refused to address worker grievances and unfair labor practices.

  • Sanitation workers in Elizabeth City, NC have also gone on strike to demand higher wages; blocking streets and being joined in solidarity with locals protesting the police murder of Andrew Brown.

Upcoming Events

  • 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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