Filed under: Featured, This is America
Welcome, to This Is America, August 12th, 2021.
On today’s episode, we speak with journalist Raven Geary, as we look back on the 6 month anniversary of the storming of the DC capital on January 6th. Raven was on the ground that day and has completed a new 30 minutes documentary based on their reporting from January 5th and 6th. We look back on that day, their experiences, and the continuing threat of mass far-Right violence.
We then switch to our discussion, where we address politicians LARPing as salt-of-the-earth people and offer a roundup of Trump scandals from the past week.
All this and more, but first let’s get to the news.
Living and Fighting
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been released and concludes that the rate of global warming is happening at a much faster pace than previously reported and humans have only a few short years to stop catastrophic climate change. The report warns that methane, deforestation, and greenhouse gas emissions must be drastically reduced or brought down to net zero in only a matter of years in order to stop the continued rise of temperatures. Already, this year has seen cripplingly heat waves, floods, firestorms, droughts, and other extreme weather events across the globe – and we haven’t even hit hurricane season.
— Javier Blas (@JavierBlas) August 11, 2021
So far the responses from elite and corporate circles to the report have been more of the same: ideas about putting tariffs on countries with a high carbon output, so-called “carbon” trading, pushing for people to make consumer choices and “vote with their dollar,” and calls for government to cut red tape and regulations to build “green” energy while championing the “market” taking the lead in finding solutions. Meanwhile, fossil fuel companies have spent millions on green-washing their image, pushing back on climate legislation, paying police to attack pipeline protesters, and also pumping money into “green” solutions.
Last year, the oil and gas industry spent at least $9.6 million on ads on Facebook’s U.S. platform. https://t.co/f2EDc5eHWn
— grist (@grist) August 9, 2021
Anarchists and participants in social movements are going to have to intervene on multiple fronts: both in terms of offering autonomous disaster relief and building zones of autonomy and resiliency; but moreover in pushing for mass collective action and refusal which shuts down and stops fossil fuels production. Such action flies in the face of approaches tried by groups like Extinction Rebellion, which have focused instead on pressuring governments to “take action.” As the recent IPCC report shows, the State is well aware of the current reality, the question is, are we going to continue to place our futures in the hands of the State and industrial capitalism – or instead push for a collective break with the mega-machine that is threatening to annihilate life on this planet.
As Turkey burned, ravaged by the worst wildfires in living memory, arguments raged over #HelpTurkey.
Backed by celebrities and traumatised Turks, the trending hashtag drew fire from Erdogan supporters saying it was designed to humiliate the governmenthttps://t.co/mYo6kZAiz3 pic.twitter.com/RjRj0QWGHh
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) August 9, 2021
In other news, the Delta Variant strand of COVID-19 is spreading quickly across the US and the world, bringing rates of infection on par to the original virus last summer as hospitals fill past capacity. This comes just as many schools are set to re-open and many people have stopped wearing masks and engaging in social distancing.
Within days of reopening, school districts across the region reported thousands of COVID-19 infections and many reverted to short-term virtual instruction. Nevertheless, the ruling class, spearheaded by the Biden administration and Republican-controlled state governments, remains steadfast that in-person schooling must resume, sacrificing children’s lives for corporate profit as their parents go back to work. On social media, teachers have circulated petitions in an attempt to pressure politicians and superintendents to enforce mitigation strategies at the least or shut down in-person learning altogether.
Biden’s economic adviser Brian Deese admitted that the real priority in reopening schools is the “labor shortage” due to a lack of “child care and school.” It was under Biden’s administration that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for vaccinated people to throw off their masks, despite having definitive proof that vaccinated people contract and spread the virus.
As NBC wrote:
Children have shown more symptoms with the delta variant of the coronavirus than with previous strains, and they have increasingly been hospitalized in recent weeks. Children’s hospitals in states that have high transmission rates have begun to battle bed shortages, NBC News reported Monday.
Attempts at collective refusal and organization by workers and students in the face of this disaster should be encouraged and supported at all levels.
At the same time, a small but very loud minority of far-Right groups has been mobilizing within anti-mask and anti-vax camps, holding rallies outside of hospitals, restaurants, and even cancer clinics. These rallies have been joined by neo-fascists gangs of Proud Boys and in some instances, have even led to violence. In Los Angeles, COVID-19 conspiracy theorists assaulted a cancer patient for wearing a mask and other groups have mobilized at school board meetings to oppose COVID testing, mask mandates, and vaccinations – often clashing with the opposing side. Currently in Texas, major cites are pushing for children to remain masked as schools re-open, in open defiance of the Governor’s attempts to end mandatory masking.
Anti-vaxxers have been holding violent protests attacking innocent bystanders in the process.
Now they want to hold a rally downtown, this directly puts the unhoused communities who live in the area in danger. We say no more!
Join us at City Hall, August 14th at 1pm pic.twitter.com/Kvn8YmJgI7
— SoCal Antifa (@SocalAntifa) August 10, 2021
- August 14th: Rally against far-Right anti-vaxxers. Los Angeles, CA.
- August 14th: Rock Against Fascism community music festival in Portland, OR.
- August 18th: Day of Action to Defend the Atlanta Forest. More info here.
- August 21st – September 9th: Call for abolitionist actions in support of prisoner struggles. More info here.
- September 4th: Halifax Anarchist Bookfair. More info here.
- September 11th -12th: Running Down the Walls. Events to raise money and awareness for political prisoners.
- September 25th: Community mobilization against the KKK. Longview, TX, 11 AM, Gregg County Courthouse.
- October 2nd – 3rd: NYC Anarchist Bookfair. Happening both outside and online. More info here.
- November 12th – 14th: Protest against white nationalist ‘American Renaissance’ conference in Burns, Tennessee.
It’s Going Down
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photo: Chris LeBoutillier via Unsplash