Filed under: Featured, Interviews, Radio/Podcast, This is America
Welcome, to This Is America, March 12th, 2022.
On this episode, first we speak with an affiliate of the Youth Liberation Front (YLF) in Florida about recent walkouts against the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill. We talk about the bill and how thousands of students are taking action against it.
We then turn towards our discussion, where we discuss the Democrats’ pivot against masks and mandates, and a look at the ongoing J6 investigation and beyond.
All this and more, but first, let’s get to the news.
Student Walkouts and Resistance Grows in the Face of Anti-Trans Legislation
A slew of anti-LGBTQ+ bills targeting trans youth in particular are being pushed by Republicans through state legislatures.
In Texas, according to NPR:
…[There are more than] 40 proposed bills [targeting] trans and nonbinary youth…
[Texas] Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued a letter announcing that delivering gender-affirming medical treatments to transgender youths “constitutes child abuse” under state law. It stipulated that doctors, nurses and teachers are legally now required to report parents who aid their child in receiving such care…
In Alabama, there is a bill which attempts to:
…make it a felony to prescribe puberty-blocking drugs or hormones as transgender therapies for minors with gender dysphoria. Another bill, HB266, which would put a felony ban on healthcare for trans minors up to age 19, passed the Senate committee and is considered one of the most aggressive anti-trans bills in the country…
The “Don’t Say Gay” bill, bans public school districts from teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through the third grade…the bill also creates a new avenue of litigation, as it potentially allows parents to sue the school district if they believe their children were provided inappropriate instruction about “sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Republican lawmakers filed 17 anti-LGBTQ+ bills, including 12 anti-transgender bills, at the start of this year’s legislative session — more than almost any other state in the country.
As the Intercept reported:
South Dakota became the first state to pass one of many bills proposed nationwide this year that viciously target trans youth. The South Dakota bill, S.B. 46, bans trans girls and women from participating on girls’ and women’s sports teams; it now heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Kristi Noem, who has long pushed for the exclusion and punishment of trans children to be further inscribed into state law.
…[the] house of representatives has passed a bill that would criminalize gender-affirming medical procedures for transgender youth and make it a felony punishable by life imprisonment for anyone who helps a child travel across state lines to gender-affirming healthcare…
Lastly in Iowa:
….a new state law…bans transgender girls and women from competing in female sports offered by Iowa’s schools, colleges and universities.
These draconian bills are an all out attack on LGBTQ+ youth and mirror recent attacks on abortion access, attempt to create a legal framework to deny medical care while criminalizing those that offer that care. Such bills are designed to increase fear in the LGBTQ+ community which is already under threat from far-Right street level violence while also discouraging discussion about these realities in public life.
While some of these legal attacks have been defeated, Republicans across the US are determined to weaponize anti-trans sentiment as a way of building up support for their campaigns as the midterm elections draw closer. In response, a new wave of student action, walkouts and demonstrators have broken out over the last few weeks. While largely over shadowed by the ongoing Russian invasion of the Ukraine, thousands of students across the US have walked out of school, pushed back against administrators, faced off against far-Right students, and have continued to build opposition on the ground.
Police injured one protester after mobilizing against a large crowd on the #UNT campus that shut-down Jeff Younger, a Republican running for office on an anti-trans platform hosted by a 'Young Conservative' group who last year declared support for "Christian fascism" at a rally. pic.twitter.com/2gBDRMLQY7
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) March 3, 2022
One hotbed of resistance has been at the University of North Texas, where on March 2nd, a day after Biden declared during his ‘State of the Union’ speech that he “always had the back of trans youth,” hundreds of students disrupted and shut down a speech by Republican hopeful Jeff Younger, famous for taking his ex-partner to court over her support of their daughters’ gender identity. Younger spoke alongside a group of Young Conservatives who last year rallied and stated they supported “Christian fascism.” Hundreds of students chanted, “Fuck you fascist,” shutting down Younger’s speech, while a large crowd rallied outside. Police also injured a demonstrator with their car when they drove through a group of protesters, as they were “escorting [a Young Conservatives of Texas] YCT member Kelly Neidert” away from the area. Far-Right trolls later attempted to frame the event as a “violent riot,” as opposed to a mass rejection of a Christian fascist that was vastly unpopular. Predictably, campus authorities, hoping to distract from the violence of the police, attempted to place blame on “outside agitators” coming onto campus to stir up trouble.
Video of Denton Police striking a protestor with a police car. Note the cop pushing them down after they were hit. https://t.co/AfTKHMJdOy
— Elm Fork John Brown Gun Club (@EFJBGC) March 3, 2022
In a response, Elm Folk John Brown Gun Club wrote:
In the ensuing days following the protest, conservative campus groups have engaged in a concerted effort to repair their loss through the lens of conservative, and alternative news outlets. In these outlets, figureheads have espoused unfounded accusations that the John Brown Gun Club organized the protest.
This is demonstrably false. These figureheads have attempted to brand student opposition as “Antifa cells” to cloak in naivety the realities of their fear of opposition. One needs to look no further than the campus police, UNT president, and openly-fascist group’s statements to find their inability to reconcile the lack of leader or organizer to their opposition.
When the so-called debate in settler-colonial legalities branches to the dismissal, marginalization, and criminalization of one’s existence, it is the responsibility of all to fight back. These students answered the call to defend their friends and community, and demonstrated that the will of existence will not bend to neither cop riot nor administrative acceptance.
Meanwhile, protests and student walkouts have remained ongoing, decrying the response from the police and the administration.
But while anger has been building on the North Texas campus, students across the US were getting ready to carry out walkouts at their schools in defiance of the wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. As Florida based anarchist counter-info website Tequesta Black Star wrote on March 3rd:
Thousands of students across Florida walked out in a statewide mobilization against the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would ban discussion of LGBTQ+ issues in elementary schools and has passed through the state legislature. High schools from Seminole County to Flagler participated, with Riverview High, Bayside, Freedom High, Gibbs High and many more also present. In Tallahassee, students marched from their high schools to the Florida House, occupying the floors to condemn the bill’s passage. Repression was also reported during the walkouts, with the lead organizer being suspended indefinitely by his school for passing out Pride flags.
Over the next week, the walkouts in Florida quickly spread to Vermont, Massachusetts, Texas, Iowa, and Idaho. Be sure to check It’s Going Down in the coming days for a roundup and report backs.
Hundreds of students at Western High are walking out over the Don't Say Gay bill 🏴 pic.twitter.com/mKqr6vSlpB
— Florida Youth Liberation Front (@fla_ylf) March 11, 2022
- Thousands took to the streets in Tijuana as part of International Women’s Day. A militant bloc smashed windows and spray painted graffiti, decrying the ongoing femicide crisis in Mexico.
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) March 10, 2022
- Cities across the so-called US continued to hold memorial events for “T-Rex,” a 60 year-old Portland protester who was shot and killed by a far-Right fan of Kyle Rittenhouse and internet troll, Andy Ngo, at a recent Black Lives Matter demonstration. The far-Right shooter also seriously injured several other individuals before being shot by an armed demonstrator. A fundraiser for that person has been set up here.
— A.A.R.F. Autonomous Anarchist Revolutionary Front (@AARF_LA) February 27, 2022
This evening Chicago activists set up a memorial to June Knightly, who was murdered at a Portland solidarity rally for Amir Locke on 2/19. pic.twitter.com/oC7DZR4zPU
— (C)hicago (F)ree (M)edia (@chifreemedia) February 27, 2022
- Over 100 people gathered in East Providence to denounce a group of neo-Nazi, the Nationalist Social Club, who recently held rallies outside of left-wing bookstores and community spaces.
"Over 100 people gathered in Billy Taylor Park on the East Side of #Providence Wednesday evening to show support for the neighborhood and solidarity against" the neo-Nazi group which recently rallied outside of a left-wing bookstore. https://t.co/PgqP4QpRZ9
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) February 27, 2022
- A family in New York has won a fight against eviction after a direct action campaign was organized to keep them in their homes.
"The movement has done the impossible," @CHTenantUnion said Monday. "Now, a long fight to return the deed." Direct Action Gets the Goods.@BrooklynDefense
Court Order Lets Longtime Crown Heights Family Stay In Their Home https://t.co/JurQVFTuGp
— Michael Hollingsworth (@mike4brooklyn) February 28, 2022
- The anti-capitalist labor union the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) has been busy. In Orlando, Wobblies stood in solidarity with DaJen Eats workers who organized a protest against bad conditions and poor scheduling. Workers at the Alamo draft-house and cinema in Austin, TX also recently announced joining the union.
Members of @iwwcfl hit the streets in #Orlando in solidarity with protesters workers at DaJen Eats who are demanding an end to "manipulation of timestamps for breaks + clock-out times, non-payment of tips, and unsafe physical working conditions." https://t.co/qzyus1t9if
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) March 1, 2022
- Resistance to the so-called Cop City project in Atlanta continues and currently there is a call to come and support the barricades. A new communique has also been posted to Scenes from the Atlanta Forest, which takes credit for damaging five trucks:
On Mar. 1st, 2022, FIVE large Long Engineering trucks used to do survey work…were destroyed in solidarity with eco-defenders currently protecting the forest from being clear-cut to build cop city and more Hollywood infrastructure for Black Hall Studios.
It is EASY to approach vehicles and machinery sitting like ducks in subcontractor parking lots…and render any and all of their equipment used to subjugate the land completely dead and inoperable!
This is a CALL-TO-ACTION for more eco-warriors to replicate these actions in the name of Defending the Forest and ALL creatures wild and Free! Save the South Atlanta Forest! Fuck your ego and use the cover of darkness to go out and get shit done, for we need more faceless saboteurs to help bankrupt all of these companies from being able to function.
- Elders at the Winnemucca Indian Colony in so-called Nevada are asking for more supporters to help them oppose unjust evictions from their land as the BIA and other forces continue to harass and displace elders. For more background information on the struggle, go here.
- In memory of radical housing organizer Jennifer Bennetch of Philadelphia who recently passed away due to COVID-19 complications, people have set up a fund to donate to here.
Honoring the memory of Jennifer Bennetch, who we were lucky enough to interview last year. Bennetch passed on at the age of 36 last Thursday due to "COVID-19 complications." We hope this interview continues to inspire others who would carry on their work. https://t.co/2lLZOLhvF1 https://t.co/Df5GWqIcAu pic.twitter.com/USgZAN26l3
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) February 20, 2022
- March 20th: Anarchist Equinox Spring Mutual Aid Fair in Portland. 1 PM – Lents Park. More info here.
- April 9th: San Antonio Anarchist Bookfair. 1- 7 PM. More info here.
- June 5th: Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair returns to Oakland, California. 11 AM – 5 PM, 5th and Harrison. More info here.
It’s Going Down
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