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Apr 30, 22

This Is America #165: Report from Grand Rapids; Direct Action Reports; Eviction Wave in NYC

Welcome, to This Is America, April 30th, 2022.

On this episode, first we present an interview with someone on the ground in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who speaks about the recent round of street protests that kicked off following the brutal police execution of Patrick Lyoya.

We then are joined with Marcela from Feel the News as we discuss Eric Adams, the eviction crisis in New York, and attacks on the houseless.

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

Living and Fighting

Over the past week, thousands continued to take to the streets in Grand Rapids, Michigan following the police murder of Patrick Lyoya, a “refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo—who was  killed by a Grand Rapids, Michigan police officer on April 4th. Lyoya was fatally shot in the head while laying face down on the ground” following a police traffic stop. Following Lyoya’s murder, protesters held the streets for hours each night essentially laying siege to the embattled police station.

There was also a rowdy night-time solidarity demonstration in Portland, Oregon. As Double Sided Media wrote:

On the evening of April 16, nearly 50 people in black bloc gathered under the pavilion at Portland’s Peninsula Park for a vigil and march in honor of Patrick Lyoya…A local Starbucks Coffee Shop was the scene of both window smashing and firework-launching. The nearby bus stop—one of several throughout the night—was also smashed. Banks, too, had their windows smashed and received spray-paint.

The crowd arrived at its apparent destination—the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct—after about 45-minutes and confronted a rooftop police officer with a firework launch. Three PPB cruisers full of officers in riot gear appeared shortly after a dumpster inside the precinct’s parking garage was lit on fire…The crowd dispersed in various directions as soon as the police arrived. According to a PPB press release, no arrests were made…

As Canadian Tire Fire has been reporting, actions in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en and against Coastal Gaslink remain ongoing. In so-called Olympia, according to a communique posted to Puget Sound Anarchists:

On April 20th some anarchists…armed with a bottle of brake fluid and a can of expanding spray foam to carry out an act of solidarity with the ongoing resistance of Wet’su’weten land defenders and their supporters. The fight against CGL and its funders has been long and inspiring, and one that we feel needs to be more supported, especially through direct anarchist tactics. The colonial project is ever expanding, and its allies and funders are in every neighborhood and on every street. These are our enemies, and the makers of artificial deserts. They must be attacked– by any means and at any given opportunity, no matter how big or small the enemy or the action may seem. We do not expect this small action to stop the Leviathan and bring about healing to this near destroyed planet, but we hope to channel the spirits of this land, the lifeblood of all water, and the goblins of anarchy. We want to inspire destruction to all manifestations of colonial powers and institutions. We need it. The struggle on Wet’suwet’en territory is one that has explicitly called for and employed anarchist tactics, and we encourage you all to heed that call and support their actions through your own.

Meanwhile in a communique posted to Montreal Counter-Info, another group wrote:

Over the past 2 months, the RCMP has ramped up their continued harassment and intimidation of the people living at and defending the Yintah from CGL, at km 44 camp, on Gidimt’en territory. A few days ago, cops decided to arrest someone, using the pathetic excuse of “mis-identification”.

We believe that active solidarity is always important, even more so when our comrades are facing repression. This solidarity can be expressed through easy attacks, which break the isolation and fear that the state tries to trap us within. Those involved in funding the pipeline have names and addresses. They might not always be esay to find, but usually, they are the ones trying to protect their peace and tranquility tucked safely away in big houses, far from the social war they are a part of.

With this in mind, and rage in our hearts, this past wednesday we decided to spend the evening in the streets of Westmount. Using a fire extinguisher filled with paint, we had a good time vandalizing the facade of the house where the…RBC Quebec president lives.

Back in Portland, a claim of responsibility took credit for a sabotage action in solidarity with the expanding struggle to defend the Atlanta forest. A communique posted to Rose City Counter-Info wrote:

The doors, windows and ATMs of Bank of America financial center were broken and the building was redecorated with messages against the destruction of Atlanta forest.
Bank of America was attacked because of its funding of the Atlanta Police Foundation and the cop city project attempting to replace the forest with police infrastructure.
Fuck cops
Fuck banks
From the west coast, solidarity with those defending the forest.

Not to be left out, another communique posted to stated:

Two bank ATMs were vandalized and put out of commission in San Francisco in solidarity with land defenders in the Atlanta Forest and across occupied land. You can do it too!

The week of so-called “Earth Day,” autonomous hooligans super-glued the card readers at two SF banks. This echoes anti-bank and anti-civ actions across other occupied territories (see Philly, Quebec and Chile) in strikes against capital and those funding the destruction of human and nonhuman animals alike.

In other Defend the Atlanta Forest news, Reeves Young, an Atlanta based construction contractor, has officially backed out of the so-called “Cop City” project. Forest defenders and abolitionists are still calling for May Day actions to pressure other firms to drop the project as well. Go here to find an office near you. There is also a call for a week of action to Defend the Atlanta Forest from May 8th – 15th, with marches and rallies already being called on May 11th and 14th!

Looking towards the midwest, in Minneapolis, following more ongoing encampment evictions, several public works trucks were targeted. A communique posted to Abolition Media Worldwide stated:

Thursday night, some angry faggots slashed tires and smashed up a few trucks, disabling three vehicles belonging to the public works department of so-called Minneapolis.

This was done in retaliation for the cruel eviction of an encampment the day before, in which 120 pigs were mobilized, shutting down two city blocks in order to destroy neighbor’s homes and steal their belongings. During the eviction, one encampment defender was brutally arrested.

The truth is that an eviction carried out in such excessive force is only done because the state is terrified of the strong relational networks of those who make their home in tents, and of their neighbor’s willingness to defend these communities.

We intend to give them something to be scared of. It is imperative to develop a language of revolt involving a rhythm of retaliatory actions against the state’s brutality. The people of so-called Minneapolis are mobilizing to defend our neighbors, and this fight will continue until the final dissolution of the American plantation. It’s time to fight dirty.

According to a corporate news report from so-called Seattle, several people took action against ongoing attacks on the houseless. One article reported:

Vandals smashed windows and city cars at a Seattle Parks and Recreation office building in downtown Seattle. The people behind the damage also left a spray-painted message, “You sweep, we strike.”

Also in Seattle, Washington, around 1,000 people gathered for a mutual aid fair put on by a variety of autonomous groups across the Pacific Northwest.

In Hartford, Connecticut, a Black Lives Matter group organized an antifascist demonstration and march following a flash-demonstration by a neo-Nazi group the week before.

In the bay area, rebel youth and community members on the Berkeley/Oakland border, reigned down a righteous barrage of eggs against a far-Right convoy, pushing them out of the area.

In New York, police continue to make arrests of houseless people on ‘Anarchy Row’ demanding housing and in so-called Bloomington, the strike by graduate workers continues at Indiana University, with workers and students organizing sit-ins, walkouts, and holding pickets which have stopped deliveries.

Upcoming Events

  • April 30th: Anti-racist mobilization against white supremacist rally at Stone Mountain in Georgia. 9 AM, Meet at 922 Main Street, Stone Mountain.
  • April 30th: Spring Zine Fair and Anarchist Carnival. 2pm – 6pm. 16th and Spruce, Seattle, WA.
  • April 30th:  May Day benefit at the Blood Fruit Infoshop in Chicago, IL. Karaoke, live music, book check out, drinks + zines + merch, and a DJ set at the end of the night. $5. More info here.
  • May 1st: Chicago, IL. Honor the Haymarket Martyrs and celebrate International Worker’s Day! More info here.
  • May 1st: Olympia May Day Festival. Yauger Park, 1 – 5 PM. Food, music, games, anarchy!
  • May 1st: East 8th Ave and Oak Street in Eugene, OR. Downtown Park Blocks, 12 PM. May Day Celebration.
  • May 1st: May Day celebration in Aberdeen, WA.
  • May 1st: May Day celebration. Laurelhurst Park, Portland, OR. 1pm. More info here.
  • May 1st: May Day Block Party and Potluck celebrating two years of the Everett, Nebraska free grocery program. 3 PM. More info here.
  • May 1st: Denton Anarchist Bookfair, Denton, TX.
  • May 1st: Binghamton, NY. Riot Act Books hosts May Day celebration 12-9pm, 129 Main St, Binghamton NY. More info here.
  • May 1st: DC, Malcolm X Park, 2 – 3 PM.
  • May 1st: Atlanta, GA. May Day celebration at Grant Park. Fundraiser for the UMWA strike fund. More info here.
  • May 1st: May Day BBQ at Woodbine in NY. 5pm. More info here.
  • May 1st: Day of Action to Stop Cop City and Its Subcontractors. More info here.
  • May 1st: Convergence of Anti-Capitalist Struggles (CLAC) May Day mobilization, 5 p.m., Canada Place. More info here.
  • May 8th – 15: Call for week of action to defend the Atlanta forest. More info here.
  • May 11th: March to Demand AT&T pull out of Cop City in Atlanta. More info here.
  • May 14th: March against Cop City in Atlanta. More info here.
  • May 20th – 22nd: This May 20th-22nd, Woodbine and Symbiosis will host a northeast regional gathering in New York City, to discuss the last two years of our organizing for survival. From our experiences and experiments with mutual aid and disaster relief, what are our present and future needs for coordination and confederation in order to build autonomy and dual power? More info here.
  • June 5th: Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair returns to Oakland, California. 11 AM – 5 PM, 5th and Harrison. More info here.
  • June 25th – 26th: Autonomous Tenant Union Network 2022 Convention. Los Angeles, CA. More info here.
  • July 29th – 30th: At Dual Power 2022 we want to foster an atmosphere of generative co-learning and co-creativity. We want to connect people and bring them together around shared work. We want to create a space where ideas are exchanged, stories are told, and futures are imagined, in the context of building and maintaining dual power. More info here.
  • August 6th-7th: Montreal Anarchist Bookfair. More info here.
  • August 13–21st: This August will mark the fourth Institute for Advanced Troublemaking’s (IAT) Anarchist Summer School — eight days of popular education, blending theory and practice, for adults of all ages. Apply by April 22:
  • September 18th: Pushing Down the Walls, Southern California. Benefit for political prisoners. More info here.

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