This Is America #17: J20 Ends, #DanAndSpit, Stonybrook, #OccupyICE

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Welcome, to This Is America, July 7th, 2018.

In this episode, we feature three interviews. First, an interview with Dr. Bones, a gonzo journalist and co-host of The Guillotine podcast out of Florida on the ongoing situation at the Stonybrook apartments that he recently covered on It’s Going Down. Next, we have an interview with two people from #OccupyICELA, and finally, we talk with two follks at #OccupyICESF.

#J20 Charges Totally Dropped

Charges against the remaining J20 defendants are completely and totally dropped. As Unicorn Riot wrote:

Today in DC Superior Court, federal prosecutors filed notice of their intention to drop charges against all remaining defendants facing charges from protests against President Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017.

All defendants had originally faced felony charges of conspiracy to riot, engaging in a riot, and several counts of property destruction, with each person facing a sentence of up to 60 years in prison. The last 39 defendants have now had their charges dismissed without prejudice, meaning that charges could hypothetically be re-filed at a later date.

This defeat of the State’s witch hunt is a major victory for the anarchist and anti-authoritarian movement, representing our ability to support people over the long haul, shows the importance of moving as a bloc within the legal system and refusing to allow the State to divide us, and also, shows as always, the importance of refusing to snitch and turn on each other despite some people facing upwards of 80 years in prison. Let us remember that many other rebels from other autonomous social movements are facing serious charges, from Standing Rock, to the Charlotte Uprising, to Ferguson. Let us take the lessons learned from J20 and apply in these upcoming and ongoing legal battles.

#OccupyICE Continues Despite State Attacks

  • In Portland, a hunger strike has been called. The encampment continues.
  • In Tacoma, the encampment is down, but assemblies and noise demos are still taking place.
  • In SF, encampment continues to go strong, however at the time of this writing, police are attempting to evict; time will tell. See our interview with two people from the occupation later in the show.
  • In LA, the encampment continues to go strong. See our interview with two organizers from their encampment later in the program.
  • In Louisville, KY, the encampment continues, but also faces threat of harassment from far-Right trolls. More people are encouraged to come out.
  • In Charlotte, NC, a similar situation is playing out. People are encouraged to come and bring items to share and bodies to fill the space.
  • In Wichita, KS, actions continue outside of the ICE facility.
  • In Atlanta, GA, the encampment was evicted.
  • In Philly, PA, the occupation is now in front of the Mayor’s office.
  • In New York, NK, police seem to have cleared the camp as of time. Unclear as what next moves be.

People Remember Dan & Spit

On this 4th of July, antifascists and anarchists across the US and world marked the 20 anniversary of the passing of both Dan and Spit, two members of Anti-Racist Action who were murdered in Las Vegas by neo-Nazi skinheads. Head over to the Torch Network for a full roundup, but here is a brief overview.

  • In Richmond, Virginia, “Antifa Seven Hills handed out memorial flyers and sparklers to spread the word about Dan and Spit in their local community. Later that night they unveiled a solidarity banner complete with fireworks to celebrate the day of action.”
  • In Portland, Oregon, “Anti-fascists in Portland honored Dan and Spit with an impressive banner drop and messages of solidarity across the city.”
  • In New York, NY, “Comrades from the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement in NYC put up graffiti in solidarity with the call to action.”
  • In Sydney, Australia, “Comrades in Sydney brought the day of action down under with a powerful mural commemorating Dan and Spit.”
  • In Sacramento, California, “Antifa Sacramento put up a banner in honor of Dan and Spit, and anti-racist activists lifted up their names while taking to the streets for an anti-4th of July party that included an action at the local ICE building and a noise demo at the county jail.”
  • In Seattle, Washington, “Comrades in Seattle showed up with an anti-fascist graffiti mural celebrating Dan and Spit.”
  • In Bloomington, Indiana, “Friends in Indiana organized a memorial dance party tonight!”
  • In Atlanta, Georgia, antifascists put up posters honoring the memory of Dan and Spit.

Jason Kessler Moves Alt-Right Forces Towards DC

According to leaked emails, Jason Kessler is largely telling his troops to plan to be in Washington DC on August 12th as the main rally point for “Unite the Right #2.” Neo-Nazi plans for August 11th are not yet know, and a hearing later in July will decide if Kessler will be allowed a permit in Charlottesville, if at all. Within the last several weeks, various neo-Nazis and Alt-Right pundits have attacked Kessler in blogs and podcasts, claiming that Unite the Right will be a total failure, as was the first.

Living and Fighting

  • In Chicago, people held a BBQ in and gave away revolutionary literature at Marshall Square.
  • Protesters at the statue of liberty climbed up it to drop a large “Abolish ICE” banner.
  • The West Virginia IWW has some new counter-recruitment posters to put up in the face of several white nationalist groups organizing.
  • Anti-colonial graffiti written on the 4th of July.
  • Anti-ICE banner drop in Columbia, MI.
  • Also in Missouri: “Inmates at Tipton Correctional Center caused property damage Wednesday night after a disturbance broke out. According to a Department of Corrections official, inmates damaged some windows and broke some shower divider walls in some housing units. The official said inmates were protesting new changes to rules in the housing units. They said no injuries were reported.”
  • In Gary, Indiana, “Powerful action at the Gary airport. They deport about 200 people from there every week. Flights leave Friday at 11:30. They drive detainees there in vans and load them in shackles into the planes. Today, they cancelled the vans and the flight because of our action.”
  • Residents at the Kimbell Tenants Union in the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago are on rent strike. See this updated for more info.
  • In Westover, Maryland, guards are stating that problems within the prisons are on the verge of kickin of into a major revolt. One officer stated:

A recently retired correctional officer from the Eastern Correctional Institute in Somerset County has sounded the alarm by saying if the staffing issues are not addressed at the prison, another incident similar to what happened at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna is imminent.

The former officer, who did not wish to be identified, but rather go as “Chaz,” spoke to WBOC on Wednesday. Chaz first spoke about the incident that took place on Thursday of last week at the prison. Chaz, who said he speaks to plenty of current COs at the prison, said Thursday that close to 600 inmates refused to go back into their cells. Because of that, is what an all hands on deck situation to get everything under control as quickly and as safely as possible. Chaz said that he and other COs believe the inmates are beginning to take a stand against the conditions in the prison, and because of the amount of open positions, Chaz said that presents a very dangerous work environment for the COs at ECI.

On Wednesday, WBOC also spoke with Gary McLhinney, the Director of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

“It was a peaceful demonstration,” said McLhinney, referring to the incident Thursday at ECI. “By some inmates who were upset about lack of recreation time and some issues involving cable TV.” And McLhinney went on to add that during Thursday’s incident, the prison was fully staffed and equipped.

 

  • Also in Maryland, a group of Target workers staged a demonstration: “A small group of workers at retailer Target Corporation is demanding accountability from local store managers in the Baltimore area, highlighting issues of discrimination and fair scheduling that affect retail workers nationwide.”

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