Filed under: Featured, Interviews, Radio/Podcast, This is America
Welcome, to This Is America, September 2nd, 2022.
On today’s episode, we speak with two members of Sacramento IWOC (Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee) about their group, some of their recent campaigns, and how they are building relationships with prisoners on the inside for long-term abolitionist organizing.
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) August 30, 2022
We then speak to a tenant organizer in Oakland, California, who speaks on a rent-strike which just kicked off and is being supported by Tenants and Neighborhood Councils (TANC). We talk about what led to the strike, how people got organized, and why tenants need to come together and push back against landlords.
All this and more, bur first, let’s get to the news!
Living and Fighting
feeling cinematic rn… pic.twitter.com/MBEPO4Tk6F
— Tenant And Neighborhood Councils (@TANCBay) August 31, 2022
Oakland tenants are on rent strike demanding repairs and for management to address rampant rodent infestations and mold. Be sure to check out our interview with a strike organizer on this episode for a deeper dive. On Tuesday, over 50 people rallied in Oakland in support of the rent strike, as journalist Jack Haber reported:
A crowd of over 50 people, including residents living in an 18 floor apartment complex…and their supporters, rallied on Tuesday, August 30, outside the complex to announce a rent strike. Tenants say residents in at least 42 apartments, which make up about 25% of the complexes’ 165 occupied units, are withholding rent starting on September 1 to pressure management and ownership to effectively address their habitability and safety concerns.
In Philadelphia, the struggle to stop the eviction of the UC Townhomes continues. On Monday:
Over 100 protestors interrupted Penn President minutes into her first-ever Convocation speech, bringing the ceremony to an abrupt end. [During a speech on] incoming class’ diversity, a group of protestors — including members of the Class of 2026 — stood up and began chanting “Save UC Townhomes!” and “Stop Penn-trification!” The Coalition to Save the UC Townhomes, a group of residents protesting the sale of 70 units of affordable housing, organized the demonstration in an effort to bring awareness to the local residents who are scheduled to be evicted on Oct. 8.
People’s Park not looking that inviting this morning. Would be very interesting to read interviews with students who are just walking by it on their way to school. @berkeleyside @SupriyaYelimeli pic.twitter.com/fzoAHMio1q
— Maksim Ioffe (@maksim_ioffe) August 17, 2022
In Berkeley, people continue to re-occupy and work the land at People’s Park after fences were torn down, machinery destroyed, and riot police pushed out of the park on August 3rd. Upcoming events are being planned and mutual aid groups are collecting supplies.
Standing in solidarity with the @defendATLforest here in the South Philly Meadows. The city wants to pave over these beautiful meadows, we cannot allow this to happen. #savethemeadows pic.twitter.com/JrWCtdoKub
— worm buxx (@kayteterry) August 23, 2022
In Philadelphia, anger is growing at a new development project that threatens the South Philly Meadows, a former golf course that has been reclaimed by nature. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Philadelphia Police are investigating the vandalism of construction equipment at FDR Park, where crews broke ground this week on a controversial project to create a 33-acre wetland. Police responded to the incident, which involved damage to a Bobcat and digging excavator, Thursday morning. In addition to graffiti and broken wires, police said sugar was poured into a tank. No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing. The incident comes as some park users are mobilizing to oppose the project…The Philadelphia International Airport is funding the project to offset any wetlands and waterways affected by its air cargo facilities expansion.
Banners went up in solidarity with the fight against Cop City in the Atlanta forest. From Scenes from the Atlanta Forest:
Banners went up in the trees in South Philly’s FDR Meadows, where nearly 200 acres of wetlands and meadows, which serve as habitat for endangered migrating monarch butterflies and many other species of wildlife, are threatened by the city’s plans to bury the earth in astroturf for more sports fields and other capitalist ventures. Public outcry in Philadelphia has already forced the city to compromise on their original plans, but we will accept no compromise in defense of the meadows and monarchs. Solidarity from Philadelphia to Atlanta. We live here.
For more information, check out Save the Meadows.
Yesterday was day 100 of our peaceful, nonviolent civil disobedience. We remain at Parker bringing attention to the violence of school closures and how they destroy the social fabric of community. Don’t let OUSD fool you; we are guided by love and hope for a more just world pic.twitter.com/SD9d62vtdo
— Parker For The People (@saveparker510) September 2, 2022
Students and community members are celebrating over 100 days of taking over and self-managing Parker Elementary in East Oakland, a school which the Oakland Unified School District has scheduled for closure. Curriculum, classes, events and programs have been organized through the occupied school over the past 100 days as parents, former staff, and supporters fight to push the district to reopen.
Tree-sit in Northern California with banner in solidarity with struggle at People’s Park in Berkeley
In Northern California, forest defenders in the Mattole forest are calling for support, writing on Instagram:
A year ago, @pacificgasandelectric sent a small army…into @humboldtredwoodsstatepark. Hundreds of folks showed up to protect the trees, ✨every day for five months✨. Almost all of the late seral and old growth trees they had targeted are still standing!
Cutting was suspended over the spring and summer, but now it’s likely that they’ll return to the park within the next few weeks, and folks in the Mattole are mobilizing to resist another onslaught – they need folks willing to come and stand with the forest!
Follow @treesittersunion.local707 for more info/updates
Email [email protected] to get involved – on the ground support is needed now and likely through the rest of the year.
Struggle for Reproductive Freedom
The comrades from Jane's Revenge put up some radical artwork at the Bethlehem House Pregnancy Care Center (a so-called "crisis pregnancy center" which is just a fake clinic run by anti-choice religious fanatics) in Easthampton, MA.
— Ash J (@AshAgony) August 19, 2022
James Revenge targeted an anti-abortion center in Easthampton, MA, releasing a communique on Abolition Media stating:
In the early morning of August 18th, the Bethlehem House, an anti-abortion center in so-called Easthampton, MA, was paid a visit by community members who condemn its fascistic Christian, patriarchal violence toward pregnant people. The Bethlehem House hides behind a facade of “non-judgemental” and free resources for pregnant people, while working diligently to spread the anti-abortion agenda. They lie to and mislead pregnant people in order to prevent them from accessing abortions. Fuck CPCs and their coercive tactics that threaten medical and bodily autonomy.
The forced pregnancy center was decorated with brilliant red paint splatters. Words spray painted onto the sidewalk and benches nearby read, “If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you!” and “Jane’s Revenge.”
These should be on the shelf already. FTFY pic.twitter.com/vw9pmosyks
— Dr. Mixæl S Laufer (@MichaelSLaufer) September 1, 2022
According to the Four Thieves Vinegar Collective:
On the eve of the anniversary of implementation of Texa’s “Heartbeat” Law (SB8), Four Thieves Vinegar Collective has released thousands of free Abortion Cards in 20 states in a follow up to the overturning of Roe v. Wade just over two months ago. Their release of the ‘DIY Abortion Pill’ video last year in response to the SB8 going into effect redoubled their efforts to provide reproductive medicine and autonomy to vulnerable populations across the U.S.
Check out our podcast interview with someone from the group here.
Last Saturday in Modesto, California, hundreds of antifascists, anti-racists, and counter-protesters converged to shut down a white nationalist organized, “Straight Pride” rally in front of a Planned Parenthood building. Over 250 counter-protesters held the space for hours and pushed out a half dozen Proud Boys who attempted to attack the crowd. In response, riot police attacked the crowed with projectiles after declaring an unlawful assembly. While the far-Right rally was shut down, a small group of less than 30 Proud Boys and Christian Nationalists rallied in front of a different reproductive health clinic where they were pelted with eggs and attempted to attack journalists with Left Coast Right Watch.
Over 250 people shut down the white nationalist "Straight Pride" rally today in #Modesto in front of Planned Parenthood. Police attacked the crowd with projectile weapons, injuring several, after it successfully repelled an attack by a small group of Proud Boys. pic.twitter.com/1snmjIcq5i
— OFF THE 99 (@Off_The_99) August 28, 2022
On Sunday in Roanoke, Texas, members of the Elm Fork John Brown Gun Club provided armed security outside of a drag brunch event at a restaurant. Journalist Steven Monacelli noted that far-Right counter-protesters, which included self-described “Christian fascists,” were outnumbered and despite attempts at provoking armed antifascists, were not successful in carrying out any acts of violence. Members of the John Brown Gun Club helped to de-escalate conflicts and walked community members back to their cars. The story of armed ‘antifa’ protecting a drag event quickly spread across the far-Right media eco-system, while many applauded those who “defended” the event.
This is what the grifter-Right is freaking out about this week.
Walking families back to their cars. https://t.co/Ld0jfxo3Z4
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) August 30, 2022
In Southern California, antifascists also destroyed and took down a “White Lives Matter” banner from an overpass and confronted one neo-Nazi who took down a “Nazis Not Welcome” banner.
Thanks for the free banner. It belongs to CVA now. We are everywhere. Removed from Lakeview Canyon Rd overpass at the 101 in Westlake. #FCKNZS @LCRWnews @IGD_News @VPS_Reports @chadloder @PacAntifa @canyonmod @SVAnarchistCol pic.twitter.com/lQv2beVLq9
— Conejo Valley Antifascists (@CAntifascists) August 20, 2022
Over 100 students at Grapevine High School in Texas walked out against ongoing attacks on queer and trans youth, including new homophobic and transphobic rules around bathrooms, books, and sports.
Texas school district funding is in part tied to attendance. One student organizer of the walkout tells me they are targeting that funding on purpose. Over a hundred students have walked out at GHS in opposition to the "Don't Say Trans" policy recently passed in the district.
— steven monacelli, libel law understander (@stevanzetti) August 26, 2022
— Goad Gatsby (@GoadGatsby) August 31, 2022
On Wednesday, police cars in a parking garage in Richmond, Virginia were vandalized with slogans reading “ACAB” and “bastards.”
— Comrade Ohio (@ComradeOhio) August 29, 2022
A banner was dropped in Akron, Ohio reading “Justice for Jayland Walker,” as anger over his killing continues.
Protesters stop traffic in downtown Tucson as they seek justice and clarity on the spate of deaths in Pima County Jail.
— John Washington (@jbwashing) August 28, 2022
In Tucson, Arizona, people hit the streets in protest of ongoing deaths in the Pima County jail, where in the past year, more than a dozen people have died.
March tonight in #Denver, after police shot "three victims…on July 17 while shooting at man…because they believed he was armed. The officers shot the man, Jordan Waddy, as he threw a gun to the ground. Police injured six bystanders standing nearby." https://t.co/FhXAdQkWxu https://t.co/x3Nxiumv0u
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) August 21, 2022
In Denver, Colorado, people took to the streets in protest of a mass police shooting, which occurred after police opened fire and injured several pedestrians on a busy city street after shooting at a man they thought was armed.
Puerto Rico Fights Back
Protests and riots broke out against “LUMA Energy, the public-private American-Canadian company that controls the distribution and maintenance of Puerto Rico’s electrical grid,” as people demanded that the company contract be canceled in the face of rising costs and continued blackouts. Protests flooded into Old San Juan, leading to clashes with the police, who violently attacked protesters and journalists with projectiles.
— Cooperation Jackson (@CooperationJXN) August 31, 2022
In Jackson, Mississippi, Cooperation Jackson is mobilizing in the face of massive flooding and the failure of infrastructure. From their website:
Due to climate change and decades of neglect of our cities infrastructure, critical portions of Jackson have flooded and incapacitated our cities water treatment facilities. As a result, the entire city is without drinking water and it is not clear when the system is going to be repaired and water access restored.
The Governor has declared a state of emergency and is deploying the national guard to supply water to the residents of Jackson. However, to ensure that aid is delivered directly to the people of our community in West Jackson, we are engaging in an autonomous relief effort to ensure that the homeless, the elderly, and those with limited transportation in our community get the resources they need.
We are asking all of our friends, comrades, and fellow cooperators to join us in the effort. Please donate generously at https://cooperationjackson.org/donate. Please spread the word to your family and friends and encourage them to donate.
If you or your organization are able to deliver pallets of water, we welcome that as well. Please contact us at [email protected] to coordinate or call 601.355.7224.
- September 3rd (4th Rain Date): Halifax Anarchist Bookfair. More info here.
- September 10th and 11th: New York City Anarchist Bookfair. La Plaza Community Garden (10th) and virtually (11th). More info here.
- September 10th: Running Down the Walls, Cook County Jail, Chicago, IL. More info here.
- September 11th: Austin Anarchist Bookfair! More info here.
- September 11th: Running Down the Walls, Philadelphia, PA. More info here.
- September 17th: Running Down the Walls, Austin, TX. More info here.
- September 17th: Running Down the Walls, Richmond, VA. More info here.
- September 18th: Running Down the Walls, Portland, OR. More info here.
- September 18th: Running Down the Walls, Brooklyn, NY. More info here.
- September 18th: Running Down the Walls, St. Lowell, MA. More info here.
- September 18th: Pushing Down the Walls, Southern California. Benefit for political prisoners. More info here.
- September 24th-25th: Victoria Anarchist Bookfair. More info here.
- October 15th: Radical Atlanta Bookfair. More info here.
It’s Going Down
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