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Nov 13, 22

This Is America #177: Fediverse Grows as Musk Tanks Twitter; Far-Right Beaten Back from Eugene to Penn State

Welcome, to This Is America, November 13th, 2022.

First, we speak with someone behind the Fediverse zine about the growth of Mastodon, the dumpster fire currently surrounding Twitter in the wake of billionaire Elon Musk taking over, and how anarchists are building up an alternative to the corporate platforms.

We then switch to our discussion, where we are joined by John Zerzan of Anarchy Radio, where we discuss everything from ocean die-offs to the proliferation of mass shootings.

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

Living and Fighting

Class War

As price gouging and the explosion in corporate profits continues to drive inflation, rent strikes by tenants and strikes by Starbucks workers and others continue across the so-called US, as education workers in Canada have launched a series of wildcat strikes and graduate student workers across the University of California system are set to strike next week.

Demonstrations in solidarity with houseless encampments and against evictions have also continued as the winter cold has set in. In Sacramento, community members have taken over a vacant lot after attempts by police to remove them, and have put up banners, begun sharing food, and are hosting events. Check out Camp Resolution for more info and come out to protest the scheduled eviction on November 16th.

Stop All Cop Cities

The fight to stop Cop City in Atlanta continues. In New York last month, people marched in solidarity with forest defenders and also protested outside of the home of an executive involved in the construction project which threatens the forest.

Meanwhile, on the ground, actions in so-called Atlanta and beyond continue. In Central Texas on Halloween, forest defenders paid a visit to Atlas CEO Lonnie Boyer, one of the construction firms central to Cop City’s development:

This Halloween, many creepy crawling trick-or-treaters braved the gated section of Austin’s Lake Pointe model community to plunder the candy coffers of Atlas CEO Lonnie Joe Boyer. Among them, this double creature feature, who left him a treat…There are so many of us in Central Texas and so few Atlas executives to haunt. We noticed a for sale sign. You can’t outrun your demons, Lonnie.

There is currently a call to support the Defend the Atlanta Forest movement, especially as winter approaches.

Meanwhile in so-called Michigan, police cars were vandalized, with a communique reading:

Solidarity from so-called Michigan! We’re facing our own cop city proposal in the form of a proposed expansion of Camp Grayling, the country’s largest national guard base.

We will not allow the police state to destroy forests in the name of expanding their powers of oppression!

No Cop Cities Anywhere!
Defend the Atlanta Forest!
Stop Camp Grayling!

Speaking of Michigan, there is also currently a tour across the Midwest and beyond about the growing struggle against Camp Grayling. Check out dates throughout November here.


Antifascist Action

Over the last two months, antifascist activity has picked up in pace, with people responding to rising attacks against the LGBTQ+ community, an attempts by far-Right figures such as Gavin McIness and Matt Walsh to hold public events and rallies. Folks are also pushing back against far-Right TERF groups, holding anti-trans rallies.

While this is by no means a complete roundup, here’s some highlights over the past few weeks:

  • In Texas, antifascist students and community members mobilized against far-Right and anti-trans troll Jeff Younger, who spoke at a Turning Point USA event at the University of Arlington. Protesters faced off against a small crowd of Proud Boys and white nationalists, chanting, “Transphobes go home!” Police ended the event early.

  • Antifascists across New York and New Jersey came out to defend a benefit show that was threatened by the Proud Boys. According to Idavox:

…When the neo-fascist Proud Boys threatened to come out to oppose the event, all that did was galvanize supporters even more. In the end the show featuring bands and artists…went on without any problems with the Proud Boys not even bothering to show up…Many came with their families – some even with pets – while antifascists from the New York/New Jersey area maintained security.

  • Antifascists in southern California held a week of action against fascism, following a wave of neo-Nazi activity. Antifascists dropped banners, put up stickers and posters, and wrote anti-fascist graffiti messages. Check out the full roundup here.

  • Antifascists mobilized in San Diego to defend a event for young trans people after far-Right groups threatened to hold a counter-protest.

  • Antifascists and members of the local community rallied in defense of an LGBTQ+ center in Orlando, Florida, after members of violent neo-Nazi groups and the Proud Boys threatened to hold a rally in front of the space.

  • In Portland, Oregon despite threats online by far-Right trolls, antifascists held a successful forum and speaking event at a local bookstore.

  • In Tacoma, Washington, local high school students shut down a far-Right, anti-trans event organized by TERFs.

  • In Davis, California, antifascists bravely protected a larger rally protesting a Turning Point USA event on the UC Davis campus. Antifascists held back around half a dozen Proud Boys from attacking protesters; clashing for around 20 minutes, causing the event to be shut down.

  • Supporters of the LGBTQ+ community rallied against gender fascist Matt Walsh, at the University of Wisconsin.

  • At Penn State, a talk by millionaire neo-fascist and founder of the Proud Boys, Gavin McInnes was shut down by a massive protest of antifascist students and community members. Proud Boys attempted to attack the group with pepper-spray, but were ejected from the crowd. McInnes would later state after having a police escort off campus, “Antifa won this round.

  • In Eugene, Oregon, hundreds turned out to oppose Proud Boys and neo-Nazis, and defend a community drag event at a local pub. Antifascists helped protect the space from attempts by the far-Right to attack the crowd and eventually sent the fascists running to the cars.

  • In Nashville, Tennessee, community members turned out to protest gender fascist Matt Walsh.

  • In South Bend, Indiana, community members mobilized to defend a community drag event against the Proud Boys. Chicago Free Media reported, “The community defense numbers have swelled considerably as more folks arrive. People are dancing and drumming on pots and pans, outnumbering the bigots across the road, 4:1.

Repression and Solidarity

  • An antifascist arrested at a protest in San Diego several years ago has now been sentenced to almost 5 years in prison. The person is also trans and is being sent to a men’s facility. According to their partner, they have already been assaulted while in custody while awaiting trial. Charges stem from a counter-protest to a far-Right rally only several days after the attempted pro-Trump coup in Washington DC, where antifascists in San Diego faced off with violent white nationalists and Proud Boys, none of which were arrested or revived any charges. Several more protesters from that day still face charges, which “range from [possible] probation to more than 10 years behind bars.”

  • The Rhizome House in Cleveland Heights, Ohio is currently seeking monthly supporters to help their space grow and expand. Check out their project and how to support, here.

Upcoming Events

  • November 12th-13th: Boston Anarchist Bookfair. More info here.
  • November 14th: Mobilization against an anti-trans speaking tour. 12 PM, City Hall Park, NYC. More info here.
  • November 15th: Discussion on Abolition and Anarchism. Featuring Harsha Walia, William Anderson, Gord Hill, and Dean Spade. Online event. More info here.
  • November 18th-20th: Oppose White Supremacist American Renaissance Conference. Montgomery Bell State Park, Burns, TN.
  • November 24th: No Thanks! No Giving! An online event to benefit Indigenous Action & Táala Hooghan Infoshop. More info here.
  • November 29th: Seattle Mutual Aid Fair. Cal Anderson Park. 11th and Olive at Black Lives Memorial Garden. 4 – 8 PM.
  • November 29th: Cindy Milstein speaks at Firestorm in Asheville, NC. More info here.
  • May 2023: Healthcare Autonomy Conference. Durham, NC. More info here.

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