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Jul 10, 18

This Is America #18: SF Attacks #OccupyICE, Anti-Antifa Bill

Cover photo from Demand Utopia

Welcome, to This Is America, July 10th, 2018.

In this episode we cover the headlines, and also hear from Juan about the recent eviction of #OccupyICESF. But first, let’s get to the news.

Trump That Regime

Tuesday, the Cheeto in chief was supposed to have reunited over 100 undocumented children with their parents; those who were separated under the “Zero Tolerance” policy. However, according to Think Progress, so far only 2 have been brought back together with their folks. According to their article:

The government admitted last week it didn’t know how many children it separated from their parents, but suspects no more than 3,000 children. Officials said they hadn’t thoroughly documented which child belongs to which parent and as such had to swab the cheeks of children in the custody of Health and Human Services (HHS) and parents in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to confirm biological relationships through DNA testing.

On Friday:

Vice President Mike Pence gave a televised address at ICE headquarters… calling the American immigration Gestapo “American heroes” and proclaiming: “We will never abolish ICE.” He denounced those who are demanding the agency’s abolition, stating: “The American people have a right to their opinions, but these spurious attacks on ICE by our political leaders must stop. The type of language that’s being used to describe the men and women in this agency and the work that you do every day is unacceptable.”

A Memphis based journalist is locked up inside an ICE facility in Louisiana after covering an ICE protest and publishing stories showing local police and ICE working closely together, despite sanctuary city policies on the books. After being arrested at a protest, Manuel Duran was then arrested by ICE. According to an article in The Daily Beast:

Duran believes his arrest wasn’t over a simple hazard, but that he was targeted for his coverage of the Memphis Police Department in Memphis Noticias, the online publication he founded. Duran told The Daily Beast, in an interview conducted in Spanish, that he was “without a doubt” arrested for his journalism.

On Monday, Trump nominated Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, who worked with the George W. Bush administration, to the supreme court. According to the New York Times:

Justice Kennedy, who is retiring, held the swing vote in many closely divided cases on issues like abortion, affirmative action, gay rights and the death penalty. Replacing him with a committed conservative, who could potentially serve for decades, will fundamentally alter the balance of the court and put dozens of precedents at risk.

In California, as wildfires rage ahead of schedule, The Washington Post reported in the Southern part of the state:

Temperatures shot up over 110 degrees in Southern California on Friday, obliterating all kinds of long-standing heat records, and the lights went out for tens of thousands of customers. Californians were powerless, without air conditioning, in the hottest weather many had ever experienced.

A pro-Trump New York Republican has introduced a bill called the “Unmasking Antifa” law that would make it a crime punishable of up to 15 years, to wear a mask and “while in disguise, including while wearing a mask, injures, oppresses, threatens, or intimidates any person…in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution.” The bill, which rules out being used against police, also states that anyone who destroys property with a mask on can get up to 2 years in prison.

The bill is being put in motion by Daniel Donovan, a Republican most known (while working as the DA of Staten Island) for refusing to release the transcripts of the grand jury that investigated Eric Garner’s death. It seems for those in power, they always get their masks, their privacy, and as always, their protections from the poor.

But while very few bills that are put into motion are ever passed, and we hope that civil liberties groups take on the fight against this attempt at naked political repression, we should also seize this moment to remind people that the vast majority of political violence in this country is carried out by the far-Right against the public at large, and not those hoping to defend against it.

The fact that far-Right Republicans are looking to secure #MAGA points by criminalizing those that would stand up to the Alt-Right is scary, but it is also something that we can easily rally a large segment of the population against – and we should.

Lastly, David Hogg, who the Right has long hated and vilified as the son of an FBI agent that has pushed openly for gun control after the Parkland Massacre, where a pro-Trump Alt-Right troll with swastikas etched into his gun murdered 17 students, posed with members of the Proud Boys, including their white nationalist lawyer, Jason Van Dyke.

Van Dyke was once a part of the “Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas” super group which included Richard Spencer, Augustus Invictus, and Mike “Enoch” Peinovich, all from Unite the Right, before it self-imploded when Kyle Bristow, the main attorney behind it, attempted to leave the lime light in the run up to Richard Spencer’s speaking event in Michigan in March of 2018. Van Dyke drew attention last year when according to the Huffington Post he was “suspended from Twitter for threatening to kill a “f**king n****r” as well as an entire family,” and launched a series of lawsuits against anyone that referred to the Proud Boys as neo-Nazis, Alt-Right, or white nationalists. Gee, where would they get that idea?

The snugglin up of the Proud Boys with the likes of Hogg shows that what the far-Right wants more than anything is to both to enter into the mainstream, but also to grab a hold of the State itself. Meanwhile, Centrists want to appear to be able to bring the far-Right to the table, and make them “a part of the conversation.” History has shown, just where this ends.

The State Moves Against #OccupyICE

  • In Portland today, police attempted to remove barricades in one of the camping areas, however they were pushed back those at the occupation. Several arrests were made. Meanwhile, the hunger-strike continues.

  • In Tacoma, police have been attempting to keep people from camping, but demos and meetings continue.
  • In San Francisco, police were successful in clearing a vibrant and militant encampment. A few days before the raid, it had been announced that the occupation was successful in stopping deportations in Northern California. It remains to be seen what the next moves are. See our interview with someone on the ground in SF later in this podcast for more information.

  • In Los Angeles, the encampment continues.

  • The occupation in Louisville continues. This weekend, hundreds of people showed up to confront a small group of militia groups who were joined by KKK members, leading to an internal fight. At the end of the day, the far-Right was vastly outnumbered while the encampment was strengthened.
  • In Philadelphia, the occupation out in front of City Hall continues.

  • In Charlotte, on Monday organizers announced the end of the occupation.
  • In New York, the encampment continues, however the NYPD is attempting to harass people out of the parks at night time.

Until next time, we will see you soon!

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