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Aug 22, 18

This is America #26: #PrisonStrike Kicks Off, Sam is Silenced

Welcome, to This Is America, August 21st, 2018.

Today the prison strike kicked off. We’re not going to rehash everything that is already on It’s Going Down, however we will say that in the big picture like the 2016 strike, the prison bosses are keeping their lips sealed and saying that there are now disturbances or work stoppages, meanwhile, prisons in various states of been laces on lockdown as the strike has kicked off.

We know that the strike has spread into Canadian prisons in Nova Scotia, where prisoners have issued their own set of demands, as well as one immigrant detention facility in Tacoma, Washington, where today it was announced that prisoners there would launch hunger and work strikes in solidarity with the larger prison strike, and also issued their own set of demands. Meanwhile, on the streets across the US, people organized noise demonstrations, dropped banners, and wrote graffiti in solidarity with the prison strike.

To learn more about what is going on, we are now going to present two interviews, the first with anarchists in North Carolina who organized a rally in concert with striking prisoners, who in turn, organized a rally of their own on the prison yard. In response, prison officials have said that they will “bury” strike leaders, and calls to the prison are needed now more than ever. See our list of prisons where phone-zaps are needed and keep the pressure on.

Next, we will air an interview with someone from Oakland IWOC, who gives some context to the kick off for the strike, as well as some advice on how to proceed in the coming terrain.

We then here from someone in Austin, Texas about the recent antifascist mobilization that brought out hundreds. We’re also going to air an interview from over a week ago from someone in Providence, Rhode Island, about how their squad shut down a group of fascists in under thirty minutes.

But first, let’s get to the news.

Living and Fighting

  • Last night, a collection of anarchists, students, and community members brought the “Silent Sam” Confederate Statue at UNC crashing down. The toppling of the statue comes after many years of struggle, sabotage, and student mobilizations and encampments  – that have all pushed for the Confederate monument to be removed. See the recent article from CrimethInc. on IGD for a report back, and an over all analysis of the situation.

  • Multiple blockades went up at the Bristol County Jail against ICE in Massachusetts. Police responded by violently pulling people down off several protest tripods, causing them to fall.

  • According to Truthout, arrests continue in the fight to stop the Bayou Bridge pipeline, with Energy Transfer Partners making use of a new law that makes it a felony even to “trespass” on pipeline property. One article wrote:

Over the weekend, local police arrested a journalist and three Water Protectors protesting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline on private property in Louisiana’s rural St. Martin Parish, according to a press release from the L’eau Est La Vie Camp. Activists say the Water Protectors had permission to be on the property, where they had constructed a “sky-pod” blockade to prevent any further destruction of the land by pipeline construction. Police disregarded the landowners’ wishes on Saturday and arrested the Water Protectors, charging them with felony trespassing charges under Louisiana’s anti-protest law. Despite pressure from the company, the landowners have refused to sign a contract allowing pipeline construction on their property, but Bayou Bridge LLC began clearing ancient cypress trees and building the pipeline anyway, according to the release. “I am very much against the Bayou Bridge Pipeline endangering the Louisiana wetlands and possibly destroying not only the water, but the abundant wildlife in the area,” said Theda Wright, a landowner who gave the activists written permission to be on her property.

  • People took to the streets of LA, after a street vendor was picked up for deportation.

  • The resurrected #AbolishICE camp in San Antonio continues, as does #OccupyICE in Sacramento.

  • Motorcycle riders in the Boston area organized a “Ride Against Racism” after an African-American woman was the victim of a hate crime in a recent viral video.

  • On August 18th, white nationalist group the Soldiers of Odin announced that they would break up a homeless camp after the State lost an attempt in court to evict it. As Alliance Against Displacement wrote:

Yesterday, just four days after the Supreme Court of BC turned down the City of Nanaimo’s application for an enforcement order, the Soldiers of Odin posted on Facebook that they will “facilitate the removal of Discontent City”, due to the “inaction of the authorities” and “reports of child sex trafficking”, using the “rule of force”. They ask their supporters to stay away from the area for safety concerns. Though their page has since been taken down, likely due to their threats being reported, there is no reason to believe that they will not carry out their intentions.

Needless to say, the community turned out in support, and the fascists were a no-show at the camp.

  • Darren Beattie, a Trump speech writer is fired after it is found out that he spoke at a white nationalist conference alongside Richard Spencer several years ago.
  • Rowdy protests broke out in Chicago after a police chase led to the death of a a young African-American man.

  • In Richmond, Virginia, anarchists, antifascists, and community members rallied against a small amount of neo-Confederates while also holding a rally in solidarity with the prison strike.

  • Far-Right ass clowns with ‘Resist Marxism’ cancelled their rally in LA, however the John Brown Gun Club, who was mobilizing to oppose them, tabled and talked with members of the public about the need for community self-defense against rising far-Right violence anyway.

  • Big ups to everyone that came out to the General Defense Committee (GDC) conference, we heard that it was well attended!

  • The New River Tenants Union in Virginia has managed to get one slumlord to stop and clean up a series of water leaks; a problem that has plagued tenants for years. For the report, go here.
  • Mutual Aid Disaster Relief is hitting the road again, so please check their website to see where they are coming to soon.
  • People facing repression from the antifascist mobilization in Newnan, GA are in need of solidarity. More info here.
  • Here’s a story we might have missed. On August 4th, Act for America attempted to hold a rally in Philadelphia, however the event was confronted by antifascists. The event ended when the tires of one of the organizers were slashed.
  • The Phoenix Anarchy website is doing a weekly roundup of news as a column. Check it out here.
  • Police in DC came to the home of an Indymedia journalist, in response to a hit piece from The Daily Caller. As DC Direct Action News wrote:

Police backed away from the house after receiving a harsh refusal to cooperate, but they hung out in the street for maybe a half hour before leaving. The video in question is exceptionally ugly: the Daily Caller sent a videographer into the counterprotests, asking people what they would do if Trump was right in front of them. The Secret Service did not like the replies, but apparently could not recognize one or more of the folks targetted by the Daily Caller’s entrapment operation.

Until next time, enjoy the interviews!

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