This Is America #28: Occupy #PrisonStrike, Mexico City Explodes

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Welcome, to This Is America, September 5th, 2018.

There’s a lot of news to cover since our last update. In this episode, we caught up with someone from Gainesville IWOC who reported on the ground from outside a prison work camp in Florida, as an encampment in solidarity with the #PrisonStrike had just kicked off.

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

Living and Fighting:

  • The week of action in support of the ancient Mattole forest in Northern California was a success with various rallies, the last of which almost ended in a logging truck driver running over a protester. Luckily, no one was hurt. Be sure to check Blockade Babes for updates on the struggle.
  • There is a bunch of #PrisonStrike updates, which you can see on our itsgoingdown.org/prisonstrike tab, with lots of news of actions happening on both sides of the prison walls, as well as lots of great upcoming events.
  • Northwest Detention Center Resistance Reports that ICE officials are threatening to force feed #PrisonStrike hunger strikers. Calls are needed now to tell the GEO run prison to back off!
  • In Virginia, two new tree sits have gone up in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Be sure to check Appalachians Against Pipelines on social media and check out their latest action report on It’s Going Down.
  • Water protectors in Louisiana are in need of back up as well as financial help in the form of bail money, as well as phone calls. In the last few days, Energy Transfer Partners along with local police have made a series of brutal and violent arrests against the L’eau Est La Vie camp, even though protesters have been on private land and have the expressed consent of the owner to be there. Despite this, Water Protectors including indigenous elder Cherri Foytlin have been arrested. Please, take a moment to make calls in support of the fight to stop the Bayou Bridge pipeline.
  • Scott Greer has become the latest “conservative” to be fired for his ties to neo-Nazis and the Alt-Right. Greer recently resigned from Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller after it came out that he used to write for Richard Spencer’s publication Radix, which argued for an all white ethno-state.
  • Today, over 200 people rallied in Chicago at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse for the start of the Jason Van Dyke trial. Dyke is on trial for the murder of Laquan McDonald.

Couple dozen rent strikers had eviction hearings at the LTB today. Rather than negotiate, landlord InterRent wants to evict people from their homes, incl. many seniors and a family with a 3-week-old baby. InterRent so scared they called the cops while we having our rally. Shame!

  • There is a call for monetary support of Mapache, who was arrested in San Antonio while protesting ICE as part of a wider encampment. To donate, go here. The fundraiser writes:

Sergio, known to his friends as Mapache, is an active and well-loved member of the San Antonio community. Mapache recently graduated high school and dreams of using the medium of film to advocate for social awareness. Mapache is also a DACA recipient.

On August 3rd, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unjustly arrested Mapache and sent him first to Pearsall Detention Center, and then to Webb County Detention Facility in Laredo, Texas. His friends and family did not know where he was. This was a nightmare come true for Mapache’s loved ones.

Mapache is still being held at Webb County while his case progresses. This is an 18-year-old person who was attempting to renew his DACA and was unexpectedly snatched from his life.

Abolish ICE San Antonio recently held a block party and support rally for Mapache. They wrote of the event on Instagram:

Much love to all of the comrades and artists that came through to celebrate with us. Attached below is a poem, written by our comrade and friend Mapache. Mapache is currently incarcerated at Webb Detention Center in Laredo, Texas, after ICE kidnapped him nearly a month ago. We got to speak to him and show him the love and support that he has behind him yesterday.

Check out the poem here.

  • In Mexico City, after “porros,” or young people paid to attack and break up student and autonomous protests, threw Molotov cocktails at a demonstration on campus, students responded by holding a series protests and assemblies. From an IGD correspondent in Mexico:

“The porro attack is definitely backfiring. Massive assemblies yesterday…40 something schools going on strike. They’re doxxing the porros and there is video/photos showing the clear coordination between campus security. The energy could very well carry on and potentially explode as…the anniversary of Ayotzinapa [approaches].”

  • In Columbus, Ohio, people held a “pig roast” BBQ in solidarity with the prison strike.
  • On September 3rd, residents in so-called Edmonton held a demonstration against the white nationalist group, the Soldiers of Odin who were attempting to do outreach and pass out free food to the homeless. In the face of the mobilization, the smaller group of far-Right bullies quickly packed up and left. Ironically, only several weeks before in British Columbia, the Soldiers of Odin had threatened to attack and disband a series of homeless encampments, but were kicked off the streets by large community mobilizations.
  • Banner drops took place in Oakland, CA, Twin Cities, MN, and Des Moines, IW.
  • On September 1st, community members rallied against the KKK in Madison, Indiana. Only 10 Kluxer came out in the face of a much larger group of antiracists. Meanwhile in Houston, Texas, over 50 people faced off against about a dozen Proud Boys and militia members who came to protest an Islamic Conference.
  • Starting on September 1st, an encampment begins in Gainesville, Florida in solidarity with the #PrisonStrike outside of a prison work camp. Listen to our interview with someone at the encampment in this episode for more info. On the 4th day, Gainesville IWOC wrote, “We made a blockade to prevent crews from leaving this morning and were able to speak with some prisoners this morning who told us that everyone inside is thankful for our presence – we are here for you, solidarity forever!” Today people on the ground report threats from police and prison officials that prisoners would be used to tear down the encampment. One tweet stated:

Please call Mayor Lauren Poe at 352-334-5015 and tell her you support the occupation. They are threatening to have the PRISONERS tear down the camp.

  • Wobblies in Missoula, Montana issued a solidarity statement with a union of independent journalists who are under attack.

Missoula IWW stands with the Missoula Independent Union

Lee Enterprises has threatened to cut 3/4 of the Missoula Independent staff or shut the paper down entirely. This is not only an attack on journalism it is also a gratuitous abuse of workers. We stand in solidarity with the Missoula News Guild in full support of the Missoula Independent Union and their efforts to stop Lee Enterprises' corporate union busting tactics. #KeepMissoulaIndyShow your support for the Missoula Independent by coming to the Union Club Bar & Grill this Friday at 7pm.Event page: Support your Missoula Independent Union #AnInjuryToOneIsAnInjuryToAll #IWW #SolidarityForever

Posted by Missoula IWW General Membership Branch on Wednesday, September 5, 2018

  • In Washington state, more teachers are walking out on strike, while people wait to see if Tacoma teachers, who have voted to strike on Thursday, will also walk out, or if they will be joined by teachers in LA as well. Today, four more school districts walked out, as the teacher’s union bureaucrats attempt to keep the strike isolated and divided. The success of the strike and the degree of autonomy that it will have is now up to the teachers.

That is gonna do it for us this week, enjoy the interview, and see you next time!


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