This Is America #34: UPS Strike, JTTF & Klan – Hand in Hand

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Welcome, to This Is America, October 8th, 2018.

In this episode we bring you two interviews, the first, with a rank-n-file worker at UPS, who will discuss the current situation at their workplace which currently is escalating, as workers have voted down a sell-out contract and prepare to strike, while their union has attempted to ratify it.

Next, we talk to someone in North Carolina, about a developing situation, where local police that have built a career off of surveilling anarchists and antifascists have been shown to be the handlers of an informant within one of the largest KKK groups in the South. We discuss the Greensboro Massacre and its historical implications as well as what this news means for the present day.

But first, let’s get to some headlines!

Trump That Regime

This Saturday, Brett Kavanaugh, the most unpopular Supreme Court nominee in modern history was narrowly (in a vote 50 to 48) sworn into office during a ceremony closed to the press, as protesters rallied on the steps of the US capitol, having pushed passed police barricades, at times disrupting the spectacle. As DC Direct Action News wrote:

[As t]he US Senate voted to confirm [Kavanaugh] by a 50-48 margin, the vote was interrupted by protesters who Vice President Mike Pence himself tried to gavel into silence. Outside, a mass protest occupied the East Steps of the US Capitol. At times the sound of public fury was deafening. The occupation of the Capitol East Steps began with a quick march-in from the East Lawn that got through a failed police attempt to keep them from reaching the steps.

The response from centrist and DNC aligned institutions to Kavanaugh’s appointment, such as outlets like the Washginton Post, has largely been that of rubbing one’s hands together, afraid that the continued chauvinism of elite institutions being exposed as rubber-stamp mills for the rich and powerful will continue to alienate the poor and working class. They are afraid that as more people see how the sausage of capitalist democracy is made, they won’t have the stomach for it anymore. Meanwhile, the Right celebrates that it has again, on levels not seen since 2016, been successful in “triggering the libs,” as anger rises within the largest segment of the population, not represented or spoken for by any political party, against a growing backdrop of economic crisis, festering inequality, ecological collapse, and crippling poverty.

Just in the last month, we’ve seen more and more examples of the “social contract” breaking down. Just this week, it was revealed in a New York Times expose that Donald Trump relied heavily on both multiple gifts of hundreds of millions of dollars to keep the family’s economic empire float. Moreover, through a variety of dirty tricks, the Trump family was able to evade various taxes and fines, as well as get way with doing any sort of jail time that those of a lesser status would have rotted in prison for.

This reality spits in the face of the image of the “poor man’s billionaire” that pulled himself up by his bootstraps with only a “small loan from his father” into a “walking” example of the American dream. Trump is what we’ve always known him to be, a three times over trust fund man-baby racist, who has used his wealth and power and connections to organized crime and politicians to get to where he is now, silencing those he has attacked and raped along the way with threats of violence or simply shutting them up with cash.

Then there’s also the fact, made clear in the release of recent documents, that the Trump administration views the problem of global warming as simply unavoidable, so we might as well burn as much fossil fuels as we can – because, fuck it right?

Never before has the fact that the emperor wears no clothes been more clear, and it is because of this reality that each side of the political elites is seemingly shifting more and more to the fringes, with Trump speaking exclusively to his base and calling the Democrats “rioters” and an “out of control” mob, while Obama openly backs DSA candidates and talks positively of former fringe ideas, like Universal Basic Income.

But all of these ploys are simply just attempts at keeping the system intact and solidifying people’s belief in it. The problem for them is, as crisis grows and people’s standard of living decreases in the face of massive inequality, so to does class struggle. Already, we’ve seen more strikes this year than in many years prior, a large scale prison strike, and growing clashes in the streets with the authorities over ICE, police shootings, and open collusion with the far-Right. As more and more people see the power of the regime solidifying in both naked repression and the auxiliary force of the far-Right, while also consolidating our wealth through tax cuts on the wealthy and corporations and continued deregulation, globalization, automation, and financialization – something has got to give.

The question is, as tension mounts – will we organize ourselves to build up our own power and fight back, or will we continue to chase the crumbs thrown to us by the elites, be they either in the hopes that piecemeal reforms will be enough to quell revolt, or ideological ones, which attempt to re-cement our faith in the system.

In that spirit, let’s get to the news.

Living and Fighting

  • Banner drops took place in Boone, NC, in Chicago, and South Bend, Indiana.
  • On October 5th, in so-called British Columbia, in the wake of continued police and fascist attacks on houseless encampments, a collection of poor and working-class settlers and Natives take over an abandoned school, dropping banners that say “Fight 4 Homes,” and “Fight 4 Justice.” Police and fascists with the Soldiers of Odin show up in the parking lot. The occupation lasts until the next morning, and police make several arrests.
  • Protests took place in Chicago in the lead up to Jason Van Dyke’s trial. After the verdict of second degree murder was read, people took to the streets.
  • Over the next two days, protests, blockades, and marches take place in Seattle, Austin, New York, DC, and Oakland against Kavanaugh.
  • In Providence, Rhode Island, over 150 antifascists turned out to shout down a rally organized by neo-Nazis in “Resist Marxism” which was joined by groups such as American Guard, the Proud Boys, and Patriot Prayer from Washington. Fascists are late to arrive and police attempted to keep each side separated, but Tiny from Patriot Prayer towards the end initiated a fight, but was beaten back by antifascists. Many fascists and police are sprayed with paint out of a fire extinguisher.
  • In Seattle, Washington, members of the General Defense Committee (GDC) of Seattle along with other anarchists and antifascists rallied outside of Boeing which employees a member of the Proud Boys, Nick Boling.
  • On October 7th, members of John Brown Gun Club and others in Tacoma, Washington again rallied against a tattoo parlor owned by neo-Nazis.
  • In Montreal, upwards of 5,000 people mobilized against racism, the far-Right, and the new anti-immigrant Trumpian government.
  • On October 8th, the trial for the Vaughn 17 began, and people rallied in front of the court house with banners and free food from Food Not Bombs. Banners were also dropped.
  • Comrades participated in a variety of activities on Indigenous People’s Day, from the front lines of pipeline struggles, to marches and banner drops.

Upcoming Events:

  • Monday, October 8th: Trial for the Vaughn 17 begins. The first trial will begin at the Leonard L. Williams Justice Center in Wilmington, DE. More info here.
  • October 10th – November 20th: Catch the Mutual Aid Disaster Tour traveling the country! Tour dates here.
  • October 10th – 12th: “Strike Against Kavanaugh” actions across the US. More info here.
  • October 15th – 18th: Anti-Colonial Land Defense Action Camp in NW Lake Superior Bio-region. Apply or ask questions at: allcoloniesareburning@riseup.net.
  • October 19th – 22nd: Gathering in West Virginia to discuss ongoing resistance to pipelines in Appalachia.
  • Saturday, October 20th: Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the LA chapter of the Anarchist Black Cross federation. Going down in La Puente, CA.
  • Tuesday, October 23rd: Call to action against Turning Point USA. CSU-Long Beach, 7 PM. More info here.
  • October 31st to November 4th: National Lawyers Guild (NLG) conference in Portland, Oregon. More info here.

 

 


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