This Is America #35: Hurricane Michael & Proud Boys Attack
Filed under: Anarchist Movement, Featured, Interviews, Radio/Podcast, This is America
Filed under: Anarchist Movement, Featured, Interviews, Radio/Podcast, This is America
Welcome, to This Is America, October 15th, 2018.
We have an action packed show for you today. First, we’re going to bring you an interview straight out of Tallahassee, Florida, where Pearson, one of the hosts of Coffee With Comrades will discuss autonomous disaster relief efforts in their area in the wake of Hurricane Michael. Be sure to check out a longer interview they also just completed with The Final Straw.
We then will talk with someone from Mutual Aid Disaster Relief about autonomous relief happening in the panhandle of Florida, the area hit hardest and which is almost totally devastated by the storm. They discuss how landlords are already evicting people from homes that are suffering from water damage, leaving people with no place to go, and how, despite statements to the contrary, ICE is out in force on the streets.
The American Empire is in fierce decline. The global economic system is on the brink of full-scale collapse. We have yet to recover from the ’08 recession and experts predict the next economic crisis is just around the corner. Anthropogenic climate change is currently overturning the apparatuses of neoliberalism, fomenting the rise of full-scale fascism. As capitalist countries and corporations continue to exploit the global south for its resources, arable land shrinks and regions of the planet become inhospitable to human life. The far-right has their response ready: blame the immigrants and refugees, scapegoat people of color, and build an ethnostate devoted to patriarchy and white supremacy.
Hurricane Michael is not a warning, it is a promise. This Category 4 storm reveals the limits of neoliberalism and the perils of our contemporary moment. We sit on a precipice, teetering on the very brink. As anthropogenic climate change accelerates the collapse of state infrastructure, working class and marginalized people are stranded in the mires of dehydration, starvation, addiction, and homelessness.
If we truly believe in the project of creating a better world, then we must possess the humility to shed our ideological purity in efforts to meet the material needs of human beings. We need to get offline and be organizing in the streets, practicing communication that centers those impacted by ecological crisis while simultaneously responding in an egalitarian manner than prizes consensus and snuffs out hierarchy and bureaucracy. Urgency is just as essential as strategy in the midst of these crises. These are just a handful of the lessons we’ve learned mobilizing for disaster relief here on the ground.
As the state cedes zones and territory to collapse—as it has in Flint, Michigan and in Puerto Rico—we find opportunities to build new forms of community and fellowship in the ashes. We can flee, retreat, abdicate our responsibility to ourselves and to one another. Or we can recognize that it is the obligation of those who have everything to help those who have nothing. The maxim “From each according to their ability; to each according to their need” is not a trite axiom. We must develop robust ways to protect and defend one another if we are to survive.
We are then are joined by the journalist Shay Horse from New York, as they discuss what happened in the streets this weekend as members of the Proud Boys brutally beat people on the streets after a GOP event where Gavin McInness spoke.
This is such horseshit that’s gonna get sued into oblivion. https://t.co/ighjnusc7X
— Shay Horse (@HuntedHorse) October 15, 2018
Lastly, we catch up with some people behind the new publication, Commune, and talk about why they are launching a brand new print publication and website.
— Commune (@commune_mag) October 15, 2018
But first, let’s get to the news.
— Chris Williams (@ChrisW_SpecNews) October 9, 2018
Sitting behind glass in a gray sweatshirt underneath a dark blue prison shirt on Sunday, the detainee looked gaunt and pale. He asked to remain anonymous for fear of persecution and retaliation from the Russian government, though his act of defiance demands attention. He has been participating in a hunger strike for what was then 47 days — one of the longest hunger strikes in the recent history of the Tacoma detention center.
“I will never go back,” the detainee told Meng. “What is waiting for me is jail. They already accused me of treason. It’s punishable by firing squad. … I would prefer to die on this soil than go back to Russia.” Through a Russian interpreter, he explained to a Crosscut reporter that back home, Russian skinheads had beaten and threatened him.
— StrikeAgainstKavanaugh (@kavanaughstrike) October 10, 2018
Today Carmela Hernandez left the Philadelphia church where she had been taking sanctuary from ICE deportation. She is sitting in at PA Senator Bob Casey’s office demanding the Casey use his power to allow her family to remain in the USA. Several dozen supporters are in the lobby.
Charges dismissed in a #Minnesota criminal case stemming from #ValveTurners Emily Johnston, Annette Klapstein, & their support person Ben Joldersma 10/11/16 action that shut down #tarsands oil from flowing through two Enbridge pipelines. https://t.co/zrQECUs3MB
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) October 10, 2018
Birmingham, Alabama does not like the white nationalists of Identity Evropa. pic.twitter.com/GgDID1uiFv
— Atlanta Antifascists (@afainatl) October 11, 2018
A judge on Friday ordered federal prosecutors to disclose whether they had an arrangement with James O’Keefe’s right-wing activist group Project Veritas to conceal the group’s identity in using secret recordings of protest-planning meetings before President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
It has been 38 days. 38 amazing, inspiring, life altering, resistance fueled days. I’ve learned and experienced so much.
I have learned not to underestimate the impact that one action can have.
I have learned that we’re strongest when we support and lean on one another. We are not in this alone.
I have learned that no matter how impossible or absurd something seems, we are capable of so much more than we realize.
After 38 days I have decided to come down. When I first climbed up here I wasn’t sure how long I could last, but I was driven to endure for as long as possible. But then the day came and went when we reached that one month mark… and then even surpassed that! And MVP has left us alone… for now.
Throughout this blockade, we have persisted through a hurricane, high winds, rain, and MVP cutting trees too close to our traverse lines. I have learned and experienced so much in the form of books and visitors and simply being a part of the forest. There were some days that I just sat and watched birds from my platform as they flew from tree to tree and interacted with each other, oblivious to the danger that lurked just over the ridge line.
If there is only one thing that I take away from this whole experience, it is that we can find strength through the relationships we forge along the way. Visitors hiked up here in the wind and rain to bring us supplies. During a hurricane and on their only days off, people were here.
During my hardest days, I found strength in the moments when I least expected it. It was in the children playing in the stream at the bottom of the hill, it was in the musicians who played us music on dreary days, and it was in the countless visitors who shouted up at us that our blockade gave them hope.
It is important to recognize that this is a collective struggle and therefore it will take a collective effort in order to overcome the hurdles we’re up against. This is not something that we as individuals can accomplish alone. We are stronger when we work together.
It is equally as important to recognize when it’s time to make decisions with our health and wellbeing in mind. We cannot take on all of these burdens ourselves and sometimes we must admit to ourselves that what is best for us, and for everyone else, may not be what most aligns with our egos. I felt for the longest time that I had to stay up here as long as humanly possible, to push myself even if that meant going past the point of what would be good for me and my personal health.
But that benefits no one.
A message I received from a friend recently provided me with some much needed wisdom when I was struggling with the decision to come down, “Take care of yourself. It is a radical thing to create spaces where that’s possible, unlike in school and most jobs where you are expected to keep going even when it’s damaging.”
That friend was Nettle, who has been a much needed friend and ally in the trees.
Nettle will continue on in the white pine, along with another tree sitter to take my place. Knowing that this blockade will go on despite my coming down fills me with immeasurable joy and gratitude.
We need more people to step up and fill roles like this one. I had never been a part of a direct action before this past spring. I was simply someone who found light and inspiration from prior tree sits and thought to myself, “Why not me?”
It’s something we all must ask ourselves. Too often we find excuses not to do the hard thing, the challenging thing, but the truth is that there will always be a million reasons not to do something.
We will never accomplish anything if we don’t push ourselves and make sacrifices to try and make the world a place we can all live in. It will require personal sacrifice. Sometimes it will require a lot of long nights, hiking up and down steep mountains, and sleeping on a hard platform high up in the air.
It won’t come easy.
If you don’t believe that you are capable of doing a direct action like this one, then look at me as proof that you can. I had no prior expertise or experience. I was just somebody who cared.
Don’t keep waiting for the right time. We don’t have anymore time. The time is now, it was yesterday, it was years ago, decades ago. We need you. Get involved with direct action in whatever way you can. You are not in this alone. There are many, many people who will support you.
I support you.
To every single person who has ever expressed support or solidarity, to every person who has hiked up this steep hill or donated supplies to our tree sits, thank you. I will never be able to fully express in words how grateful I am for all of you. So I will simply say, thank you.
& keep on fighting.
Much love and solidarity, Lauren
The counter-protest across the street brandished a banner admonishing white supremacy. pic.twitter.com/nVX0Ik71y7
— Tardigrade (@StopMotionsolo) October 12, 2018
BREAKING: 1,000 striking Oakland and San Francisco hotel workers are marching today to say one job should be enough @Marriott, the world’s richest hotel company. Follow this account for live updates.#MarriottStrike #1job #unitehere #1u pic.twitter.com/nYmypnqxpz
— UNITE HERE Local 2 #1job (@UniteHereLocal2) October 12, 2018
If UPS keeps stonewalling in upcoming bargaining, members of Chicago-area Teamsters Local 705 will take a strike vote in early November, for a possible walkout the week after Thanksgiving. That’s peak season at UPS.
— Joey Buttitta (@Joey_Buttitta) October 10, 2018
***HAPPENING NOW*** Activists protest @phoenixpolice killings at @azplea police union fundraiser at AZ Grand Resort. #stopkillingus @phoenixnewtimes @12News @azfamily @FOX10Phoenix @abc15 @azcpolitics pic.twitter.com/Ei6V3Tn0W3
— WarOnThePeople (@waronthepeople) October 14, 2018
See our posts on Cooper:https://t.co/lZKijeejJw
— Atlanta Antifascists (@afainatl) October 15, 2018
#Namegans leader Chrissy Brett: Seeing as how we have nowhere else to go we figured [Saanich Municipal Hall] would be the best place to take a stand that people need more than just 25 mats for the 34 people that were at Goldstream Park… https://t.co/8g9BaeMAfI
— Against Displacement (@stopdisplacemnt) October 14, 2018
It’s Going Down is a digital community center from anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements. Our mission is to provide a resilient platform to publicize and promote revolutionary theory and action.