This Is America #47: “How This Thing Falls Down”

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Welcome, to This Is America, December 16th, 2018.

In this episode, we walk with an attorney from the Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC) about the recent “Weed Nazi” case. If you aren’t familiar with the case, it revolves around a white nationalist at the head of a marijuana dispensary in Eugene, Oregon attempting to sue antifascists behind a research website in order to get their private information. In our conversation, we discuss the case and its potential implications.

Later in the program, we then discuss headline news, from the Yellow Vest riots in France, to the meltdown inside the Trump administration. All this and more, but first, let’s get to the news!

Living and Fighting

  • The Unist’ot’en Camp has called supporters to come and defend the unceeded territory from threats by the Canadian State that it will open the area to resource extraction. In response, solidarity actions have taken place. In Toronto a huge banner was dropped, in Ottawa, an LNG talk was disrupted in solidarity, in British Columbia, several government building were occupied and followed by a rally and a march, and in Seattle, there was a disruption at a Chase bank, which is funding the pipeline project.
  • In the face of multiple investigations and an uncertain future, Trump is now pushing for a government shutdown in order to try and secure US tax dollars to go towards financing his much touted border wall. Disgustingly, this move comes only days after a 7 year old Guatemalan girl, Jakelin Caal, was found dead in ICE custody. Mainstream news reports that detention staff waited over 90 minutes to administer aid. While border patrol officials have tried to make the argument that Caal died as a result of dehydration in the desert while crossing into the United States, (a trek which claims thousands of lives and is the direct result of US policy of pushing migrants into deadly crossing situations), Caal’s family disputes this telling of events. As one report wrote:

Her father said she began to vomit and show other signs of distress before they were put on a bus for a 90-minute trip to a CBP station in Lordsburg, New Mexico. She arrived there unconscious and had to be revived before being airlifted to a hospital in El Paso, Texas, where she died the next day.

  • Meanwhile, up between “2,500 to 4,000 troops are expected to remain through January 31” at the US border. Moreover, “Nearly 15,000 immigrant children are being held in a network of detention centers across the United States. Changes implemented by the Trump administration have filled the child jails to near capacity, and the government is considering adding more employees and more beds to make it possible to hold even more adolescents. The Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the incarceration of immigrant children at more than 100 locations, reported Thursday that the system was 92 percent full,” stated one report. Democrats, especially DSA backed “Progressive” Democrats, have done nothing to combat this reality, having long dropped their calls to “Abolish ICE.” Instead, Democrats and Centrist media have shown top Democrats meeting with Trump ad nauseam, while in reality Democrats only want a different form of border militarization than Trump’s largely symbolic and cosmetic wall.
  • No More Deaths is launching a call-in campaign in order to demand a drop to the charges faced by volunteers. Please take the time and make some calls!
  • Speaking of kids in cages, in Chicago the Heartland Alliance held a demonstration and disruption of an event drawing attention to the non-profit which acts as a kids prison for migrant children who are separated from their parents. Demonstrators also brought attention to the fact that Heartland Alliance officials also used money from the organization for vacations in Florida.

These villages will be active in providing aid to our asylum seeking relatives, protecting indigenous sacred sites, resisting construction of the LNG (fracked gas) terminal, accompanying pipelines, and stopping the Border wall. We fight to stop the senseless endangerment of people, animals, and the environment.

The first encampment that our Base Camp will support will be the Yalui village, located at the National Butterfly Center, which the border wall will soon divide and desecrate. The village will exist on both sides of the wall. From there, we will rebuild more Esto’k villages, from which we will protect, aid, and bear witness along the Texas-Mexico border.

The Somi Se’k Village Base Camp will support and train activists to populate these villages. We operate with the understanding that the issues arising around the border– the right to migrate, destruction of the environment and indigenous sacred sites, and the inhumane incarceration of migrant children– are intersectional and are symptoms of centuries-long control and oppression by colonizers.

Christa Mancias speaking about assisting asylum seekers

Christa Mancias from the Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas speaking on helping asylum seekers and people of this land #BuildAVillageSaveTheEarth#NoBorders#asylumseekers#refugees#refugeeswelcome#ImMigrant

Somi Se’k Village Base Camp 发布于 2018年12月12日周三

  • Members of Parkdale Organize protested outside of a landlord’s home in protest of an eviction threat against a tenant legal clinic.
  • In Chicago, the Autonomous Tenants Union also led a march on a landlord threatening to evict a family who asked for repairs.
  • Appalachians Against Pipelines is now celebrating over 100 days of active resistance against the Mountain Valley Pipeline. They write:

Our comrades have made it 100 days in the trees. It seems like a day we should be celebrating. Today marks 100 days that MVP has not been able to desecrate this piece of land, and our tree friends stand strong. Yet days are short and cold on the hill. And although we get brief biweekly visits from MVPs paid mercenaries (shout out to Steve)… I can’t help but think, are they ignoring us? Then I remember this is a 300mile pipeline, and there is much work to be done. And it takes a while- especially when they hire such incompetent workers.

While they have the pleasure of working with fancy equipment and billions of dollars, they continue to face resistance- not only from us, but also from nature itself. Whether it be their poorly maintained ditch at Cove Hollow that continuously filled with water (attracting rubber duckies) or the most recent snow storm, the fight continues.

Meanwhile, no snow storm will extinguish the fire ignited months ago in this campaign. We will tend to the embers of these passionate flames until we have completely stopped MVP from building this pipeline or any other. We will then carefully carry those embers with us into every battle we fight against this oppressive capitalist system.

  • Popular assemblies are spreading against Amazon coming to Queens, NY. Follow MACC and Woodbine for more info.
  • Comrades with Anti-Colonial Land Defense report from the border in Tijuana:

On Friday Dec.14th, some members of Anti-colonial Land Defense joined many other groups in spending the day distributing donations to the thousands of migrant caravaners in Tijuana, Mexico.

From the Benito Juarez encampment, to Enclave Caracol, an Anarchist Cafe that is seamlessly intergrating migrants into their organizing; and finally to El Barretal which is an open venue housing thousands of migrants.

Our sources claim that there are around 16 shelters in TJ housing migrants while they await their cross into the United States. Enclave Caracol made a call out a few days ago for more folx to show up and support, and the call is still needed. The biggest needs from folx on the ground are shoes, socks, sleeping bags, tents, and underwear. Another kitchen is in the works of being organized and could use cooking utensils and food. People at Benito Juarez and el Barretal are living in less then livable conditions as they have no bathrooms, showers or running water for that matter. Some folx haven’t showered for weeks while other folx are wearing shoes 3 sizes to small for them.

Overall there is an overwhelming sense of hope for getting to the other side, but the reality is that only about 15% of people seeking asylum will have it granted and be able to cross legally. The rest are either looking for menial jobs in so-called Mexico that barely support a living a wage for them (let alone their desperate families back home), asking “coyotes” to hop them over, or waiting patiently at the shelters for there turn at asylum court.

The federales have been hassling people with donations on their way into el Barretal and have been known to seize donations. Taking that fact into consideration organizers have asked that folx bring in their donations after dark or at night to avoid the federales as well as swaths of people surrounding vehicles transporting donations.

 

  • On Monday night, members of the Burgerville Workers Union in Portland picketed a store in the chain, claiming that contract negotiations had slowed and corporate was dragging their feet.
  • This weekend, Yellow Vest demonstrations took place both in Canada and in the US. Across Canada, largely far-Right and anti-immigrant groups held demonstrations, in an attempt to paint the Yellow Vest movement as a populist-Right revolt against “socialism” and “globalism.” Autonomous and anti-capitalist groups in the US made several interventions, including in New York, where people demonstrated in solidarity with the revolt outside of the French consulate, and in Atlanta, where a group march behind a banner attacking the high cost of living.
  • Saturday saw yet another far-Right demonstration in support of the Silent Sam statue. While there was a counter-protest, the size was very small on both sides.
  • This Saturday, tens of thousands of teachers, education workers, and community members marched in Los Angeles, pointing towards growing discontent of thousands of teachers and the continued possibility that there will be a mass strike in 2019. The march included a radical bloc, with beautiful screen-printed signs.
  • The Rhode Island John Brown Gun Club is fundraising money to organize for the distribution of cold weather gear. To help them out, go here.

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