This Is America #65: Borders, Automation, and UBI

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Welcome, to This Is America, March 22nd, 2019.

We have a great show for you this week. We start off with news and headlines, and then get into an interview with members of the Little Big Union, which is the name of an IWW affiliated campaign to organize and unionize workers at Little Big Burger, an “eco-friendly” restaurant in Portland owned by the same company that owns the Hooters franchise.

We then get into our discussion, where we talk about Bannon’s recent far-Right organizing drive in Europe as he builds “The Movement,” the current situation at the border and how the crisis of automation may be used to scapegoat immigrants, and finally, an anarchist critique of Universal Basic Income (UBI).

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

Living and Fighting

Let’s start off with some victories this week, shall we?

Firstly, the J20 case is now completely over:

Last Friday D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge Morin ordered all charges against the remaining defendants involved in the Disrupt J20 demonstration against the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 to be dropped “with prejudice.”

This brings to a close an attempt by the State for over two years time to put anarchism and the black bloc on trial, and create a new legal precedent for repression of demonstrations.

Meanwhile, in so-called Vancouver, antifascists were able to not only shut down the public event of Alt-Right “race realists” Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern, but they also were able to stop the private one as well.

In Portland, workers at Burgerville who are part of the IWW announced that they were able to strike down corporate’s attempts at repressing workers who were being attacked for organizing on the job. The Burger Workers Union wrote on Facebook:

After facing brave resistance from workers at the Convention Center, and under intense pressure from the community, Burgerville corporate is formally rescinding, with back pay, ALL of their retaliatory disciplinary actions since Convention Center workers filed for an election last Wednesday. Every ounce of credit here goes to the workers and community supporters who fought against corporate’s harsh, unjust treatment – never give the boss applause when the workers win a fight.

Finally, IWOC reports that a recent phone-zap campaign has been a success, with Kinetik Justice of FAM recently being let out of solitary and back into general population.

In other news, No More Deaths reports that:

A motion filed by the defense in the case of United States v. Scott Warren last week in Tucson federal court has revealed the sweeping extent of government surveillance of No More Deaths/No Más Muertes and the retaliatory nature of Dr. Warren’s arrest in January of 2018. The Motion to Dismiss due to Selective Enforcement details months of communication between U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, beginning as early as July 2017 and discussing the movement and activities of No More Deaths volunteers in Ajo, AZ

According to the motion, law enforcement worked together to trade information about activists’ home addresses, their vehicles, and where they organized out of – without any mention of illegal wrong doing or a threat to the pubilc at large.

On January 17th, 2018, No More Deaths released a report documenting Border Patrol’s routine interference with humanitarian aid efforts. The report was released alongside footage collected over several years showing Border Patrol agents destroying and/or removing aid supplies left in the desert. The motion asserts that Dr. Warren’s arrest was a targeted act of political retaliation resulting from No More Deaths’ open criticism of Border Patrol’s human rights abuses

Read the full report on the No More Death’s website, here.

Brigitte Gabriel, the xenophobic, Nativist, and Islamophobic leader of Act for America is scheduled to hit the following cities as part of a book tour:

March 27: Winter Springs, Florida
March 28: Viera, Florida
May 16: Long Island, New York
July 11: Nashua, New Hampshire
Aug. 1: Lake Zurich, Illinois

In Deer Park, Texas near Houston, for the last several weeks and days, fires starting in chemical tanks have raged at an oil refinery. As Grist wrote:

According to initial reports, the company released 9 million pounds of pollutants in just the first day of the fire. On Thursday, the city of Deer Park, home to the facility, issued a shelter-in-place advisory after benzene levels spiked overnight. Long-term benzene exposure can cause anemia, lead to cancer, and damage women’s reproductive health.

In the face of this, the Bayou Action Street Team or BASH is currently doing disaster relief work and organizing in the area, donate to them here.

Also Mutual Aid Disaster Relief reports:

Fort Collins Mutual Aid will caravan from Fort Collins, Co to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (4/29 – 4/31) to assist in ongoing disaster relief and clean-up efforts in response to the Bomb Cyclone that has brought devistation to much of the midwest.

Donate to their efforts here.

Finally in (literally) breaking news, Philly Anti-Capitalist reports that the home of an ICE agent was vandalized with “Resist ICE,” and the officer’s car was severely damaged. Read the full post, here.

Upcoming Events:

  • March 30th: Michigan Abolition and Prisoner Solidarity (MAPS) will give presentation in Chicago. More info here.
  • March 30th: East Portland Housing Assembly. More info here.
  • April 19th-21st: In Prescott, Arizona there is a three-day antifascist gathering called the Cliffrose Convergence at the Frantz Fanon Community Strategy Center being organized.
  • April 28th: #AllOut to mobilize against white nationalist “Patriot” militia holding a rally in Long Beach. More info here.
  • May 18th – 19th: Come out to the Revolutionary Organizing Against Racism Conference (ROAR) in the bay area. More info here.
  • August 16th-18th: Indigenous Anarchist Convergence in so-called Flagstaff, Arizona. More info here.

In It’s Going Down news, we have brand new sticker packs, t-shirts, zine packs and more! IGD is run off of donations from our readers and listeners, so please, pick up some awesome swag from the store, and if you can, sign up to become a monthly supporter of this project.

That is gonna do it for us this week, enjoy the interview and discussion, and we will see you soon.


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