Welcome, to This Is America, April 23nd, 2019.
In this episode, we talked with two people from the New Haven, Connecticut area about the recent anti-police rebellion that has taken place in the last week, after police, including officers from Yale University, opened fire on a couple sitting in a car in the early morning after receiving a call about a potential robbery.
— IWW.CT. (@CT_IWW) April 19, 2019
We also were lucky enough to catch up with a member of the Certain Days collective, to talk about their ongoing project of producing a yearly calendar that features art and writing from political prisoners, and helps to benefit prison abolitionist organizations and projects.
— Certain Days (@CertainDays) April 23, 2019
All this and more, but first, lets get to the news.
Living and Fighting:
- Alaska is experiencing a heat wave, temperatures have risen over 15 degrees above normal, leading to formerly iced roads (about 2/3 across the state) to melt into mush, causing a series of deaths and forcing many people to resort to air travel to get around.
Many recreational sled dog races have had to be canceled this year and the routing of the famed Iditarod race had to be changed as what is normally solid sea ice was open water on part of the race route. Crab fishing has also been affected as the sea ice used as a platform for fishermen was non-existent or too thin in some areas…the warmth has in addition had a deep impact on transportation as two thirds of communities in Alaska are not accessible via roads.
- Corporate is coming down against the IWW at various stores the union has a presence in. The Burgerville Workers Union wrote:
Jairin, a longtime worker and union member at the Gladstone location — the second Burgerville to win a union election — was suspended and then fired last week after he threw out some old fish. That’s literally all he did to get fired. Local management framed this as “theft” and promptly fired him without presenting anybody, either Jairin or the union, with any evidence at all.
After they were caught union busting at the Convention Center location last month, the company stated they were “committed to rebuilding trust” with the union.
Supporters are being asked to donate to a relief fund and also make calls to Burgerville at: 1-888-827-8369.
- IWW members at Little Big Union in Portland are also fighting against the bosses attempting to fire one organizer. From their Facebook they wrote:
Little Big Union and our supporters flyered yesterday in front of the South Waterfront store in Portland, OR. Ava Turner, a queer worker and active union member, was fired there on Thursday. LBB says it was a routine response to her being late to her shift. We say it was blatant retaliation for union organizing.
Vocal union supporter Ava Turner was fired by @littlebigburger corporate, for showing up late. Something nearly every LBB worker has done before, so to us the REAL crime is obvious. Demand LBB stop retaliating against workers who choose union and #RehireAva pic.twitter.com/NPhr9bRYOY
— Little Big Union 🍔✊🏼✊🏾✊🏿 (@LBU_IWW) April 21, 2019
- On April 22nd, “people gathered in front of the Wells Fargo location in downtown Blacksburg, VA, to bring attention to the bank’s investment in the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Wells Fargo is one of the top financiers of EQT, the company behind the MVP. Today is also DAY 230 of the Yellow Finch tree sits near Elliston, VA! These two tree sits have been protecting their hillside in the path of the MVP for 230 days and counting.”
In another update from Appalachians Against Pipelines:
We’ve got some changes happening on this protected hillside— both Phillip and Skipper have come down from their respective blockades and been replaced by anonymous pipeline fighters in the trees.
The tree sits are still here! And so are these trees, some of the last left standing in the pipeline’s path.
Phillip says, “After more than 6 months of living in my tree I have made the decision to come down and be replaced by a new, anonymous sitter. Perhaps someday I’ll be able to write and speak about my time in the tree more coherently but for the time being I’m left speechless. My 6 months in the tree were remarkable in many ways and I thoroughly enjoyed every day I had the privilege of living in the canopy.
Fight on and fuck the MVP,
And Skipper says, “I am a 69 year old grandfather. As you may imagine, my reasons for participating in this tree sit were complex. One is that I wanted to bring attention to the looming climate crisis and inspire others to act in defense of our planet’s ecosystems.
My time in the tree made me more aware than ever of the urgent need to change the path our civilization is on. Our new path must include social and environmental justice, a new more nurturing relationship with the only planet we have, and compassion for all those on this journey, plants, animals and humans.”
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) April 23, 2019
- In Carlton, MN, individuals and various groups stopped massive pipeline pipe from getting to its destination by blockaded it on the tracks. The pipes are part of the Line 3 project. As one report wrote: [We] “stopped trucks carrying pipelines from delivering them to the stockyards. It’s on all of us to stop this pipeline from raining death on the planet.”
- Not to be outdone, people in Portland planted a garden over train tracks carrying fossil fuels.
BREAKING: Portland activists with Extinction Rebellion PDX @XR_PDX
just blocked the route of fossil fuel bomb trains by planting a garden over the track! https://t.co/y66P5s9P3L… pic.twitter.com/sGx6ntbbWA
— JustinK (@N_KJustin) April 21, 2019
- In some good news, the case against Darryl Lamont Jenkins was dropped. Jenkins, a long time antifascist and involved in One People’s Project, was facing a suit for writing about a white nationalist and the white nationalist wanting to shut Jenkins up. So much for free speech!
- The New York Times has a fascinating article up about a recent rebellion by students and teachers in Kansas against a Zuckerberg backed program to intergrate various high tech instruments into the classroom. Resistance to the technology, called “Summit,” which students complained gave them headaches, caused seizures, and hurt their hands, took many forms. As The Times wrote:
It culminated when Collin Winter, 14, an eighth grader in McPherson, Kan., joined a classroom walkout in January. In the nearby town of Wellington, high schoolers staged a sit-in. Their parents organized in living rooms, at churches and in the back of machine repair shops. They showed up en masse to school board meetings. In neighborhoods with no political yard signs, homemade signs with dark red slash marks suddenly popped up.
The resistance in Kansas is part of mounting nationwide opposition to Summit, which began trials of its system in public schools four years ago and is now in around 380 schools and used by 74,000 students. In Brooklyn, high school students walked out in November after their school started using Summit’s platform. In Indiana, Pa., after a survey by Indiana University of Pennsylvania found 70 percent of students wanted Summit dropped or made optional, the school board scaled it back and then voted this month to terminate it. And in Cheshire, Conn., the program was cut after protests in 2017.
- Finally, the FBI recently arrested the head of the militia group we covered in the last episode after anarchist and antifascist accounts spread video of heavily armed men apprehending women and children at the border. However more videos have come out, including the one below which shows a member of the Border Patrol giving a tour of the border and its fencing instrastructure to Patriot Movement AZ, which has been linked to a variety of far-Right racist acts of harassment and intimidation, from vandalizing a mosque, to attempting to enter a church housing migrants while armed, and also associating with neo-Nazis who attended Unite the Right, such as Antonio Foreman.
On April 13, 2019 a border patrol agent gave a guided tour of the border to far right extremist group AZ Patriots where he pointed out areas known to agents as common points of entry for immigrants.@CBP is literally giving tours to armed extremists on the border. pic.twitter.com/qCD9coITsP
— 🏴 (@leftkist) April 22, 2019
- April 25th and 26: Pack the court in support of those facing charges for tearing down of the Silent Same Confederate statue in Hillsborough, NC. More info here.
- April 26th: Riverside queer/feme skate day with anarchist zine distro. More info here.
- April 26th: Benefit for Ramsey Orta at the Base in Brooklyn. More info here.
- April 27th: March against anti-immigrant rally in Huntington Beach. More info here.
- April 28th: #AllOut to mobilize against white nationalist “Patriot” militia holding a rally in Long Beach. More info here.
- April 30th: San Jose protest of Border Patrol on Campus. 10:3:0 PM to 2pm. More info here.
- On May 1st there are May Day actions happening around the world, be sure to watch IGD next week for info on upcoming May Day events.
- May 4th: All Out Against Pegida. Toronto, Saturday, 1pm. More info here.
- May 9th: Portland Anarchist Black Cross open house and letter writing night. More info here.
- May 18th: Mobilize against American Renaissance conference. More info here.
- Sunday, May 25th: Mobilize against the KKK in Downtown Dayton, OH. More info here.
- May 18th – 19th: Come out to the Revolutionary Organizing Against Racism Conference (ROAR) in the bay area. More info here.
- In June be on the lookout for ‘Running Down the Walls’ events happening across the world to benefit Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) chapters.
- June 14th-17th: Fight Toxic Prisons conference. Gainesville, Florida. More info here.
- June 19th: Mobilize against Nationalist Solutions conference. More info here.
- August 3rd-11th: Institute for Advanced Trouble Making in Worcester, MA. More info here.
- August 16th-18th: Indigenous Anarchist Convergence in so-called Flagstaff, Arizona. More info here.