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May 9, 19

This Is America #72: Reclaim the Streets

Welcome, to This Is America, May 8th, 2019.

In this episode, first we talk with people involved in the Arizona Palestine Solidarity Alliance about the connections between policing and counter-insurgency, as well as new surveillance technologies, in both occupied Palestinian territories and along the so-called US and Mexico border. We then open up into a broad discussion on current affairs.

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

Living and Fighting:

  • In DC, on Tuesday night, thousands of people took to the streets, both on foot and on quads and motorcycles, in response to gentrifers complaining about Go-Go music playing out of speakers from a cell phone store, something that has been a fixture in northwest Washington for decades. The protests, dubbed “MOECHELLA,” a play on “Moe,” a local term for friend, and Chochella, the large corporate music festival, first kicked off in April and have now grown to include thousands of people.

As Newsone wrote:

A Metro PCS store in the historically Black Shaw neighborhood has been playing go-go music without any complaint for nearly a quarter of a century. But that all changed in March when T-Mobile, Metro PCS’ parent company, ordered an end to the musical tradition. That… silenced the music for several days. [But soon t]he hashtag #Don’tMuteDC went viral and there were protests…

On April 10th T-Mobile agreed to turn the music back on however the protests, gatherings, and block parties have continued, all with a clear anti-gentrification and pro-community framing.

  • Student organizing at Swarthmore University in Pennsylvania continues, as student have now launched a hunger strike in response to attacks by police on continued protests.

As a recent statement reads:

On May 4th, The Coalition to End Fraternity Violence began a sit-in that ultimately led to the voluntary disbanding of both Phi Psi and Delta Upsilon fraternities. This was a huge win…On May 6th, a group of students began a sit-in in President Smith’s office to ensure she made the right decision to permanently end fraternity violence and institutional neglect. This peaceful sit-in immediately became violent when administrators barred students from entering the space and called police to assist them…The reason for this retaliation is clear: the College is punishing us for recognizing our own power. The College is punishing us for using the power of nonviolent direct action to make change. 

  • A sit-in at Texas State has ended, yet student actions remain ongoing. Students began taking action in response to the police targeting of students standing up to the far-Right goons on campus.

  • Across the world, gig economy drivers for apps like Lyft and Uber launched a mass strike against cuts to their pay and for more control over their work as Uber is set to launch their stock to be publicly shared and traded. In some cities, drivers rallied, while in other places they participated in striking for the day, as many supporters turned the app off and refused to cross the digital picket lines.

  • People protested rich bureaucrat Betsy De Vos in Manhattan.

  • In so-called British Columbia, resistance continues to man camps and pipeline construction as the Tiny House Warriors continue to hold it down.

  • Protests broke out in Wethersfield, Connecticut after police shot and killed Anthony “Chulo” Cruz. According to Elm City RAM:

The people of Wethersfield occupied WPD’s HQ today before taking the streets and marching to and occupying the lawn outside of Mayor Bello’s mansion. These escalations are only the beginning. and all who have died at the hands of the terrosits in blue

  • In a major development, Portland bar and venue Cider Riot announced that it was launching a lawsuit against Joey Gibson and several other Patriot Prayer followers after Gibson led the group in an attack against Cider Riot patrons on May Day, shooting pepper spray at them and throwing projectiles. In the pursuing brawl, one Patriot Prayer supporter cracked a femme across the back of the head, sending them to the hospital. One of those charged, David Willis, had posted on social media before the brawl about “cleansing the streets of ANTIFA” and is strongly believed to be behind a string of vandalism in Portland directed at the local IWW hall and Cider Riot.
  • In DC, clashes continue between those occupying the Venezuelan embassy who oppose the US coup and supporters of it. Currently, those in favor of the coup on the outside of the building are trying to story their way inside while also attempting to stop food from getting in.

  • In New Orleans a massive banner was dropped reading “No Human Being is Illegal.”

  • At the Chapel Hill UNC campus, actions continued against repression of those that have fought against the Silent Sam Confederate statue as well as a continued presence of neo-Nazis and neo-Confederates. This last Saturday, an antifascist rally was held and a free food giveaway was organized.

  • No More Deaths and other organizations helped organize vigils across the US against deportations, mass detention, and continued deaths of people held by immigration enforcement.

  • In Ohio, #FreeMasonique demonstrators took to the streets, locked down, and blocked traffic. Masonique is an underage woman who is charge by police with manslaughter for the death of her boyfriend – who police shot and killed. To hear more about the case, check out this previous episode of This Is America.

  • In Eugene, Oregon a large group came out to counter-protest far-Right Trump supporters and members of the Proud Boys.

  • On May 5th, events remembering Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women were held across the world.
  • In Arizona, students organized a walkout after their friend was picked up by border patrol and is now facing deportation.

  • At the University of Florida students held a banner during graduation against the campus’ connection to prison labor.

  • People rallied in Tucson, Arizona rallied in support of another volunteer, Scott Warren of No More Deaths started trial for the supposed crime of leaving water in the desert for migrants, thousands of which die during border crossings. Check No More Death’s trial updates here.

  • In Wisconsin, Water Protectors blockaded the Enbridge regional office against the Line 3 Pipeline.

  • Members of the IWW in Washington state held a rally against austerity cuts at Evergreen University.

  • Educators in Oregon walked out of work today in massive #Red4Ed protests, bringing tens of thousands of educators into the streets.

Upcoming Events:

  • May 9th: Portland Anarchist Black Cross open house and letter writing night. More info here.
  • May 12th: Benefit BBQ in Marshall, NC to Bailout African-American mothers. More info here.
  • May 15th: Rally outside of Dekalb County Jail near Atlanta, GA against continued abuses. 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.
  • May 30th – June 3rd: Earth First! regional rendezvous in Hudson Valley. 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 12th – 19th: Save the Mattole Direct Action Convergence in Northern California. More info here.
  • June 14th-17th: Fight Toxic Prisons conference. Gainesville, Florida. More info here.
  • June 15th – 23rd: Wild Roots, Feral Futures in Southwest Colorado. 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.
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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.

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