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Jul 5, 19

This is America #80: Zakir Khan On the Rise of Far-Right Violence

Welcome, to This Is America, July 4th, 2019.

In this episode, we were lucky enough to sit down and talk with Zakir Khan, board chair of the Oregon chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a civil-rights group that in recent years has dealt with the increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes. We speak on the rise of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and far-Right violence that has become more visible and grown in the Pacific Northwest in the last few years and also put the events of last Saturday’s successful antifascist demonstration into context.

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

Living and Fighting:

The US continues to be rocked by photos and testimony of conditions from inside migrant detention facilities. According to the Huffington Post, detainees in El Paso were able to communicate to officials during a recent visit that they are being forced to drink water out of toilet bowels, being called “whores” by guards, and woken up at all hours of the night in an effort to deny them sleep. People in charge claim that guards are simply “stressed” and “acting out.”

In a recent report from the Department of Homeland Security, the government agency states that its well aware of the horrific conditions “including overcrowding, flu outbreaks, and a lack of clean clothes” but “border patrol argues that these conditions are necessary to stem the flow of migrants to the United States.”

Protests continue against the camps and last week saw massive demonstrations organized in several cities as #ClosetheCamps actions continue across the US outside of detention facilities, corporations financing the prisons, and ICE offices.

In Boston:

A lively and fast-moving stream of about 1,000 Jewish activists and others shut down traffic in the heart of the city during rush hour Tuesday evening, chanting, singing, and drumming to protest immigrant detention in the city and across the country.

They wound their way from the New England Holocaust Memorial on Congress Street down Tremont Street and through Chinatown, to the Suffolk County House of Correction in the South End, which houses scores of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees. Eighteen protesters were arrested after locking arms near the facility’s entrance.

In Boulder, Colorado, people protested outside of a subsidiary of the GEO Group, which finances private detention centers. Blockades of ICE facilities took place in Philadelphia. In Massachusetts, the FANG Collective rallied outside of a correctional facility with over 100 people against ICE and 287(g). In DC, large crowds also rallied against the threat of ICE raids, in Minneapolis thousands took to the streets against ICE, and in New Jersey, people disrupted the operations at an ICE detention center.

In antifascist news, people rallied in Burns, Tennessee against the “Nationalist Solutions” conference, which only managed to bring out a total of about 35 KKK members and neo-Nazis. In Washington DC, in the lead up to the #DemandFreeSpeech rally, members of the Proud Boys attacked members of the RCP in front of the White House, Unicorn Riot has released even more Identity Evropa internal discussion leaks which show the group struggling to regain their members, and in Philadelphia, a small group of neo-Nazi attempted to troll an anti-ICE protest.

This weekend also saw mass actions at Pride and for the Trans Day of Action. In Brooklyn people took to the streets, while in Seattle a mass march took place and people were also on guard against possible attacks from the Proud Boys. In Renton, Washington, members of the Pudget Sound John Brown Gun Club also helped counter Proud Boys and Three percenters who came out to protest Drag Queen Story Hour. In New York, anarchists and abolitionists marched in the Pride parade, while in San Francisco, people blocked Market street against police at Pride as well as in protest of ICE.

According to Hoodline:

Police clashed with a group of protesters during yesterday’s SF Pride parade after the protesters blocked the parade route for an hour, demanding the exclusion of police and corporations from the event.

Displaying a banner that read “Queer and Trans Against Kops and Korps,” the group chanted slogans like “F— the police!” and “Pride was a riot” as officers attempted to push them out of the way, said the Chronicle.

IWOC reports that in past few days, a hunger strike has been organized at the Corcoran prison facility in California, in protest of jobs being taken from prisoners in general population and given to those in protective custody.

Meanwhile in Tucson, Arizona, the State is pushing to retry No More Deaths activist Dr. Scott Warren, after his first trial ended in a hung jury. While prosecutors are dropping the conspiracy charge, Warren still faces the possibility of getting up to ten years in prison for participating in humanitarian aid work along the border. The trial is set to start again on November 12th.

Appalachians Against Pipelines reports that it is now on day 303 of the Yellow Finch Tree Sit, while in Northern California, the tree-sit that was erected against the logging of the ancient Mattole forest continues, with a second tree sit being launched on Wednesday, according to Blockade Babes on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

Today, a second tree sit on Rainbow Ridge was established! This tree sitter, calling themselves Pascal, has established a tiny platform atop an #ancient Douglas fir slated to be cut as part of #humboldtredwoodcompany’s contentious Long Ridge Cable timber harvest plan.⁣ ⁣ Meanwhile, over 60 community members rallied at Monument Gate, the main access point to the Mattole’s #unique #biodiverse #forest #ecosystem which @getredwood continues to log, herbicide and plunder for profit.⁣ ⁣ From the crown of Trickster, Rook writes, “I know that it's only because of the strong, multi-generational commitment to restoration and forest defense in the Mattole watershed, that I can see much at all other than stumps and industrial tree farms.⁣ ⁣ Each timber company to claim this land has been challenged at every turn – by litigation, by direct action, by public pressure. This has resulted in years of delays, drastically downsized THPs, and set-aside land which HRC claims they will never log.⁣ ⁣ With the outrage over current logging, the momentum of oppositon can only grow, and I'm honored to be able to do my part to serve both the wild community, and the human community who have protected this forest for so long.” ⁣⁣ ⁣ #dontstoptilyoustopdeforestation #redwoodgate #savethemattolesancientforest #extinctionrebellion #climbtrees #rememberwhyyouarehere #directaction #freehousing #inthetrees #protectingwhatyoulove

A post shared by Blockade Babes (@blockade.babes) on

The Tiny House Warriors continue to take action against proposed pipelines and man camps. Last week:

Tiny House Warriors joined with THW builders, supporters and allies to march 22 km from downtown Vancouver to Island View. The highway and main artery for the whole city was brought to a stand still, with a clear loud message that the Trans Mountain pipeline will never be built.

Volunteer builders in Victoria built a tiny house on wheels which will be the 6th tiny house of 10 that will be put in the path of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Show Solidarity:

Support comrade arrested at recent protest against the Dekalb County Jail near Atlanta, GA.

Support antifascists arrested in Portland last weekend here.

Upcoming Events:

  • July 3rd-10th: Earth First! Rendezvous in Utah. More info here.
  • July 6th: Mobilization in DC against large far-Right/Proud Boys rally. More info here.
  • July 6th: Anti-ICE mobilization in Long Beach, CA. More info here.
  • July 8th-12th: Week of Action against ICE profiteers. More info here.
  • July 27th-28th: Anarcho-punk festival in Berkeley at the Gilman featuring workshops, bands, and speakers. 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.
  • August 23rd-24th: Bend the Bars Conference in Lansing, Michigan. More info here.
  • August 23rd-25th: Another Carolina Anarchist Bookfair happening in Asheville, North Carolina. More info here.
  • August 24th – September 12th: Action Camps to Save the Ancient Mattole Forest. More info here.
  • September 7th: Running Down the Walls event in Philadelphia, PA. More info here.
  • September 28th: Toronto (ON) Anarchist Bookfair. More info here.


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