This Is America #82: Trump, Puerto Rico, and #AbolishICE

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Welcome, to This Is America, July 19th, 2019.

In this episode, we jump straight into the discussion, tackling Trump’s so-called social media summit, the US slide into authoritarianism in the wake of Trump’s latest tweet storm, the rise of the #AbolishICE movement and #ClosetheCamps action, and beyond.

All this and more, but first, the news!

Living and Fighting:

  • In New York, on the 5 year anniversary of the police murder of Eric Garner, protests were organized across the city, leading to arrests and clashes with law enforcement. One demonstration took place outside the home of Daniel Pantaleo’s, one of the cops involved in the chocking death of Eric Garner. Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed Eric Garner’s murder, still remains in prison.

  • Hundreds are protesting and engaging in blockades and civil disobedience in order to protect Mauna Kea, viewed as a sacred mountain to the indigenous Hawaiian people, from further desecration, as developers are attempting to build yet another massive telescope. Local news reports that National Guard are on scene and making arrests, while thousands of demonstrators have prevented scientists from accessing the site.

As Fox News wrote:

Directors closed the East Asian Observatory located on Mauna Kea on Tuesday as a safety precaution for employees, effectively abandoning millions of dollars worth of instrumentation on telescopes at the facility that require constant maintenance, Hawaii News Now reported.

  • An insurrection in Puerto Rico has kicked off the last several days following the leak of internal communications between the Governor of the island and his underlings. The messages includes violent, misogynist, and homophobic comments, along with statements that even mock the deaths of hurricane victims. As one Puerto Rican stated on CNN:

“Unfortunately there is always corruption in the government, but with the publication of the chats, people in Puerto Rico saw how the corruption affected the response to the hurricane. There’s a sense of, ‘You left us to die.'”

The uprising has been marred by mass marches and riots at night, as rebels have attempted to storm the governor’s mansion, only to be met with tear gas and rubber bullets from riot police.

According to Abolition Media Worldwide:

Upon discovering an online forum in which myriad government officials employed sexist and homophobic language, the people of Puerto Rico took to the streets this weekend to demand the removal of Governor Rosselló.

On Monday evening, the State responded with thugs in riot gear launching tear gas into the crowd that had amassed at the governor’s mansion, La Fortaleza. While some scattered, others continued to resist, chanting “¡Somos más, y no tenemos miedo!” (“There are more of us, and we are not afraid!”). The State clamped down even harder, deploying pepper spray and– when that, too, failed to break up the crowd– firing rubber bullets.

While two of his underlings, Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marin and Chief Financial Officer Christian Sobrino, have resigned since the forum was discovered, Rosselló refuses to leave office and instead asks demonstrators for “forgiveness.”

The infuriating fact of the matter is that this is but the latest in a stream of offenses that the people of Puerto Rico have been expected to forgive. Even while limiting oneself to the period of time in which Rosselló has served in the Puerto Rican government, one finds that the people have had to endure his callous approach to the recovery effort after two devastating back-to-back hurricanes– first Hurricane Irma, then Hurricane Maria about two weeks later– ravaged the island in 2017. Rosselló undertook austerity measures that deprived communities of millions of dollars and wreaked havoc on education, housing, agriculture, and other essential programs and services.

Yesterday it was also reported that:

Puerto Rico’s police department says somebody has broken into a police station and stolen weapons on the southern part of the U.S. territory. [The] Police Commissioner [stated]… that the break-in occurred in the town of Guayama. A storage room lock was forced [open] the night before and officers discovered that 30 pistols and 18 rifles had been taken, as well as 4,000 rounds of ammunition. He says a message threatening Gov. Ricardo Rosselló was found on a wall of the storage room.

We’re told that message reads: “Ricky resign by silver or by lead.” More protests are expected to kick off this weekend and show no signs of slowing down.

Solidarity:

Upcoming Events:

  • July 20th: No New Child Detention Center in Chicago! More info here.
  • July 20th: Close the Camps rally in Lawton, Oklahoma. More info here.
  • July 25th: Picket in support of the Burgerville Workers Union in Portland, OR. More info here.
  • July 25th: Court support for antifascist being targeted by State in collusion with fascists. Greenville, SC. More info here.
  • July 27th-28th: Anarcho-punk festival in Berkeley at the Gilman featuring workshops, bands, and speakers. More info here.
  • July 27th: North Texas Anarchist Bookfair in Denton, TX. More info here.
  • July 30th: Anti-ICE Block Party. San Francisco, CA. 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 31st: Benefit for Political Prisoners organized by Bakersfield Anarchist Black Cross (ABC). Show with speakers happening in Bakersfield, CA. More info here.
  • September 7th: Halifax Anarchist Bookfair. More info here.
  • September 18th-22nd: Symbiosis Conference in Detroit. More info here.
  • September 28th: Toronto Anarchist Bookfair. More info here.
Music: Sole, Willy Northpole and Anti-Flag

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