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Jul 27, 20

Thousands Take to Streets in Solidarity With Portland; Youth Jail Set on Fire in Seattle; Garrett Foster Killed in Austin

Thousands took to the streets across the so-called United States in solidarity with the ongoing rebellion that began following the police murder of George Floyd and in support of those in Portland, Oregon who for the past two months have been resisting a brutal occupation by local and federal law enforcement.

Actions took place both in smaller and rural towns, especially in the Pacific Northwest, as well as in big cities, where massive clashes lasted into the early morning hours. Actions ranged from banner drops, marches, and rallies, to full-on riots, often involving thousands, in cities from Seattle to New York. The size of the demonstrations shows that the rebellion that began in late May shows no signs of slowing down, as popular rage against the police over the death of George Floyd and federal brutality in Portland is only growing alongside anger at the burgeoning pandemic and increasingly visible class war.

Like the rising wave of labor and rent strikes, the actions on July 25th point towards a deepening sense of both proletarian militancy and consciousnesses that has yet to be dulled or recuperated by either corporate party. Despite an attempt over the past two months to divert #BlackLivesMatter back into the wider neoliberal project, its clear to many that the Democrats have largely no desire nor ability to either drastically defund the police or put up any fight against Trump’s attempts to flood cities with federal troops. On the contrary, as Ted Wheeler, the Mayor of Portland has recently shown, regardless of his harsh rhetoric against Trump, the police which he controls have been working directly with federal troops on the ground for weeks, while carrying out nightly acts of violence against protesters, journalists, and anyone unlucky enough to be caught in their crossfire. Meanwhile, other Democrats have embraced Trump’s “surge,” under the guise of “fighting crime.”

Garrett Foster, 28, was shot and killed by the driver of a vehicle which drove into a Black Lives Matter march in Austin, Texas. Foster was pushing his girlfriend’s wheelchair at the time. After the shooting, far-Right trolls online spread false information, that Foster opened fired first, which has now been debunked.

The actions over the weekend also highlight the continued deadly threat of the far-Right, as in multiple cities, counter-demonstrations were organized in an attempt to push protesters off the streets, however, none of these attempts seemed to garnish any degree of success. However, in both Aurora, Colorado and Austin, Texas, vigilantes drove cars into groups of protesters in an attempt to murder them – and in Austin, they succeeded. In Eugene, “Back the Blue” counter-protesters also fired off guns and in one instance, an armed stand-off took place. While the far-Right has yet to successfully mobile real numbers on the streets, their ability to engage in one-off acts of violence and murder continues to claim lives.

Meanwhile, Trump, Attorney General Bill Barr, and Chad Wolf at the DHS all continue to double down on their “send in the troops” strategy, while Trump’s numbers continue to tank and polls show even formerly solid “red states” turning against him. While much of this represents cracks in Trump’s suburban and elderly support base due to the coronavirus, there’s no question that there is growing anger over his response to the rebellion and his push to send in troops to Portland. Those on the streets who are fighting have expanded this conflict and helped generalize the struggle; bringing in more and more sectors of the population. Trump is now in a strange position. If he withdraws, he looks weak at a time when Republicans are already plotting for a world without him and Fox News is even giving him a hard time. But if Trump continues to double down, he also risks the rebellion expanding.

Democrats are also worried about the revolt continuing to grow in size. While they are quite happy to pay lip-service to voices on the streets and repeat movement slogans, they are still fundamentally opposed to not only abolitionist politics, but even basic reforms like drastically defunding the police. This is quite simply because the Democrats support Trump’s overall project of militarization and class war and realize that they want a strong police force in place as the American project continues to break down.

And as the election grows closer, Democrats will become even more keen on divorcing the radical elements of the rebellion from voting blocs that they hope to bring into the overall political fold. The only problem is, is that the demonstrations show no signs of slowing down or ending. Protesters likewise are quickly seeing the institutional walls that they are coming up against within the neoliberal State that make grassroots, structural change seemingly impossible.

Thus, while Trump would love to paint the rebellion as the end result of Democratic rule over US cities; positioning his brand of corporate nationalism as the ‘real’ resistance to neoliberalism, in reality, the rebellion is a direct response against liberal rule. It is a revolt against decades of neoliberal economics, racist counter-insurgency policing, and the institutionalization of social movements.

Now, with nearly half of US adults out of work, a pandemic which is only getting worse and tens of thousands that are at risk of eviction, the conditions giving rise to the mass anger that is fueling the uprising is growing more entrenched. Despite the increasing push towards the spectacle of the election, the rebellion continues to have a life of its own.

#J25

While the mainstream media focused on just a few select cities or ignored the #J25 actions all together, in total they showcased the massive support received by both the rebellion as well as those fighting on the streets of Portland. In Seattle, thousands of marchers, many decked out in shields, clashed with law enforcement, broke windows out at corporate stores and a police precinct, and also set fire was set to a construction site that was building a highly contested youth prison.

In Portland, thousands marched throughout the Downtown, before rallying outside of the federal courthouse. There, people were successful in pulling down a massive metal fence that federal officers had placed around the facility. What followed were intense clashes between law enforcement and the sea of people who turned out to oppose them. On Sunday, rowdy demonstrations continued into the 60th day, which no signs of stopping.

In Eugene, a large crowd stood up against Trump supporters and those on the far-Right who mobilized to counter the event, but were largely pushed off the streets. Rioters broke windows and wrote graffiti. On Sunday, rowdy demonstrations continued into the second night. Many smaller towns across Oregon and Washington also saw demonstrations, marches, and rallies. In Salem, Oregon, several hundred took to the streets and also faced off against far-Right counter-protesters.

In California, Oakland saw a militant march of several thousand take the streets, only days after the “progressive” City Council voted down defunding the police. Marchers broke out the windows to the Oakland Police Department’s main headquarters and eventually set a small fire at the Alameda County Courthouse. In Sacramento, over 150 took to the streets, busting out windows and writing graffiti slogans. In Southern California, smaller solidarity rallies, street marches, and protests were also held, with a riot breaking out in Downtown Los Angeles, leading to a courthouse being smashed up.

Rowdy demonstrations also took place across the Southwest. In so-called Flagstaff, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas, demonstrators blocked traffic and evaded police.

Meanwhile in Auroa, Colorado, where people have been mobilizing in the streets for around two months straight, specifically around the local police killing of Elijah McClain, a large crowd marched onto a major freeway, where a vehicle drove into the crowd, injuring several. In an attempt to stop the car, one protester opened fire, sadly injuring at least two people in the process. All those injured are reportedly in non-critical condition at this time. Police stopped the two men who were driving the car, but unsurprisingly, did not arrest them.

According to Unicorn Riot:

Shortly after the march reached Interstate 225, there was a vehicle attack by a teal Jeep. Organizers stated someone among the march tried to shoot out the tires of the vehicle and that may have hit a marcher in the leg, but that person is not in critical condition and is expected to survive after medics attended to them. A corporate news helicopter spotted the men driving the blue Jeep as they exited the vehicle in a nearby parking lot, after speeding away from the crowd they had hit.

After leaving the highway, the Auroa crowd then proceeded to smash out “windows at the courthouse and a fire was started in an office,” reported The Guardian. Protests continued on Sunday and show no signs of letting up.

Nearby in Omaha, Nebraska, over 75 people marched onto a freeway, only to be arrested in a massive preempted police operation.

In Texas, demonstrations took place in Dallas, Houston, and also Austin, where a march through the streets tragically resulted in a fatal shooting of one demonstrator, Garrett Foster, after the driver of a car who drove into a group of marchers open fire, killing him. While far-Right conspiracy websites were quick to falsely report that Foster, who was armed when he was killed, was the first to fire at the vehicle, this was in fact not true. According to witnesses at the scene, Foster’s killer rolled down the window and opened first after being asked by marchers to slow down and not run them over.

Throughout the Midwest, demonstrations, marches, and banner drops took place. In Minneapolis, where the rebellion had kicked of in late May, over 100 people gathering for a street party where graffiti was written.

In the Southwest, people barricaded off a street and busted out windows to a DHS and ICE office in Atlanta, Georgia. A statement published to the local media wrote:

“In solidarity with Portland last night, a crowd gathered in Atlanta outside the DHS/ICE office. These agencies are directly responsible for ruining untold numbers of lives, and for the violent policing of the Portland protests,” an email from the group said, in part. “We will fight with everything we’ve got against Trump’s private police force, against authoritarian and despotic governance. What the police produce, above all, are their own grave-diggers. Their fall and the victory of the ungovernable are equally inevitable.”

Meanwhile, other large actions and militant marches took place in Charlotte, Washington DC, and Richmond, Virginia. In Washington DC, demonstrators also organized a home demonstration in the neighborhood of Chad Wolf, the vastly unpopular acting head of the Department of Homeland Secretary (DHS). In Richmond, hundreds marched against the police, leading to clashes and the setting on fire of a city truck. Also, in Louisville, Kentucky, where demonstrators have been fighting in the memory of Breonna Taylor for nearly two months, a shooting accorded when members of the “Not Fucking Around Coalition” or NFAC, accidentally fired their weapons, hitting several of their own members. Meanwhile, the non-armed demonstrators stood their ground against the far-Right Three Percenter militia.

Finally, in the Northeast, demonstrations, marches, and militant actions continued to take place, with thousands marching, shutting down bridges, and rioting; smashing police cars in New York and Brooklyn.

RoundUp

Seattle, WA

Olympia, WA

Tacoma, WA

Salem, OR

Bend, OR

Portland, OR

Eugene, CA

Marin, CA

Oakland, CA

Sacramento, CA

Los Gatos, CA

Rally held. Faces off with far-Right and Trump supporters.

Santa Maria, CA

Rally held in solidarity with Portland.

Long Beach, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Las Vegas, NV

Salt Lake City, UT

Flagstaff, AZ

Phoenix, AZ

Denver, CO

Aurora, CO

Omaha, NB

Austin, TX

Houston, TX

Dallas, TX

Protest organized in solidarity with Portland.

Cincinnati, OH

Carbondale, IL

Rockford, IL

Bloomington, IL

Minneapolis, MN

Bay City, MI

Rally held in solidarity with Portland.

Chicago, IL

Louisville, KY

Atlanta, GA

Washington DC

Richmond, VA

Charlotte, NC

Baltimore, MD

King of Prussia, PA

Rally held in solidarity with Portland.

Philadelphia, PA

Rally and march in solidarity with Portland

Salem, MA

Black Lives Matter rally organized in solidarity with Portland. Counter-protest of far-Right “Patriot” groups shows up to counter-rally.

Newark, NJ

Demonstration and march organized.

Brooklyn, NY

New York City, NY

Providence, RI

North Conway, NH

Rally held in solidarity.

Portland, ME

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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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