Nth America, news roundup/Podcast #63: Like a House of Cards

By   It’s Going Down  

Welcome, to This Is America, March 9th, 2019.

We have an amazing show/transcript for you this week. First, we talk with someone from PopMob about a recent event in Portland that brought together close to 600 people in response to a series of anti-queer and anti-trans attacks.

Police Rapists Go Free .

In New York, the DA has decided to drop charges against several police officers that raped and attacked Anna Chambers. Anarchists have been a continuous part of the struggle and shown solidarity for months.

In a statement Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council wrote:

Community Safety

We then talk with two people involved in the newspaper project, Salvo, out of Los Angeles, who is currently fundraising to expand their project. We talk about the importance of having counter-information projects, the recent LA teacher’s strike, and more.

But first, let’s get to the news!

Living and Fighting

The Oakland teacher’s strike is over, with many reporting that the teacher’s union gave in to major concessions. Many are now mobilizing to fight a series of proposed school closures. Check out a series of critical articles on the strike on LibCom and Commune Magazine

Meanwhile, the teacher’s rebellion continues, with:

A week after Kentucky teachers conducted a job action to protest legislation attacking pensions and public schools, teachers in the state’s largest school district in the Louisville area have staged two days of sickouts in defiance of the unions. On Thursday, Jefferson County Public School teachers were joined by school workers in Meade, Oldham, and Bullitt counties, resulting in the closure of hundreds of schools.

In Louisville, the teacher actions are organized by a group completely autonomous of the teacher’s unions.

 

Chelsea jailed

Supporters of Chelsea Manning rallied in DC recently in support of the whistle-blower who “provided archives of secret military documents to WikiLeaks in 2010, [and] was taken into custody on Friday after a federal judge found her in contempt for refusing to testify before a grand jury that is investigating the anti-secrecy group.” A support fund has been set up here. In a statement Chelsea said:

“In solidarity with many activists facing the odds, I will stand by my principles. I will exhaust every legal remedy available. My legal team continues to challenge the secrecy of these proceedings, and I am prepared to face the consequences of my refusal.”

School Strike… 

Demonstrations continue in Sacramento, California, with students taking a lead, launching school walkouts and strikes, which have marched across the city building as more students walk out of school and join in them.

Anti Racist Victory 

In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, two Silent Sam protesters had their charges dropped, while another one still faces some charges. Check out a statement from Take Action Chapel Hill here.

In major anti-pipeline news, the tail end of the Dakota Access Pipeline, known as the Bayou Bridge pipeline, which for the last two years has been resisted by the L’eau Est La Vie Camp, is now being delayed in construction “indefinitely.” According to Last Real Indians:

Energy Transfer Partners may have lied to its shareholders when it told investors the Bayou Bridge pipeline will be fully functional this month.

According to reports from Louisiana residents who frequent the Atchafalaya Basin, work on the project – which was first projected to be complete in 2017 – has been halted indefinitely due to high water levels.

Included in this program is a recent update from the Bayou Bridge resistance camp, which will also give an update. Not to be outdone, two other massive energy projects, the Mountain Valley Pipeline and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, two projects have have written about and covered on this podcast, are also in jeopardy and are far behind schedule.

Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipeline Resistance

As Forbes wrote:

Two proposed long-haul natural gas transportation projects—the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP)—are now in peril. That’s the result of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia in late February.

The future of both projects remains up in the air, while resistance in the forms of tree-sits and continued resistance on the ground shows no signs of stopping.

Keystone XL pipeline> Criminalising Protests

In some not so good news however, in South Dakota in preparation for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline:

Republican Gov. Kristi Noem’s [introduced a bill] to curb violent pipeline protests [and it] has flown through both chambers of the Legislature. Noem dropped Senate Bills 189 and 190 on Monday. On Wednesday, a joint hearing was held on the bills. By Thursday, the Legislature suspended rules in order to pass both bills out of both chambers on the same day. SB 189 establishes civil penalties for “riot boosting,” or contributing money to or encouraging protesters who engage in violence.

Of the bill, journalist Will Parish wrote on Twitter:

If you “encourage” someone to protest (“riot”) against the KXL pipeline, SD now wants to fine you. “The governor’s office coordinated with representatives of TransCanada, law enforcement, local governments and state agencies to draft the bills.”

Alt Right Leaks Victory

Finally, the Alt-Right white nationalist group, Identity Evropa is having a bad week. Media collective Unicorn Riot released a series of Discord chat lots giving antifascists across the country access to a treasure trove of information, which kicked off a new round of doxxing, job firings, and more. The leaks show many connections between local GOP and College Republican circles and show a desire by members of IE to infiltrate the political establishment as much as possible.Image result for Identity Evropa

This weekend is Identity Evropa’s yearly conference, which is supposed to be held in secret, yet the information was also released. The group is currently meeting at a lake resort in Kentucky, and then is supposed to hold some sort of action later in the weekend.

Soon after, the leader of Identity Evropa, Patrick “McLovin” Casey announced that the group would reform under the banner of American Identity Movement, or AIM, which of course is the same initials as the American Indian Movement, which still exists to this day. Whether this rebranding will result in a split within the organization or just a reboot, remains unclear.

Upcoming Events:

  • Saturday, March 9th: Little Rock, Arkansas, State Capitol. Anti-racist mobilization against militia, neo-Nazi, and KKK rally. More info here.
  • Friday, March 15th: Vancouver, British Columbia. Mobilize against Alt-Right trolls Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern. More info here.
  • Saturday, March 16th: March Against Racism and Fascism with UARF. New York. More info here.
  • March 16th – 20th: Mattole Forest Skillshare Camp in Northern California.
  • April 19th-21st: In Prescott, Arizona there is a three-day antifascist gathering called the Cliffrose Convergence at the Frantz Fanon Community Strategy Center being organized.
  • Thursday, March 14th at the Social Justice Action Center at 400 SE 12th Ave. PDX Rad Movie is back for our first installment of 2019, one year and one day after our first showing last March.
  • March 30th, East Portland Housing Assembly. More info here.
  • August 16th – 18th: Indigenous anarchist convergence, so-called Flagstaff, Arizona. More info here.

Resisting Slavery: From Marie-Joseph Angélique 1734 to Prison Strike 2018

We postered along the same streets that Angélique was paraded down moments before she was hung, and then burned.

Text for a poster distributed by anarchists in Montreal linking historical struggles against slavery to the current prison strike. Some anarchists came together on the night of August 23rd to cover Montréal’s Vieux Port (Old Port) in posters that read in both French and English:

Resisting Slavery: From Marie-Joseph Angélique 1734 to Prison Strike 2018   ..August 21 – September 9th 2018    More Info: twitter.com/JailLawSpeakImage result for abolish prison slavery

By   Anonymous Contributor at Its Going Down

We postered along the same streets that Angélique was paraded down moments before she was hung, and then burned. Angélique, we remember. Slavery, stolen land, and attempted genocide define the contours of the ever-forming settler states of Turtle Island (North America).

In solidarity with prisoners currently fighting slavery inside all US prisons, we wanted to (re)tell the story of Marie-Joseph Angélique. Angélique was a Black woman enslaved in Montréal during the 18th Century who was sentenced to torture and death for allegedly setting fire to her slave owner’s domicile, which resulted in the majority of the city of Montréal burning.

We offer Angélique’s story as a reminder that Québec and Canada were engaged in the practice of slavery for over 200 years. We chose Angélique’s story because it connects the city we live in to the ongoing story of resistance to slavery on this continent.

US prisoners have used this strike to reference a long history of resistance to slavery. August 21, 1831 marked the start of Nat Turner’s Rebellion, a significant moment of resistance by enslaved people.Image result for abolish prison slavery

August 21, 1971 also marks the day the state killed George Jackson, a Black revolutionary prisoner deeply involved in struggles for the liberation of Black peoples. Jackson’s death ignited an intense period of prison organizing.

September 9, 1971 marks the start of the Attica Uprising, one of the most significant moments of resistance inside US prisons. Prisoners at Attica released a list of comprehensive demands to improve their living conditions. Those demands were never met but have clearly influenced the prisoners on strike today.

Resistance to slavery is an ongoing struggle for those facing incarceration in the United States. The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution states:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Slavery actively continues within US prisons. The 13th Amendment legally justifies the violent, brutal conditions that define this carceral system. These conditions are what prisoners across the States will be striking against over the next two weeks.

And while Canada does not have a similar constitutional amendment, we view prisons not only as an apparatus of domination, but also as an extension of Canada’s settler colonial project.Image result for abolish prison slavery

The primary aim for the settler colonial project is to control land for settlement and for the extraction of “natural resources”.

It is through these capitalist relationships to land that the colonial system secures its wealth and future existence. However, First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nations are viewed by the political and economic elite as an obstacle to this settler future.

The settler state and society have employed tactics and strategies such as: racialized and class-motivated surveillance, policing, military repression, and incarceration. Containment and control are not only central to the settler colonial project, but prisons and incarceration are a strategic part of keeping Indigenous people off the land, and thus less able to challenge state power.

Slavery, stolen land, and attempted genocide are the founding stories of the settler states occupying this continent, and they are the foundations of the systems we seek to abolish.Image result for us political prisoners

We weave together these aforementioned moments in history to illustrate how they belong to a longer, more global context of colonial expansion, exploitation for profit, and great wealth for some humans at the expense of the objectification of so many forms of life.

Solidarity with the prisoners on strike, in memory of Angélique.

Against prisons, against slavery, against colonialism!

URL link to poster pdf files: https://archive.org/details/PrisonStrike2018posters

Philadelphia, PA: #PrisonStrike Noise Demo Report Back

Report back from the Friendly Fire Collective about the recent noise demonstration in solidarity with the #PrisonStrike.

As the local Friendly Fire group, we decided that we would cancel our prayer meeting in order to attend an action instead. As endorsers of the National Prison Strike, and as followers of Jesus, a revolutionary abolitionist, we felt that participating in this noise demo in solidarity with striking prisoners was important.

The action as a whole turned out great. Dozens of folks showed up in front of the Juvenile Justice Services Center in West Philly with drums, pots, pans, whistles, even a saxophone – anything to make noise with.

This energy of this action was bright and joyful and yet felt a bit more militant than other recent actions, with a spontaneous blockade erected and chants such as “Burn the banks, burn the prisons, just make sure the cops are in ’em” and – a Friendly Fire favorite – “God Hates Cops.”

IMG_20180821_230407_404(1)

There seemed to be a lot of support from those in the surrounding community, who raised their fists, honked in support, and for the most part, happily learned about the Prison Strike. A number of folks, even families, joined the protest.

We concluded by reading the demands publicly and then marched down Market Street.

We are thankful for everybody who came out and the IWW comrades who organized this action. May God be with those striking prisoners, may their demands be heard and met, and may all those opposing their work and livelihood face God’s most severe judgment.

For more information on the Prison Strike: https://incarceratedworkers.org/campaigns/prison-strike-2018Image result for abolish prison slavery

Remembering Paul Z. Simons: An Unyielding Anarchist, Author, and Rebel

We’re saddened to announce the passing of Paul Z. Simons, longtime anarchist, journalist, and author. Paul was an anarchist writer with a playful spirit, an uncompromising love of life, and equally uncompromising hatred for authority—be it from the right or the left. We treasure our memories of Paul. His presence will be sorely missed.

Recalled by his eldest daughter as “a uniquely intelligent writer, traveler, idealist, and fire-breathing anarchist,” Paul participated in some of the most inspiring thought and action of the past forty years.

We are not equipped to properly write his eulogy, but we hope others will, and now that he is no longer able to speak to you himself, we urge you to read the materials he left behind.

Paul wrote with great eloquence and erudition on everything from theater to insurrectionary strategy, from play to hallucinogens. In his history writing, he explored everything from the anti-racist insurgency of John Brown to the English Revolution of 1645 from an insurrectionary perspective. Continue reading “Remembering Paul Z. Simons: An Unyielding Anarchist, Author, and Rebel”

Free Download pdf: No Wall They Can Build… US Border Guide

Borders: The Global Caste System

By  CrimethInc. Ex-Workers Collective     The border is not just a wall or a line on a map. It’s a power structure, a system of control. The border is everywhere that people live in fear of deportation, everywhere migrants are denied the rights accorded citizens, everywhere human beings are segregated into included and excluded.

The border divides the whole world into gated communities and prisons, one within the other in concentric circles of privilege and control. At one end of the continuum, there are billionaires who can fly anywhere in private jets; at the other end, inmates in solitary confinement.

As long as there is a border between you and those less fortunate than you, you can be sure there will be a border above you, too, keeping you from the things you need. And who will tear down that second border with you, if not the people separated from you by the first? Continue reading “Free Download pdf: No Wall They Can Build… US Border Guide”

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