Welcome, to This Is America, October 11th, 2021.
On today’s episode, we dive into headline and resistance news, before switching to our discussion, where we offer an anarchist critique and analysis of Biden’s continuing attacks on migrants and push to expand industrial petrol-capitalism.
There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get to the news!
Living and Fighting
Canadian fossil fuel company Embridge directed police to make arrests and carry out surveillance against Line 3 protesters and picked up the bill for everything from overtime, equipment, meals, and much more. According to The Guardian:
Enbridge is replacing the Line 3 pipeline through Minnesota to carry oil from Alberta to the tip of Lake Superior in Wisconsin. A report by the climate action group MN350 says the expanded pipeline will emit the equivalent greenhouse gases of 50 coal power plants. The project was meant to be completed and start functioning on Friday. Police have arrested more than 900 demonstrators opposing Line 3 and its impact on climate and Indigenous rights, according to the Pipeline Legal Action Network. [R]ecords obtained by the Guardian show the company meets daily with police to discuss intelligence gathering and patrols. And when Enbridge wants protesters removed, it calls police or sends letters.
Records obtained by the Guardian show a close working relationship between Enbridge and police. In December 2020, Cass county’s sheriff’s office began “proactive safety patrols” of communities along the pipeline route. Up to 6 August the Enbridge account reimbursed the sheriff $849,163.40 for these patrols.
New body cam footage from the first days of the George Floyd uprising show police in Minneapolis:
[Mocking] some demonstrators and [seeking] out others who were breaking curfew and [firing] rubber bullets at them. They made racially tinged remarks, derided the working press and celebrated direct hits with their rubber bullets. Later, the officers laughed in the back of the van as one talked about “anarchists” they saw earlier. He imitated the cartoon character Elmer Fudd, joking about hunting down the “anarchists.”
“A Washington State prosecutor has found no crime” in the state assassination of Portland area activist Michael Reinoehl, who shot and killed an associate of the far-Right group, Patriot Prayer, after Proud Boys and other fascist groups flooded into Portland, waving Trump flags and attacking people on the street in the fall of 2020. Reinoehl had been a regular at Black Lives Matter protests and in an interview with VICE before he was murdered, claimed he acted in self-defense. On social media, Reinoehl stated his support for opposing fascism, but there’s no evidence he was involved in any specific antifascist group. Days after the fatal confrontation in September of 2020, Reinoehl was killed by a group of US marshals and local police as he walked to his car, eating gummy worms. Trump would later take credit for the assassination, which was coordinated by the Justice Department. For an in-depth look at the case, go here.
A new review of over 40 years of data show that deadly encounters with law enforcement, often when the victim is Black of brown, has been mislabeled or not reported at all. According to The Guardian:
More than half of all police-involved killings in the US go unreported with the majority of victims being Black…in the US between 1980 and 2018, more than 55% of deaths, over 17,000 in total, from police violence were either misclassified or went unreported. The study also discovered that Black Americans are more likely than any other group to die from police violence and are 3.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white Americans.
A new look at a DHS document analyzing the department’s brutal crackdown of the 2020 George Floyd uprising in Portland shows, according to Daily Kos:
An internal DHS review (that only surfaced this week reveals) was that it was also an extraordinary exercise in authoritarian incompetence. It demonstrates that senior DHS leadership pushed unfounded conspiracy theories about antifascists, encouraged the contractors they hired to violate protesters’ constitutional rights, and made spurious connections, based on no real evidence, between protesters who engaged in criminal activity.
A team of open source intelligence collectors, tasked with analyzing information obtained from public sources, also created dossiers on protesters and journalists—which they called “baseball cards”—despite having no clear connections to domestic terrorism or security threats.
The DHS internal review found that Wolf and his immediate underlings at I/A pushed staffers to describe the protests as “Violent Antifa Anarchist Inspired” (VAAI) actions—an entirely new category that had no evidentiary support or background.
Finally, the trial of anarchist political prisoner Eric King is set to enter the beginning phases in Denver, Colorado on October 14th. For more information, go here. For an update from Eric’s legal team, go here.
Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Boulder was vandalized last week after erecting an anti-abortion display.
A vehicle was disabled, windows were cracked, walls were tagged and egged, and hundreds of white crosses on the church line were smashed. pic.twitter.com/y8vixiSqH3
— Colorado Liberation & Autonomy (COLA) (@AutonomyCola) October 6, 2021
- In the wake of legal attacks on abortion access, churches in Louisville and Boulder, Colorado were vandalized with pro-abortion graffiti. According to the Washington Times:
The messages spray-painted in red, black and white on the building include the anarchist “A;” “No wire hangers ever;” “Bans off our bodies;” “Jesus [loves] abortion;” “Your church is dying LOL;” “My body, my choice;” and “No gods, no master.”
Birthright, an Iowa City Crisis Pregnancy Center (Fake clinic meant to trick people seeking abortion into not getting one) has gotten a redecoration during a march for reproductive rights tonight pic.twitter.com/rILtFk4tMa
— Oliver 🏴🐇🐈⬛ (@Ollie_XVX) September 25, 2021
- In Iowa City:
[A] group [marched] by the offices of the anti-abortion organization Birthright…Photos posted to Twitter later showed a shattered window at the Birthright offices, with pro-choice signs and coat hangers left on and around the windows and doors.
— It’s Going Down (@IGD_News) October 3, 2021
- In Portland, a radical bloc joined the larger Women’s March, taking to the streets against attacks on abortion rights.
BREAKING: @NoCoalNoGas activists have blockaded the entrance to New England’s last operating coal plant & are literally tearing up the pavement to plant a garden in its place.
— Collin Rees (@collinrees) October 3, 2021
- Members of the “No Coal No Gas campaign…blockaded the entrance to New England’s only remaining coal plant” and used pick axes to break up the pavement.
— Tuesday Laflare🇭🇹🍦🐍 (@tuesdaylongway) September 24, 2021
- In Portland, anarchist groups formed a black bloc, taking part in youth led climate protests.
Solidarity with Zapatistas
Solidarity for Chiapas EZLN Zapatistas at the Mexican consulate in Seattle yesterday. “there was about 30-50 people. this is just who wanted to pose for the photo :)” pic.twitter.com/rjIUwnGdXU
— Erikos, Libertarian-Socialist (@EAndropoulos) September 25, 2021
Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday! We presented a letter to the Mexican consulate staff, who came out and spoke with us for a long time, brought us water, individually took copies of zines on the Zapatistas, and promised to send our letter on to the Mexican government. https://t.co/Bg5Jlz30mT pic.twitter.com/m1k7oH5axg
— Detroit Build & Fight (@BuildFightDet) September 25, 2021
- Responding to a call for solidarity with autonomous Zapatista communities under attack by paramilitaries, people held solidarity demonstrations in various cities including Detroit, Portland, El Paso, and Seattle.
Viva Las Zapatistas
from Portland to Chiapas pic.twitter.com/xHeOAbFOuq
— Symbiosis PDX ☀️❤️🌻 (@Symbiosis_PDX) September 25, 2021
- Also in Mexico City, people squatted a “dilapidated government office” and turned it into a community space in solidarity with the Zapatistas.
#CDMX From the newly taken over squat “Casa Chiapas”, collectives have decided to turn the dilapidated government office into a self-managed community space. Independent media & public health projects will begin shortly as well as workshops for bicycle repair. 🚲✊🏿🖤❤️🧵1/2 pic.twitter.com/vA17Ev6uR3
— Voices in Movement (@VIM_Media) September 28, 2021
🚨The Chiapas state representative’s office in Mexico City was taken over today in solidarity with Zapatista communities! Direct action!💥🖤#ZapataVive #SamirVive #LaGiraZapatistaVa pic.twitter.com/WCoM8PHGyn
— Voices in Movement (@VIM_Media) September 25, 2021
Just a few blocks from the Angel de La independencia in Mexico City, the Casa de Chiapas — the representation of Chiapas state — has just been occupied in solidarity with the Zapatistas and against the repression against their communities. pic.twitter.com/lVKNze6tp1
— ((counterapparatus)) (@walmas) September 24, 2021
Struggle for Abolition
The murderer of Guillermo Amezcua escalated. THIS IS WHAT THEY DO WHEN FAMILIES COME TO CONFRONT THE MURDERER OF THEIR LOVED ONE.
Fuck the police and FUCK SFPD. pic.twitter.com/OHrcc4hVl7
— Jordan (@Myrcella) October 6, 2021
- Family and friends of Guillermo Amezcua, killed by police on April 10th, clashed with authorities and disrupted a ‘National Night Out’ event organized by the police in San Fernando.
Protest in downtown Portland for Robert Delgado, who was murdered by PDX Police last year, while experiencing a mental health crisis. His sister, Tina Delgado, is pictured here – leading a chant with around 100 antifascists in the background, demanding justice for his death. pic.twitter.com/naSZdr7CPp
— Grace Morgan (@gravemorgan) October 2, 2021
- Angry protests erupted in Portland, after a grand jury decided not to charge police with the killing of Robert Delgado, who was shot and killed by police while carrying a toy gun in a park. According to Willamette Week:
At around 9 pm, the crowd moved to the east side of the Justice Center, where chants against the Portland police continued. All the while, spray paint-wielding teams of black bloc protesters graffitied the building with anti-police slogans, using umbrellas to shield their faces from view. People threw eggs and bottles of water at the building. Demonstrators then marched to City Hall, where the graffiti continued. People tore down the American flag from the City Hall flagpole and burned it on the front door of the building. Smaller bonfires were set on Southwest 4th Avenue facing City Hall, where newspaper boxes were used as barricades in the middle of the street.
An American flag slowly burning while wrapped on the doors of #Portland City Hall in downtown. The crowd chants “Robert Delgado! No Justice! No Peace! No Justice! No Peace! No Justice! No Peace!” pic.twitter.com/S3TEKVjhqn
— Johnny K Dangers (@johnnykdangers) October 2, 2021
- In New York, protesters hit the streets in the Bronx against the police killing of Mike Rosado, hitting cop cars with eggs and dropping banners. Another demonstration was held for Fanta Bility, an 8 year-old African-American girl who was shot and killed by police in Pennsylvania, after officers opened fire on a vehicle following shooting outside of a football game. Bility’s sister was also injured in the shooting.
Protesters joined #MikeRosado’s family/loved ones last nite in the Bronx for a march to NYPD’s 46th precinct to demand justice for #MikeRosado. Banner drop & some cop cars got lightly redecorated (with eggs). NYPD still hasn’t even released the names of the cops who killed Mike. pic.twitter.com/4diun96BLR
— Ash J (@AshAgony) September 26, 2021
Protesters took over the Brooklyn Bridge last nite & marched from Barclays Center in Brooklyn to the African Burial Ground in Manhattan to demand justice for #FantaBility, (an 8 year old girl killed by Pennsylvania cops) & for all the Black young people killed by cops. pic.twitter.com/jT21QzLLM4
— Ash J (@AshAgony) October 7, 2021
- Black Lives Matter activists in Saratoga Springs are pushing back against police attempts to repress the movement by slamming activists with trumped up charges stemming from months old protests. According to the Times Union:
High-profile arrests of protesters…have fueled complaints that police are trying to intimidate racial justice advocates with arrests, and in the case of Saratoga Springs, hours of detention for low-level violations and misdemeanor charges.
This morning several activists being targeted by Saratoga Springs PD will be turning themselves in or be appearing in court on BS warrants. We must speak out about this injustice happening across NY as activists are targeted to silence a movement.
— Upstate Antifa 🇵🇸 (@AntifaUPNY) September 21, 2021
- Anti-ICE actions continue, with protests taking place outside of a facility in Plymouth and the home of the DHS Secretary, who’s house was covered in a giant metal ‘blanket.’
— Daniel (@Sportronicon) September 29, 2021
- The movement to push cops off campuses in California continues, with banner drops happening across the UC Davis campus.
We’re back to wish you all a happy first day of classes! pic.twitter.com/2TOnPUnm29
— UC Davis #CopsOffCampus (@UCDavis_COC) September 22, 2021
— Cops Off Campus – #AbolitionMay (@ucftp) September 21, 2021
Dozens of employees at El Milagro – tortilla production facilities – walk out
out, picket in front of the facility in Little Village to denounce decades-long abuse and demand fair pay, safe working conditions. pic.twitter.com/rTFnEXDICJ
— Laura N. Rodríguez Presa (@LAURA_N_ROD) September 23, 2021
- Workers in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood staged a walk-out at a tortilla production facility to denounce decades long abuse, low wages, and unsafe working conditions.
— It’s Going Down (@IGD_News) September 24, 2021
- Carpenters in Seattle walked off their jobs, forming roving bands of pickets over the past few weeks. From one report:
Like other sections of workers, the carpenters are determined to overturn decades of union-backed concessions. They have sought to expand their struggle by calling out non-striking carpenters and other building trades workers. Despite the pandemic, Seattle is experiencing a construction boom driven by the new projects ordered by Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Facebook. Carpenters who cannot afford to raise a family in the area or keep up with rising fuel and other costs associated with long daily commutes are calling for a $15 wage increase over three years, increased employer contributions to health care and pensions and fully paid parking.
Small groups of carpenters, have begun a series of wildcat protests that they say has slowed or shut down around a dozen additional job sites. The union has viciously cracked down on these “unauthorized” actions, deciding to shut down all picket sites and encouraging the rest of the 2,000 striking carpenters to turn against the workers involved.
- Across the so-called US, a strike wave is brewing, with Kellogg’s workers, bus drivers, and others others striking or set to strike. As the Inquirer wrote:
Interestingly, America has been here before. In 1946 — after essential workers worked long hours and made sacrifices to get the United States through a different kind of crisis, in World War II — millions of mostly factory workers joined the largest and also one of the most violent strike waves in the nation’s history. Despite GOP lawmakers working to impose some restrictions on union power (in the Taft-Hartley Act, still in force today), the overall impact was history’s greatest rise in middle-class prosperity, lasting from 1946 to 1973 and dubbed the Great Compression by economists because of the decline in income inequality.
But the solution lies not in politicians or the established union bureaucracy – which have worked to contain class struggle in favor of social peace and funnel dues to the Democratic Party, but instead in expanding strikes and pushing them into larger scale community struggles. We have already seen this at play during the mass wildcat strikes of teachers several years ago and in the recent Nabisco strike, where supporters and other groups of workers blockaded and stopped trains and scabs in an effort to aid strikers.
On October 2, 1968 Mexican police & military troops killed hundreds of activists before the start of the Olympics. Students yelled “We don’t want Olympics, we want revolution!” From our collective memory, we don’t forget the bad governments of the past & present & don’t fogive! pic.twitter.com/EpzTSCqLw9
— Voices in Movement (@VIM_Media) October 3, 2021
- Anarchists took part in demonstrations commemorating the 1968 massacre of activists by police and military troops.
It’s Going Down
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