…the disUnited hateS of Amerikkka
“Ask not what ‘your’ country can screw out of you, but how you can screw ‘your’ country”
“Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
– Oscar Wilde, ‘The Soul of Man Under Socialism’
A chronology of events taken from the News of Opposition page, plus sometimes other things, followed by various links to relevant articles
Calling this page “U.SS.A” is not meant to imply that the growth of a fascistic USA is – for the moment – comparable with Nazi Germany, or even other forms of more traditional fascism – it’s more on the level of a simplistic stylised slogan rather than an accurate analysis.
Scroll down to after the chronology to find other texts on this site about aspects of the USA, plus a few more elsewhere.
US, California (Berkeley): antifas arrested in limited ‘clash’ with fascists Report from a contact: “It was PATHETIC. This article is from Fox News (so you already know it’s hyperbolic hogwash), and, as may be seen, they have tried to do the alt. right’s work for it by publicizing the identities of the people who got arrested (you see their pics; they look a miserable lot, as though central casting had gotten them from the same pool that once held Steve Bannon).
When I got there, things had already arrived at a kind of stalemate: there were no more than a couple of dozen fascists in the middle of the park, which was surrounded with concrete roadblocks arranged to stop pedestrian traffic as well, save by single -file entry. They were surrounded by a somewhat greater number of demonstrators who were yelling at them. Each side had a person shouting into a loudspeaker, each with their separate incantations, each of less than ten syllables. The nazi clown – who was definitely the same one who was at Portland the day before – was chanting something about Marxism and paedophilia, and the Maoist (the article references the knocking of books off a book table that Revolution Books had set up in the park, remarkably near by) was shouting the usual “No Trump, No KKK, No [non-red] fascist USA”. There were quite a few cops around, and a certain type of seemingly contrived high tension was in the air…but it was nothing like what was happening at the same time in Portland yesterday. And yet one had the feeling that one side, the leftist side, was trying rather desperately to engineer some kind of cathartic moment. Although I did not see it directly, I believe it was probably the reason for what looked otherwise like extremely bad generalship.
As I exited the blocked off space in the park and proceeded down the block I found, at a 90 degree angle, a double line of tac squad cops facing off to what looked like only slightly more than a hundred demonstrators to the right on Milivia St. It looked like neither side wanted to butt heads at that point, there were, after all, squads of cops all around the park in little knots – defense in depth, as it were – and even if the whole lot of demonstrators had broken through, all they could have done was rough up the couple of dozen nazis for a short while until the cavalry came…and so what?
I continued the rest of the block to University, made a right turn toward the main street of Shattuck, and no long afterward the entirety of the marchers followed me up that block to stop at the intersection. There I was able to see in the vanguard, about fifty or so people in black-bloc attire, but not a single flag or evidence that these were anarchists (despite what you see in the Fox article; of course “anarchist” is a favorite demonizing word for both types of fascists present, and that may explain why Fox wanted it so, lack of evidence notwithstanding). The props indicating actual political positions consisted largely of the Bay Area Resist’s little printed poster (whose diminutive size I suspect was a consequence of a recent Berkeley ordinance), the RCP’s “No!…” poster and the occasional demonstrator adorned with a DSA T-shirt. The rest of the crowd was fairly typical Berkeley motley, mostly of people in their twenties and thirties with a sprinkling of older movement veteran-looking grey-hairs.
At least as striking though was the zombie-like shuffling gait, obedient stop at the march leader’s instructions, obligatory sloganeering for a few moments before they began marching again, up the block and to the right on the next street, where I knew from the street I had moments ago traversed, that they would find another police blockade/check point. This seemed remarkably dense from a tactical point of view: why tire your troops by marching them three times the distance that your opponent will have to march to cut them off and impose the same tactical stalemate again on you? I saw one of the marchers tarrying along the sidewalk as the rest of them got going. He seemed a little uncertain himself and so I asked “What is the point of this exercise? They should already know that the street they’re going toward is blocked as well; it’s warm and they’ll get tired”. The person I asked had no idea and seemed perplexed as to why this was happening himself.
Nevertheless, he and all the others dutifully followed the instructions of the march leader and shuffled off…I keep going straight, up to Shattuck, not wishing to wait around in the sun for some female leftist iteration of Colonel Blimp to march her charges into a cul-de-sac from which they might be hard-pressed to extricate themselves, especially as they had conspicuously less mobility than the cops, whose main body of heavy infantry may have been no faster, but who had numerous small groups of tactical reserves loosely surrounding the demonstrators already.
It was at that point, where I could see no successful outcome, that I packed it in. Getting bottled up along with a large (it was really no more than 120 people…maybe Fox has taken up the old ancient Greco-Roman style, accounting the opposing Persian armies at preposterously large numbers to make their own victories more impressive, unaware that centuries later Hans Delbrueck would ambush them) group of cattle-like PBI (Poor Bloody Infantry)s whose tactical imaginations must have completely failed them to allow themselves to be led into such a trap…or perhaps there is a special leftist obedience school they attend…was definitely not the way I wanted to spend the rest of my afternoon and evening. So I drifted up to Shattuck St., past Eastwind Books – a pitiable shadow of its former self when it came for a while into its own under a more independent management after the death of Mao and began to stock a wide range of books that weren’t just propaganda – and turned right. I drifted past the seedy comic book store and Half Price Books where I briefly read of Peter Padfield’s biography of Karl Doenitz (the period right after the mutinies of the High Seas Fleet) and picked up a copy of Anarchism and the City [Barcelona 1898-1937], with one ear cocked to the sounds of the street coming from around the corner. Then, giving up entirely on the demonstrators ability to give their fatalistic turn of march the slip, I descended into the underworld of BART.
I was on the point of calling, and coming, home when I heard two loud explosions I took to be flashbangs and heard the loudspeaker sloganeering get momentarily closer and louder. Although I expected some of the demonstrators to take refuge in the BART, it didn’t happen. I later heard when I got home (per this article) that 12 people had been arrested, some of them probably tying to force a passage through to the park. If so, and there is little reason to doubt it, the tactical leadership of the march was definitely at the level of the British offensive at the Somme (or, given the persistent impression that the march leader was making stabs in the dark for a tactical solution – like Scheer going into the attack against Jellicoe for the second, catastrophically disastrous time): just bludgeoning a body of troops against impenetrable defenses until they break or, as happened, until the offensive runs out of cannon fodder. The terrible irony was, as I discovered making my way through the park when I first arrived, that the later WW I tactic of infiltration of individuals or small groups, would have likely insinuated enough people in to make a sudden push, routing the ultra-rightists, without the police being able to respond in time. This is a terribly old tactical trick. Perhaps the ulterior motive was to get people popped to “radicalize” the crowd – I’ve seen the RCP do this a number of times in the past; it’s completely cynical and it probably doesn’t work so well, but it provides the bureaucrats with a feeling of Stalinoid pseudo-Machiavellian omnipotence (although to read the descriptions of the charges against some of those arrested, they may well have been detained away from the main body of demonstrators). Perhaps I am being too harsh on the planners of this demonstration – I would like for the sake of the poor walk-ons taking (no decision-making) part in the demo, but by the look of things when I left, that would give more credit than I would justifiably extend.
A world of difference form what was observed to have happened in Portland.“
Additional comment: “I omitted to mention two bits of observation that have a bearing on how yesterday’s events came out and their significance.
The first was seeing the poster of the group of people immediately behind me as I walked through the crowd breifly immobilized on the sidewalk on University Avenue. “Capitalism+Racism=Fascism” Such a poster really makes one ask how much beforehand thinking went into whatever gestalt produced this thoroughly mindless slogan. Just examining the elements that make it up – did capitalism not contain a rather virulent strain of racism from the very beginning to justify the slaughter, the destruction of civilizations, the reduction of multiple populations to slavery, from the very beginning? And if so, why is it necessary to add “racism”? And if racism was there from the very beginning, were not according to this formula, capitalism and fascism one in the same thing? What then, of the historical specificity of fascism? What indeed of the historical consciousness of the demonstrators who hold this ridiculous slogan high?
The second occurred not long afterward, while listening to the march leader talk to the crowd before the next spasm of chanting began. I wasn’t able to catch all of it, but there was concern expressed at the threat made by the leader of the Patior Prayer march the day before in Portland – which, by the way seemed unrealized – that the alt right would put some of its Sturmabteilungen into “black bloc” outfits and disrupt the counter-protestors’ actions. Perhaps there is some of this concern in the the concentration of all the black bloc attired demonstrators at the front of the crowd together, so they could engage in mutual supervision of each other. This is testimony to a rather low degree of command and control management (perhaps Warsaw Pact style command and control to go with Cold War style politics), if true. Again, it would be well within the compass of the groups(s) involved for there to have been other actions and groupings in the wings or even off-stage that I did not see that would contradict what I have just now posited.”
US, Oregon: cops wade into antifas as armed fascists march More here“Numerous times today cops claimed to be trying to disperse the anti-fascist crowd because “we saw some weapons” but the whole time they knew the other side actually had weapons and even “cut a deal with them” so they wouldn’t be searched (as promised).https://t.co/2jN0OHuuON” A contact writes: “…it was clear that the main object of the pigs was both the monitoring and attacking of the much larger counter protestor groups. The cops fired chemical weapons at the crowd – utterly unprovoked, although the pigs claim projectiles were thrown – something Unicorn Riot’s reporter on the scene refuted – and caused the counter-demonstrators to disperse. In retaliation for the chemical/explosive attack, a small number of counter demonstrators then threw projectiles and this then gave the pigs the “excuse” for a general assault on the the anti-fascists, violent beatings and (I don’t know for sure, but in all likelihood) the majority of arrests. I’ll bet that all or at least the majority of arrests were of the counter-demonstrators. Interestingly, the collection of confiscated weapons seized by the police, were of items heavily marked with confederate battle-flag emblems…”
US, Indiana: wildcat strike over racist coordinator “On Tuesday, during a safety meeting, the coordinator asked one of the Mexican men to translate what he was saying to his fellow Spanish-speaking workers. When he refused, the coordinator “got mad, real red-faced,” Dangerfield said. So he called off the meeting and sent “five or six” people home, “trying to fire them.”…That’s when “they all packed their s**t up and shut this motherf**ker down!” Dangerfield explained with jubilance in the video, which has been viewed millions of times on Facebook and other platforms. “They are not bulls**tting,” he said. “They thought they was gonna play with these amigos and they say, ‘Aww yeah, we rise together, homie, and they leaving; they not bulls**tting.” “There wasn’t one [worker] left in the building…This is what black people need to be on, I swear to God, I love this sh*t,” Dangerfield, who is black, said in the video…”… we can all come together. There’s power in numbers….They were walking out with their heads up, strong. It touched me. That’s why I was like, wow, this is beautiful. We’re the ones, the workers — we make the heads get rich…Treating us lesser than isn’t even cool. We’re the reason the hub was getting built. Ain’t no owners out there in their hard hats. We’re the ones putting our life on the line. So you gotta respect us.” When Dangerfield went back to pick up his paycheck, he was offered $250 to take down his video, but it was just too powerful, he said, and he was fired. He added that the man who refused to translate was also sacked. Even still, Dangerfield doesn’t regret posting the 26/7/18:footage, “because it’s 5 million people who saw that. And it might change their view on things. Empowering people. Me losing a job is nothing compared to the big picture”
US, Oakland: angry demo following racist stabbing to death of black woman on BART metro system“…a crowd of about 1,000 marched from the MacArthur BART Station to downtown Oakland. The march took a violent turn when demonstrators — seen in a video making the rounds on social media — began beating a man some believed to be a member of the Proud Boys. An Oakland Police Department spokeswoman said two people were detained after the incident and later released. While removing them from the area, police said a portion of the crowd became disruptive and began throwing M-80 and M-1000 firecrackers at officers, injuring six of them.
US, Washington DC: 100s of women arrested following occupation of section of the Senate against ICE…Oregon: cops dismantle anti-ICE camp “Protest coordinator Lillith Sinclair told local news station KGW8 that Homeland Security officers “have been playing mind games” for several days – placing cardboard cutouts of officers in the ICE building to make it appear as though their presence was larger, blaring Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” to keep protesters awake, while one officer walked around the encampment with an eagle mask on his head.”…but this says the occupiers remain in place “DHS officers, adorned in full riot gear and brandishing automatic weapons and shields, announced a final warning to clear the entrance over a loudspeaker as they moved in, rousing sleeping occupiers and pulling down tents. By sunrise, a handful of protesters had been cuffed (seven got misdemeanor charges for failing to comply with federal officers’ orders) and the entrance to the ICE building, which had been closed since June 20 due to the protest, was protected by a line of federal officers. The office was opened and remains open, despite the contentious standoff between the feds and protesters—separated only by police tape—which was still ongoing as of Friday afternoon….”…Eyewitness accounts reveal certain miserable contradictions amongst the campers“At the Portland occupation, I saw some people aggressively shamed for tagging the Tesla showroom. They were screamed at and kicked out of the occupation at 3 am. I also saw those same people later being described as white, although half of them were people of color, because it didn’t fit into the leadership’s privilege politics narrative to admit that many people of color are invested in confrontational politics and escalation. As they were verbally assaulted and kicked out of camp, they were told that because they had tagged the Tesla showroom, it would be their fault if the police came to the blockade and took children away from their parents. At the Tacoma blockade, one afternoon, a nonviolent direct action training took place. It began with two white people and one person of color aggressively shaming everyone in the space for the actions of the police. According to them, it was our fault that the ICE agents were torturing and raping people inside because demonstrators had been standing in the street the night before. It was our fault the ICE agents were torturing and raping people inside because a couple demonstrators had been drinking beer.” A correspondent writes re. the above: “As we address the spores of bureaucratic rot and the ideologies that justify it, these commentaries showing the swiftness with which things are bureaucratized and the widespread prevalence of identity politicians – who are never silenced and never physically suppressed. Their defeat should be benchmarks of political advance and of judging the coherence of the actions themselves, as much as their avowed aim of blockading ICE. If these identity politicians continue to stand in the way of a genuine proletarian internationalism, the movement will stall and be defeated.”
“…the Olympia blockade… barricaded an active railroad for 12 days. The entire neighborhood was covered in anti-police graffiti. Cement was poured on the tracks. Security cameras were taken down. Parking meters in the area were broken. At any given time, the greatest number of people you might find at the blockade would be ~50-100. At night, it was down to 5-20 people. By contrast, if we count from the first day of the overnight occupation in Portland to the day the ICE building was reopened, the Portland blockade lasted 10 days—and the number of people at that blockade was often 1000 or more.The graffiti—and the smashed parking meters, broken security cameras, and so forth—at the Olympia blockade did not cause the police to come sooner. It actually took them longer to come, despite the blockade being only a fraction of the size of the Portland blockade. At the Portland blockade, people were busy policing each other.” – here
Interesting take on Trump’s immigration policies and propaganda “…what we are living with is pre-fascism. It is easy to dismiss Donald Trump as an ignoramus, not least because he is. But he has an acute understanding of one thing: test marketing. He created himself in the gossip pages of the New York tabloids, where celebrity is manufactured by planting outrageous stories that you can later confirm or deny depending on how they go down. And he recreated himself in reality TV where the storylines can be adjusted according to the ratings. Put something out there, pull it back, adjust, go again. Fascism doesn’t arise suddenly in an existing democracy. It is not easy to get people to give up their ideas of freedom and civility. You have to do trial runs that, if they are done well, serve two purposes. They get people used to something they may initially recoil from; and they allow you to refine and calibrate….” This is very obviously limited – not just because it comes from a journalist who intrinsically is incapable of speaking outside the parameters of bourgeois democracy, but also because, even within these very confined parameters, he doesn’t develop his perspectives much at all. Still, a start.
US, New York: loading dock of ICE HQ blocked as “Occupy ICE” spreads throughout country…More anti-ICE protests “At a facility in McAllen, Texas protesters briefly blocked a bus that was carrying immigrants. “Shame! Shame!” they shouted at border agents….protesters set up tents outside an ICE facility in Los Angeles.”
USA, Virginia: homeland security minister’s home and land lacks security “The protest, organized by the progressive group CREDO Action, took place at 7:30 a.m. In the pouring rain, protesters shouted several chants over megaphones, held posters that read “Child Snatcher” and played the audio clip released by ProPublica over a speaker system.”
US: report on man who refused to collaborate in the US state’s child abuse policies …as Homeland Security Secretary gets her Mexican meal ruined (video here)…and in Oregon ICE building is blockaded by activists…forcing offices to shut down temporarily
US, Missouri: prison uprising “Among other areas, the inmates destroyed the food area, kitchen, and a manufacturing facility after hot-wiring forklifts to break down the gates to get in….” More here “.. the inmates began to stage a sit-down protest…that protest quickly turned into a riot….inmates were unhappy with shrinking recreation and program time associated with staffing restrictions….78 inmates destroyed property throughout the facility including a Missouri Vocational Enterprises factory, dining halls and the kitchen. “Property damage was extensive and included destruction of food supplies, graffiti, damage to security cameras, and damage to equipment and machinery throughout the building,” …the CRCC riot destroyed the facility kitchen, inmate work program machines, and caused at least $100,000 in damages.”
US, North Carolina (Charlotte): anti-frackers erect 20-foot tower in fracking company’s CEO’s home driveway…Oakland: racist yuppie filth try to transform town into their own shrivelled petty moronic image
US, Seattle: environmentalists occupy & shut down JPMorgan bank “…since President Donald Trump took office, JPMorgan Chase has quadrupled its investments in tar sands and increased its financing of coal by 2,100%….Female environmentalists occupied one of JPMorgan Chase’s bank lobbies in Seattle to demand divestment from fossil fuels…At least five indigenous and 15 non-indigenous female protesters occupied the lobby of the Russell Investments Center in downtown Seattle—where Chase’s regional leaders are based—while others shut down the street outside by erecting “tarpees” and hoisting a sign that read, “Road closed due to Chase’s financing of climate disaster…. Destroying the world in search of profit…perfectly legal. Peacefully protesting such destruction…not so much, it seems.”
More here “Republican governor, Doug Ducey, proposed to give teachers a 20% raise. The proposal, which would still have left the state’s educators among the worst paid in the US, was rejected by the teachers’ union and the Arizona Parent Teacher Association after it was revealed that the plan would be paid with cuts to other state programs.”
US, Philadelphia: Starbucks occupied after arrest of black guys for “loitering” whilst waiting for friend (video) More detailed report here
The return of the concentrated spectacle? A contact writes: “Does this bible study group not give the impression of being akin to the central most study group of the Cultural Revolution under Chairman Mao, and for the same purpose: a re-ideologization of society which will provide “ideological incentives” for its supporters under conditions of increasing real-world impoverishment and austerity, quite possibly reinforced by the threat or actuality of war, while the looting escalates and corruption flourishes, all behind a screen of arbitrariness and irrationality? When the spectacle/authoritarian social imaginary gets stronger, it always gets crazier, and material conditions always get correspondingly worse. One may also, suspecting the basiclly Dominionist outlook of Pence, see this “study group” as the general staff of a war on secular society, its values, and its institutions.…as though the whole vile concoction were born directly out of a Margaret Atwood nightmare.”
US, West Virginia: possible rebellion against union leadership in teachers’ strike So far, it seems that this has remained at the level of a poll vote – it remains to be seen if this is transformed into action on March 1st when the union wants teachers to return to work on the basis of the usual lousy deal. See entry for 22/2/18 below.
US, West Virginia: all state schools close as teachers go on first strike for nearly 30 years “Teachers across the state staged a walkout in protest against one of the lowest salaries in the country and the rising cost of healthcare.” More here.
The stench of Weimar: California cops work with neo-nazis against anti-racists Worth recalling that back in August 2017, the California Democrats were calling for the prosecution of antifas.
US, Philadelphia: predictable post Super Bowl victory riot, with some funny aspects“Police in Philadelphia had been preparing for the possibility of riots following the Super Bowl, including putting hydraulic fluid on light poles in an attempt to keep fans from scaling them. …Video from after the AFC Championship Game showed fans managing to scale the 25-foot poles despite police greasing them with Crisco. Ahead of the Super Bowl, police tried to use a more powerful lubricant in the hopes of keeping fans from scaling the structures. But reports from after the Super Bowl noted that the fans who streamed out onto Broad Street after the Super Bowl had started to cause property damage. The Philadelphia riot grew from there, with reports from police scanners that light poles had been taken down …As the celebrations spread, police reported that some were throwing bottles at police officers.” More here “…windows were smashed out of some buildings. Police received at least one report of looting at a gas station. Fans also took down several light poles around town, injuring a few people” And here “…fans tipped over a car outside of a hotel and …a group of looters had broken into a convenience store screaming, “Everything is free,” while grabbing merchandise.”…Pointing out the damage inflicted upon a local Macy’s, Benitez revealed that the department store’s doors had been “completely smashed” and that there was “glass everywhere” from broken windows.”
US, California: Apple buses attacked with pellet gun “Corporate buses, which ferry workers from San Francisco to its Silicon Valley headquarters, have become symbols of gentrification”…Google bus also
10/12/17: US, Charlotte: Instant Recuperation! – just add opportunist careerist ambition
29/11/17:US, Washington state: end of Olympia blockade More here. See also entry for 26/11/17
26/11/17:US, Washington state: as blockade of freight railway line hits 9th day, a list of demands is published: “1. make the port a beach again
2. blow up the sun
3. the complete destruction of time itself
4. a brick for every window
5. a wrecking ball
6. that, while science still exists, one of us be endowed with an Adamantium laced skeleton
7. a swift and brutal end to the exploitation commonly referred to as “science”
8. the destruction of all dams, and the return of the salmon
9. no motor boats ever again
10. that fascists and politicians spontaneously combust
11. compost the police
12. release of all prisoners and the Total Destruction of prison, in all of its forms
13. cessation of all space exploration
14. the return of the Tasmanian wolf, the aurochs, the dodo bird, the coral reefs, and all other creatures and habitats that have ceased to be
15. the wilderness
16. total freedom
18. the liquidation of Pacific Union’s assets, to be equally distributed among all children
19. mandatory clown uniforms for all Olympia parking employees
20. that steve hall fight a bear”16/11/17:US, Philadelphia: students occupy provost’s offices demanding reinstatement of “communist” professor15/11/17:US, Texas: school students walk out over teacher’s racist comments16/10/17:US, Hawaii: arson at incorrectional center
9/11/17:US, Washington DC: over 1000 occupy Senate offices in protest against Trump’s policy towards “illegal” immigrant kids2/11/17:US: Trump’s Twitter account briefly sabotaged21/10/17:US, Philadelphia: small clash with cops during protest against cop conference 20/10/17:US, California: 3 cars belonging to Bel-Airheads vandalised…California: Daily Mail characterizes boring peaceful demonstrators against Bannon as “rioters” (see caption under 3rd photo down, and the html version of link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5003045/Protestors-riot-Steve-Bannon-prepares-key-note-speech.html). Nowadays, journocops caricature a few people throwing a can as “a riot”, but this is the first time I’ve seen such an obvious misnomer being applied to an essentially passive demonstration.
16/10/17:US, Hawaii: arson at incorrectional center15/10/17:US, California: hunger strikes begin in 4 jails11/10/17:US: report about striking workers sabotaging cable lines “Striking Spectrum workers took their frustrations out on tens of thousands of customers — by cutting cable lines at “optimal locations” in blatant acts of sabotage …multiple arrests of strikers have not deterred the activity, including more than 125 occasions of cables being cut. “The saboteurs clearly knew the optimal locations where they could quickly cut cable lines to multiple customers without being harmed or observed, suggesting they are cable technicians who work for Charter,” …a damaged node containing 143 lines in Queens on June 26 resulted in the loss of service to 35,000 customers”…report on right-wing conspiracy theory saying that antifas want to start civil war on November 4th
9/10/17: US, Rhodes Island: amongst other places, Columbus statue spray-painted on Columbus Day See also this, by Zinn.4/10/17:US, South Carolina: prison wing taken over by prisoners “…inmates were on the roof of the facility attempting to escape while a fire raged inside the prison….“All that happened (today) was inmates chasing officers with knives, which (is) pretty standard for (McCormick),” our source said. …“Toilets can’t be flushed and the inmates are not being given drinking water at all!” …“This was rebellion not riot,” a Twitter group that bills itself as advancing prisoners’ human rights noted. “Due to no water being given to drink.”26/9/17:
US, Berkeley: “free” speech very expensive…as hell and high water comes to the town…Milo Minderbender forced to cancel “Free Spew Week” “Milo Minderbinder: We’re gonna come out of this war rich!
Yossarian: You’re gonna come out rich. We’re gonna come out dead.” – Catch 22.
US, Missouri: protests over acquittal of killer cop in shopping mall More here “Air Force lieutenant and undercover cop among several who claim they were forcibly arrested for being St. Louis protesters”
Progress defined: before, during and after
…Anarchist report here…Missouri: 100s of high school students in St.Louis region walk out over judges’ acquittal of killer cop on 4th day of protests “More than 110 students walked out of Kirkwood High School; more than 250 students walked out of Webster Groves High School and Hixson Middle School. Students also walked out of University City High School, in the same district that saw protests and some vandalism Saturday night. Administrators at some schools, including University City, embraced the demonstrations. University City Superintendent Sharonica Hardin-Bartley, who is African-American, and high school Principal Susan Hill helped students organize their protest march, which was attended by more than 300 students, staff and community members. They let students return to class without any mark on their disciplinary records. Webster Groves also gave its students excused absences. “We really wanted it to be a teachable moment. I do think there is value in having organized protest and having a voice,” Hardin-Bartley said…. But Kirkwood High School said it will give unexcused absences to students who walked out, per school policy. The school had warned parents over the weekend of the consequences of walking out. The Hazelwood School District had also made clear Friday that any students who walked out would be disciplined, saying it would be disruptive and that student safety could not be guaranteed during a walkout. “While the Hazelwood School District respects students’ voices and their First Amendment rights, we cannot condone disruptive behavior, protests, violence and/or walkouts during the school day,” said Hazelwood Superintendent Nettie Collins-Hart…Devin Corley, a 14-year-old freshman who walked out, said he thinks Kirkwood’s unexcused absence policy is “disrespectful.” He said it punishes students for standing up for their beliefs.”…evening protests outside city’s injustice centre (video)
US, St.Louis: 3rd night of riotous protests “St. Louis police in riot gear broke up a protest that turned rowdy on Sunday night with property damage including broken storefront windows, ordering protesters to disperse and making several arrests. Demonstrators gathered in central St. Louis for the third straight night to protest the acquittal of former police officer Jason Stockley, 36, of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, 24….Demonstrators broke windows and attempted to block a ramp to an interstate highway, police and witnesses said. Police also reported confiscating weapons including at least one handgun from protesters….Police confiscated plastic spray bottles containing an unknown chemical that was on officers, who were then decontaminated …Sunday’s gathering was the largest of the three nights with more 1,000 protesters. Police in turn deployed their largest show of force….Earlier in the evening, a handful of demonstrators threw bottles in response to a police officer making arrests, the first indication that the protest could turn violent. “Agitators are breaking multiple windows at Olive & 10th. Officers are heading to scene,” police tweeted. Protesters broke large ceramic flowerpots at the entrances to several downtown buildings. A few took chunks of the ceramic and hurled them at windows, drawing in the police. The protests began on Friday shortly after the acquittal on Friday, when 33 people were arrested and 10 officers injured, police said. Violence flared anew on Saturday night when about 100 protesters, some holding bats or hammers, shattered windows and skirmished with police ..“Windows can be replaced. Lives can’t,” said Missy Gunn, a member of Ferguson frontline and mother of three children including a college-age son. She said she feared for him every night.”…Cops chant “Whose streets? our streets”…Berkeley: is the university about to stop its function of so-called “education”, and provide time for self-directed education as boycott of classes is called in response to alt-right…?
US, St.Louis: public transport halted after 2nd night of fury Video here
“The St. Louis Police Department said on Saturday evening that some protesters clashed with police and scuffles broke out. The police accused demonstrators of smashing windows at the Mayor’s house, the St. Louis Public Library and several businesses. Officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets” More here “Protesters angry over the acquittal of a white former St. Louis police officer in the killing of a black man briefly marched through two malls in an affluent area of St. Louis County. Authorities had to temporarily close West County Center in Des Peres around noon Saturday when 200 to 300 people marched and chanted. There were no arrests and nothing was damaged, but many stores immediately pulled metal security screens over their shop fronts once protesters arrived. A short time later, protesters went to Chesterfield Mall in Chesterfield and held a brief demonstration.”…St.Louis proletarians get some amelioration of their misery
US, Missouri (St.Louis): armoured cars deployed; Mayor’s house is splattered with paint, his windows broken; cops are hospitalised after projectiles thrown; professional liars attacked; 100s block cop bus – all after lone judge acquits cop for murdering unarmed black guy and planting weapon on him More here “Ten law enforcement officers have been injured during protests in St. Louis after a judge acquitted a white former police officer in the shooting death of a black man. St. Louis interim police Chief Lawrence O’Toole says nine city officers were hurt Friday and one State Highway Patrol officer. One city officer suffered a broken jaw and another a dislocated shoulder. … one officer had a serious injury from a brick thrown …a second was headed to the hospital as well….protesters broke a window and splattered paint on Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house. Police in riot gear responded, moved the crowd away from the house and eventually broke up the group with tear gas. Later, at least two armored vehicles were deployed….the group marched back to a commercial intersection and staged a sit-in for about 20 minutes. The group was silent for some minutes, with the only noise being the sound of a news helicopter overhead. The group later began marching down Euclid Avenue in an area with restaurants, bars and shops. A protester threw a rock through a restaurant window. Another group of protesters burned an American flag as other demonstrators cheered….Some journalists covering demonstrations in downtown St. Louis over a former police officer’s acquittal in a 2011 shooting say they have been the targets of threats and violence from protesters. A freelance videographer for The Associated Press said a protester approached him Friday, took his camera and threw it to the ground, breaking the view finder. Later in the day while he was using a different camera, he said he was surrounded by six men who told him to put the camera away or he’d be beaten. Also Friday, a reporter for KTVI in St. Louis reported that a protester taunted him about the media, drawing a crowd. The reporter described the group as being angry and in his face, and said three water bottles were thrown at him….Protesters had surrounded a police vehicle in front of the old police building near Tucker Boulevard and Clark Avenue and were damaging it with rocks. Police approached and tried to secure the vehicle and protesters threw rocks and pieces of curbing at them. Police then used pepper spray on the protesters.” Anarchist report here ” The judge wrote, “Finally, the Court observes, based on its nearly thirty years on the bench, that an urban heroin dealer not in possession of a firearm would be an anomaly.””
US, New York: Christopher Columbus statue vandalised See Howard Zinn on Columbus: 1. Columbus. By the way, Zinn’s famous book, “A People’s Histoory of the United States” is interesting only up until he gets to the post-WWll period (ie his adult life), when he falls into classic uncritical “libertarian” leftism, ignoring all the contradictions of this period in a bland and useless valorisation of every single movement that he mentions.
US, Florida: more looting…meanwhile, the local state concentrates on cracking down on looters… rather than helping to save lives “The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills… desperately kept calling Florida Gov. Rick Scott begging for help. In fact, they called a full 36 hours prior to the first death.”
US, Florida: shops looted as hurricane hits…Oregon: cops v. antifa “They reportedly threw smoke bombs and projectiles at police, and knocked down a fence officials had set-up to avoid violence. Two officers sustained injuries while attempting to separate the groups.” Anarchist report here
US, Virginia: wildcat strikers win demand to have abusive manager sacked See also entry for 23/8/17
US, Kansas: huge prison riot “Buildings are burning and some inmates have gotten weapons” More here “…a violent inmate uprising late Tuesday …saw multiple fires set in the facility. Inmates smashed windows throughout the Norton Correctional Facility. They took over staff offices and destroyed computers. They broke into the prison’s clinic and stole syringes. And some were wielding homemade weapons…The Kansas Department of Corrections described the incident as an “inmate disturbance,” but a correctional officer said it was a “full-blown riot” that involved 400 or more inmates in the prison in northwestern Kansas that houses roughly 850. “When a little disturbance is when the inmates take over the facility, I don’t know what a riot is,” said the correctional officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Basically, they tried to burn the place down.” And here “…lethal force by guards was on the table, according to a log book obtained by The Star…The log confirms correctional officers’ accounts about the state of disarray inside the Kansas prison: Inmates wrapped “large pieces of glass” in towels to use as weapons, they threw rocks at correctional officers, and they tried to devise a plan to charge the guards on duty.”
Democrats call for prosecution of anti-fascists Kind of obvious maybe but here you see the Democrats openly revealing their true loyalties and values: they would rather the police successfully disarm the anti-fascists, and protect the fascists as they assault the people of Berkeley, than see the fascists and their protectors defeated. As a contact wrote, “How very Weimar!“
US, New Hampshire: Republican Party HQ attacked “The headquarters of the Republican Party in New Hampshire was branded with the word “Nazi”…Vandals spray painted a heart around the scrawled message, and are believed to have also thrown several rocks through the windows of the building….“The New Hampshire Democratic Party wholly condemns this criminal action and hopes the perpetrator is held accountable. “There is no place for that in our politics.” …San Francisco: dockers announce anti-fascist strike and march for 26th August …Virginia: 2 confederate monuments improved “No hero,” in black spray paint written on the base of Confederate General Robert E Lee’s statue. Also on the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis….Arizona: 2 more monuments to confederate leaders improved
“Donald is a believer in the big-lie theory,” his lawyer had told me. “If you say something again and again, people will believe you.”….Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed.” – from here
US, North Carolina: confederate statue pulled down…Florida: Confederate statue splattered with paint, as another one is pulled down officially…photo of Maoist red fascists trying to stamp their “refusefascism.org” logo onto woman murdered in Charlottesville A contact writes: “The Party is once again achieving an appearance of near ubiquity, and, considering the article in Al Jazeera recently, heightened respectability. There is another front page spread in the Guardian with rotating photos today, with a photo of a crowd with very little more than the “No!…” poster (presumably the butt of Naomi Klein’s new No is not Enough – allowing her as a kind of super-trendy leftist to stay to the left of militant Maoist social democracy) the Party uses everywhere, supposedly symbolising the mass reaction to the killing and maiming in Charlottesville.”
US, Virginia (Charlottesville): fascists forced to flee “After a few minutes, a crowd of anti-far-right protestors rushed the improvised podium. Kessler fled and made his escape with the protection of waiting state police in riot gear. Behind the line of police, the crowd resumed chanting, “Nazis go home” and “we are unstoppable another world is possible”. Video of this here… more demos angry about implications of Charlottesville…more here…hackers take over nazi website…Seattle: minor skirmishes as anti-fascists protest fascist fuck-ups…worth remembering that as far back as February, in Tennessee a bill was put forward making drivers who hit protesters immune from prosecution Apparently there are other states considering this “right to kill” law (North Dakota, Florida, Rhodes Island, Texas and North Carolina), and other states proposing other forms of anti-protest bills.
US, Virginia (Charlottesville): woman killed by fascist…anti-fascist demos organised throughout US…Oakland motorway shut down “As a small gesture of solidarity, of pause and remembrance, the march stormed onto the 580 freeway blocking all traffic in both directions and lit smoke bombs and fireworks. Cars honked in support, rolled down windows and fists raised. “…and Switzerland
US, St.Louis: demonstrators against suffocating heat of prisoners dismantle perimeter fence outside prison and enter neutral ground “With scorching temperatures expected to reach well over 100 degrees this weekend, protesters are again demanding closure of the city’s medium-security jail, which doesn’t have air conditioning. Police used pepper spray to disperse a crowd who had protested for about two hours…slogans … included “We treat animals better.” …At one point, several protesters climbed under an exterior chain-link fence around the workhouse and a few scaled a second fence closer to the building, but they stopped short of going over its razor wire top….Chants from the protesters of “Let them go” were met with a “Let us out” response from inmates inside who gathered at windows and waved towels” Anarchist report and lots of videos here….Minneapolis: residents storm mayor’s office over cop killing of Australian woman “…local protestors created chaos during the mayor’s press conference, interrupting her speech and chanting till she left her own office. “Messy Betsy”, “You are next” and “Power people,” they hollered after Ms Hodges spoke about her “lost confidence” in the police chief. Activist John Thompson interrupted proceedings and shouted, “We don’t want you as our Mayor of Minneapolis anymore! We ask that you take your staff with you! “We don’t want you to appoint anyone anymore. Your leadership has been very ineffective and if you don’t remove yourself we’re going to put somebody in place to remove you,” Mr Thompson said. “Your police department has terrorised us enough. You don’t want to hear us, so hear me now – we do not want you as the Mayor of Minneapolis and we ask you to resign!” Ms Hodges made attempts to speak and offered to “talk about the future of policing”, while the crowd chanted “bye-bye Betsy”.
US, Los Angeles: cops v skateboarders once again (see entry for 11/7/17)
US, Oklahoma: prison riot More here “Hundreds of inmates — some armed with baseball bats and iron pipes — rioted at an Oklahoma federal prison for about eight hours, taking two guards hostage and refusing to return to their cells before they were finally corralled by law enforcement officers…about 400 inmates caused the disturbance in two recreation yards. Miller said prisoners, some toting bats and pipes, took two guards hostage at the outset of the riot, but that both were freed and uninjured.”
Part 2 of documents about the security firms support for the state (including supplying disinformation – total lies) in the repression of the Standing Rock movement in Dakota [see entry 27/5/17 for part 1]
US, Portland: clashes between antifa and cops protecting & serving white supremacism with batons, tear gas, rubber bullets and sound grenades More here “…white supremacists were the ones securing their rally. …Whenever an altercation of any sort would happen they would assist the police officers in whatever they were doing, clear the scene of any bystanders by physically assaulting them and then tell people to let them do their jobs. In short, they were working with the police. But it wasn’t like simply snitching to the police when they saw something. I mean literally working with the police. As in tackling people, handcuffing people, and clearing entire areas. The cops acted as if the alt-right was Portland’s Justice League of vigilantes. They even had the silly costumes….I was shocked by the high fives I had seen between police and white supremacists. I know that the alt-right and police have tremendous respect for one another but I thought they would maybe attempt to conceal it for at least this event. At one point, I even saw them playing a game of football with the cops….the official line from the police is that someone threw something (definitely a lie) and that is why they had to hurt over a thousand innocent people. “
US, California: hunger strike launched at Folsom Prison “Prisoners in B4 ASU are forced to sit or stand idle in their cells or yard cages without meaningful exercise, education, or rehabilitative programs. We are already forced to endure atypical and significant hardships due to being in segregated housing and solitary confined. When taken together, these conditions constitute cruel and unusual punishment under the US Constitution. We are being deprived of basic human needs, including normal human contact, environmental and sensory stimulation, mental and physical health, entertainment, physical exercise, sleep, access to courts, and meaningful activity. Prolonged exposure to these deprivations has caused and will cause serious physical and psychological harm. FSP (Folsom State Prison) is deliberately indifferent to prisoners suffering. They are aware that prolonged social isolation, and lack of environmental stimuli causes “serious psychological pain and suffering and permanent psychological pain and suffering, and permanent psychological and physical injury.”
US, Washington DC: Trump hotel has anti-Trump slogans projected onto facade Should be said that these slogans are very consititution-minded.
US, Texas: governor’s office occupied against immigration crackdown …Portland, Oregon: riot against cops etc. after cops ban march More here and here….Olympia, Washington: another riot …New York: clashes…Philadelphia: 20 cars and several builidings damaged in anti-gentrification demo…More here …More here and here
US, Berkeley: heavy clashes between Trumpo-fascists and anti-fascists…video here …a critique of the event here…see also this, for a wider critique of anarchist & leftist alliances against fascism…and for an eyewitness account of the defeat of the anti-fascists, see the first comment below this article….and read this and this serious practical suggestion (of course, there are plenty of others, many in private; but it’s certainly not for someone as far away from this specific kind of battle as me to recommend anything innovative other than what those living it are seriously reflecting on in public; such practical relevance of the situation in the US to combating the sense of impotence many feel towards the looming horror, starting with my own, and in the country I live in, has to be adapted to the situation of each person who reads this…but this give a general outline for the USA). Also this, though it simplistically claims that it was only because of police help that the ultra-ultra-right did so well. A contact writes: “…a failure to plan for these things was reflected in the lack of a defense in depth by the antifa which could have a) provided a more flexible reserve (or reserves) to deploy at crucial hot spots b) kept people with weapons available from the front where the cops were confiscating them, so they could be used when needed later, and c) so that counterattacks could be mobilized on the flanks and to the rear of the fascists, offsetting the advantages that the fascists had that day. Obviously some kind of coordination and overview must be necessary to do this work …”
“Although bullies can appear to be powerful, everything they do to wield power only disempowers them….Lacking any sense of self-worth, having given up on accomplishing anything meaningful to enrich others’ lives or their own, the only form of pride that remains to fascists is membership in an abstract category. They do not consider themselves valuable as individuals, but only as citizens, white people, “Western chauvinists,” members of a gang. This is the consolation prize of identity, reserved for weak individuals who feel that they have no value on their own merits.This consolation prize does not come cheaply. To obtain it, they have to crush everything beautiful in themselves, everything that renders them capable of empathy or creativity. They must contort their sexuality. They have to memorize mantras of entitlement—for those who benefit from unfair advantages, however slightly, are always nagged by the sneaking suspicion that they do not deserve what they have. They have to work hard not to identify with others, not to recognize themselves in those who are different from them, not to stand out as unique.This sort of self-policing is a full-time job. Rendering themselves helpless and weak before their overlords, they imagine they are rooting out weakness. Destroying everything in themselves that could render them capable of freedom, they imagine they are defending their freedom. Rendering relations of mutual trust impossible, they tell themselves they are protecting their communities.At the bottom of all their sadism, we find a fundamental masochism. To justify their behavior, they need to be on the receiving end of violence. They must be at once master race and underdog, torturer and victim. Carrying out genocides, they protest that they are the ones targeted for genocide. Wracked with self-loathing, on some level they must genuinely desire to be exterminated for the exterminations they hope to carry out….These goons are of great use to the authorities. They can carry out attacks that the state is not yet able to, intimidating those who might otherwise rebel. They distract from the institutionalized violence of the state, which is still the cause of most of the oppression that takes place in our society. Above all, they enable the authorities to portray themselves as neutral keepers of the peace.”
– from here
US, Pittsburgh: county jail attacked by about 25 masked protesters “… a group of 20-25 protesters had become disorderly. They were throwing rocks at the building and setting off fireworks. Windows and glass panels were broken but the jail remained secure. Two Bike Officers were first to arrive on the scene. They encountered a group of people all dressed in black or dark clothing. Their faces were covered with masks or bandannas. Large-scale fireworks were being launched…As members of the group fled, some ran outbound along Second Avenue and others ran down the bike trail toward Downtown and cut through the parking lot. They damaged several vehicles by breaking their side mirrors and broke the mechanical arm of a gate that opens and closes the driveway. An Allegheny County Sheriffs vehicle and a civilian’s vehicle had shattered rear windows. A side door to the Municipal Court Building was graffitied. “ Anarchist report here
…Los Angeles, CA: Eco-activists Vandalize Trump Golf Course “…a group of anonymous individuals snuck onto the $250 million course and carved the message, “No More Tigers, No More Woods” in giant letters. They even took video of the whole thing for your viewing pleasure….“Repurposing what was once a beautiful stretch of land into a playground for the privileged is an environmental crime in its own right. We hope this sends a message to Trump and his corrupt administration that their actions will be met with action.””
US, Berkeley: confrontations at small pro-Trump rally…Anarchist analysis of clashes throughout country here…eyewitness account here “On the Trump side, I only noticed a couple people of color. One was a tall, heavyset guy dressed in black with a black Oakland A’s baseball cap who appeared to be Latino. At times both sides met face-to-face with the most agitated screaming at each other, ringed by photographers and mainstream media holding cameras overhead. When pushing and shoving happened, it was a like a giant rugby scrum and then flying fists scattered everyone but the combatants. One time the Latino dude overran his cover while brawling and when it finished, he ran back to the Trump camp only to be met by a US flag-draped Trumpite who started hitting him with a large wood post — obviously reading his brown skin and black clothes as symbolizing the enemy — and he continued to whack him, with the Latino guy trying to block the blows with his arms. Eventually, one of the other Trump supporters persuaded the guy draped in the flag to stop, but not before the everyone nearby witnessed this beating. A black guy standing next to me broke down in a laughing fit, repeatedly yelling “the fascists are attacking each other!” I almost couldn’t stand up I was laughing so hard myself.”
US, Nebraska: 2 prisoners die in riot “…inmates revolted against staff members and started a fire in a courtyard. Prison officials offered few details about the deaths but said the disturbance at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution in southeast Nebraska involved about 40 inmates in a unit with 128 prisoners. The prison was placed on lockdown for several hours after the inmates refused to return to their cells….inmates had taken mattresses out into the prison yard and threw them into the fire”…Vermont: right-wing eugenecist “libertarian” seriously scared so much he’s forced to close down his monologue…More here
Just been sent this scary take on Trump supporters, which, despite its attempt to appeal to some supposed potential opposition embodied in some eclectic amorphous “Left”, is very interesting: 4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump. It’s a long article narrating the development of the alt. right from the chronic isolation and sexual misery of young men “living” through the fantasy “community” of internet trolls and internet games. Some quotes: “Trump’s younger supporters know he’s an incompetent joke; in fact, that’s why they support him….younger Trump supporters know they are handing their money to someone who will never place their bets — only his own — because, after all, it’s plain as day there was never any other option. In this sense, Trump’s incompetent, variable, and ridiculous behavior is the central pillar upon which his younger support rests….reveling in deplorableness and being pridefully dispossessed. It is a culture of hopelessness, of knowing “the system is rigged”. But instead of fight the response is flight, knowing you’re trapped in your circumstances is cause to celebrate. For these young men, voting Trump is not a solution, but a new spiteful prank….pointing out Trump was a joke was not helpful. In fact, Trump’s farcical nature didn’t seem to be a liability, rather, to his supporters, it was an asset. All the left’s mockery of Trump served to reinforce his message as not only an outsider, but as an expression of rage, despair, and ultimate pathetic…hopelessness….Trump supporters voted for the con-man, the labyrinth with no center, because the labyrinth with no center is how they feel, how they feel the world works around them. A labyrinth with no center is a perfect description of their mother’s basement with a terminal to an endless array of escapist fantasy worlds. Trump’s bizarre, inconstant, incompetent, embarrassing, ridiculous behavior — what the left (naturally) perceives as his weaknesses — are to his supporters his strengths….Trump, in other words, is a way of owning and celebrating being taken advantage of. …He is both despair and cruel arrogant dismissal, the fantasy of winning and the pain of losing mingled into one potion.For this reason, the left should stop expecting Trump’s supporters to be upset when he doesn’t fulfill his promises. Support for Trump is an acknowledgement that the promise is empty.“
US, Los Angeles: protesters against mass raids on immigrants shut down entrance to motorway Anarchist article on ICE raids here
Good critique of the Leftism of Loren Goldner’s Insurgent Notes vis-à-vis Trump’s victory ….even though it pulls its potential punches.
Despite the obvious irrelevance, even to those who want to represent proletarian subjectivity, of the notion of a workers’ state in the post-fall-of-the-Berlin-Wall epoch, Insurgent Notes still dream of winning people, even Trump supporters, over to some fantasised post-revolutionary programme. This without firstly attacking the obvious need of these Trumpers to prove their innate superiority through their racist idiocies, and, above all, without attacking their desire to be saved by some external authority, an external authority which the proprietors of “class consciousness” at Insurgent Notes dream of being for these passive proletarians (“Many people attracted to the Trump campaign, alternatively, could be attracted to a consistent vision of an alternative to capitalist society, which up till now has not existed. “). As if the 20% or so of the US population who voted for Trump-l’œil should instead be gently seduced into opting for some other externally defined model, this time one which is “communist”. As if one could have a positive programme for a post-revolutionary society in the present conditions that would have much relevance: it would be as if one could work out the details of post-World War ll reconstruction in 1938. Positive politics invariably holds back on critique of individuals and groups of individuals in order to entice them into a ready-made “programme” that takes away from individuals and movements their right to make mistakes and to make new mistakes based on correcting the old ones. In the now slightly stale language of the old workers’ movement, Rosa Luxemburg said, “The mistakes that are made by a truly revolutionary workers’ movement are, historically speaking, immeasurably more fruitful and more valuable than the infallibility of the best possible ‘Central Committee’.” Of course, Insurgent Notes would certainly not claim to be infallible. But the desire to provide a vision that people are meant to unite around comes from an epoch in which, firstly, the possibility of revolutionary victory and a post-capitalist society seemed far far greater than it does now. And, secondly, tended to ignore the fact that it’s primarily a question of the movement of the negative – of critiquing the obstacles to the destruction of the commodity and reification, the obstacles to the development of a global community of struggle – that could help clarify people’s desire to experiment against this world. But they have to have this desire first of all: it’s up to them and no amount of “vision” will push people to struggle against their self-defeating,self-perceived “self-interests”, their miserable narrow isolated “selves”. Positive programmes for some potential post-revolutionary society are seen as invariably utopian by those delusional enough to hope they can get some hierarchical security in an increasingly insecure world (e.g. Trump voters). As for those who produce it, creating some positive outline of a post-revolutionary dream society (however Phalanstericly imaginative or Goldnerealisticly boring) is a form of intellectual voluntarism that leaps over so many of the contradictions of those who are essentially passive towards the misery of this society. Programmes are for TV viewers. Visions are for the religious.
US, Berkeley: black block, with “America was never great” banner, forces cancellation of fascist scumbag Milo Yiannopoulos’s non-event (includes mainstrem video)…Starbucks looted, Bank of America ATMs smashed (repulsive shitty site)…info about this Milo sicko...More here “They smashed ATMs at a Bank of America branch and set several trash fires on Telegraph Avenue. After marching west on Durant Avenue, the group moved north on Shattuck Avenue, smashing windows and vandalizing a Mechanics Bank branch near the corner of Bancroft Way. Chase and Wells Fargo branches were also vandalized. A Starbucks location near campus was vandalized and looted. Police also received reports that banks were set on fire in the area of Center Street and Shattuck Avenue.”…Milo’s tour bus vandalised
According to a contact, there were a lot of gay and trans people in the front rank as well as a much greater presence of the so-called “Revolutionary Communist” Party (‘America was never great’ is one of their slogans, and the ubiquitous ‘No…’ sign as well), masked up as were the anarchists and the LGBT contingent. Previously the Party had stayed away from such illegal actions and had legalistically kept its people from fighting – it must not have gone down well with the Lebensborn who must have been itching to compete with the anarchists who had upstaged them time after time in the past. Interestingly, the Party for Socialism and Liberation operatives are altogether absent. The commentator on this Huff Post video is an old reactionary turd who has previously railed against the Black Bloc and long before that against the bicycle pressure group Critical Mass (associated in its early days with the group of Marxist bureaucrats connected with Processed World). A long time friend of political insiders in the Bay Area. “The use of pyrotechnics, both as smoke screens and as a means of setting off the exceedingly noisey fire alarms (>85 decibels, which over more than half an hour can cause lasting damage to one’s ability to hear), is a noteworthy tactic. It must have made it virtually impossible for the vermin inside to heard their precious Milo.”
There’s a danger in giving credibility to these mainstream liberals and watering down the critique of their more general support for the system in the hope of being reported and/or interviewed. One should never speak to the press, at least knowingly, and certainly not politely, unless one has a contract that says what one says will not at all be censored and one also critiques, within the interview, the paper that gives this interview. They’re part of the enemy and the whole image of “liberty of expression” (a very constrained “expression”) they promote undermines what, for example, Crimethinc has to say about “free” speech, and gives them a credibility they in no way deserve. They give the image that this liberal media is open to all critiques and that all critiques are being made in this mainstream, from fascist to revolutionary. Moreover, professional reporters of “things radical” make their risk-free careers on the backs of those who take risks. Note added 5/2/17: Apparently, though the New York Times gave the impression that they’d interviewed someone from Crimethinc, this was not the case, but simply a quote from their site.
Lefty journalist inside report on Yiannopoulos’ tour here (she was actually on his tour bus). She hedges her bets about the riot and her humanism still tends to use pitying the pitiful to repress anger into mere disgust. However, it also, surprisingly – given the overwhelmingly stupid consensus, includes some pertinent comments on Yiannopoulos’ rejection by the alt-right following his statements about consenting adult-youth relations, which from the right to the anarcho-left have been utterly distorted in order to fit into today’s stiflingly repressive moralism.
…Ohio: part of University occupied against Muslim ban…Delaware: prisoners take over part of prison and hold screws hostage “We’re trying to explain the reasons for doing what we’re doing…Donald Trump. Everything that he did. All the things that he’s doing now. We know that the institution is going to change for the worse. We know the institution is going to change for the worse. We got demands that you need to pay attention to, that you need to listen to and you need to let them know. Education, we want education first and foremost. We want a rehabilitation program that works for everybody. We want the money to be allocated so we can know exactly what is going on in the prison, the budget.”…Screw killed Apparently the standoff ended after 18 hours, when guards used construction equipment to smash through a wall, surprising and overwhelming the prisoners.
US: list of some continuing protests against Muslim ban Includes: Los Angeles: 15 flights delayed …Republican party offices vandalised (Spokane), big demos in Seattle, Kansas, San Francisco, Portland, Washington DC, Atlanta, New York, etc.
Interesting take on these protests here: “The protests themselves did exactly what they were intended to: dominate the news, cycle and channel opposition anger towards a relatively insignificant piece of the puzzle. I’m not saying that green card holders should be stuck in airports — far from it. I’m saying there might be a much larger picture here, and the immigration ban is a distraction…..Protests galvanize groups and display strong opposition, but they’re not sufficient. Not only are they relatively ineffective at changing policy, they’re also falsely cathartic to those protesting. Protestors get all kinds of feel-good that they’re among fellow believers and standing up for what’s right, and they go home feeling like they’ve done their part. Even if protestors gain mild, symbolic concessions, the fact that their anger has an outlet is useful to the other side.”
See also this.
US, San Francisco: protesters block traffic, swarm into airport terminal, against Trump’s fascistic policies…similarly in New York “…at JFK on Saturday, about 5,000 protesters swarmed terminal four after an estimated 17 passengers, including green-card holders, were detained for hours”.…More here on Trump’s generally scary project “…while the vast majority of the US did not vote for Trump and disapproves of his policies and his rule, at the same time, the position presented in the media is that people should “give Trump a chance” to “govern correctly.” In short, in just over a week, the established power structure from the mass media to the Democratic Party has all sought to normalize the Trump regime in the hopes of keeping a lid on the social peace. “
Steve Bannon: “Darkness is good…Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they…get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing….It will be as exciting as the 1930s“– here…Curious report about Trump’s use of manipulative data “From July 2016, Trump’s canvassers were provided with an app with which they could identify the political views and personality types of the inhabitants of a house. It was the same app provider used by Brexit campaigners. Trump’s people only rang at the doors of houses that the app rated as receptive to his messages. The canvassers came prepared with guidelines for conversations tailored to the personality type of the resident. In turn, the canvassers fed the reactions into the app, and the new data flowed back to the dashboards of the Trump campaign.” More on this here.
Interesting text, mainly about Trump’s deliberate lies on the link between terrorists and immigration, here.
US, Los Angeles: report on breakaway demo from mainstream women’s march…Washington DC: 200+ people arrested on J20 face up to 10 years imprisonment “Those picked up in the sweep — including legal observers and journalists — had their phones, cameras and other personal belongings confiscated as evidence…Those arrested in Washington, D.C. faced an outpouring of public support. …hundreds gathered outside the jail on Saturday to show their support for those being released. “Every time people came out, the crowd would cheer and chant,” with the term “anticapitalista” an oft-repeated refrain. “For many, it was like a surprise birthday party, and their faces lit up. Street medics were on-scene, and many supporters brought food, clothes, coffee, tea and water.”
US, Washington DC: windows smashed in anti-Trump protests “About 500 people, some wearing masks and kerchiefs over their faces, marched through the city’s downtown, breaking the windows of a Bank of America branch, a McDonald’s outlet and a Starbucks shop, all symbols of the American capitalist system.” More here “Black-clad demonstrators smashed windows of buildings, cars and bus stops in central Washington, as well as launching dustbins and rocks “
US, Dakota: further clashes over pipeline construction (video) In fact the stopping of the construction of the pipeline on December 4th specifically at this point is largely temporary and was designed to give Obama an image of reform. The Tribal Authority has collaborated with the state in providing the movement with an image of victory, whereas in fact the whole decision could and probably will be reversed by Trump, and besides, even if carried out, merely means the pipeline will pollute somewhere else. See this, from December 23rd 2016.
US, Philadelphia: another shopping mall mini-riot “…the youths “were pelting cops with fountain sodas and all kinds of trash.” Another witness, who wished to remain anonymous, said that they saw “multiple fights” break out. The police reacted to the rioters and swiftly broke them up, but not before one of the offenders, according to a report, “grabbed [an] officer around his neck and tried to wrestle the officer down to the ground while ripping the officer’s patrol jacket and punching the officer in his head while yelling, ‘F— the Police!’”
US: the joys of post-Xmas shopping – the struggle against boredom “By night’s end, at least 15 fights had broken out in shopping centers from Connecticut to Arizona…officers… believe the … common thread is that teenagers have too much time on their hands during the holiday break from school…Fights were reported in at least a dozen states, with two episodes in Connecticut and three in Tennessee. Fights were also reported at malls in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, Arizona, New Jersey, Indiana, Colorado and Texas.”
US, Dakota: NODAPL win (possibly temporary) victory (see also this: 9 Reasons Why #NoDAPL Struggle Isn’t Over ) In fact the stopping of the construction of the pipeline specifically at this point is largely temporary and designed to give Obama an image of reform. The Tribal Authority has collaborated with the state in provinding the movement with an image of vicgtory, whereas in fact the whole decision could and probably will be reversed by Trump, and besides, even if carried out, merely means the pipeline will pollute somewhere else. See this, from December 23rd 2016.
US, New York: pipeline protesters occupy Times Square, burn US flag “In the spirit of saying ‘f**k Thanksgiving,’ we would like to acknowledge the history that has brought us here. We know that the United States is a nation of lynchers and thieves who stole African people and stole indigenous land. So we do not celebrate genocide, which is what Thanksgiving represents for oppressed people. It should come as no surprise that the federal government gave $3 million dollars in military aid to North Dakota. Some of that aid went to a concussion grenade that has blown off our comrades’ arm … We must break this allegiance to the settler-colonial state … we do this act as a symbol of breaking that allegiance.”… Portland: report on anti-Trump movement
US, Dakota: train tracks blocked with branches and truck in anti-pipeline movement…Washington DC: high school & middle school students walk out of class, shut down Lincoln memorial…New York: cops force professor to have psychiatric evaluation after having critical discussion about Trump etc.
US, Indianapolis: 2 cops injured by rock-throwing anti-Trumpers…Berkeley: anti-Trump march attacks bank and poice station…somewhat voluntarist online call for General Strike for Trump inauguration day
US, Portland: protester shot “…If Trump’s appeal is truly to the “angry white workers” and is based on some sort of appeal to “righting” the US economy, how can the bullshit about reducing taxes, eliminating regulation, etc. be THAT appeal, since that’s been the mantra for 40 years, and been the “cover” for driving down wages and living standards, asset stripping, etc. etc? Is the “white” working class that stupid?…The fact is, it’s impossible to disentangle the so-called “economic fears” from the racism that has been so essential to the composition, and organization, of the US working class….I don’t think Trump appealed to anyone’s “hope” for a solution to economic problems. I’m not sure that the Trump voters, no matter what their class, want solutions. They want victims.” – from here….burning projectiles thrown at cops… Video of situation in Portland…about $1m worth of damage…Los Angeles: cops get stoned, squad car tagged, fireworks thrown (this on the eve of the 50th anniversary of a far bigger riot in LA)
US, San Francisco: thousands of high school students walk out to march against Trump Brief eyewitness account here….Portland: business windows smashed on anti-Trump demo “…at least 19 cars at Toyota of Portland were vandalized…business windows along Northwest Lovejoy Street and elsewhere were smashed….Flash bangs and rubber bullets were reportedly being used in an attempt to clear protesters, and arrests are being made. Police report officers were “taking projectiles.” As Thursday became Friday, the standoff continued, with Oregon State Police officers also being deployed at Southwest Yamhill Stree and 4th Avenue. Flash bang and less-than-lethal rounds were being deployed as officers advanced to clear the crowd….Protesters set up a makeshift barricades of newsstands….”… New Orleans: unusual mix of anti-Trump graffiti on war memorial; bank windows smashed “Die Whites Die”, “we are ungovernable” (with an anarchist circled A), “Black Power”, “Kill Trump” and “Dismantle White Supremacy” – clearly the first is idiotically (and very unstrategically) divisive, since probably a majority of whites do not support Trump, even in the USA [SF].
Some comments on the US election were originally put in the comments boxes at the bottom of the page, but I’m putting them here:
US: many high school students walk out in protest against Trump “Thousands of protesters blocked traffic in downtown Portland, Ore., Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia, with some torching flags. Demonstrators in Oakland smashed windows at five businesses and ignited trash containers and tires…In downtown L.A. early Wednesday, a crowd gathered near City Hall and property was defaced, including a fence scrawled with graffiti insulting the incoming commander in chief.”.
Flags also burnt in New York and Texas…Motorway shut down in LA. More here. And in other parts of California also. And in Portland. Should point out the additional insanity of this election: so far Clinton has got 60,275,264 votes, with Trump getting 59,937,885 votes – ie over 330,000 more than Trump (votes are still being counted, but the more they’re counted the bigger Clinton’s majority). But this has some of the better comments on the election – from Indians in Dakota: “I don’t think anyone here votes,” said Julie Richards, an Oglala Lakota from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. “We’re all like, fuck the government, fuck voting, and fuck the people running.”…Archambault is not interested in choosing the next elected leader of one of his enemies. “I don’t want to have a say in government,” he said. “I guess you could call it trauma. I don’t have faith in government, so I don’t want to have a say.” The “trauma” Archambault speaks of lies heavy over the encampments that have arisen on the windswept banks of the Missouri River. Generations of war, massacres, broken treaties, discrimination, police harassment, and poverty have resulted in a general feeling of distrust, disillusion, and disinterest in mainstream politics among the Native Americans gathered at Standing Rock. And historical traumas have only been compounded by the militarized police response to unarmed protesters, who have been met with Mace, rubber bullets, Tasers and sound weapons.”…Nebraska: anti-Trump graffiti on State Capitol building…Oakland: city hall windows smashed. More complete list here
Most delerious headline of the day: “US WAR ZONE: Millions riot across America in Donald Trump election protests” When you compare what is described as a riot nowadays (eg a couple of bins burnt) with, say, the situation in the 1960s when Watts rose up and something like a thousand buildings were set alight and stores looted to the degree that 2 years later some people still had their garage half-full of crates of whiskey etc, one can see the enormity of the counter-revolution and the terrified/terrifying domestication of people. Compare also the 1964 election, with both candidates arguably to the left of both Trump and Clinton, when the nuclear trigger-happy Republican – Barry Goldwater – lost to Johnson with a margin of 24% [SF]
This is an interesting reflection.
Sweet Halloween –
the white supremacist Battle of Liberty Place Monument
US, Dakota: at least 9 vehicles torched in pipeline protests, including bulldozer & 2 military-style trucks…More here “On Thursday, the digging took a more confrontational turn. The huge digging equipment arrived to cut across State Highway 1806 at a spot where water protectors had set up a front-line camp several months ago, one mile north of the main encampment of over 1,000 people. As the equipment arrived, the “water protectors” blocked the highway. In a dangerous incident, an armed private security guard of DAPL came onto the camp and was chased off into the water abutting the camp by water protectors. After a lengthy standoff, tribal agency police arrived and arrested the security guard. Water protectors set his security vehicle on fire. On Friday more than 100 local and state police and North Dakota National Guard arrested over 140 people who blocked the highway attempting to stop the destruction of the land. Police in riot gear with automatic rifles lined up across a highway, with multiple MRAPs (mine-resistant ambush protected military vehicles), a sound cannon that can immobilize persons nearby, Humvees driven by National Guardsmen, an armored police truck and a bulldozer. Police used mace, pepper spray, tear gas and flash-bang grenades and bean-bag rounds against Native Americans who lined up on the highway. Police reportedly shot rubber bullets at their horses and wounded one rider and his horse.”…indigenous occupy Hillary Clinton’s campaign office in New York …anarchist report here “The “camp leaders” are hired Nonviolent Direct Action consultants. They are utilizing a classic strategy of nonviolent civil disobedience: they hope that the images of police evicting people in prayer will win them the sympathy of the public. The people we speak with at the checkpoint are clearly not buying this. But what can they do? Their elders have hired these people to stage-manage the moment….“I don’t know who those ‘leaders’ are,” a Native guy tells us as we throw tires on the side of the road. “They’re not my elders. I came here to defend this camp, and I’m going to do what I have to.”…The next morning, we learn that there has been another barricade all along, located on a bridge on Route 134, the only other entrance by which the police can access the Sacred Ground camp since all other entrances go through the Standing Rock reservation. Apparently this is what Red Warrior has been up to, and they have no intention of letting the police through. While that is exciting to hear, we can’t understand why the same commitment to physically defend the space is absent here on Highway 1806…. a truck pulls up and out steps a paid nonviolent consultant who is on his way to negotiate a mass arrest. He gathers the barricade crew in a circle and makes an impassioned plea for us to leave the road clear. “When people see the images of them arresting us and storming our teepees with guns, they will know our struggle is right.”…we don’t want to be the ones to disobey his orders—we don’t want to make it easy for the police or media to deploy a narrative about “outside agitators,” and we don’t want to sabotage the possibility of other anarchists like us participating in this struggle. We decide we will check in with the Native guys we spent the night on the barricade with. When we ask about their reaction to the speech, we get a blunt response: “Fuck that guy.” Our thoughts exactly.”
US, Dakota: negotiations between pipeline protesters and cops break down “”Protester Andy Kilchrist, 71, who was arrested Saturday in the biggest one-day roundup to date… “So what? What am I going to do with the rest of my life?” she said.”
A friend writes: “The photos show an impressive barricade (from what i understand there are 3 of them, blocking all access to both camps), and blood-sucking vampire jesse jackson makes his pre-halloween photoshoot. …someone in the original camp called the people who formed the new camp “hotheads” or something like that, probably a sign that whatever develops at the new camp will be interesting….also, a new encampment started a couple weeks ago on the iowa-illinois border where the pipeline’s supposed to dive under the mississippi river. there’s been confrontations and arrests there. …heres some info on it:
and in the context of the standing rock encampment:
US, Boston: 600 students walk out of class , occupy admin building in support of dining hall workers’ strike…Dakota: anti-pipeline movement occupies privately-owned land (several more links here)…Denver: Starbucks Vandalized in Solidarity with Prison Strike
US, North Carolina: mass murderer calls fire bombing of Republican Party office “horrific and unacceptable”…and her party shows how goody goody it is by raising the money to rebuild this horrific and unacceptable office…but that’s because they were also targetted “According to Hughes, staffers found the words “Death to Capitalism” scrawled on the OCDP[Orange County Democratic Party] headquarters when they came into work.”
US, Oregon: cops attacked with projectiles, roads blocked, after protesters against new rules for cops kicked out of council meeting following its disruption…report that prison strike cost capital $600,000 a day in California
US, Canadian border states: activists shut off 5 cross-border pipelines “Activists disrupted the flow of millions of barrels of crude oil from Canada to the US by turning off valves on North America’s pipeline system . An action of this magnitude by environmentalists is thought unprecedented. Protesters carried out the audacious act of sabotage by simultaneously twisting shut giant valves on five cross-border pipes that together can carry up to 2.8 million barrels of crude oil a day – around 15 percent of daily US consumption.”
state forces in Dakota, 10th October
Whilst this action was undoubtedly cleverly and daringly planned, it seems like an element of it involved a degree of self-publicity for the activists involved, who had what they did filmed and even publicised their names – see this: “At the easternmost site, in Leonard, Minnesota, a city of only 40 people about two hours’ drive from the Canadian border, Annette Klapstein and Emily Johnston scaled a chain-link fence and used bolt cutters to unlock the shut-off valves, said Ben Joldersma, a technology worker from Seattle who drove the women to the site and filmed the action. A similar scene played out at other stations and in minutes activists had choked off supply arteries pumping as much as 15 percent of daily oil demand in the world’s largest economy.”
US: report about CIA claiming to have technologically mastered the ability to predict social unrest 5 days before it happens “Deputy Director for Digital Innovation, Andrew Hallman, explains that the new wing of the agency is helping the CIA expand its “anticipatory intelligence.” Hallman notes that the improvements are good enough that they can predict overseas societal instability and social unrest by three to five days before the events actually occur.Should you wonder what “anticipatory intelligence” is, read on.The term encompasses a mixture of highly sophisticated analytics and algorithms able to forecast the flow of people and products, from extremists to illicit goods. By tapping into the potential of deep and machine learning, data that seem unrelated can be connected and patterns start to emerge. Analysts then scrutinize these sequences and can anticipate national security threats.”
Aside from exaggerating technological methods of repressive “intelligence” in order to maintain funding, this is more state-aggrandising propaganda aimed at making the state seem far more omniscient and omnipotent than it genuinely ever can be (who can predict a cop killing which immediately sparks off a riot, for instance?), though it aims also to help get the state’s machinery ready in advance for the more obviously predictable responses, eg in relation to some new upcoming vicious law. Which is nothing new, merely that before it wasn’t presented as something a computer could do.
A contact sent me this about the above: “I think it could have some actual usefulness when combined with “metadata”, which there is some precedent in Yemen of bombing militants (and even civilians) via cellphone/sms/gprs data……what really concerns me is the implications of this…it shows some regard in the minds of the bourgeoisie for “interventions” and “bourgeois militancy”, no? In the same way groups like the ICC and some others associated with it at whatever point place so much emphasis on the “interventions” of their “militants”. In my opinion they are clearly more equipped and better able to influence the working class than communist and anarchist agitators, but do we underestimate the importance of this type of activity? Egypt comes to mind”
US, Charlotte, NC: protesters briefly occupy motorway overpass Anarchist report here…Really interesting eyewitness accounts here
…California: Walmart remains closed for 3rd day following 12-year-old’s arson attack causing $1m. worth of damages…Portland (Oregon): clashes with cops at Black Lives Matter demo…100 students occupy oldest building at University of Mississippi against fascist threats
US, Charlotte, NC: protesters block roads on 3rd night of protests as protester shot at point blank range dies More here. Hard to know if it was some cop’s rubber bullet or a mad and sad gunman in the crowd.
US, Charlotte, NC: national guard called out in 2nd night of protests Anarchist reports here. At the beginning of the evening, a crowd of 600 marched to a church, and masked black youth started screaming “Fuck Jesus, Fuck Church” to applause and cheers from half the crowd. The other half dispersed but those who remained moved to the NC Hornets team store and looted it completely, leaving brand new Jordan sneakers strewn across the road. Looting continued, with convenience stores and others targeted.
The combative section ballooned to 500 at points, but generally numbered 300-400. Later at night, the cops deployed massive amounts of tear gas to split the crowd into two or three groups. One group looted a bar, another went to the highway and blockaded it. The crowd reunited on the highway until driven off by riot police. At that point, however, the crowd returned to downtown smashing banks and luxury stores. [H]…Video here
US, Charlotte, North Carolina. Clashes break out after cops kill disabled man More here “The shooting led to protests in the city Tuesday night that blocked I-85, and resulted in damaged police cars and 16 injured officers.”
US: consequences of the national prison strike Repression continues with lots of searches and reprisals against participants and solitary confinement imposed in many prisons. Nevertheless many prisoners discuss the continuation of the strike and how to coordinate actions. In South Carolina actions are continuing. 350 prisoners from a jail are refusing to work.
re. the New York bombing: on the 19th March this year I posted this:
anti-Trump demos – main road blocked in Arizona, scuffles with cops in New York Whilst the support Trump is getting is indicative of the mad mentality of the USA, he’s very unlikely to win the presidential election anyway, unless he can arrange for some Daesh bombing in some major city a couple of weeks before the election; so it’ll almost certainly be the mass murderer with a human face – Clinton – and here she is sharing a joke with her apparent arch-rival, back in 2003:
But the real idiocy of elections is the fact that the false choices utterly overwhelm people’s consciousness for months and months and attacking misery at work, in the streets etc. is once more avoided.[SF]
I should add that if Trump were to be elected (still not very likely) would it be such a bad thing, however indicative of serious false consciousness amongst vast swathes of the US working class? The chances of riots and significant conflict arising out of his presidency are far greater than under Clinton; it would be a major problem for the vast majority of the US ruling class, who seriously do not want a Trump victory, and is far less likely to produce the relatively passive response to Hitler’s accession to the throne in 1933. Clinton is, in any case, clearly a warmonger, and is a far cleverer piece of shit than Trump: see this, for instance.
USA, Alabama : screw stabbed by prisoner dies More info on what happens at Holman here and here. Holman Prison, AL: Free Alabama Movement issues press release calling for an end to the humanitarian crisis at the prison. They state through social media that many guards are not reporting to work and that much of the prison remains unguarded…
US, Florida: prisoners take over dormitory “These riots will continue to increase in frequency, increasing the likelihood that our corrections officers will be injured, said Kimberly Schultz, president of Teamsters 2011, the union representing FDC’s officers. She said that prisoners have assaulted 30 officers since April and that one prison, Franklin, has had three inmate riots this year alone.”
The friend who sent the following said “hard to tell how connected it is but I guess we’ll never know”:
Mayo, Florida This article also references “pockets of inmates refusing to work across the state”. Alsothis reports “smaller [disturbances] were reported in a number of other prisons across the state”.
Bristol, Florida (yet another Florida panhandle prison).
Tecumseh, Nebraska (in anticipation of sept. 9?)
Guantanamo Bay (“small number of men at Camp 6 are continuing their hunger strikes”)
This is from here:
- Alabama: Work stoppage in Holman. Brief report from the inside here.
- Bonifay, FL: Sit down strikes and work stoppages at Holmes. Corporate news report here.
- Florida: “Disturbances” at Gulf and Mayo prisons, as well as “smaller” disturbances at other locations.Corporate news report here.
- Troy, VA: Women at Fluvanna prison participate in the strike.
- North Carolina: Prisoners refuse work. Read brief update here.
- Leavenworth, KS: Chelsea Manning announces hunger strike. More info here.
- Chowchilla, CA: Work strikes and lockdown at Central California Women’s Prison. Brief report says:
A few women incarcerated people refused to work and because of the nationwide prison strike, and fear of an uprising, the prison was locked down stopping ALL slave labor!
- Kansas: Women prisoners strike at an unnamed facility.
- Tecumseh, NE: Three guards injured by inmate. Corporate news report here.
And this references “confirmed strikes underway in Florida, South Carolina, and Texas”.
More snippets of information here.
US, Florida: at least 4 prison dorms barricaded “The action is believed to be part of a nationwide prisoner strike planned for September 9 in observance of the anniversary of the Attica Prison riot that occurred at Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York in 1971.”
See these pages (1, 2, 3 ) about Attica, 1971 (scroll down to the last paragraph of page 1 for the start). “We, the inmates of Attica prison, say to you, the sincere people of society, the prison system of which your courts have rendered unto, is without question the authoritative fangs of a coward in power” – The Popular Manifesto of Attica, September 1971.
US, North Dakota: clashes as indigenous population resist destruction of their land by $3.8bn pipeline construction “… construction crews destroyed American Indian burial and cultural sites on private land in southern North Dakota….four private security guards and two guard dogs were injured after several hundred protesters confronted construction crews at the site just outside the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. One of the security officers was taken to a Bismarck hospital for undisclosed injuries. The two guard dogs were taken to a Bismarck veterinary clinic….Tribe spokesman Steve Sitting Bear said protesters reported that six people had been bitten by security dogs, including a young child. At least 30 people were pepper-sprayed”. ...More about the dogs…See this for background information. And this, which has an interview with those involved in this resistance (scroll down to page 6).
US, Nevada: VIP section of Burning Man festival sabotaged “A group of revellers stormed through the event’s White Ocean VIP camp, which had become the home away from home for celebrities like Nina Agdal, Katy Perry, and sisters Cara and Poppy Delevingne over the weekend …Burning Man organisers claim the vandals cut electrical cords, glued doors shut and dumped hundreds of gallons of water throughout the site just before the event began”
From an email:
“heard from friends … that while police have put down the clashes in Milwaukee, fires have been continuing but aren’t being reported. And this troubling phenomenon of internet nerd “alt-right” “journalists” turning up everywhere continues – apparently one of the only confrontations on Monday night was unmasking some alt-right video blogger and physically driving her off.”
USA, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: cop hospitalised, police car torched, after cop killing of yet another young guy “After the shooting, which occurred in a predominately African-American section of Milwaukee, protesters fired shots and hurled rocks as police attempted to disperse the crowd, which local media reported numbered more than 100. The windows of at least two squad cars were smashed, and one officer sitting inside one of the vehicles was hit in the head with a brick….Protesters set another police car on fire and a gas station ablaze. Fires broke out at least three other businesses, including an auto parts store…gunshots were fired from various locations during the disturbances.”
Chicago, U.S.: The Freedom Square occupation, outside the CPD’s infamous “black site” for secret interrogations, enters its third week and calls a neighborhood demonstration on the anniversary of Mike Brown’s murder by cops in Ferguson…
USA, San Francisco, California: Wild demonstration of about 150 people linking solidarity with the teachers’ strike in Oaxaca to the wave of protests against police killings in the U.S. A news reporter is attacked, leading to skirmishes with both private security and the cops.
USA, Baton Rouge, Louisiana: 3 cops killed by military veteran turned Black Nationalist, Gavin Long. Baton Rouge, where Alton Sterling had been killed by cops, had already seen tense protests, blockades, and mass arrests. In his words, regarding what the system can understand: “Fighting back and money are the only things they care about, revenue and blood.”
USA: thousands protest across country for fifth consecutive day against yet more highly publicised cop killings of black men during one of the protests 11 cops were shot by a sniper, killing 5…US: Tennessee bridge occupied in demo against cop murders of blacks, California major motorway intersection occupied, and other stuff related to the tense situation there
US, Kansas: mashed potatoes lead to smashed CCTV… St. Paul: Large blockage of I-94 leads to many arrests in the city where Philando Castile was shot by cops a few days before. Anarchists stage noise demonstration at the jail to support the arrestees, with much noise inside the cells too.
US, Baton Rouge: cops hit with frozen bottles of water as protests against cop murder of black guy continue despite the spectacle of “horror” at the death of 5 enforcers of misery… sit down protest… more here… Atlanta, Georgia: Clashes begin in response to police murders and continue for several days. Large demonstrations take over highways and attack police officers. Leftist activists attempt to manage the events, but are mostly expelled, at least for the first few days. When the police succeed in dispersing crowds, small groups tend to break away and set up smaller blockades… Carbondale, Illinois: Demonstrations and blockades even spread to small cities like Carbondale
US, Oakland, California: Spontaneous demonstration against the police murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. 2,000 people clash with police and take over I-880. Highway takeovers are repeated several times over the next week.
Purely symbolic support from various people in the USA for the movement in France, a gesture which is, however, indicative of a certain international sympathy and hope, however practically impotent I should add that as far as international sympathy goes the line between ‘purely symbolic’ and practical support is not precisely clear cut. According to Marx, who was present, a meeting of a few thousand workers in London in support of emancipation for US slaves during the Civil War was enough to convince the UK prime minister not to intervene on the side of the Southern states, despite being a ‘purely symbolic’ demonstration… Which is not to say that the actions in the US today are at all comparable. Clearly they are neither on the same scale nor in a similar context. But the point is to avoid writing off apparently symbolic solidarity as practically useless (though, of course, it usually is) when the reality can often be more nuaced and… dialectical… [SK]
US: report on how modern younger generation are not interested in their wage slavery “They are indifferent about work and show up just to put in their hours…lack of engagement in the workplace ends up costing the US economy an estimated $30.5 billion per year.”
US, Pittsburgh: 3rd riot in 2 weeks at juvenile centre “Three were arrested for risking a catastrophe”
US, San Diego: cops declare anti- Trump protest illegal “ some protesters scaled a barrier and hurled water bottles at police.”
US, New Mexico: clashes with cops at anti-Trump rally “Protesters threw rocks and bottles at police, set fires and broke a door at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Several police officers were struck by the rocks and needed to be treated for their injuries”
US, California: they’ve found their thrill on blueberry hill – but unions hover like vultures More here… Standard union nonsense: “Obviously that motivates workers to know that they recognize that somebody like the former president of the United States, for the first time in history, is coming to visit farm workers and be with farm workers and listen to their concerns, that’s important.” … This mentions how (pre-Clinton, unmotivated) strike started
US (Alabama) : Alabama Prison Strike Ends After Scabs Brought In would be good to have more info on it, but communicate has some ambigueties to me, see strategy of dialogue led by outside representants (I wrote something on it in french) [Pi]
US: big increase in sabotage during Verizon strike More here “Verizon says its network has suffered 57 incidents of vandalism in seven states in the two weeks since 36,000 workers went on strike. ….Under normal conditions, there are only about a half-dozen incidents of sabotage over the course of a year”
US, Georgia: clashes with cops at anti-KKK counter-demo More here “…demonstrators attempting to confront pro-white rally participants on Saturday set a barricade on fire, and after police showed up, hurled rocks, chairs and fireworks at officials trying to restore order. At least one state trooper was hit with pepper spray”
US, Minneapolis: Cops cleared in the murder of Jamar Clark “…several protesters burned an American flag on the sidewalk.” Several hundred people march from government building to where Jamar was executed and eventually to the street in front of the North Minneapolis 4th Precinct police station, which was occupied for several weeks over the winter. Video: dancing and singalong to Lil Boosie’s “Fuck the Police”: https://twitter.com/UR_Ninja/status/715371106266386432 [B] For more info see Wikipedia. Also see this and this.
USA: anti-Trump demos – main road blocked in Arizona, scuffles with cops in New York Whilst the support Trump is getting is indicative of the mad mentality of the USA, he’s very unlikely to win the presidential election anyway, unless he can arrange for some Daesh bombing in some major city a couple of weeks before the election; so it’ll almost certainly be the mass murderer with a human face – Clinton – and here she is sharing a joke with her apparent arch-rival, back in 2003:
But the real idiocy of elections is the fact that the false choices utterly overwhelm people’s consciousness for months and months and attacking misery at work, in the streets etc. is once more avoided.[SF]
US, Alabama: prisoners riot, set fires…warden and screw stabbed… more here “There are videos circulating on social media of prisoners burning the control towers and opening all doors. “We’re tired of this shit, there’s only one way to deal with it: tear the prison down” one of the participants stated.”
…blog by one of the prisoners here, unrelated to the riot.
USA, Atlanta: Parents, elementary students, and unionists from AFSCME protest outside of former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin’s private residence as charter school law passes in Carver school cluster. The former mayor, known as a progressive, was targeted for her role in gentrification in Atlanta, lead by initiatives such as this [H].
USA, Boston: high school students walk out of class against education cuts, scuffle with cops…Virginia: activist occupy lobby of Department of Environmental Quality in protest against release of coal-ash water into waterways
US, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota: 43rd annual Liberation Day march to the site of the Wounded Knee massacre results in clashes with police and ceremonially firing guns.…Salt Lake City: Clashes after police shoot a teenager. “There were pockets of that disturbance for hours,” a detective said Sunday.
US, Colorado: Occupy activist against eviction and bank theft of home shoots deputy but didn’t get the sheriff
More here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3462650/Deputy-killed-two-wounded-arrived-serve-eviction-notice-house-Occupy-Denver-activist.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Anaheim had large riots against killer cops almost 4 years ago; see, for instance, this: https://www.rt.com/usa/anaheim-police-shoot-another-833/
US, Denver: post Superbowl victory riot
“Some superfans even tried to reenact Peyton’s pass plays by throwing debris at police. Others strived to create a more well-rounded riot atmosphere by busting out the window of a police patrol car and tipping over trash cans. Streets had to be closed off and pepper spray was used to shut down the impromptu party earlier than expected.”
USA (Georgia): Occupations at three different universities, resulting in multiple arrests. The occupations came after four years of struggle against university bans and restrictions on undocumented immigrant students.
US, New York : NYPD break up protest against deportation of immigrants
(Pictures and videos)
This article gives figures of deported migrants in the US. Lots of articles can be found on the internet evoking the hardships faced by those who are deported to their country of birth, such as Cambodia, Haiti or Mexico, after prison sentences or conviction for even minor offenses. Countries they sometimes know nothing about, where they have no family. There are even cases in which they don’t speak the local language.
For Mexicans, deportation from the US is nothing new : http://classroom.synonym.com/forced-deportation-mexicans-during-depression-6297.html, though it’s still horrendous in lots of cases (http://www.nbcnews.com/id/26379348/ns/world_news-americas/t/deported-mexicans-face-shattered-lives/#.Vp_cqOFX3hB).
US (Atlanta): Graffiti against police and Donald Trump: “MURDERTRUMPASAP” Also, see the link for interesting effort to make peace between graffiti crews, to build an alliance against the “common enemy” and the “spectacle of mainstream electoral politics.”
US (Ohio) early January: Sean Swain, anarchist prison rebel goes on med strike, in response to prison admins attacking his communications with the outside world. In happy coincidence, the authorities seem to give in AND the withdrawal of medicine does not lead to expected deadly consequences
Protests and road blockades across dozens of American cities (New York, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Bloomington (IN), Memphis, Burlington, Boston, Cincinnati, Colorado Springs, St. Petersburg (FL), Detroit, among others) in response to 12 year old Tamir Rice’s murderer getting off without charges.
USA (Kentucky and New Jersey): Massive flash mobs descend on shopping malls, which right-wing blog calls part of the “Ferguson Effect.” And in New Jersey: http://www.nj.com/gloucester-county/index.ssf/2015/12/uproar_involving_500_people_at_mall_were_juveniles.html
U.S. (San Francisco, CA): Ongoing graffiti campaign against new real estate agencies, gentrification projects, and the SFPD.
U.S. (San Francisco): High school/middle school walkouts in response to the execution of Mario Woods. Students surrounded police car and shouted “Fuck the Police!”
Chicago, IL — Subway graffiti in response to the video release of Laquan McDonald’s execution.
U.S. (Chicago): Demonstrators throw rocks, among other things, at local politicians house. Three arrested and charged with “mob action”
U.S. (Atlanta): Rash of oppositional graffiti roils city. Two large swastikas with a picture that resembles Donald Trump at its center were found around Atlanta Wednesday morning.
And anti-police graffiti on brand-new grocery store in a black proletarian district:
United States, Yucca Valley, CA – Teenagers riot and trash their school “When deputies stepped outside the classroom to speak with the teacher, students forcefully slammed the interior classroom door shut locking it, preventing deputies and school staff from entering the classroom. While deputies were trying to enter, the students vandalized the classroom by knocking over bookshelves, throwing desks, chairs, and trash cans.”
US, Minneapolis: demonstrators briefly occupy City Hall “Some 300 protesters showed up at city hall, chanting “Shut it down! Shut it down!” and “No justice! No peace! Prosecute the police!” Some used a marker to leave a message on the windows of Wings Financial inside city hall — a business which lists on its website that it is a sponsor of the Minneapolis Police Officers Federation. Protesters then took their message outside through the streets of downtown Minneapolis, blocking off streets just as rush hour ended.” Lots more info here
Balloons released saying “FUCK THE POLICE” during annual lighting of Christmas tree; some get stuck in powerlines
US, Chicago: blockades against the “Magnificent Mile” (bourgeois shopping district) “Hundreds of protesters galvanized by the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald closed a stretch of Michigan Avenue on Friday and blocked would-be customers from entering high-end, Magnificent Mile stores on what’s usually among the busiest shopping days of the year. Many protesters remained in the area for hours, moving up and down Michigan Avenue, pausing in front of stores, waving flags and signs, and chanting — though by about 9:15 p.m., many of them had decided to call it a night.”
Words from a worker in the district: “I was working the Water Tower yesterday. I lost a lot of money that I really needed because people couldn’t get into the mall and come to my restaurant. And I would gladly work that shift all over again. What a complete success.”
US: arrests in Chicago and New York in protests over more police murders of black men… Minneapolis, MN — More anonymous shots fired upon protestors outside 4th Precinct. No injuries reported. … Freeways across the city get redecorated with “Justice 4 Jamar” tags: Pic one, Pic two …Walkouts at at least four high schools in solidarity with those injured by white supremacists at the 4th Precinct… Designers create a riot-based strategy video game (see video) – risk-free rioting from the comfort of your own armchair!… Walmart hired Lockeed Martin and FBI to spy on workers “A document made public Tuesday by worker organization OUR Walmart reveals company testimony to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in January stating that Walmart had enlisted the help of arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force to monitor workers who were organizing for higher wages and the right to unionize. OUR Walmart workers said they were illegally fired and disciplined for taking part in the “Ride for Respect” strike during Walmart’s shareholder meeting in June of 2013.
But the surveillance had long been in progress. Walmart executives mobilized the so-called “Delta” emergency response team in 2012 when they first got wind of plans for a nationwide Black Friday worker strike. As Bloomberg explained in an investigative piece published Tuesday, “the stakes were enormous.” In addition to the NLRB testimony, the new reporting states, “The details of Walmart’s efforts during the first year it confronted OUR Walmart are described in more than 1,000 pages of e-mails, reports, playbooks, charts, and graphs.”
“Any attempt to organize its 1 million hourly workers at its more than 4,000 stores in the U.S. was an existential danger,” Bloomberg‘s Susan Berfield wrote. “Operating free of unions was as essential to Walmart’s business as its rock-bottom prices.”
Chicago, US: protests over another cop killing of teenager… Just heard from friends in Minneapolis…White supremacists fired into an anti-police demonstration there tonight 3 people wounded, none life-threateningly. Crowds did not disperse afterwards and police maced demonstrators, especially targeting those who would not remove their masks after the shooting. (This feels very intense here. Word is circulating quickly, and this is a major escalation)… In response to anti-racist campus protests, dozens of “White Student Unions” appear on social media at various American universities… Traditionalist Youth Network, a racist student organizing body, seems to be pleased: “The anti-Whites have pushed and shoved White kids around for so long without pushback that some kind of defensive response from them absolutely boggles them. It must be a mirage! It’s [insert_current_year]! To the extent that the project is the target of imageboard troll lulz, the universities certainly delivered.” They continue, showing their hand about what sort of actions of effective in stopping them: “Do you realize what happens to people who actually stand up and publicly defend their White identity? Indiana University actively collaborated with and encouraged the antifa radicals who threw bricks through the windows of students’ private homes. University cops refused to investigate easily resolvable and unprovoked attacks on our members. Indiana University’s official newspaper declared that we’re terrorists while colluding with those who were actually relying on terror as a political weapon.” [H]
US, Minneapolis: clashes with cops over cop murder of handcuffed black guy continue… Keith LaMar and Jason Robb, condemned to execution in Ohio for the 1993 Lucasville uprising, won their hunger strike against restrictive conditions on death row. Newly released video [H]
Oakland, California — “Sideshow” turns into joyous police car smashing. Video
Council, Idaho, US: protest over police brutality This might seem strange to include, but it’s worth noting because this is the first protest I’ve seen in the US (since August 2014) in response to a white person being murdered by cops. Unsurprisingly, it was attended by some members of “3% of Idaho,” a right-wing militia group (www.iiipercentidaho.org/) [B]
US, Providence, Rhode Island — Famous “Dancing Cop” fired for staging protest against Dunkin Donuts employees “Last month, after a Dunkin’ Donuts employee wrote “#blacklivesmatter” on a police officer’s coffee cup, Lepore organized a protest outside the establishment. According to the AP, Lepore said he wanted to see that employee fired. “I had a mission to make sure all police officers were treated like police officers, not like dirt,” he said.”
US, Missouri: black football players refuse to play until University President resigns Seems like white players and the coaching staff are in on it too now: Really unprecedented as far as I know. These college football programs rake in millions and millions for the universities on the backs of these unpaid players (most of which are on scholarships that now may be in revoked – quite a risk for those striking). There’s been a lot of hit and run racist incidents – nothing organized- that has provoked this, but really that sort of thing has been going on at mizzou for years. Why now? I think it is a combination of a Ferguson-fueled protest/”social justice” atmosphere that has found its unique flavor in the college town AND the football team is having a terrible year, so the players couldn’t care less about losing more games. The President has till next Saturday’s game to make his move… and in the meantime – there’s a grad student on hunger strike demanding his resignation, grad student professors recently got their health benefits back after a series of protests, and there’s a boycott of the dining facilities…here’s a timeline of things at the university… Didn’t realize there had been a couple of walk-outs and the graduate teaching assistants were trying to unionize. We’ll see if the ‘movement’ can transcend the racial focus and the ruts of college activism. [friend of Sam]… Alabama: prison riot ‘The cause of the riot is unknown, but the word is that it was racial. Then a couple of days later a queer prisoner at the St. Clair Correctional Facility named Kay Kay allegedly stabbed a pig guard after the guard slapped him in the face. St. Clair has been the scene of stiff resistance and retaliation against brutal guards by prisoners. Since June a number of guards have been beaten and stabbed by prisoners.’
United States, Utah: inmates of ‘youth centre’ riot “Our officers went in and tried to take care of the problem, and as they would go into one area, a problem would develop in another area” Not sure what exactly a youth centre is, presumably prison for children…California: 5000 riot for their right to party at Berkley university campus during halloween
This section of the chronology ends here
…but it continues from 9/8/14 (the cop murder of Mike Brown) until 14/10/15 here (the Ferguson page) in chronological order rather than reverse chronological order. These entries are almost exclusively about the movement against killer cops, and excludes strikes, party or sports riots etc., which you can find on the News of Opposition page, though not sorted according to country.
And continues from July 2014 back to March 2013 here:
US, New York: 9 Jews arrested for protesting Israel’s war on people of Gaza This Jerusalem Post article deliberately confuses 2 demos – one pro-Israel, the other against what Israel’s doing, misquoting in one part of the article what is said in another, and putting a pro-Israel demo as illustration for an article about Jews demonstrating against Israel. To counter the “telegenically dead” victims of the war, some of the TV reports portray Gaza deaths and destruction as something that Hamas has done to Israel. Others also contribute to the confusion…..Washington state: railtracks blockaded in move to stop transportation of crude oil
US, Orlando: 200 strangers respond to potential evictee’s request for support against bank’s would-be eviction…riot cops use white smoke to break up street party (video shows riot cops banging shields)
US, New York: another man done gone…musical version The US cops seem to constantly get away with murder without anything other than standard complaints in reaction (unlike what happened in Brazil, Bahia state on 16/7/14). Not like the riots that spread throughout Los Angeles and beyond when, in 1992, the cops filmed beating Rodney King were acquitted . Proletarians in far too many countries have yet to break out of their domestication like they used to.
sign detourned from this:
US, Fort Lauderdale: beneath the beach, the riot (video) …more here (another video)
US, California: “cops are murderers” protest after 2nd cop within 2 weeks murders someone (more here) (video in Spanish here) (radio interview here)
US, Albuquerque: families of victims of cop murderers take over city council (for more reports on cop violence here, see this)
US, Alabama: prisoner trying to organise prison strike “taken out of his cell … placed in solitary, without clothing or a bed, in retaliation… ” Phone warden Carter Davenport on (001) 205-467-6111 to tell him what you think of his slave empire…though one has to wonder what kind of tactical considerations this prisoner was thinking of by announcing the proposed strike on the internet before it was supposed to take place, as if it wasn’t obvious that this would allow the authorities to make sure it never happened and to victimise him.
US, Alabama: prisoners announce impending strike against “slave empire” “We decided that the only weapon or strategy … that we have is our labor, because that’s the only reason that we’re here…They’re incarcerating people for the free labor.” (article here on some aspects of why prison rate is so high in Alabama…and this IWW statement shows some of the horrendous miseries of prison life there: “The conditions in Alabama prisons are horrendous, packing twice as many people as the 16,000 that can be housed “humanely”, with everything from black mold, brown water, cancer causing foods, insect infestations, and general disrepair. They are also run by free, slave labor, with 10,000 incarcerated people working to maintain the prisons daily, adding up to $600,000 dollars a day, or $219,000,000 a year of slave labor if inmates were paid federal minimum wage, with tens of thousands more receiving pennies a day making products for the state or private corporations.” However, it has this bizarre sentence: “the struggle of these brave human beings is the same as the millions of black, brown, and working class men, women, and youth struggling to survive a system they are not meant to succeed within.”, which implies that “black”, “brown” and “working class” are separate categories., though perhaps it’s a typo – maybe they unintentionally missed out “white” before “working class”.
US, Michigan: party turns into “riot” – bottles and rocks thrown at killjoy cops…Minnesota: riot cops called after hockey game lost “…young people moved from sidewalks to the streets, chanting “USA!”, hurling profanities at police officers and throwing rocks and bottles. Some lay down in the intersection of Fourth Street Southeast and 14th Avenue Southeast.” Youth confrontations with the cops nowadays in America seem to often happen after sports games, whether lost or won, or during mass student, or other, parties. One can dismiss these incidents as “apolitical” (after all, what could be more stupid than chanting “USA”), but in the atmosphere of zero tolerance, even something which is normally not very interesting and directionless is considered a threat by the state, simply because it involves crowds gathering independently of the usual express reason – commodity consumption – and blocking the roads. “After the experiences of the French Revolution, the efforts of all established powers to increase the means of maintaining order in the streets finally culminates in the suppression of the street” – Debord. Nevertheless, devoid of any perspective, these situations can hardly be called struggles, and usually have no ongoing consequence. For example, given the mostly apolitical nature of these events, there is very very rarely any form of solidarity expressed for those arrested.
US, Albuquerque: at least 4 cop substations vandalised ...as mass anti-killer cop protest jams up city council ….St.Louis: nearly 100 bus drivers in wildcat sickie over retirement payments…San Francisco: horror shock vandalism riot disorder disaster terror aaaaagh
the realisation and suppression of art: a non-authorised installation in San Francisco
US, St.Louis: “Occupy St Louis” guy gets acquitted of obvious frame-up by cops (see also “Occu…POW! – the jolt of occupy St.Louis”)…..Oakland: pig who permanently damaged Iraq war veteran during “Occupy Oakland” promoted to 2nd-in-command of Oakland Police Department…report of 2-day student/worker strike at University of California
US, Albuquerque: demo against cops murdering people turns violent (more here, here and here – video) “…one police officer was injured in the “mayhem”….At one point, protesters trapped police in a vehicle and tried to break the windows, the Albuquerque Journal reported. The police department said its website had also come under a cyberattack on Sunday afternoon.”
US, California: City College of San Francisco students in confrontation with cops, sit-in of admin building (more here)…Texas: concert-goers break barricades to get into festival This is described as a riot in this report, and a rapper has been arrested for inciting it (though it’s probable that this break-in had already begun before he shouted “riot!”). This kind of thing used to happen all the time in the 70s and early 80s and no-one called it a riot – it was just a way to get in for free. Nowadays things that used to be normal – like a few kids chucking stones at an the windows of an empty house, or drunks breaking glasses outside a pub – are met by the riot squad.But so far zero-tolerance for us is not being confronted with zero tolerance for the state.
US, Massachusetts: pre-St Patricks day piss-up – 4 cops injured, 73 arrests…Hollywood shattered by “Breaking Glass” & “Rear Window” “It’s not for nothing that endles movies (e.g. Superman) represent the destruction of cars as fun: capital has learnt well how to profit from the spectacle of our desires. The representation of our fantasies of wrecking the commodities which maiitain our isolation and separation is not meant to be practiced in reaiity, of course – we’re all just meant to pay to watch it in passivity on a screen. Rioters who act on such desires are inevitably seen by spectators as “animals” because spectators have to see their submission to the “civilised ” alienation which turns these desires into cultural fantasies as innately superior and ‘human’. The compensation of the spectacle of our destructive desires is not meant to be taken seriously but appreciated without risk.” (from here)
US, Virginia: protesters against deportations blocking access road to detention centre arrested “The annual average of deportations increased to near 400,000 since President Barack Obama took power in 2009.”
US, Bloomington: angry demo publicising death of homeless guy in sub-zero temperatures “Participants in the march disabled several dozen parking meters, wrote graffiti, paint-bombed banks, popped tires, and distributed hundreds of fliers about Ian’s death, homelessness, and policing in Bloomington. Participants also took the opportunity to run into several yuppie restaurants and rain fliers on the passive diners…. the city has recently announced that the revenue from new parking meters will fund downtown police foot-patrols and new surveillance cameras.”
US, California: $1m. worth of stuff looted from posh house party “More than 100 people were estimated to have attended the party, held at a vacant, fully furnished La Habra Heights mansion that had been put on the market by the owner. The damage and thievery amount to at least $1 million”…San Jose: prisoners go on hunger strike over visitation misery (lasts a week)
storm the skybox
Crowds cheer as a bottle deflates TV screen after defeat of St Louis’ Cardinals
US, California: another insufficient protest against another cop murder of yet another teenager……Verizon workers on wildcat sympathy strike……Florida: pro-immigration sit-down protest blocks traffic…..Rhode Island: students force abandonment of New York Police Commissioner’s speech
US, New York: Wanksy “graffiti” graffitied again – “We don’t need more rats”…New Hampshire: Christians graffiti Republican Party
USA, New York: Wanksy gets out-graffitied …taking the piss out of the piss artist…also, see some of the comments after this article – in particular, this: “3 weeks ago a 29 year old got over 3 months in prison for graffiti. (see this: http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Regional/2013/09/08/Jailed-for-graffiti-mischief-29yearold-man-sentenced-to-more-than-three-years-in-jail.aspx? ) but this is nothing compared with what happened about a month ago – in Florida, I think – when a teenage graffiti tagger got tasered to death by the cops. This stupid sick society knows how to co-opt aesthetic graffiti and take out what was a little subversive in it by turning it all into Art, with Banksy laughing his way to the bank. One law for the rich, another for the poor – surpise surprise. One law for the artist another for those who don’t want to pretend to be “creative” in socially acceptable ways.”
Many of these so-called strikes are merely workers being instructed to picket a place, walk into it for 10 minutes or so, then walk out again, get transported to another site and repeat the same palava all over again. There are loads of stewards in orange jackets marshalling them and in many places when it rains, the whole of the picket put on the same jackets. The banners are official banners and usually any hastily scrawled banner is disallowed. Many of them are paid to demonstrate (though whether they’re paid above the pitiful minimum wage is doubtful). Usually whenever some minor independent initiative is suggested – like saying they go into a fast food joint immediately – this is put off until the officials ratify it – or not.
This is essentially a show. The manipulations of the union hierarchy are there to promote its agenda, using the genuine needs of the workers as pawns in their game. The SEIU (Service Employees International Union) is NOT building a movement to organize workers and fight bosses. Its aim is to boost its own negotiating power, to boost the Union not the struggle – to supersize its coffers.
Instead of a ‘march on the boss’ directed towards the corporations robbing workers daily, rather this is a ‘march on the media’ where the strikes serve as the visuals in a narrative of worker protest crafted by professional media consultants. Actions are scripted and run by the staff (themselves young, overworked, underpaid and working to meet difficult mobilization quotas) and the ultimate shots are called by officials in Washington, DC, not spontaneously by workers from below like the picture painted would lead you to believe.
When important shifts in the public direction of the campaign were made workers involved were instructed to state publicly “the workers made this decision.” A national conference was held in Detroit August 15-16 by the campaign with 7-800 attendees from the core cities of the campaign, a large number being campaign staff as well. Here workers were guided through a rapid fire pep rally, where they were handed a pre-written agenda and presented with the pre-packaged plan of the August 29 strike as the only decision of the meeting. No further discussion of the direction of the campaign was had. As one worker who was involved the past strikes and who attended the conference as a member of the staff selected steering committee said, that this is when they realized “maybe this isn’t our movement, but this is really their [SEIU’s] movement.”
Their aim is to move towards a range of legislative efforts including state ballot initiatives allowing cities and counties to set their own minimum wage. Another potential direction might be a combination of both employer agreements and legislation such as previous efforts of unions to raise wages through legislation but which exempted workers covered by union agreements. Another factor is that Obama recently announced plans to introduce a bill to increase the federal minimum wage. I think it’s hard to believe it coincidental that SEIU, one of the largest contributors to Obama’s 2012 reelection, unfolded the campaign just in time to deliver the legislative effort a ready-made support base.
Only when struggle is self-directed does it not lead to demoralisation: the lessons learnt, the mistakes made, are “owned” by those struggling themselves and so can be corrected. But when it’s all just a ploy to bolster the Democrat Party and the Union bureaucracy, it can only lead nowhere.
See also this.
USA, Alaska: cells flooded as prisoners smash toilets etc….Oklahoma: vandals critique miseducation system ok…Oakland: solidarity demo with Californian prisoners’ hunger strike blocks state building (more here) … Utah: tar sands project subverted by environmentalists…Berkeley: tent camp protest at Post Office
USA, California: 1 million dollars worth of sabotage of phone and radio mast…USA: fast food workers on wildcat strike (it should be pointed out that some of these strikes – at least in St.Louis – have been organised by rank and file members of the Democrat Party and much of the autonomy has been undermined by them)…California: surfin’ ‘n’ riotin’ USA
USA, Los Angeles: 3rd night of protests against Zimmerman verdict, traffic stopped, windows broken, Wal-Mart raided; freeway blocked in SF Bay Area…most official organisers plea for peace at same time as chanting “no justice – no peace”….
Oakland, this morning
USA, San Francisco: 7 arrested in pro-Gezi land occupation (more detailed information here)
US, New Orleans: gentrifiers trashed…Seattle: mayday protest takes on cops (more here) … same in Washington DC (demonstrators take the piss out of US nazis)… New York: arbitrary arrests near Tompkins Square Park (more here)
Other texts on this site about aspects of the USA
ferguson… This is linked to in the chronology as well
some musical notes (2005/2008) Although this is not exclusively about US music, it emphasises the back American roots of much music, and includes a brief history of the blues, of gospel, something on soul and especially James Brown, stuff about Rap, and about Muzak, etc.
moore is less (2004) A text about Michael Moore´s “Fahrenheit 9/11”
kamikaze kapitalism (2003) Written just at the start of the US bombing of Iraq
science: the myths of DNA…(1991) This is a reproduction of pages 58 – 104 of R.C.Lewontin’s “Biology as Ideology”, published in 1991. R.C.Lewontin is an American evolutionary biologist, geneticist, academic and social commentator. Its central focus is a critique of the Human Genome Project which was funded primarily by the US state and completed in 2003.
the montgomery bus boycott -1955-6 (1978) An excellent account of this taken from Chapter 17 of Charles Denby’s “Indignant Heart – A Black Worker’s Journal” (1978), which shows, amongst other insights, how the boycott was fairly spontaneous and independently-organised at the beginning and how the NAACP (despite their current re-written falsified history of these events) was very reluctant to get involved.
news of disalienation (1973) This text, mainly about the social movements in the USA at the beginning of the 1970s, was written by Jon Horelick, a former member of the Situationist International (American section).
For the latest information about events and actions in the USA, “It’s Going Down” is a good source, despite its typical American eclecticism and often a confusion which, in part, comes from a resistance to theoretical development and the need to consider that your point of view should result in decisions about what genuinely contributes to a social movement and what is an obstacle to its development.
The Wolf Report has some interesting takes on the US – like this “light-hearted” suggestion that Trump might encourage a coup à la Erdogan
Significant texts about the USA on other sites
January 21st, 2017, note: this is a “work in progress” and very much incomplete
Political repression beyond the baton – on the interaction between hard and soft repression during the Occupy Oakland movement of 2011, including the element of self-sabotage played within the occupation movement itself.