US, San Francisco: anti-gentrification protesters stop Apple employees’ bus (video here)
US, North Carolina: rocks and bottles thrown at cops in demo against cop killing of 17 yr old (more here and here) …. Ohio: arrests in protests against detention of undocumented immigrants
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)
US, Santa Rosa: protesters against cop killing of 13 yr old take over city hall, stop traffic
US, San Francisco: anti-gentrification protest blocks Google
US, Michigan: celebratory riot by football fans (video here)
US: activists halt megaload in struggle against tar sands projects
US, California: Father Christmas arrested…children of the world rise up
US: small strikes at hip capitalist store…interesting letter by fired Pizza Hut manager
US, North Carolina: police station windows broken after teenager killed whilst in cop custody (see also this, this and this)
US, Bloomington: 2 blocks of parking meters wrecked in movement against gentrification
US, California: workers & students unite & might…maybe one day…fight
US, Atlanta: illegal immigrants blockade federal office in protest against Obama’s deportation policy
US & UK: demonstrations against mainstream media manipulation
US, Utah: appalling immoral distasteful rude graffiti horror shock
US, Los Angeles: Walmart workers sit down in main road as part of their struggle for higher wages, etc.
US, Bakersfield: Congressman’s office occupied by immigration activists
USA, Colorado: protesters against banks etc. try to block bourgeois “democracy” (more here)
US, Connecticut: ghost spooks cops
US, Massachusetts: small riot after Boston win the World Series
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, Texas: ghosts refuse to die as 200 haunted house rioters chuck rocks at the living dead
US, New York: riot as students try to take over abandoned college building; students charged with riot 4 weeks later
US, Mississippi: small riot at Walmarts after food stamp failure (see also this)…Washington State, Bellingham: hundreds of students riot after cops stop party
US, New York: Wanksy “graffiti” graffitied again – “We don’t need more rats”…New Hampshire: Christians graffiti Republican Party
USA, Boston: wildcat bus strike leaders suspended (see also this)
USA, Boston: dominant media do their usual – in this case, attack wildcat bus drivers strike with vitriol and lies…call-out for 2nd day of strike against rapacious Veolia…is then called off
US, Seattle: school building occupied by Africatown Innovation Center
USA, Hollywood: shrine of dead demi-god daubed (see “Death Of A Walrus”)
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.”
USA, New Jersey: stylish improvements made to police vehicles
USA, New York: angry demo against former CIA chief Petraeus
USA, Washington: Thou Shalt Be Condemned To Listen To Tedious Lectures
USA, Florida: riot at juvenile detention centre
USA, Washington: 100 women immigration protesters arrested after blocking road intersection outside House of Representatives
USA, Denver, Colorado: cops don’t get stoned but protesters do
USA: Walmart protests – 100 arrests in 11 cities ( walmart sept 2013 )
USA, L.A.: anti-Walmart protesters block main intersection (more here)….. Jesus gets a makeover
USA: troops posting protests against Syrian intervention on internet (possibly)
USA, Oakland: airport workers go on official strike
USA: fast food strikes spread…throughout the media but not much in reality
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, California: screws to forcefeed hunger strikers
USA, Utah: yet another critique of the opium of the people
USA, Oakland: wildcat truckdrivers blockade port ( see also this)…Florida, Polk County: riot wrecks youth detention centre
“Teamsters DO NOT represent us”
USA, Florida: 18 buildings destroyed in juvenile prison riot
US, California: prison hunger strike hits its 40th day
USA, Seattle: nice clear victory for direct action
USA, New Orleans: anti-cop graffiti on Enemy HQ…Wisconsin: cops arrest protest singers for singing without permit…….Colorado: vandals attack death culture
USA, Miami: tensions after cops kill graffitist with taser (….cops laugh about it)
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, Florida: capitol sit-in by civil rights-type group against Zimmerman verdict now in its 3rd week
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, L.A.: week long Trayvon Martin protest (possibly a front for Democrat Party recuperation)
USA, California: hunger striker dies after being refused medical attention…San Marino: illegal anti-foreclosure demo outside bank executive’s home
USA, Washington: Lincoln memorial sprayed with green paint
USA, Oakland: anger continues against Zimmerman verdict
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”….
US, Oakland: cop car attacked, US flag burnt, etc. in reaction to Zimmerman acquittal… (more here)….St Louis – riot cops called to protect city jail (and here also)
Oakland, this morning
USA, St.Louis: cops shoot the right target for once
USA, W.Virginia: yet another critique of manipulation-education
USA, San Francisco: 7 arrested in pro-Gezi land occupation (more detailed information here)
USA, New Jersey: high school students go on strike
USA, Connecticut: broken heart of a heartless world
USA, Michigan: Jesuit statue improved
US, California: prison riot – screws kill rioting prisoner
USA, Los Angeles: turning whine into water
USA, New York: carwash workers strike
USA, New York: Virgin Mary gets cross
USA: Walmart workers strike in Miami, Massachusets and California
USA, Idaho: subversion of company specialising in the transformation of the body into pure show (bodybuilding.con)
US, Washington: evicted occupiers arrested as they block roads, etc.
USA, Pennsylvania: “occupy” returns…Texas: vandals make critique of “a good walk spoiled”
US, Berkeley: occupation of university land repressed by cops (more here)
US, New York: student sit-in against tuition fees
US, Detroit: fast food workers strike spreads
US, St.Louis: fast food workers strike
US, Philadelphia: high school students walk out against cuts…North Carolina: police cars redecorated
US, Los Angeles: sit-in against LAPD
US, Chicago: high school students strike over fired teacher…middle school students, parents hold sit-in to protest school closing
US, Las Vegas: 2 month taxi strike ends with strikers’ victory
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)
US: scab at Strongsville gets off lightly
US, Milwaukee: students sit-in at chancellor’s office in protest against labor conditions at pizza company
US, Colorado: students clash with riot cops at street party (video here)
US, Chicago: students walk out over standardised testing
USA, Minnesota: students occupy president’s office in protest against bank foreclosures
USA: anti-shale gas demonstrators occupy Department of Environmental Protection office
USA: Strongville Ohio – sympathy strikes spread
Other texts on this site about aspects of the USA
chomsky is a turd
ferguson… This is linked to in the chronology as well
occu…POW! – the jolt of occupy st.louis (2013)
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
W.E.B. du Bois’ “The General Strike”, about how blacks transformed the Union side in the civil war into a war for emancipation of the slaves, chapter 4 of W.E.B. du Bois’ book “Black Reconstruction”
The Working Class, World Capitalism and Crisis: A General Perspective
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.
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