…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.
Cop whistleblower reveals how Department of Homeland Security’s official policy involves ordering its cops to minimise fascist terror threat and hype up antifa
This is a bit of an “Emperor’s Clothes” moment for the American political system: The two parties – effectively the ONLY TWO PARTIES – are the two halves of a political system so senile it is incapable of putting forth “leaders” who are credible as anything but the props of the looters and morons who drive them.
Portland, Oregon: cops let fascists beat up antifas and later intervene for the sake of appearances
The new ultra-right tactical model is larger numbers of fighters and high mobility for rapid insertion of large columns into cities where the anti-fascists are smaller in number or unprepared. It is clear that the defenders of Salem were overwhelmed and outnumbered 5 to 1, according to the article. The pigs just watched until the anti-fascists were getting pulverized in an unseemly way and then gingerly intervened so as to avoid bad optics.
The neo-fascists are counting on the anti-fascists to have been cowed by the message that the assassination of Michael Reinoehl sent: Hurt their Nazi auxiliaries, and the FBI and local law enforcement will murder you…without photographic witness. Equally obvious is the fact that the state-sponsored murder of an antifa fighter has given new hope and impetus to the fascist organizations, increased their numbers and compelled them by circumstance to acquire a modicum of skill coordinating their activities. This is exceedingly ominous, as well as revealing of the actual relationship between the professional forces of repression and the barbarian auxiliaries they are increasingly open in mentoring and protecting. The state itself is becoming more overtly fascist itself in the process. We are moving toward a civil war in which only one side is allowed to do the fighting.
It is obvious innovative tactics must be developed that avoid casualties as much as possible while inflicting maximum harm against neo-nazi resources and resource bases, while mobilizing large segments of the urban population for a diversity of tactical approaches. The little militias of the John Brown Gun Clubs must be supplemented by a large proletarian citizens militia with an expanded range of capabilities while this is still legal. We need to learn from the experience of the Red Army of the Ruhr.
US, Kentucky: clashes as both armed white racists and armed, mainly black, anti-racists have separate demos
“Armed police supporters and anti-racism demonstrators clashed in Louisville before the Kentucky Derby horse race, while Rochester police used tear gas to disperse protesters, as discord in cities across the US continues to simmer. Protesters in Portland, Oregon, threw fire bombs at police last Saturday night and at least one person was injured, police said, on the 100th day of demonstrations in the West Coast city over racial injustice and police brutality. In the afternoon, hundreds of protesters marched towards the Churchill Downs track in Louisville chanting, “No Justice, No Derby” – a nod to activists’ calls to cancel the annual race, which was being held without spectators because of the coronavirus. Separately, roughly 250 members of a black militia group named NFAC that has protested against the police killings of black people assembled outside Churchill Downs, all armed with long guns. NFAC leader John “Grandmaster Jay” Johnson taunted the officers standing guard in front of the race track, but the group later retreated without incident.”
US, Washington: cops assassinate man who killed fascist…Vice interview with antifa guy before he was murdered
A meeting of the combined law enforcement agencies of Washington
This was very clearly a police assassination done in solidarity with the fascist Patriot Prayer organization; the antifa activist was subjected to a 40-50 round fussilade in the assassination. The filth – headed by federal filth – say they do not have any film and that there were no body cameras. In plain English this means THAT IT WAS AN OUTRIGHT ASSASSINATION, planned ahead,” with malice of forethought.” And nothing else could say how strongly connected the ultra-right scum of Patriot Prayer, with their on-the-bus slashers and attempt at building a multi-racial right-wing goon squad, are at the core of the plans of the official law enforcement apparatus for this country, as this. The message is: hands off American fascists. They have impunity. They are the allies of the state and the federal government will treat attacks on fascist murderers as attacks on official law enforcement. Which of course has the reciprocal effect of making federal law enforcement complicit, if not actors in conjunction, with the acts of fascist murderers. It means, in short, that we must regard the feds as fascist murderers as well, since they have made it so plain that they intend to cover for whatever the fascists do.
SF: It should be pointed out that not all revolutionary libertarian anti-racists in the US who are for the anger expressed against the cops agree with this – some think it’s just the cops doing what they’re trained to do as usual.
US: comparative statistics of clashes and riots between May to August 2020 and the post Ferguson period 2014-2015
This is in French but easy to understand (affrontements=clashes; émeutes=riots; villes=towns). He refers to these confrontations as “Black Lives Matter” clashes, which is rather simplistic.
Of course, it’s not just white people who use him as an example of peaceful protesting, nor do all white anti-racists hold him up as a role model – many of them support violent tactics where necessary and possible. But it makes a valid point…
Albuquerque: charming description of charming police in the most charming “reformed” police department in the US
“How could five years of intensive, court-supervised, federally mandated police reform make things worse? The Albuquerque Police Department is notoriously among the most lethal police departments in the United States. How could a department with so much heat on it, with so many critics breathing down its neck, and with so many years of reform imposed it, continue to stalk and harass people, stop and frisk people for no legal reason, routinely beat people, and get away with it? The Albuquerque Police Department has been forced to undergo every single reform measure that every police reform advocate has ever wanted to impose on a police department. If police reform doesn’t work in Albuquerque, arguably the most “reformed” police department in the United States, how could it work anywhere? “
“Ice Cube remains little more impressed with the present Democratic offering of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for the presidential race than he is with incumbent President Donald Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence. …”What I didn’t hear [at the DNC] is, what’s in it for us? What’s in it for the Black community besides the same old thing we been getting from these parties? […] They just pulled $3 trillion out of they ass and gave it to their friends […] Where’s our f******* bailout?” […] Democrats don’t seem like they got a plan. Republicans don’t seem like they got a plan for us. So how the hell you gonna vote for them?” …For progressive Democrats – particularly supporters of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders – and those on the front lines of social and racial justice struggles, the Biden-Harris ticket cannot but be a great disappointment. On so many of the most important issues, from judicial and penal reform and Medicare for All to the Green New Deal and foreign policy, a large number of Democratic voters are far closer to the Sanders wing than to the party’s neoliberal leadership. From Bill Clinton to Barack Obama, we know how the story goes – great “hope” and promises of change lead to tepid policies that reinforce rather than reverse trends towards greater inequality and state violence. ….. Chomsky points out, that whatever their faults, the candidates and the Democratic platform, in fact, signal a progressive step forward beyond any tandem or policies that came before. But given how the last two Democratic administrations reinforced rather than transformed the very forces that have enabled the disasters of the Bush and now Trump presidencies, it is hard not to join Ice Cube’s sarcastic refrain and ask “What’s in it for the rest of us?” if the Democrats win, except a brief respite from more Republican Sturm und Drang? In a world and a country beset by multiple interlocked crises that seem beyond the possibility of a solution by ordinary politics – a sentiment which, after all, helped elect Trump in the first place – it is no wonder that young and disaffected voters are not lining up behind the latest avatars of “hope and change”….And while Trump offers racist and xenophobic bread and circuses to the Republican masses, the Democratic Party is too inept even to pretend to support core policies that the vast majority of its voters deeply desire….This election is not about voting for the president who will lead us out of the Trumpian darkness towards a more just, equitable and sustainable future. It is about choosing which enemy we would rather spend the next four years fighting to secure a future that neither the two parties, nor the system that ensconces them, have the interest or ability to create…. being told you have the chance to choose between two radically different enemies to fight for your survival makes the choice and the motivation to vote far clearer. On the one side, we have a ruthless narcissistic authoritarian with no checks on his executive power and a Supreme Court almost entirely his who is permanently enshrining a feudal oligarchy that disenfranchises and disinherits the majority of Americans, and blowing past any survivable CO2 limit, thereby threatening the survival of humanity and a million more species within a few decades. Trump 2.0 will unleash the full weight of the federal government, including white nationalist-infiltrated federal security forces, and tens of millions of heavily armed, fanatical and increasingly apocalyptic followers onto the streets violently to crush any remaining opposition to the quest…On the other side, we have an enemy who is neither strong, cruel, authoritarian, sociopathic nor ultimately suicidal enough to rush headlong towards climate and environmental disaster or permanently entrench a neo-feudal order. Even more so, Biden does not have the stomach or the mandate to unleash a level of state and militia violence against protesters that will be impossible to counter short of civil war. And this enemy has already been infiltrated by upwards of 100 agents of change through the Congressional Progressive Caucus, at least half a dozen of whom are among the most well-known and powerful young politicians in America. While it will take at least a decade for the “Squad” and other young progressives to achieve institutional power, if their numbers grow by even a dozen members, the Democratic Party will have been conquered from within by progressives in the same way Republicans were conquered by the Tea Party. Put this way, voting in November is no longer about choosing an “ally” that will surely betray you or even choosing the lesser of two evils. Rather, it is about having the good fortune of choosing an adversary whom you just might be able to defeat and a strategic position that enables the continuation of the struggle for racial, economic, climate and other forms of social justice without the risk of mass repression and even civil war.”
Though I understand and recognise that a Biden presidency would be better than Trump insofar as the brutal fascists at street/local level and at cop level would be less encouraged than under Trump, this article seems to think that an eventual “progressive” Sanders-type presidency will save the day and the planet. But capital doesn’t work like that. Even a Keynesian-type capitalism could only come about by a significant global social movement (in the Covid-imposed confusion, fear and suffocating social control of current developments to many this seems like more and more wishful-thinking fantasy). Capitalism at a national level has to remain competitive with other nations. Only a significant threat to its existence in the economically &/or militarily stronger countries would force a Welfare-Statist and “ecological” direction internationally that wouldn’t be undermined by the competitive advantage the less Keynesian-oriented nations would gain if others turned to a modern form of greenish social democracy. And a social movement capable of forcing capital into the type of Welfare State that followed WWII would be capable of abolishing capital altogether. Besides, is an ecological capitalism possible or even desirable? As long as the need for money exists such a potential capitalism would have to be very heavily policed globally and as totalitarian as any of the current neoliberal forms of misery. Moreover, such a potential welfare state would be far more technologically equipped to ensure that the margin of freedom that prevailed from the 50s to the 80s would not be repeated. This margin tended to allow a far wider critique of aspects of capital than are generally expressed nowadays, and allowed a far greater degree of experimentation in living and subversive adventure. But with the use of mass surveillance, and other scientific developments, it would be even more reductive of life to mere survival, to “suicide on the installment plan, a renunciation of life every day ” than any previous spans of Welfare Stateism – starting with Bismarck, on to the Liberal Party reforms in the UK in the 9 years before WWI, the development of a kind of totalitarian “safety net” (for the utterly submissive &/or those cowed into submission) under Stalin, Hitler, and Roosevelt, then mostly post-war intensified Keynesianism in other countries (note that Keynes book “The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money” as well as Lenin’s “Ultra-Leftism: an infantile disorder” were amongst some of the books the Nazis did NOT burn after they came to power). One of the most vocal advocates of the welfare state amongst UK politicians in the late 20s, early 30s was the Tory-turned-Left-Labour-politician-turned-England’s-most-famous-fascist Sir Oswald Mosley (he advocated a corporate state which intended to combine businesses, workers and the Government into one body as a way to “Obliterate class conflict and make the British economy healthy again” ). There has never been such a thing as a welfare state determined by the mass of proletarian individuals any more than there’s been such a thing as a workers state. And there never could be. A new form of Welfare State, built on the disarming of proletarian subversion, would be subject to being reversed even quicker than what unfolded during the post-1973 epoch (see also this).
It seems far more useful to consider the Democrats’ strategies for containing social “unrest” than merely to say “voting in November is no longer about choosing an “ally” that will surely betray you or even choosing the lesser of two evils. Rather, it is about having the good fortune of choosing an adversary whom you just might be able to defeat and a strategic position that enables the continuation of the struggle for racial, economic, climate and other forms of social justice without the risk of mass repression and even civil war.” And we’ve seen how they – using “they” loosely to mean the whole repressive reformist street-level professional activists/Leaders etc. – almost immediately moved in to hand over white “outsider” rioters to the cops, to unmask them, to call for “peace”, to snitch on looters, etc. Money might temporarily pour into various recuperative activities (maybe Ice Cube will provide his own forms of recuperation) – so it seems, particularly for those in the States who will be most immediately effected by these things, worth anticipating some of this by keeping an eye out for what the Dumbocrats are proposing. A different form of “mass repression” is certainly likely under Biden. Also, I wouldn’t be so sure that a simmering “civil war” – from Trumpish fascists on the right as well as armed struggle fetishists on the left (or amongst those without any leftist ideology) – would somehow be halted by a Biden presidency. The fascists (or whatever) might be a bit discouraged but I wouldn’t have thought much discouraged. Of course, not living in the States means I don’t have much of an inkling how these things might develop in greater detail than stating this general idea…
This may seem trivial to some, but I think what happened in the NBA is kind of noteworthy, despite the spectacular context of commercialized sports in which it took place and the millionaire athletes who are involved. The Milwaukee Bucks refused to play their scheduled match after the filth shot Jacob Blake – the first time this has happened in NBA history. Since it put into question the rest of the Playoffs and the whole billion-dollar industry around it, it was necessary for this to be nipped in the bud. But as we all know, the dictates of the times are such that this had to be done cunningly and to make it appear as the opposite of what it is: that the players’ strike is the one hurting ‘black lives’ and that the business as usual and continuation of the Playoffs – painted with BLM themes and slogans as well as voting propaganda – benefits black people.
The main man for the job is of course the star product of that industry – the brand that is called LeBron James. If we believe the way the media presents it (which could well be exaggerated), he was the most prominent voice during the players’ discussions around the walk-out/strike, pressuring the renegade players and those who could be incited to act in a similar fashion to stop their shenanigans and harmful practical actions and to stick instead to the aforementioned symbolic gestures on and off the court, similar to other corporate recuperations of the protest movement seen throughout the passing months. James is now hyped by the media as the hero of the day who saved the Playoffs and promotes the right messages, a modernized brand of media-hyped opinion-making athlete-star, in yet another outstanding marketing ploy carried on the backs of the masses of black people. What matters is that black multi-millionaires function as role models for poor blacks with the carrot of a fantasy exit from poverty or from a nasty, brutal and short life in crime even as these role models build their multi-millions on the super-exploitation of blacks and others. Black Lives Don’t Matter – Black Representations of Life Matter.
“A man — who witnesses described as being part of a vigilante militia group — with a long gun brazenly walked down a street in Kenosha, Wisconsin Tuesday night and began firing his weapon at people protesting the police shooting of Jacob Blake, killing 2, and incredibly walking right past a swarm of cops who let him go into the night. The protest centered around the courthouse and got out of hand, with water bottles, rocks and fireworks aimed at police. The police then fired rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowd, which then dispersed and moved several blocks. That’s when the white vigilante appears on video with his gun. He reportedly had already shot someone in the stomach several blocks away, and he was being chased by protesters who were trying to subdue him. The vigilante falls to the ground as he’s being chased and then begins unloading his weapon, striking and killing 2 people. And, then the unthinkable happens. As police swarm the area in patrol cars and fortified vehicles, the vigilante — gun clearly visible around his chest — put his hands up in the air. The police vehicles all pass him, as the crowd screams he’s the shooter. It’s a stunning contrast … the white vigilante posed a clear and present danger, even if cops didn’t know he was the shooter, yet Jacob Blake, an unarmed black man, was shot in the back 7 times as he tried to get in his car. Jacob is now paralyzed from the waist down.”
“Protests continue in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, August 25, after police shot a Black man identified as Jacob Blake the previous day. Video footage showed Blake being shot multiple times as he tried to enter his SUV during a police inspection. Blake has been hospitalised in serious condition. According to his attorney, the man’s three children (3, 5 and 8) were in the car. The city of 100,000 inhabitants has seen tensions rise as protesters broke windows and sprayed graffiti at a Kenosha County administrative building following the shooting. According to reports, vehicles at a nearby auto dealership were torched, a fire was started at a county courthouse. Kenosha has since declared an overnight curfew.”
Extracts from a white union militant posted in the Ironworkers Union Local Facebook page (obviously his uncritical attitude towards unions and BLM are not things I agree with, but it’s still interesting):
“Allow me to make a confession. I’m a 52 year old fat bastard, white and proud Union member of Ironworkers Local 396 and I fully support Black Lives Matter…Fully and utterly support! “Why?” Many of my brothers and sisters ask. As if the idea of standing for justice for all no longer affects us. Is the concept of fairness and decency is not our concern? Have we forgotten where we have come from?
What so many of my brothers and sisters don’t understand is that the fight for justice that Black Lives Matter represents is exactly where the fight for worker’s rights was 100 years ago. It is no slight to say they are not on new ground at all, but rather are standing precisely where unions stood a century ago. We are them. They are us. Young! Angry! Thirsty for justice! And like us in 1920’s, they need to be heard. Let me state this as bluntly as possible. There is no activity that Black Lives Matter does that we did not perfect a century ago. In no way am I disparaging this. They are borrowing time-honored techniques from a previous century’s movement just as that movement borrowed them from those who came before. Anything that people complain about BLM doing, the Labor Movement did. We did those things to get us the privileges we have today. In fact, those things are the reason we have the rights we currently enjoy.
Did we block streets in the course of our strikes and protests for better wages and treatment? Hell yes! All the time! There were strikes and marches that shut down entire cities and even states for days at a time. In the fight for just the eight hour day, hundreds of thousands marched across the nation month after month and year after year. They shut everything down. They needed to! Were we violent? Oh my god! Our Grandparents were tough as nails. Does anyone think that they just asked nicely to be given living wages and be treated like human beings? Our great grandparents fought like hell itself for the rights that so many of us now take for granted. And we fought violently against authorities who beat or shot workers in these actions. Many of these periods of civil unrest led to the destruction of rail yards, factories and entire city blocks. Cities shuddered to a halt with the rage in the face of the injustices that occurred when companies had the police departments and the courts firmly in their pocket or could hire mercenary armies to maim or kill workers. Year after year, our predecessors rioted and burned shit down.
But we didn’t loot, right? Do you really believe that? There have always been looters and there always will be. In every period of labor unrest, looting was widespread. The shopkeepers, clerks and capitalists were always against us. They hated what unions stood for and many had little problem with looting and burning shops to the ground. But a month ago the rioters looted Target!!! Get real. With the anti-worker attitude that Target and so many other mega-companies have, our great great grandparents would have had little issue burning Target after Target to the ground.
Did we kill people? Yes. The usual scenario was as follows. The police or mercenaries would shoot a few workers, and the workers would shoot several of them in return. Police firing into crowds or ambushing workers would often lead to full scale violence often devolving into all-out war where dozens or even hundreds died.
Let me give you some events to look up. The Battle of Blair Mountain, The Ludlow Massacre and aftermath, The Great Railway Strike of 1877, The Memorial Day massacre of 1937 to name just a few off the top of my head. Oh, and for all our sakes look up the Minneapolis Teamster Strike of 1934. Look them up and learn.
When workers grew so desperate, they did terrible things. And rest assured, when their brothers and sisters or sons and daughters were shot before their eyes, they often rioted with frightening force. These were not isolated incidences. This violence happened repeatedly decade upon decade. So much so that most American cities built armories downtown to help put your grandparents down if they ever had the temerity to rise against the powers that be. Understand that these armories were not built against foreign invasion, but rather against our union brothers and sisters.
This is our history! Learn this so you not only can protect the rights you have, but so you can recognize what is happening now?
What does all that violence and destruction produce? In our case? Everything! There is not a right we possess today that did not in part arise from violence or the threat of violence by our great grandparents. You may as well ask what good violence did in the Revolutionary War? Our opponents have never given us rights until they are exhausted, until we have risked our lives time and time again standing up to them. In so many cases, we had to demonstrate that every victory they had was a pyrrhic victory. That is where it didn’t matter if the authorities won every battle, the victories would be so expensive that they were never worth winning.
Understand that I am in no way justifying killing and violence. I grieve for those hurt on the sidelines. I sorrow for those who lost business and livelihoods, and I weep for the officers injured and killed. In addition, I also know that often violence becomes the enemy of any movement and often wrecks what has been achieved. Yet most riots, contrary to current conspiracy theory are not planned. They are the inevitable rage created by a system that crushes people in its gears. Violence stems from desperation which stems from injustice. Rioting and other violence is inescapable in a system where for many, justice cannot be found.
The long term solution to rioting is not more police. The solution to rioting is setting up a system where injustice is dealt with. Worker violence raged across this nation for 50 years until Unions were legalized and workers had another outlet for their grievances.
And yet many of the same people who have benefited all their lives from the same tactics that Black Lives Matter is using are now whining about inconveniences in their lives? How have we forgotten so much? Do we think we are shopkeepers and clerks now? Have we moved out of the working class? Do we believe that if we pretend we are on the billionaires’ side that they’ll continue to feed us with tidbits dropping from their table? Do we think that they won’t eventually drop us to the floor to be ground under their heels? And if when that happens and we have stood for no one else, who will stand for us?
But above all justice is still the centerpiece here and as a matter of justice, the facts are brutal. Black people are 2.5 times as likely to be killed by police. How is this not a tragedy worth any inconvenience? Unarmed black men are being killed because they don’t obey the police fast enough, because they don’t bow low enough, because even handcuffed and lying on the ground they are presumed to be such a threat that four officers can slowly suffocating a helpless and pleading man to death. Can you imagine seeing a video of your son or daughter slowly strangled to death? Can you envision how you’d feel watching their gasps for air? How would you feel if your son’s murder was just another in a long line of murders where justice was virtually unknown? Where the perpetrators would get off either utterly free or with a mere slap on the wrist? Imagine the rage you’d feel?
I fully support Black Lives Matter I don’t have a child but I have been a parent to the children of the women I have loved. I can imagine my kid being slowly suffocated under the weight of a human knee. In the last week, I have imagined it time and time again…I admit that I do not know and I fervently hope to never know how that feels, but I can imagine… and that’s enough for me.
For two centuries, the Labor Movement has been a push for justice and is not complete. BLM is a push for justice right now and is just beginning. No matter how I look at it, BLM is a sister organization to my own.
As Unions, we should remember enough of our history to understand what the desperation and suffering of our grandparents when they were on the bottom of society. And we should remember that it has always been our goal to lift everyone up to our level rather than tear anyone down. Therefore I, a white, 52-year-old, fat-bastard am a proud union member of Ironworker’s Local 396. I stand in solid support of Black Lives Matter. A fight for justice has always been at Union’s core, and I’m not about to give that up now.”
This is an interesting article for five reasons:
1) it is an event that has somehow gotten buried as the killing in Louisiana has to a degree as well; both overshadowed by the shootings in Kenosha.
2) it shows what a detestable reactionary Carly Fiorina still is, as if one did not need to be reminded.
3) the reader’s comment by “enemy of the people” consists of the exceptionally revealing quote by Luftwaffe Chief and war-criminal Hermann Goering that I wish everyone knew by heart.
4) there is another comment further below by a man whose father was in the Merchant Marines during the second world war and disposed of an arrogant nazi (“political” – I’m not sure how he knew) officer in a perfectly appropriate fashion.
5) there is at least one other statement by someone who understands that fascist ‘states of exception’ are things that can come around as well as go around – a thing we should all start practicing, whenever we get the chance.
“Beyond the physical strain of marching dozens of miles a day, he said, several counties in their path had documented histories of being Ku Klux Klan strongholds. The group is composed of about 50 people who joined at various stops along the way. It’s a diverse group, with people of various races and members of the LGBTQ community. Some brought their children. A dog named Juice and a cat named Sparrow are on the journey….In Indiana, state police officers arrested three members of the group for blocking traffic in Kosciusko County. They were handcuffed and held for hours in the county jail. Indiana State Police wrote in a news release that the group was “intentionally obstructing vehicular traffic” on a four-lane highway with a speed limit of 60 miles per hour…Chandi LeSure, 36, a hospitality worker from Milwaukee who has marched with the group since the beginning, said she was accused of shoplifting at an Indiana Walmart after spending $300 on supplies for the group. On long, winding highways and rolling county roads, they say drivers have tried to run the caravan off the road. One car, LeSure said, sped toward a member of their group, who jumped out of the way. In Ohio, store owners locked their doors during business hours or refused to let the activists use gas pumps and restrooms, they said. In one instance, strangers pulled their cars into the gas station ahead of them to block the entrance. “I couldn’t believe that — we’ve got kids, we’ve got pregnant women with us who need to use the bathroom,” said Tameka Burks, 43, who joined the group two weeks ago and brought four of her children — ages 2, 3, 7 and 14 — along on the march…In Pennsylvania, a marcher was shot by a homeowner in Bedford County who fired several rounds at the group as they sat while pulled over along a two-lane road…In the videos, a man with a long gun can be seen advancing toward the group, sending people running, shouting, ducking behind cars. Between shots, a protester can be heard shouting, “We’re leaving! You don’t have to be violent!”…In the chaos, a police report notes, one member of the group was shot. Pennsylvania State Trooper Joseph Dunsmore said the agency has “strong evidence to suggest there was gunfire exchanged between the two parties,” although he declined to release other details. No arrests have been made. …The injured protester was hospitalized. The next day, demonstrators checked into a hotel. On Tuesday evening, a group of White men pulled up to the hotel brandishing weapons and shooting guns into the air, protesters said. The hotel staff locked the doors as protesters took shelter in their rooms…A 43-year-old man was charged with reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and a firearms violation, according to Pennsylvania State Police records. By Wednesday, the group was back on the road. The injured protester had checked himself out of the hospital and rejoined the group. He’s not marching on foot anymore, Lowe said, but is determined to make it to D.C.” These are MLK-type pacifists to be addressed by the charlatan demagogue Al Sharpton. So much for non-violence!
US, Wisconsin: probation office torched during riots after cops severely injure a guy who posed no threat to them in Kenosha (between Milwaukee and Chicago)…New Orleans: sit-in of City Hall as protests continue against cop killing of black guy carrying knife…Portland, Oregon: police union building torched …Seattle: 2 police precincts attacked
“The people of Kenosha responded in-kind, attacking the courthouse, burning cars and dump trucks, breaking police cars, hurling bricks and molotovs at pigs. They succeeded in knocking at least one pig unconscious, protecting others from his attacks. The courthouse was set on fire.”
US, Oregon: clashes between nazi-types and anti-nazis…100s of Portlanders push out far-right…Colorado: windows smashed in cop HQ
US, Oregon: more confrontations outside ICE building…Virginia: more heavy policing…North Carolina: clashes at Republican Convention
Fuckerberg bans various anarchist sites from Farcebook/Fakebook/Facecrook/Facespook/_______ (fill the gap)
“Repeated exposure to high-stress calls for service and ongoing exposure to stress without relief were two of the contributing factors that could lead law enforcement officers to become susceptible to adverse events while performing their duties…”If we can develop innovative interventions for law enforcement officers that address their unique occupational demands, we can help mitigate compounding stress factors that affect their overall mental health,” …The research team collected data from three law enforcement agencies in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex: a large urban department, a suburban department, and a rural department. The researchers met with officers in focus group settings to identify stressors and to gain insight on how to prevent future adverse effects such as use of force, officer or civilian injury, civilian complaints, or discharge of a weapon…behaviors such as taking a break between calls, practicing breathing exercises, and addressing one’s mental health over time can help lower levels of chronic stress….Previous studies have shown that for other occupations, reduced levels of stress increase productivity and job satisfaction.”
If only Derek Chauvin, the murderer of George Floyd, had had daily meditation excercises…
US, Oregon: on 80th consecutive night of protests cops declare riot, firing endless amounts of teargas…Seattle: another battle
US, Chicago: protesters pepper-spray cops who’d pepper-sprayed them…Georgia: clashes between left and right…Similar clashes elsewhere
“Chicago police exchanged gunfire with looters and arrested more than 100 people after crowds swarmed Chicago’s luxury commercial district early Monday, looting stores, smashing windows and clashing with officers for hours, police said. Police Superintendent David Brown called the outbreak “pure criminality,” and Mayor Lori Lightfoot sought to distance the incident from the “righteous uprising” in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police on May 25. “This was not an organized protest. Rather this was an incident of pure criminality,” Brown told a news conference. At least 13 officers were injured, and a security guard and a civilian were struck by gunfire, Brown said. Social media images showed storefronts bashed in and people fleeing stores with arms full of goods, with much of the action taking place along Michigan Avenue, the upscale commercial district known as the Magnificent Mile. People were drawn by a number of social media posts encouraging looting in central Chicago after tensions flared following the police shooting of a man with a gun, Brown said. As police questioned a 20-year-old suspect, he fled, firing at the pursuing officers, Brown said. Police returned fire and shot the man, who was hospitalized and expected to survive. “After the shooting, a crowd gathered. … Tempers flared, fueled by misinformation as the afternoon turned into evening,” Brown said. In response to the social media posts, police sent 400 officers into the area, where they were met by caravans of people arriving in cars, Brown said. As officers arrested one man carrying a cash register, shots were fired at them from a passing vehicle, and police fired back, Brown said. Brown pledged a police crackdown in central Chicago, assigning officers to 12-hour shifts and canceling days off.”
“The Chicago Transit Authority shut down all train and bus service downtown “at the request of public safety officials,” the [Chicago Transit Authority] said. Buses will not run in the area bounded by Fullerton, Cermak and Ashland Avenue until further notice, the CTA said, with all train service temporarily suspended as well. The bridges over the Chicago River were lifted at around 4:30 a.m., preventing further entry into and exit from the downtown area…Social media exploded with videos showing hundreds of people looting stores such as Apple, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Best Buy, Coach, Gucci and Louis Vuitton…Looters broke into a bank and ripped out the atm. They are trying to break into it. ..The looting began shortly after midnight as people darted through broken store windows and doors along Michigan Avenue carrying shopping bags full of merchandise. Cars dropped off more people as the crowd grew. At least one U-Haul van was seen pulling up…People were seen running out of a PNC Bank, its windows smashed, at Huron and State streets. Down the block, other stores, including a Sally Beauty Supply, had been cleaned out by vandals. Other parts of downtown, including around Grand and Wabash avenues, were littered with trash.Crowds repeatedly tried to bash in the windows of the Omega watch store at Delaware Place and Michigan Avenue.”
“These very recent developments are interesting. For one the re-emergence of a conflictual response to police killings is reassuring and, for me at least, points to the actual weakness of recuperative forces when faced with “the real.” Not that they have no detrimental effect whatsoever, but that the tidal forces expressed periodically here cannot be fully contained by anything that currently exists. Maybe this is an overly optimistic reading.
Two, the looting seems to be, in part, the product of rumor milling on social media. That rioting can break out over untrue details which express a broader truth about contemporary life in this place is equal parts concerning and not. On the one hand, untruths spread on the internet could be highly destructive to any form of social movement and the lack of rigor or concern for this is a potential Achille’s heel. On the other hand, that rioters seem less concerned with the details of the shooting (it would seem the victim had a gun and might have shot at the cops first) than the simple fact of an extra-judicial killing suggests an implicit critique of state power as such that escapes the reformist’s plans for a less lethal police. Of course, this scenario is not really new as it played out in various ways during the rebellions which followed in the wake of Mike Brown’s death. Just because people responded this way to this particular instance does not mean they will continue to respond in this manner or to incidents of this kind in the future.”
US: 6th anniversary of Mike Brown’s murder by the filth – clashes in Ferguson, Missouri and Phoenix Arizona See also this…Portland, Oregon: protesters set police building on fire
Re. the situation in the US: “Prelude to a Hot American Summer” is a mostly excellent appraisal of the movement there. One dubious aspect worth critiquing: “When you burn down a (non-carceral) piece of infrastructure, you foreclose its reappropriation for prosocial uses.” So workers shouldn’t burn down their factories (like in Bangladesh, 2005)? People shouldn’t smash up cars because they could be used to distribute stuff we all need? Shouldn’t they burn town halls, etc? Even carceral pieces of infrastructure could be reappropriated for prosocial uses – eg for keeping politicians, cops and screws under surveillance, just as buildings used by politicians to spout lies and ideology can, as William Morris suggested, be used for storing manure. But when the dispossessed get angry they attack the infrastructure of this society, which is all they can do until the moment where there’s a mass expropriation of the expropriators. And comments like this, from an assistant professor of criminal justice and a professor of sociology, miss the point, these blatantly obvious points.
“…A counter-insurgency campaign has fundamentally altered the course of the movement. While the retreat and defeat of the movement that it induced may turn out to be temporary, such campaigns present significant obstacles to further radicalization, and therefore must be addressed. This counter-insurgency campaign on the ground was spearheaded by the Black middle class, Black politicians, Black radical academics, and Black NGOs. …”
Comment from a friend:
“The failure of this ill-will piece is the failure of nearly everything that talks about the social movement in the US these days. It’s framed merely in terms of race. All the motivations and the betrayals of everyone is through the lens of race.
They get the timeline right in terms of things significantly changing after week one, and then all the snakes moving in. But there’s an a idolization of the “black proletariat” as the pure ones/ the vanguard. Describing that first week’s participants as “revolutionary abolitionists”- what kind of activist babble is that? The first week as a “black-led rebellion”- nobody was leading anyone in that explosion! (Black and white activists and ministers and shop-owners were leading the charge to snuff it out that first week, but they were the only leaders around.) They’re mostly right in describing what killed everything (though conveniently leaving out their own activist rhetoric among the perpetrators), but sloppily wrong when describing what that everything was. It was rage, and boredom, and the mental derangement that the pandemic reaped on all of us, and uncertainty about the economic future, and a generation that grew up with American riots on the news, and it was the desire to be happy, and vengeful, and to not feel little for once in our lives. People were possessed, and to just say it was the black proletariat leading the charge against “racial capitalism” is a disgusting over-simplification of things, and honestly only serves the same people they are outraged at for co-opting things.
The recuperation of recuperation.”
“Several prominent academic mathematicians want to sever ties with police departments across the U.S., according to a letter submitted to Notices of the American Mathematical Society on June 15. The letter arrived weeks after widespread protests against police brutality, and has inspired over 1,500 other researchers to join the boycott. These mathematicians are urging fellow researchers to stop all work related to predictive policing software, which broadly includes any data analytics tools that use historical data to help forecast future crime, potential offenders, and victims. The technology is supposed to use probability to help police departments tailor their neighborhood coverage so it puts officers in the right place at the right time.”
Other links –
Seattle: various links:
- Seattle police declare riotat renewed Black Lives Matter protests
- 16 arrested after protesters throw explosives and rocks at …
- Seattle bans police from using less lethal crowd control tactics …
- Seattle Police Declare RiotsAfter Protesters Set Fire To …
- Police declare riot at Seattle protests; more than two dozen …
- Seattle protests declared a riotafter mob sets fire to Starbucks …
“According to a database of police shootings in the United States since 2015, half of those shot dead by police—and four of every ten who were unarmed—have been white. People in poor neighborhoods are a lot more likely to be killed by police than people in rich neighborhoods. Living for the most part in poor or working-class neighborhoods as well as subject to a racist double-standard, black people suffer disproportionately from police violence. But white skin does not provide immunity.“
US, Portland: and so it goes on (videos and links)
Received: “The_Working_Class_Pandemic_Wildcat_Strikes and Working Class Self-Organising in the US” (informative, but somewhat academic in the autonomist tradition and probably over-optimistic)
“Joanne Hardesty is Portland’s only Black city councilwoman. She has longstanding ties to local organizing against police brutality and has not shied from principled but politically precarious stances against both the police bureau and the police union. After the first night of demonstrations in Portland set the City ‘Justice Center’ on fire, she willingly took the hit for Portland’s white liberal Mayor and declared a curfew against the demonstrations. Since the beginning of the rebellion, her decisions and positions have been at times surprisingly uncharacteristic. She and the City Council continued to hesitantly stand beside the Mayor after almost two months of nightly police attacks on increasingly bold and militant demonstrations. As the Mayor issued mealy-mouthed statements denouncing “the violence that has gripped our city,” (notably unclear as to whose violence he was referring), he pledged to rein in police and work with police leadership to enact reform. The Police Union contract was expiring, a moment in which Hardesty and the local leadership promising reforms had a rare opportunity which one might expect more astute political leaders would utilize as a chance to offer significant concessions to the streets. In a surprising move (given the political climate, the popularity of demands to move against the Police Union generally, and multiple City Council members who had campaigned against the Police Union for years), the Mayor and City Council united in granting a one-year extension of the contract without qualifications. At the State level, the Governor banned teargas except when life was under threat, and the legislature committed to enacting state wide policing reforms. The day after the tear gas ban, the police declared a riot and gassed demonstrators.”
USA, Oregon: Portland cop clashes continue…anarchist report on Portland movement and the filth…and another anarcho-report
Trouble with repeated confrontations is that they tend to get stuck in a groove and what was subversive a month or more ago becomes ritualised and more and more get involved in dealing with arrests and other cop horrors but so far, as far as I can see through my star-gazing telescope, few seem to be trying out innovative tactics and even less some direct attempts to communicate theoretical reflections, particularly to other sections of the city.
The following scientific reduction of people to more easily measurable forms of physical, ideological, psychological, etc. social control should contribute to convincing those who hate capitalism to not fall into largely predictable, ritualised and over-repeated forms, strategies and ideas of social contestation, as suggested by what’s been happening in Portland (re. the above):
“Episodes of social unrest rippled throughout Chile in 2019 and disrupted the daily routines of many citizens. Researchers specializing in economics, mathematics and physics in Chile and the U.K. banded together to explore the surprising social dynamics people were experiencing. To do this, they combined well-known epidemic models with tools from the physics of chaos and interpreted their findings through the lens of social science as economics. In the journal Chaos, from AIP Publishing, the team reports that social media is changing the rules of the game, and previously applied epidemic-like models, on their own, may no longer be enough to explain current rioting dynamics. Using epidemiological mathematical models to understand the spread of infectious diseases dates back more than 100 years. “In the 1970s, this type of methodology was used to understand the dynamics of riots that occurred in U.S. cities in the 1960s,” said Jocelyn Olivari Narea, co-author and an assistant professor at Adolfo Ibáñez University in Chile. “More recently, it was used to model French rioting events in 2005.” From a mathematical point of view, the team’s work is based on the SIR epidemiological model, known for modeling infectious disease spread. This technique separates the population into susceptible, infectious and recovered individuals. “Within a rioting context, someone ‘susceptible’ is a potential rioter, an ‘infected individual’ is an active rioter, and a ‘recovered person’ is one that stopped rioting,” explained co-author Katia Vogt-Geisse. “Rioting spreads when effective contact between an active rioter and a potential rioter occurs. They discovered that the SIR model uses Hamiltonian mechanics for mathematics, just like Newton’s laws for physics. “This allowed us to apply well-known tools of the physics of chaos to show that within the presence of an external force, the dynamics become very rich,” said co-author Sergio Rica Mery. “The external force that we included in the model represents the occasional trigger that increases rioting activity.” When including such triggers, the team found the way a sequence of events occurs varies greatly based on the initial number of potential rioters and active rioters. “Even the sequence of rioting events can be chaotic,” Rica Mery said. “Rich dynamics reveal the complexity involved in making predictions of rioting activity…it was surprising that the idea of disease spread can be well applied to rioting activity spread to obtain a good fit of rioting activity data. “While you might think that the study of disease transmission and problems of a social nature vary greatly, our work shows epidemiological models of the most simple SIR type, enriched by triggers and tools of the physics of chaos, can describe rioting activities well,” Vogt-Geisse said.“
““…by 930, most of the fencing has been knocked down and re appropriated as a barrier. 9:42 LRAD announces that the parks are closed and we need to evacuate the park or we are subject to arrest, citation, and use of force…11:58 Pepper balls and a tear gas canister is fired out of the federal courthouse “murder holes” because protestors started converging near the steps. 12:12 The response to the pepper balls and tear gas by the crowd was to block the entrance to the Federal Courthouse with fencing. 12:39 LRAD announces that we are subject to arrest and use of force, asking crowd not to block the doorways to the JC and Fed Courthouse. 1:32 The crowd had lit fireworks in the direction of the JC and blocked off one of the doorways. PPB has declared an unlawful assembly, telling the crowd they have 4 minutes to clear out all of the barricades. They also announced downtown is closed. They changed their verbiage tonight by saying that the crowd was “inhibiting local and county law enforcement….”
Portland this year has become like Italy in the “hot autumn” of 1969: a laboratory of counterinsurgency. The fascist future is now the present. Oh yes, and a new verb “to be Pinochet’d.”
Another friend in the US said the protests/riots in Portland have become repetitive and ritualised, with no innovation. The totalitarian future/present can only be combated with experimental practices that not only involve rioting, occupations, intense discussion and targeted critique, graffiti, wildcat strikes, sabotage, etc. but strive to go beyond their separations and limitations in ways that learn from the strengths and weaknesses of the past but go further into the partially unknown. As always, easier said than done.
…Oregon: Americans show their independence by protesting & rioting for 38th consecutive day…Seattle: car driver murders protester, maims another; court calls it “vehicular assault”…Pennsylvania: nazis manipulated into defending the indefensible with guns and cops
US, Portland: fire in County Injustice Centre etc. on 2nd day of protests being declared “riot” More here… report on workers’ strikes at 2 Chrysler plants over management’s bad handling of coronavirus risks…Colorado (Denver): clashes over attempt to create autonomous zone
US, New York: minor clashes outside city hall after 6 days of occupation of City Hall park during demos demanding defunding of cops
Eyewitness account says:
“The march proceeded to the Mayor’s house which was surrounded by metal barriers and these were promptly removed and used to block off the intersection. Some protesters lounged on the lawn and some relieved their bladders on the house. Others busied themselves by painting the street with calls for the mayor to resign. Some neighbors were sympathetic and confused while wanting to protect their property. Others were hostile and aggressive while wanting to protect their property. A few tried to drive their Lexuses and Mercedes Benzes through the repurposed metal barriers but were unsuccessful. One guy ventured into the crowd with his phone filming, was surrounded and then extracted by his family or neighbors. Another guy almost pulled a gun to prevent people from touching his luxury car and spent the rest of the night sitting on his steps protecting his property which is only a few doors away from the Mayor’s house. Later as everyone was leaving he apparently threw M-80’s at the dispersing crowd (1/4 sticks of dynamite that make a loud bang but not much else) though I didn’t see this myself. That prompted a standoff with the remainder of the crowd with some returning fire with fireworks of their own and others breaking up a huge landscaping stone to throw at his house. At which point he began waving his gun around. Luckily no one was shot. It is illustrative of the disconnect with poor and working class realities that people like this and the McCloskey’s think they can act that way in front of their own homes. Doing so in a poor neighborhood would undoubtedly have consequences. Time will tell if the upper crust gets a real education in what life is like for the rest of us.
Despite these components of visceral class antagonism, the movement still hasn’t escaped the limitations imposed by the “organizer” role and its attempt to provide exclusive “leadership.” Many of the faces controlling the crowd are the same faces that controlled crowds in 2014, 2015 and 2017. While the protest side of the movement is more multi-racial than it was in 2014, the division between protester and rioter is still just as real. This time around there is no united front among the mostly young, black protest organizers and they are openly airing their conflicts in the street. Some “veterans” of Ferguson who haven’t maintained their roles seem somewhat jaded and disillusioned with the power struggle and general approach to movement of the new groups while others have doubled down and are attempting to recreate what they, somewhat narrowly, see as the successes of the protest component of the previous rebellions.”
This – eu.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/…/ – claims “”When the victims observed multiple subjects who were armed, they then armed themselves”, but according to an eyewitness, “the claim that they armed themselves in response to anything but a mob of angry black and white working class people in their neighborhood is…. bullshit designed to deflect the hostility that is coming their way. There were armed protesters but they were asked to show up in response to the unhinged behavior of richie rich and his coked out wife and did not appear until much later.”
“The north side of the North Precinct was set ablaze around 2:15 a.m. Police used CS gas, a type of tear gas, to try to disperse the crowd, but militants threw canisters back at the pigs. At one point in the early morning, militants and pigs physically clashed as police tried to move them from the area. Some militants shot paintballs at the pigs’ face shields, rendering them unable to see. Several businesses were looted overnight after windows were smashed and more fires were set. A nearby bank is believed to have been vandalized as well. Multiple pigs were injured in the uprising. For the first time since George Floyd was killed exactly one month ago, people in Portland demonstrated at two police precincts simultaneously overnight, and set up barricades outside the precinct in North Portland, which was set on fire …Revolutionaries vandalized the police building by spray-painting graffiti along the outer walls, blacking out security cameras and rolling dumpsters into the street to form a barricade as a line of uniformed pigs looked on from a distance. Some revolutionaries also attempted to barricade the North Precinct’s exit doors so that anyone inside the building could not get out. Across the Willamette River at the Justice Center, another group formed on Thursday evening for a vigil for George Floyd and others killed by police. Later, the group dismantled the fence near the building and vandalized the structure.”
“…the suspect fled and a police officer was shot in the hand when he was apprehended. The incident sparked false rumors of Black men being shot, which triggered that crowd to march to St. Cloud police headquarters, doing damage along the way and eventually at the police station early Monday morning. … numerous people started to congregate in the area, eventually taking over the roadway and blocking traffic. …Individuals in the crowd began to throw rocks at officers and passing vehicles before the liquor store was breached. Multiple people entered the store, stealing items and causing damage..At that point, officers moved in to stop the looting. “Chemical crowd control munitions were successfully utilized”…The use of teargas sparked outrage from some leaders of community groups who met with Alberts on Tuesday afternoon to talk about how to alleviate violence and damage over the upcoming nights. …Anderson…the police chief asked. “If I seem a little bit tense — one of my cops got shot…It’s not that I don’t respect the agreement. It’s because people were throwing rocks,” he said. “Last night was worse than the night before. And for what?”. When some of those who had gathered continued to question the use of force, Anderson raised his voice and said, “People were shooting at us last night. Bullets were flying all over the south side last night…We’re sitting on a powder keg.” Anderson also responded to comments that he and the police department should publicly show more empathy about Floyd’s death. Some suggested that would resonate with youth who are angry and trying to find ways to be heard. “
US: Supreme Court declines to hear cases over legal doctrine qualified immunity, which shields police from lawsuits
See also the John Oliver show, “Last week tonight”, from 7th June. It’s perspective is reformist – what would one expect from a guy who’s got his own show on US TV and wears a suit and tie to give him the image of reasonable respectability? But it’s genuinely passionate and outraged, very informative, especially about “qualified immunity” (about 21 minutes 30 seconds in), and the last few minutes – starting at about 30 minutes in – is excellent, and has some great footage of a furious black woman.
Whilst this is obviously an interesting & significant development, substituting “police” with “people” is ambiguous; it could imply that “the people” act as cops within the logic of the commodity economy, and this is happening to a certain extent. Someone on a private forum wrote “… according to two friends in Seattle, developments at the CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) are fluid but mostly upbeat. The armed checkpoints are apparently being staffed by a semi-famous local rapper and his crew. They already made some ugly decisions, like chasing and beating a guy who was spray painting. Some of the anarchists there condemned this establishment of policing (under the banner of “community”), while others are paralyzed by fear of being called racist because the armed folks are predominantly Black.” For a text on “the people” see “We should we belong to the people?”.
“THE Seattle enclave that has been abandoned by cops has been dubbed as “part street festival, part commune” with armed checkpoints to keep police out. Demonstrators have declared the “Capital Hill Autonomous Zone,” or CHAZ, near the city’s central district, with a banner telling all that enter that “This space is now property of the Seattle people.”
…Texas: release of police video and documents more than a year after the in-custody death of a black man
This happened when 4 cops tasered him after a car chase when he failed to stop after he’d committed the horrendous crime of not dipping the headlights of his car. It seems the fact that this was being filmed by a TV crew for a real-time police show might well have been part of the motivation for the cops taking pursuit for such a trivial ‘offence’. The cop taking chase, a black cop by the way, is a regular on this show, and was the first to taser him when, despite showing his hands, he failed to get down on his knees or spread out on the ground. Then a white cop arrived with the “Live PD” crew and shoved his Taser into the guy’s back. Despite telling the 4 cops four more times that he can’t breathe and pleading “save me….I have congestive heart failure. I am not resisting.” the 4th cop tasered him for the final time and he was later pronounced dead. Failure to dip your headlights or passing a fake $20 bill (I once got a fake £20 bill from a bank’s ATM machine) are now capital crimes in the States!
There has been a dialectic between imperial expansion and the necessity of crushing movements in those areas of expansion ranging from those for national independence to proletarian autonomy since the American invasion of the Philippines, as this article points out. The underlying reason behind counter-insurgency abroad, the necessity of creating a safe environment for capitalist exploitation, applies equally at home. Capital is an alien presence no matter where it goes and it invariably takes its colonial logic with it, whether it penetrates a new geophysical territory like it did in Vietnam, or a new territory in the social-imaginary or behavioral realms: in the commodification of lifestyles, or the pursuit of time-motion studies or today’s AI-conducted evaluations of “productivity” in individual workers.
What this article leaves out is the depth to which the intelligence function plumbs the target societies in the new lands to be conquered. As Alred W. McCoy makes clear in his book on the American experience in the Philippines, Policing America’s Empire, this included developing files on all the important people in Philippine society, especially those connected with the independence and labor movements, not only using statistical methods and official records, but tapping telephones, reading private mail and recruiting large numbers of informers. This allowed the US military authorities a great deal of information suitable for sub rosa leverage (the conventional rendering of this concept is blackmail) against target individuals in order to compromise the movements to which they were connected.
McCoy goes on in the chapter “President Wilson’s Surveillance State” to detail the way the Military Information Division of Major Van Damen accummulated a database on hundreds of thousands of US citizens under categories determined by ethnicity such as German Americans, Irish Americans, “Negroes”, “Hindus” as well as those regarded as subversive, driven by the “fear that the people of the United States could not be trusted and therefore should be controlled”. Together with the American Protective League, a vigilante “citizen surveillance network,” regarded by the Bureau of Investigation (later to be known as the FBI) as a “most important auxiliary and reserve force”, millions of investigations were conducted and raids fomented by their “red squads” against such organizations as the Socialist Party, and especially the IWW, during the First World War. At the conclusion of the war, this machinery of repression went into overdrive with the Red Scare. The destruction of the most militant sections of the American labor movement can be directly attributed to the application of counter-insurgency methods developed as an integral component of the American imperial adventure abroad to the class war in the United States itself.
This dialectic of foreign and domestic counter-insurgency on behalf of the Empire and its beneficiaries continues to this day. It is, like the police itself, not an “excess,” exterior to the requirements of capitalism that some can claim can be made “humane,” it is a constituent part of an inhuman system inimical to human freedom and, as we can presently see, to the continuation of the biosphere as we know it.
US, Oregon (Salem); cop helps white fascists avoid being teargassed &/or arrest for breaking curfew More here
“On Thursday, New York governor Andrew Cuomo… declared in his afternoon press briefing that the state’s coronavirus testing criteria would expand to ensure anyone who attended a protest in the past week would have access to COVID-19 testing. First of all, according to the official New York City COVID-19 information portal, “all New Yorkers should get tested now, whether or not you have symptoms or are at increased risk.” There aren’t even testing parameters to expand anymore. Everyone who wants to get tested for COVID-19 explicitly could already, at least in New York City. Residents in the rest of the state can get a test if they think they might have been exposed. At a time when distrust of law enforcement and city officials is at an understandable high, it’s easy to wonder whether going to get a COVID-19 test and telling your doctor you were protesting is the best idea”. Meanwhile the NY cops are bent – on giving arrested protesters the virus. “Lawyers say the NYPD is also denying many of those arrested their right to a phone call, leaving their friends and families fearful for their lives. ..Despite the coronavirus pandemic, they said most police officers do not wear masks and in some cases confiscate those of protesters who are being “packed” into cells with no regard for social distancing… the conditions in the holding cells that they are held in, in many cases for 10-20 hours, are abysmal. Especially following some of the larger demonstrations and mass arrests, that there are extremely crowded conditions, that the cells are dirty and unsanitary and unsafe.”
There has clearly been a shift as the middle class take over and start kneeling everywhere. The dominant media obviously emphasise the spectacle of opposition which makes it all seem very co-opted already – safe symbolic stuff like kneeling. Maybe white middle class people feel safe breaking curfews, while poor black Americans just know how it ends for them – jail time or worse….the rush of white lefties to show their colours and be seen to be kneeling. It’s the usual cathartic response. Obviously the black American footballers was a powerful moment (in media terms) – not cathartic but an act of defiance where they risked their jobs and the wrath of their supporters, but the white signalling here is truly painful to see.
But in fact, there are, apparently, more or less two worlds developing in the USA: the world by day is controlled by the professional activist-politicos condemning the violence, condemning, like Trump himself, “white outsiders”. See for instance, this sad display of “moral highground” taking: “On a bullhorn, an organizer has the crowd say in unison: “I will not provoke (or) lash out at police, at property, or at each other. If I see somebody breaking that rule, I will do everything in my power to make it stop, by any means necessary.”
“By any means necessary” used to be a slogan of the 60s movement, with all its strengths and weaknesses, But what does this “by any means necessary” mean? “By any means necessary” to stop any independent form of revolt and replace it with the professional activist politicos control of revolt and its transformation in reforms that’ll end up as largely cosmetic (particularly given the massive limits on capital and the states’ margin of manouevre compared with the 50 years ago).
A friend in the States told me that a friend of his, whom I know a little bit, almost got strangled by some activist trying to “control” her by choking her during a demo-turned-riot. She couldn’t breathe for a few seconds. How’s that for irony? Though ideology can’t entirely explain this psychotic behaviour, it certainly plays a part. Apparently there are a lot of conspiracy theories going around that white outsiders are being paid to bring the movement into disrepute by pretending to be as angry as the blacks. This from the Right to the liberal Left, from Trump to professional activists. The crude ideological attack on “outside agitators” spewed out by black and white politicos means they can’t , don’t want to and have an interest in refusing to understand that millions of whites are almost as agitated as most blacks and are left permanently outside, even if a bit less so than most blacks. Because their place in present and future class society, their fairly well-paid role, is above all making sure that when black and white fight together they should do so in a way that poses no threat to the professional’s place in present and future class society, their fairly well-paid role, and above all no threat to the social relations they maintain. And they’ll defend this “by any means necessary”.
A recent leaflet:
” ‘We make the path by walking’
A slogan from another place, another time, another struggle. But also words that can help us here, and now, in this fight.
Let’s keep walking together: let’s keep marching, blockading and disrupting. But let’s also think about how to take other steps together. At the end of the day, a protest is primarily a demonstration of collective willpower and strength. This is vital, but sadly, it has proven to be simply not enough. Our struggle to address the intimately linked problems of racism, policing, and poverty has to enter into our daily lives and the multitude of our relationships in order to create an enduring change, a tidal shift in what it means to be black, brown, white, American . . . In that spirit, there are an infinite number of methods that people all across the country are thinking about and experimenting with. From the center of it all, Minneapolis, emerge three particularly promising avenues that deserve to be explored in greater depth.
O N E
Occupation of unused space: There this idea took the form of homeless advocates occupying an empty hotel and turning it into a self-organized shelter: an oasis from police violence and the violence of not having what you need. Our city is full of empty buildings that could be used as movement centers, clinics, shelters, kitchens and anything else we can imagine. There are countless empty lots that could be used to create a new and beautiful vision of agriculture and food supply. Imagination, determination, and the power of the people around us are all that we need to begin.
T W O
Neighborhood organization: On the night that the national guard was deployed in force, neighbors in Minneapolis met with each other. Strangers were introduced, phone numbers shared, fears and contingencies calmly discussed. Some patrolled their streets, not as reactionary vigilantes, but as supportive neighbors looking out for each other. Others created bucket brigades to put out any fires that might accidentally spread to residential areas. Many streets saw the construction of symbolic barriers: a message to the police that they were not wanted or needed. A few went further to create actual barricades, preventing the movement of the State’s paramilitary forces. Here in ___, we may not need to lock down our blocks, but we certainly could do with more socially connected neighbors. Not only did some people directly attack the police in Minneapolis, but others simply made them irrelevant. If the abolition of police departments is a goal worth taking seriously, then organizing with our neighbors to make sure all our needs are being met, to address problems locally, to find safety in ourselves rather than an outside force that knows only one solution for every problem; then this is something to take seriously as well.
T H R E E
Mutual-Aid: The networks that were created to address needs brought on by the pandemic blossomed in the aftermath of the rioting. Major streets in Minneapolis were crowded with people handing out free food and water. Those with cars organized themselves via secure text threads into a rapid response ambulance and taxi service, taking the wounded to hospitals and the stranded to their homes. Even looters sometimes pooled their recently acquired resources to share for anyone who wanted or needed them. Here in ___, these networks of material support already exist. Some have suggested defending those facing eviction in the coming months with our bodies and our collective strength. Others are working to crowdsource funds, food and supplies for anyone who needs it. Now is the time to reinforce these efforts with our own resources and create new initiatives as well.
From the forest fires of the past week, let the flowers of a new meadow bloom!”
An angry reflection on the official Black Lives Matter in Minneapolis (it’s important to note that BLM is not a unified organization with a program; various local chapters have more antagonistic relationships with politicians and law enforcement)
I keep seeing people declare that BLM didn’t start the riots, that BLM had no part in the vandalism and looting in Minn. Allow me to go ahead and confirm that. Those declarations are absolutely correct. BLM insisted on people remaining peaceful. And insisted to the point of getting in the faces of black and brown angry youth and attempting to control their actions. And I can confirm with my own first hand experience, that BLM defended the 3rd Precinct with their own bodies. They sided with the police. The Minn BLM played absolutely no role in the attack against the State because they are fucking cowards. Their liberal pacifism failed to stop the inevitable explosion of rage against the police, their precinct and subsequently their control and domination of that area. If it was up to Minneapolis BLM, we’d all still be marching in circles for hours chanting about being angry without having the courage to materialize that anger into rebellion.
You want to donate to the “movement”? Donate to your local anti-authoritarians, the black and brown youth and all those who had the guts to make history by showing the world the police – the State – can be defeated on their own fucking ground. The police can be overwhelmed and sent running. The people across all gendered and racial lines can strike back, can weaponize that anger and fight back.
The Minneapolis BLM doesn’t know shit about that. They were the bootlickers shaming black and brown youth from the beginning, and now many of them are the ones claiming the uprising was started by “outside agitators” and “white supremacists”. So when people say BLM was peaceful, that is correct. Peaceful with the police. Peaceful with colonial order. Peaceful with full obedience to the law. Peaceful with the fact that George Floyd is dead.
The Great Escape:
California, Long Beach: Interesting video of a National Guard genuinely fraternising with protester:
If the social movement erupting in the States doesn’t furiously tackle hypocritical “pacifists” like this, then it’ll end up in the arms of the reformist filth, cop collaborators who want to present an acceptable face so as to climb the reformist rat-race career hierarchy in a fundamentally violent system.
A friend in the States told me that a friend of his, whom I know a little bit, almost got strangled by some activist trying to “control” her by choking her during a demo-turned-riot. She couldn’t breathe for a few seconds. How’s that for irony? Though ideology can’t entirely explain this psychotic behaviour, it certainly plays a part. Apparently there are a lot of conspiracy theories going around that white outsiders are being paid to bring the movement into disrepute by pretending to be as angry as the blacks. This from the Right to the liberal Left, from Trump to professional activists. The crude ideological attack on “outside agitators” spewed out by black and white politicos means they can’t and don’t want to understand that millions of whites are almost as agitated as most blacks and are left permanently outside, even if a bit less so than most blacks. Because their place in present and future class society, their fairly well-paid role, is above all making sure that when black and white fight together they should do so in a way that poses no threat to the professional’s place in present and future class society, their fairly well-paid role, above all no threat to the social relations they maintain.
US: curfew defied; clashes in at least 10 cities… List of George Floyd protests, state by state …Kentucky: man killed by cops/National Guard (official state version of events)…window shopping in New York
“Shopping should be an emotional experience. People should want to drop in.” –
Mr.Quayle, director at Woolworths’ “21st Century Shopping Ltd.”, new name for Woolies in Bristol (The Times, 14/2/82).
“Just doing a bit of window shopping” –
Wood Green rioter, 1981 (LBC, July ).
There are certain situations when dropping into a shop is a truly emotional experience. That’s when people start to smash that blatantly seductive parader of the beauty of possessions, the shop window which reflects back to you the ugliness of your fundamental dispossession. Don’t the vast majority dream of wrecking that fragile separation? At the same time as it titillates us with things we’ve been told we want, it prevents us from grasping them. When we smash a shop window, it’s not only the miraculous display of things (with their artistic image association and their ideological free gifts) that gets shattered, but also the ‘reasonable’ cops in our head. The objects become what they always were – just objects, whilst the bourgeois rationale that hypocritically distinguishes between theft and property also appears for what it is: bullshit to keep us impotently yearning. How can those who resign themselves to a world which is meant to be expectantly gazed at know the simple beauty of the delightful anger hurling the brick shattering the repressive splits of this fragmented vicarious life? Perhaps they mutter “Greed…Resentment” as they greedily clutch onto their narrow resentment of those who are having a smashing time….
“Union bus drivers in Minneapolis and New York City have refused to transport police officers or take arrested protesters to jail. But certain unions play an important role in perpetuating police brutality and can be directly linked to the killing of Floyd. The AFL-CIO, for one, is affiliated with the International Union of Police Associations (IUAP), which represents and protects more than 100,000 law enforcement officers in the United States.”
… riots in at least 40 cities (Minneapolis, Alamo, Albany, Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbia, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Emeryville, Fargo, Grand Rapids, Harrisburg, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, La Mesa, Lincoln, Los Angeles, Madison, Miami, Nashville, New York, Oakland, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Richmond, Rockford, Sacramento, Salt Lake, San Antonio, San Francisco, Scottsdale, Seattle, Toledo, Tucson, Washington) Videos and links…a colonial sense of impunity: report on more mad cop/National Guard behaviour during curfew etc.
“The National Guard and local police are marching through a leafy neighborhood in Minneapolis. Then the shooting starts. Tanya Kerssen was standing on her front porch filming the procession of armored vehicles and riot gear–clad troops rolling through Whittier, a neighborhood a few blocks north of where protests over the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, had recently turned into riots. The National Guard had been called in to help restore order and enforce an 8 p.m. curfew set by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz. Kerssen was complying with that order—the curfew applies only to public spaces, not private ones like residences, porches, or front yards—but she became a target anyway. Light ’em up!” someone can be heard shouting in the video. Then bean bag rounds and paint canisters are fired at Kerssen and others, who quickly flee inside.…On LIVE TV the APD [ Atlanta Police Department] just broke car windows, slashed tires, tazed both passengers and arrested both passengers for NOTHING. RIPPED THEM OUT OF THER CAR….in New York City, cops literally drove into a crowd of protesters. ”
Report on Arab-Black relations and how the current situation highlights ties and tensions between the “races”
““We stand for Black Lives Matter,” Cup Foods owner Mahmoud Abumayyaleh told local publication Sahan Journal. “We are against abuse of power and racial injustice. We have a system that is broken, and it must be fixed.” On Thursday, Abumayyaleh told CNN that the employee who called the police was simply practicing “protocol” after discovering the suspicious $20 note. Officers arrived while Floyd was still outside the building and the killing was captured by the store’s security footage….Some social media users were quick to condemn the business. But Dawud Walid, the Michigan executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said store owners acting in good faith face a “dilemma” when dealing with crime at their establishments. “It is unreasonable to say to the store owners just take one for the team or look the other way when someone is allegedly committing a crime, and that’s irrespective of their skin colour,” Walid said. “On the other hand, if it’s something minor or insignificant or perhaps even a misunderstanding, then the store owner should also be aware that calling the police for a small matter could actually lead to the beating or the death of a human being.” …He also urged challenging racist incidents and language within Arab communities, including the use of the word abeed (slaves) to describe African Americans. On the business end, he said store owners should put money back into the communities from which they profit. “There are horror stories about how people in the Black community are treated by our business owners and by the security they hire,” he said. “But then there are some positive developments that are good examples for everybody to use – which is hiring people from the community, hiring security, if you need it, from the community, investing in the local baseball team.” More here on this subject.
And there’s this:
“...Whereas the protesters have been described as “looters” and “violent” by some sections of the media, one restaurant that incurred major damage on Thursday night has decided to approach the damage to its property differently. On Friday, owners of the Gandhi Mahal Restaurant, about a block away from the Minneapolis Third Police Precinct that was taken over by some protesters, announced that despite the attempts by neighbours to protect it, the restaurant had been significantly damaged. “Youre [sic] efforts won’t go unrecognised. Don’t worry about us, we will rebuild and we will recover,” the Facebook post read. “This is Hafsa, Ruhel’s daughter writing, as I am sitting next to my dad watching the news, I hear him say on the phone: ‘Let my building burn, Justice needs to be served, put those officers in jail’. Gandhi Mahal May have felt the flames last night, but our fiery drive to help protect and stand with our community will never die! Peace be with everyone.” The Bangladeshi-owned restaurant’s position has drawn widespread support and praise at a time when questions are being asked about the role of communities of colour and the perpetuation of police brutality.“
A couple of comments sent 27th – 30th May from 2 friends in the USA via email (the first is a reference to my recent 70th birthday) –
The city of Minneapolis is your birthday cake. Try blowing out those 70 candles.
It’s unreal what’s going on. It’s on par with LA ’92 and the urban
riots of the ’60s. Much more diverse and seems deeper than Ferguson.
No idea where it’s headed. Each night they could overrun and burn a
precinct. Why they don’t just arrest the dude is beyond me. Some
friends from here are going there. I imagine that’s true all over the
country. One looter was already killed last night. I think more death
is imminent with how bold everyone is. If national guard or cops kill
someone, it’ll definitely spread here and throughout the country.
No desire to blow them out – those candles can burn, baby, burn.
But why do you think it’s deeper than Ferguson?
I don’t know if it’s deeper yet. More widespread and prolonged and intense, but aside from a few bus drivers refusing to transport cops or arrested in different states, it’s not spread across other sectors of society. Z went up to Minneapolis yesterday. Said there is a strategy among some to try and overtake a new precinct once one has fallen. I think there are 5 in total. 1 down. Everything for the authorities seems delicate. Things spread to all sorts of cities last night. Small and big. Reminds me of Rodney king stuff. Clashes in the usual places- Oakland, NYC, etc., but also places like Las Vegas, Tallahassee, Dallas, Eugene, etc. went to the thing downtown here last night. Post-Ferguson activists still are able to exert some control, and last night it was barely enough to keep things civil, despite loads of young kids just waiting for someone to break that first window. Some fireworks and graffiti, and a stupid highway blockade. After we left, a terrible thing happened as some people on the fringes tried to loot an Amazon prime and Fedex semi-truck (a lorry;)). The driver of the Fedex truck panicked and ran over and killed someone looting in the back of the truck. A protestor was also shot and killed in Detroit – unclear by whom. Things are getting messy. Afraid things will turn into a deadly culture/political war, but hasn’t slipped totally into that yet. Racial unity and class consciousness seem strong enough for now, and politics hasn’t usurped all this yet. Almost feels like even if things chilled out tomorrow in Minneapolis, the rest of the country would keep going. But don’t know if the genie is out of the bottle quite yet. Here’s an article about last night in St. Louis:
On the tube (ABC, Channel 7) I saw the aftermath of the San Jose incident in which three pigs and the “civilian (undercover cop?)” removed the cop who had been struck and was still in a state of shock, described at the bottom of the article. I also saw a lot of the events in Oakland later in the evening, as well as a further incident in San Jose in which an SUV, blocked by demonstrators, backed up and ran down a guy – definitely the hairiest of all the action that happened. The guy got up right afterward although I swear the car passed over his arm.
The next most intense action was the blocking for a short while of Hwy 880 (the “Nimitz Freeway”) by exceedingly brave demonstrators who stopped a large stream of traffic until the arrival of CHP (California Highway Patrol) forced them to quit the scene. Large numbers briefly surged across the road and some people climbed a big-rig truck and hung there a short while.
In terms of the actual fighting, the sharpest action occurred during a standoff at an intersection in downtown Oakland where the cops held the intersection, but were pressed in on two sides by the demonstrators. Things remained static for a while until demonstrators on a second story overhang threw homemade explosives, one of which was powerful enough to disable the TV cameras filming the scene for a few moments, went off with a great blast and shower of sparks. Apparently a couple of cops at least were injured and had to be carried off. With that the remainder of the cops, who had been densely packed at the crosswalks, although their lines on one side of the intersection had bowed inwardly, cleared the area and forced a rapid retreat by the demonstrators.
Attacks against the press – and who are obviously identified as such – are clearly multiplying, an actuality which can be directly attributed to the orange clown in the White House and his own campaign against anything (facts, for instance) which show him in a bad light.
Of greater interest in this article linked, perhaps, is the language of what the protests are about: “police killings and inequality”. It is the latter, and the implication of the near-universal, systemic nature of this condition, that tells us why so many people (including many who are not black, but who identify with the plight of people who are impoverished, insecure, always vulnerable to attack by employers, landlords, pigs, and any authority who happens to come along or is in the mood, because that conditions & defines them as well, if not to the same degree) are taking to the street.
This has the possiblity of becoming a generalized revolt against class society now.
It is about time.
US, Seattle: video of riot including looting where looters throw out stuff for those outside to take what they want &/or need
US: protests spread nationwide… protesters force brief lockdown of White House …workers refuse to transport cops in solidarity with protests
“Metro Transit officials suspended most of the region’s mass transit starting at 4 p.m. Thursday “out of concern for the safety of our customers and employees.” The suspension was later extended through Sunday. A spokesperson would not say if the suspension was solely due to the protests, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. It’s also unclear if the decision was directly related to the transit workers’ solidarity action.”
Riot in Brooklyn, New York:
“New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the coronavirus crisis, which exposed inequalities in health care, and the protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, are connected. “One looks like a public health system issue, Covid, but it’s getting at the inequality in health care also on a deeper level. And then the George Floyd situation, which gets at the inequality and discrimination in the criminal justice system. They are connected,” he said at his daily news briefing on Saturday.”
“Hundreds gathered in Oakland and San Jose gathered in solidarity with protesters in Minneapolis denouncing the May 25 police killing of George Floyd on Friday night. Starting around 3 p.m. in downtown San Jose, protesters chanting Black Lives Matter marched to Highway 101, where they temporarily blocked traffic and smashed car windows in an otherwise peaceful demonstration. Two hours later, officers declared the protest an unlawful assembly and clashed with activists. While several protesters were detained, at least one officer was also injured before police fired off gas canisters at crowds near city hall as the demonstrators threw bottles and other items at them. According to a law enforcement source, at least one officer was struck by a glass bottle hurled by a protester, who lifted a cell phone near an officer’s face before the officer grabbed the phone, tossed it and was punched in the face. The officer was carried away from the area and later helped to his feet by three other police officials and a civilian. Meanwhile in Oakland, protesters marching down Broadway in the first of three consecutive protests planned this weekend, which are being branded the Minneapolis Solidarity Demonstration, around 7:45 p.m. About an hour later, tensions escalated again in San Jose. Some protesters began damaging storefronts again and police used tear gas and flash bangs.”
…Minneapolis: streaming of events with a mix of comments, some valid, some not, fairly regularly updated…“Now This Fight Has Two Sides. What the Riots Mean for the COVID-19 Era”(Crimethinc article)
This last is also a mix of comments, some valid, some not. What’s annoying is that it’s full of “We should do this, we should do that”s – for example “Every time people stand up for themselves against the police state, we should show up in solidarity, prepared to run the same risks that those we support face every day.” Whilst running “the same risks that those we support face every day” is good advice (depending on your circumstances at least) sometimes showing up in solidarity may not be the best thing to do at all – it may be better to start something in your own area . Amongst a group of friends &/or comrades that people know “we should” could well be valid, at least following the logic of a discussion, general perspective or previous history (ie “considering we think this, and have done that, we should do XYZ”). But as a general approach in written form to anonymous readers, it tends to take away from the reader the independence of decision about what could be done, to work out from the examples given, what may be pertinent. Plus with this “we” there’s an assumption of an agreed line on a situation which may or may not be the case. It comes over as playing the Leader, an anarchist version of Lenin’s “What is to be done?”. Though obviously far better than this crappy vanguardist text by Lenin, what it has in common with him is that it still tends to encourage a blind follower attitude on the part of the readers, spoonfed with suggestions that haven’t developed from their own efforts, their struggle to work things out for themselves from their understanding of the situation. This personal and social struggle is far more essential for the development of autonomy than making a list of “we should”s.
US, Minneapolis: cop station torched…during 3rd night of fun, fire & fury as National Guard are called out…Eyewitness account of the burning of the 3rd precinct … Crimethinc article Pretty interesting, especially tactics-wise. There are also some wonderful and heartwarming looting anecdotes etc. at the end.
US, Minneapolis: shopkeeper murders possible looter during 2nd night of riots bigger than first, despite cops being fired; journocops too scared This is full of empty pacifist platitudes, but then what can one expect from a site that calls itself “Hot Air”? More here and here
1) Washington Post article from 2006 highlighting the Target corporation’s efforts to increase survelliance and policing of black and other workers of color across US cities:
“In the past few years, the retailer has taken a lead role in teaching government agencies how to fight crime by applying state-of-the-art technology used in its 1,400 stores. Target’s effort has touched local, state, federal and international agencies. Besides running its forensics lab in Minneapolis, Target has helped coordinate national undercover investigations and worked with customs agencies on ways to make sure imported cargo is coming from reputable sources or hasn’t been tampered with. It has contributed money for prosecutor positions to combat repeat criminals, provided local police with remote-controlled video surveillance systems, and linked police and business radio systems to beef up neighborhood foot patrols in parts of several major cities. It has given management training to FBI and police leaders, and linked city, county and state databases to keep track of repeat offenders. … “In many ways, Target is actually a high-tech company masquerading as a retailer,” said Nathan K. Garvis, Target’s vice president of government affairs.”
With a name like Chauvin, what should we expect? See also this on the original Chauvin. “Nicolas Chauvin …is a legendary, possibly apocryphal French soldier and patriot who is supposed to have served in the First Army of the French Republic and subsequently in La Grande Armée of Napoleon. His name is the eponym of chauvinism, originally a term for excessive nationalistic fervor, but later used to refer to any form of bigotry or bias…”
USA, Ohio: excellent sabotage by hacker of attempt by state to prevent workers claiming unemployment insurance…a sabotage with successful consequences
“The state of Ohio won’t deny unemployment benefits to people who refuse to work during the COVID-19 pandemic after people targeted the website it was using to track these workers, according to officials at the state’s Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). The state previously set up a “fraud” website encouraging employers to report those who refused to go back on the job, angering workers and labor rights advocates. State officials say they are now reconsidering the policy after Motherboard reported that a hacker created a script to flood the “COVID-19 Fraud” website with junk data, with the goal of making it impossible to process these claims….The anonymous hacker previously told Motherboard they created the script as a form of direct action in support of working people. Ohio is among several states that have prematurely reopened against the advice of health experts, forcing many workers to return to their jobs and put themselves at risk of contracting the deadly virus. Over 33 million Americans have filed for unemployment since March, and unemployment benefits are quickly becoming many peoples’ sole source of income. Meanwhile, many retail and service workers deemed “essential” have said they are being forced to continue working in crowded stores and warehouses without personal protective equipment such as masks. While the hacker’s script has since stopped working after changes to Ohio’s website, another hacker has taken up the project and plans to release an updated version, the anonymous hacker told Motherboard.”
US, St.Louis: director of operations for city hall is unmasked trying to impose the current dominant “logic” of stay-at-home rules on the homeless by making them doubly homeless
Since this site is not accessible in Europe, it’s impossible to know what this link says. However, Our Diplomatic Correspondent in the US has just sent this report by supersonic drone:
There’s been a growing homeless encampment across from city hall, in the heart of downtown since corona… Between 80-100 tents it seems. The mayor’s office window overlooks it. The city has had its hands tied legally because of emergency corona guidelines. They tried to coerce them out after the first week, but it’s grown since then and residents have been defiant. [May 1st] they tried to evict them a little more coercively, but the 20 or so cops didn’t know what to do and stood down while city health and sanitation workers tried to evict them …residents and supporters shamed garbage workers into not doing their job of seizing the tents. People stood on the tents it seemed like. Some post-Ferguson civil rights lawyer group defending the camp is now dragging the city through courts right now so the city has been forced to back off.
…unfortunately the drone got attacked by eagles and so, sadly, we shall forever be forced to wrack our brains desperately trying to guess what the mayor said. Best guess wins a week’s holiday in Salt Lake City. 2nd best guess wins 2 weeks holiday in Salt Lake City.
“The prisoners ransacked offices, broke windows and set small fires for several hours before the facility was secured [sic/k]”
US, New Jersey: beds burnt in prison riot…See also this personal account of total medical neglect towards him having what could be the virus by US anarchist prisoner Sean Swain
US: Growing hopes for rent strikes in various parts of country…More hereSt.Louis graffiti
It should be pointed out that, even some time before this crisis, 40% of Americans, on receipt of an unexpected $400 bill, go into terrible financial difficulties.
This, taken from a report on a forum, was a discussion-cum-interview on the news today (**** is used to make names of areas anonymous):
“**** Rent Strike is a growing movement that is urging tenants to use money on the essentials [this is not entirely accurate, by the way]. Organizers urge families to pursue any strategy they feel is best, but the point of the strike is to put a wall around those whose (pay)checks have disappeared. So, what about the real estate companies or landlords? They’re real people too. Here’s **** Rent Strike’s response: ‘We have little to no sympathy for people who make their living off our broken backs, our polluted neighborhoods, and our drafty houses. If they lose their profits and have to adjust their retirement plans, we will not be crying for them. Or, was that supposed to be a joke?’”
They then go on to quote a manager of over 1000 properties. Objectivity at its best.
Quoted from this exchange:
“-Why are you pushing for a rent/mortgage strike?
The reality is that many people will not be able to afford rent this month, next month and for several months following. Many people have permanently lost their jobs and the economy is not going to recover from “the worst economic crisis since the great depression” overnight. The more people that refuse to pay rent, the more potential there is for amnesty for those who simply cannot afford it. Others are already facing the choice of buying groceries and medicine or paying rent. They shouldn’t have to make this choice, ever, but especially right now.
Put another way, if a tick is on you, you pull it off yeah?
-How hard has the shutdown of businesses hurt residents of ****?
Some of us are OK financially but others are not. Many ****ans live pay check to pay check. Layoffs, reduced hours, reduced wages and salaries make it impossible for people to pay their bills. Are we supposed to starve and get sick so that landlords can keep on being business owners? Are we supposed to subsidize their lifestyles with our misery?
-How many participating in strike?
We don’t know. There are likely many people throughout the city who will not be paying rent by default. We are trying to build networks in our neighborhoods so that the evictions that will come in May or June or July can be minimized. This will take some time, but we are not waiting.
Ultimately, the final number depends on whether or not you join us.
-How long will the strike last?
Realistically, the strike will last at least as long as the orders restricting employers are in place. We are not a union and are not in control of individual strikers. We can’t start it by decree and we certainly can’t stop it. We will be working with our neighbors and others throughout the city to look out for each other and respond to developments that hurt our interests as tenants and workers.
-How much will using the rent money on other essentials help?
Having $500 to $700 or more for groceries and other supplies when you are out of a job is a big deal. For comparison, SNAP offers under $200 a month for an individual. Something like 20% of city residents live below the poverty line. That means some of them will likely not even receive a stimulus check because they are not required to file a tax return. As of April 1, the IRS has not provided clear instructions for filing a return in order to receive the economic impact payment for those who have not already and are not required to.
-I read on a post your organization mentioned Wall Street getting a big bailout as well. Is this more about individual struggle or a feeling of lack of caring from the government?
For us, this is about neither individual struggle nor feeling abandoned by the government. It is about collective struggle against a system which doesn’t care if we live or die, have homes or live on the street, eat dinner or go to bed hungry.
-Concerned about legal pushback?
Yes we are very concerned about what will happen when landlords initiate eviction proceedings against those who cannot or will not pay rent during this crisis. The more of us there are, and the more connected we are to each other, the better our chances come summer. In the coming months we will be working to create a dense network of support.
-Why not push an alternative method (negotiating reduced rent, delayed payment, etc.) before an all our strike?
Individual tenants have and are welcome to pursue whichever strategy they feel is best. We are trying to build a wall of protection and support around those who cannot pay rent.
-What about the landlords/real estate managers? Any concern about how they will make ends meet?
Frankly, no. We have little to no sympathy for people who make their living off our broken backs, our polluted neighborhoods, and our drafty houses. If they lose their profits and have to adjust their retirement plans, we will not be crying for them. Or, was that supposed to be a joke?”
More here on this mainstream Bernie Sanders-supporting site
…and not just rent strikes:
Work is shit … Work is bloody …Work is sick…Amazon makes you sick…Interactive map of wildcat strikes
A friend writes:
It must be pointed out that it’s possible that one of the reasons for his tentative optimism is that this is the atmosphere in one of those few cities and states where lockdown hardly exists, whereas in other parts of the country people may well be seething but it’s not public, it’s confined. Some terrible imploding on oneself could be as likely as exploding outwards against the miserable conditions being imposed or allowed to develop through total neglect.
“In cities with eviction moratoriums, the closing of civil courts and the halting of business as usual makes squatting easier than ever before. Just as there is strength in defying the authority of landlords en masse there is transformative power in reclaiming shuttered buildings, clogging eviction bureaucracies, and moving evicted tenants back into their apartments. One is the natural outgrowth of the other. As rent strikes unmask the fundamental violence of rent, building occupations become acts of self-determination that shatter the illusion of private property. While state responses to COVID-19 continue to center on social distancing, quarantine and public health, we accept these frameworks as cynical half-truths. Although we recognize the dangers posed by the virus itself, we are also keenly aware of the catastrophic effects of viewing ourselves as a ‘population in need of state intervention.’”
“‘Dildos are not essential items’…An Amazon worker has gone viral for speaking out against the e-commerce giant in a press conference after employees across the country walked out on the job in protest of work conditions amid the COVID-19 crisis….”
“Despite being the largest grocery chain in the U.S., Kroger has yet to give its workers’ hazard pay, unlike other chains like Safeway, H-E-B, and Giant Eagle. Workers complain that the company has not taken adequate steps to protect themselves against COVID-19. The Memphis workers join a growing wave of wildcat strikes of workers being forced to work through COVID-19 pandemic in what many see as the beginning wave of strike action that the United States has not seen since the great General Strikes of the 1930s. “Half the workers have gone home. They scared for their safety. The ones that is here, they so tense they scared to touch the equipment,” said Wiggins, who had worked 97 hours on a mandatory seven-day-a-week shift. After the company was slow in letting the union know about the positive COVID-19 test results, most workers chose to walk off the job.”
US: report on development of mutual aid groups…report on hunger strikes in migrant detention camps…California: MacDonalds on strike
US: report on wildcat strikes and shutdowns in car industry…Detroit: bus drivers win all demands after 24-hour strike: fares will not be collected for duration of coronavirus crisis
“The riders are going in and out the back doors…There is very little interacting with the drivers.”
Sharpiegate: Reality denial hits new level of insanity (re. Hurricane Dorian hitting, but in fact not hitting, Alabama) …More here “It’s unheard of that [Noaa- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a government department] would – with no scientific basis whatsoever – undermine their own employees for political reasons. That’s never happened before under any administration … This doesn’t happen. This is a scientific agency. People gather data and they make the best decisions they can make form that data.”…“The NWS’s job is to save people’s lives, and if you undermine that authority, you’re going to cost people’s lives,” he said. “If they don’t believe hurricane warnings or tornado warnings, it will cost lives. That’s what Noaa’s doing. It’s irresponsible, managerial malpractice, and frankly someone should look into them. They have no right to be running an organization if that’s what they’re going to do.”
X writes: “…definitely a star for the contrafactuality file. Now we have begun to enter an epoch of true barbarism, where factuality is openly contested by Power, and no longer simply on issues that could be regarded as “important”. The child pointing out the “emperor’s clothes” is to be shouted down without delay. Now the bodyguard of lies, as overworked as the armed forces of the Amercian Empire, must defend every point that might be contested, like the Wehrmacht after Hitler’s “no retreat” order. This is a land in which even the civil service bureaucrat finds him/herself no longer insulated but under duress. This is the very frictive point at which the tires of authoritarianism begin to shed their tread and legitimacy, considered on the old terms, and is now something the strongmen glance over their shoulders to see fall astern. A greater and greater measure of pure power will have to be deployed to keep this level of lunacy in power from crashing. Eventually like the “explosion point of ideology in China”, this moment will demand so much complicity from all the institutions of the state and will have crossed itself up in so many insoluable contradictions that it will no longer be able to sustain itself as it was. A crisis of the mythology of power will follow and without a common social narrative (impossible in this increasingly divided world), the society/civilization will further unravel. So put this in with Erdogan’s burning of the books, the firing of Bolsonaro’s NASA-equivalent chief, the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration and an accumulating heap of other examples where the contraction of ruler by fact is always now resolved in the ruler’s favor and the civilization built on lies expands to the point where the branch on which it is sitting cracks.”.
SF replied: “This about the hurricane and Alabama is truly insane. But denial of reality at such a degree of submission to the Emperor, merely to satisfy his narrow narcissistic ego, seems to have nothing to do with social control or economic development as far as I can see, and is very unlikely to be the main trajectory of this society – because it weakens the effect of every important lie the state needs to maintain its power. People just won’t believe ANYthing if they continue like that.”
X responded: “I would dispute your minimization of the importance of the (now burgeoning) scandal of the NOAA “correction”. Rather than having nothing to do with social control, I think it has a great deal, because the technique is not going to be limited to the emperor. The essence of the thing is the ‘gilding of the lily’ when writing reports for superiors, in order t get ahead. We saw a mass-murderously wonderful example of that in the ever-higher grain yields that preceded the wave of starvation that came with the Great Leap Forward. It is the same way police suspects die in custody and not a single piggy is found guilty of murdering them. Reality is bent to reflect, first and formost, the greater glory and pmniscience of the authority or authorities. It is true that this goes on many places all the time, but having such a thing so blatantly done, means that this is no longer something that ‘doesn’t happen’, this is something that does happen is called soemthing else that does not embarass the Leader and fuck you if you can’t take the joke or do the 1984-style dance pretending that things have always been so. It shows that now very high up the ascending order of important factualities necessary to the smooth functioning of a military-merchantile empire, things can be arbitrarily falsified and the merchants artisans and peasants are all going to have to pretend to go along with the new dispensation and at the same time pay greater attention to carry on business without fucking-up. the burden of everyone having to factor-in this deliberately imposed irreality when they do all their routine tasks is going to wear. It gives the plebs something else to preoccupy them, more uncertainty and possible danger, hence an enhanced element of social control. It must be noted that this, for the very reason you expressed, is not an approach that can be sustained indefinitely. This may not be part of a conscious plan, but it does look like a part of a historical pattern. This same kind of fatigue produced by constantly changing political campaigns once wore down the ‘enthusiasm of the masses’ until the “explosion point of ideology in China” was reached. One can only hope.” Developments (10/9/19) here.
FBI Tracking Border Protest Groups As Extremist Organizations
FBI doing what it was created to do, act as a clearing house to the right-wing and as enforcers of repression. Check the specie memo included in this article. Appparently, the idea of questioning borders is a threat the FBI must take seriously now.
Future news? The wooden slogans give them away, as does the contrived style, which it must be said is a little less so than before; the robots of the RCP have spent many years imitating real human beings and have made great strides in the direction of developing convincing simulacra.
Report on new evidence showing how cop deliberately murdered Oscar Grant in Oakland January 1st 2009 X writes: “Now, ten years after the killing of Oscar Grant, it comes out that the main defense of Mehserle, the cop who shot him to death, was a blatant lie, which was somehow given legitimacy in the proceedings that occurred after the incident. The video of the event shows Mehserle looking back at his hand the last time he tries to draw his weapon, to check he shoots Grant, who had been trying to comply with the order to put his hands behind his back for cuffing. The filth and their handlers sat on this shit for a decade in order to protect their precious order built on oppression, sadism, aggression and fear, from being assaulted by thousands of angry East Bay residents, had they known the truth.”
Immigration enforcement to be lead by man who imitates China’s categorisation of its Uighur concentration camps as “vocational training centres”, the man who described immigration centres as “summer camps”
The Great Bureaucrat-In-The-Sky sends his only begotten bastard son to save one monstrosity from another God has intervened and Trump is his vessel, his chamber pot, his bedpan. The idea that the most heavily armed country on the planet is led in foreign policy by a fruitcake who believes the creator of the universe makes periodic interventions in the petty territorial disputes of barbarian trash on some no-count little planet should give pause to any unreasonably optimistic notions of a long wait until character armourgeddon.
Report on the lie of the meritocracy X writes: “A consequence not without importance. The collapse of middle class values is now on display for all to see, like the emperor’s new clothes. The myth of upper-class meritocracy is seriously damaged – there are no gracious people up there, only the same Hobbesian brutishness as everywhere else in this society. These were supposed to be the ‘goldilocks class’ everyone aspired to join, that embodied all those values we were seeking to export under the name “democracy” – which turned out just to be the name of the storefront behind which it was sold.”
A friend of a contact sent the following email:
“The Whole Foods calendar is set not only to seasons, but also to what Frank Zappa referred to as “contrived national, commercial artifices”. He was, of course, referring to Mothers Day ( and all that quaint, unique Americana – the Xerox-copied “family newsletter” – receiving one every Xmas was a real howl!). Anyway, to set my caboose back on the tracks: WFM always cut back on labor during the interim. I think the Guardian is correct as regards small cities, but maybe not as regards sections of huge hipster-infested metropolitan areas. Temporarily laid-off tech workers get a job at WFM and then quit after a few hours. Granted, that’s an extreme example, but so are the working conditions – the one thing that the Guardian really nailed: customers – or as one says in Spanish ” pinches clientes” [“fucking customers”] – don’t get served promptly; it takes hours to complete the most mundane of tasks…and, in a complete reversal of Whole Foods protocol, everyone in management fakes the log books. Workers certainty don’t have time to update them, especially when they’re short-staffed.
There are a few remaining OGs who really try to make an effort to follow the rules to the letter. If we’re caught doing this, we may, however, be interrupted by a supervisor or team educator – inverted commas – who’ll tell us to put an extra updated sticker on a product whose WFM internal compliance date has expired. That doesn’t mean it’s expired by the manufacturer’s standards. It just means that it’s a bottom seller, and WFM doesn’t want to spoil it out until they’ve derived the most profit from it.”
Oakland: report on sell-out of teachers’ strike
Interesting report, although through a dubious source. We don’t need to agree with Trots to know that the teachers got ripped for this one, along with the students.
Oakland: official teachers strike “…the latest in a series of increasingly militant work stoppages by educators across the country. In January, teachers in Los Angeles, California, won a historic strike, securing smaller class sizes, a nurse in every school, a reduction in standardized testing, a 6 percent pay raise for teachers and a plan for the School Board to vote to call on the state to cap charter school growth. The teachers union in Denver, Colorado, won its first strike in 25 years last week, while educators in West Virginia walked out earlier this week, halting proposed legislation that would have allowed tax dollars to pay for private-school tuition. Today, the 3,000-member Oakland Education Association (OEA) is on strike after 95 percent of its members voted on February 4 to authorize the work stoppage. The union says it has picket lines up at all 86 educational campuses in Oakland. The Oakland teachers strike is as much about defending public education as it is about teacher pay. United under the slogan, “Fighting for the schools our students deserve,” the union is calling for smaller class sizes, more support services for students (nurses, counselors and librarians), and an end to neighborhood school closures. “
5/1/19: Arkansas: pig shoots dog X writes: “Our filth in action. Most impressive to note that, according to the article, this act of sadistic, gratuitous cruelty wasn’t even against the law. However much we despise the pigs, the article makes clear that it was only possible through the laws and the lawmakers that this happened. Not really something big to report, but indicative of the kind of place we live in and the terrorism of daily life that gives it its underlying character.”
Article on how native American continued slavery of blacks in 19th century A good antidote to the usual anti-imperialist rhetoric of “500 years of struggle against imperialism…”
US, California: riots at 2 prisons No details given here, so it’s not clear whether these were riots between prisoners or an attack on the screws and prison infrastructure or a mixture of the two.
From Cautiously Pessimistic :
Trump and his nationalism X writes: Now the regime has run up its true colors: “nationalist” – the universally recognized euphemism for fascist is now unapologetically adopted by the ruling party. This should be a shot across the bows of anyone who is paying attention – and in this country, what percentage of the population raised from birth to be obedient cattle does this really include?
You scratch my back, I’ll scratch….the record of complaints against you Judges judging judges ensures the consolidation of authoritarian rule…will we one day be able to definitively judge them?
Judge tries to overule jury A perfectly transparent example of what US “rule of law” is all about: rule of the elite. Those defenders of this society’s true values, people who don’t want a triviality like the cancers of potentially millions or the destruction of this planet stand in the way of some very important people who want to make obscene amounts of money. An exhibit in the indictment of the civilization that produced it.[X]
Right Wing Death Squad: The Ticking-Time Bomb of Trumpism A fairly convincing scary analysis, though dependent on a number of things that may not happen.
New York: proud boys against gay pride That the Proud Boys, to celebrate their victory, shouted “I like beer” in reference to Kavanaugh’s successful coup, shows an increasingly open unity between the blatantly fascist street-fighters and the ascendant authoritarian (Trumpist) wing of the Republican Party. A common culture and system of referents is being forged through this alliance of the legal with the illegal, the violent with the respectable. ..so will Gavin McInnes learn from history or will he end up like Ernst Roehm? Or has Trump collapsed the distinctions between crass noveau riche like himself and the old plutocracy, between the Evangelical patriarchs who are afraid of women governing their own bodies and the Proud Boys, sufficiently to create a new ‘big tent’ of reactionary consensus? [X]
US, Washington DC: protesters against Kavanaugh ‘occupy’ Supreme Court steps “Women, survivors, and allies walked straight past the police, climbed over barricades, and sat down on the Capitol steps.”
US, Washington DC: 100s arrested during sit-in at Capitol Senate office building Few seem to have noticed the irony of the fact that this included a celebrity representative of an industry that especially exploits women-as-image/object, the “well-known” model Emily Ratajkowski. But this is an epoch where we should suppress all critique because “hey, don’t be so negative”.
US, California: Amazon chicken-supplying farm occupied by animal rights activists As I said in relation to an animal rights action in Australia on 212/9/18: “Whilst the intensified commodification of animals by big business is undoubtedly horrible (and produces increasingly tasteless hormone-filled nutritionally valueless food), so is it for human beings (see, for instance, this – official work death statistics for the country, “official” meaning “understated”), something animal rights activists usually ignore in their role of charitable vanguard of those who cannot fight for themselves“. The link above is for work-related deaths in Australia; the latest statistics for the US are for 2016, when there was a 7% increase in work-related deaths compared with 2015 – “…the first time more than 5,000 fatalities have been recorded since 2008.”
US, NY state: 35 school buses vandalised…Berkeley: legal challenge to cops’ obvious provocation to violence against antifas arrested but not even charged by publicising their faces, names and towns of residence
3 articles on Trump’s nomination for the Supreme Court:
A contact [X] writes:
Amy Chua, the author of the Battlehymn of the Tiger Mother a paean to the virtues of raising hyper-competetive children in a highly pressurized “success-oriented” environment, is one of a couple who are close to Kavanaugh and share in his forms of cultural value creation. The article does an excellent job of showing the surreptitious vileness and overt sliminess of the legal arm of the political class.
X writes: A sketch – in some cases illuminating – of the plutocratic elite in the USA. However, it’s worth questioning, after reading this from the pro-Democrat Huffington Post, how it eluded the writer that ever since the drafting of the Articles of Confederation, the “American aristocracy” has been a bi-partisan project, whichever subsequent era we refer to.
Report on the new developments in the supreme court X writes: A fairly insightful analysis of the Supreme Court in its present direction, as well as some of its reasons for being as it is, and of the Democratic Party’s capacity for opposition. Its notion of what the public should do, on the other hand, is constrained by a completely conventional unrealistic civics textbook attitude of what is political necessary or possible.
US: prison strike in lots of prisons throughout country For updates, see this. More here… Statement from Nova Scotia prisoners.
US, California (Berkeley): antifas arrested in limited ‘clash’ with fascists Report from X, 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.” X, 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? X, 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
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”
Yossarian: You’re gonna come out rich. We’re gonna come out dead.” – Catch 22.
23/9/17: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”
“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)
Due to technical problems the chronology for the USA in 2013 is now 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 but it’s a site run by someone too much into marxism for my liking, an ex-Trot who sometimes falls into semi-Trot attitudinising. See an attempt at dialogue with a marxist.
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.