News

New DNC Chair Perez Supported Obama's TPP 'Trade' Deal

Another Useless Eater: New DNC Chair Perez Supported Obama's TPP 'Trade' Deal | 03 July 2016 | Labor Secretary Tom Perez, a potential Democratic vice presidential pick, isn't backing down from his support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the trade deal corporate takeover [allegedly] opposed by Hillary Clinton.

Categories: News

There's No Saving the Democratic Party If Tom Perez Wins DNC Chair

There's No Saving the Democratic Party If Tom Perez Wins DNC Chair | 16 Feb 2017 | The DNC chair race is the Democratic Party's last opportunity to make a unifying concession to progressives, who were cheated and disenfranchised during the Democratic primaries by former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz...Perez backs the same failed strategies that have run the Democratic Party into the ground over the last decade.

Categories: News

All The News You Didn’t Even Know Was Going Down

It's Goin Down - 3 hours 28 min ago

The post All The News You Didn’t Even Know Was Going Down appeared first on IT'S GOING DOWN.

Welcome back to All the News You Didn’t Even Know Was Going Down. What a long strange week it’s been. Trump has issued more executive orders which have made millions of migrants without documents potential targets for deportation. Meanwhile, Trump has gone to war with the centrist and pro-Democrat press as his supporters gear up for a set of demonstrations in an attempt to build street level support for the unpopular billionaire. Meanwhile, as state and local governments discuss more draconian attacks on protests and demonstrations, police and sheriffs have aggressively cleared many of the water protectors at Standing Rock while the EPA prepares to roll back various environmental regulations.

With all that and more in mind, let’s get to the news!

CPACalypse

Trump’s already limited popularity has continued to fall in various polls, with some now reporting that up to half of the population favors his impeachment. To counter his falling popularity, Trump has sought to go back and re-energize his base and organized his first post inauguration campaign rally in Florida while more “March 4 Trump” events are being called for on March 4th.

At the Florida rally, Trump promoted the slogan, “Putting American Back to Work. We Are Going to Put People Before Government,” which played to Trump’s populist venire while also disguising Bannon’s underlying goal of promoting “American exceptionalist” and “economic nationalist” politics above neoliberalism which really equate to pushing through massive deregulation, destroying environmental restrictions, tax cuts for the wealthy, and putting blame for economic hardship on immigrants and those receiving entitlement programs.

Meanwhile at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) this week, much of this same proto-fascism was on display, while at the same time the conference did a feeble attempt to distance itself from the Alt-Right which in the past it has coddled, with event organizers even kicking out Milo before the conference began and Richard Spencer during the day. As one report wrote:

The other day, we noted how after years of helping to normalize the racist Alt-Right, the organizers of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) are now trying to distance themselves from the movement. This is despite the fact that this year’s conference features a main stage interview with White House strategist Steve Bannon, who just last year bragged about turning Breitbart, a prominent CPAC sponsor, into “the platform for the Alt-Right.”

This morning, Dan Schneider of the American Conservative Union, which organizes CPAC, delivered a speech titled “The Alt Right Ain’t Right at All” in which he tried to claim that the Alt-Right has no place within the conservative movement because the term “Alt-Right” has been hijacked by “a hate-filled left wing fascist group” for the purpose of confusing people about what conservatism really represents.

But while the “Alt-Right,” which in many ways has already been successfully mainstreamed into the Trump administration, was thrown under the bus as a “left-wing” movement, popular movements and struggles, the “Left” media, and anyone that does anything Trump doesn’t like (such as judges) was presented as one united enemy at CPAC.

Steve Bannon, who sat down with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to rally the Republican and conservative movement base around the regime, described the press as “corporatist” and “globalist” who were attacking Trump’s “economic nationalist agenda…” These sentiments were backed up by Trump himself at CPAC, who railed against the “corporate media” who he accused of promoting fake news and referred to potentially millions of people set to be deported as “bad dudes.” Trump also touted the mega-build up of the American military, cutting welfare, and plans to push through various pipelines and energy projects.

But Trump and Bannon’s attacks on the media also materialized in reality on Friday, when Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference, The New York Times, The LA Times, CNN, and the BBC were all barred from attending, while far-Right operations like Breitbart were allowed in.  

Back to Steve Bannon, his own speech laid out a clear path that the administration will continue to head in during the coming months and years, and should be seen as a roadmap and a warning to everyone. Bannon’s “three point program” included:

  • “National security and sovereignty,” which has played out by attempting to end refugees from Syria entering the country, the Muslim ban, pushing to build a wall along the Mexican border, and pushing to deport potentially millions of undocumented people’s. Not grabbing headlines however, is Bannon and Trump’s open push to launch a trade war with China and other superpowers in a drive to solidify supremacy of the American economy that greatly threatens world war for the sake of the profits of a few.
  • Second is what Bannon likes to describe as “economic nationalism,” which essentially means the US switching from a globalized neoliberal model to a nationalist one, while making business within the US more hospitable by attacking unions, opening up massive amounts of energy reserves, rolling back environmental conditions, regulations on business, banking, and financial sectors, and also slashing taxes for corporations and the wealthy. While this is touted as “populist,” it simply attempts to make the US into an economic powerhouse while grinding down the working-class, exploiting the carbon bubble while possible, and solidifying corporate and financial power.
  • Lastly, Bannon described the task of the Trump administration as “deconstruction of the administrative State,” to much great applause. Bannon discussed that Trump’s cabinet appointees were picked specifically for these tasks, which essentially means destroying and/or privatizing social welfare, health-care, and community service programs that have been in place for decades providing a meager safety net for poor and working-class people.

Bannon made several other key points, first that Trump’s win was only made possible by the coming together of the campaign’s vanguard and the insurgent conservative rank-n-file base. He also spelled out that the Trump campaign was a coalition of a variety of far-Right formations and individuals who all worked together to get things done.

Bannon went on to say that everyday with Trump will be a fight against “them,” meaning the Left, opposition forces, and the media – to implement Trump’s agenda. Bannon stated that as ‘jobs come back’ under Trump and conditions ‘get better,’ ( :-[ ) then opposition would get even worse from the media and other forces, which of course helps paint a conspiratorial situation. You’re either with Trump, or against America.

Bannon also called on those represented at CPAC to rally under shared principles, saying that from economic nationalists to libertarians to conservatives, they should unite around the US being a nation with an economy as opposed to a neoliberal state “with open borders,” and a nation with “a culture, and a reason for being. I think that’s what unites us.” Bannon’s blend of semi-libertarian, nationalist, and far-Right capitalism is also on display in his weird-ass film, Generation ZeroWe urge you to watch it if you want to understand where these people who are now running the country are coming from, or at least, how they want you to see the world.

“There’s a new political order that is being formed out of this,” Bannon lamented. Those opposed to this order should take note.

But Trump and Bannon weren’t the only people to offer up some shit-gems. Various speakers gave speeches on how the “the Left” was in fact the major threat facing the country. Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist and husband to a supreme court judge, pushed forth a theory in a speech on “World War III,” that Islam and communism were working together to destroy Murica:

World War III started about 1,400 years ago [with Islam]. Islam and the Bolsheviks have never parted company.

Trevor Loudon, a birther conspiracy theorist, would add that “professional revolutionaries” along with the Democratic Party and in bed with Russia were supporting Clinton and working against the United States – oh and along with Muslim Brotherhood too.

An anonymous source sent us this undeniable evidence of paid protesters. #J20WasAnInsideJob #DaddySoros #WakeUp pic.twitter.com/2sPyK7eqju

— New York City Antifa (@NYCAntifa) February 25, 2017

The person that took the “professional protester” conspiracy theory to the max was NRA VP Wayne LaPierre, who about 2 minutes into his speech singled out the black bloc along with the media:

Claiming that activists who are protesting President Trump are being paid thousands of dollars as part of a massive conspiracy to “dehumanize and demonize” conservatives in order to purge them from society, LaPierre painted the NRA as the only organization capable of protecting decent Americans from the “terror and bloodshed” that is sure to come.

LaPierre had nothing but scorn for the role that the media is supposedly playing in this effort to destabilize society and longed for the days when people who leaked government information were hung for treason.

“Our country is under siege from a media carpet-bombing campaign,” he said, “and America knows it. You can hear it in their tone, their sneers, you can literally see the disdain on their faces. Everything from their word choices to their inflection is trained on one target: purposely and maliciously destroying the Trump presidency, no matter what it takes and no matter what it costs.”

Outraged about damaging reports coming out about the Trump administration, LaPierre declared that “100 years ago, if you eavesdropped and published the affairs of the head of state, you would have been tracked down and hanged for treason.”

Forget Milo, NRA Vice President Plays Up Fears and Conspriacy Theories of 'Paid Protesters' at #CPAC2017 https://t.co/ILHLJadXFo

— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) February 25, 2017

There are several takeaways from CPAC this year. The first is that Bannon is right, not only has Trump outlined what he is going to do in his speeches and everything that Bannon has spelled out time and time again and they mean it, but that moreover, a new political order is rising. The old Republican Party that was more interested in Dominionist, interventionist, and neoliberal economics is dead. Bannon paints this struggle as a fight against “the elites” of the party and in wider society. But they also know that in order to carry out their agenda, they have to have support, they need to play up their populist message, or at least sell it.

To do this, they are working overtime to keep support strong and steady in their base while also presenting it as a social movement with a real relationship with Trump and those within the State. After all, Trump has and will continue to call on his supporters to support his policies especially against popular opposition in the streets. Chipping away at this support and trying to find cracks within it is definitely needed.

Trump also needs to appear that he is making things better for his base, largely declassed middle to upper-middle class white people. How Trump is going to do this, or if he will be able to, is still up in the air, but it surely seems that major projects such as construction of the wall along the Mexican border, detention facilities, and energy/pipeline projects will be part of his possible “success” stories.

Moreover, it’s clear that both the media’s hounding of Trump continues to be a problem as well as popular opposition on the streets of the country for the regime. In the face of this, states across the US are pushing forward laws that further criminalize protesting and demonstrations that Republican law-makers are hoping to rush through successfully. This cuts to the heart of myths such as “paid protesters,” for if the State can downplay popular opposition, it can normalize repression against it.

While this situation seems grim, and it is, we have to remember that there is still massive opposition to Trump across the US and the regime knows this. They’re betting they can scare people off the streets with old-fashioned repression, scapegoating, and attacking the militants in various struggles. Their message of violence and threats is the same to anyone that opposes them, and as time passes, only grows stronger. How our social movements do in standing up to this assault is anyone’s guess, but in understanding what our enemies are thinking and why, is a good first step.

Moreover, we have to understand that Bannon and others like him see in Trump a kind of “last stand” against the impending ascension of the the millennial generation that grows more and more disconnected from establishment politics and more and more anti-capitalist. Nothing like a good old world war and a strengthening of white supremacy and patriarchy to bring the young back into the fold and remind them of what America is all about.

#NoDAPL

Our full report from the last day of the Oceti #NoDAPL camp with photos and videos https://t.co/c9cGD7CLlf

— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) February 24, 2017

Police and sheriffs have dismantled the Oceti Camp in North Dakota at Standing Rock over the course of several days, leading to various arrests. According to Unicorn Riot:

The water protector camp that for months formed a beachhead against Dakota Access Pipeline construction was destroyed midday Thursday, February 23rd. A combination of law enforcement and military units forced aside the last inhabitants so the remaining structures could be demolished, while a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) helicopter orbited overhead.

The Army Corps of Engineers’ deadline of Wednesday, February 22nd, demanding water protectors clear out of the main #NoDAPL camp, passed without law enforcement entering the camp, although several journalists were attacked (see our full report).

The main camp, which several weeks ago hosted thousands of people, known as Oceti Sakowin or Oceti Oyate, often called ‘Oceti’ for short, was dismantled with 46 arrests reported on Thursday (AP).

In response, new camps have gone up, as it remains unclear what will happen with those who remain.

PHOTOS: Cheyenne River #NoDAPL camp on the Standing Rock reservation, 2/25/17 ~2:15 PM pic.twitter.com/mwBCVUk1za

— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) February 25, 2017

Hundreds remain at Sacred Stone Camp- many new structures have gone up recently- @USIndianAffairs may attempt to evict tomorrow. #NoDAPL

— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) February 25, 2017

While the future of the encampments at Standing Rock remain in question, the outside campaign to divest and defund DAPL continues, with Seattle having just canceled a city contract with Wells Fargo worth billions.

How we can continue to push these campaigns, especially in an autonomous and confrontational nature, remains to be seen. Check Unicorn Riot for more updates and consider writing your own reports and analysis for It’s Going Down. 

Anti-Migrant Executive Orders

A new set of orders which Trump described as a “military operation” has come out in regards to immigration, giving a green light to immigration officials to go after those who are undocumented, leading to some disgusting results and one person possibly killing themselves after being deported. In The New York Times, journalists described the new sense of freedom immigration police now feel they have:

In Virginia, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents waited outside a church shelter where undocumented immigrants had gone to stay warm. In Texas and in Colorado, agents went into courthouses, looking for foreigners who had arrived for hearings on other matters.

At Kennedy International Airport in New York, passengers arriving after a five-hour flight from San Francisco were asked to show their documents before they were allowed to get off the plane.

The Trump administration’s far-reaching plan to arrest and deport vast numbers of undocumented immigrants has been introduced in dramatic fashion over the past month. And much of that task has fallen to thousands of ICE officers who are newly emboldened, newly empowered and already getting to work.

“Before, we used to be told, ‘You can’t arrest those people,’ and we’d be disciplined for being insubordinate if we did,” said a 10-year veteran of the agency who took part in the operation. “Now those people are priorities again. And there are a lot of them here.”

The article goes on to write:

Two memos released this past week by the Department of Homeland Security, the parent agency of ICE and the Border Patrol, provided more details about how it would carry out its plan, which includes Mr. Trump’s signature campaign pledge — a wall along the entire southern border — as well as speedier deportations and greater reliance on local police officers.

But for those with ICE badges, perhaps the biggest change was the erasing of the Obama administration’s hierarchy of priorities, which forced agents to concentrate on deporting gang members and other violent and serious criminals, and mostly leave everyone else alone.

What remains to be seen is if these actions will lead to wide scale roundups, which the administration says won’t happen, or just continued build up of powers, more agents, and more detention facilities. For more information on the orders, check out this video below which breaks them down.

Not surprisingly, private prisons are making a comeback in the face of potentially incarcerating so many migrants:

Few profited more immediately from Donald Trump’s election than the private-prison industry. On Nov. 9, the day after Mr. Trump won, the Corrections Corporation of America (now CoreCivic), the nation’s biggest operator of private prisons, saw its stock price jump 43 percent; its leading competitor, the GEO Group, rose 21 percent. Stocks in those companies are up more than 100 percent since Election Day.

On Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions scrapped an order issued last August by President Barack Obama’s Justice Department to phase out the government’s use of private prisons, which increased substantially as exploding prison populations strained the capacity of state and federal facilities in the 1980s. At their peak, privately run prisons housed 30,000 federal inmates, or about 15 percent of the total federal prison population; by this May, they will hold around 14,000.

For now, the Justice Department’s new policy will affect a relatively small number of people. Tens of thousands more state prisoners are housed in private prisons, and the federal prison population has been shrinking for four years. But private facilities are sure to start expanding again under the Trump administration, thanks in part to mass detention of undocumented immigrants and increased enforcement of federal laws against recreational marijuana use.

Trump that Spring

ThWashington Post reports

You could call the Groundhog’s Feb. 2 declaration of six more weeks of winter fake news or alternative facts. Since Punxsutawney Phil’s pronouncement, spring-like weather has overtaken much of the nation. And some of the month’s warmest weather with respect to normal is yet to come.

So far this month, the temperature has averaged more than five degrees above normal over the Lower 48 — with the warmest temperatures with respect to normal centered over Texas.

“I keep rubbing my eyes and wondering when I am going to wake up from this fast-forward spring,” writes meteorologist Paul Douglas for the Star Tribune. “Weather maps continue to keep looking like March this week with hints of April this weekend. Unreal.”

Through Feb. 13, the nation set an astonishing 1,495 high temperature records compared to just 10 for cold, according to Guy Walton, a meteorologist who tracks such temperature extremes. That’s a “whopping” 150 to 1 ratio of record highs to record lows, Walton said.

The new head of the EPA is also poised to roll back a series of milktoast Obama regulations:

The new head of the Environmental Protection Agency suggested to a gathering of conservative Republicans on Saturday that the agency could begin as early as next week the process of rolling back some of the federal regulations put in place by the Obama administration.

“The future ain’t what it used to be” at the EPA, Scott Pruitt said during an address at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC.

Pruitt, who started at the agency Tuesday, did not specifically indicate what rules President Trump’s administration will target immediately. But he cited a controversial clean water rule as an example of a regulation that went too far.

The regulation – known as the Waters of the United States Rule and adopted by the Obama administration – expands the definition of waters subject to the jurisdiction of the EPA under the Clean Water Act.

DNC Stays In the Center

The DNC has always been a party for ruling class interests, and in the last several decades under the Clintons it has moved to represent the interests of Silicon Valley and those of upper-middle class wealthy urban professionals, not the working class. Today’s win by Obama’s former labor secretary, Tom Perez (which led the Hillary wing of the party) to the head of the DNC only further cements this.

The Democrats will attempt to stay a Centrist party and only use “left-wing opposition” as a means to bring people into the party, as they did Bernie. At the same time, groups like Swing Left are already attempting to build on the Trump moment and are getting ready for elections in 2018.

If we want to get out from behind this hamster wheel – we’ll have to out organize them and continue to push our ideas into the public consciousness.

Shout-Outs

Several podcasts and interviews have come out that are worth checking out including an interview with Seattle IWW, a decent interview on one station on antifa, and another here.

The ROAR Conference is coming up in the bay area and is fundraising. Please help!

It’s Going Down

Don’t forget we have a new magazine. We are working on getting copies out around the US, but if you have access to make copies the PDF is here.

We just got that fresh new shipment of @IGD_News print edition. Come visit to get yours for free of course! #anarchistmag #itsgoingdown pic.twitter.com/U3XwiykEJ2

— The Base (@TheBaseBK) February 26, 2017

Wanna make some IGD stickers? PDF here!

Thanks to everyone that’s kicked down this month to support IGD. It means a lot!

It’s Going Down
info [at] itsgoingdown [dot] org

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Support Imprisoned Water Protectors

It's Goin Down - 4 hours 28 min ago

The post Support Imprisoned Water Protectors appeared first on IT'S GOING DOWN.

The Freshet Collective works in close partnership with the Water Protector Legal Collective, the Water Protector Anti-Repression Crew, and other allied groups and individuals to meet the many different legal needs of Water Protectors who have been involved in the struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock. We work to aid in jail support, bail support, criminal defense, and education efforts.

After nearly a year of putting their bodies on the line to fight the Dakota Access Pipeline and protect sacred land, there are still water protectors being held as prisoners for standing up for sacred water and land. It is essential that we continue to support them to remind them that they are loved.

Please follow their stories and donate to their legal funds or commissaries. We support the following #NoDAPL prisoners who remain in custody and encourage you to host letter writing events and send your support and solidarity their way:

Michael “Rattler” Markus

Michael Markus, PO Box 1108, Washburn, ND 58577

Katie “Krow/Twig” Kloth

Katie Kloth – Morton County Correctional Center, 205 1st Ave. NW, Mandan, ND 58554

Red Fawn Fallis

Red Fawn Fallis, 205 6th Street SE Suite 201, Jamestown ND 58401

Charles “Scorch” Jordan

Charles Jordan, Burleigh County Jail, PO BOX 1416, Bismarck, ND 58502

Donate to help us grow and expand!

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British men jailed on terrorism charges after trying to leave UK

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sat, 02/25/2017 - 19:04

British men jailed on terrorism charges after trying to leave UK | 25 Feb 2017 | Two British men who were caught trying to leave the UK via a southern port have been sentenced to more than seven years in prison after pleading guilty to terrorism offences.

Categories: News

Trump's Potential Science Adviser Will Happer: Carbon Dioxide Demonized Just Like "Poor Jews Under Hitler"

deSmog - Sat, 02/25/2017 - 12:57
Will Happer

President Donald Trump is on the look-out for a chief science adviser, but who to choose?

If his most recent appointments are any indication of the future, then, on climate change at least, Americans should expect the president to tap a climate science denier.

So it is little surprise then that one person reportedly in the running is 77-year-old Princeton atomic physicist William Happer.

Happer has for more than a decade rejected all the credible evidence on the risks of human-caused climate change. He is often described as an “expert” on climate change, yet his record of publishing research on the issue in peer-reviewed scientific journals is almost non-existent.

So who is he?

var icx_publication_id = 14813; var icx_content_id = '11504'; [Reuse options] Click here for reuse options! Tags: William HapperDonald TrumpCO2 Coalitiongeorge c marshall institute
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Connecticut governor to cops: Don't follow Trump immigration orders

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sat, 02/25/2017 - 06:18

Connecticut governor to cops: Don't follow Trump immigration orders | 22 Feb 2017 | Connecticut's Democratic governor is telling state and local law enforcement they do not have to comply with federal requests to detain residents who are in the country illegally, a day after the Trump administration detailed plans that could lead to millions of deportations.

Categories: News

Feds say at least 12 aircraft violated restrictions during Trump's Florida visit

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sat, 02/25/2017 - 06:13

Feds say at least 12 aircraft violated restrictions during Trump's Florida visit | 20 Feb 2017 | At least 12 aircraft violated temporary flight restrictions through Monday afternoon for President Donald Trump's Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago stay, with at least five of those having the unique experience of being buzzed by military aircraft, federal officials confirmed to The Palm Beach Post.

Categories: News

NYPD official tells Trump that 'nobody' will get deported for jumping turnstile

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sat, 02/25/2017 - 05:34

NYPD official tells Trump that 'nobody' will get deported for jumping turnstile | 24 Feb 2017 | A top New York Police Department official said Friday that jumping a subway turnstile--a minor offense--will not get you deported if you are an illegal immigrant.

Categories: News

"Walk With Me": The Power of Accompaniment in Challenging Deportations

Truth Out - Sat, 02/25/2017 - 05:00

On March 9, Trinidadian immigrant Ravi Ragbir is scheduled to appear for his annual check-in with a deportation officer at the federal building in lower Manhattan. 

"I will go in," he says. "Even though I suspect this may be the day I won't be coming out."

No matter what happens, he will not go alone. 

“You can easily disappear,” he notes. "So it’s best to have people witness."

Ragbir knows the power of accompaniment. As executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC, he has worked to connect members of 30 congregations, faith communities and other groups with hundreds of undocumented immigrants seeking refuge and support.

"It's not about the church, or the physical space," he explains. "We are teaching people to literally walk with those in deportation proceedings." 

As an outspoken immigrant rights activist, Ragbir knows he can set an example for thousands of others facing similar check-ins. 

“I don’t want to be a role model, but think I am at the moment,” he says, “especially for immigrants who are saying ‘We’re terrified.'" But if you look at what Ravi is doing you can understand where you are, and also fight to make change.  

***

Ragbir legally immigrated to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago more than 25 years ago, but a 2001 wire fraud conviction made his green card subject to review. Even though he is married to a US citizen and has a US-born daughter, the government refuses to normalize his status. 

Instead, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has exercised prosecutorial discretion to grant him a stay of deportation. His current stay lasts until 2018. But his 15-year-old criminal record makes him an easy target for removal under the Trump administration. 

"After Donald Trump's election I basically cried for days," recalls Ragbir's wife, Amy Gottlieb, who is an immigration advocate with the American Friends Service Committee. 

"I was totally devastated both because it was going to impact our lives directly, and also because the work I've done for the past 20 years is about struggling for humane immigration policies."

Gottlieb has accompanied Ragbir to almost every one of his check-ins since 2010. This included a period during which he wore an ankle monitor and had to report in person each week -- at first -- to the Brooklyn office of ICE's Intensive Supervision Appearance Program.

It was around this time that the The Indypendent published a photo essay showing Ragbir reporting for an appointment while joined by Gottlieb and a supporter from Judson Memorial Church.

"I want people at ICE to know that he is part of a community that supports him," said Catherine Stetts, as they ate breakfast afterward.

Eventually Ragbir was released from such exhaustive surveillance. Last year, Gottlieb waited with him for hours at his now annual check-in at 26 Federal Plaza. She was relieved when an ICE agent finally confirmed that Ragbir was granted a two-year stay. But then she grew upset when the agent added that Ragbir would still have to check-in again after one year. When she asked why, she was given no clear answer.

"It was their attempt to demonstrate how much control they have over our lives," she says. "It was really upsetting." 

Now the time to check-in again is fast-approaching.

"We are doing everything we can to make sure he does not get detained that day, but this year it will be a different feeling," Gottlieb notes. "This year I am afraid of them."

***

ICE check-ins offer a combination of intimidation and bureaucracy.

"It is almost feels like the Department of Motor Vehicles," says Kyle Barron when asked to describe the 9th floor waiting room in Manhattan where immigrants who face deportation go to meet with the officer assigned to their case. 

"You are told to sit down and wait. Many people are very fearful because they don't know what will happen when they get called. They could be told to come back, or they could be detained." 

Barron spent three years working with Ragbir at the New Sanctuary Coalition, where she learned quite a bit about the immigration process as head of its Accompaniment Program.  

"Many decisions come down to the discretion of individual officers handling the case and whatever the person is feeling that day," explains Barron. "It helps if you can show you have backing from the community." 

She says such support is key for immigrants who lack a lawyer, and have undocumented family members or friends who cannot come with them to the ICE office.

Now a student at NYU's School of Law, Barron is also a member of Ragbir's support committee, where she draws on lessons from her grassroots activism and combines them with legal strategy. 

"It's interesting to see how all the pieces fit together," she says, "when we are pushing back on the business as usual immigration policies, and trying to see the creative ways to work within and also push the boundaries of the system." 

***

It was in prison that Ragbir learned how to think creatively about achieving one's freedom in the face of extreme odds.   

"They control when you eat, what you eat, when you get up and sleep, when you have access to the phones and TV and law library, your letters, what you wear," Ragbir recalls. "At one time I remember they only gave us one jumper. So when you wash it, what do you wear?" 

He came to the realization that, "You can determine how you respond, your thoughts. If you do that instead of becoming anxious and fearful, then you can start to ask: 'this is where I am, but where do I want to be?'"

After serving a two-and-a-half year sentence, he was transferred to immigrant detention, where he successfully fought for his release after another two years.  

"You still have control over who you are," Ragbir says, "and that becomes the force that makes the change."

In the basement of Judson Memorial Church, a note posted on the wall above his cluttered desk conveys this approach. After hundreds of conversations with immigrants facing deportation because of drug-related offenses, he now advocates for policy changes like the decriminalization of marijuana even as immigration reform remains stalled in Congress. 

"If marijuana is legalized and not a controlled substance, then we can stop the double jeopardy," he notes.

Another wall in his office has a blackboard with a list of names of Central American asylum seekers who had been paired with coalition volunteers the week before. Many were young mothers with no lawyer. 

"They come in on Tuesday nights and we pair them up with English-speaking volunteers and an interpreter," he says. "The place is packed." 

The small groups prepare enough of the necessary evidence in each woman's case that when she goes in the judge will likely have to set a new hearing date to allow time to review it, instead of moving immediately to deport her. 

***

"Over the years Ravi has steadfastly and humbly expanded the reach of our programs," says Reverend Donna Schaper, Senior Minister of Judson Memorial Church and co-founder of the New Sanctuary Coalition. 

She saw first hand the impact Ragbir had on the lives of others when she accompanied him to his ICE appointments. 

"I have seen him, even during his own regular check-ins. . .  reach out to other immigrants scared and alone, to tell them about our programs and encourage them to have hope," Rev. Schaper recalls. 

Now, Rev. Shaper and other faith leaders may walk with Ragbir when he attends his check-in. Politicians Ragbir has worked with over the years may show up as well.  

The weekend this issue went to press Ragbir was recognized with the Immigrant Excellence Award by the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, given to those who show "deep commitment to the enhancement of their community." 

"City and other elected officials at all levels of government can support the residents of their city or district as they go through this process by showing up at check-ins, and reaching out to ICE," says Ragbir's lawyer, Alina Das, who is co-director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic at NYU School of Law and has worked on his case for the past eight years. 

In the meantime, Ragbir continues to urge everyone who knows an immigrant going through this process, or who wants to support someone who is, to walk with them. 

"Everyone is my family right now," Ragbir says. "I ask them to come with me because maybe it can make a difference, and you may not see me March 10."

Resources   The New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC www.newsanctuarynyc.org/  (646) 395-2925 The NSC aims to activate congregations and other allies in their "Accompaniment Program,"  (Say a little bit more about what NSC does including how people can plug into the Accompaniment  Project.) and offers a weekly legal clinic to help those facing deportation to manage their cases.   March 9 - Jericho Walk 9-11am, 26 Federal Plaza Through the Jericho Walk, the NSC brings together faith leaders, immigration activists, and supporters to march in silence and pray in solidarity with those in the immigration system.   Action NYC   1.800.354.0365 Multilingual hotline for general information & referrals to free immigration legal services   Families for Freedom FamiliesForFreedom.org (646) 290-8720 Deportation Hotline: 646-290-5551 A New York-based multi-ethnic human rights organization by and for families facing and fighting deportation.   Immigrant Defense Project Criminal-Immigration Helpline  212.725.6422 Offers advice on immigration consequences of criminal charges and convictions   The Bronx Defenders  347.778.1266 (Legal Emergency Hotline) Walk-ins welcome 9am-6pm at Client Reception office (360 East 161st St.)   The Brooklyn Defender Services 713.254.0700 Offers free legal representation to low-income NYC residents in deportation proceedings via the New York Immigration Family Unity Project   Legal Aid Society Immigration Unit 212.577.3300  212.577.3456 (Detention Hotline, Wednesday-Friday, 1-5pm. Collect calls from detention accepted) Represents detained and non-detained before the NY Immigration Court  

The newspaper Naomi Klein calls "utterly unique," full of insightful dispatches from around the world, The Indypendent offers a fresh take on today's events. 

Categories: News

Saramurillo: A Hope for Justice for Peru's Amazonian Peoples

Truth Out - Sat, 02/25/2017 - 05:00

Could the recent mobilization held at Saramurillo in the Northern Peruvian Amazon be remembered as the one that finally brought much needed justice to indigenous peoples affected by over 40 years of irresponsible oil activity? In mid-December 2016, 49 agreements were signed between Peruvian government officials and indigenous peoples. Will things be different this time, will the accords be complied with? In the wake of too many state promises left unfulfilled and the constant oil spills on their territories, hopes are nevertheless high for the thousands of native peoples who united during 117 days in the native community of Saramurillo to demand respect for their rights and to call for an end to the oil destruction of the Peruvian Amazon.

A high level commission headed by Peru's Prime Minister Fernando Zavala pledges to comply with the agreements in Saramurillo, 19th December 2016A high level commission headed by Peru's Prime Minister Fernando Zavala pledges to comply with the agreements in Saramurillo on December 19, 2016. (Photo: Sophie Pinchetti)

Coming from five river basins of the Marañón, Corrientes, Pastaza, Tigre and Chambira, this broad coalition at Saramurillo was formed by different Amazonian peoples such as the Kukama, Urarinas, Achuar, Kichwa and Quechua. Approximately 3,000 people were present at the peak of the protest. All have suffered the impacts of pollution on their territories owing to Peru's two oldest Amazonian oil fields and pipeline.

 Sophie Pinchetti)(Photo: Sophie Pinchetti)

 Sophie Pinchetti)(Photo: Sophie Pinchetti)

The agreements concluded this three-and-a-half-month long protest, which began on September 1st 2016. Indigenous peoples sustained a blockade of a section of the Marañón river as a means to press for their demands until November 29th. After several failed attempts at dialogue, and instead of militarizing the conflict, the Peruvian government responded this time by renewing the dialogue on site in Saramurillo with a state commission headed consecutively by Minister of Justice & Human Rights Marisol Pérez Tello, Minister of Energy & Mining Gonzalo Tamayo, and Minister of Production Bruno Giuffra in December 2016. "The main problem here is employment," affirmed Peru's Minister of Energy & Mining, "tell me, indigenous leaders, who amongst you haven't been working for the oil companies?" Hundreds of people gathered at the traditionally built community centre stared at him in silence. Our Executive Director and legal counsellor to the indigenous people Sarah Kerremans testifies: "I almost fell off my chair when hearing the Minister's opening words to hundreds of indigenous fathers and mothers with exhausted yet hopeful hearts and minds after 117 days of pacific protest. One Achuar leader stood up to break the silence, he was very gentle when he spoke: "We know you duty holders from Lima have difficulties to understand what we really mean, but don't worry, we will not get tired of explaining our legitimate demands, not even if we have to do so for several days, over and over again. It will necessarily be an intercultural debate." It was a strong statement that set out the rules for this long debate, which resulted in 49 signed agreements."

 Sophie Pinchetti)(Photo: Sophie Pinchetti)

The Peruvian region of Loreto -- a micro Venezuela, whose local economy has depended upon oil for the past 4 decades, entered a severe economic crisis in 2015 when the international oil price per barrel dropped. Yet the indigenous peoples' first demands at Saramurillo were not about jobs. Sarah, a fundamental rights specialist who has been involved in numerous dialogues, round tables and prior consultation processes between indigenous peoples and the Peruvian state over the last three years, sees a trend: "This is part of a broader strategy. First of all, the Peruvian state has not been a guarantor for fundamental rights in Loreto for a long time. When indigenous peoples claim their rights after four decades of oil activity on their ancestral lands -- fundamental rights such as the right to clean water, their territories and the right to life itself, they are not listened to. There seems to be a tendency to use the idea of jobs creation, or even the so called "empresas comunales" to meet these demands. This might work for a while and does give the impression of direct satisfaction and immediate attention in places where there was little attention before. But after a while, community members see that the problem remains the same over the long term. So one of the main issues put on the table in Saramurillo was not about employment, but rather the immediate and effective remediation of the thousands of contaminated sites in oil lot 192 (operator: Pacific Stratus Energy, former operator Pluspetrol), oil lot 8 (current operator: PlusPetrol) and along the 800 km long pipelines (operator: Petroperu) which cross the Amazon."

 Sophie Pinchetti)Indigenous leader James Rodriguez Acho speaking during the debate alongside Peru's Minister of Production Bruno Giuffra. (Photo: Sophie Pinchetti)

Important Agreements for the Past, Present and Future

The process that allowed the agreements was not simple nor was it free of tensions. The debate became a space where indigenous democracy and republican democracy sought to understand each other in order to restore trust and seek justice for the demands. Unlike the usual technical roundtables, the methodology insisted upon by indigenous peoples at Saramurillo was for an intercultural political debate in the presence of a Minister of the state.

 Sophie Pinchetti)The debate between the Peruvian state and indigenous peoples united in Saramurillo, December 2016. (Photo: Sophie Pinchetti)

The Saramurillo accords notably call for the effective remediation of contaminated sites to begin in 2017. Alongside of this, agreements include an independent inspection of the Northern Peruvian Pipeline in the first half of 2017, as well as other pipelines that cross Blocks 192 and 8, with the participation of indigenous representatives.

 Sophie Pinchetti)Peru's Minister of Energy and Mining, Gonzalo Tamayo, alongside indigenous leaders of federations united in Saramurillo during the debate in late November 2016. (Photo: Sophie Pinchetti)

"With regards to the pipeline in the Marañon river, we are speaking of an emergency: the rainy season is now underway and the crude from over 12 oil spills last year alone will uncontrollably spread and contaminate the drinking water of the Marañon river, the city of Iquitos, and the Amazon further downriver. The goal of the current government: to continue to exploit oil in the Amazon as soon as possible, despite the corrosion of the old pipelines and despite the many social and environmental problems. So, is that still viable? We hear a new language in the discourse of indigenous leaders in this part of the Amazon and this led to an important agreement to implement a parliamentary commission to discuss this", comments our Executive Director Sarah Kerremans.

 Sophie Pinchetti)Indigenous peoples returning Petroperu barges back to the pumping station until the debate with the state is completed on December 2016. (Photo: Sophie Pinchetti)

Under the Saramurillo accords, a community environmental monitoring law and nationwide discussions on Peru's energy future, in particular with regards to the Amazon region, could see the day through the introduction of a bill by the the Congressional Commission on Andean and Amazonian Peoples, Afro-Peruvians, the Environment and Ecology.

"Oil has not served to improve our Loreto region", observes Kichwa advisor Jose Fachin. "The economy of indigenous peoples cannot be dependent upon oil activity, neither can Loreto. We want to potentiate our own resources, train ourselves and diversify local economy, and not suffer from pollution. That is why we have to work on an investment plan so that people can improve their quality of life without oil activity, which has been imposed upon us." In this regard, specific agreements were reached regarding health, education, sanitation, electrification, infrastructure, access to social programs, and a special development plan for various income-producing projects in the communities as compensation for damages. The first stage of this development plan was initiated during a dialogue with a Multisectorial Commission in January 2017, and is due to present its first progress report in June 2017.

2017 02PinchettiSaramurillo9(Photo: Sophie Pinchetti)

Accords also aim to investigate the impacts of the four-plus decades of oil operations in Blocks 192 and 8 through the establishment of a Truth Commission involving the government, indigenous organizations and oil companies in order to identify the improvements that can be made.

Not everything was agreements: issues such as land titling in protected areas and payments for easements related to the Petroperú pipeline went unresolved. But even so, through the implementation of the Saramurillo accords, indigenous peoples hope to see concrete results in the immediate, mid and long term since there is a commitment of five years with the current government.

 Sophie Pinchetti)(Photo: Sophie Pinchetti)

More Unity, More Strength

In the face of too many previous agreements left unfulfilled, more unity is the best strategy forward, affirm the indigenous federations united in Saramurillo. Two months on from the signing of the accords, they continue to stand together, ready and vigilant as to the compliance of the accords made by this new government, which "wants do things differently and wants to fulfil" in the words of Peru's Prime Minister Fernando Zavala during his visit to Saramurillo on December 19th 2016 to pledge government support for the accords.

 Sophie Pinchetti)(Photo: Sophie Pinchetti)

Whether there was sunshine or rain, the strategic alliance of these indigenous federations brought together native Amazonian peoples from different languages and ethnicities who ate, slept, laughed, cried, stood strong and hoped side by side. A new horizon, cultural pride and dignity rose through this struggle for territorial defence and their collective and individual rights. "Today, indigenous peoples have united like never before", declares Shipibo leader and President of ACONAKKU James Rodriguez Acho. "This unity is going to pervade", insists Achuar leader & President of FEPIAURC Daniel Saboya Mayanchi, "because it is not just the unity of federations or river basins, it is the unity of communities and community members who are at the essence and giving this credibility."

While the mobilization at Saramurillo on the ground may have come to a close for now, the indigenous unity built during this landmark mobilization is still growing in strengths. This month, more indigenous organizations joined in the platform of the five river basins. The coalition now includes 15 indigenous organizations, each one representing villages affected by oil activity in the Peruvian Amazon. Together, these organizations are uniting to show that their struggle for the land, water and life itself continues.

Watch our short film on the story of Saramurillo, sharing the voices of indigenous peoples united in this struggle. Also available in Spanish language.

Categories: News

Los Angeles: Nah Fair 2017

It's Goin Down - Sat, 02/25/2017 - 03:08

The post Los Angeles: Nah Fair 2017 appeared first on IT'S GOING DOWN.

Social Media Event Here
WWW.NAH.WORLD

FREE. ADJACENT TO THE LAABF.
MOSTLY L.A. BASED, MOSTLY P.O.C., AND ENTIRELY ANTI-AUTHORITARIAN.

49 UNGOVERNABLE PROJECTS & HUSTLES:
Alma Rosa Rivera a.k.a. Chicana_Catwomxn, Angel Rose (UK), Antena Los Angeles, B.H.A.A.A.D., Brown Recluse Zine Distro, Christina Mancinas, Contagion Press, Cop Watch Santa Ana, Crater Invertido (MX), Crypto L.A., Darcy Crash Distro, Defend Boyle Heights, DESCONTROL, Echate Flores, Ediciones Joc Doc (MX), ENDNOTES, Exmilitary, Feminist Pornographic Collective Consciousness, Funeral Press, Get Artists Paid, Ill Will Editions, Irregular Rhythm Asylum (JP), It’s Going Down, Junta de Mejoras (MX), La Conxa, La Infinita Tristeza, L.A. Tenants Union, LIES Journal, Little Black Cart, MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL, Mutant Freak Zone Fam, n0 eg0, Neta Zine, No More Deaths, Originals Magazine, Pinche Kid, Port Conjunctive, POST WOKE, Practical Records, Reading Group, Scream Queens, Seite Books/Otros Libros, Sin Retorno Distro (TJ), Support FM, Squat Mauricio Morales en Tijuana, The Tower InPrint, Union de Vecinos, Violent Female (JP), Yerba Mala Collective, Would be Saboteurs Take Heed, and more.

FRIDAY: TABLES, PERFORMANCES
FEBRUARY 24th, 2017 5-10 PM
Descontrol stage- (A)rgum(e)nt?, JeffZilla, Snatches With Power, Strangers, & TBA

SATURDAY: TABLES, NAH TALKs
FEBRUARY 25th, 2017 1-9 PM

NAH TALKs SCHEDULE
L.A. CRYPTOCREW: 1:00pm-3:00pm Workshop on how to send, receive and verify encrypted emails, browse the web anon via obfuscation, consider what data tracking look like and more.

WHAT IS UNGOVERNABLE FEMINISM?: 3:15pm-4:30pm
Being governed means being a woman and getting shit for it. As social services and basic needs for the most precarious populations get put on the chopping block what is the feminist agenda? What is the nature of unwaged labor? How do we do antagonistic care work? How do we fight the trappings of the abject subject of woman? Let’s discuss.

n0 eg0 p0ets: 5:00pm-6:00pm
On the occasion of today, n0 eg0 p0ets have been given space to just be themselves, where typically they are left to decide between being an elephant or a termite. Readings by Sarah Gail, Dove and others.

Support.fm Info Session- Technology & Approach: 6:00pm-7:00pm
The founders of Support.fm, a crowdfunding platform to raise bail and bond money for trans and gnc people, will discuss the platform’s methods and infrastructure. They’ll talk about how the site came to be, how it works, and how organizers and supporters can get involved — with Support.fm, as well as other grassroots efforts around bail justice and economic redistribution.

BH.A.A.A.D. / UNION DE VECINOS / DEFEND BOYLE HEIGHTS + MORE TBA: 7:15pm-9:00pm
What is artwashing? And what in the fuck is going down in Boyle Heights and other communities in LA? How do we fight to keep our homes and hoods? Where will the ever-expanding arts district development end?

And more TBA

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Categories: News

Anti-fascist Organizing in Ontario and Beyond

It's Goin Down - Sat, 02/25/2017 - 02:32

The post Anti-fascist Organizing in Ontario and Beyond appeared first on IT'S GOING DOWN.

Listen Here

On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, Scott Neigh speaks with Walter Tull, a long-time militant anti-fascist who is currently based in Toronto. Tull speaks about the wave of anti-fascist activity that peaked in the 1980s and 1990s, about his current involvement in Antifa International and the International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund, and about the need in our current moment for reinvigorated militant anti-fascism on the streets.

Even just two years ago, it would’ve been hard to imagine that, in 2017, discussion of mainstream domestic politics in North America would have to include significant attention to fascism, white nationalism, and other variants of the far right. Yet you-know-who won the presidential election in the United States, and he, the inner circle he has brought with him to the White House, and a number of his most notorious supporters — who have in turn been boosted by his win to unprecedented mainstream visilibity — make such discussion tragically inescapable.

Of course even when liberal democracy has been at its most robust and most liberal, there has never been an absence of massive systemic violence of various sorts directed against all manner of people designated in one way another as Other — from deportations to drone attacks, from austerity to racist police violence, from colonial land theft to growing wealth inequality, from rampant misogyny to a neverending parade of violent Western interventions in countries of the Global South. Still, the presence at the pinnacle of the most powerful state in the world of the kinds of figures that dominate this administration is taking us into new and uncharted territory. Events are moving very fast, and predicting consequences even in the near term remains difficult and fraught.

One thing, however, is certain: This new moment is sure to embolden street-level fascist and extreme racist organizations. Indeed, we have already begun to see it, both south of the border and here in Canada. And history proves that when such organizations are numerous and bold, and when they are able to occupy public space at will, they directly threaten the safety of people of colour, immigrants, refugees, LGBTQ people, disabled people, and more.

Such violence has never gone unopposed, however. While liberal anti-fascists often attempt to appeal to reason and to the authorities, there is also a long tradition — in Canada as elsewhere — of militant street-level anti-fascism that relies not on police but on mobilizing people willing to engage in confrontational action to deny fascists and extreme racists access to public space. The last wave of militant anti-fascism began in the 1980s, when groups like Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (or SHARP) and the Anti-Racist Action Network (or ARA) mobilized in militant, street-level ways in cities across the continent. Toronto and Montreal had two of the most well developed ARA chapters, and they existed in many other Canadian cities as well. In the early 2000s, after the wave of street-level fascist activity to which this anti-fascism was responding was beaten back, ARA faded away. But many of the militants who were active back then are still around, and both they and a major influx of younger radicals are not hesitating today. According to today’s guest, they are actively getting organized, and they have no intention of ceding even an inch of public space to fascists.

Walter Tull has been active in anti-fascist organizing for close to two and a half decades. Starting in the 1990s, he was involved in both SHARP and ARA in a number of cities. Currently, he lives in Toronto, and in recent years has been part of Antifa International, which is an online initiative that uses Tumblr and Facebook to circulate and translate news of anti-fascist organzing from around the world, and part of the International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund, a multi-national effort that raises money to defend and support anti-fascists who need material assistance.

Tull talks with me about the earlier era of anti-fascist organizing in Canada, about the organizations in which he is currently involved, about the basics of militant anti-fascist politics, and about the kinds of responses we need in the face of the resurgent far right in our current, very dangerous, moment.

You can learn about Antifa International here. You can learn about the International Anti-Fascist Defence fund here and you can donate to the fund here.

Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada. We give you the chance to hear many different people that are facing many different struggles talk about what they do, why they do it, and how they do it, in the belief that such listening is a crucial step in strengthening all of our efforts to change the world. To learn more about the show check out its website here. You can also follow us on FaceBook or Twitter, or contact scottneigh@talkingradical.ca to join our weekly email update list.

Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Hamilton (formerly Sudbury), Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.

Categories: News

The Frontlines Are Everywhere: Protect Yourself, Your Comrades, and the Movement

It's Goin Down - Sat, 02/25/2017 - 00:56

The post The Frontlines Are Everywhere: Protect Yourself, Your Comrades, and the Movement appeared first on IT'S GOING DOWN.

A message from the legal coalition at Standing Rock (Freshet Collective, Water Protector Legal Collective, and the Water Protector Anti-Repression Crew) the day after the eviction:

With the closure and militarized eviction of the Oceti Oyate camp, it is with strong spirits that we remind our relatives and comrades that these are indeed sacred times. The defense of water and assertion of Indigenous sovereignty did not end yesterday as law enforcement violently evicted Water Protectors from the unceded land we have called home for months. The struggle against the black snake and its world continues.

We also remind our relatives that this violent eviction is only one part of a well-coordinated and multi-dimensional strategy of repression by local, state, and federal law enforcement that seeks to crush our resistance.  Over 750 people face charges, and we are fighting back in the courtrooms.  Grand juries are active and issuing indictments, and we are resisting.  Federal agencies are knocking on the doors of our loved ones, and we are remaining silent.

Remember, the frontlines are everywhere, and movement defense is everyone’s responsibility.  It is critical that we do everything in our power to protect ourselves, our comrades, and the struggle for liberation.  Here are some practices we strongly encourage:

  • Avoid the spreading of rumor and gossip, as that only serves the agenda of the State in its efforts to divide us.  Triple-confirm information from primary sources.
  • Use social media with great care and always assume that your account is under heavy surveillance.  Social media content has been used repeatedly to bring both state and federal charges against Water Protectors.
  • If you or your loved ones are approached by law enforcement of any kind, exercise your right to remain silent.  Simply say: “I choose to remain silent. I want a lawyer.”  Remaining silent means you do not speak at all except for those words.  Anything you say can and will be used against you and your comrades.
  • If you or your loved ones are approached by law enforcement or harassed in any way, contact WPLC Legal Support at (701) 595-0737.
  • Continue to act in the spirit developed at the camps, one of graciousness and solidarity. Do not publicly condemn the tactics or choices of others.  Keep our internal debates internal, and accept disagreement.  When we air our criticisms publicly, we open up our movement to further state repression.
  • Maintain security of your phones and computers as much as possible. Use Signal Private Messenger for encrypted texts and calls whenever possible. Switch to encrypted email services like Riseup.net or ProtonMail.com.  But remember that no tech security is foolproof, so always be mindful of what you say and how it could harm yourself or others.
  • Visit our websites (links below) for lots more legal information, resources, and support.

Relatives and comrades, be vigilant but unafraid. We have stood together in this movement through many battles. We will continue to hold one another through the trauma of forced removal from Oceti Oyate. Care for yourselves and one another. Make space to mourn but also to celebrate our victories. This is what solidarity truly looks like.  We will face the next battle stronger than ever.   Mni wiconi!

Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC), Freshet Collective, and the Water Protector Anti-Repression Crew work in coalition to provide on-the-ground legal support and training for Water Protectors engaged in resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock. Support the attorneys here, and donate to the legal defense fund here.

Categories: News

White House bars some 'news' organizations from briefing

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sat, 02/25/2017 - 00:25

White House bars some 'news' organizations from briefing | 24 Feb 2017 | The White House excluded several major U.S. [fake] news organizations, including some it has openly criticized, from an off-camera briefing held by the White House press secretary on Friday, representatives of the organizations said.

Categories: News

We Killed Milo: What The Media Misses and Ignores

It's Goin Down - Fri, 02/24/2017 - 23:30

The post We Killed Milo: What The Media Misses and Ignores appeared first on IT'S GOING DOWN.

The role of the liberal intellectual establishment is to set very sharp bounds on how far you can go, ‘This far, and no further.’

– Noam Chomsky

A few weeks ago, it seemed like everyone from liberal elitists, to the Alt-Right, his now ex-publisher, and the mainstream media, wanted to defend Milo. Now, it seems that the same people couldn’t be happier to celebrate the troll’s demise, gleefully pointing out that Milo’s “reputation” has been defeated by many of the same tactics that gave him a mild celebrity for years. As always, absent from the storm however is any discussion on the role that grassroots opposition and mobilization played in bringing Milo down.

How could it, after all?

To give everyday people the credit for changing even just one thing, would be to acknowledge that change comes from below, not from elites like Obama or Trump, and certainly not from the mainstream media whose job it is to shape the minds of the masses through spectacle, not change their conditions.

It was militant direct action, clashes with the police, fighting with the Alt-Right, physically shutting down venues, applying pressure, and community organizing and outreach that stopped Milo. These tactics helped shine a spotlight on the toxic nature of the Alt-Right which Milo attempted to gain prominence through mainstreaming, while exposing the crossover nature of his support base which brought together college Republicans, the Trump administration, the manosphere, and active white nationalists. But resistance also came with a high cost, as it always does, as demonstrators faced both police violence and arrests, as well as attacks, including an almost fatal shooting in Seattle from a far-Right Milo supporter.

We, through our ability to organize ourselves into a material force did this, not the media that gave Milo a platform and who normalized his views. We created the crisis, while his comments on pedophilia only made possible the sword for him to fall on.

Meanwhile, the pathetic hand wringing of washed-up, well paid, and pathetically useless non-profit career activists, bureaucrats, politicians in waiting, clickbait journalists, and liberal talking heads whose job it is is to sit on top of the working-class and the poor and police them and their actions through moralizing, bureaucracy, and movement policing – did nothing but attack us as well. The same reaction was mimicked by Trump himself, as he threatened to defund UC Berkeley as a form of collective punishment.

In shitty blogs, editorials, and in sound bytes, they waited for the next opportune moment to be critical of everyday people putting their lives and bodies on the line while taking action. Liberals did nothing as we went to jail and faced charges, were attacked in the press, shot while holding our ground, and as the police sought to arrest us. Nothing. 

Meanwhile, the far-Right used opposition to Milo to claim there was a “cyber Jihad” on Trump supporters, ‘progressive’ professors claimed that the black bloc was working hand in hand with Milo himself, and media outlets everywhere contended that to physically confront Milo was to only give him a bigger platform. As opposition grew, the fight back seemed only to give the press more of a green-light to venerate him in the eyes of increasing resistance. Even as the attacks on Mosques and Islamic Centers spread across the US and white nationalists continue to carry out wave after wave of attacks, the mainstream remained in steadfast support of their favorite troll. As always, the real devils in the eyes of the establishment were everyday people willing to fight back, not a bourgeois talking head who supports Trump.

This is something that we have to remind ourselves as we push back against liberals in the center and the media: we didn’t give Milo a platform – we shut him down. The media gave Milo a platform, and demonized us. The liberals, they not only defended Milo, but attacked us as well. Don’t forget that, especially if you are hoping for some sort of antifascist or anti-Trump unity with those Left of center.

And so, the whole country was pushed to become terrified of groups of friends wearing black, while the Alt-Right was ushered into the Trump administration as simply another part of a broad “populist” coalition that has Steve Bannon essentially running the country while giving props to the founders of fascism and dreaming of a Trump alliance with European nationalist parties. We have former pals of Richard Spencer working with Trump, KKK fan Jeff Sessions in the government, a white nationalist at the head of Border and Customs Protection, Paul Ryan planning to gut benefit programs, and Betsy DeVos wants to attack unions and public education. In the background, laws are being put forward that further criminalize protests and demonstrations, giving the police and the State more and more power.

In the face of this, Milo was the sacrificial troll of the Trump regime. Proof that those that go “too far” will be dealt with, as the administration prepares for a broad assault on the American working population in an effort to make America great again for the billionaires.

We should feel good about Milo’s life collapsing around him, fuck him. But we should also be aware that the room that himself and others have generated for white nationalist and Alt-Right politics has allowed sections of the Alt-Right to be mined for ideas by the current administration and in some instances, been allowed to enter into the halls of power. These ideas haven’t been just normalized, they’re establishment. 

Let’s celebrate the death of Milo, but not forget that most of the real monsters don’t wear pearls and makeup as a means of promoting attacks on immigrants, African-Americans, and trans people. They aren’t hipsters and they don’t wear skinny jeans. Most of them don’t care about social media and being celebrities.

At the end of the day, it is these creatures who are much more dangerous than Milo could ever be.

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Categories: News

STATEMENT ABOUT OUR UPCOMING SHOW

SubMedia - Fri, 02/24/2017 - 21:38

Greetings Trouble Makers,

At the end of last year, we decided to put an end to our flagship project, “It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine” after a decade-long run. We did this in order to focus our energies on developing a new show concept — one that is designed to be watched in groups, and which we hope will foster productive discussions among comrades, or prospective comrades, in the years to come.

To this end, since December of 2016, we have been developing “Trouble,” a new monthly show offering in-depth anarchist analysis on various topics, struggles and movement dynamics. Our first episode, entitled “Black Snake Killaz: The Untold Story of the Red Warrior Camp”, about the fight to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (NoDAPL), was slated to premiere this coming Sunday, February 26th at 8pm EST. But true to our show’s name, we ran into some trouble.

After releasing the trailer, we were contacted by several members of the Red Warrior Camp (RWC), who raised a number of concerns with us. After some productive conversations, we have decided to honor a request made by these individuals to cancel the show’s release. On one hand this is bittersweet, as we have put lots of time and energy into this project, and we feel that their story is a vital part of Indigenous resistance history. On the other hand, as anarchists we understand the desire for autonomy and the need for accountability, so we totally appreciate and respect RWC’s request.

Our motivation in producing this film was to shed light on the important contributions made by RWC to the broader struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) because we felt that they had not been given the credit they deserved within the more mainstream narrative. In preparing our documentary, we interviewed four individuals who participated in RWC. It was never our intention to speak on behalf of RWC, or to represent the “official” RWC story. That said, there were established protocols in place that we were not properly familiar with, and they weren’t followed. This is, ultimately, our responsibility, and one we feel we must own up to.

We offer our sincerest apologies to the folks at the Red Warrior Camp, all those who were looking forward to the film’s release, and particularly those who had organized screenings, or were otherwise involved in the various stages of its production. As an independent media collective involved in social struggles for over two decades, we are not interested in producing content that causes harm or disrespect to the people we claim to support. This is what separates us from mainstream media outlets, who would rather get the story out first instead of getting it right. We hope that this lesson gets us closer to that goal, and that our practice benefits from this experience.

So what’s going to happen to “Trouble”? We have plenty of material to make another film about the NoDAPL struggle, without directly naming or implicating RWC. Stay tuned to sub.Media on March 26th, when we’ll try again to get it right with our first episode of “Trouble”, which will now be entitled “Killing the Black Snake: Behind the Scenes of the #NoDAPL struggle”.

 

Thank you to everyone who has supported and contributed to our journey over the years.

In solidarity,

sub.Media

 

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Categories: News

Boston Tech Collective Seeks (Micro)Lenders

Grassroots Economic Survival - Fri, 02/24/2017 - 20:22
Link: A loan to Charlie

Boston TechCollective is a worker-owned co-op offering enterprise-grade technical support to small businesses & non-profits. As a co-op, each of our employees becomes an owner with an equal stake and voice in the company. Unlike traditional for-profit businesses, our focus is on building a sustainable business for all of our employees. Worker-owned cooperatives tend to create long-term stable jobs, sustainable business practices, and linkages among different parts of the social economy, both locally and globally.

The original TechCollective in San Francisco was formed in late 2006, based on a simple, powerful idea: that tech experts, rather than managers, should be the ones in charge of a tech support enterprise! In 2012 one of our members moved to Boston and formed a separate team on the east coast. Both co-ops share resources and are founding members of the Tech Cooperative Federation.

Last year, we paid off our first Kiva loan. Thanks to your help, we were able to hire a full time staff member! Brian has been working with us for over two years, and is now a full owner of the business. We’re ready to expand again, which is why we’re asking for your help!

Read more and support the co-op at Kiva

 

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Categories: News

Empathy as Resistance

Grassroots Economic Survival - Fri, 02/24/2017 - 20:18
Link: Empathy As Resistance: Adversaries Shouldn't See Trump As A Monster

But these “natural” reactions to a dangerous adversary form a trap, locking us into Trump's formula for embroiling political discourse in a barrage of verbal violence. It likewise defeats the aims of resistance if they encompass respect for all people. Our net for “all people” needs to be broad enough to include Trump himself, his key allies such as Stephen Bannon, chief strategist, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, those affiliated with the alt-right and all purveyors of hatred. We can't afford to fall into the trap of counter-demonizing our demonizers. In the current toxic political environment, compassion and empathy become critical tools of resistance.

Trump consistently appeals to the worst selves of his supporters. From encouraging campaign audiences to rough up protesters to his statements about women, Muslims, Mexicans, reporters and political rivals, he has created a civic atmosphere that permits bullying, racism, misogyny, homophobia and so on. What may be less obvious: The president also appeals to the worst selves of his adversaries. He goads, he badgers, he offends, he provokes. He invites us to respond at his level of discourse. It's an invitation we must refuse.

Read the rest at Cognoscenti

 

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Categories: News

Don’t Just Follow Along: Some Critical Notes on Tactics and Discourse

It's Goin Down - Fri, 02/24/2017 - 19:27

The post Don’t Just Follow Along: Some Critical Notes on Tactics and Discourse appeared first on IT'S GOING DOWN.

We are all here to get our voices heard.

This may be true for some, but we question whether this applies generally to a crowd in a protest scenario. Did the various native tribes and individuals at Standing Rock set up camp to “get their voices heard,” or were they gathered to directly defend that which sustains them and allows them to live? Similarly, we believe some may go to a Black Lives Matter protest to “get their voice heard,” but we also know some go because they do not want to be shot or arrested by the police, in other words, because their life depends on it. There is no unqualified “we” at a demonstration nor anywhere else. To uncritically use “we” without thinking about how different the people present truly are is to level or flatten the real differences that exist between “us,” and produce a group that can only be unified on the basis of its most common features (being human, being present at that demonstration). This erases experiences and over-simplifies the problems that brought people out in the first place. This “we” is not a concrete or already existing group, it is an operation performed each time it is said that erases our differences to give the impression of unity in a group. 

It’s essential that we protect everyone’s freedom of speech.

The subtext of this statement reads: “even if they are a neo-nazi,” or “even if they support policies or forms of speech that put me in danger.” The individuals in the far-right, or the “alt-right”, also cite their right to free speech when they claim that the West is fighting a war against Islam (as Steve Bannon has), or that we need to rid America of all the foreigners (as Richard Spencer has), or that date rape and rape culture are non-existent (as Milo Yiannopoulos and Mike Cernovich have). If it becomes normal enough to say that Islam is trying to destroy the West, then why should we be upset when someone attacks a Muslim person praying in public? If it is normal and acceptable to discuss the white man’s claim to this country, then why should we be upset when our neighborhood association creates housing restrictions for immigrants from Mexico or China, or when ICE shows up to take them to a detention center? If we accept the denial of different forms of rape and sexual assault as legitimate positions, then who’s to judge whether anyone can be culpable for assault, or whether it was just “boys being boys”? Or consider the less obvious implications of the common insults of these alt-right figures. Paul Joseph Watson, for one, frequently refers to demonstrators as “autistic children” and “retards,” while Gavin McInnes refers to the left as “mentally ill perverts.” What does this say about people who are physically or mentally different? That they are less than human. These contain implicit declarations that people with these differences have no platform to speak or be seen, that they ought to be excluded and put away. Speech is not neutral. It exists in a historical context of violence. Discourse shapes the way we frame problems. It influences the way we act in the world we share together. Are deportation, exclusion, and sexual assault forms of violence? It depends on the discourse that frames them, be they legal or social. Just as the rules of a card game change the way you use the same cards, the way you speak and conceive of things changes the way you live your life. Speaking and acting are irreversibly intertwined and cannot be isolated from one-another.

Using violence only makes us as bad as those we oppose.

What this statement always takes for granted is the meaning of violence itself. What is violence, concretely? And more importantly, who defines and decides what it is? Debates around violence quickly descend into the infantile territory of quoting the dictionary to prove a point, as if the dictionary weren’t written with human hands and made by real people with their own presuppositions. We are doomed to circular arguments if we uncritically accept any of the vague definitions widely accepted. The question of who or what is violent always conceals the more important question: who has obtained a position from which they can denounce and punish violence as they define it? Today, the police and the far-right undoubtedly occupy this position. For this reason, forced deportation is not violence but law, while blocking roads is violent; breaking windows at a building where Milo is speaking is violent, while Milo leaking personal information of transgendered students to be harassed by alt-right trolls and students with illegal residence status to be targeted by ICE is lawful free speech; someone punching the proud white supremacist Richard Spencer is violent, while Spencer hosting articles about ethnic genocide on his website in a country built on slavery and colonialism is just “free speech.” Violence, in the end, is nothing. It’s indefinable because it shifts according to who has the power to define it. It nearly always operates downwards: those who hold the most power and control the most means of force will define anything that appears as a threat as “violent.” This is why the men who shot five people at a Black Lives Matter protest in North Minneapolis could claim self defense against “violence” from unarmed protesters, and why the man who shot an unarmed protester outside Seattle’s UW during a protest against Milo could say the same. You can disagree about the usefulness or kindness of a tactic, but the question of violence is, in the final analysis, nothing other than the question of who gets to decide what it is.

Don’t do anything illegal! Let’s keep this space safe!

This statement is especially absurd, since it’s often shouted by those already engaged in illegal behavior. Depending on the permit the organizers were able to get from the city, blocking streets, having a certain amount of people, and remaining in a space past a designated time may all be illegal. At the demonstration against the Muslim Ban at the MSP airport, demonstrators were often unaware that their presence in the airport had violated the terms of the permit. Similarly, when demonstrators moved onto I-94 to protest the election of Donald Trump in November, they chanted “this is a legal protest” while they engaged in decidedly illegal behavior. Whether an action is legal or illegal should never guide our conduct. Much of what we collectively consider tragedy in our history was carried out legally, like slavery, for example. Much of what we consider heroic was illegal, like helping slaves escape their plantations. At the same time, laws can change quickly and drastically as we’ve learned in the first few weeks of a Donald Trump presidency. Those who have opposed Trump on the basis of his “illegal” or “unconstitutional” behavior will have to come to terms with the fact that he will accomplish his deportations, his bans, his strengthening of white supremacist elements, and weakening of marginalized communities through primarily legal means, and with the infrastructure built by Obama. ICE and drone technology were drastically expanded under Obama’s eight years, for instance. Perhaps those who unconditionally supported Obama will only now be worried that he was able to remotely kill a U.S. citizen (Anwar al-Awlaki) without a trial using a drone. The over-reliance on legal discourse betrays a faith in a system of law that has been used to justify murder, genocide, slavery, and imperialism. Those who have managed to escape being affected by these processes will now have to decide whether law is more important than defending their neighbors, their friends, or themselves. Who among them would be willing to hide a refugee whose return home could mean death? Who would lie to the police who come to take them away? Who would fight the police? It may be the case that by not participating in illegal behavior, those who demand we follow the law are condemning everyone else to misery or death.

But when people antagonize the police, it puts everyone in danger.

We can’t help but think that people who say this haven’t had much experience dealing with the police. The actions of the police in Standing Rock provide a good example. The anti-DAPL protests have been largely within the tradition of nonviolent civil disobedience and yet the resisters there have been brutally attacked with pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades, tear gas and batons. They’ve been encircled by drones, investigated by police, and tracked on social media. Clearly, the police weren’t waiting for so-called “violence” to erupt before attacking. On the other hand, the demonstrators at UC Berkeley who shut down Milo’s speech threw barricades, used mace against white supremacists, shot fireworks and threw stones at the police and the building where Milo was speaking, and lit fires in the street. The police response was to hide in the building and then stay to defend campus as the crowd was able to march largely unaccompanied by police for hours. What these examples highlight is not the superiority of one tactic or kind of tactic over another, but rather the importance of understanding the particulars of each situation, the goals, and what it makes sense to do. If you are truly worried about police violence, in a situation where the police have relatively few numbers, running towards them to make them flee is a greater guarantee of preventing police violence than sitting down and waiting for them to amass their weapons. Those who most often make the above claim are ideological pacifists, who push the doctrine of civil disobedience in every scenario, even when it is strategically dangerous; protest organizers and their marshals who have a vested interest in keeping their grant money and being allowed to obtain more permits; and the police themselves, who obviously don’t want to be strategically out-maneuvered.

Trump will divide America.

Such a belief presupposes the idea that we were ever united. The truth is: we aren’t some big happy family being threatened by a tyrant, nor were we in the past. Some American’s ancestors were slave-owners, while others were slaves. Some American’s ancestors put natives in camps, while others killed Europeans. Some American’s parents or grandparents were arrested and jailed for having drugs, while others got rich off of free prison labor. Some American’s laughed at Obama’s jokes and cried when he got a Nobel peace prize, others lost siblings and fled from his bombing campaigns to a country that still largely despises them. There are no “Americans.” There are those with power, and those without it. The slogan “Trump will divide America” is born from the same well-intended historical ignorance as “we are all immigrants.” Native Americans were not immigrants, they were the victims of genocide and social cleansing. Africans were not immigrants: they were kidnapped and enslaved. Even many Irish and Europeans were hardly immigrants, but were trapped into indefinite involuntary servitude contracts. The only victors of a “united America” would be white, wealthy Americans in an ethno-state with colonial subjects. America was never great. More than that, America has never been anything except a parade of servitude and death, and the persistent image of American unity that always accompanies it.

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