News

Forest Defenders put Bodies in Front of Chainsaws to Disrupt Logging

It's Goin Down - Wed, 10/30/2019 - 21:22

The post Forest Defenders put Bodies in Front of Chainsaws to Disrupt Logging appeared first on It's Going Down.

Report from Earth First! Humboldt on ongoing actions to stop logging on Rainbow Ridge.

Honeydew, CA – Yesterday, logging operations during increased fire danger were disrupted by a group of forest defenders. The group is calling for Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC), the corporation that privately owns the timberland, to stop cutting trees on Rainbow Ridge, saying that the forest contains some of the largest unprotected Douglas fir and hardwood stands in Northern California and logging creates a heightened risk of forest fire.

Early in the day, forest defenders disrupted work at the logging site, engaging directly with loggers by physically putting their body in the way to stop the trees from being cut.

“This forest is a diverse ecosystem, it is a habitat corridor connecting the Lost Coast wilderness to the redwoods that are just a step inland,” said Meredith Dyer, a spokesperson for Earth First! Humboldt, a group that supports the actions of the protesters, “With every tree felled, road built, HRC is directly destroying endangered species habitat and contributing to climate change, removing hope that future generations have of surviving catastrophic climate collapse.”

Tim Meyers, Forester 1 for the Mattole region, arrived on the scene in response to more than 20 phone calls from local residents concerned about fire risk and to inspect the site during the Red Flag fire warning put in place for Northern California. According to the forest defenders, Meyers said there is a “fire danger, but the red flag warning doesn’t apply here and he can’t stop the loggers from working.”

The forest defender continued on, saying, “Logging in these dry conditions create a high risk of forest fire, with the use of logging equipment like chainsaws and heavy machinery. The removal of large, fire resistant trees also makes fires more likely in the future.” For residents living in the area, the Mattole Road is the only road in and out, making evacuation from a fast approaching fire challenging.

These logging operations come right after HRC ended operations in two timber harvest plans nearby. The cutting of those plans began last June despite opposition from the community which included two treesits and civil disobedience leading to 12 arrests. Of 800 acres approved to be harvested, less than 300 were cut. Four Humboldt County Sheriff vehicles were called to the scene yesterday, though no arrests were made.

Categories: News

Phone Zap for Comrade Keith Malik Washington

It's Goin Down - Wed, 10/30/2019 - 21:15

The post Phone Zap for Comrade Keith Malik Washington appeared first on It's Going Down.

Phone zap to support anarchist, IWOC member, and black liberation prisoner Comrade Keith “Malik” Washington.

Comrade Malik is currently being held in solitary confinement after being attacked at USP Beaumont. Other prisoners had previously warned that he was in danger at Beaumont and it is clear that he is being targeted because of his activism.

Malik urgently needs to get out of this dangerous environment, and to get moved to an institution in California so it will be be easier for him to start work at the Bay View right away when he gets released. There is no reason for him to be at Beaumont, given his security status and his upcoming parole status in California. A show of public solidarity and support is crucial in letting the prison officials know that we are watching out for him and they can’t get away with any more dirty tricks.

Please take a few minutes to help make sure our comrade gets transferred safely:

Who to Call: 

USP Beaumont- 409-727-8188

(if you only have time to make 1 call, call USP Beaumont!)

When calling Beaumont, ask to speak with:

– Larry Schultz- Warden

– Mr. Tenner- Unit Manager ext.4551

– Mr. Odstrcil- Case Manager

Fax: 409-626-3700

BOP Director, Kathleen Hawk Sawyer- 202-307-3250

BOP South Central Regional Office, Grand Prairie- 972-730-8600

Suggested Call Script: 

“Hello, I am contacting you on behalf of Keith Washington (#34481037), a prisoner who was recently assaulted while being held at USP Beaumont. It is my understanding that Mr. Washington is hurt and being held in the SHU with restricted access to the outside world and that an investigation is currently underway. I demand that you expedite this investigation as swiftly as possible, that Keith Washington be transferred to a lower security facility in California (where he will be living and working upon release) and that no further disciplinary measures are taken against Mr. Washington, a man who has no history of violence other than what he has been exposed to in your institution.

Can you confirm who the specific Designator currently working on Mr. Washington’s case is? Please be advised that we are currently seeking to pursue legal action to redress the harm that Mr. Washington has suffered as a result of your negligence, and will continue to contact you until he is transferred.”

Tips for Making Calls: 
  • Be firm but polite, insist on speaking to the person you are calling
  • Leave a message if no one answers
  • Refuse to give any information that you may be uncomfortable sharing with the state (e.g. full legal name, organizational affiliation, etc.)
  • Record phonecalls whenever psosible and send recordings to fighttoxicprisons@gmail.com
  • Send any new information gathered from calls to fighttoxicprisons@gmail.com or Tweet @FightXPrisons
Categories: News

Accountability, Backbone, and Change: Protocol for Community Care in Instances of Abuse

It's Goin Down - Wed, 10/30/2019 - 21:07

The post Accountability, Backbone, and Change: Protocol for Community Care in Instances of Abuse appeared first on It's Going Down.

Someone let you know that you caused them harm? Heard something of concern about the actions of yourself or a friend through the grapevine? Caught a call-out? Learn your ABC’s for Abusers and Allies.Post originally appeared at Grow Wild Apothecary.

Content Warning: Abuse, Sexual Assault

Disclaimer: The work contained in this post is extremely difficult to undertake, and is not guaranteed to produce desired results. While I have found it helpful, and see a lot of potential in incorporating it, it’s not for everyone. And that’s perfectly ok! Starting out with this protocol on lesser offenses may make sense.

Understanding that actions can never be taken back and that harm can never be undone, we must find strategies for stopping the cause of harm for good each time it happens in our communities. If we are gonna get serious about not relying on the kkkops and the state to use punitive action and force informed by the prison industrial complex to deal with it for us, we are going to need tools that are better than theirs. There’s been a lot of writings, workshops, and other work done on the left for decades on the topics of consent, rape culture, and accountability. Acknowledging that, can we agree on some shit though?

Gather Information

This step should be a prerequisite and ongoing effort. However, if it hasn’t been done before someone speaks up about the harm they have sustained by you or someone in your community, it’s never too late to start. Abuse takes place within a web of interlocking social dynamics that are defined and influenced by systemic oppression. The work of gathering information about systemic oppression, its different forms, and their intersectionality must be done to lay a foundation for having conversations about it with other people who experience it or experience privilege around it. Even if you have your own experiences of oppression, you must learn about that of others in order to understand its different forms and be able to develop a lens of empathy to see and recognize harm when it happens. Otherwise, the mechanisms put in place by western, patriarchal, colonizer culture will remain intact, allowing you to maintain your blindness to the reality of others’ experience and insulate you within a container of denial, invalidation of others, fragility, self-victimization, and excuses. Without this foundation, you won’t be able to understand and recognize harm, nor be accountable for change.

  1. Read autobiographies of Black, Brown, and Indigenous folks, women, LGBTQIA folks, Trans people, Elders, Survivors, Incarcerated folks, etc. If you haven’t ever done this, Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, and Phoolan Devi’s autobiographies are a good place to start.
  2. Listen to Miki Kashtan’s Facing Privilege conference calls, available for free at thefearlessheart.org
  3. Read White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo D. Study nonviolent communication by Marshall Rosenburg to decolonize your language in conflict resolution and learn how to offer empathy.
  4. Support and buy the art and music of people with more social barriers than you, and receive it with gratitude and openness.
Create Your Self-Care Toolbox

This will help increase your mental/emotional stamina and build a “backbone” for the hard work to be done. It will take staying present in the grief to come, which is a natural process to traverse in order to fully understand and empathize with the harm you have created or perpetuated. This is not the same as identifying yourself as an inherently horrible person, or “toxic”. While your behavior can be considered toxic in its effects and origin, you as a whole are a dynamic human being with the capacity to do better, and you must. Resist the urge to hate yourself into worthiness of being forgiven. That only serves to center yourself and maintain your state of overwhelm, from which you won’t be able to listen and empathize fully with the other person who received harm. Instead, you are called to go inside yourself and to honestly and sincerely take inventory of the harmful behavior, reflect on the effect it has had on others, and examine the root cause(s). This may mean looking at ways in which you have been abused in the past, unmet needs that you have, etc. Make sure to process this on your own time, and not with or in front of the person who has communicated the harm to you.

  1. Find a trauma-certified therapist who has experience in your area of focus (codependency, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse, substance abuse, race/gender privilege, homophobia, etc.) Al Anon, AA, and co-counseling are also great options.
  2. Create a list of strategies that help you to process and de-escalate when you become triggered or overwhelmed. Refer to this list in moments of compromised executive function, instead of making knee-jerk reactions or participating in more harmful behaviors to yourself or others. Make yourself pick one and follow through with it, and keep going through the list until the feeling of panic or overwhelm dissipates. You can: Take a walk. Drink water, eat something nourishing, Practice breathing exercises that activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Sing songs that feel comforting to you. Write f. Tarot/divination. Use medicines that work for you (motherwort tincture is a great in-the-moment option).
  3. Map out a support network by identifying different needs you have that require support from another person. These needs may be: someone to practice active listening with (potential co-counseling partner), someone who is good in emergencies, someone who knows you well and for a long time who can give you honest feedback and who can tell you the truth even if it hurts, someone who loves you unconditionally, etc. Reach out when you need to, and if you don’t have people for each of these needs or you only have a few people for all of them, try to work on broadening your support network. Keep it growing and nourished by giving back what you can to them when you can.
  4. Save the number for the suicide prevention hotline in your area. Call it anytime you need to. This can be super helpful and allow you space to decompress in a way that isn’t going to hurt the people around who care about you.
Make Amends

First, understand that making amends cannot undo what has been done. It does not entitle nor guarantee you the person’s forgiveness, immediately or ever. Be considerate of the fact that depending on the harm that was done and the other person’s past history/current wellbeing that your presence, contact, and words may trigger more harm regardless of what you say or do. Get consent from a trusted mutual or mediator before attempting to contact them, and ask what format of contact would be most preferred by them (in person, over the phone, via text/email, letters, etc). Give them as many options as possible. Even though they may or may not want contact with you, be ready or willing to have a conversation, or to forgive you, you can still do all of this personal work on your own and it will benefit you and the people in your life from more harmful behaviors in the future. However, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to offer amends to the person you hurt the most. It’s an important and necessary step for follow-through on the work you have done and holds huge potential for healing and recovery for them. You owe them this option. If they accept it, then enter that conversation knowing that you may be faced with a lot of anger, hostility, fear, grief, and many of the other emotions that may come out. Maintain empathy for the person over getting triggered yourself. Use your toolbox.

  1. Use active listening when the person is explaining their experience. Repeat back what they have said until they agree it matches what they meant to convey. Ask questions if you are unclear. Don’t respond, defend, or argue against anything they have to say, even if you don’t remember it that way or at all. Even if it’s offensive to you. Maintaining empathy through it is the only way you can have hope of lessening their pain and suffering.
  2. Acknowledge and name the actions that you took that were harmful to them, and take responsibility for them. Do not bring up any of what you have learned about where they came from, what they were influenced by, etc. That is another conversation if they are willing to have it later, but discussing it now will come off as excuses for why you did what you did.
  3. Express remorse for the harm created.
  4. (Optional) Let them know how seriously you are taking this by filling them in on some of the actions you have taken since you became aware of your behavior. Name the strategies you have used to help you be fully accountable (therapy, relying on the support network, studying others’ experiences, etc). Explain how this work has helped you insure that the behavior will not be repeated again. This may or may not be appropriate or needed depending on the situation.
  5. The survivor may be given the opportunity to make any requests. These are not demands, as you are still a sovereign being, and they have no real ability to enforce these requests upon you. Rather, they are making them from a place of vulnerability, because you can deny them, and they are trusting you to be responsible for following through with anything you agree to. These requests may be for reparations, for certain boundaries, or anything else. You may agree to them or offer alternatives if the request is impossible. However, to make your amends, you may need to go the extra mile here to show that you are sincere and willing to back up your words with action. Especially if you have the goal of forgiveness and reconciliation with the other person.
Make your Actions Match your Words through Changed Behavior

This is the most important functional goal of this process. If this isn’t achieved, then the previous steps need more work. Recognize that it’s easy to slip back into old patterns even after years of successfully changed behavior. Also recognize that while you may have changed as a person, it may take time for the one(s) you have hurt to see and recognize this. They may or may not accept you into their lives. Relationships go through the life/death/life cycle just as everything else, and even if the relationship dies and doesn’t come back, it may give rise to something else in your life – even a new relationship with yourself or others. You don’t need to require a continued relationship with the person in order for the process to be successful, you only have to hold them in respect and integrity as a human being and do your work to never repeat the harmful behavior again. A death of a relationship can be a positive outcome when it’s not steeped in passive aggression or violence, and when you respect and honor the boundaries set forth.

Take Responsibility for Becoming an Agent for Change in your Community

Unfortunately, harm is perpetuated all the time at all levels of colonizer society. You and your situation are not unique. What that means, though, is what you have learned is extremely valuable and relevant. When you recognize harm being inflicted in your community, especially by a friend or acquaintance of yours, using your new lens of empathy and understanding of systemic oppression, as well as personal experience, you now have more tools than most to de-escalate that harm and help support the healing and prevention process when appropriate. As you can see, there is so much more to this than a “like” and a “Cancelled” comment, or insulating yourself from the conflict, denial, or making yourself the judge jury and executioner of wrong vs. right, or even just punishing yourself into oblivion. You can support restorative justice with the end goal of stopping the behavior and making the community truly safe for everyone without playing a savior role either, which often serves to remove the person being harmed the most from their own power in the situation. Always center the person communicating their experience of the harm, and take into context the intersectional oppression at play. Stay in your own lane, avoid tone policing by responding with nonviolent communication and empathy, and keep away from reacting from a triggered place.

The most exhausting thing in life may be the act of giving empathy and receiving none in return. Yet, this is the work. This is the gift and the skill that must be honed in order to live and heal in a world devoid of empathy. It’s not possible to do this without learning to give yourself plenty of self-empathy, and that includes both a good self-care toolbox and accountability for growth. Even the worst, most disastrous situations can be your best teachers of this skill, if you will learn. Accept this as a challenge with courage and diligence, and you may be surprised how powerfully transformative it can be.

Categories: News

Prisoners Stage One-Day Hunger Strike and Work Stoppage at Santa Rita Jail to Protest Filthy Conditions & Abuse

It's Goin Down - Wed, 10/30/2019 - 20:25

The post Prisoners Stage One-Day Hunger Strike and Work Stoppage at Santa Rita Jail to Protest Filthy Conditions & Abuse appeared first on It's Going Down.

Report from Oakland IWOC on recent work and hunger strike against horrific conditions at the Santa Rita county jail, located in the bay area of California.

Prisoners inside Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, CA are staging a one day hunger strike and work stoppage to protest widespread institutional neglect and abuse, including unsanitary living conditions, price gouging, poor medical care, forced labor, and lack of access to legal resources. The self-organized protest began as a sit-in within a single housing unit, but organizers have called for a jailwide action on Wednesday, October 30th in response to poor jail conditions and indefinite lockdowns.

Conditions inside Santa Rita are at a “crisis point,” according to a statement released by strike organizers today. “Detainees are only provided cleaning supplies once a week…[and] are contracting lice, bed bugs, and flesh-eating staph infections from the MRSA virus,” organizers write, adding that jail staff routinely neglects medical and mental health emergencies. Many prisoners have self-harmed and are left with untreated wounds; individuals suffering from addiction withdrawal are not sent to the infirmary, and instead endure painful and dangerous symptoms in their dorms.

Attorney Yolanda Huang confirmed that “Santa Rita is one of the worst jails in the Bay Area. They are extremely disorganized and the facility is dirty despite the fact that they received $430 million a year.” Nine people have died in custody in 2019. Because inmate deaths that occur in local hospitals are not recorded as in-custody deaths, the actual number of deaths due to the jail is much higher. There are multiple active lawsuits against the facility and its personnel for wrongful deaths, abuse of pregnant women, guard-orchestrated assaults, and other forms of systematic abuse and neglect.

The Kincade Fire has recently exacerbated short-staffing conditions and lockdowns at Santa Rita. Huang explained that because Sheriff Ahern leads emergency responses for Alameda County, Santa Rita staff have also been redirected to the Kincade Fire, which began on October 23 in Sonoma County. As a result, prisoners are simply locked down in their cells with little access to scheduled visits, telephones, or medical care. Huang adds that two prisoners were hospitalized this past weekend.

In addition to facing inhumane conditions inside, strike participants are being threatened and intimidated by Santa Rita guards. One organizer has been transferred out to a more distant jail already, and others were threatened with 30 additional days of jail time. Advocates are calling on the community to contact the Sheriff’s Office and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to ask that detainees not be punished for engaging in peaceful protest.

Demands of the strike include:
● Better and more nutritious food, that is not spoiled nor served in
unsanitary ways
● An end to price-gouging for commissary, phone calls, and video
visitation
● More changes of clothing and laundry access
● Cleaning supplies
● Access to lawyers and legal library
● Daily exercise and recreation time

For more information, please contact:

Yolanda Huang: yhuang.law@gmail.com

Strike Statement Collectively written by strike organizers incarcerated within Santa Rita Jail, Alameda County, Dublin CA

Cell sanitation is at a crisis point. Detainees are only provided cleaning supplies once a week. The supplies provided are insufficient as is the time allotted to effectively clean their cells, sinks, showers, toilets, and floors. Blood-sucking gnats swarm the showers and cells. Detainees are contracting lice, bed bugs, and flesh-eating staph infections from the MRSA virus.

The protocols for sanitation are illogical. Detainees are only given one set of clothes for the week, to include one shower towel. This policy is in stark contrast to most other jails that provide four (4) sets or more of clothes per week.

New clothes are exchanged every Friday. Cell cleaning is scheduled every Saturday. Forcing citizen detainees to clean their cells, floors bathrooms, and showers in clean clothes and then sit in their new dirty clothes for the remaining six (6) days of the week. This is indignant and punitive treatment.

Homeless detainees are exchanged out of their filthy clothes and into clean jail-issued clothes without being showered or sanitized. They are then sent to filthy holding cells to sit and lay down in vomit, urine, feces, semen, food, and dirt-stained floors until they are transported to their new housing unit. They are then introduced to a dormitory cell shared by as many as 30 other detainees, comprised of regular citizens serving terms for drunk driving, drug possession, domestic violence, or awaiting their court dates, etc. Upon arrival to the dorm unit, known as a ‘pod,’ they are mandated to shower in the singular shower stall shared by all dorm mates. This spreads lice, bed bugs, and infectious diseases like MRSA; creating an obvious health hazard and public safety problem.

In the worst case detainees are exposed to heroin addicts introduced to the dorm without any medication. The heroin addicts involuntarily defecate on themselves, the floors, toilets, and showers creating an enormous biohazard. Rather than caring for the heroin addict in the infirmary, the detainees are made to tend to the addict, clean up the addict and his messes, and suffer the indignity, smell, and infectious disease risks associated with these intravenous drug users. The risk of exposure to Hepatitis, C-Difficil, Psuedomonis, E. Coli, and other infectious diseases is an illogical risk to the detainees and public health in general.

The jail is suffering continuous lockdowns due to insufficient resources, manpower, and apparent funding. Consequently, citizen detainees are being ‘locked down’ in their cells in excess of 22 hours a day. Family and attorney visits are being canceled due to lack of manpower to walk detainees to their visits. In many cases, families and attorneys who are traveling in excess of two (2) hours and/or flying in are being denied their visits upon arriving at the jail. They are given no notice and are having to return home. This is creating frustrations and costs that are unnecessary.

Detainees are being gouged by commissary prices, for personal food and supplies, that exceed 800% markup over retail store prices. For example, a single pack of Top Ramen noodle soup costs thirteen cents ($0.13) at Safeway. Its commissary price is one dollar and thirteen cents ($1.13).

Detainees are being gouged by excessive calling costs. The cost to place a call is twenty-three cents ($0.23) per minute with a 15-minute limit, and phones are limited. This is costly and punitive to detainees, their families, and lawyers. All calls are also recorded and monitored, precluding detainees from mounting their defense with counsel or speaking candidly or intimately to their loved ones.

For federal detainees the jail is required to have a law library. It does not! This precludes federal detainees from being able to mount their defense, creating a liability for the government, in that it gives those convicted an immediate appeal.

Detainees are being deprived of access to personal electronics commonly available at other jails. They are suffering the ability to remain connected and engaged to their families, jobs, and the world in general. For an otherwise innocent detainee this exacerbates their personal and professional hardship, costing many their relationships, jobs, and income; and precludes them from accessing the legal resources and intelligence to defend themselves. Detainees are requesting reinstatement of their ability to call, text, email, and use the internet to carry on their lives.

For more information on the hunger strike and/or if you suffered under the conditions of Santa Rita and wish to bear witness please call the law offices of Yolanda Huang, 510-329-2140.

Strike Demands

We the prisoners of Santa Rita Jail demand:

1. Food- more variety of food options that include fresh fruits and vegetables.

2. Costs of Commissary – prices at commissary should match the federal rates. Aramark needs to lower their rate, or a new supplier should be found.

3. Cost of telephone calls and access- prices for phone calls are too high, access and availability to too low. We want our own personal electronics with access to email, text messaging, and internet so we can access Netflix and other accounts.

4. Clothing – 2 sets of Blues, 4 sets of shirts, socks, and underwear, 2 sets of workout clothes. With exchange availability twice a week.

5. Law Library – We need access to the law library. If access is not granted, we are willing to access legal material via the internet.

6. Cell Cleaning – We want the option to clean our pods twice a week. We want clean mops with clean water; clean brushes and towels; more than 1 bottle of disinfectant solution per pod; better floor and shower cleaning supplies; pesticides that will kill bloodsucking gnats.

7. Mail – more reliable and on-time delivery especially for newspapers and an expedited
method of sending mail.

8. Bedding – Exchange Blankets monthly. Improve mattresses..too thin..too old..too dirty. Provide Pillows!!

9. Personal Disinfectants: Add to Commissary, make more easily available from the nurse/medics
• Topical antibiotics, bandaids, athlete’s foot spray
• Hydrogen peroxide/disinfectant
• Personal sanitation supplies
• Barbicide for hair clippers

10. Family & Attorney visits
• Stop placing prisoners in lockdown within 6 hours of visit
• Notify prisoners they have upcoming video visits
• Allow video visits to begin in lockdown
• Technicians should be set up to monitor communications

11. Upgrade TV & Speakers – hard to see; hard to hear

12. Stop turning phones off – promote family communication. Allow prisoners easy access to call
attorneys.

13. Mandatory POD and Out of Cell Time – Reduce Lock down times. 10 hours a day for minimum
security prisoners!!

14. Mandatory yard access – daily outdoor exercise

15. Adhere to State regulatory minimums – Title 15 standards

16. Stop recording personal and legal phone calls for pre-trial detainees. Interferes with prisoners’ right to legal representation and mount a legal defense.

17. Mandatory meal times. Stop having arbitrary meal times.
• Breakfast – 5:30 – 7:30 a.m
• Lunch – 11 am – 1 pm
• Dinner – 5 pm – 7 pm

18. Inmate Intake Sanitation. All incoming inmates must shower and clean hands, fingernails and toe nails before receiving clothing and housing unit assignments. Jail needs to control bed bugs, lice, staph, and other infectious diseases. Stop arresting the homeless! And if they are arrested they must be clean before being placing in housing units.

19. Clean the holding tanks and dress out rooms (for women)! Hot mop, pressure wash, bleach, pick up the garbage and disinfecting agents once a day. Holding tanks are filthy and health hazards.

20. Clean the multi-purpose rooms and all prisoner holding cells, daily with hot mops and disinfectants.

21. Coordinate clothing and bedding exchange immediately after Housing Unit cleanings.

22. Get Body Scanners. Stop the strip searches – they are ineffective, not yielding seizures, uncomfortable and dehumanizing. Adopt best practices.

23. Stop shackling minimum security prisoners during federal transport and demoralizing.

24. Provide signage and intake paper relating mutual terms and conditions of respect, conduct and privileges between detainees and deputies.

25. Assign key holders by ethnicity/affiliation to maintain order of rules. Self-police to reduce manpower burden on deputies in minimum security environments.

26. Santa Rita needs to evolve its systems and methods away from this punitive justice system and demoralizing, inhumane treatment of citizens and drug addicts to a modernized system and methods of restorative justice! The current system does not make our communities any safer! To the contrary, it makes them less secure! We need to build people up, make them productive and restore their health and vitality.

Categories: News

‘Is This About the Oil Industry?’ House Oversight Hearing Explores Big Oil’s Role in Weakening Clean Car Standards

deSmog - Wed, 10/30/2019 - 19:24
Alexandria Ocasio-CortezRead time: 6 mins

The House Oversight Committee, which last week heard testimony on the oil industry’s efforts to suppress climate science, continued to probe the industry’s deception and influence with a hearing on the Trump administration’s proposed rollbacks of clean car standards — rollbacks that stand to benefit Big Oil at the expense of consumers and the environment.

At Tuesday’s hearing of the Oversight Committee’s Environment subcommittee, the oil industry’s importance in affecting the weaker standards for vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions was front and center as Republicans led an ultimately unsuccessful effort to adjourn the hearing before witness testimony even began.

During the more than half hour delay, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised a question to her Republican colleagues:

Tags: Senator Sheldon WhitehouseAmerican Fuel and Petrochemical ManufacturersTrump Administrationclean car standardscalifornia waiverAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Categories: News

Anarchist bomb attack in Donetsk

Anarchist News - Wed, 10/30/2019 - 17:59

From a2day.net

On the Sunday morning, October 27, 2019, an explosion occurred in the Proletarsky district of Donetsk. The mobile communications tower of the Phoenix operator was blown up. The civilian population was not injured, but the equipment was destroyed. An explosive device was landed under a booth with equipment and triggered remotely. The people who committed the explosion published a video of the action. They also demonstrated a leaflet explaining their motives: “This was done to draw the attention to the inhuman tortures in the basements of the MGB (Ministery of State Security of “Donbass People’s Republic”). Abuses and tortures with electric wires in the “people’s” republics has become an everyday normality. The people of Donbass should go to a protest rally against tortures, or the fascist republic will be left without communication. ”

Our comrades from the Combatant-Anarchist resource report that they received anonymous information that this action was performed by anarchists, in memory of the act of Mikhail Zhlobitsky.

Tags: attackukrainebombvideo
Categories: News

Accountability, Backbone, and Change: A Protocol for Community Care

Anarchist News - Wed, 10/30/2019 - 17:53

From Grow Wild

***Content Warning: Abuse, Sexual Assault***

***Disclaimer: The work contained in this post is extremely difficult to undertake, and is not guaranteed to produce desired results. While I have found it helpful, and see a lot of potential in incorporating it, it’s not for everyone. And that’s perfectly ok! Starting out with this protocol on lesser offenses may make sense.***

Understanding that actions can never be taken back and that harm can never be undone, we must find strategies for stopping the cause of harm for good each time it happens in our communities. If we are gonna get serious about not relying on the kkkops and the state to use punitive action and force informed by the prison industrial complex to deal with it for us, we are going to need tools that are better than theirs. There’s been a lot of writings, workshops, and other work done on the left for decades on the topics of consent, rape culture, and accountability. Acknowledging that, can we agree on some shit though?

  1. The definition of accountability is still vague af.. What does it look like, feel like, sound like for a person to take responsibility for their actions? Certainly owning one’s actions is necessary, but is that enough to change behavior long-term and prevent it from ever happening again? Is that all that can be done for the survivor to move on with their own process of healing? Often, survivors won’t even get that. Reasons why can vary endlessly. From straight-up lack of care and compassion, poor or no of memory of the event, or fear of incurring harm upon themselves as a result of owning to harmful behavior. Self-victimization plays a role, especially as a result of white fragility or other forms of privilege. Take the below statistic, for example, that shows the vast majority of rapes committed by whites, even given the fact that whites receive far and way fewer convictions and lighter sentences than anyone else. Race_of_Perpetrators 122016It’s unsurprising that people with the most social privilege in society are the least equipped to deal with admitting their wrongdoings. A life of being given the benefit of the doubt does not support the deep and challenging work of taking an honest look at yourself, the effects of your actions, and digging in to find the cause and change the outcome of them. Yet, this is the work. A, B, and C of the aftermath: accountability, backbone, and resulting change of behavior is what we need. Asking or telling people to do things like “own your actions” or “apologize” or “be accountable” isn’t enough when we don’t know what that looks like, what is needed to do it successfully, have role models giving an example, etc.
  2. Every person and every situation is unique. Mix in some PTSD, narcissistic personality disorder, substance addiction, and other layers of cognitive function at play, as well as influences of intersectional social privilege and oppression, and it becomes almost impossible to know anything of relevance to the overall experience of abuse, sexual or otherwise. The document I am offering is only relevant in the types of situations where the people involved are more or less on the same plane of social strata, have no structural power of each other, and don’t rely on each other for basic needs to survive. Perhaps also without the ease of ability nor desire to remove themselves from the spaces they share with their abuser, whether that’s the town where they live, community spaces, mutual friends’ lives, etc. It’s relevant where the harm itself was severe enough to greatly impact the quality of life of the person who experienced it. Parts of the protocol may or may not apply to other less or more severe situations, or to other types of situations where one party experiences significant freedoms over the other, including for example citizenship, freedom from incarceration, race or gender privilege, physical or mental ability based privilege, and many other possibilities. This is not one-size-fits-all. We must support and encourage other survivors who choose to undertake writing a protocol for the “ABC”‘s of abuse that is suited to their specific situation as well!
  3. While my hope is that others find something nourishing or valuable in this, it is still based on my own experience. It’s prompted by an out-of-the-blue correspondence initiated by my abuser’s current partner. It was hard as hell to hear them out, and to get to the bottom of their intention of writing me. But what came out of it was their overall frustration of the lack of effective strategy for dealing with abuse in small communities. They gave me this question: thequestion I told them I needed to think on it. And since then, I’ve put in dozens of hours organizing my response. I’ve done my best to do it as thoroughly and straightforwardly as possible. Over the years, I’ve delved into the work that’s been done thus far on the subject by feminists, survivors, and indigenous community leaders. I’ve also put in literally hundreds of hours and personal resources towards trauma therapy for myself, over the course of a year and a half. I have been building my personal growth work and strategy toolkit. I was able to navigate this conversation, which honestly began in the most harmful way possible, without getting triggered. However, it was still harmful. More on that in Getting Closure Without Accountability.

I’m ready to share what I have come up with based on everything I have learned. I’m sure I will continue to learn, and this can’t possibly be the start nor end of something. My goal is both simple and serious: to heal from and prevent further harm. To deescalate harm whenever possible. To effectively support those who have been harmed as opposed to what often happens in small communities. I’ll name a few examples just to illustrate some all too common outcomes of the current status quo of accountability, and how they harm the survivor as well as the community as a whole:

  1. The survivor is either ignored or gas lit. Denial that the harm occurred. Sometimes the survivor loses friends, sometimes many friends, who would rather not engage or “pick sides”. This causes obvious harm to the person by lack of support in a period of grief or vulnerability. For the community, it creates deep rifts and polarizes people in a way that creates loss of relationships rather than deepening them. People watching this going down learn how risky it is to address harms, so it makes it that much harder to speak up. The harmful behavior is perpetuated.
  2. The survivor is blamed for the harm they experienced, or for other actions they have taken in an effort to distract or subtract from the harm they spoke up about. This is obviously severely harmful to the person already in the most vulnerable state, but it also has the rest of the effects as above for the community as a whole. Self-harm on the part of the survivor is another threat that comes up with this outcome.
  3. The survivor is not centered in the actions taken to achieve accountability. This is often well-intentioned but harmful just the same. When people take liberties sharing the person’s story without permission or add their own twists. When people commit acts of violence or sabotage against the abuser that was not the intention of the survivor. When people capitalize on the situation to visually position themselves as an “ally”. This not only escalates harm, it also can cause the abuser to take their behaviors elsewhere into a community where they are unknown, and where they have even less resources for doing the work necessary to change those behaviors for good. It can make the survivor feel grateful that people didn’t ignore them, but maybe a bit tokenized too. It can complicate the survivor’s feelings about their choice to speak up when it resulted in outcomes they did not want nor ask for.

None of these outcomes are mutually exclusive, nor limited to these possibilities, which tend to overlap more often than not. But it’s time to do better. We must.

Whether it’s to articulate your needs and requests, to demand better support, to be able to rest in the knowledge that the behavior won’t be repeated, or to just know that you aren’t alone in seeking accountability, there are many valuable outcomes that can come from an accountability process that works. This work is ever-evolving to meet the needs of a variety of people in a variety of situations. And we need to keep pushing it forward and adding what we learn to the pot, making it more accessible. I’ve attached some references of work that’s been done on this topic, but it often uses transphobic language, doesn’t include a lens of intersectionality, and almost none of them include actual tools to support people in creating lasting change in themselves. We don’t need another laundry list of do’s and don’ts. We need a systematic protocol that’s as flexible as it is grounded, as focused on outcomes as intentions, and easily called upon in situations of duress.

If you or your friend been called out/in for abusive behaviors, want to do better, but don’t know how, I hope that this document can give you a jumping-off point. And remember, the only acceptable apology is changed behavior. This is your responsibility. You won’t be offered empathy unless you are very lucky and the person you have harmed has enough emotional grit to offer it. It can be exhausting to offer empathy without receiving it in return, but again, this is the work.

If you have sustained harm from the abusive behavior of someone in your community, and want to have a template to use for asking for what you need to feel safe, recover, and stop the cycle of abuse, I hope that this may be of use to you.

Cheers to change.

Rox Roots

swampwaterstomp@gmail.com

Tags: raperape cultureconsentaccountabilitycommunity carecommunity defenseabolish prisonstransformative justicesocial justicesurvivorsabusesexual abusewhite fragilityfacing privilege
Categories: News

Jeffrey Epstein's autopsy more consistent with homicidal strangulation than suicide, Dr. Michael Baden reveals

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Wed, 10/30/2019 - 17:26

Jeffrey Epstein's autopsy more consistent with homicidal strangulation than suicide, Dr. Michael Baden reveals | 30 Oct 2019 | The body of [Deep State] sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in his Manhattan federal prison cell in August, bore telltale signs of homicide despite an official ruling that he killed himself, a pioneering forensic pathologist revealed to "Fox & Friends" in an exclusive interview Wednesday. The bombshell claim by Dr. Michael Baden, a former New York City medical examiner who has worked on high-profile cases during a five-decade medical career, is certain to reignite suspicions that surfaced immediately after Epstein, who was awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges involving underage girls, was discovered dead in his cell on Aug. 10. Baden, who was hired by Epstein's brother and observed the autopsy, told Fox News its findings are more consistent with homicidal strangulation than suicidal hanging. He noted that the 66-year-old Epstein had two fractures on the left and right sides of his larynx, specifically the thyroid cartilage or Adam's apple, as well as one fracture on the left hyoid bone above the Adam's apple, Baden told Fox News.

Categories: News

The Owl that Wasn’t There

Farm Wars - Wed, 10/30/2019 - 16:57
Barbara H. Peterson When I lived in a beautiful, wooded area near Georgetown, California, I made friends with the local founding family, who harvested trees, performed tractor work, and were the all-around people to go to for the basics in the area. Their names were Cal and Deed. Yes, real names. They knew their business, […]
Categories: News

How global collaboration can be a shield against litigation

Global Muckracker - Wed, 10/30/2019 - 15:31

When lawyers from banking giant HSBC faced off against reporters from the Guardian prior to the publication of the Swiss Leaks investigation in 2015, their initial approach was to threaten the journalists with an injunction.

David Leigh Investigative Journalism book cover

As former head of the Guardian’s investigations unit David Leigh recounts, the lawyers’ tones changed once they discovered the breadth and depth of the journalistic investigation.

This edited excerpt from Leigh’s new book, Investigative Journalism: A Survival Guide, tells the behind-the-scenes story of the investigative collaboration between the Guardian, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Le Monde and more than 40 other media outlets on a trove of leaked files detailing the clients and the inner workings of HSBC’s private Swiss branch.

Following the success of the Offshore Leaks and Luxembourg Leaks investigations in 2013 and 2014, the ICIJ team went on next to crack open the activities of a Swiss bank.

This time it was reporters from Le Monde in France who decided to share their riches with other journalists. The leaked files in question had passed from a Swiss whistleblower, Herve Falciani, to the French tax authorities – who had done very little with it. This was no doubt for reasons of political embarrassment connected with the French names that appeared on the list.

The material had then found its way to Le Monde, who realized it had global possibilities – and indeed needed global resources that would unlock it. The data was a series of 30,000 customer records at a Swiss bank operated by the giant British firm, HSBC. The clients came from all over the world and the files revealed their identities, their interactions with the bank and the amounts in their accounts. Like the British Virgin Islands, Switzerland’s stock-in-trade is financial secrecy – Swiss bankers can go to jail for revealing any of this information. As a result, their banks are magnets for tax-dodgers, corrupt politicians and criminals.

Recommended reading

Following a joint meeting of the intended collaborators in Paris, the Guardian led on the British end of operations: this was where HSBC was headquartered.  I was called in by the paper to run a team assembled from business reporters, the core investigative team and outside experts. Our remote link to ICIJ was through an online database where the leaked files were available for journalists to peruse.

As with previous investigations, using technology to make the vast data trove searchable was once again the key: it enabled us to demonstrate potential wrongdoing by the bank’s officials. We were able to extract lists of customers from Britain and high-tax countries in Scandinavia, who would leave the bank in Geneva, and head home with their briefcases bulging with “bricks” of untraceable cash in their local currencies.

Similarly, we were able to collate files showing that when the EU sought to impose a general withholding tax on Swiss accounts, the bank systematically offered to help its customers circumvent it by switching their money into new accounts in the name not of individuals, but of offshore companies. People in the bank were well aware that it was a haven for tax-dodgers.

The bank was therefore trying to protect itself from its own angry customers by in turn, threatening us.

The most delicate task we carried out in London for ICIJ was to negotiate with HSBC. It demonstrated once again that, for investigative reporters, finding things out is only half the problem. The other half is the problem of successful publication. As soon as we asked a long list of customers why they had Swiss accounts, those alarmed clients rushed for their own lawyers. The bank’s hired legal team began to utter ferocious threats to the Guardian and the ICIJ, trying to prevent publication. In dealing with this, we were to benefit from basic survival lessons learned over years of investigative journalism.

We realized that many of the account-holders were protesting to the Swiss bank that the bankers were not keeping secret their financial information, as advertised. This carried the implied threat that they could sue HSBC for failed security if we published. The bank was therefore trying to protect itself from its own angry customers by in turn, threatening us. The answer was not necessarily to embark on a legal fight to the death with HSBC: it was to reassure the bank.

We explained carefully to HSBC that we were happy to promise not to disclose any details of their individual customers – unless we found actual evidence of wrongdoing. From the bank’s point of view, this was indeed reassuring. They could promise legitimate customers that nothing would be made public. The selected crooks and tax-dodgers that we proposed to identify, on the other hand, would be not at all likely to put their heads above the parapet by launching public lawsuits.

As for the bank’s own position, we were able to explain to HSBC’s public relations team that they would not save the bank’s reputation by getting a U.K. legal gagging injunction against the Guardian. On the contrary, that would merely provide a bigger and better story – about the attempt at a cover-up – and it would be unstoppably published all round the world by ICIJ and their other foreign partners. Surely, it would be much better for the bank to say how shocked they were to discover unsavory goings-on by their customers, and promise to tighten up…? They saw the point.

Investigative Journalism: A Survival Guide was published in September by Palgrave Macmillan. 

The book draws upon David Leigh’s four decades of reporting experience to shed light on the art of investigative journalism, from dealing with legal bullies and intelligence agencies, to withstanding conspiracy theories and negotiating with media bosses. Leigh, one of ICIJ’s founding members, also takes readers behind the scenes of some of the biggest news events of the past 40 years, including working on investigations with WikiLeaks, Edward Snowden and ICIJ.

The post How global collaboration can be a shield against litigation appeared first on ICIJ.

Categories: News

Jeffrey Epstein's injuries look more like murder than suicide, noted pathologist says

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Wed, 10/30/2019 - 15:05

Jeffrey Epstein's injuries look more like murder than suicide, noted pathologist says | 30 Oct 2019 | Since his brother was found dead in a New York City federal jail in August, Mark Epstein has been worried that his life, and the lives of other people, may be in danger because federal authorities, believing that Epstein committed suicide, have not fully investigated what happened to his brother, sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. Now a private forensic pathologist hired by Mark Epstein to oversee his brother’s autopsy bolsters what conspiracy theorists have suggested for months: that the evidence does not support the finding that Jeffrey Epstein killed himself. Dr. Michael Baden, one of the world’s leading forensic pathologists, viewed Jeffrey Epstein's body and was present at the autopsy, which was held the day after Epstein was found dead at the notorious Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Manhattan.

Categories: News

“Headshot Antifa Scum”: Joey Gibson Associates Escalate Calls for Violence Following Murder of Portland Anarchist

It's Goin Down - Wed, 10/30/2019 - 04:01

The post “Headshot Antifa Scum”: Joey Gibson Associates Escalate Calls for Violence Following Murder of Portland Anarchist appeared first on It's Going Down.

Far-Right followers of Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson celebrated on social media after appearing to take credit for putting up stickers calling for the murder of ‘ANTIFA’ around the memorial of a slain 23 year-old anarchist, Sean Kealiher, who was killed in a hit in run accident several weeks ago. The stickers come a little over a week after another Patriot Prayer associate wrote in chalk, “He deserved it,” among other slogans, at the memorial site where Sean was killed.

These incidents are only the latest in an escalation of both calls for violence and real world attacks against members of the public and anti-racists and antifascists in the Portland area by the far-Right. This reality has also been coupled with an online disinformation campaign which has downplayed far-Right violence and hate crimes, while pushing to demonize social movements. This push has been headed by grifters like Andy Ngo, who has continuously embedded themselves within groups like Patriot Prayer, while also being given a huge platform by pro-Trump corporate media outlet Fox News, among others.

Alyssa Vinsonhaler holds up sticker that appeared around memorial for Sean Kealiher

On Saturday, October 26th, antifascists on social media documented that stickers were found around the area of Sean’s public memorial, which was organized by Sean’s family. Several far-Right trolls also showed up in person to the memorial in order to harass people. In one sticker that read, “HEADSHOT ANTIFA SCUM,” a man wearing a ski mask can be seen blowing the brains out of an antifascist with a gun while also wearing a shirt which boasts a white nationalist iron cross symbol. The bottom of the sticker includes the slogan, “goodnightleftside,” which is often used by neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups.

Other stickers featured a caricature of local antifascist Luis Enrique-Marquez, who is currently suing Joey Gibson for defamation, after Gibson pushed baseless accusations that Marquez was a pedophile. Ironically, Gibson is known for working closely with several individuals that have histories of sexual assault and child molestation.

Haley Adams the organizer of the #HimToo event in Portland had this to say about white pride. pic.twitter.com/YByFXhpWiF

— Storm (@xBc26x) November 18, 2018

On Facebook, Haley Adams, who refers to Joey Gibson on Facebook as her “best friend,” and who has been at the center of organizing far-Right demonstrations along with groups like Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys, posted up a photo of Alyssa Vinsonhaler, another Patriot Prayer supporter, holding a sticker featuring the cartoon image of a man giving the middle finger with the words, “FUCK YOU ANTIFA,” and “PUSSY’S!!!” This is one of the same stickers that was posted up around Downtown Portland the day before at Sean Kealiher’s memorial.

Who do these scumbags from #patriotprayer think they’re fooling? pic.twitter.com/BM2SmkJ0R5

— Antifa Human Resources & Comrade Relations (@Antifa_HR) October 28, 2019

After this was documented by antifascists on social media, the official Patriot Prayer Facebook page posted a statement which read: “whoever did that DID NOT represent or coordinate with Joey Gibson.” This statement seems to be an attempt by Gibson to save face, as Adams and Vinsonhaler are known for working closely with Gibson, all three regularly appear at protests together, and Gibson and Adams recently returned from a long trip to DC, where both attended a pro-Trump rally.

This is who the right wing is – at a memorial site – these were found before it started- all were taken down – again these were at a memorial pic.twitter.com/B1MR4G3Txf

— leftist (@luistheleftist) October 26, 2019

For almost a year, supporters of Patriot Prayer have attempted to brand Vinsonhaler as a “former member of Rose City Antifa,” with Vinsonhaler helping to build this perception online. In a report RCA wrote:

While Vinsonhaler’s tacit claim to membership in Rose City Antifa is entirely false, a short-lived correspondence between Vinsonhaler and Rose City Antifa did occur when she contacted us with an interest in working with our organization in 2018. We promptly declined for two main reasons: her understanding of anti-fascism and left-wing politics in general was virtually nonexistent, and she had very recently applied to become a police officer in the city of Gresham. Her failure to advance beyond this preliminary stage of vetting was the extent of her “relationship” with RCA. Any further association that Vinsonhaler claims with RCA is a lie.

Since early 2019, Vinsonhaler has been a regular at far-Right events alongside Joey Gibson, including harassing and attempting to attack DSA members at Portland’s IWW hall last winter, while posting online in support of increasingly racist and white nationalist ideas and politics.

Alyssa Vinsonhaler and Haley Adams

Far-Right stickers advocating the murder of ‘ANTIFA’ come only two weeks after another Patriot Prayer associate, Katy Weisberg, posted photos of themselves on Facebook writing “He Deserved It,” “Trump 2020!,” “Good Night Black Bloc,” and “MAGA” on the sidewalk where Sean was murdered. On a post on Facebook, Weisberg posted, “I wrote that lol.”

Weisberg takes credit on Facebook for writing, “He deserved it,” at memorial

Weisberg is another regular at far-Right protests in Portland and was photographed carrying a brick during the attack by Patriot Prayer, white nationalists, and Proud Boys on Cider Riot on May 1st of this year. In the lead up to the August 17th Proud Boy rally in Portland, Weisberg also shared memes advocating the ISIS styled murder of antifascists via decapitation.

Weisberg armed with a brick on May 1st before joining in the attack on patrons outside of Cider Riot. Far-Right grifter Andy Ngo can also be seen in this photo.

Weisberg shares a meme depicting the ISIS styled beheading of an antifascist in the lead up to the August 17th Proud Boy rally.

Currently, various supporters of Joey Gibson and Patriot Prayer are in the midst of various lawsuits and court cases, stemming from the violent attack against patrons at Cider Riot on May 1st and assaults carried out by individuals such as Tiny Toese. In August, Patriot Prayer associate Shane Kohfield also had his weapons confiscated under Oregon’s so-called “Red Flag Laws,” after making violent threats about “slaughtering” antifascists.

Patriot Prayer's Shane Michael Kohfield (https://t.co/GhOUoLiYfs), who has openly threatened to "slaughter" anti-fascist activists, discusses his plans to approach anti-fascists in the hope of finding an excuse for murder. We've seen talk like this before: https://t.co/G1tGHJI40N pic.twitter.com/yyicDL8LQg

— Always Antifascist (@RoseCityAntifa) August 6, 2019

According to Oregon Live:

His protest activity….has been limited to the event outside the mayor’s house and a right-wing rally last fall in downtown Portland, both organized by local conservative activist Haley Adams.

Shane Kohfield stood outside the home of Portland’s mayor in July wearing body armor and a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap, a large knife strapped to one shoulder and a copy of his concealed weapons permit displayed on the other.

Using a loudspeaker, he warned the right-wing activists who turned out to condemn the city’s handling of recent violent demonstrations that they needed to protect themselves against their anti-fascist, or antifa, rivals.

“If antifa gets to the point where they start killing us, I’m going to kill them next,” Kohfield, 32, said. “I’d slaughter them and I have a detailed plan on how I would wipe out antifa.”

Moreover, last year it was revealed that far-Right attendees at a Patriot Prayer rally in August of 2018 were found by police stationed on a rooftop with high powered weapons, directly above counter-protesters – but were let go by police. Logs released by Unicorn Riot also show that local neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups use Patriot Prayer events as both a grounds to recruit and also engage in violent attacks on antifascists.

Over two years, Tiny has assaulted people regularly during Patriot Prayer and Proud Boy rallies in Portland, and separately beaten two people on the street–a man in Portland, and a black youth in Vancouver–for talking back after he shouted pro-Trump slogans from his car. pic.twitter.com/59NJcdegyb

— Always Antifascist (@RoseCityAntifa) October 24, 2019

But threats of violence from the far-Right in the Portland area has also resulted in real world bloodshed. Patriot Prayer rally attendee Jeremy Christian in 2017 murdered two people on a Portland train and almost killed a third after harassing two women of color. Associates of Joey Gibson and members of the Proud Boys have also engaged in multiple assaults against Portland community members and sent numerous people to the hospital.

Joey Gibson rallies alongside Alyssa Vinsonhaler and Haley Adams

Far-Right public support for the murder of antifascists in the Pacific Northwest is nothing new. In August of 2019, the Oath Keepers backed out of a Proud Boys rally in Portland after It’s Going Down publicized organizers public calls for violence.

They wrote:

Those angry statements cannot be undone, and despite the organizers and planned attendees subsequently dialing back on the rhetoric, those prior statements are already being used against them by their political opponents and by the leftist dominated media.   All of the angry videos,Twitter posts, and incriminating photos, etc by the organizer leading up to this rally have been preserved by Antifa and their supporters. Likewise for memes/graphics posted by planned attendees depicting violence against Antifa.

The ongoing support and push for real world violence and murder by Patriot Prayer supporters mimics that of other far-Right groups and media outlets, where the leaders of the movement and those in charge of creating online content produce a never ending stream of outrage and anger for their audience in an effort to bring in money and followers. While these individuals themselves may never engage in physical violence, they help foster an environment where the possibility of lone wolf attacks increases and grows more real by the day.

Categories: News

George Papadopoulos launches campaign to run for Katie Hill's congressional seat

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Wed, 10/30/2019 - 00:58

George Papadopoulos launches campaign to run for Katie Hill's congressional seat | 29 Oct 2019 | Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos on Tuesday launched a campaign to run for the House seat vacated Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.). Papadopoulos filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission declaring the beginning of his campaign. The former Trump associate floated his campaign launch online, saying he would make an announcement "soon on my interest in Katie Hill’s soon to be vacant seat in the 25th district!"

Categories: News

Senate Hearing Calls out the Influence of Dark Money in Blocking Climate Action

deSmog - Wed, 10/30/2019 - 00:03
Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseRead time: 6 mins

Today Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) led a hearing of Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis, which examined “Dark Money and Barriers to Climate Action.” The testimony of the expert panel and the questions and observations from senators reinforced the overwhelming influence of money — and specifically untraceable donations known as “dark money” — working against action on climate change.

Tags: Senator Sheldon Whitehouseus senatenaomi oreskesJustin FarrellDark Money
Categories: News

Court blocks release of Mueller grand jury materials

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Tue, 10/29/2019 - 23:43

Court blocks release of Mueller grand jury materials | 29 Oct 2019 | A federal circuit court on Tuesday evening temporarily blocked the Department of Justice (DOJ) from having to release grand jury materials from former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling in the 2016 election. A three-judge panel on the circuit court for the District of Columbia put a stay on a district court's earlier ruling that the DOJ had to hand over the documents, pending an appeal from the agency. All three judges were appointed to the court by former President Obama.

Categories: News

From Chile: An Anarchist Analysis

Anarchist News - Tue, 10/29/2019 - 22:11

From Anarchists Worldwide via mpalothia

Note from Anarchists Worldwide: The following text contains graphic descriptions of police / military violence including sexual assault.

Chile is currently experiencing a State of Emergency decreed by the right-wing government of Sebastián Piñera as a result of the outbreak of a revolt that exploded on Friday, October 18, 2019.

This text originated with the need to communicate to comrades from different parts of the world the present situation that is experienced in this territory.

From an anarchist point of view, we share here what we consider to be some main points to make known and to contribute towards understanding the current moment.

PRELUDE: YOUTH IN STRUGGLE AND THE SPARK THAT IGNITED THE FIRE

After a week of mass fare evasion on the metro service, featuring mainly high school students during the month of October before the public transport fare increase, multiple instances of individual and collective disobedience that resulted in the destruction of infrastructure and confrontations with the police forces inside and outside the metro stations, spread throughout various parts of the city of Santiago.

On Friday, October 18, the spread of these mass fare evasions and the level of radicalism they developed was unsuspected by many and underestimated by the government which, along with its loyal journalists and social investigators, still cannot explain why these events led to a situation of widespread chaos that continues to this day.

ACT ONE: OUTBREAK OF AN UNPRECEDENTED REVOLT IN POST-DICTATORSHIP CHILE

On Friday, October 18, the situation of revolt was radicalized at the moment when confrontations with the police and the destruction of capitalist infrastructure took over the streets of downtown Santiago. Initiated on the outskirts of the government palace, the actions of street violence did not take long to spread late into the night in various parts of the city.

Faced with a situation of generalized rebellion and diffuse chaos in multiple urban sectors, the police forces were unable to contain the outburst of rage that since that day has infected broad sectors of a society no longer asleep and fed up with broad sectors of oppression and precarization of life originated in the continuity of the neoliberal economic system and the police state installed in Chile during the recent civil and military dictatorship (1973-1990), conditions of existence and domination strengthened by the centre-left and right-wing governments that have alternated in power after the return to democracy.

The riots that began in the centre of the city were later joined by thousands of people demonstrating in the neighborhoods, beating empty pots as a form of protest and also activating riots, fire and destruction materialized in dozens of buses and public and business buildings attacked, looted and burned, having as a crucial element the dozens of subway stations that hordes of individuals full of rage vandalized and set on fire until late into the night.

The government did not let much time pass before declaring a state of emergency in the city of Santiago, a state of exception that includes the deployment of military personnel to the streets and the control of order by the Armed Forces.

However, a massive, organic, uncontrollable and unprecedented revolt in the post-dictatorship scenario was already unfolding, destroying in practice the obedience, submission and fear imposed by decades of capitalist rule in Chile.

ACT TWO: EXTENSION OF DESTRUCTIVE INSUBORDINATION AND COMMENCEMENT OF CURFEW

On Saturday, September 19, the military forces are deployed throughout various parts of the city in the face of the persistence and exacerbation of the unrest. In the centre of Santiago and in the peripheral barrios the military guard the streets, commercial areas and subway stations. However, demonstrators of all kinds did not retreat and generally repudiated the military presence with the vivid memory of the repression experienced a few decades ago during the years of the dictatorship.

That same day, the number of buses, cars and subway stations torched by demonstrators increased. At the same time, the looting of supermarkets and large shopping centres becomes uncontrollable, and the image of hundreds of people recovering their lives by snatching merchandise from the consumer centres has become one of the most vivid images of the days of revolt and constituted an important factor for the government, overwhelmed by the looting and violence, to implement the curfew that same night in the city of Santiago.

Without any shame, the President and the military chief in charge of the city communicate to the media the restriction of “civil liberties” that began that evening from 7PM until 6AM the following morning. That night, demonstrations, riots, looting, fires and confrontations with the repressive forces continued again until the early hours of the morning throughout the city.

Between Saturday and Sunday the spark of rage spread even further, igniting mass demonstrations and scenes of savage violence in other regions of the country, giving way to a new moment of generalized chaos with multiple acts of rebellion and riots in various cities, leaving under siege, ruins and ashes in just a couple of days a good part of the urban infrastructure with barricades, vandalism and arson attacks on municipal buildings, government buildings, shopping centres and official media buildings. By that time the revolt had already surpassed any specific demands as people from diverse origins and places found each other in the street in the middle of the protests and riots opening a huge critical rupture in the Chilean neoliberal system and its model of capitalist/extractivist exploitation that affects the whole territory.

Since Sunday, October 20, the State of Emergency and the curfew measure were declared by the government against the uprising cities, however, the riots continued to unfold late into the night surpassing the impositions and demonstrating that the anger and violence unleashed by the people against the established order had broken the fear and passivity that reigned for decades in large sectors of the Chilean population.

ACT THREE: DIGNITY AND STRUGGLE AGAINST THE STRATEGY OF STATE REPRESSION

Since the beginning of the State of Emergency, state repression has sharpened and has also spread openly throughout the various uprising territories.

As anarchists, we make it clear that we do not take the position of victims, however, it is always good to share information about the tactics that domination puts into practice as part of the confrontations with insurgents and the rebellious population in general.

In the current context, the repressive arsenal of the Chilean State has materialized into:

– More than 2000 people have been arrested and more than 15 people have been murdered, as well as an indeterminate number of people reported missing.

– Shootings with various types of projectiles, including tear gas, rubber bullets and other weapons of war against demonstrators leaving a growing and indeterminate number of people injured and killed on the street, as well as animals and people living on the streets also injured and killed as targets of the shootings.

– Physical, psychological and sexual assaults and tortures against detained people in public thoroughfares, vehicles and police stations.

– Kidnapping of people using police and civilian vehicles. Images have been circulated of people being locked in the boots of police vehicles.

– Shots fired from behind in the street at people who are given the false impression of escaping from arrests.

– False permissions given by police and military to loot supermarkets that end in arrests and murders that are later reported as deaths caused as a result of the riots.

– Fires in large commercial premises caused by repressive forces so that companies can collect the associated insurance. In some of these fires burnt corpses have been found.

– Throwing people from moving police cars and then shooting them.

– Hanging of the bodies of people killed in vacant lots and of living people in police barracks.

The massive use of social networks such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook has allowed for the immediate circulation of innumerable audiovisual evidence of the situations described above, which is being disseminated by “alternative” dissemination groups linked to the struggles, breaking the communication strategy deployed by the government and supported by the official media historically servile to power.

The government’s communication offensive represents another part of the repressive action trying to colonize people’s minds via the following methods:

– Censorship and control of information in order to hypocritically hide, justify and/or question the records associated with repression.

– Televised speeches of government authorities that have included the recognition of a social crisis that must be solved by means of a “new social contract”.

– Explicit signaling of a state of war against an internal enemy supposedly organized with a plan to sow chaos and attack small shops, schools and hospitals. Special emphasis has been placed on the criminalization of looters and vandals. Also, in a report on the state television channel, it was mentioned that the riots were being organized by nihilist anarchist cells.

– Rolling news coverage throughout the day instilling the fear of shortages because of looting, spreading the idea that thefts would be spreading to ordinary homes.

– Discursive division of the demonstrators between good, legitimate and festive as opposed to violent ones, against whom any kind of repression would be justified.

– Presentation of a plan of economic and social measures trying to show interest in solving the existing crisis.

– Presentation of the military as forces of protection and peace.

Fortunately the repressive communication strategy of the discredited government has not had the desired effect and disobedience has been maintained in spite of the fact that some eternally submissive and obedient citizens have collaborated with power by voluntarily participating in the cleaning of streets and the surveillance of barrios wearing yellow vests and giving this garment a completely different meaning than the revolt for which it became known for after the recent wild protests in France.

OUR ANARCHIC POSITION: NOTES ON AN EPILOGUE THAT DOESN’T EXIST YET

Between Wednesday, October 23 and Thursday, October 24, the government and the repression have tried to show a softer face in the face of the persistence of the demonstrations and the large number of sources of revolt, to which is added the permanent disclosure of evidence of repressive acts and the public knowledge of the use of a subway station as a clandestine detention centre with testimonies of torture.

In these days, the signs seem to indicate that the generalized revolt has diminished a little in intensity derived to a situation of permanent days of protest with the constant presence of disturbances and confrontations. There are more than a few of us who think that this could give way to a context of progressive pacification with the persistence of some pockets of revolt, strengthening the selective repression against people already known for their participation in social movements, collectives and environments of radical struggle. In fact, people linked to student and environmental movements have already been arrested.

In spite of what may come, those of us who have confronted power and authority long before the current social outburst know that all the repressive and communication practices listed above are part of the repressive arsenal that we and other groups have faced throughout the existence of the state and authority throughout history. Therefore, what we are witnessing today is a postmodern reactualization of methods and strategies already deployed in previous dictatorial and democratic regimes in Chile, Latin America and the rest of the world where domination has affected their interests and has not hesitated to show its true face of planned and systematic oppression.

We know that the opposition and confrontation to the domination has been protagonized throughout the centuries by innumerable generations of rebels, insurrectionists, revolutionaries and subversives of all kinds, in the same way that we have the certainty that we the anarchists have been together with the Mapuche communities in resistance and the hooded youth that in the last 2 decades have known torture, prison and death as part of the repressive politics of the state in the face of the resistance and the continuous attack that we have developed against the capitalist and authoritarian social order.

Today many people are witnessing what we have been propagating for years: that the powerful do not care about deceiving, torturing and murdering in order to protect the world that they have built for their benefit and that the only possible way out of domination against our lives begins with the destructive rebellion against everything imposed by those who try to make our existence a permanent regime of slavery and theft of our freedom.

We are fully aware that all the nuances of state repression, even those that pretend to look like a ‘kind’ face, are part of the counterinsurgency manual inaugurated in Algeria, strengthened by Latin American dictatorships and continued by occupation troops in Iraq, Haiti and other parts of the world. We know very clearly that massive and selective repression, torture, extermination, assemblies and communications tactics of psychological warfare are not a novelty and today we live and face them in a scenario that was never conceived as possible: to develop our daily lives and our struggle in a State of Emergency with the military in the street.

We also know that the existence, proliferation and persistence of anarchic ideas and practices of confrontation throughout the last decades in the Chilean territory constitutes a real, vital and dynamic element that has contributed in some way to the identification and attack of symbols and objectives linked to power in the midst of the current unrest, as well as contributing to the diffusion of a a radical combative subjectivity against the world of capital and authority. However, we are honest in making it clear that the discontent that has erupted with unprecedented violence in democratic Chile corresponds to a general revolt without leaders in which the anarchic individualities are just one of many actors present in the streets.

We have never believed in the good intentions of democratic falsehood, so we are not surprised that the repressive forces are aiming their bullets at children, the elderly and animals. Today we are also learning to live with the curfew that restricts mobility and the possibility to embrace and share among friends, comrades and circles of affinity.

Many emotions and sensations are intertwined every day and minute by minute: rage, impotence, nervousness and a quota of anxiety invade the hearts and minds of many people.

NOTHING HAS ENDED, EVERYTHING CONTINUES

TODAY MORE THAN EVER WE CONTINUE TO FIGHT AGAINST THE STATE, CAPITAL AND ALL AUTHORITY.

Sin Banderas Ni Fronteras

Tags: chileanarchists worldwideanalysis
Categories: News

The State of Resistance and the Struggle in Chile

Anarchist News - Tue, 10/29/2019 - 22:06

From The Final Straw Radio

This week William had the chance to interview someone, a 20 year old anarchist from the territory of so called Chile, about the uprisings which have been occurring there. The protests began on Monday October 14th in Chile’s capital, Santiago, as a coordinated fare evasion campaign by high school students which led to spontaneous takeovers of the city’s main train stations and open confrontations with the Chilean Police. While the reason for these protests was a fare hike for public transportation by the government and the transit companies, this was only the tipping point in a much larger and diffuse situation of economic pracarity. We will post a great info graphic on social media about all that is tied up in this situation, but in short education and healthcare are private and so are very expensive, jobs pay very little (400 US dollars a month on average), and it is the only country in the world where water is privatized. According to Food and Water Watch, having a privatized water system increases the yearly cost of water by 59%, or over twice the amount as public water. Many of the systems that people are forced to live under, such as the current mechanisms of the State of Emergency and the pension system, were created under the Pinochet dictatorship and have not been updated to reflect the so called “democratic” rule.

http://traffic.libsyn.com/thefinalstrawradio/tfsr_podcast_-_The_State_of_Resistance_and_the_Struggle_for_Dignity_in_Chile_-_20191027.mp3

 

Our guest outlines these situations, and also speaks about the violence that protestors are facing from the police and from the state. They also speak on the relationship of this current violence to the violences that Indigenous Mapuche people have been facing from the Chilean state all along.

According to the Wikipedia article on the 2019 Chilean Protests, as of yesterday October 26th “19 people have died, nearly 2,500 have been injured, and 2,840 have been arrested. Human rights organisations have received several reports of violations conducted against protesters, including torture.” Our guest outlines the peaceful nature at the outset of these protests, which were quickly escalated by hyper repressive tactics on the part of the police, and says that these actions are making it clear that the “democracy” – which was fought for by the generations above them – is a fake system.

To keep updated on this situation, and away from the tvs like our guest suggested, you can follow Radio Kurruf, an anarchist radio station in Chile, and read their analysis on the current wave of repression here. https://radiokurruf.org/2019/10/26/state-of-rebellion-in-chile/

You can also visit our blog at thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org for a partial list of links and accounts to follow, including some on the ground reporting by crimethInc.

@RadioVillaFrancia

Here is the transcript of a brief exchange between TFS and other comrades in Rojava (podcast only):

Solidarity with Rojava

Here is an announcement on behalf of the IDOC Watch:

IDOC (Indiana Dept of Correction) Watch is an organization in Indiana, composed of people directly affected by the prison system and prison abolitionists, that is organizing to expose and stop the widespread abuses in the Indiana prison system, with the long-term objective of dismantling the prison system. (check out IDOC Watch at idocwatch.org)

This event will be a panel discussion on the base-building IDOC Watch is doing in prisons and communities affected by incarceration, prisoner struggles and counter-insurgency in Indiana, and the effects of the prison-industrial complex on individuals, families, and communities.

Featuring:

Zolo Agona Azania, former Black Liberation Army activist and long-term New Afrikan political prisoner from Gary, IN, who beat two death sentences after being falsely accused and convicted of murdering a Gary police officer during a bank robbery. Zolo was released from prison in 2017, after serving over 35 years. He is currently working to establish re-entry housing for people being released from prison in Gary, through the Gary Alliance for the Empowerment of the Formerly Incarcerated.

S.T. : A mother and grandmother from Gary who organizes with IDOC Watch and currently has a son incarcerated at Indiana State Prison, a maximum-security facility in Michigan City, IN.

An organizer with FOCUS Initiatives LTD, an abolitionist re-entry project in Indianapolis, IN: focusreentry.com.

Location
1845 Sheridan Rd, Evanston, IL 60208
217 Fisk Hall

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM CDT

. … . ..

Music for this episode in order:

Llueve – La Trova Pank

Somos Peligrosos – Los Crudos

Tags: chilethe final straw radiopodcastaudio
Categories: News

Distributaries: “Modern Anarchism”

Anarchist News - Tue, 10/29/2019 - 22:01

From The Libertarian Labyrinth

Our fast-moving mountain current has spread out across the a decade’s worth of terrain, splitting off into various distributary currents. We know—or at least the driving metaphor of this work suggests—that the various currents will never unite as fully as perhaps they were mingled before Proudhon’s death. We can certainly point to instances where some form of direct influence seems to carry forward from the earliest period examined through to the anarchism of the 1880s—but we have also inherited narratives that at least flirt with the notion of a rather complete reinvention of anarchist thought in what Kropotkin called “modern anarchism.”

The last and certainly not the least important of our tasks in this second section of the study will be to trace the emergence of anarchist communism as a force among the anti-authoritarians, particularly in the wake of the split in the International. Having touched on some of the early forms of libertarian communism in the first volume, we’ll have some context for examining the movement of figures like Carlo Cafiero and François Dumartheray toward a more familiar sort of anarchist communism and begin to address the conflicts between communists and collectivists in the emerging anarchist movement.

Naturally, Peter Kropotkin will occupy an important place in this part of the study as well, perhaps particularly as he was both an articulate proponent of anarchist communist and one of those who took it upon themselves to create a kind of early anarchist history in order to explain the relations between the earlier forms of anarchist thought and the “modern anarchism” proposed by the communists. I will no doubt return to the close reading of his essay “On Order,” which includes a particularly interesting origin story for the new anarchism—which was, of course, essentially the first ideology to actually bear the name of anarchism.

Elisée Reclus will also feature prominently in the examination of this transition and its framing in the emerging literature of anarchism. Between his own widely-read essay on anarchy and his editing of two other early classics (Bakunin’s God and the State and Kropotkin’s Words of a Rebel), he played an important role in shaping the public perception of anarchism internationally.

As we need the mid-point of the journey, it’s important to return to some of our earlier concerns and remind ourselves that we are going to end this particular segment with a beginning—really with a series of beginnings, from the emergence of anarchist communism (and that of anarchist individualism) to the organization of the Black International—followed rapidly by a number of key events—the Haymarket bombing and trial, the emergence of acracia and anarquismo sin adjetivos, etc.—that aren’t so easy to weave into stories with clear beginnings and endings.

And there will be both some hard lessons and some simple pleasures, I expect, involve in the time we spend lingering on the details of how “modern” communist anarchism emerged and how the challenge it represented was met by by anarchists of a more individualist tendency and opponents outside the sphere of anarchist ideas. Once we move on into the next leg of the journey, the one thing that we can reasonably expect is that the complexities of this phase will be exceeded almost everywhere we turn. The diversity of ideas and practices will be every bit as great as it has been in this period of parceling-out and dispersion, but all of those varied elements will also now be part of anarchism—and the struggle over anarchism.

We’ll want to gather every bit of clarity we can glean from this relatively more simple period, simply to help us make sense of what is to come. And, at this point, I feel fairly certain that at least some of that clarity will be fresh and likely to be a little hard on our ideological presuppositions and sacred cows. I look forward to the discoveries to be made, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t also dread the difficulties like to arise at least a bit.

There is, of course, one more ardent anarchist communist who will play an absolutely vital role in this part of the study—as he will in all the others. As I’ve said, 1865 was not only the year of Proudhon’s death, but that of Max Nettlau’s birth. And the world we have been exploring in this second phase of the study will have been the world in which he grew up. At the point where we will end, Nettlau was still, by his own account, a rather narrow, intolerant anarchist communist—although his embrace of mutual toleration would come soon.

Again, one of the tasks to accomplish in this volume will be to make sure that we deal with Nettlau’s origins and initial contexts well enough that we are well prepared to deal with him in his increasingly complex roles in later volumes.

In planning the work, I’ve understood that each volume will be dependent on all the others in increasingly complex ways, making it necessary to plan far enough in advance to anticipate as much of what should be addressed early on to avoid too much backtracking in later volumes. The difficulties extent even to these preliminary summaries. So I expect that I will once again take some time off from summarizing and turn back to the work of writing up some of the early episodes, while I let what I’ve already written sink in and (hopefully) suggest a bit more clearly the emphases for the next volume.

Tags: Shawn P. Wilburdistributarieslibertarian labyrinth
Categories: News

Polling Experts Bash Koch-Funded Electric Car Survey as 'Highly Biased' and 'Highly Misleading'

deSmog - Tue, 10/29/2019 - 19:55
Senior Airman Alec Cope plugs in a hybrid vehicle at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.Read time: 9 mins

Fossil fuel interests appear intent on swaying public opinion about the electric vehicle tax credit, based on recent polling on the policy. A deeper look at these efforts reveals oil and gas funding behind the groups conducting the polls and blatant bias in the polling methodology, according to experts. 

Survey results commissioned and publicized by the American Energy Alliance (AEA) seem on their surface to indicate that a majority of respondents are not thrilled about subsidizing EVs purchased by other consumers, particularly wealthy Americans. However, according to polling experts who reviewed the survey for DeSmog, the questions were designed to solicit a certain response and produce results to serve a predetermined narrative that supports the oil industry's interests. According to polling expert Ed Maibach, director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University, the surveys relied on “highly biased questions designed to elicit highly misleading answers.” 

Tags: kochvscleanEV tax creditIERAmerican Energy Alliancetom pyleMike McKenna
Categories: News

Judge cancels Flynn hearing after lawyer claims FBI manipulated files

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Tue, 10/29/2019 - 19:25

Judge cancels Flynn hearing after lawyer claims FBI manipulated files | 29 Oct 2019 | The federal judge presiding over the case of ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has canceled a hearing scheduled for next week, citing his lawyers' latest motion -- which made a slew of misconduct allegations against the government while seeking access to supposedly exculpatory evidence. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan had scheduled a hearing for Nov. 7 with Flynn's attorney and federal prosecutors in the long-running case, but said Monday it would no longer take place.

Categories: News

Pages