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Updated: 2 hours 9 min ago

Newnan, Normalization, and Neo-Nazis

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 07:31

The post Newnan, Normalization, and Neo-Nazis appeared first on It's Going Down.

The following editorial was originally published in Where the River Frowns.

I’ve lived in Evansville for the last decade. I like it here. I like that the city is small. I enjoy the street culture and social abandonment of folks day-drinking in empty lots, singing loudly to themselves without embarrassment, or having public sex, and I enjoy folks’ inventiveness, though it’s brought on by overwhelming need– “the mother of invention.”

I moved here indirectly from Newnan, Georgia. I have to work this weekend, but if didn’t, I’d be back in Newnan, down by its old remodeled square, much the style of Franklin Street in Evansville (not the warehouse area where they house prison laborers but gentrified Lamasco where the suburbanites come into town for the weekend to get drunk amongst themselves). I’d be back south in physical opposition against the neo-Nazi rally.

I have been texting back and forth with my family members in Newnan about the rally and how the town is reacting to it. I say “town,” but Newnan and Coweta County where it sits have both tripled in population since I first arrived there. When we first moved there about thirty years ago, there was a four-way crossing with a single gas station and a grocery store called Thomas Crossroads that has since become big enough to be its own town. Though bigotry is often associated with a “small town mentality,” modern capitalism tries to hide it in sprawling “revitalization.” I think you’d have to consciously disregard a lot of poor and brown people to believe in that facade.

A CNN article about Newnan’s preparation for the upcoming rally, ”A Small City in Georgia is Fighting Back Against Neo-Nazis in a Novel Way,” is an example of just such a disregard. Similarly to Evansville, in Newnan, the poorest neighborhoods and much of the city’s black and brown population are within walking distance to Newnan’s commercialized downtown. But these groups of people, some of the Nazis’ primary targets both historically and presently, are not referred to at all in CNN’s article. Much like the cities of Newnan and Evansville themselves, CNN focuses on the business owners and the commercial district, celebrating capitalism and ignoring those the system is designed to exploit and exclude.

The article states, “Many shop owners decided [to] shutter their doors,” and continues, “It’s a big financial hit for these local businesses, so residents have decided to do something about it. They’re urging each other to go shop on Friday to make up for the drop in revenue.”

This is almost solely the article’s topic for its entire length. It does touch on one attempt to tactically oppose the Nazis: “One non-profit, Backstreet Community Arts, is asking kids to come to the city park and cover it with chalk drawings of hearts, rainbows and flowers. ‘It will be hard for the hate group to take serious video footage when a rainbow-colored unicorn is in the shot,’ the group said.” That is the only action mentioned in the article that isn’t about people shopping.

I assume many of the people taking part in these activities advocated by the city are well meaning and feel like they’re helping. But it’s comments like this text message from my sibling that lead me to think people are being naive and assumptive regardless of their intentions: “it isn’t that [Nazi] group that causes fear…it’s the 4-5 bus loads of the other group counter acting them that does…can’t remember they’re name.” Another person from Evansville and I were both trying to make plans to be on those buses; it wouldn’t have been the first time I’ve gone with people from Evansville to physically confront a public Nazi rally.

The “other group” likely refers to Antifa (short for “anti-fascist”), which has long been used as a name for people who network in active opposition against the organization of fascism. It is not a group, strictly speaking, but a field within which to organize. It has historically been comprised of working-class and counter-cultural folks who inhabit multiple categories of “other,” and there are plenty of angles from which to critique it, including its stereotypical masculine approach. However, when I was gathered with Antifa in Pikeville, Kentucky, against the neo-Nazis there, it was empowering and striking to be amongst a visibly varied and queered group of people to contrast the monoculture of the neo-Nazi cis white males and the local police. There is something essential about racism revealed in Newnan’s prioritized fear of “that other [unknown] group” as opposed to fearing what is known about Nazism. The Nazis’ platform is to preserve the existing order and to accelerate it. Newnan’s primary concern is the maintenance of order as well.

I’ll conclude by commenting on how CNN’s article starts, with its title. There is nothing “novel” about the way Newnan is responding to fascism and the resistance to it. It is quite common for the places around Nazi gatherings to close up, and for the media and state to villainize anti-fascists. Furthermore, downtown areas all over America are organized to keep people compulsorily shopping to uphold the structural flow of money to a white minority. From June 8th to 10th of this year, Evansville will host Indiana’s Republican Convention, a statewide gathering of supporters of a political party and administration that has openly welcomed white supremacists. They will celebrate the normalizing of our downtown through their platform of dispossessing people of color, the poor, and those self-organized. Our power is in our common experiences, public infrastructure, and collective, grassroots organizations built around acknowledging our differences and specific needs. Dissent isn’t “novel” either, but we need new strategies and tactics to bring down the rise of the far-right and all those who try to rise above the rest of us.

Editor’s Note: For more on the April 2017 neo-Nazi gathering in Pikeville, Kentucky, see “Opposition Builds Against White Nationalist Conference in Pikeville, Kentucky” and “My Weekend with the Neo-Nazis.”

Categories: News

End of the Line #16: Reflection

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 02:58

The post End of the Line #16: Reflection appeared first on It's Going Down.

Anti-pipeline podcast and soundscape End of the Line presents its latest episode about the growing “environmental uprising” in West Virginia and Virginia against the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

As more eyes turn to pipeline resistance in Virginia, how does that resistance take root, and in what ways can community subvert the structures of power?

Categories: News

Olympia, WA: Campaign at Evergreen Vista Continues

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 02:14

The post Olympia, WA: Campaign at Evergreen Vista Continues appeared first on It's Going Down.

An update from Olympia Solidarity Network on their ongoing campaign at Evergreen Vista apartments to improve living conditions. 

Following the an issuing of a letter to Evergreen Vista management and their operator Mercy Housing (which they chose to ignore), OlySol’s campaign for improved housing conditions at Evergreen Vista has proceeded.

April 10th

Approximately two and a half weeks following our demand delivery to Evergreen Vista management we are pleased to announce that tenants have started to see some changes! The demand letter called for repairs to be made and for accessible garbage disposal to be installed. New maintenance staff have now been hired and work orders (many of which had been neglected for months) have started to be fulfilled. An accessible garbage bin (pictured below) has also been installed adjacent to the inaccessible garbage compactor for disabled tenants.

While we recognize these improvements, they fall short of meeting our demands fully. Many repairs, especially those to common infrastructures, such as outdoor lighting and stairways, have still not been made. Moreover, the demand for accessible garbage disposal clearly stated that accessible bins must be installed at each building in the complex. In a notice sent to all tenants, Evergreen Vista management also suggested tenants with mobility issues complete a Reasonable Accommodation Request form for any further issues with the garbage disposal system. We find the requirement that tenants acquire professional and medical verification for something as basic as garbage disposal degrading and a near impossible barrier for tenants who lack health care coverage.

For these reasons, OlySol’s campaign for improved conditions at Evergreen Vista will continue until the demands are fully met.

April 16th

Over the last week OlySol visited the neighborhood of Evergreen Vista’s property manager with anti-slumlord posters. Members of Seattle Solidarity Network (SeaSol) also postered around Mery Housing Northwest’s headquarters and the home neighborhood of Mercy Housing Northwest’s president.

If the demands for accessible garbage disposal at each building in the complex and the fulfillment of all repair requests aren’t met in full, Evergreen Vista management and Mercy Housing can expect further pressure.

Categories: News

“A Fire Is Catching,” 8 People in Tree Sits as Police Try and Starve Out Elderly Homeowner

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 01:32

The post “A Fire Is Catching,” 8 People in Tree Sits as Police Try and Starve Out Elderly Homeowner appeared first on It's Going Down.

Repression of tree sitters in West Virginia and Virginia continues as now a total of 8 people have launched tree sits to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Cover photo from WDBJ7
By Holden Dometrius

Despite lack of food and water, 61 year-old woman stays in tree for 19th consecutive days

On 8815 Poor Mountain Rd in Salem, VA a woman named Red is being starved out by Roanoke Police and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) security. Red is protesting the proposed fracked-gas pipeline which cuts through her property. The land taken by MVP has been in the family since before the US constitution was written, and Red does not want it to be used for transporting fossil fuels. 

As of today, Red and her daughter are facing 3 charges: trespassing, violation of property rights, and obstruction of justice. Red is on her family’s seventh-generation land that they have lived on since the 18th century. 

Mara Robbins has been at the camp in support of Red since the beginning. She says she is there as a last resort to protect the water.

“We feed the Roanoke, the New, and the Dan Rivers. 10,000 miles of watershed, 28 counties, and 4 major metropolitan areas, so we have big concerns about our water, and the water in Bent Mountain.” Robbins said.

Police are shining floodlights on Red during the nighttime, and preventing supporters from delivering food or water. Despite this, Red has no plans to come down anytime soon. As of Apr 20, Red has been denied food and water for nine days, and has been up in the tree for a total of 19 consecutive days.

Red’s daughter is about half a mile away in another tree. She is facing similar tactics from law enforcement, which is primarily composed of Roanoke County police. They have set up a tent in front of Red’s tree, shining bright lights directly at her in the night. 

There was an arrest last week of one person who was documenting MVP’s tactics. Trish McLawhorn, another supporter, said that she did nothing wrong.  

“She was on the property within her right with the landowners permission, documenting the cutting of trees, and she was just arbitrarily asked to move. She knew she was within her right, so she held her space but she was arrested without much of an explanation.” McLawhorn said.

The charges?  “Violation of property rights, and they made up the rule 15 minutes before they arrested her.” Robbins said.

The tree-felling deadline passed on March 31st, but MVP has continued to cut trees illegally.

“They weren’t supposed to touch that water over there after March 15th, because it’s the breeding ground for the Roanoke logperch and the orangefin madtom. Both of these are critically endangered fish. And they have cut trees repeatedly directly into these streams,” Robbins said.

It remains to be seen how this showdown will end, but supporters are concerned for Red’s safety.

“We’re concerned that her will to stay on that platform in that tree may very well supersede any concern for her own health. I’m afraid that her health will deteriorate before her will gives in. And i don’t think that the medics here understand that. They come and ask if she’s ok, and if she needs anything, and she tells them what she needs and then they say no, she has to come down from the tree, which is not gonna happen.” McLawhorn said.

The supporters were asked why this particular method of direct action was taken.

“What other way is there? This is the last stop. When there’s tree-sits popping up all over the place, it’s different. The fire is catching.” Robbins said.

Indeed the “fire” does appear to be catching. On Apr 19, three more people took to the trees at the Little Teel Crossing in Franklin County, VA. There are now eight total individuals in the trees to stop the pipeline, and none of them have come down yet despite the abuse of law enforcement.

“I think a lot of us, we love her, and were very concerned that there’s gonna come a day that she may possibly be in a crisis up there, and she’s not gonna have what she needs and that’s gonna be on them.” McLawhorn said.

How is this legal? Robbins told me that Red has a legal necessity to be up in that tree.

“They’re insisting that she had a choice. She never did. A landowner doesn’t have a choice when their property is taken except to climb in a tree. When you look at it that way, did she have a choice?”

Categories: News

“Electoral Pursuits Have Veered Us Away”: Kali Akuno on Movement Lessons from Jackson

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 01:00

The post “Electoral Pursuits Have Veered Us Away”: Kali Akuno on Movement Lessons from Jackson appeared first on It's Going Down.

This article from the Black Rose Anarchist Federation details the political ideas of Kali Akuno, a member of the group, Cooperation Jackson, and includes a talk from the Labor Notes conference. 

Pledging to make Jackson become “the most radical city on the planet,” the July 2017 election of Chokwe Antar Lumumba as Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi is by many accounts an inspiration as to the ability of the left to critically engage in social change through elected office. By no means an isolated effort, Lumumba’s election is the result of decades of base building and social movement growth, most notably highlighted in their use of community assemblies and the work of Cooperation Jackson, which promotes the creation of worker cooperatives.

The origins of the campaign are rooted in the politics of Black self-determination and is spelled out in the Jackson-Kush Plan (referred to as the J-K Plan) formulated from 2004 through 2010 by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and New Afrikan People’s Organization. The Plan laid out an analysis and a collective model which was based on three pillars: building people’s assemblies for grassroots decision making, building an independent Black political party; and building a solidarity economy. Most important though is that the plan was very explicit that electoral efforts would be “on a limited scale” and that the focus on popular assemblies, building autonomous and dual power institutions “is primary.”

Trouble in Electoral Waters

But since last year’s election victory not all has gone as planned. Kali Akuno, one of the key figures within the Jackson movement, has been raising critical questions of the role of electoral politics in the movement. Often doing interviews and speaking engagements highlighting organizing efforts in Jackson, Akuno is a key figure of Cooperation Jackson, one of the primary authors of the Jackson-Kush Plan and co-editor of the book Jackson Rising: The Struggle for Economic Democracy and Black Self-Determination in Jackson, Mississippi.

As Akuno wrote in November 2017 for Black Agenda Report, the electoral focus was intended to be “adjunct component of a broader objective … to build a transformative, anti-colonial power from the ground up through the People’s Assembly as an autonomous vehicle of self-governance,” but the reality is that “this understanding has been lost or ignored, and even more disappointing, has not really been pursued by the forces claiming adherence to the J-K Plan.”

He continues his criticism around the narrative that has been promoted within the larger left, one that he calls a “misplaced hope” that is “sadly being employed to prop up liberal notions about the utility of electoral politics to the [broader] left …[and which] uphold and promote the false notion that capitalism can be tamed and reformed through electoral politics.”

More troubling for social movement work in Jackson is that the Lumumba administration has come to power at a moment where the local government faces what Akuno calls a “Syriza trap.” This is a dynamic often faced by the left in power whereby it is forced to administer the very austerity they fought to oppose. Currently in Jackson, as Bruce Dixon writes, the central business district is now under state control, the privatization of its schools, the water system and the destruction of black neighborhoods for development development projects is “nearly imminent,” and an “emergency management regime coming to strip elected city government of the ability to do much of anything without approval from bankers” is likely to be imposed. What will come of this remains to be seen.

However, the key question is that of the use of electoral politics to advance social movements and in a recent Labor Notes panel presentation (transcript below) Kali Akuno states the dynamic in unambiguous terms: “I think the social movement development work that got us to this point, I think is gradually being eroded and then sidelined and there’s much more of an emphasis being placed on now on how to sustain ourselves in office.” As Kali wrote in Black Agenda Report the focus on winning elections “negates the pursuit of autonomous power, the execution of a radical program, and the building of a revolutionary vehicle.”

With that said, the wider left is wise to take a great pause and critical examination before using Jackson as an electoral model to be emulated. This strategy is a well-worn path and something around which we suggest the radical left should rightly be wary.

“Doing Politics Differently” Panel Discussion Presentation by Kali Akuno 

2018 Labor Notes Conference, Saturday, April 7, 2018

Note: Due to audio issues the opening 30-60 seconds of the presentation were not recorded. Akuno stated that while he had prepared comments for the presentation the other speakers prior to him raised important issues that he felt should be debated.

Now what does it all mean? In our case in Jackson, and I’m going to speak for myself, because we are in a place right now where there’s an intense level of debate within the movement itself about what is the way forward, what are the strategies and tactics to move what our principal aims and objective are? And there’s a fundamental question: Are we still on the same page about what the fundamental aims and objectives are?

Speaking for myself, as one of the key thinkers and framers of the project [the Jackson-Kush Plan] for whatever that’s worth, for me, starting with that notion that the system as its constructed as it’s been set up since the founding of the settler-colonial project, is inherently a reactionary project and cannot and would not tend towards democracy. So that’s the basis from where I started from and from which these politics emerged from.

So the first piece is, I’m pushing to try to create as much democratic space as possible for the social movement without necessarily the expectation that winning office or even trying to accomplish certain reforms is actually going to get me where I’m trying to go.

The social movement in communities actually developing the capacity to govern themselves is more the final aim and I think a lot of times electoral politics gets in the way of us really aiming and pushing ourselves and those who we love, and work with, and live with, towards that other direction. And I would argue that some of our electoral pursuits have veered us away from that in Jackson as well, at least in this current iteration of the politics of the last couple of months, or last two or three years I would say.

That said we’ve laid out a couple of things like the four solutions [reference to a previous panelist’s discussion of four responses to tackling issues around state power] and I think that was a good summation. In our case I think we’ve tried to do the bottom three, two, three and four [which are to forego electoral politics or use an “occupy model;” reduce importance of elected officials and build alternatives; and build different relationships between elected officials and movements] and tried to do them all simultaneously and I think we have an uneven record in that regard. And our project if you look at it, particularly looking at the Jackson-Kush Plan, I think you’ll clearly see the outline of the two, three and four that we were trying to work on and build. The critical piece has always been who and what should be in the lead? That’s a question that we have struggled with.

At this point I would honestly have to say that the dominant forces both internally and externally have been around electoral politics, and I think that that’s an error. This is Kali speaking, and I think that that’s an error. I think the social movement development work that got us to this point I think is gradually being eroded and then sidelined and there’s much more of an emphasis being placed now on how to sustain ourselves in office, how to build alliances that will enable more of our candidates to be able to retain themselves in office. In the wake of those compromises — and in effect that’s what they are I would argue — as you make those types of compromises you will wind up jettisoning more and more of your program. The critical piece probably of what you’re asking [refers to a question from the audience] is I think that our development in this day and age of a clear program that we can rally working class and oppressed around is fundamental and primary: far more so than pursuing or even trying to elect people to office.

Because there’s still the fundamental question of where are we trying to go, which is different than what we think is possible. And I want to pose that very clearly and distinctly as two different things. I think when we move our engagement to what we think is possible we move our politics within the limits of the system as it exists and aren’t looking to push beyond what exists. And I think we clearly live in an era where, straight up, the world that the US was able to impose upon the world after WWII — that world is crumbling, it’s crumbling fast and crumbling hard. And unlike many people I don’t think Trump’s election was an aberration. Whoever was going to be in office this term, whether they were going to be an outright racist, or not, was still going to have to work on renegotiating the terms of empire. That was going to have to be done — capital dictates that, not any of the politicians themselves. So somebody was going to have to do the dirty job of getting the NATO partners to cover more of the money. Can we renegotiate terms of trade with China and can we reposition the world around climate change in a particular way to do certain types of offsets and financial flows? That was on the agenda period, regardless of who was going to sit in that seat both in the presidency and the two different structures of the supposed legislative branch, which doesn’t really do that much anymore.

That reorganization was going to be forced upon us anyway. The question is how do we begin to build a politics that exceeds that and understands the limitations and understands the challenges that exist right now are actually, I would pose to us, key opportunities if we allow our imagination to see it that way? Right now I think the biggest challenge that we have is we know there are millions of people in this country who are pissed off, righteously pissed off: do we have the ability to reach them? Do we have the ability to offer them a program that speaks to their immediate interests and towards a better future? That is to me the critical piece that we don’t have a consensus upon and I think some of the limitation is our own imagination and we’re still stuck trying to figure out how to get the most out of the present system as opposed to let it die, let’s create the new, what do we need to do to think do we organize ourselves to get to that point. And I think that’s a deeper, fundamental question I want to see us look at.

Recommended Follow Up Readings

The Lure of Electoralism: From Political Power to Popular Power

Socialist Faces in High Places: Syriza’s Fall From Grace and the Elusive Electoral Road

A Blue Print for a Party of an Old Type

“If You Want a Better Capitalism”: An Interview on Social Democracy with Gabriel Kuhn

Below and Beyond Trump: Power and Counter Power

Please note: Kali Akuno’s remarks at Labor Notes have been published with permission. Additionally, while we fully support the points being raised by Akuno we want to be clear that his analysis and ideas are his own and he may or may not have differences with ours. 

Categories: News

#NoNaziNewnan Begins: Neo-Nazis Arrive at Quality Inn Hotel in Bremen, Georgia

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 00:34

The post #NoNaziNewnan Begins: Neo-Nazis Arrive at Quality Inn Hotel in Bremen, Georgia appeared first on It's Going Down.

Neo-Nazis from the National Socialist Movement (NSM) are starting to descend on the town of Newnan, Georgia. The following call-in campaign comes from Atlanta Antifascists.

We have verified that many neo-Nazis from the National Socialist Movement – visiting our state for their national meeting at the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar in Temple/Draketown plus a public rally in Newnan – are currently staying at the Quality Inn at 1077 Alabama Ave S in Bremen, Georgia.

We have notified Quality Inn in Bremen about the bookings made by National Socialist Movement members for the weekend. Nazis have arrived and are arriving at the hotel.

The Nazis hosted by Quality Inn in Bremen pose a danger to hotel workers, as well as to people in the Bremen area. Additionally, Quality Inn is facilitating the Nazi show of force in Newnan, Georgia on Saturday by hosting rally participants.

The National Socialist Movement is part of the broader “Nationalist Front” white supremacist coalition. Nationalist Front members were at the forefront of the racist violence at “Unite the Right” in Charlottesville, Virginia in August. In October, Nationalist Front members (this time with the “Traditionalist Worker Party”) assaulted an interracial couple at a pub in Tennessee after a dismal “White Lives Matter” rally in that state.

Presently, the National Socialist Movement is stating that its members will be “weaponized to the teeth” for their weekend of activity in Georgia. It is likely that many of the NSM’s weapons are being stored in Quality Inn Hotel rooms in Bremen or in vehicles parked outside.

We are asking all concerned community members to directly contact the Quality Inn in Bremen and Choice Hotels, which operates the Quality Inn franchise. Ask them why they are endangering locals, other hotel guests, and Georgia residents by accepting multiple bookings from notorious neo-Nazis this weekend. Request that they eject the Nazis from their space.

If you need to preserve your privacy when reaching out, remember that you can call *67 before dialing to block your phone number.

Contact Information for Quality Inn location in Bremen, Georgia:
1077 Alabama Ave S, Bremen, GA, 30110
Main Phone: (770) 824-5105
Fax: (770) 824-5730

Be courteous to hotel workers. This is not their fault. They are some of the people most exposed to danger from Nazis staying at the location.

Contact information for Choice Hotels – Quality Inn is one of their franchises
Customer Relations Phone: 800-300-8800
Customer Relations hours: 8AM to 10PM EST today, 9:30 to 6PM over weekend (Eastern Standard time).
Corporate Offices Phone: (301) 592-5000

Categories: News

Solidarity Graffiti in Lekwungen Territory

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 21:33

The post Solidarity Graffiti in Lekwungen Territory appeared first on It's Going Down.

This following short report and photo was anonymously sent to It’s Going Down.

On April 14, 2018, a few anarchist rebels gathered in Lekwungen Territory, in so-called British Columbia to throw up a quick tag expressing our solidarity with our distant comrades in La ZAD and Rojava, and not so distant comrades resisting the Kinder Morgan pipeline at Camp Cloud, and many other locations throughout unceded Indigenous territories crossed by the pipeline.

No Pipelines! Fuck Canada! Fuck the Police!

Categories: News

TFN #7: In ZAD We Trust

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 21:32

The post TFN #7: In ZAD We Trust appeared first on It's Going Down.

Long running anarchist media project SubMedia.Tv offers up this weeks episode of The Fuckin News.

In this week’s TFN, France’s off-brand Napoleon, Emmanuel Macron, meets his Battle of Waterloo in La ZAD, or Zone to Defend, in Notre Dames Des Landes. Meanwhile, in Hamilton so-called “Ontario”, the pigs launch a SWAT raid against a local anarchist collective house in an attempt to save face after last month’s “Locke Street Riot”.

For more information on how to help comrades in Hamilton:

Categories: News

Lockdown Actions Continue to Stop Construction of Bayou Bridge Pipeline

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 21:24

The post Lockdown Actions Continue to Stop Construction of Bayou Bridge Pipeline appeared first on It's Going Down.

Lockdown in Louisiana against the Bayou Bridge pipeline stops construction yet again.

MAURICE, LA – On the morning of April 18th a water protector locked herself into a cement filled barrel placed in the trench of a horizontal directional drill on a construction site of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. Over a dozen more water protectors from L’eau est La Vie resistance camp rallied alongside her blasting loud music and dancing under banners strung from the drill and excavators that stated “Water is Critical Infrastructure. Stop HB727” and “Stop ETP”. The group was soon detained and ID’ed but were eventually let go and allowed to move to a public road nearby where they continued to shout words of support to their locked down comrade. Dozens of workers stood by in their cars and watched for hours while police worked on unlocking the water protector and getting the barrel out of the ground.

The group took action to draw attention to the 700+ waterways including the Atchafalaya Basin and much of Louisiana’s only remaining natural crawfisheries that will will be impacted by the pipeline. The group also acted to address the frightening spill records and hazardous impact Energy Transfer Partners has had on small communities and the environment.

According to the newest report (, “From 2002 to the end of 2017, ETP, Sunoco and their subsidiaries and joint ventures reported 527 hazardous liquids pipeline incidents to federal regulators — approximately one incident from existing facilities every eleven days. Those incidents,orted by the Pipeline Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA), released a total of 87,273 barrels (3.6 million gallons, or about five-and-a-half Olympic-sized swimming pools) of hazardous liquids, including 66,515 barrels (2.8 million gallons) of crude oil.”

The locked down water protector stated, “ETP shouldn’t be allowed to tear up our wetlands, especially when their record of spills consistent and spans over decades. People living in so-called Louisiana deserve better and it is time to put our bodies on the line. The HB727 bill is meant to scare us from protecting what is sacred. This is a peaceful protest against a violent company. We have to stop ETP.”

Please support this action and our resistance:

DONATE to the legal fund:
APPLY to join us at Camp:
Find a solidarity target and TAKE ACTION:

Together we can #StopETP

#NoBayouBridge #WaterIsLife

Categories: News

Another Family Farm Launches a Tree Sit in the Path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 06:31

The post Another Family Farm Launches a Tree Sit in the Path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline appeared first on It's Going Down.

The ongoing campaign against the Mountain Valley Pipeline announced that now “three tree stands at the crossing of Little Creek and Teel Creek,” have been launched.” Stating that they “are fighting to protect the family farms that the MVP threatens.”

In the farmlands of Franklin County, a new stand against the Mountain Valley Pipeline has begun. Three tree sits loom directly in the path of the pipeline’s destruction, making it impossible to clear the way without severely injuring the inhabitants of those trees. The sits tower over 75 feet off the ground of a small family farm’s livestock pasture, overlooking Little and Teel creeks, home to the endangered Roanoke Log Perch.

The tree sits build upon two other blockades to construction – a stand one hundred miles West, on Peters Mountain, and twenty miles West, in Bent Mountain, VA. One tree sitter stated, “The other tree sits show us that there are still effective ways to interrupt the violence of this proposed pipeline. We are celebrating their spirit of resistance in the mountains and bringing it down to the farmlands, where so much remains at stake. The fire truly is catching.” Local farmers Ian and Carolyn Reilly have been fighting the pipeline for their family’s future and to protect the soil and water. Using restorative practices, the Reilly’s are stewards of the earth. Ian Reilly said, “Launching Little Teel Crossing is an act of protection for our family’s home, land and water. This farm has been free from chemicals for decades. As farmers seeking to renew the land, we intend to keep it that way.”

MVP’s 125-foot limits of destruction cuts through several family farms in Franklin County—places where local beef, honey, poultry, and produce are cultivated. According to the Roanoke Times, Precision Pipeline, the company contracted to construct the MVP, has a history of environmental violations and lawsuits for construction of several other pipelines.

“There are too many ways this pipeline would destroy the ecosystem that preserves peoples’ livelihood here. The pipeline will not just jeopardize Virginia’s way of life, but also the food systems that so many lives depend on,” stated Carolyn Reilly. She continued, “For what? To fill the pockets of these fossil fuel fiends and corporate elites. We won’t let that happen here.” The first stage of construction began with tree clearing in Franklin County in late March. Today, MVP security personnel taped to the trees a notice of violation of Judge Dillon’s Federal Court Order stating tree sitters “should vacate the property immediately.” The occupants of the trees at Little Teel Crossing are self-described as “young Virginians,” and are prepared to remain as long as this pipeline threatens family farms, land, and water.

Ian Reilly shared, “This is about taking a stand. This is about choosing for ourselves when the fight is over. MVP thought we would just resign when pipeline tree clearing began. But the fight has just begun and we still believe we can stop this destructive project. We will win.”

Please consider donating to support the Reilly family and the pipeline fighters resisting the Mountain Valley Pipeline at

Categories: News

The ZAD is Everywhere! Report from the SF Solidarity Demo

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 06:21

The post The ZAD is Everywhere! Report from the SF Solidarity Demo appeared first on It's Going Down.

The following report and video from San Francisco details a recent solidarity event with La ZAD, or Zone to Defend. To listen to our recent podcast on ongoing resistance there, go here.

On April 18th, some two weeks after the French state declared war on the ZAD, a ragtag band of radicals, revolutionaries, and all-around malfaiteurs paid a visit to the house of the French Consul General of San Francisco as an act of solidarity with our comrades defending the lives they’ve built outside of the control of the state and the economy.

Our demands were simple and to the point:

  1. An immediate and permanent withdrawal of all gendarmes and state agents from the ZAD, and an end to their attacks on its occupants and the destruction of their structures.
  2. Disband the police. You may leave their tanks, they will have more joyful futures as sewage processing units.
  3. Cede all territories of the state of France to the communes of the ZAD, for the eventual creation of an ever-expanding and limitless ZAD. From the ZAD to Mars!

We planted a nine-foot, wooden watch tower – a micro-ZAD – in the front yard as a reminder that the ZAD truly is everywhere.

Just as the sands of the Sahara are swept by the winds to fertilize the rainforests of South America, or the sparks of wildfires spread to clear the way for new life, the spirit of the autonomy of the ZAD flows to disparate corners of the earth, striking chords of rebellion, joy, and life.

We aim not only to show our solidarity with those fighting the gendarmes on the bocage of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, but to speak to everyone who feels some part of their being tied to the existence of autonomous zones, wherever they are. Pressure the arms of the French state—show them they cannot escape the spirit of the ZAD—while building zones of experimental autonomy wherever you can. Carve out territories that escape the flows of the economy, where shared ways of living can flourish. This is war, and victory lies in the depth and breadth of the ties we create with each other and the world.

“‘I revolt, therefore I ramify.’ This is how we should speak to the stake that raises our rebellion.”

Categories: News

Final Straw: “After 25 Years…,” Two Perspectives on the Lucasville Prison Uprising

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 22:10

The post Final Straw: “After 25 Years…,” Two Perspectives on the Lucasville Prison Uprising appeared first on It's Going Down.

Long-running anarchist radio and podcast show The Final Straw speaks with people on the 25th anniversary of the Lucasville prison uprising.

This week is the 25th anniversary of the longest prison uprising in US history in which lives were lost. The rebellion, which lasted 11 days, took place at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, more commonly know as “Lucasville,” in April 1993. The disturbance broke out on L Block, which housed over 400 people. Over the course of the uprising one correction officer being held hostage and nine prisoners were killed.

The most immediate cause for the riot was a group of Muslim prisoners’ refusal to take a tuberculosis test which was going to be administered in a form that would have violated their religious beliefs. But serious grievances had simmered under the surface at Lucasville for many years, and ultimately the prisoners’ demands far exceeded Muslims’ opposition to TB shots, addressing concerns about conditions of confinement held by the entire inmate population.

After 11 days a negotiated surrender ended the siege. Prisoners gave up control of L Block in return for the state’s concession to a “21 point plan” responding to their demands. Afterwards, authorities engaged in widespread retaliation, including the targeting of five individuals who were perceived as leaders for capital offenses. To this day, the Lucasville 5, as they are called, sit on death row for murders that numerous investigations have proven they did not commit. Prisoners still facing repercussions for the Lucasville Uprising include: Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Jason Robb, George Skatzes, Bomani Shakur and Greg Curry. To reflect on the Lucasville uprising 25 years later, Disembodied Voice spoke with two individuals who were involved in the event in very different ways. First, we hear from Mosi Paki, who was present on L Block during the rebellion and served 19 years, most of it in isolation, after the siege ended. We will then hear from attorney Niki Schwartz, who represented prisoners during their negotiation of the 21 point plan that ended the siege of Lucasville. You can visit for more information and for updates on how to get involved. To hear past episodes we’ve aired with interviews of former Lucasville Uprising prisoners or other topics, check out our site.
Categories: News

Solecast: Chris from Unicorn Riot on the Implosion of the Traditionalist Worker Party

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 21:54

The post Solecast: Chris from Unicorn Riot on the Implosion of the Traditionalist Worker Party appeared first on It's Going Down.

An in-depth discussion with Chris of Unicorn Riot about what was uncovered in a treasure trove of internal communications on Discord servers that Unicorn Riot leaked.   

Listen and Download Here

The Unicorn Riot report details a year of the inner workers of one of the most visible and violent neo-Nazi groups in the US.

In this interview we talk about:

– The ways white supremacists/neo-Nazis organize and recruit
– Troubling discussions about white sharia, fondness for mass killers like Dylan Roof, and open discussions of violent acts.
– Members of the TWP openly collaborating with the Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi group that openly promotes acts of “terror.”
– How groups like TWP are using leftist rhetoric to appeal to the “white working class”
– TWP is a FEC recognized political party, and their legal support of William Planer, (a white supremacist who allegedly stabbed anti-fascists in Sacramento) possibly constitutes a legal breach.
– How the group was brought down by a strange love triangle
– Who these people are, what they believe and why people like them can not be ignored.

Categories: News

From Olympia, Long Live the Commune, Long Live La ZAD

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 21:30

The post From Olympia, Long Live the Commune, Long Live La ZAD appeared first on It's Going Down.

The following report back was originally posted to the counter-info site, Puget Sound Anarchists.

We gathered on the railroad tracks where the Olympia Commune has been to send insurgent greetings from Olympia, Washington to the brave ones currently defending La ZAD from eviction by the French state.

La ZAD is an autonomous zone in France populated by farmers, squatters, anarchists, and others resisting the construction of a new airport. Their struggle was successful and the airport was halted, but contrary to the wishes of liberals and many socialists, they continue to occupy La ZAD to build the world in which they want to live.

While the commune in Olympia didn’t last nearly as long, we twice blockaded railroad tracks carrying fracking equipment, and experimented with new liberated ways of living. It is with the memory of the freedom that we found behind the barricades that we send our love and solidarity. La ZAD is an inspiration to rebels and communards around the world.

Tout le monde deteste les flics!

With love,

-some Olympia anarchists

Categories: News

Montreal: People Protest at Deportation Center for Lucy

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 21:02

The post Montreal: People Protest at Deportation Center for Lucy appeared first on It's Going Down.

The follow video report from Sub.Media.Tv documents the ongoing struggle to stop the deportation of local organizer, Lucy.

After the federal court refused to stop Lucy’s deportation on Thursday evening and in the face of continued silence from the Minister of Immigration Ahmed Hussen, one last effort was made to stop the deportation. Around 50 people arrived at the Laval Immigration Detention Centre shortly after 3am on Friday morning. Armed with banners, balloons, flowers, music, and love, they chained the gates and barred the exits, hoping to prevent Lucy’s deportation until Lucy’s immigration application was decided.

-Solidarity Across Borders

Categories: News

San Francisco, CA: Call for Solidarity Demonstration with La ZAD

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 23:19

The post San Francisco, CA: Call for Solidarity Demonstration with La ZAD appeared first on It's Going Down.

A call for an emergency solidarity demonstration with La ZAD in San Francisco on Wednesday, April 18th, 5 PM, at the Civic Center BART Station. For more information on La ZAD, see CrimethInc.’s background piece here.

As the ZAD fights for its preservation against ongoing state repression, we’ll take up the spirit of our comrades in France here in SF.

Last week the French state began evicting the ZAD (Zone to defend) – an occupation by more than 80 collectives which forced the abandonment of an airport project. The state sent 2,500 police accompanied by armored vehicles and demolition machinery to attack everything the occupied territory stands for and all that it has achieved. The ZAD is one of the longest-running projects of autonomous politics in our time, and serves as a coordinating node for radical organizing across France and Europe.

In 2011 police raided and destroyed the Occupy encampments across this country, then in 2017 a militarized force dismantled the Standing Rock camp. Now the forces of order, with constant gas and thousands of stun grenades, wish to write the ZAD into history as another thwarted possibility.

We ask you to join us on Wednesday afternoon for a demo in solidarity with our friends in France. The ZAD is not just a worldwide symbol for autonomous revolutionary struggle, but a partisan reality where thousands of people have been making another way of life possible for years. Despite every obstacle placed in their way by this world, they have succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams in creating a vibrant space for encounter, for experimentation, and for freedom. Decades of struggle have culminated in a wild and fertile zone unlike anywhere on earth, and it is this living truth that the state so senselessly tramples.

The ongoing evictions are a serious blow to the collective material power patiently built on the autonomous territory in the last decade. We do not know what the coming days will bring as the police operation continues. Already buildings are destroyed, many comrades hurt and arrested. Yesterday, still under siege, 20,000 friends marched to the ZAD and began rebuilding. Major demonstrations and occupations of high schools and universities have erupted across France. To the ZADists, partisans, and revolutionaries around the world, we say: this will not be how things end. Spring is coming.

From the ZAD to the Bay – at the barricades – toward joy in communism!

For more info. on the ZAD:

Categories: News

Announcing: Hamilton Anarchist Support for Cedar

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 20:41

The post Announcing: Hamilton Anarchist Support for Cedar appeared first on It's Going Down.

The following updates from Hamilton Anarchist Support details the events surrounding the arrest of Cedar at the hands of the police and the trumped up charges that he faces, along with ways that those on the outside can support him. As It Stands Today: Cedar’s Arrest

This has been a big month for Hamilton. To contextualize Cedar’s arrest, we can start with the Anarchist Bookfair in early March, our first bookfair in 7 years. The event was a smashing success, and brought together people from all over the continent to explore possibilities for radical change, to envision a world without enforced hierarchies and domination, to simply meet each other and learn from each other. The weekend was particularly marked by a small riot through one of Hamilton’s most affluent neighborhoods and down one of its most noxious commercial streets. The “Locke Street Riot” was a collective expression of rage, not only against the rapid gentrification of Hamilton, but against capitalism and the violent world of alienation it fosters. It led to a lot of productive conversations about the inevitability of discomfort in fighting for new worlds, and the importance of clarifying and articulating our politics. The riot also kicked up some toxic Hamilton sediment, including a mass spillage of sentimental tears for small businesses, shrieks of “terrorism” from city councillors, and anti-anarchist fervor from local alt-right trolls who saw this as an opportunity to step into the limelight.

In the weeks that followed many of these reactions were channeled into Hamilton’s only anarchist social space, The Tower, which became the defacto target before they even had a chance to come out in support of the riot. First its windows were smashed, then the door was kicked down and the library got trashed, then the locks got glued, and more recently we’ve seen an ongoing wave of amateur graffiti, including the word “gay” written in crumbling wheat paste on the new plexiglass windows. In late March, while supporters of the tower were busy cleaning up after the break-in, a coalition of white-nationalist, misogynistic, homophobic trolls organized a rally in support of the businesses on Locke Street. Their sad rally was confronted and largely foiled, but not before a few of them had a chance to mingle with Locke Street business owners and chit-chat over a lemon-pistachio donut. Information was leaked revealing that the Soldiers of Odin and The Proud Boys were hoping to head over to The Tower after the rally in order to confront the “120 lbs beta males” they hoped to find there. The first time they showed up they found 40 anarchists ready to defend the space. They screamed about their democratic rights and ended up utilizing a police escort to get to the other side of the street. A few hours later a smaller group of them showed up drunk looking for a fight, and despite noble efforts to deescalate we ended up sending them home that day with bloodied and broken noses.

Meanwhile, public pressure to find those responsible for the riotous action on Locke street built. The police had been unable to apprehend anyone on the night of the action, and had responded to public outcry with promises of justice and desperate pleas for public cooperation. Finally on April 6th, one month after the riot, the police put on a show for the bloodthirsty public. Warrants in hand, they smashed down the door of a collective house at dawn and lobbed a flash grenade into the living room. With assault rifles drawn they stormed through the house putting people in cuffs, and arrested Cedar (Peter) Hopperton charging them with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence (unlawful assembly while masked). The others were released and made to spend hours in the driveway while the cops turned the house inside out looking for anything that might help their investigation. They seized computers, phones, loose papers, zines and books, which will take years to recover from their greasy hands.

Cedar’s bail hearing, which itself only occurred five days after the arrest and after one particularly sneaky maneuver by the Crown to delay it, was a painstaking ordeal. Four hours of blathering drivel in which it became clear that not only Cedar, but all of anarchism was on trial. Just as we saw after the 2010 G20 Summit, in which Cedar faced very similar charges, the prosecutor fumbled with the basic concepts of our politics and desperately grasped at every available trope to paint Cedar as a “ringleader”. In cross-examining Cedar’s would-be surety, the crown prosecutor attacked the very concept of friendship as an unreliable form of human relation, mistaking Cedar’s refusal to be governed with a refusal to be accountable to friends, thus revealing once again one of the basic failings of hierarchal social models. The presiding Justice of the Peace, clearly an authority on many subjects, stated that the only legitimate form of activism in the 21st century is through social media, citing the #metoo movement as proof that there is no longer any reason to assemble on the street. This is the level of buffoonery and arrogance Cedar was up against. In the end Cedar was denied bail and sent back to the hellscape of Barton jail where hordes of abducted people wait in wretched conditions for trial. He will potentially remain in Barton for a year or more while the state drags its heels in making a case against him.

We in Hamilton have organized a solid support team to make sure that Cedar has reliable legal defense and as much advocacy and communication as possible. We want to continue the projects they hold dear, and support any forms of organizing they might pursue in jail. We’ve launched this blog as a space where we can provide updates on Cedar’s whereabouts, their legal situation, and how they’re doing. Should there be any more arrests in connection with the Locke Street riot this site will offer similar outlet for those support efforts. Prison isn’t the end of the road for anarchists, it’s merely one dimension of the world we stand against. We will do everything in our power to resist the isolation they attempt to impose on those they capture, and continue to fight together against the world of police, courts and prisons.

First Contact

We got our first proper visit with Cedar this week! They are doing well considering the circumstances, and asked us to send big love to everyone on the outside, and a huge heap of gratitude to the folks offering support. They explained that the day of the arrest was quite scary and that it was hard to be deprived of any information about what was happening to them or to their friends. They were interrogated for 90 minutes that day about their gender expression and their body, forced to be accountable to the violent assignment of gender upon which prison, and all of society for that matter, are predicated. They explained that every day since then has gotten progressively less scary, and that they are now mostly occupied with organizing a legal defence and overcoming the boredom of a tiny jail cell. They are being kept in segregation on the female side of the prison, though that will likely be changing soon. Segregation is in some ways a safer way to engage with a prison, but it’s also incredibly lonely, which means that anything we can do to break that isolation becomes particularly important.

Please take the time to write to Cedar at the address provided on this website. If you want to help keep their canteen fund full (money that they can use to buy overpriced goods from the mini-store in jail) as well as help cover all the many other associated costs, please donate to the legal support fundraiser.

How To Contact

Cedar can currently be reached at:

c/o Peter (Cedar) Hopperton
Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre
165 Barton St East
Hamilton ON
L8L 2W6

To make sure your letter gets to Cedar please use plain, unscented paper. Any letter with staples, stickers, glitter, or similar substances will also not get in. Scan or photocopy your letter so you can keep a back up. All letters will be read by the prison before being given to Cedar.

This blog can be contacted at:

Categories: News

Disruption of a Meeting of En Marche Montréal in Solidarity with the ZAD

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 20:05

The post Disruption of a Meeting of En Marche Montréal in Solidarity with the ZAD appeared first on It's Going Down.

This anonymous report back was originally published on Montreal Counter-Info, and details a solidarity action with the ZAD or Zone to Defend in France, which is currently fighting a brutal eviction at the hands of the French State.

Band of buffoons, did you really think we would allow your little clique to hold its event, while you’re trying to destroy everything we have built?

Driven by the force of the intergalactic call for solidarity with the ZAD, we decided to intervene during a 5 à 7 of En Marche (yes, they come bother us all the way in Montreal) to remind the Macronists that the nauseating odor of the shit they spread will always come back to their nostrils.

Whereas all across France the Macron government pathetically tries to crush strikes and evict our friends on the ZAD and in the universities, it was the En Marche shitbags’ turn to be evicted.

While our festive arrival and playful chants seemed to cheer them up momentarily, their coldness took us by surprise when they received stink bombs, firecrackers and insults. We would have thought they would be more favorable to the use of violence seeing how their monarch is deploying his attack dogs against the movement.

Our lives are beautiful, and they are worth defending.

The resistance is on the march: because it’s our project!

Categories: News

Wiping Away TPUSA at their Regional Conference

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 03:05

The post Wiping Away TPUSA at their Regional Conference appeared first on It's Going Down.

This report back from the Chicago GDC details the exploits of several groups of anti-authoritarians and antifascists who crashed a regional Turning Point USA event only to find that it seems numbers have turned downward for the far-Right industrial complex.

Cover photo via @parsonshanged

Despite the rain putting a damper on our Black Bloc Dance Party, Chicago’s General Defense Committee (GDC) managed to create quite the disruption at the first day of Turning Point USA’s Midwest Regional Conference at the Donald E Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. They stationed themselves out in the Chicago suburbs, hoping to fly under our radar after we kicked out Trump and shut down Milo twice when they dared try to hold events in our city.

“I screamed in their faces not to touch me, which scared them off us for a few moments. Then one dark-haired young man in a red MAGA hat came up and attempted to snatch my sign out of my hand, I screamed deep as hell and they backed off.”

This morning, comrades came in two waves. I was in the first and we had about 10 people total. Our group was between the ages of 23 and 70. We were a mix of Chicago GDC, DSA Libertarian Socialist Caucus, Milwaukee IWW, and antifascists. We bloc’d up and walked through the elevated walkway with our picket signs, all anti-capitalist and anti-racist messages written on the back of outdated Toys for Tots posters stapled to recycled wood sticks.

We strolled in to the conference center like we owned the place. DSA comrades rolled out their banner, and we waved our signs chanting “Baby Nazis Go Home.” The students attending the conference (about 75 in total versus their expected 1000) immediately all stood up and began filming us. They looked preppy as all hell, fake tans and bleached teeth, wearing expensive polos and blazers. Since we were the unexpected guests, the few dozen TPUSA conference goers didn’t know what to make of us.

Photo via

After a few minutes the older TP coordinators got increasingly angry and began to shove us. I screamed in their faces not to touch me, which scared them off us for a few moments. Then one dark-haired young man in a red MAGA hat came up and attempted to snatch my sign out of my hand, I screamed deep as hell and they backed off. Eventually security guards came and we knew it was time to go. None of us came to get arrested today.

“I was able to have a conversation with some of the attendees who didn’t want to be there. They were the ones that informed me about the extraordinarily low turnout and the disappointment of the organizers.”

As a part of the second wave, I was the only GDC member with the group of unaffiliated antifascists. There were 5 of us in our party. I went inside to find a better place to disrupt the conference. I was instantly removed by one of the police officers at the center. Before I had a chance to put my mask back on, roughly 30 of the attendees came to heckle us in the front of the center. It seems fortunate that they came out at that time because I was able to have a conversation with some of the attendees who didn’t want to be there. They were the ones that informed me about the extraordinarily low turnout and the disappointment of the organizers.

Their low turnout was a sight to see, and they ended their conference 3 hours earlier than their agenda outlined. Overall, our disruption and shutdown was successful.

In the event TPUSA doesn’t realize just how unwelcome they are, we will be there again tomorrow picketing out front of the conference center to make sure Rosemont knows these neo-Nazis are trying to organize within the city and we are here to stop them. We welcome everyone to spread word & join. For more information, see our fb event  and follow us on twitter and IG @chicago_GDC

Categories: News

DAPL Protester Vic Lancia Arrested and Fined 1 Year After Wells Fargo Lock-Down

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 02:24

The post DAPL Protester Vic Lancia Arrested and Fined 1 Year After Wells Fargo Lock-Down appeared first on It's Going Down.

Update on Vic Lancia, who locked down to a Wells Fargo branch in Connecticut over a year ago against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

This an update and thank-you message for those who have supported our friend Vic Lancia. Almost one year after Vic shut down a Wells Fargo branch in Middletown, CT in April 2017, Vic was arrested in February 2018 and fined in March 2018.

On April 7 of last year, Vic, then about to turn 77 years old, locked himself to concrete barrels blocking the entrance to a Wells Fargo branch in Middletown during a protest against the bank’s funding of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and other fossil fuel infrastructure. Vic’s lock-down shut down the branch for nearly two hours. Meanwhile, 9 Wesleyan University students blocked the drive-through ATM. Police were unable to extract Vic from the barrels and made no arrests.

At the time, Vic offered the following statement:

“Wells Fargo is a major funder of the Dakota Access Pipeline. It’s full speed ahead for fossil fuels even as the destructive consequences of their use become more and more evident by the day. Their ONLY concern is profit! This is corporate tyranny! We, the people, will not continue to ignore this to the peril of the young, our planet, and its inhabitants. And that’s why I am here today disrupting business as usual at Wells Fargo. I am here to say no to profiting from climate destruction. We are part of a worldwide movement TAKING A STAND against greedy and parasitic people.  We need to get in their way and tell them: ‘NO!’”

The demonstration was organized by Wesleyan Coalition for Divestment and Transparency, Students Against the Fossil Fuel Industry, and Dragonfly Climate Collective.

According to Vic’s attorney, Wells Fargo appears to have requested police action, and this explains why almost a year later on February 20, 2018, a police officer approached Vic on the street, pulled out a badge, and arrested him. The arrest warrant found probable cause for four violations of Connecticut General Statutes: Breach of Peace in the Second Degree, Disorderly Conduct: Obstructing Free Passage, Tresspass in the Second Degree, and Interfering with a Police Officer.

Ultimately, the state attorney chose to charge Vic with the first three of these violations. As a result, Vic faced a maximum penalty of 9 months in jail and $2000 in fines. At Vic’s first court appearance on March 1, 2018, the state attorneys said they would get get in touch with the so-called “victim,” Wells Fargo.

At Vic’s second court appearance on March 26, the State offered Vic two non-criminal infractions as a plea deal, which he accepted: A non-criminal trespass (fee: $90) and a non-criminal Creating a Public Disturbance (fee: $90) with costs and fees imposed (amounting to a total of slightly over $200).

Vic has raised just enough to be able to cover his fines. Anyone who was looking to contribute might instead donate to a number of ongoing sites of resistance against fossil fuel infrastructure. For example, at this link you can donate to the L’eau Est La Vie (Water is Life) Camp resisting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline:

Categories: News