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In Search of New Forms of Life
Updated: 14 min 59 sec ago

Benjamin Case on “Street Rebellions: Beyond Violence and Non-Violence”

4 hours 35 min ago

On this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we speak with Benjamin Case, organizer and author of the new book, Street Rebellions: Beyond Violence and Non-Violence. During our discussion, Case speaks on conversations with participants from a variety of contemporary movements about how many are leaving behind rigid ideologies such as pacifism, and imagining revolutionary strategies which embrace more nuanced and holistic approaches to building power and deepening social struggles.

With the streets heating up again and those in power trotting out well wore attacks on combative movements, we hope our discussion continues forward our ability to grow and build the capacity for grassroots change in new and dynamic ways.

More Info: Street Rebellion: Beyond Violence and Non-Violence on AK Press

photo: Rad Pozniakov via Unsplash

Categories: News

‘Stop Cop City’ Protesters March on Office of Cushman & Wakefield in Milwaukie, OR

Sun, 01/29/2023 - 09:11

Report back on recent action in solidarity with Stop Cop City movement in Milwaukie, Oregon.

On Tuesday January 24th, a flock of angry forest creatures descended on the Milwaukie, OR office of Cushman & Wakefield to disrupt the corporate monotony within their lifeless office building. One of Cushman & Wakefield’s executives, John O’Neill III, sits on the board for the Atlanta Police Foundation.

Tuesday afternoon a group of activists marched in memory of Tortuguita, and in solidarity with Atlanta's forest defenders, into the offices of Cushman & Wakefield in Milwaukee, Oregon. Inside the office complex they marched around chanting "Stop Cop City" and distributed flyers. pic.twitter.com/gVqjuF8coX

— Daniel V. Media (@danielvmedia) January 27, 2023

In solidarity with forest defenders in Atlanta, and in remembrance of Tortuguita, we stuffed flyers under doors and threw them in the air like confetti while chanting “Stop Cop City!” Although our action was brief, it succeeded in convincing the businesses in the office building to close for the next day, lock the lobby entrance doors, and consider hiring expensive security guards.

For more info on Cop City, Atlanta's forest defenders, and the fatal police shooting of Tortuguita check out the links below.https://t.co/mmSXPu4sRghttps://t.co/GA3SqugJaE

— Daniel V. Media (@danielvmedia) January 27, 2023

From Portland to Atlanta, we’re all united in the fight to stop Cop City.

Categories: News

Five Suggestions for When State Repression Comes to Town

Thu, 01/26/2023 - 08:53

A look at state repression from the Civil Liberation Defense Center (CLDC) and what you can do to stop it.

CLDC has been providing movement aligned legal support to the campaigns and activists in the so called U.S. for over 20 years now.  In that time period, I have personally witnessed numerous waves of state repression targeting the campaigns that were moving the needle on the moral compass—anti-racism, environmental and animal defense, water and food safety, Indigenous sovereignty, LGBTQIA+, and others.  The state, whether government actors or big corporate profiteers, have a limited playbook that they tend to repeat over and over. This is why knowing your movement history is core to building resilience.

History has demonstrated that when state repression comes to town it is often because your campaign is winning or demonstrating strength and the state elects to spend vast resources on derailing your momentum.  In the face of state repression, there are numerous things to keep in mind. While this is not an exhaustive list, here are five suggestions of where to begin:

Take care of your people—body and mind

Being threatened with criminal prosecution, jail, and/or investigation is stressful and impacts people in very different ways.  When the state purposefully uses bond or bail conditions to attempt to isolate targeted individuals (defendants) from their communities, that community must think creatively and carefully about how to provide maximum support with minimal risk of landing someone back in jail.  Remember that the targeted person’s loved ones can also be impacted. Support for parents, children, and significant others is essential.  During the Green Scare the community spent an entire day doing yard work projects at the home of a grand jury resister who was incarcerated.  His wife felt loved and supported which made it easier to deal with the loss and stress of her partner and she continues to be a strong movement supporter to this day.

Remember that politically motivated criminal prosecutions may take a long time to resolve.  Engagement with the carceral legal system is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourselves and practice radical self-care.

Keep doing the work

State repression is intended to stop the political movement and deter people from joining or supporting the public interest work being done.  The work must continue or else the state sees that its tactics succeeded. When the movement acquiesces to repression,  it serves to embolden the state and its deployment of such tactics now and in the future.  Recognize that state resources are being deployed against you and be mindful of security culture and the harm reduction tools that nimble activists have at their disposal.  Continue to diligently grow your movements’ size and reach. Engage solid communications and outreach strategies to broaden movement support if possible. Ensuring your community is engaged in good security culture practices does provide hardiness.  Committing to lawful digital hygiene is important.  See CLDC’s digital security webinars for more.

A healthy movement has many roles to fill—whether you are a defendant, a parent, or frontline risk taker, there are many ways to strengthen and continue movement work in a consensual way.

Be prepared for the state to double-down on the terrorist rhetoric

Most reasonable folk know that terrorism describes acts like the World Trade Center bombing, the Oklahoma Federal Building bombing, or other intentional acts of mass murder.  When the state attempts to conflate those horrific acts with direct actions such as sitting in a tree or denting a police car, their tenuous hyperbolic rhetoric becomes transparent to all.  Why would they attempt to persuade people that defending the forest is the equivalent of terrorism?  Because they wrongly believe that their stranglehold on mass media will confuse, scare or misinform.  We need to engage the public at large, reminding them that these lies and manipulations couldn’t be farther from the truth, and when the state attempts to brand everyone and everything as terrorists, we are all less safe from actual threats.  Also be prepared for the state one-two punch. The state makes arrests and files charges, and when they see everyone bunched up around those activist-targets looking fatigued and stressed, they go in for the knockout and file even more serious or sinister charges—often against perceived leaders or heroes of the movement or campaign.  Movement appearances matter in the face of state repression because the state is definitely watching closely.

Lawyer up & shut up

Movement lawyers and politically aware lawyers can run interference when the state attempts to intrude in your political work.  When state tactics such as knock and talks occur (when law enforcement shows up at your home, workplace, etc. to ‘talk’ to you as part of an “investigation”), it is important to drag them into the light and expose their playbook.  And equally important is to simply decline their invitation to talk—even if you think what you have to say is harmless.  These tactics are intended to invoke fear and chill the First Amendment rights of association, assembly and free speech.  Simply assert your 5th amendment rights as a unified political front and the state will have a harder time attempting to exploit vulnerable community members. Again, if the state thinks one of its tactics is creating the results they want—fear, division, diminished campaign strength, and of course if they actually obtain intelligence on the movement and it’s participants—you can bet they will be back at it again and again. Establishing a roster of trusted lawyers to provide legal information to you, and to potentially back the state off of you and/or your loved ones, is just one component in building community resilience against repression.  It’s an important one to develop early and often. The CLDC often assists communities in building these legal teams-reach out to us for ideas and support.

Prosecutors as political tools

Prosecutors and law enforcement agents often know what they are doing is wrong while they are doing it, but they are pressured by political hacks that hold power over them.  During the Green Scare, FBI agents hunted animal and environmental activists engaged in economic sabotage and prosecutors sought the terrorism sentencing enhancement in the indictments.  The U.S. Attorney at the time, Alberto Gonzales, held a press conference on the day of their arrests and called them the number one domestic terrorist threat (so much for innocent until proven guilty).  We all knew that in this new post 9/11 world, the state was using these activists to distract the public from the fact that they were unable to find or catch anyone connected to the World Trade Center murders.  Twenty years later, FBI agents admitted that the activist defendants were used as political pawns and did not deserve to be branded as terrorists. At least one agent regretted their complicity in this heinous abuse of power.  Call it out when you see and it leverage it to the benefit of the movement.  Maybe you have comrades well situated to engage the political machinations at their own game?  Also know that your lawyers can fight hard and challenge the constitutionality of political charges like Georgia’s domestic terrorism statute, expose the illegitimacy of repressive prosecutorial misconduct, and make the state spend lots and lots of time and resources in fighting a political case.

Final Thoughts:

Movements are not built or destroyed in court rooms but resistance to these tactics are one of many that must be deployed in the face of state repression.  Solidarity is critically important.  As environmental and social justice activists and supporters, when they come after one of us, they come after all of us.  When repressive tactics result in a decline in organizing and strategic action, or they manage to divide and conquer, the state wins. And rest assured that they will return to those tactics in your community and beyond.

Political movements are targeted by the capitalist state because they know we offer and work toward a hopeful alternative to the suffering and planetary destruction they seek to profit from.  I went to law school in order to fill a niche my movement needed.  Twenty-five years later, I am grateful to stand in solidarity with movements like the Atlanta forest defenders, Water Protectors, pipeline resisters, antifascists, and those fighting for Black lives, among many others.  I am proud to have founded the Civil Liberties Defense Center knowing that we will have your back when state repression comes to town.

In solidarity always,

Lauren Regan

photo: Parker Coffman via Unsplash

Categories: News

Canadian Tire Fire #52: Far-Right Doxxings and Consequences, New Prisons, and Queer Community Defence

Thu, 01/26/2023 - 03:43

This week we share updates on two new proposals for prisons in New Brunswick and Quebec. We also have updates from many actions over the past few weeks defending libraries and university campuses alike from reactionary queer and transphobes. Finally, we share news of a recent doxxing of a far-Right recruiter in Ottawa, and updates from the court case of a prominent neo-Nazi.

An action took place in the Terrain Vague in Montreal this week, at the site of the ongoing struggle against the construction of a storage container yard. According to a post on social media, Ray-Mont Logistics had their work day disrupted and participants hoped to communicate that the project is not accepted by the neighborhood.

New Prisons Proposed in Fredericton, Montreal

For the past year, New Brunswick government officials have been promoting the proposed construction of a new jail in Fredericton by arguing that jails in the province are massively overcrowded. However, a CBC investigation has shown that the statistics they are using to make this argument are inaccurate and misleading. NB recently changed the way they count prison capacity, and are now counting people serving time in the community as if they are taking up space in the prisons. These inflated numbers make it seem that jails are much more overcrowded than they are. And while NB jails were over capacity on average by single digits in 2022, in no other year since 2012 have they even been at capacity.

We know that overcrowding is much more easily solved by letting people out than building more jails, but this story shows that this jail should not be built, even by their their own logics.

A plan to build a $400 million women’s prison in Montreal has been announced. Construction will begin this year and if it is built it would be open in 2029. It is slated to have 237 beds. The news releases regarding the plan are already pretending that the project will be beneficial to incarcerated women, and “centre their reality.” No woman, nor anyone else, should be in prison.

Far-Right Doxxings and Consequences

The Canadian Anti-Hate Network recently revealed the identity of a far-Right organizer based in Ottawa, who used the online name “Aquila the Eagle.” Ben Mockler, also known as Ben Burke, is the owner of the Nova Signum gym in Ottawa, and a personal trainer. He is also a recruiter for the Active Club Ottawa, the local branch of a set of white-only workout clubs across North America tied to the Vinland Hammerskins, a white power gang. He is also the administrator of several Telegram channels associated with the Church of Aryanity, a white supremacist organization. Mockler apparently had a falling out with the founder of the ‘church’ over whether members should be banned from having relationships with those who have been vaccinated.

In other news, neo-Nazi writer Gabriel Sohier-Chaput, also known as “Zeiger,” was found guilty of willfully inciting hate against an identifiable group for his statements about Jewish people. Sohier-Chaput was a writer and editor behind the popular neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, and contributor to the internet forum Iron March. An arrest warrant was first issued for Sohier-Chaput in 2018, after his identity was published by the Montreal Gazette based on research conducted by Montreal antifascists. He disappeared for two years, finally reappearing to face the charges in 2020.

In the end, the verdict of his charges hinged on comments made in one Daily Stormer article, which he tried to defend by positioning the writing as satire. No Borders Media, who live-tweeted the court date, rightfully pointed out that the Montreal Police Hate Crimes Unit brought forward an unfortunately weak case against Sohier-Chaput, failing to establish that he was a major contributor to a neo-Nazi website. Furthermore, they highlighted that the major victory in anti-fascist organizing in this case is the original doxxing of Zeiger in 2018, thanks to the dedicated work of anonymous antifascists.

Drag Storytime Community Defense

 

1/ If you were at the Drag Defence event at Coquitlam Library earlier this month, you may have spotted Amy Hamm skulking around with the (vastly) outnumbered group of Free Speech Warriors attempting to shut down a voluntary drag event. A short thread on Amy Hamm & Team Freedumb. pic.twitter.com/SpVFLhN2EB

— Community Over Convoys (@COCVancouver) January 24, 2023

Over the past few weeks, communities across so-called Canada have stepped up to defend Drag Storytime events which have recently come under attack from the far-right. The Canadian Anti-Hate Network recently reported that that events in Coquitlam, Peterborough, Sault Ste. Marie, and Calgary, all witnessed protests and counter-protests, and that in each case those in support of queer-friendly kids events far outnumbered the haters. In Sault Ste Marie, over 100 people showed up to hold space outside a local library. In Coquitlam, supporters managed to surround the library and shield it from transphobic protesters. A party atmosphere and a division of tactics kept everyone safe and in good spirits. In Peterborough, folks came from as far as Ottawa and Toronto to support the event.

Montreal Shuts Down Transphobe

On January 11th, over 100 people showed up to shut down a transphobic talk at McGill University. The talk, titled “The Sex vs. Gender (Identity) Debate In the United Kingdom and the Divorce of LGB from T” was to be given by a member of the UK-based group LGB Alliance, widely known for its anti-trans lobbying. The group has opposed legal protections for trans people from conversion therapy, and has argued for the exclusion of trans people from ‘LGB’ activism.

According to reports, the crowd stormed the conference room where the event was to take place and blocked the doors, mostly preventing attendees from accessing it. Shortly after it began, the talk was called off. Before the speaker left, he had baking flour thrown in his face by protesters.

Categories: News

Drag Defenders Won 4-0 At Weekend Protests

Tue, 01/24/2023 - 10:55

Report on community defense of LGBTQ+ events across so-called Canada. Originally posted to Northshore Counter-Info and written by Canadian Anti-Hate Network.

The far-Right movement is coming hard for the 2SLGBTQ+ community right now, fueled by the anti-trans narratives of accounts like Libs of Tiktok and white supremacists like Tucker Carlson. They’re redoing the lavender scare of the 1950s – in which gay men were portrayed as dangerous pedophiles – and saying the same things about trans and 2SLGBTQ+ people today.

As a result of a growing and dangerous anti-trans narrative and movement, both globally and with significant Canadian elements, all-ages drag events are being targeted. Four of them were protested against this weekend alone, but at every one they were vastly outnumbered by the 2SLGBTQ+ community and allies who drowned them out with chants of “our love is louder than your hate!”

The far-Right were outnumbered, outshouted, and out flag-waved in Coquitlam, Peterborough, Sault Ste. Marie, and Calgary. In every case, they were kept away from the event itself. People came from Toronto and as far as Ottawa to join drag defenders in Peterborough.

In Coquitlam, hundreds of gaily dressed drag defenders showed up to protect Conni Smudge’s drag story hour by holding a party between the far-Right bullies and the library. They were faced by a motley crew of bigots and far-Right content creators – maybe 50 in total. One of them brought a large “gays against groomers” sign, an anti-trans hate group banned by Google. All of them were yelling and calling members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community “pedophiles,” but they were barely heard over the pop music and the dance party.

Let’s use Coquitlam as an example, and look at why their drag defence counter-demonstration was such a success:

  1. The far-Right bullies were massively outnumbered. Eventually confined to the corner of one intersection hundreds of feet away from the door, you could barely hear them or see them. Every one of their signs was covered up by multiple people holding pride flags or signs of their own.
  2. When known far-Right instigator Harm Bomm first showed up with a megaphone, which he used throughout to shout “pedophiles” at the crowd, drag defenders in black were quick to get between him and the crowd and move him back. Throughout the event, Bomm and other bullies would try to outflank or push through the counter-demonstrators in black to get to confront people in the crowd. Every time they were pushed, these defenders held the line. This kept the event safe for everyone else.
  3. The drag defenders had a much better time. Not only community defence, it was a party and an expression of solidarity and love. Young families came and people got to know one another. Even more people will probably come out next time.

A big thank you from the Canadian Anti-Hate Network to everybody that showed up at all the events. Our love is louder than their hate!

Categories: News

Tucson Group Mourns Protester Killed by Police in the Atlanta Forest

Mon, 01/23/2023 - 23:16

Action report from so-called Tucson, Arizona about banner drop in solidarity with fight against Cop City in Atlanta, GA.

On Saturday, a group of about 20 people gathered at the Bank of America building on East Broadway Boulevard in Tucson to express their grief and rage at the death of Manuel Teran, also known as Tortuguita, in the fight to defend the Atlanta Forest.

“This is the first action of the newly founded Tucson Chapter of the Weelaunee Defense Society,” said Ricky Flowers, a spokesperson for the group. “Across the country, those concerned about climate change, deforestation, and the expansion of police power in our communities are forming chapters of this organization to express their solidarity with the movement in Atlanta and around the world.”

The group convened around mid-day on Saturday at the northwest corner of Reid Park. From there, a short march brought them to the East Broadway Boulevard branch of Bank of America. Amidst chants of “Stop Cop City,” flyers were distributed contextualizing the recent murder of Tortuguita, the movement to defend the Atlanta Forest and its conflictual relationship against the police. Posters memorializing the murdered protester were additionally hung from the windows of the bank.

Meanwhile, a small group of protesters broke from the main group and, following a quick scramble up a ladder onto the branch’s roof, a banner was hung. It read: “B-of-A Funds ATL’s Murderous Cops / Stop Cop City.”

Bank of America is just one out of a number of major national funders donating to the Cop City project.

“Police in Atlanta think that they can stop the movement by charging protesters as domestic terrorists and now executing protesters in the woods,” said Flowers. “We’re here to tell them that the movement is spreading across the country. Wanting to stop the planet from burning is not terrorism.”

The Tucson chapter of the Weelaunee Defense Society expressed their intention to continue with similar actions in the coming weeks. “This is not a local struggle,” Flowers remarked. “If the Cop City project is built, it would be used to train police from across the country, expanding the overall infrastructure of repression nationally. This is a struggle that extends well beyond just one part of Atlanta–it affects us all.”

They noted that although Cop City is tied to a specific Atlanta neighborhood, it is tied to a nationwide infrastructure. “Cop City is everywhere; it can be attacked anywhere.” With this, the group stated that it will grow and expand its pressure campaign against local donors and supporters of Atlanta’s Cop City project. They say that they will keep fighting the project until it is completely stopped — in defense of the forest, in defense of the Earth, and in the memory and honor of Tortuguita.

Manuel “Tortuguita” Teran was born April 23, 1996. On Wednesday, January 18th, 2023, they were killed by police during a raid of the Weelaunee Forest. Those that knew and loved them describe them as a dear friend, a loving partner, and a proud, fierce anarchist. At the time of their death, Tortuguita spent their time between Atlanta and Florida. In the former, they were focused on defending the forest and coordinating mutual aid; in the latter, they focused on building low-income housing in communities hit hardest by the hurricane. In each account of their life, they are described as a kind, passionate, and deeply caring person who will be dearly missed.

Categories: News

Coordinated Banner Drops Across Portland in Solidarity with Tortuguita

Mon, 01/23/2023 - 22:26

Report on coordinated banner drops across Portland, OR in solidarity with the struggle to stop ‘Cop City’ in so-called Atlanta, GA.

Last night banners were hung over I-5 in Portland in solidarity with our comrade in Atlanta who was just murdered by the police. Tortuguita was occupying the Weelaunee forest, putting themself at great personal risk to prevent nearly 400 acres of forest from being clear cut and turned into a $90 million police playground.

If Cop City is built, it will be used as a way for not only Atlanta police, but police from all over the county to practice urban warfare against anyone who dares to stand up to them. It’s necessary to push back against increasing state violence, against rapid environmental destruction, against this racist capitalist system as a whole, for the future of life on this planet.

Rest in peace to our comrade Tort, your death will not be in vain. This is a call to everybody— the time is now to act, to fight back against this cruel and explorative system. We must take action if we want to ensure a habitable future. Cop City will never be built!

Categories: News

Actions and Rallies in Solidarity with Fight Against ‘Cop City’ Grows Over Weekend

Mon, 01/23/2023 - 11:44

photo: Unicorn Riot

Last weekend, across more than 20 cities in the so-called United States, hundreds of people took to the streets, holding vigils, protests, and rallies in solidarity with the ongoing fight against ‘Cop City’ in Atlanta and to remember Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, also known as Tortuguita, a 26 year-old anarchist who was shot and killed by law enforcement during a raid on the Weelaunee forest on August 18th.

APD arrested 6 people at random Saturday night near protests against the murder of Manuel Teran. All are now accused of "domestic terrorism" & other blanket charges. ATL police continue reckless retaliation against #CopCity opponents.

Donate to @AtlSolFund. #JusticeForTort

— Defend the Atlanta Forest (@defendATLforest) January 23, 2023

Sunday marked the fourth straight day of vigils, protests, and rallies in solidarity with the struggle in Atlanta, following the police murder of Tortuguita, with more scheduled throughout the coming week.

The movement to oppose Cop City, a massive corporate backed counter-insurgency police training center, it notable in that it has built a bridge between the George Floyd rebellion of 2020 and the fight against climate change, while organizing itself largely outside of the established Left. The movement has been marked by a wide diversity of tactics; from mutual aid programs, nature walks, and large outdoor concerts – to tree-sits, mass marches, and the sabotaging of machinery.

If I was in Atlanta, I would be there.

— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) January 22, 2023

While attacked by the state’s governor as “criminal” and decried as terrorists by the police, the movement in recent days has gotten support from everything from 350.org to the leadership of the DSA (Democratic Socialist of America). On Twitter, former Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson stated, “If I was in Atlanta, I would be there.” But what’s built this large coalition of support and solidarity has been a grassroots autonomous movement, not the top-down non-profits and political parties which suddenly, are rushing to catch-up.

The struggle against Cop City has also been building against the backdrop of growing anger at the Biden administration’s failure to deliver basic reforms and protect essential rights. In the past two years since Biden has taken office, police killings have increased along with funding for police departments; which has done nothing to impact crime. And while the Democrats have presented themselves as the only alternative to a rising fascist threat from within the Republican party, it has done little to reign in the GOP and curtail fascist sympathies within law enforcement and the security state. This is to say nothing about its handling of the ongoing pandemic, housing crisis, and attacks on reproductive autonomy.

As Hugh Farrell wrote on Ill Will Editions:

We are living through a moment of terrifying social reflux. The minimal state protections put in place at the beginning of COVID have given way to renewed evictions and a broad political consensus in favor of interest rate hikes intended to tame inflation and rebuild market stability. However, since, much of this inflationary instability is driven by new working class purchasing power, this means that renewed market stability is tied inexorably to restoring the precarity of the poor, to reducing their share of consumption and breaking the job-seeking confidence that fed the Great Resignation, itself produced by the exceptionally taut COVID labor market.

Just as the crisis-bred confidence of the poor must be tamed, so the recent memory of vast anti-police struggles led by Black youth must be painted over with delirious panics over Critical Race Theory and Defund the Police, both as phantasmic as a mythical crime wave. Defund the Police, which appeared irrelevantly moderate during the George Floyd Uprising, now appears intolerably extremist thanks to the collusion of 10,000 talking heads who chattered their way through the entirety of 2022, even as US police continued to kill people at an increased rate.1 Since one good panic begets another, these then fed a renewed hysteria about grooming, which offers the barest fig leaf for a renewed exterminationist drive directed against LGBT — especially trans — people. Propelled by figures like Elon Musk (himself working precisely to restore conditions of profitable speculation), this drive has been so shameless that it barely missed a beat when one of its foot soldiers murdered five people in Club Q, a Colorado gay bar.

Amid this period of fear and reflux, the movement to defend the Atlanta forest — alongside recent efforts to defend the village of Lützerath against its destruction by mining giant RWE (from which the accompanying images here are taken) — stand out as bright exceptions. While the ostensible aim of both struggles lies in protecting specific territories, they have also succeeded in challenging the more general terms of our current period of reaction. While my focus here will be on the struggle in Atlanta, the logic of composition outlined below may also help to illuminate other ecologically-minded insurgencies across the globe.

One of the things that has allowed the struggle against Cop City in Atlanta to grow, is that people recognize its importance as a local struggle, aimed at stopping the destruction of the Weelaunee forest, and as a global one, as Cop City pushes to become a one-stop shop for counter-insurgency training across the US and beyond. Atlanta police already train in counter-insurgency techniques alongside Israeli forces, as American police seek to implement strategies used by Israel in repressing the Palestinian population on people here in the US. Building ‘Cop City’ will only further accelerate a counter-insurgency ‘arms race’ within American law enforcement that so far, has received bipartisan support.

As one forest defender stated in a recent documentary:

This strategy [to defend the forest] emerges as a natural phenomenon, just directly from the intransigence and immovability of the electoral system; of the political system.

Either we will be goosestepped into the apocalypse, or we will fight outside of the institutions.

This is not a local struggle. This movement has stakes for the entire county and how it deals with safety. As long as we invest in more police infrastructure, the more violence will be the only tool that society has…They’re going to prop up their dying system…with tear gas.

Below is a roundup of solidarity marches, vigils, and actions that took place this weekend. For a more extensive roundup, see here.

In Portland, OR, anarchists vandalized a UPS store, breaking out windows of the corporate giant over its financial ties to the ‘Cop City’ project. Independent journalist Alissa Azar posted an anonymous communique they received from the action, seen below.

In Oakland, CA, a communique posted to Scenes from the Atlanta Forest wrote:

Bank of America is an enemy of the people and life itself. They currently fund the construction of cop city in Atlanta, the same project that threatens the forest that Tortuguita died defending. They deserve no place in our landscape. We destroyed quickly but tirelessly. Like the peasants in the Jacquerie, the Luddite wreckers, or the Haitian revolutionaries, we seek liberation in the most obvious way: the destruction of what we know is the cause of our suffering. And if we destroy much, it is because we have suffered much. “Vengeance! Vengeance!” is our war-cry.

Bank of America in Oakland was attacked last night.

RIP Tortuguita#StopCopCity pic.twitter.com/mk9A8jexKO

— Berkeley Antifa (@berkeleyantifa) January 21, 2023

In Austin, Texas, over one hundred people come out to a vigil that remembered the life of Tortuiguita and pledged to carry on the fight against Cop City.

Thanks to everyone who came out tonight to celebrate the life of Tortuguita and pledge vengeance to Cop City. pic.twitter.com/H7eNlkA3DH

— Stop The Sweeps ATX (@stop_sweeps_atx) January 22, 2023

In Richmond, VA, over 100 people held a vigil to remember Tortuguita and to denounce the Cop City project.

VIA: @GoadGatsby

In Chicago, IL, a communique posted to Scenes from the Atlanta Forest read:

Friday night, January 20th, Chicago abolitionists in solidarity with the movement to Stop Cop City and Defend the Atlanta Forest glued shut the card reader and keyhole at a Bank of America ATM and “Virtual Banking” facility in Chicago’s affluent Lincoln Park neighborhood (2428 N Lincoln Ave). They also left messages, including STOP COP CITY, DEFEND THE ATLANTA FOREST, and ACAB on the ATM windows and door. The incident was in response to the murder of a forest defender by police in Atlanta on January 18th, 2023.

Bank of America is a top funder of police foundations across the US, in particular the Atlanta Police Foundation, which is funding the destruction of Weelaunee Forest in “Atlanta” to build “Cop City.” The intended facility would be a militarized police training compound, including a mock city for cops to practice urban warfare on Atlanta’s residents, particularly the Black and Brown and poor communities adjacent to the forest. In 2020, BOA gave at least $50,000 to the foundation; tax data from 2021-22 is not yet available.

Bank of America also bankrolls the Chicago Police Foundation, with BoA Senior Vice President Patricia Provenzano sitting on its board.

SOURCE: Scenes from the Atlanta Forest

In Minneapolis, MN, as Unicorn Riot reported:

On Saturday, Jan. 21, a couple hundred community members gathered in Uptown Minneapolis for a protest that started outside the library and ended at Bank of America. The bank was spray painted with messages to stop ‘Cop City’ and about the bank’s funding of the police training facility.

Two of the signs in the protest read, “Our revenge will be a world with no police and no prisons” and “Trees gives us life, police take it.”

Speakers again shared some memories they had of Tort and also made mention that they were seeking bail money for the forest defenders in jail in Atlanta and calling for more people to pick up the mutual aid efforts that Tort devoted their time to.

SOURCE: Unicorn Riot

A large banner led the march that said, “We fight like hell for the dead and living. Stop Cop City.” One of the many chants that rang through the streets was “TC, Memphis, ATL, all you cops can go to hell,” ringing in solidarity from Minneapolis to Memphis, where Tyre Nichols was recently beat to death by police.

The crowd stopped in front of ‘Wince Way’ where Winston Smith was killed to pay respects to him and Deona Marie. Marie was killed by Nicholas David Kraus when he drove his vehicle into her when she was protesting in response to Smith’s killing by police. Kraus was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

In Lansing, MI, a bank of America was vandalized following a vigil in solidarity with the fight against Cop City.

Over 50 people gathered in West Philadelphia to mourn the death of Tortuguita and to later march through the streets. Reports from Philly Anti-Capitalist stated:

…[A]dults and children placed candles and homemade signs by the turtle in Clark Park. People spontaneously made speeches about Tortuguita’s death. The speeches touched on people’s experience of them, grief, martyrdom, and continuing to struggle. People called on each other to target cop city’s sponsors and the contractors responsible for building.

After people had been speaking for a while a small group broke off from the vigil. They took the street with banners. Barricades from a nearby construction site were pulled into the street to block cops and traffic. As the march moved graffiti memorializing Tortuguita and against police was tagged. A realty office had its windows smashed.

The rowdy vigil is the first time things have popped off from Clark Park in a while. A few years ago Cark Park was a regular spot for mid-sized black bloc demos to start from. We think that this is worthwhile to revisit because it’s a traditionally anarchist neighborhood and there are lots of alleys nearby to easily change in. It’s exciting to see this kind of energy re-emerge in Philly.

In Atlanta, GA, around 500 people gathered for a rally, speak-out, and rebellious march, during which, individuals broke out windows of a Wells Fargo, which is directly funding the Cop City project, as well as the Police Association building. Upwards of 10 people were arrested and now face extreme “terrorism charges.” For a full report, see here.

In New York City, a large vigil was organized and an anonymous group claimed credit for busting out the widows to Atlas, one of the subcontractors involved in the Cop City project, according to a communique posted to Scenes from the Atlanta Forest.

SOURCE: Scenes from the Atlanta Forest

Categories: News

Final Straw: Remembering Tortuguita

Mon, 01/23/2023 - 06:37

Long-running anarchist podcast and radio show The Final Straw speaks with a friend of Manuel “Tortuguita” Teran.

Listen and Download HERE

This week on The Final Straw, we feature three segments: words from a friend of Manuel “Tortuguita” Teran, the forest defender killed by law enforcement on January 18th outside of Atlanta, Georgia; A-Radio Berlin’s conversation with an activist at Lutzerath encampment in western Germany attempting to block a lignite coal extraction operation by RWE; a discussion of the Tren Maya megaproject by the AMLO administration in Mexico.

Remembering Tortuguita

First up, we caught up with Eric Champaign of Tallahassee, FL, about his friend Manny, aka Tortuguita or little turtle. Manuel Teran was shot and killed by law enforcement during an early morning raid of the forest encampment to defend the Welaunee aka Atlanta Forest and to stop CopCity on Wednesday, January 18th, 2023. Law enforcement claimed in the media that they responded to shots fired and the wounding of an officer by killing the shooter, but at the time of this release the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has not yet produced a weapon or bodycam footage of the clash. [Update, Georgia Bureau of Investigation claims they found Tort’s gun and ballistics match the bullet in the pelvis of the cop] The killing of Tortuguita has sparked outrage, calls for independent investigations, vigils and calls for renewed and dispersed activity. Word is that another 6 people were arrested and charged with domestic terrorism during the raid. Check out our chat with a member of Atlanta Anti-Repression Committee for some context and links to group fighting back in the courts. There’s a fundraiser for Tortuguita’s family at GoFundMe

Eric also speaks about his friend, Dan Baker, who is nearing his release date. You can hear our past chat with Eric about Dan’s case at our website alongside links about the case and how to support him. There’s now a paypal for donations for Dan’s post-release, which can be found at DanielBakerDonations@gmail.com

Then, we feature two segments are selections from the January, 2023 episode of B(A)D News from the A-Radio Network. You can find this ep, #64, alongside many others at A-Radio-Network.Org

Updates from Lützerath

This second segment is a recording by A-Radio Berlin of a conversation with a radio activist from Aalpunk from Lützerath giving some context of the struggle there in the west of Germany. Since this recording, the encampments have been evicted but resistance continues against the ginormous lignite mine that the corporation RWE is attempting to expand there. You can also hear or read our September 25th, 2022 episode for some background. More info at https://luetzerathlebt.info/en

Opposing Project Tren Maya

Finally, we’re sharing a segment by Frequenz-A about Proyecto Tren Maya in the Yucatán peninsula of so-called Mexico. The conversation with a member of Recherche-Ag about a report they published in Solidarity with the Zapatista movement, on the German state and corporate participation in this mega-project and the dangers posed by the Maya Train, which includes huge expansion of electric, travel and other corporate and state infrastructure through sensitive ecosystems and sovereign indigenous lands, being overseen by the Mexican military. You can find this report and more at ya-basta-netz.org.

To hear a past interview of ours talking about Tren Maya & AMLO’s infrastructure projects, you can find our February 2nd, 2020 interview.

Announcements Phone Zap for Jason Renard Walker

Jason Walker, a writer and organizer held in the Texas prison system, is currently being held at a psychiatric unit after having to fake  suicide attempt in order to escape a plot to murder him. He’s asking for urgent support in ensuring that he’s not transferred back to Connally Unit, where the original incident took place, and for his entire classification file to be reviewed to help him get moved to a safer place. You can check our show notes for the relevant contacts and words from Jason and a script to call with at BRABC.BlackBlogs.Org

Categories: News

Kite Line: A Police Murder in the Atlanta Forest

Mon, 01/23/2023 - 06:28

Long-running abolitionist radio show and podcast Kite Line covers the ongoing struggle to stop ‘Cop City’ in Atlanta and reports on the recent police murder of Tortuguita. 

Listen and Download HERE

Today, we share the tragic news that police killed Tortuguita, a forest defender in the South River Forest in Atlanta on the morning of Wednesday, January 19th.

We have previously covered the movement to protect the Atlanta forest in light of its history as a plantation and prison farm and the future plans to build a vast police training center.  Our correspondent spoke with Sarah from the Atlanta Anti-Repression Committee, who filled us in on the state of the movement, this week’s violent police raid on the forest camps, Tortuguita’s death, and next steps.

As she says, the movement’s slogan, that “cop city will never be built” seems more true today than ever before, as an outpouring of grief and anger sweeps the country in the wake of this murder.

We also include a roundup of monthly prison disturbances as compiled by Perilous Chronicle.

Categories: News

Bank Backing ‘Cop City’ Targeted as Hundreds Take to Streets of Atlanta Following Police Killing

Sun, 01/22/2023 - 10:32

photo: Unicorn Riot

On January 21st, about 400 people gathered in Underground Atlanta, where people shared their love and memories of Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, also known as Tortuguita, and called for justice in the wake of their death at the hands of the police.

Video: On Jan. 21, 100s of protestors gathered in downtown Atlanta to remember Manuel "Tortuguita" Teran, who was killed by police on Jan. 18.

Teran died in a tree-sit to stop 'Cop City', a proposed police training center project slated to demolish Atlanta's largest forest. pic.twitter.com/5gi0vzXE8n

— UNICORN RIOT 🦄 mastodon.social/@UnicornRiot 👈 (@UR_Ninja) January 22, 2023

After 30 minutes, the crowd took off. About 3/4 of the crowd were in black bloc. Activists from the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) attempted to lead the group south, perhaps towards the atate Capitol building or the CNN center, but bloc members turned the crowd around and led them north. The sun was just starting to set as the bloc, about 300 strong, turned north up Peachtree street. The commercial downtown district, gutted out by years of neoliberal policy, is populated almost exclusively by business people, university students, and unhoused people.

The bloc traveled north, as road flares and fireworks marked their progress. Umbrellas blocked local news video cameras as graffiti sprung up on walls, with phrases like “RIP Little Turtle” and “Stop Cop City.” The crowd chanted, “No justice! No Peace!,” and “Be Like Water,” as they moved along at a brisk pace, flanked by reporters. Bank windows were smashed and umbrellas blocked cameras, with a Wells Fargo branch, a funder of Cop City, receiving special attention.

Soon, the raucous crowed arrived at 191 Peachtree Street, the building housing the Atlanta Police Foundation. Rocks flew, smashing into the front of the building, as marchers smashed out even more windows. Fireworks lit the scene up. A cop car left unattended in the area was smashed, while another caught fire.

As the police pulled up, the crowd dispersed. Some individuals were tackled and violently arrested by the police, with Unicorn Riot later reporting that one person may have been run over by a police car. As the crowd dissipated, more police flooded the mile-long stretch of Peachtree Street the group had marched up.

In a later press conference, police, who have been violently attacking Cop City opponents for months in an effort to destroy an entire forest, claimed that property destruction was “terrorism.”

Feels like we're heading to another breaking point. https://t.co/uUJcAecGSz

— Dean (@NoCowardShit) January 22, 2023

Local activists are encouraging people to donate to the Atlanta Solidarity Fund to help support those arrested by law enforcement.

BREAKING: At least 5 protesters arrested, Atlanta cop car set on fire at Cop City protests. Protests occurring after police shot and killed beloved protester Manuel Teran—aka “Tortuguita." Protests have gone on in the woods for over a year against proposed $90 mill police center. pic.twitter.com/8aVsnOG4Az

— Status Coup News (@StatusCoup) January 22, 2023

Categories: News

Seattle, WA: Mourners Arrested at Vigil for Tort

Sat, 01/21/2023 - 11:57

Report on Seattle vigil in solidarity with Tortuguita and the struggle against Cop City in Atlanta. 

Around 50 folks showed up for a somber and angry candlelight vigil at Cal Anderson park in so-called Seattle. We gathered to remember Tort, murdered by Atlanta PD for defending the forest against Cop City.

People expressed their rage and sadness over this and countless other police murders. We danced, cried, spoke out and held space together. A flag was burned and some of the park tagged with ACAB messaging. Some folks brought materials to make banners. After the vigil these were dropped around the city.

As things were winding down, some people were spreading art around the park. Around five or six people were still at the vigil site hanging out, packing up, and enjoying ACAB tunes. Suddenly 15-20 cops rushed in and arrested a couple comrades.

The rest of the folks around the park returned to yell at the cops and watch where their friends were taken for jail support, but were unfortunately unable to stop the pigs from kidnapping folks for memorializing pig murders in another city.

All Cops Are Bastards
From SEA to ATL
Stop Cop City

Categories: News

This Is America #180: An Antifascist Got 20 Years in Prison For Defending Counter-Protesters on J20; Report from Rural PNW

Sat, 01/21/2023 - 11:02

Welcome, to This Is America, January 20th, 2023.

On today’s episode, first we speak with autonomous organizers in the rural Pacific Northwest town of Aberdeen, WA.

We then talk to a supporter of antifascist political prisoner Alex Stokes, who has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for standing up to protect his friends from a group of violent Proud Boys who were attacking counter-protesters at the state capitol of New York on January 6th, 2021. We speak on how Alex’s politics were put on trial, how the far-Right was treated as victims, and how people can support Alex while on the inside.

We then switch to our discussion, where we look at a recent story about social media companies in the lead up to J6 and what it means now that the GOP has established control over the House of Representatives.

All this and more, but first, let’s get to the news!

Living and Fighting

In Texas, prisoners remain on hunger-strike in protest of solitary confinement. As the Guardian reported:

Scores of Texas prisoners have entered the second week of a hunger strike in protest at being kept indefinitely in solitary confinement, a form of incarceration in the US that human rights groups have denounced as torture.

Inmates across the Texas prison system have been refusing food since 10 January in an organized outcry against being held in isolation in some cases for decades. Estimates of the numbers of prisoners involved differ. The Texas department of criminal justice (TDCJ) puts it at 72, but outside advocates liaising with the strikers say it is at least 138.

Across the US, antifascists continued to rally in defense of LGBTQ+ and drag events, as far-Right rallies have only continued into the new year. In recent weeks, antifascists have held large rallies in Dallas, Texas, Vancouver, British Columbia, Fall River, Massachusetts, and New York City. Check out our roundup of recent actions at This Week In Fascism.

Lastly, across the US and beyond, people are organizing rallies and vigils in solidarity with the ongoing struggle in Atlanta to resist the construction of ‘Cop City,’ which threatens to destroy the Weelaunee forest. On Wednesday, January 18th, police carried out a violent raid on the forest, killing one forest defender, a 26 year old anarchist who went by the name Tortuguita. Currently not much is known about the raid and local activists are demanding an independent investigation into the shooting.

On the ground, people are encourage folks to sign on to a solidarity statement, donate to the local bail-fund as many face trumped up “terrorism” charges, put pressure on companies helping to build cop city, and also organize a solidarity vigil and event.

Upcoming Events
  • January 22nd – 26th: East Coast Book-tour with Shane Burley and Daryle Lamont Jenkins. More info here.
  • January 28th: Solidarity Share Fair: Eugene, OR. More info here.
  • January 28th: Film Showing: “The Wobblies.” Silverdale, WA. Silverdale, Library. More info here.
  • February 12th: Online Discussion. 6:00 PM / EST. “We Go Where They Go: The Story of Anti-Racist Action,” a book discussion hosted by IWW GDC with former ARA members. Use link to register.
  • March 10th – 13th: Weelaunee Food Autonomy Conference. Atlanta, GA. More info here.
  • May 2023: Healthcare Autonomy Conference. Durham, NC. More info here.
It’s Going Down

If you value IGD as a revolutionary autonomous media resource in times of crisis, please help us grow the platform!

Categories: News

Rallies in Solidarity with Fight to Stop ‘Cop City’ Spread After Police Murder Forest Defender

Fri, 01/20/2023 - 00:55

Across the US, people held vigils to mourn the police murder of forest defender, Manuel Teran, 26, also known as Tortuguita, on Wednesday, January 18th and to rally in solidarity with the struggle against the destruction of the Weelaunee forest and the construction of the counter-insurgency training facility known as “Cop City.” As Unicorn Riot wrote:

A protester was shot and killed by police Wednesday morning, January 18, in the midst of a multi-jurisdictional raid on the Atlanta Forest, also known as the Weelaunee Forest, in DeKalb County, southeast of Atlanta.

The identity of the protester is currently unknown. A Georgia State Trooper was reportedly also shot during the raid and is currently undergoing surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital, according to police. At least three other protesters were reportedly arrested during the raid and were charged with “aggravated assault on a public safety officer” and “domestic terrorism.”

A forest defender, who was present during the raid and spoke with Unicorn Riot under conditions of anonymity, reported hearing 10-12 gunshots all at once followed by a loud boom.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is leading the investigation into the incident, said that the killing occurred after police were fired on by the protester. Protesters, however, have questioned this narrative, “calling on legal observers and journalists” to launch an independent investigation of the incident.

“Since June 6, 2022, activists and community members fighting to Defend the Atlanta Forest and Stop Cop City have been demanding that officers stop bringing weapons into the forest after APD pointed their weapons at peaceful protestors,” said the Atlanta Community Press Collective in a press release.

Recap of the day: Multi-agency raid of Weelaunee Forest. Police murdered a forest defender, continued raid as though nothing happened. Police story changes throughout the day, contradicts accounts from neighbors of the forest and forest defenders. Huge vigil takes to the streets.

— Atlanta Community Press Collective (@atlanta_press) January 19, 2023

As the New York Times reported:

Activists with the Defend the Atlanta Forest effort have challenged the official account and argued that no activists fired upon officers. The Atlanta Solidarity Fund, an organization providing legal support to activists, said it was planning to pursue “a vigorous legal strategy” to examine the circumstances surrounding the protester’s death. “We are committed to finding out what actually happened,” said Marlon Kautz, an organizer with the Solidarity Fund.

Critics said the [Cop City] project would disturb an expanse of green space and disrupt the community around it. “People don’t want gunfire and bomb detonations to be the soundtrack of their neighborhood,” Bentley Hudgins, a local organizer who lives nearby, said while attending a vigil for the protester on Wednesday.

At the time of this writing, despite predictable claims by law enforcement that they were fired upon and responded in kind out of self-defense, police have yet to produce a handgun or video evidence. As one local news report wrote:

Activists have questioned the police version of events and called for the release of law enforcement body camera footage. However, GBI public affairs director Nelly Miles informed WABE Thursday evening that there is no body camera footage of the incident.

Another report from Rolling Stone stated:

DAF activists were instantly critical of the GBI’s account, claiming there was “reason to believe” the officer was hit by friendly fire, not shot by the protester, pointing to reports by other forest defenders who heard one burst of gunshots not consistent with an exchange of fire. The Atlanta Solidarity Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides arrested activists with bail money, jail support, and access to legal representation, wrote in a statement that it was “preparing a legal team to investigate and pursue a wrongful death suit.”

“Georgia State Police has not released body camera footage or meaningful details, and we are concerned a police cover-up could be underway,” the Atlanta Solidarity Fund wrote.

“We know that Georgia Police regularly and consistently lie about the conditions under which they shoot and kill people, and that the ‘facts’ will frequently change to justify police action, no matter how murderous or egregious,” DAF said in a Twitter DM. “No matter what they do, police will always claim to be the actual victims.”

Since the police murder of Tortuguita, there have been vigils, marches, banner drops and rallies in solidarity, with more events planned over the coming days. Below you will find a roundup of expressions of solidarity with the ongoing struggle in Atlanta and a list of upcoming events. This post will be updated, so check back and email us at info [at] itsgoingdown [dot] org if we missed anything.

Roundup of Solidarity

Olympia, WA:

Los Angeles, CA:

Greetings! An impromptu vigil has been constructed in West LA for a protester who was fatally shot by LEOs.

One “Cop City” protester was fatally shot and a Georgia state trooper was wounded near the site of “Cop City,” a proposed law enforcement training center near Atlanta. pic.twitter.com/o6Tp5PhEsX

— Sean Beckner-Carmitchel (@ACatWithNews) January 19, 2023

Portland, OR:

Minneapolis, MN:

Savannah, GA:

Atlanta, GA:

South Carolina

NYC, NY:

NYC to ATL#StopCopCity #FTP pic.twitter.com/KEkh6K4A1r

— Eric Adams is a Fascist (@peoplesmedianyc) January 19, 2023

Upcoming Events

Friday, January 20th:

Charlotte, NC

Seattle, WA

Chicago, IL

Lincoln, NE

Minneapolis, MN

Pontiac, MI

Providence, RI

Saturday, January 21st:

Atlanta, GA

Bridgeport, CT

Austin, TX

Miami, FL

Minneapolis, MN

Santa Cruz, CA

Madison, WI

Nashville, TN

Richmond, VA

Sunday, January 22nd:

Worcester, MA

Ridgewood, NYC

Categories: News

Mobilization Against ‘Cop City’ Hits Offices of Atlas Technical Consultants in Minnesota

Fri, 01/20/2023 - 00:34

Report back on recent mobilization and protest in so-called Minnesota at an office owned by Atlas Technical Consultants, which has been contracted to destroy the Atlanta forest and build Cop City.

Anonymous report back reads:

The forest in Atlanta is under attack.

The Atlanta Police Foundation has contracted Atlas Technical Consultants to destroy a forest in Atlanta in order to build the largest police training facility in the country.

Watch as forest creatures of Minnesota descend on Atlas Technical Consultants office, and demand the company drops the contract with the Atlanta Police Foundation.

This struggle effects everyone, no matter where you live.

Police from all over the country will come and train at this facility.

Stand up with the people of Atlanta.

Companies all over the country are supporting this project.

From Minneapolis to Atlanta, we won’t fall for the copaganda!

Get loud! Organize in your own communities!

Join the social movement. Defend the forest. Stop Cop City.

Categories: News

Stop Cop City: in Solidarity and Mourning

Thu, 01/19/2023 - 23:33

Statement from the Black Rose Anarchist Federation on the police murder of a forest defender in so-called Atlanta, Georgia.

On January 18, 2023 a multi-agency task force moved to clear out an ongoing tree-sit protest in Atlanta, Georgia. In the opening minutes of this operation, Georgia State Troopers shot and killed a tree sitter.

The tree sitter, Manuel Paez Teran, also known as Tortuguita or Tort, was a participant in an ongoing occupation of the Atlanta (Weelanuee) Forest. The objective of the forest occupation is to prevent the construction of ‘Cop City’, a state-of-the-art, 381-acre police urban warfare training facility. The as yet unbuilt facility has so far drawn $90 million dollars in funding from a combination of tax dollars and corporate sponsorship.

Since the project was announced, residents of Atlanta have demonstrated and registered their anger over its secretive development, its likely impacts on local wildlands, its misuse of public resources, and the certainty that it will increase the presence of heavily armed police in the area.

Already, a number of tree sitters have been arrested and charged with felony crimes accompanied by domestic terrorism enhancements. This represents a grave escalation in the use of legal force and demonstrates just how far the state is willing to go to criminalize even non-violent dissent.

In the wake of the massive George Floyd Uprising, along with the many anti-police uprisings that preceded it, the state has a determined interest in militarizing its security apparatus. There’s no doubt that increasing the use of militaristic training and equipment will result in intensified violence aimed at everyday people, particularly those who are Black and Brown. And such facilities and new funding will only further strengthen and shield a profession filled with perpetrators of misogynist and white supremacist violence.

Additionally, as we barrel headlong into climate catastrophe, we can not overlook the destruction of nearly 400 acres of forested land belonging to the Muscogee people. This is but one example of the rapacious drive for development that is hastening climate breakdown, rooted in the very foundations of the settler-colonial United States.

As members of Black Rose Anarchist Federation / Federación Anarquista Rosa Negra, our hearts break over the police killing of Tort and the toll that the defense of the forest has so far taken. We extend our solidarity to the Stop Cop City and Defend Atlanta Forest movements. Finally, we wish strength for Tort’s friends and family and a renewed vigor for the broader movement.

An attack on one movement is an attack on all. Time after time, popular resistance has shown the police’s plans can be defeated. We can do it again.

Categories: News

Solidarity with the Movement to Stop Cop City and Defend Weelaunee Forest

Thu, 01/19/2023 - 22:32

Statement in solidarity with the movement to stop Cop City and defend the Weelaunee forest. To add your name or organization, please contact defendweelaunee@riseup.net

We call on all people of good conscience to stand in solidarity with the movement to stop Cop City and defend the Weelaunee Forest in Atlanta.

On January 18, in the course of their latest militarized raid on the forest, police in Atlanta shot and killed a person. This is only the most recent of a series of violent police retaliations against the movement. The official narrative is that Cop City is necessary to make Atlanta “safe,” but this brutal killing reveals what they mean when they use that word.

Forests are the lungs of planet Earth. The destruction of forests affects all of us. So do the gentrification and police violence that the bulldozing of Weelaunee Forest would facilitate. What is happening in Atlanta is not a local issue.

Politicians who support Cop City have attempted to discredit forest defenders as “outside agitators.” This smear has a disgraceful history in the South, where authorities have used it against abolitionists, labor organizers, and the Civil Rights Movement, among others. The goal of those who spread this narrative is to discourage solidarity and isolate communities from each other while offering a pretext to bring in state and federal forces, who are the actual “outside agitators.” The consequence of that strategy is on full display in the tragedy of January 18.

Replacing a forest with a police training center will only create a more violently policed society, in which taxpayer resources enrich police and weapons companies rather than addressing social needs. Mass incarceration and police militarization have failed to bring down crime or improve conditions for poor and working-class communities.

In Atlanta and across the US, investment in police budgets comes at the expense of access to food, education, childcare, and healthcare, of affordable and stable housing, of parks and public spaces, of transit and the free movement of people, of economic stability for the many. Concentrating resources in the hands of police serves to defend the extreme accumulation of wealth and power by corporations and the very rich.

What do cops do with their increased budgets and their carte blanche from politicians? They kill people, every single day. They incarcerate and traumatize schoolchildren, parents, loved ones who are simply struggling to survive. We must not settle for a society organized recklessly upon the values of violence, racism, greed, and careless indifference to life.

The struggle that is playing out in Atlanta is a contest for the future. As the catastrophic effects of climate change hammer our communities with hurricanes, heat waves, and forest fires, the stakes of this contest are clearer than ever. It will determine whether those who come after us inherit an inhabitable Earth or a police state nightmare. It is up to us to create a peaceful society that does not treat human life as expendable.

The forest defenders are trying to create a better world for all of us. We owe it to the people of Atlanta and to future generations everywhere to support them.

Here are some ways to support the defense of the forest in Atlanta:

  • Donate to the Atlanta Solidarity Fund to support legal costs for arrested protestors and ongoing legal action.
  • Call on investors in the project to divest from Cop City (list of APF investors). Call on builders of the project to drop their construction contracts.
  • Organize political solidarity bail funds, forest defense funds, and forest defense committees where you live.
  • Organize or participate in local solidarity actions.
  • Endorse and circulate this statement of solidarity.
Endorsements

To endorse this statement, please contact defendweelaunee@riseup.net. This list will be updated regularly.

– Adrienne Carey Hurley
– Andrew Hinz (Baltimore, MD)
– Andrew Zonneveld (Atlanta, GA)
– Anonymous comrades from Pellice, Infernotto, Susa valleys (Piedmont, Italy)
– [Antimidia](https://antimidia.noblogs.org/)
– Asheville Anti-Racism (Asheville, NC)
– Atlanta Antifascists (Atlanta, GA)
– Atlanta Community Press Collective
– Atlanta Justice Alliance (Atlanta, GA)
– Autonomous Research Institute for Direct Democracy and Social Ecology
– Bay Area Anti-Repression Committee (Bay Area, CA)
– Beth Foss
– Black Powder Press
– Brown Recluse Zine Distro (Oakland, CA)
– Chicago Against Cop City (Chicago, IL)
– Christopher Brannen (Atlanta, GA)
– Cindy Barukh Milstein
– Clouded Mind
– Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists (Colorado Springs, CO)
– Community Books (Stone Mountain, GA)
– [CrimethInc.](http://crimethinc.com/)
– Daniel Fischer
– Detritus Books
– Diablo Rising Tide
– Dirty South Right Watch
– East Tennessee Harm Reduction
– The Fellowship of the Hellbound
– [Firestorm Books](https://firestorm.coop/)
– Florida Prisoner Solidarity
– Friend of a Friend NYC (Manhattan, NY)
– Friends Print Collective (Minneapolis, MN)
– Hellbender (Asheville, NC)
– [Ill Will magazine](https://illwill.com/)
– Industrial Workers of the World Tallahassee
– [It’s Going Down](https://itsgoingdown.org/)
– Jarrod Shanahan
– Jax Veg Fest (Jacksonville, FL)
– Jersey Counter-Info Collective (NJ)
– Joshua Potash
– Jules Bentley (Athens, Greece)
– La Mer Monte, cycle d’écologie anticapitaliste, Marseille (France)
– Lauren Sobchak (Kansas City, MO)
– Leah Ayer, *Elements of Mutual Aid*
– [Les Peuples Veulent/The Peoples Want](https://linktr.ee/lespeuplesveulent)
– Lisa Jouet (Atlanta, GA)
– Lundi Matin (France)
– Merrie M Kelly, Oregon Insurance Lady (OR)
– Michigan Solidarity Bail Fund
– Minneapolis Against Cop City (Minneapolis, MN)
– Nix Makoff (Chicago, IL)
– No Bonzo
– North California Environment Protection Group (CA)
– North East Anarchist Group (UK)
– Olympia Jail Support (Olympia, WA)
– On Our Own Authority! Publishing (Atlanta, GA)
– Payton McDonald, *Elements of Mutual Aid*
– People 4 The People (Atlanta, GA)
– [PM Press](https://pmpress.org/)
– Ralph Macdonald (Decatur, GA)
– Ray Gorlin
– Rising Tide North America
– Robert Lee (Tallahassee, FL)
– Ryan Deitsch (Parkland, Florida)
– Savannah Against Cop City! (GA)
– Savannah Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) (GA)
– Save the Meadows (Philadelphia, PA)
– Seitanic Jax (Jacksonville, FL)
– Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ)
– ShutDownDC (Washington, D.C.)
– Soup For My Family (Atlanta, GA)
– Spirit of May 28
– Timothy Cominghay
– Timothy Jouet (Atlanta, GA)
– Vallejo for Racial Justice
– Williams College Young Democratic Socialists of America (Williamstown, MA)
– Yanawana Herbolarios (San Antonio, TX)
– Yes We Cannibal art collective (Baton Rouge, LA)

Categories: News

Justice for Tort

Thu, 01/19/2023 - 21:24

A dedication for Tortuguita, an anarchist who was shot and killed by police while defending the Weelaunee forest in Atlanta, Georgia on August 18th. Originally published by the Atlanta Community Press Collective.

We are devastated by the loss of our friend who was killed by the police. Tortuguita was a kind, passionate, and loving person, cherished by their community.

They spent their time between Atlanta, defending the forest from destruction and coordinating mutual aid for the movement and Florida, where they helped build housing in low-income communities hit hardest by the hurricane. They were a trained medic, a loving partner, a dear friend, a brave soul, and so much more. In Tort’s name, we continue to fight to protect the forest and stop Cop City with love, rage, and a commitment to each other’s safety and well-being.

Many people have reached out with memories and accounts of Tortuguita. They are remembered and cherished by many friends, loved ones, and people who they supported with mutual aid.

“They loved all life and people – especially their qtpoc community — deeply.“

“Tortuguita was a very kind person. They were always willing to help and take care people in need around them, especially the qtbipoc community. They were always attentive to others needs and offer always the best of them. Truly a warrior for the forest and the people! I miss them so much.”

We don’t know what happened yesterday, but we know that the police killed them while they were defending the forest.

Please reach out with accounts of Tortuguita to honor their memory to RememberTort@protonmail.com

Categories: News

Police Murder ‘Cop City’ Protestor in Atlanta Forest

Wed, 01/18/2023 - 19:22

Statement from the Atlanta Community Press Collective on the police murder of a forest defender in the Weelaunee forest in so-called Atlanta, Georgia. For ongoing updates, check Defend the Atlanta Forest.

Today the police shot and killed a protester in Weelaunee Forest.

Dozens of heavily armed DeKalb Police, Atlanta Police and Georgia State police shut down Weelaunee People’s Park and nearby streets before entering the tree line with guns drawn and heavy machinery poised to continue forest destruction.

🔥Urgent call to Action. There is currently a violent police raid happening at the forest.

Don't believe the narrative of the news or the cops. Both lie!

If you didn't hear it from someone on the ground…you didn't hear the truth. @defendATLforest #stopcopcity pic.twitter.com/oaknMG9L8Z

— Atlanta Justice Alliance (@AtlantaJustice) January 18, 2023

Police have repeatedly raided this public park, flattened community gardens and art installations, attacked protestors with chemical weapons and rubber bullets, and threatened lethal force. During past raids, police have consistently escalated violent tactics on peaceful people who were sitting in trees or walking through the public park. Since June 6, 2022, activists and community members fighting to Defend the Atlanta Forest and Stop Cop City have been demanding that officers stop bringing weapons into the forest after APD pointed their weapons at peaceful protestors.

On MLK day, CMB and several additional organizations held a rally in response to the arrest of activists struggling against the construction of Cop City who have been unjustly charged with "domestic terrorism" for their activism. #stopcopcity pic.twitter.com/NtswPi9bFk

— Community Movement Builders (@CommunityMvt) January 18, 2023

The police and local news are working together to control the flow of information, leaving us with vague news reports that suggest the officer fired at the civilian in self-defense. We know they will say and do anything to prevent an Atlanta officer from being viewed as another Derek Chauvin, including witholding, distorting, or deleting evidence. Supporters of the movement are calling on legal observers and journalists to document the violent police tactics being used against protestors.

Since the fatal shooting, this morning’s operation has continued with Brasfield and Gorrie’s heavy machinery entering the forest and cops shooting pepper balls at people who remain in the park–as if nothing has happened. The loss of our lives remains meaningless to the police. Police killed a forest defender for loving this earth, for taking a stand against the ongoing destruction of the planet and its people. Indiscriminate police murder, unfettered police violence is exactly why people have, for two years, called for the Cop City project to be cancelled immediately. As politicians invest in cops, militarization and police budgets are only increasing. Meanwhile, police murders peaked in 2022: U.S. cops killed 100 people every month.

In Atlanta, Stop Cop City protester killed by police pic.twitter.com/U8AgV8N7Se

— Kamau Franklin (@kamaufranklin) January 18, 2023

What is taking place is a classic example of tyrannical government overreach. The public has a right to defend its interests. We are advocates of a free and peaceful society built on cooperation and mutual understanding. The government is escalating this situation pointlessly.

Allow peace to return to our community.

Cancel the Cop City project. Return Intrenchment Creek Park to the public.

Drop the charges against protesters.

No one can bring our friend back to us. An innocent life has been taken and the machines continue.

If you are in Atlanta, come to the candlelight vigil tonight, January 18th, at 6pm at the intersection of Moreland and Euclid.

Wherever you are, we invite you to come to Atlanta Friday, January 20 for a second candlelight vigil at 6pm to remember and grieve our lost friend. We will not go quietly into this dark night. RIP, with love and solidarity.

photo: An.Art.chy

Categories: News

This Week in Fascism #133: Communities Continue to Mobilize Against Anti-LGBTQ Attacks as New Fascist Formations Emerge

Tue, 01/17/2023 - 12:11

Welcome fellow antifascists!

Since our last column, much has happened. After Elon Musk took over Twitter and quickly moved to align with the far-Right by removing anarchist and antifascist accounts, we wanted to bring back this column and use it as a vehicle to promote antifascist theory, action, and research.

Today there’s much to celebrate – a new wave of antifascist action and community self-defense is kicking off all around us. Antifascists, two years after the coming to power of Biden, have continued to build coalitions and relationships within our communities while working to increase our collective capacity to take on growing far-Right forces – which have only become more emboldened following the attempted coup in Washington DC.

Patriot Front has recently been active in the Atlanta metro area: here's a sticker removal photo from Stone Mountain village. Thanks to the local community for all the tips we get on their activity. Keep vigilant and try to get them on camera. pic.twitter.com/iYNa9w9ebV

— ATL Antifascists (kolektiva.social/@AtlantaAntifa) (@afainatl) January 16, 2023

This week’s column will include a look at some of the newest neo-fascist, white supremacist, and neo-Nazi formations that have emerged out of the changing terrain that is the post J6 landscape. We also present a roundup of recent antifascist action across the so-called US, and a look at the neo-Nazi network ‘White Lives Matter,’ which has called for another round of pathetic monthly events.

We hope this column continues to be a space for sharing information, news, action, and theory – so with that in mind, let’s dive right in!

New Fascist and White Supremacist Formations Emerge Amid Ongoing Far-Right Wave of Attacks on the LGBTQ+ Community

The wave of threats, deadly attacks, and harassment that began last year against the LGBTQ+ community, Pride celebrations, and drag events has only continued into the new year. With it, we are seeing new far-Right, neo-Nazi, neo-fascist, and white supremacist groups emerge.

Some of these groups seem to be splits from Patriot Front, a neo-Nazi formation that attempted to re-brand itself after one of its associates murdered an antifascist counter-protester at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in August of 2017. Recently, Patriot Front has been hit with a series of lawsuits, doxxes, and communication leaks, weakening the organization.

Other formations seem to have formed simply within the absence of existing groups, or amidst the breakdown and disunity currently found in associations like the Proud Boys. Others seem to be forming because they see an opportunity to take part in ongoing far-Right rallies and demonstrations.

It’s important that antifascists understand these newly forming groups and mobilize quickly to take action, map their social networks, and act to defend their communities.

Rose City Nationalists throw up Hitler salutes.

  • Rose City Nationalists: Based in the Pacific Northwest, as Rose City Antifa wrote, this neo-Nazi group was founded by “Gaston, Oregon resident Casey Knuteson,” a former Proud Boy and member of Patriot Front. Like Patriot Front, the group has a dress code of khaki pants and black hiking wear and has taken part in White Lives Matter “days of action” and far-Right protests against drag events. In Eugene, Oregon in October, members of the group threw up Nazi salutes at an anti-drag rally, only to later run to their cars from a much larger antifascist crowd.

State Representative Anthony Sabatini speaking at American Virtue conference in 2022.

  • American Virtue/American Populist Union: The Groyper alternative for when Nick Fuentes becomes just too cringe. According to Salon, the group “closely mimics Fuentes’ movement and counts many groypers among its ranks. [John] Doyle has headlined multiple APU events and served as [the] figurehead for the movement.” In the spring of 2022, Arizona Republican Paul Gosar denied that he would be speaking at an APU event, after being listed on its website. Soon after, the group re-branded as “American Virtue,” and has had Florida State Representative Anthony Sabatini speak at its conference. As Political Research Associates wrote, while its leaders have “close ties to alt-right figures such as Richard Spencer, Identity Evropa, and the 2017 Unite the Right rally, as well as to Fuentes and the groypers,” they have also attempted to clean up their image and firmly position themselves as part of the mainstream GOP.

“NorCal Active Club” post on Telegram.

  • Active Club Network: Out of the ashes from groups like the Rise Above Movement (RAM), the Active Club Network is an attempt to merge neo-Nazi politics with MMA style training and Patriot Front styled ‘activism.’ The network is active on Telegram with groups across dozens of states. They have strong cross over with White Lives Matter chapters and established groups like Patriot Front.

Neo-Nazi throws up a Hitler salute at a anti-drag rally organized by Kelly Neidert.

These are the people in Neidert’s coalition. pic.twitter.com/wVx2u6tctN

— Candice Bernd (@CandiceBernd) December 18, 2022

  • Aryan Freedom Network: An outgrowth of a neo-Nazi version of Christianity called Christian Identity and various KKK formations, the Aryan Freedom Network is a Texas based neo-Nazi group that openly embraces flying swastika flags and throwing up Hitler salutes at public demonstrations. They’ve become a regular at rallies organized by Kelly Neidert and Protect Texas Kids, rallying alongside a variety of other neo-fascist and white supremacist groups. The group is led by Dalton Henry Stout and his father, George Bois Stout, who live in De Kalb, Texas, north of Dallas. The Aryan Freedom Network has also recently been in the news, after it attempted to sue veteran and antifascist researcher Kristofer Goldsmith, who exposed the meeting place for the group’s recent conference – which was also attended by Jason Van Dyke.

American Nationalist Initiative (ANI) poster promoting mutual aid programs. Even goes to far as to use, “We keep us safe,” a slogan from the George Floyd rebellion.

  • American Nationalist Initiative (ANI): In what appears to be another re-branding of Patriot Front, with colors, rhetoric and aesthetics that come across as a more edgy Identity Evropa, this group continues use of PF’s fasces symbol while also attempting to recuperate autonomous, anarchist, and left-wing mutual aid projects. Like the Proud Boys, the group claims to be open to men of all races, yet also praises neo-Nazi leaders like Oswald Mosley and clearly promotes a neo-fascist vision of the US. This group has shown up in Texas at various anti-drag events along with other neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, but claims to have chapters in dozens of US cities.

Symbol of the New Columbia Movement, a fascist Catholic organization modeled around groups like Identity Evropa and Patriot Front.

  • The New Columbia Movement: Think Identity Evropa energy mixed with fascist-Catholic rhetoric. While promoting an authoritarian set of politics, like the ANI, they claim to not bar non-white “fellow soldiers for Christ.” As Steve Monacelli wrote, the group embraces a form of
    “Carlism, a semi-fascist Catholic pro-monarchist ideology, [that] emerged in 1800s Spain and played a part in Franco’s brutal regime.” The group has appeared at numerous anti-LGBTQ+ rallies in Texas alongside Kelly Neidert and a variety of neo-fascist and white supremacist groups.

A drag friendly drag show in Lakeland, Florida was surrounded by nazis calling for the death of the "pedophiles" inside. Cops surrounded the place and sat in there cars and did nothing. NatSoc Florida was responsible for this. https://t.co/dyaPsQS5wA pic.twitter.com/09MkosPAHG

— Alejandra Caraballo (@Esqueer_) December 4, 2022

Neo-Nazi Jon Minadeo, Jr. fist bumps with a police officer in Austin, Texas after being stopped for dropping an anti-Semitic banner outside of a Jewish neighborhood.

  • Goyim Defense League (GDL): Led by Jon Minadeo Jr., who recently moved from the bay area to Florida after his house was vandalized, the GDL is known for its neo-Nazi ideology and harassment of Jewish communities across the US with banner drops and flyering campaigns. Known for heavily documenting their actions on social media, the group also works closely with a wide variety of neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.

Hi Robert Bowen Wheldon aka R-Dub – Admin of WLM California- from San Diego, CA!
DOB: 08-03-1990

See below.

Repeat after me: “#FuckCrew562 #FuckLegionXIV #FuckProudBoys #FuckNazis

Dossier: https://t.co/X5DzgWUrbe https://t.co/kvyQnIwut1 pic.twitter.com/q9kTN8bnmu

— Karma🏴 is a Mirror™️ (@KarmaOneSixOne) April 23, 2022

  • White Lives Matter: A loose network of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and Proud Boys that carries out monthly “days of action” which includes banner drops, flyering and sticker campaigns, and at times, flash (unannounced) rallies in various cities. While generally never drawing more than a dozen or more, WLM has attempted to bring together older, more experienced neo-Nazis from a variety of groups and organizations, with many newer activists from online spaces. While they have faced ongoing community opposition and push back from antifascists, the group has continued to carry out unannounced actions in a variety of cities, monthly.

NSC-131 leader Chris Hood pic.twitter.com/sj0CUcFEQL

— New England Nazi Watch (@nenaziwatch) December 18, 2022

  • Nationalist Social Club-131 (NSC-131): Based in the New England and Massachusetts area, NSC-131 includes ex-members of Patriot Front and in many ways, blends PF’s organizational blueprint with more confrontational street politics. The group is known for openly flying swastika flags and throwing up Hitler salutes in public, but will also hand out flyers, put up graffiti, and hold demonstrations and flash rallies. The group is also known for attempting to hold protests against anarchist and left-wing events and spaces. It is led by long-time white supremacist organizer Chris Hood and is capable of mobilizing upwards of several dozen members. In the spring of 2022 the group grabbed headlines after the lead singer of the punk band the Dropkick Murphy’s called the group out on social media for using the band’s song in a promotional video. The racists never materialized for the potential brawl. Ironically, despite attempting to label all LBGTQ+ people as “groomers,” the group includes a former member that is doing jail time for child pornography and solicitation.

Taking a step back and looking at these new formations, we see trends developing. While some of these groups claim they do not bar members based on race, they are still more than willing to work directly with open white supremacists and neo-Nazis, and as fascists, see themselves as all working towards common goals. Far-Right currents such as opposition to drag and Pride events provide a common ground for potential unity, as Trump supporters stand side-by-side Hitler saluting national-socialists. Organizers like Kelly Neidert are fine with rallying with neo-Nazis, as long as they bring out bodies and potential muscle. Just last month, it was even made public that Kelly’s brother Jake, is now working as the legislative director for Republican state Representative Tony Tinderholt of Texas.

Representative Tony Tinderholt's decision to hire Jake Neidert comes amid a wave of threats against the LGBTQ+ community in Texas and across the country. https://t.co/H4KaKjlzN1

— Newsweek (@Newsweek) December 17, 2022

Antifascists must work to continue to expose the high-degree of cross over between these groups and the Republican party; shining light on how GOP-linked organizers are creating safe spaces for fascist and far-Right nationalist coalitions to grow.

We also must keep in mind that many of these groups are attempting to build organizations that aren’t defined explicitly by racial politics – and instead are using language based around everything from religion to American nationalism and economic populism. Some groups like the ANI are even recuperating anarchist strategies like mutual aid organizing.

The good news is that antifascist groups and coalitions are putting in the hard work of building relationships and fighting to mobilize big numbers against these groups. But between protests and demonstrations, we also have to be doing the work of educating our communities and explaining to the broader public the danger that these groups pose and the fascist politics they are promoting, as new organizations attempt to rebrand.

One of the best chants we’ve ever heard

“Follow your Leader, Bang Bang Bang” pic.twitter.com/oXh6h4cQ9P

— Elm Fork JBGC (@elmforkJBGC) January 15, 2023

Just as the Alt-Right faded into the background by the middle of the Trump presidency, so to are we seeing the post-J6 formations come apart and form new groups and networks while experimenting with different strategies and tactics.

The challenge ahead remains to build a broad antifascist movement that can push back against these fascist forces, splitting them off from their bases of support and exposing their links with established power structures, while also building a counter-movement that speaks to the struggles of poor and working people’s lived realities; promoting autonomy, self-defense, mutual aid, direct action, and class conflict in the face of whites supremacy, authoritarianism, conspiracy theories, and fascist violence.

Roundup of Antifascist Resistance

Vancouver, BC: Over 500 people mobilized to oppose a few dozen bigots protesting a drag-story event at a library in Vancouver.

Coquitlam. A drag performer is reading a story to children inside the library. The man with the megaphone is protesting the reading – he’s confronted by supporters. pic.twitter.com/4nCxxcemF1

— St John Alexander (@ctv_stjohn) January 14, 2023

Dallas, TX: Around 50 antifascists and community members mobilized to protect a drag event against a collection of far-Right and white supremacist counter-protesters, including members of the American Nationalist Initiative and New Columbia Movement.

Pictures from the Dallas, TX defense activities today. Stolen from fash and made shareable here.

CC: @elmforkJBGC pic.twitter.com/aRjQWpcgZA

— pridewasariot.sac (@pridewasariot_) January 15, 2023

Fall River, MA: Antifascist crews, socialist groups, John Brown Gun Club chapters, and community organizations mobilized several hundred people in support of drag-story hour that in the past had been targeted by neo-Nazis. While the white supremacists were no shows (choosing instead to mobilize in Taunton, several minutes away), a handful of far-Right protesters did materialize.

Baltimore, MD: Supporters rallied outside of a library during a drag-story hour, facing off with umbrellas and flags against protesters.

Some favorite from today’s protest/counter-protest of Saturday’s Drag Story Hour at the library in Canton. pic.twitter.com/fYAqWtKnoi

— Nathan Aaron (@punkinxspice) January 15, 2023

Redlands, CA: Local antifascists and community members held it down at a drag story hour event, despite attempts by the Proud Boys to harass the event.

I’m spite of all the chud activity here in Redlands. SRS went to drag story hour in Riverside and it was so cute and fun. pic.twitter.com/D5iqY4QRt9

— Saferedlandsschools (@SafeRedlandsk12) January 15, 2023

New York City, NY: Hundreds of people turned out to defend a drag story event from Proud Boys and neo-Nazis. Clinic defenders have also continued to mobilize in defense of the local Planned Parenthood, facing down police and far-Right protesters.

NEW YORK CITY LOVES DRAG STORY HOUR!!

Today, hundreds of New Yorkers showed up at the Jackson Heights Library in Queens for a joyous community defense to protect Drag Story Hour from the far right.

⬇️THREAD⬇️ pic.twitter.com/PPruSqMuoF

— United Against Racism and Fascism NYC (@UARFNYC) December 30, 2022

San Diego, CA: Church hosting far-Right grifter Sean Feucht was covered in antifascist and pro-LGBTQ+ graffiti.

City View Church in #SanDiego, where far-right musicans & evangelist Sean Feucht plans to hold a #NewYearsEve event was vandalized last night with pro-LGBTQIA & anti-racist messages. Feucht, the real bigot, has repteaedly tagreted the #LGBTQIA community w/ marches and rallies. pic.twitter.com/sFLJH4rJDc

— Shawn Schwaller (@madprofes) December 31, 2022

White Lives Matter

White Lives Matter (WLM), a loose network of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and Proud Boys, has again called for monthly demonstrations in 2023. This activity generally takes the form of banner drops, flash demonstrations, and flyering actions. This month, WLM actions popped up in a small smattering of cities, including in Idaho, Toronto, and in Boca Raton, FL, where neo-Nazis in the Goyim Defense League reportedly flyered. The group has been particularly active in this region and the group’s leader, Jon Minadeo Jr., also recently announced that he was moving from the North Bay Area of California to Florida, after he was doxxed and his house was vandalized.

Thank you to all the Conejos and Conejas who were out in the rain today, doing the work, watching over our community. This community rejects fascism. We keep us safe. pic.twitter.com/ZqpJctpvxZ

— Conejo Valley Antifascists (@CAntifascists) January 15, 2023

White Lives Matter participants were also confronted – both as large crowds mobilized to defend Drag Story Hour events and also in the streets. In Missoula, MT, neo-Nazis were pelted with eggs and in the Conejo Valley of Southern California, people again patrolled areas known for past neo-Nazi activity.

Missoula comes out for community defense! https://t.co/vmrcoRxTYt

— try anywhere else (@AntifaWhisperer) January 15, 2023

Until next time, see you in the streets!

photo: Elm Fork John Brown Gun Club

Categories: News

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