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Rebel Girl: November 22, 2017: Resistance news from across Turtle Island and beyond, an interview with a comrade active in the Olympia blockade, an update on the J20 trials happening NOW in Washington, D.C., and much more on this episode of…
A weekly anarchist news show brought to you by The Ex-Worker.
With me, the Rebel Girl.
Welcome back to the Hotwire.
This week’s episode is packed with resistance news from across Turtle Island and beyond. Struggles led by water protectors against gas and oil infrastructure are happening, seemingly, everywhere. This past week, students have been busy, while prisoners have not. We have a brief update on the work stoppage and Holman Prison. We also have interviews with a comrade at the anti-fracking blockade in Olympia, WA, and with a J20 supporter about the trials that have just begun.
If we missed something important, or to include something in a future Hotwire, shoot us an e-mail at podcast[AT]CrimethInc[DOT]com. A full transcript of this episode with shownotes and useful links can be found at our website, CrimethInc.com/podcast. You can subscribe to The Hotwire on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, just search for The Ex-Worker. You can also listen to us through the anarchist podcast network Channel Zero. Listeners in Tacoma, Washington can catch us every Wednesday at 9 AM on KUPS 90.1 FM. Believe it or not, every Hotwire is radio ready, so just get in touch if you’d like to put The Hotwire on your local airwaves. Our first season is coming to a close at the beginning of December, but we’ll be back in February 2018 with our second season of weekly anarchist news.
And now for the headlines…
Anarchist students in Indonesia rallied in solidarity with West Papua to pressure Indonesia to grant independence and autonomy to the island nation. The anarchists specified that in this case their solidarity was for the full autonomy and freedom of West Papua from the Indonesian state, and not supporting the creation of West Papua as a nation-state itself.
Wobbly workers were manhandled and pushed around by private security goons during a picket at a Portland Burgerville location. In response, the Burgerville Workers Union has organized a call-in campaign to support the striking workers. You can find details for the call-in in our shownotes at crimethinc.com/podcast.
Fulmore Middle School students in Austin, Texas walked out of class in protest of a teacher telling a Spanish-speaking student to, QUOTE “go back to Mexico.” Students marched through the halls chanting, “Say it loud. Say it Clear. Refugees are welcome here!”
Last Tuesday, when police broke up a small occupation at the University of Pittsburgh’s Chancellor’s office, a full-on anarchist occupation sprung to life inside the Cathedral of Learning, a Pittsburgh landmark. The aim of the first occupation was to reduce tuition, but inside the Cathedral of Learning a whole array of critiques and visions were on display. There were signs and banners that read, “Disarm the police. Arm your desire,” “End Pitt’s capitalist greed,” and “This is an invitation to depart from it all.” The occupation only lasted 15 hours, but a report signed by the Steel City Autonomous Movement and the Autonomous Student Network PGH declared, “the power of that brief departure from daily life will fuel our fight against all that suffocates our autonomy. For a moment, we created a space where the authority of the University fell away and we could answer to the needs of the students by our own collective means.” The full communiqué is linked in our shownotes.
Last week, we reported that the Twitter handle @AnonyInfo had reportedly taken down two white supremacist websites. Well, we are happy to report that by the end of last week, that number has risen to twelve! The attack targeted sites from the KKK, Vanguard America, the Oathkeepers, and other white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups.
Jeremy Hammond: This is anarchist hacker Jeremy Hammond from behind bars. We should begin with the assumption that the internet is hostile territory. It’s an ongoing state of war. Military and law enforcement are using it as a tool for social control, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Hackers and activists, we can use it to undermine and subvert these systems of power. We can create secure communication networks to coordinate the next big demonstrations, but you certainly would have to be aware of encryption, of using proxy servers, of using software like Tor. You have to be able to protect yourself because if not they’re going to sue it against us. We can take the offensive and hack, expose, and destroy these systems of the rich and powerful. We could drive them offline.
Rebel Girl: On Saturday in Boston, a thousand anti-fascists turned out to protest a so-called “Resist Marxism” rally with barely 100 nationalists, neo-Nazis, and other far-right types in attendance. The rally was denied a permit by the city, but of course cops protected them anyway. And while the far-right got protection, antifascists got repression, and a couple of black masked protesters were captured by cops.
Also on Saturday, anti-fascists in San Bernardino, California turned out to protest an anti-Muslim rally, outnumbering the Islamophobes. One of the groups on the antifascist side was the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement, who just began a new chapter in the Inland Empire area of California. We have a link in our shownotes with more information about the new group.
Students at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville mobilized over the weekend when the KKK announced plans to rally in defense of a political science major outed recently as a neo-Nazi. In the end, only 4 Klan members showed up on Monday, but 100 antifascists were there to oppose them. We have an audio report about the rally linked in our shownotes.
Last Thursday night, a small group of anarchists attacked a Philadelphia police station with paint and hammers, defacing its walls, smashing the windows of two squad cars, and leaving behind anarchist and anti-police propaganda. Reportedly, the attackers were all wearing black clothing and had their faces covered. Police have not been able to identify them from surveillance footage.
According to black gay anarchist prisoner Michael Kimble, prisoners in Holman, Alabama have been on indefinite work strike since last month. Holman was one of the most active and rebellious sites of last fall’s national prison strike, including riots and retaliations against the warden and other corrections officers. Stay tuned to anarchylive.noblogs.org for Holman prison strike updates from Michael Kimble.
On November 10, the Department of Justice pledged to prosecute protesters who damage oil pipelines and other energy infrastructure. The statement was in response to a letter signed by 84 U.S. representatives asking if they can use terrorism laws against activists who shut down pipelines. The DOJ said it was committed to vigorously prosecuting those who damage “critical energy infrastructure in violation of federal law.” Critical for whom?
Not even a week after the DOJ’s statements, the Keystone Pipeline in South Dakota spilled more than 200,000 gallons of oil next door to the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate tribe’s reservation. The spill came just days before neighboring Nebraska decides whether to grant the final permit for the popularly opposed Keystone XL pipeline. As indigenous water protectors say, “It’s not a matter of if a pipeline breaks, but when.” Lawmakers, pipeline profiteers, and everyone else in power knows this—it’s not like they’re stupid—they just try to outsource the disaster to the people who matter least in their profit-driven calculations: poor folks, folks of color, and indigenous folks, not to mention the land.
Courageously, however, resistance continues against extraction and pipelines.
Last Wednesday, water protectors from Camp Makwa stormed an Enbridge construction site, and delayed progress on the last unfinished Wisconsin segment of their proposed Line 3 pipeline project. One individual from the Diné Nation locked himself to welding equipment, while a Leech Lake Tribal member climbed atop an excavator and attached himself to its arm. Construction was halted for six hours, costing the company thousands of dollars. We have a video of the action linked in our shownotes.
In St. Louis, water protectors dropped an anti-tar sands banner and used lock boxes to disrupt business as usual at Wells Fargo, one of the major investors in the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline project.
In response to the Keystone oil spill in South Dakota, a call to action was published on the Earth First! Newswire calling for tactical, decentralized actions earlier this week against the impending Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska. It reads, “All the procedures have been exhausted. There is no president, governor, or public service commission board member left to stop this project, period. They never wanted to in the first place. It would be foolish to put any hope in another legal alternative (i.e. the judicial system) to magically be pulled out of a hat…”
The call continues, “We would like to inspire conversations around tactical responses to KXL and other pipelines because we do not want to march and go home. We want to see this pipeline ended and create a new opening, a tear in the fabric, to find even deeper affinity and explore what is possible. We are here to confront the spectre of colonialism, genocide and total ecological destruction, as we stand in a time that can only be described as the end of the world.”
The call ends with examples of the kinds of resistance that the authors believe is needed,
“Encampments, disruptions, resistance, sabotage, all forms of action must be strategically used to make it physically impossible for Transcanada to continue through on this project. We remember those people who have been attacking the construction of energy infrastructure in various forms throughout time. From MEND in the Nigerian Delta to the Catholic Workers who sabotaged the Dakota Access Pipeline in Iowa, and even the rural resistance of the Bolt Weevils in Minnesota.”
Our best hope for putting a halt to earth-destroying extraction and for overcoming the repression that climate rebels face is a force of people that can directly, physically stop construction projects while pointing to ways of life outside of capitalism that don’t necessitate the exploitation of the earth. Luckily, you can see what that actually looks like in Unicorn Riot’s brand new documentary, Black Snake Killaz. The two-hour documentary takes a deep look at the indigenous-led resistance that unfolded last year in Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline. We encourage our listeners to hold screenings where rebels can come together and make the kinds of bonds needed to undo this colonial, capitalist, authoritarian system. You can stream Black Snake Killaz online for free at UnicornRiot.Ninja.
On Friday, a year and a day after rebels in Olympia, Washington erected a train blockade in solidarity with Standing Rock, the Olympia blockade sprung back to life. We were lucky enough to catch up with an anarchist on the ground about the blockade…
Thank you so much for speaking with us. Who are we speaking with and what’s happening at the blockade?
Evan: My name is Evan. I live in Olympia, Washington and I’ve been taking part in the blockade of fracking equipment on the tracks down here. Fracking proppants, that’s the sands, the ceramics that they use to prop open the fracking wells, and they get shipped in through the port of Olympia and then taking by train to the oil fields in the Dakotas. There was a blockade a year ago, and that was at the same time that Standing Rock was going on. That encampment ended, and the blockade here in Olympia ended, but they’ve still been shipping out the proppants all year.
I think people maybe wanted to commemorate the anniversary and this time it just kind of worked to re-occupy it. I think that blocking the fracking materials is a concrete step that we can take to stop the process of oil extraction, of the fracking that’s going on in North Dakota and elsewhere. I think anywhere that’s on the supply chain that we can get in the way—it slows that process down, it makes it more costly.
It’s really exciting! There’s a lot of pallets, there’s a very extensive barricade around the camp, there’s a lot of stuff just on the tracks themselves, there’s a kitchen area, there’s medical supplies, there’s people camping out, so there’s tents. There’s a lot of tarps because it rains a lot hear. There’s a big zine distro, and barrel fires, and people just hanging out and making new friends and blocking the tracks. In the evenings when there are assemblies it can be maybe thirty to fifty people.
The thing that has been most exciting to me about this blockade, and that I was surprised by, that I wasn’t expecting, is the social relations that I’ve been experiencing as a result of this conflictual, liberated territory. It’s felt really exhilarating. I’ve been through a few different aspects of when the commune happens—when there’s some sort of occupation—and I think this is the first time that I’ve been to multiple General Assemblies in a row that I haven’t left just frustrated with the level of dealing with the peace police. Just feeling like there’s really good conversations being had. For example, “what would a victory look like?” Or, “how do we extend these new ways of interacting with each other beyond the blockade.” Because presumably, unfortunately, the blockade won’t last forever, but we are experimenting with there’s food, there’s heat. People are getting basic needs met in ways that often don’t happen, and interacting with each other in ways that don’t often happen, and how do we carry that outside of the blockade? How do we continue interacting with each other in these liberatory ways outside of the blockade and after the blockade.
Rebel Girl: What can people near and far do to support the anti-fracking blockade in Olympia?
Evan: Anyone can get involved. Anybody can come on down to the camp. It’s at 7th and Jefferson in downtown Olympia, WA. I don’t know if there’s a donation link yet, but someone suggested Pizza Time are delivering pizzas to the camp. So if you call Pizza Time and order us a pizza they’ll deliver it to the camp. That’s something you can do from far away. But more importantly, anywhere that there’s resource extraction happening, anywhere that there’s police or prisons or borders, any of these aspects of capitalism and the state that enable fracking to happen, or that require fracking to continue on, that’s a frontline. So we need barricades everywhere, we need actions everywhere, so take action where you are if you can’t come down to Olympia, WA and that means a lot.
Rebel Girl: Last week, a judge ruled that the government can access the Facebook accounts of two non-indicted, but high-profile anarchists in relation to the J20 inauguration protest case in Washington DC. The move preceded this week’s beginning of the first trial in the case, where supporters packed the courtroom to show solidarity with the defendants.
We caught up with Sam from DC Legal Posse for the latest:
Sam: This week, at the trial the first six defendants for the J20 cases, things seem to be going pretty much as expected. The prosecutor is doing the same things that the prosecution has been doing all along, and the defense is going by their game plan that they’ve laid out. I think the thing that’s been really notable so far has been the massive amounts of support. We really have successfully packed the courtroom with supporters. There are loving faces every time the defendants look out. I think that we’ve befuddled court security a little bit, but we’ve been really showing a lot of love and solidarity and demonstrating what our community is all about. In addition to the solidarity between defendants that led to the charge reductions last week, I think this sort of support of folks, especially as they’re going through the emotionally and logistically trying process of a trial, ahs been really incredible, and it’s great to see what our community is all about.
Rebel Girl: Can you speak to some of the things people can do to support the J20 defendants?
Sam: Folks looking to support the J20 defendants are of course welcome to join us in Washington, D.C. They can e-mail info[AT]dclegalposse[DOT]org to get in touch with us. If you’re nearby DC you can come to the courthouse at 500 Indiana Avenue NW during the hearings and pack the courtroom to show your love in person to the defendants. The defendants definitely really appreciate it and their spirits are high, and they will be as long as we continue to show our solidarity and support. Also there’s a renewed call for a call-in campaign, both to US Attorney Jessie Liu and to DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. There are phone numbers and scripts at www.defendj20resistance.org/dropj20. If you just want to call in directly, Mayor Bowser’s office number is 202–727–6263 and she needs to hear from us. There’s also a fundraiser: www.Fundrazr.com/j20resistance that is going strong, has raised tens of thousands of dollars, and we’re hoping to raise a lot more. Folks are welcome to go to defendj20resistance.org which has a number of support materials, folks can table, folks can print zines and distro them. There’s all sorts of ways to both inform yourselves about the case and to get information out to your community.
Rebel Girl: The thing about this first trial block is that none of the defendants are being accused of any property destruction, and in their opening statement the prosecution conceded that! So this first trial really highlights how much the case as a whole, even for people accused of property destruction, is really about criminalizing our associations—whether that mean dressing the same, chanting political slogans, or marching together. Anyone who values resistance should be following the J20 case closely and lending support to the defendants. We have all kinds of J20 support links in our shownotes at crimethinc.com/podcast.
Animal liberation prisoner Walter Bond has launched a hunger strike over lack of vegan food, mail tampering, and being denied books—even one that he authored himself! We have a message from Walter about what you can do to support him:
Walter Bond: I have tried now for over a year to obtain a transfer from FCI Greenville, Illinois closer to New York City where I intend to live upon my release, but I have been denied this as well through petty and irrelevant disciplinary reports. Despite all of this, I have maintained years of patience, quietly awaiting my freedom. But, my cooperation has got me nothing. So in the tradition of A.L.F. activists before me, such as Barry Horne, I am going on hunger strike. I will not eat anything and will starve until these issues are remedied. I’m asking everybody in the Animal Rights and Anarchist communities to stand with me with your protests and actions of solidarity. You can reach the institution concerning my health and my well-being at: (618) 664–6200
Rebel Girl: We’d like to close out this Hotwire’s Repression Roundup with a big enthusiastic “WELCOME BACK” to Kara Wild. Kara was just released last week after a grueling 17 months in isolation in a men’s prison for the burning cop car case in France. We have a fundraising link in our shownotes to help Kara re-integrate after her time locked away. Kara, if you’re listening, we’re glad you’re out!
Rebel Girl: Unfortunately, that’s all the time we have for news. If you want us to include something in a future Hotwire, just send us an email at podcast[AT]CrimethInc[DOT]com.
POLITICAL PRISONER BIRTHDAYS
We’ll close out this Hotwire with next week’s news, but first…
Josh Williams, one of the Ferguson rebellion prisoners, celebrates his birthday on November 25.
Writing to Josh will only take you a few minutes, but getting your letter could be the highlight of his week. Check out our shownotes for his address, along with a handy guide to writing prisoners from New York City Anarchist Black Cross.
And now, next week’s news, our list of events that you can plug into in real life.
On November 30, there is an Anti-Rape and Police Abolition march in New York City, in response to two on duty officers raping 18-year-old Anna Chambers in Brooklyn in September. The call for the march reads, “As long as cops defend rapists on their force, all cops are complicit in sexual violence. The pigs won’t protect us from rapists because the pigs are rapists.” The call concludes with, “On November 30th at 6:30 PM we mobilize in Washington Square Park in NYC to confront the same pigs that perpetrate atrocities like this on a daily basis.”
From December 1 through 4, Hudson Valley Earth First! is hosting an action camp. They will be offering workshops, climb training, and most importantly campaign updates. The Hudson Valley faces many fossil fuel infrastructure projects—all gearing up for construction as we speak. Learn about the Valley Lateral Pipeline, the Lego Land theme park project, the Competitive Power Ventures Power Plant, and how to plug into the local resistance. The exact location for the action camp is to be announced, but for the time being you can RSVP or ask questions by emailing hudsonvalleyearthfirst[at]riseup[dot]net or by going to hudsonvalleyearthfirst.org.
In Sao Paulo, Brazil on December 2 and 3 there is an anarchist and punk film festival, with exhibitions, literature distribution, vegan catering, workshops, and underground films from around the world.
Cascadia Forest Defenders in Oregon have been fighting the logging of the Willamette National Forest. Check out the recent episode of the anarchist podcast The Final Straw with an interview about the forest occupation and re-contextualizing forest defense in a time of climate change. You can go to forestdefensenow.wordpress.com to donate and find out more about how to get involved.
Defenders of the Ancient Mattole Forest in Northern California are hosting a training camp in early January. It’s still in the preliminary planning stages, but if you want to help make it happen e-mail email@example.com.
An important anarchist project, the RojiNegro infoshop in Bogotá, Colombia, is at risk of losing its space. After 15 years, they’re being kicked out by their landlord. We have a fundraising link in our shownotes to help them buy a new space.
The 2018 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar is now available! Your group can buy 10 or more at the rate of $10 each and sell them for 15, keeping the difference for your organization. Single issues are available from LeftWingBooks.net and AK Press. They’re also looking for websites and publications to review the calendar, just get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Popular Organizing for Defense, Education and Revolution, or PODER Conference, is coming up on December 30. It’s a free, one-day opportunity for revolutionaries in California’s San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire to meet, discuss and build relationships. The conference is multi-tendency, though all participating organizations are loosely bound by a commitment to the abolition of class society. For more info, visit poderconference.org.
The Animal Rights Gathering 2018 will take place on January 20 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Animal Rights Gathering seeks to carve out a space for intersectional, feminist, and anti-capitalist politics in the animal rights movement as a whole. You can find out more at argathering2018.wordpress.com.
Also for January 20, It’s Going Down, CrimethInc., Sub.media, and Channel Zero have issued a call to expand our networks and strengthen our spaces. We’ll quote at length from the call, QUOTE “we’re calling for people to gather in anarchist and autonomous spaces on the week of January 20, 2018 in order to reconnect to the roots from which our movements draw strength, discuss the path ahead, and gather resources for prisoners, relief efforts, and ongoing struggles. Autonomous spaces include infoshops, community centers, and bookstores. But an autonomous space can also be a public place you make a habit of gathering in or a territory you share and defend. The advantage of open spaces is that they offer a way for people who are freshly curious about our movements to plug in, pick up literature, and begin fostering relationships.”
The call proposes anti-cop block parties, fundraisers for the J20 defendants, screenings of Sub.media’s show Trouble, letter writing nights for political prisoners, and plenty of other ideas for ways to come together to dream and scheme. Go to CrimethInc.com to read the full call.
And that’s it for your weekly Hotwire. Many thanks to Sam from DC Legal Posse and our comrade in Olympia for speaking with us, and as always thanks to Underground Reverie for the music. Don’t forget to check out all the links, mailing addresses, and useful notes we customized for this episode at CrimethInc.com. Every Hotwire episode is radio-ready, so if you want to replay part or all of this show, just go for it! Just give us a heads up at podcast[AT]CrimethInc[DOT]com. You can also send us news or announcements to include in the future.
Stay informed. Stay rebel. Plug into The Hotwire.