Listen to the Episode — 44 min
Rebel Girl: October 17, 2018: Proud Boys gang up on anti-fascists in New York and Portland, breast-baring feminists burn barricades in Argentina, squatting in Ireland and Germany and a six-month long rent strike in Hamilton, Ontario, and anarchist visions of autonomous disaster relief square off against fascist ones after Hurricane Michael in Florida on this episode of…
Clara: The Hotwire, a weekly anarchist news show brought to you by The Ex-Worker.
Rebel Girl: With me, the Rebel Girl.
Clara: And with me, Clara.
Rebel Girl: Oh, hey Clara! Your buddy Alanis was on the show a couple episodes back. I take it you’re filling in this episode?
Clara: That’s right!
Rebel Girl: Sheesh, how many podcast hosts can we have in one season?
Clara: No gods, no masters, no reliable podcast hosts!
Rebel Girl: Hey! Except for me!!! A full transcript of this episode with shownotes and useful links can be found at our website, CrimethInc.com/podcast, where you can also find a radio-ready twenty-nine-and-a-half minute version of this episode for standard radio broadcasts, and no cussing!
Clara: And now, the news…
Clara: As the 33rd National Women’s Gathering in Argentina came to a close, participants—some masked up and some baring their breasts—marched through the southern city of Trelew, burning barricades, attacking the town hall with molotovs and stones, and chanting against patriarchy, against the criminalization of abortion, and in memory of disappeared anarchist Santiago Maldonado.
Rebel Girl: An insurgent housing rights movement has been growing in Dublin, Ireland. Twice in August, activists occupied empty buildings to call attention to how capitalism leaves the poor on the street while leaving safe housing locked away.
On Saturday, the group Take Back the City hit back against the housing crisis in Dublin not by occupying an empty building, but by occupying the offices of a company driving housing prices out of affordable grasp, with around 40 activists crashing an open house at Airbnb and refusing to leave.
Clara: Just outside Germany’s Hambach Forest, in the town of Manheim, anti-extraction activists squatted homes to call attention to not only the destruction of the forest by the coal company RWE, but also to how their mining has forced local residents to leave.
Rebel Girl: As a rent strike at Stoney Creek Towers in Hamilton, Ontario enters its sixth month, the corporation that owns the building has issued mass eviction notices against tenants who have remained active and organized against the building’s new surveillance cameras, private security, and restrictions over access to the lobby. You can support the rent strike by calling the building’s administrative office at 289–426–3001 and telling them to stop repressing tenant organizing.
Clara: Elsewhere in Ontario, the Grassy Narrow First Nation declared its territory to be an Indigenous Sovereignty and Protected Area. The Earth First! Newswire reports that, “The Declaration comes as the new Ontario government… has promised to open up the North to industry, and… next year begin writing a plan for another decade of industrial logging in the community’s forest.” Since 2002, The Grassy Narrows blockade has been defending the land against the clear-cutting of its forests by the world’s largest manufacturer of newsprint, Abitibi Consolidated, and it’s currently the longest standing blockade in Canadian history.
Rebel Girl: In Treviso, Italy, the Haris Hatzimihelakis—and our apologies if we did not pronounce that correctly—cell of insurrectionary anarchists attacked the premises of the fascist Northern League party with an incendiary device. The attack was claimed in solidarity with anarchist political prisoners in Chile, the USA, Greece, and elsewhere.
Clara: Wow, the communiqué for this action is also incendiary! Listen to this:
“The State and capital use all forms of technology and violence to divert attention from the real problems of the exploited, the main one being the hatred between the most vulnerable and dispossessed, between borders, genders, skin colors. Needless to say, no authoritarian insignificant politicians’ faction would ever be able to fulfill our desires. You’re talking about ‘green-yellow’ government, leftist and right wing—we [just] want the state to be destroyed. You’re promising wage increases, reduced taxes, jobs—[while] we want the elimination of money, goods and work. You’re fighting for better government conditions but we only want to have fun over the ruins of your cities in flames. You do politics, we do social war.”
Rebel Girl: In the UK, Uber drivers occupied the company’s headquarters in London last Tuesday as hundreds of drivers switched off their apps in cities across the country. With the occupation of Airbnb in Dublin, this Uber strike, and the recent UberEats strike, it seems like rebels in the UK and Ireland are on the cutting edge of beating back the gig economy. If anyone over there wants to do an interview, please get in touch!
Clara: Meanwhile, in Lancashire, the first active fracking in England in seven years began on Monday after a failed last-minute legal bid. The Guardian reported that, “Activists from the campaign group Reclaim the Power used a van [and two people locked down to scaffolding] to block the entrance to [the] site… for 12 hours [starting at] 4:30am… but the shale gas company Cuadrilla said all the equipment it needed to frack was already there and it had started the process by 1pm.” One of the lockdown activists was quoted saying, “They’re not interested in what local communities have to say. After all democratic avenues have been exhausted over a seven-year campaign, there is a place for direct action to stop this industry.”
Rebel Girl: With irreversible climate catastrophe just 12 years away… I’m not sure we can spare another 7 years. We need direct action now.
Clara: Hear hear. Especially because Hurricane Michael landed last Wednesday, flooding neighborhoods and destroying homes first in Florida, and then continuing up through the recently hurricane-hit areas of the eastern Carolinas. It was the strongest hurricane on record to ever hit Florida’s pandhandle.
Rebel Girl: In a little over a year of this show, this is what, the fifth hurricane we’ve covered? And that’s just in the territory dominated by the United States. Sometimes it feels like it’s hard to find anything new to say—the pursuit of profit at the cost of our land and water and air is propelling us, with ever-increasing frequency, into disaster after disaster.
Clara: I hear what you’re saying—the destruction left after Michael resulted in everything we’ve come to expect by now—exposure of the precarity that people already live with under capitalism, reactionary anti-looting signs on businesses, and anti-looting stories in the news. Literally, white people taking groceries from blown out stores were described in the news as “salvaging” goods while black people doing the same damn thing have been painted as “looters.”
There is one new aspect of this storm’s aftermath, however. The neo-confederate and white nationalist League of the South, who were on the streets during Unite the Right in Charlottesville, has also been mobilizing grassroots recovery efforts, but along racist lines. The League has been discussing focusing on a predominantly white small town for recovery efforts, to wear their “regulation street uniforms,” and to use their recovery efforts to fundraise.
Rebel Girl: I can’t say I’m that surprised. This was just a matter of time. That we can’t rely on the government to save us, or even adequately address our most basic needs after hurricanes is such a cliché at this point. Hell, that’s how we’ve ended up with anarchists involved in large scale relief logistics like Operation Air Drop. Groups who want a revolutionary transformation—whether it be authoritarian or anti-authoritarian, are going to be putting forward competing visions of how to re-organize society after disasters like this, while the government leaves the rest of us to fend for ourselves, and that’s why it’s so important that anarchists like Mutual Aid Disaster Relief have been on the ground.
Clara: Yeah, Mutual Aid Disaster Relief actually addressed this recently in their piece “Dual-Power in a Three-Way Fight: Critical Reflections on Hurricane Michael.” Here’s what they have to say:
“The American Empire is in fierce decline. The global economic system is on the brink of full-scale collapse. We have yet to recover from the 2008 recession and experts predict the next economic crisis is just around the corner. Anthropogenic climate change is currently overturning the apparatuses of neoliberalism, fomenting the rise of full-scale fascism. As capitalist countries and corporations continue to exploit the global south for its resources, arable land shrinks and regions of the planet become inhospitable to human life. The far-right has their response ready: blame the immigrants and refugees, scapegoat people of color, and build an ethnostate devoted to patriarchy and white supremacy. What will our answer be? The state is not coming to save you. Capitalists aren’t going to rescue you. We are going to have to help each other. Mutual aid is a factor of evolution. Solidarity, not charity, is our refuge in times such as these.
“As the state cedes zones and territory to collapse—as it has in Flint, Michigan and in Puerto Rico—we find opportunities to build new forms of community and fellowship in the ashes.”
Rebel Girl: There’s some other stuff in that piece that I don’t totally agree with, like it says we need to, QUOTE “shed our ideological purity in efforts to meet the material needs of human beings. We need to… [center] those impacted by ecological crisis while simultaneously responding in an egalitarian manner than prizes consensus and snuffs out hierarchy and bureaucracy.” But like… authoritarian socialists, for example, would say anarchists like us need to shed our ideological purity and accept working in hierarchical structures and centralize decision making—our politics don’t just exist in a vacuum, they interact with how we believe we can organize best. But that’s just a small critique. Overall, what I really like about these strategic reflections from Mutual Aid Disaster Relief is how they directly grow out of their on-the-ground experience. They’ve been there after Irma, Maria, and Florence. Now, in Tallahassee after Michael, they’ve been involved in debris-clearing and a trans-inclusive relief center that welcomes undocumented folks.
Clara: They’ve also been in Panama City, one of the hardest hit spots in Florida’s panhandle, and we were able to interview a participant in autonomous relief there:
Who are we speaking with and what have you seen in Panama City?
Dezeray: I’m Dezeray, from Mutual Aid Disaster Relief. We came out autonomously but are connected to some anarchists who are on the ground doing some relief and response and some assessment on the ground in Panama City. We have three medics and tools and boxtrucks with supplies that we’ve been giving out to the housing projects and kind of monitoring and alerting through occupy’s networks where the border patrol are.
Uh, it’s a mess. Like, there’s really nothing that’s not totally destroyed. Stores are totally falling apart and you can see the shelves with items just open. Everything’s just totally fucked and there’s border patrol agents and the police are distributing very small amounts of food and water to people but only if they give them their ID first. It seems like it’s all one big dragnet for people.
So in Bay County there was folks that were arrested for looting, we can’t get information on them and we haven’t been able to get in touch with anybody there. We’re guessing that’s why such a heavy emphasis has been put on policing rather than response. There’s also been articles out in the mainstream media about how residents are really, really frustrated because there’s been no FEMA presence and no real relief presence other than autonomous and small business owners folks coming out and having free food shares in the streets.
The police, no matter where they are or where they’re going they have their lights on everywhere. There’s stores where their shelves are laid bare, there’s products you could see store after store after store that are just completely destroyed and all the products from inside or whatever are out in the open so I think there’s police crawling around everywhere just trying to create an atmosphere where you could be busted at anytime for any reason.
There’s word that people are being arrested for curfew,and then at the same time the housing projects that were already kind of dilapidated are completely destroyed and the landlords are telling people ”you need to leave now,” or “you need to leave within three days and we’re destroying the whole complex,” so people are out in the parking lots trying to figure out where to go and what to do while trying to deal with the fact that there’s a curfew and dealing with the fact that they can’t get fuel and their access to food and things like that is completely impaired because there’s no large scale food distribution, just autonomous crews flowing around and…yeah. Really stressful and difficult to maneuver.
Clara: Since we spoke with you last year, we’ve seen groups from Mutual Aid Disaster Relief to Anarchist Black Cross chapters to ad-hoc affinity groups of anarchists engaging in disaster relief work. It seems like disaster relief is becoming a hallmark of anarchism in action, perhaps like Food Not Bombs once was in the past. Do you have any lessons for anarchists who, in the future, may find themselves organizing autonomous disaster relief?
Dezeray: One thing I think is, along with affinity groups that are super common to decentralized models of disaster response like medical, supplies and distribution, and debris cleanups, things like cop watches and ICE watch and border patrol watch and things like that, and also jail solidarity. Also paying attention to where climate justice and disaster response meet up, because we’re seeing storms intensifying right now and becoming more frequent and so, how all of this intersects and how it affects people that are still in prison and that are in coastal and poor communities and marginalized communities that are already dealing with a day-to-day struggle and having to deal with being suddenly displaced and uprooted because of a storm. So anyways, we need to add affinity groups that are really, really working to try to get there, make assessments, but with a stronger emphasis on things like incarcerated folks and paying attention to what cops are doing and alerting people through our networks when we see cops staging and border patrol staging would be really helpful.
Clara: Thank you so much. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Dezeray: There’s gonna be a Mutual Aid Disaster Relief staging place at the UU Church in Panama City, 1410 Airport Road. You could contact mutualaiddisasterrelief.org through our website or through our facebook page, you can get connected with folks on the ground that are connected with other anarchist folk that are doing disaster relief here and get plugged in, you can get supplies here or get crews here and start doing the work alongside everybody that’s been here since before and during and after the storm came.
Rebel Girl: Over the weekend, the fascist Proud Boys assaulted counterdemonstrators in both New York City and Portland, Oregon.
Clara: In New York, the millionaire founder of the Proud Boys, Gavin McInnes, was scheduled to give a performance on Friday at the Metropolitan Republican Club in Manhattan. The performance was a re-enactment of the assassination of a Japanese socialist in 1960. And just to be clear, the venue was not some crypto-fascist group using the word “Republican” to lend legitimacy to their vague name—this is the seat of the GOP in New York City… hosting someone who has argued that blacks are incompatible with whites, who is the leader of a hate group that celebrates fascist leaders like Augusto Pinochet. This relationship between the political establishment and street level fascist groups is accelerating.
Rebel Girl: Which may be what motivated the vandals who, early Friday morning, glued the locks to the Metropolitan Republican Club’s building, broke its windows, and left two large anarchist circle-A’s spraypainted on the doors. They also left behind a communiqué, part of which reads,
“Tonight, we put the Republican Party on notice, in defiance to the policy of mass misery they have championed. The US government has established concentration camps around the country for Latino people, shamelessly murders black people, and continues its war machine that has slaughtered Muslim people with impunity for decades. The so-called “Land of the Free” leads the world in incarceration rates per capita, all the while profiteering in the new plantation within the prison walls. While these atrocities persist unabated, the Metropolitan Republican Club chose to invite a hipster-fascist clown to dance for them, content to revel in their treachery against humanity. The Republican Party, joined by their spineless partners-in-crime, The Democrats, institute a policy of domestic and foreign terror felt the world over.”
Clara: And boy were they right about how spineless the Democrats are. The Republican Club called on the Democrats to denounce the QUOTE “political violence” of the broken windows and graffitied doors, and the democrats followed suit… issuing an official statement that says, “New York Democrats have zero tolerance for violence in our political system and condemn this latest act of vandalism.”
Rebel Girl: Wait, this is absurd… the Republicans invited the leader of a group that brags about beating up leftists to re-enact a POLITICAL ASSASSINATION, and the Democrats are denouncing some spraypaint and broken windows as violence?
Clara: Are you surprised?
Rebel Girl: No, I’m pissed off. Especially because predictably, as about 30 or so Proud Boys left the event inside the GOP Club, they ganged up on three anti-fascist counterdemonstrators, shouted “faggot” and “kill him” at them, and beat them even as they were on the ground. The only people arrested—
Clara: Wait, let me guess, the cops didn’t arrest any Proud Boys, but they did arrest the three people who got beat up?
Rebel Girl: Bingo. The three were initially charged with FELONIES for allegedly trying to knock a MAGA hat off somebody, but thankfully since then the charges have been reduced to misdemeanors and they’ve been released from jail on their own recognizance.
In the following couple of days, the governor and mayor called for arrests of those on the Proud Boys’ side, and a handful have been arrested, but during the violence the police just stood by. Fox News even showed footage of Proud Boy violence while implying that the acts were being perpetrated by Antifa. As It’s Going Down reports, “Fox News… reported the incident in its reverse, implying sword-wielding antifa laid siege to the venue. Even with all the power of the State and fascist meathead gangs, the Right is still terrified of us.”
Clara: I don’t know if the right is truly “terrified” of us. I think that kind of reporting from Fox is purposefully disingenuous. It works for them either way—either Fox-watching police are fooled into believing anti-fascists are always the aggressors, or, a worse and much more likely scenario is that police who ideologically support groups like the Proud Boys can use that kind of disingenuous but widespread reporting as an excuse for standing by while Proud Boys carry on with their assaults. Right wing media, the police, and street level fascists all depend on and benefit each other in this strategy.
As a statement from the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council in New York states, “we must rebuff liberal and centrist calls for FBI and NYPD investigations or prosecutions. No arm of the state will serve meaningful justice in this situation, especially when the whole damn system is rotten to its core. Anti-fascist doxxing campaigns fulfill the very role that the NYPD is being called upon to perform. We don’t need to rely on cops to intervene, we can—and will—do it ourselves. We keep us safe. While we would find a prosecution comically entertaining, we request that the governor and any other momentary sympathizers furnish us with the conditions to actually fight fascism: abolish the police, and let us get to work.”
Photos and video of the assault on Friday have been circulated widely on social media, which has aided anti-fascists in doxxing the Proud Boys involved. There’s a good chance our listeners have seen it already, but we caught up with an anti-fascist who was there to hear more about what happened off-camera and what lessons can be taken from Friday night.
Hey. What happened at the demonstration against Gavin McInnes Friday night?
Anonymous Antifascist: So, Gavin McInnes was doing his usual nonsense and afterwards his Proud Boys were heard, when they were exiting the Metropolitan Republican Club, that they were ready to swing, you know, the usual violent garbage we can expect from them. The police initially sort of forced them off the blocks where the club was, and pretty much did an escort for them as they were sort of parading around a couple blocks further down. Which is not what they usually do to leftists protesters, as an aside. Then they encountered some comrades who got a little separate from the group because it was a little confusing what was happening at the time and then an altercation happened.
I don’t want to comment too much about it because there’s an ongoing investigation. A lot of people have probably already seen videos so, what sort of ended up happening is that these comrades were basically gang-beaten, 30 on 3, by these Proud Boys. There were actually a few NYPD cops who were there but they sort of just stood by and watched all this happened, and then later this guy, this doofus Proud Boy, started crying about how he was mugged and has his ID stolen and all this other junk, and so of course the NYPD immediately arrested the three people he pointed out as to have been alleged to have done this. But there’s actually a video going around on social media with him bragging about how cool it was to punch people and do all sorts of violent things.
Doofus Proud Boy: I did smash some dude out there. Giggle. It was absolutely insane, it was a good time.
Anonymous Antifascist: So it’s a little unclear how much of a victim he is exactly.
Clara: Fascists like to think in terms of victory and defeat, and they use videos like the one of the group beating on Friday as recruitment tools. In what ways can anti-fascists can also organize around high profile fascist violence like this?
Anonymous Antifascist: Honestly, I don’t think that countering their narrative is going to work. They’re not going to look at any video we put out and go, “Oh okay, that’s what really happened.” The only way to really engage with this is to prevent their videos from going out in the first place, or just not givin them the content—just starve them of the content they’re looking for.
Clara: Are there any tactical lessons that can be taken away from Friday night?
Anonymous Antifascist: Again, the most important thing is that more people need to show up. One of the things is that we were roughly even numbered with the Proud Boys, to the people who showed up to the Metropolitan Republican Club, and that was a problem. More people need to come out if you don’t want to see this kind of violence. Having people in the streets is so important. Of course, not everybody could come out. People have illnesses, or they’re caretakers, but if you have the time it would have been more important to be there than anywhere else.
The other thing is just that we do need to talk about how we’re acting on the streets. There are different things that you could do, for example, like just thinking about Friday, this demonstration was called for by a Workers World Party front group. So, there was a very ragtag mix of people, and some people with more or less understanding of tactics and how the NYPD acts, and how they’re willing to engage with police or with people on the street.
It was very confusing, for example, when the police moved the Proud Boys out of the club and some people who were a little further down the block didn’t know where they went, or what was even really going on. So when the altercations were happening, most of the crowd was nowhere nearby, which is one of the reasons why a 30 on 3 situation could happen, because there wasn’t anyone else who could run up to try to help out.
So, probably making sure that there’s always scouts, or people around who are feeding information to the larger group would be very important. And definitely separating out of the group is always a somewhat bad idea because they will engage on 30 on 3 beatdowns. Those are the kind of people they are.
Clara: Thank you so much for speaking with us.
Rebel Girl: Proud Boys also assaulted anti-fascists in Portland, Oregon this weekend, and we caught up with a comrade there to hear what happened.
What happened Saturday?
Portland Antifascist: So what happened was there was a vigil for Patrick Kimmons, who was shot by the Portland Police a couple weeks ago, and Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys decided to have what they were calling a “flash march” to that vigil. It was an obvious provocation. They met downtown, with about a hundred people, and they went to the vigil and there were antifascists there protesting them. the police pushed them back and then they kinda just stood across the street and there was some taunting going back and forth for a while. At some point somebody burned a flag and a Patriot Prayer guy ran in and snatched the flag and then there was some fighting that happened there. Then they left and they started marching north and they got to a bar called Kelly’s Olympian, which is where a group of antiracist skinheads had been kinda hanging out and they saw the antiracist skinheads and turned off course and went to them. Prior to that there was a lot more antiracist skinheads there, but Gibson and Patriot Prayer had made a threat to go to a known bar in town that supports antifascist concerts and events so a lot of the skinheads left and went to go defend that bar and there was like maybe five left. The Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer confronted those skinheads and basically just ran in and started hitting ‘em and it turned into a good fight and some more reinforcements came running in and then it went around the corner. I think there’s a video going around that people seen around a construction area where they’re stomping somebody in the head, like twenty of ‘em, it was - it was pretty crazy. Um, and then it kind of dispersed from there.
Rebel Girl: Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer and other fash seem to like to use these kinds of videos to recruit with. Do you have an opinion on how to responsibly engage these kinds of videos on social media?
Portland Antifascist: June 30th in Portland was also very indicative to that same behavior to the Proud Boys. Patriot Prayer, ya know, they did a lot of violence there too. They came in, the police stood back. Um, ya know, we don’t wanna forget that this isn’t just something new that happened this weekend, like they’ve been doing this for a while. Whenever they can, they’re coming in hard like that. When it comes down to sharing, what the Proud Boys do is they only share the clips of them getting that punch or they’ll manipulate those videos to make it look like “oh, we’re-” ya know, to play the victim like “we’re the good guys and they came after us,” but what they’re not showing is the beginning of everything. That’s the kind of stuff we need to show, like it was very clear when they came up to Kelly’s Olympian there was a guy standing there and he had his hands in his pocket and they punched him, then the fighting happened. Those are the videos that we would show that kind of expose the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer for what they are. They’re out looking for a fight and that’s why they come, it’s the sole purpose of why they’re out in the streets, is to fight leftists. I don’t like showing the fight, that one clip over and over again where twenty of their guys are on one of our guys that they’re using for recruitment. It’s already going around, we don’t really need to push that stuff, but showing the lead up to it? Kind of takes that narrative away.
Rebel Girl: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Portland Antifascist: think that one thing to add, here’s something that came up yesterday, going back to the last real big Patriot Prayer rally where they said they’re bringing guns and Alex Jones got on his show and said antifascists are bringing guns. Well, just yesterday it came out that the police found Patriot Prayer/Proud Boy associated snipers on the roof that day and never told the mayor or the public. This just came out yesterday, and they were up on rooftops with long rifles and weapon caches during the August 4th rally where the police turned on not just antifascists but a very broad community of a thousand people that showed up to protest them and started indiscriminately firing flashbangs at peoples’ heads, but they knew that Patriot Prayer had snipers on roofs with caches of weapons and never said anything. Those are things that people need to realize, that the state is in collusion with this, that they’re both fighting for the same kind of system. That was something that was kind of shocking.
Clara: And to wrap up our news about antifascist action against the Proud Boys, on October 6 wobblies with the Seattle General Defense Committee debuted their campaign targeting a local Proud Boy who works at Boeing. With a big banner that read, “A violent misogynist works at Boeing, Nicholas Boling,” around 40 antifascists in a variety of Halloween costumes rallied outside the company, while 15 or so Proud Boys rallied across the street, waiting for a fight, but leaving after 40 minutes when the far-left riot they conjured up never materialized.
You can support the Seattle GDC’s campaign to get Nicholas Boling fired by calling Boeing’s commercial airplanes division at 206–655–1131, we have a sample script on our website.
Clara: In this week’s repression roundup…
On Sunday, October 7th, Abraham Hernandez was on his way to offer solidarity and support to the Black Mesa campaign when he was arrested in Millard County, Utah and kept on an immigration hold. He has since transferred to a detention center in Logan, Utah and is waiting to see if a judge will grant his release. Abraham is in need of all sorts of support! Donate at gofundme.com/solidarity-with-ab.
Rebel Girl: Anarchist prisoner Eric King, who is in lock-up at Leavenworth Federal Prison, was recently thrown into the SHU. It is unclear how long he will be there and could really use some extra support! He has new mail restrictions-all paper has to plain white or lined notebook paper, envelopes have to be straight white or manila, and he is unable to receive cards. To find out more visit supportericking.org.
Clara: This past Monday in Minnesota, the trial began for three valve turners who organized a multi-state action that temporarily disabled tar sands pipelines across the U.S.-Canada border in 2016. At the very last minute, the court is barring experts from testifying that civil disobedience was necessary because fossil fuels are driving a global climate crisis. This comes after the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld the decision that would allow the activists to present a ‘necessity appeal’- where they can essentially argue that climate catastrophe is imminent and direct action is necessary to stop it. This case is more important than it seems at first glance-because the activists have been granted the right to argue that they may have committed a crime but did so for the greater good. We’ll have updates on the outcome of the trial in the future.
Rebel Girl: Atlanta Antifascists have announced a new campaign against local white nationalist organizer Casey Jordan Cooper. Casey is attending John Marshall Law School and they’re asking people to the law school at (678) 916–2600 and express your concern about the white power leader attending their school.
Clara: On Monday, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Maya Little faced trial for putting red paint and her own blood on Silent Sam, the Confederate monument on the campus of the University of North Carolina that has since been torn down by anarchists and other anti-racist rebels. After a trial involving testimony from both the mayor and the police chief of Chapel Hill, the judge found Maya guilty, but did not impose any penalty. This victory bodes well for the two dozen people still facing charges in the movement against the statue. Afterwards, Maya joined organizers from the Charlotte Uprising in an unpermitted public gathering at the site of Occupy Chapel Hill, where she repeated her uncompromising court statement to the crowd.
MAYA LITTLE: Confronting this history, I ask, what faith can I have that Orange County and these courts would serve me, or serve us? Justice may not be found in the courthouse, but it can be found in the community we have built when the police, university, and laws failed us. There is justice in the banners we have hung, in the salves applied to students choking on pepper spray, in the hands we grab onto as police pull us away. I hold myself accountable to my community and to the struggle for our lives. Alongside of them, i demand dignity, I demand life no matter the legality.
Rebel Girl: In February of 2018, Russian anarchists were arrested and accused by the Russian government of participating in a mythical terrorist organization called the Network and are subsequently now facing trial. Many of these defendants were tortured into signing admissions of guilt. Rupression.com has issued a statement about the Network case, denouncing the cooperation of two defendants with the Russian government and advocating for collective defense. You can find out more about the cases and read the full statement at repression.com.
Clara: Jalil Muntaqim is the last of the New York 3 still in prison and is up for parole in November of this year. The New York 3 are Black Liberation Army rebels convicted for the murder of the two New York City cops in 1971. Jalil Muntaqim needs letters of support and we have an address for the parole board in our shownotes.
Rebel Girl: Connor Stevens, one of the Cleveland 4, is being released as soon as November, and there’s a fundraiser to help get him basic necessities when he is released! The Cleveland 4 were four Occupy Cleveland activists who were were arrested on the eve of May Day, 2012 for allegedly plotting to blow up a bridge. But it was the FBI, working with an informant, that crafted the plot, produced the “explosives,” and coerced these four into participating. Connor took non-cooperating plea deals, has served just over 8 years, and will be on lifetime supervised release, so find his fundraiser on our website and show him some love for doing his time honorably.
NEXT WEEK’S NEWS
Rebel Girl: And now for political prisoner birthdays and next week’s news.
On October 18th is Jalil Muntaqim’s birthday. We mentioned Jalil’s situation in the Repression Roundup-for his birthday why don’t you write him a sweet card AND a letter to the parole board? We have an address for writing to Jalil in our shownotes, where you can also find a useful guide for writing prisoners from New York City Anarchist Black Cross.
Clara: To close out this Hotwire, here’s next week’s news, our list of events that you can plug into in real life.
Rebel Girl: In Brooklyn, New York on October 19 there’s a benefit punk show to raise some funds for recently released long-term political prisoners. It’s at 8:30 PM at Pine Box Rock Shop and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Clara: Montreal Contre les Prisons is calling for mobilization against the International Corrections and Prisons Association conference from October 21–26. Specifically, on Sunday October 21st at 3pm—the two-month anniversary of the 2018 Prison Strike—there will be a rally against all prisons, outside the ICPA Conference at the Montréal Marriott Chateau Champlain, near metro Bonaventure.
Rebel Girl: Gearing up to resist any possible rollbacks to Roe vs Wade, the Knoxville Abortion Doula Collective is offering a workshop on Autonomous Pelvic Care in Roanoke, VA on October 20 and 21st. Visit the Knoxville Abortion Doula Collective on facebook to find out more info.
Clara: On October 20 and 21 in London, England, instead of an anarchist bookfair comrades there are organizing a decentralized anarchist festival! If you want to be part of it e-mail anarchistfestival(at)riseup.net.
From October 26–28, there’s also an anarchist bookfair in Lisbon, Portugal.
And the weekend of November 17 and 18 has anarchist book fairs in both Seattle, Washington and Boston, Massachusetts. More at SeattleAnarchistBookFair.net and BostonAnarchistBookFair.org.
Rebel Girl: Radical feminists in Munich, Germany are holding a pro-choice counter demo and march on October 27 to counter the 1000 crosses for life“ pro-life march through the city. Meet at 1pm at Max-Joseph-Platz in Munich.
Clara: There’s an anti-ICE march in Portland, Oregon on November 6th at 6pm. Meet at City Hall and check out @OccupyICEPDX on twitter for more information. Rebel Girl: There is a call out from L’eau Est La Vie camp to protest banks who are invested in the Bayou Bridge pipeline. The pipeline is helmed by Energy Transfer Partners, whose goons recently sunk two boats near pipeline construction that were carrying 15 water protectors, media and legal observers. The project is funded by a whole slew of banks that are holding employment recruitment events at colleges across the country this fall. L’eau Est La Vie is calling for people to gather their affinity groups and disrupt these recruitment events! Visit nobbp.org or read the full call on itsgoingdown.org.
Clara: Itsgoingdown.org-one of our favorite online sources for anarchist and resistance news, is launching a fundraising campaign to ensure they can keep funding all their bad ass (and important!) revolutionary projects, visit itsgoingdown.org to donate or find out other ways you can support their very important work.
Rebel Girl: And lastly, the 2019 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar is now out. The calendar is themed around is Health/Care, and it features art and writing from current and former political prisoners like David Gilbert, Laura Whitehorn, and Mike Africa. Find out more at Certaindays.org
Clara: And that’s it for this Hotwire. As always thanks to Underground Reverie for the music, and thanks to Mutual Aid Disaster Relief and our comrades out in New York and Portland for the interviews. You can contact us at podcast[AT]CrimethInc[DOT]com or @HotwireWeekly on twitter. Don’t forget to check out all the links, mailing addresses, and useful notes we customized for this episode at CrimethInc.com.
Rebel Girl: You can subscribe to The Hotwire on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, just search for The Ex-Worker. You can listen to us through the anarchist podcast network Channel Zero, and believe it or not, every Hotwire is radio-ready, with a twenty-nine and a half minute version found in each episode’s shownotes, so feel free to put The Hotwire on your local airwaves. If you do, let us know so we can plug your station.
Clara: Stay informed. Stay rebel. Plug into the Hotwire.