Listen to the Episode — 43 min
Riot Dogg: September 5, 2018: Canada puts the Trans Mountain pipeline on pause; anti-fascists strike back in Chemnitz, Germany; updates on the national prison strike; and tons of announcements for action throughout September on this episode of…
Rebel Girl: The Hotwire.
A weekly anarchist news show brought to you by The Ex-Worker
Riot Dogg: With her, the Rebel Girl.
Rebel Girl: And with them, the Riot Dogg.
Riot Dogg: 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!
Rebel Girl: And now, the headlines…
Rebel Girl: Last season we reported on FOSTA-SESTA, federal legislation that claims to target human trafficking, but does so by creating new penalties for online platforms are used by sex workers to screen clients, to share “bad date lists,” to work indoors, and to otherwise communicate with each other about ways to stay alive. Many sex workers and actual advocates for trafficking victims have spoken out against this legislation, arguing that access to these online platforms decreases the risk of violence, but no longer being able to work online forces more sex workers back to working on the streets.
So, why are we talking about legislation that got passed last season? On August 23, Andrew Mitchell, an undercover cop who was already under investigation by his own department, was working in a prostitution sting. He picked up 24-year-old Donna Dalton, parked his unmarked car next to a wall so that the passenger side couldn’t open, and after Mitchell was stabbed in the hand, he shot Dalton 8 times, killing her. It would be a logical conclusion that Donna Dalton felt like she was being attacked or assaulted and fought back—she resisted and this cop shot her to death.
Days after Dalton’s killing, more than 100 friends and family held a candlelight vigil at the local elementary school she’d attended, where they released scores of pink and black balloons in remembrance. Remember, the state is not your friend, and their foot soldiers will never protect you.
Riot Dogg: As the nationwide prison strike coincided with Labor Day this week, we’re reminded that a worker’s most potent weapon against exploitation has come in the form of direct action: the strike. (Though, let’s be real, we all know that Labor Day was created and scheduled in late summer to detract from the growing radicalism and internationalism among American workers who, like the rest of the world, were celebrating May Day as the real worker’s holiday. But, we already ranted about this in Episode number 3 of the Hotwire and the very first episode of our sibling podcast, The Ex-Worker is all about May Day-a real worker’s holiday, so go take a listen).
Ending prison slavery and supporting incarcerated workers is absolutely a labor issue and unlike most other workers, prisoners cannot simply walk off the job. Some organizers wrote, ahead of this year’s prison strike that, “They cannot run these facilities without us. We will not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves.”
Prisoners on strike are calling for the repeal of an exception listed in the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which bans “involuntary servitude” in addition to slavery, “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” That forced labor remains legal in prison is unknown to many Americans, something that people involved in this year’s strike are trying to change.
The prison strike is now headed into it’s third week and reports are trickling out of prisons as to what’s been going on inside. We’ve given an update the last two weeks about what we know of so far and while it’s hard to garner much information, we do know that there has been strike activity by prisoners in Alabama, Washington state, Georgia, North and South Carolina, California, Ohio, Indiana, New Mexico, Missouri, Kentucky, Florida, Texas, Michigan, Delaware, Arizona, and Nova Scotia, Canada.
Rebel Girl: According to the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, who acknowledge that information is sketchy and spotty, there are probably 20,000 prisoners on strike right now, with a variety of tactics, including work stoppages, hunger strikes, phone and commissary boycotts, and sit-ins occurring inside prisons. News will come in a slow seep from those locked up, but Jailhouse Lawyers Speak reports that, “As suspected the prison systems in the US are not taking this so well. Prisons are being turned upside down by the goons. Leading prisoners suspected of promoting strikes or any forms of resistance are being locked down, having mail slowed or rejected, property taken, and we have noted a few assaults on prisoners by pigs.”
Unlike the 2016 strike, which endured a fundamental media black out, the 2018 prison strike is getting some amount of mainstream press coverage and really consistent coverage by independent sources. There have continued to be solidarity actions taking place by those on the outside, which are admittedly, easier to find out about, with noise demos happening over the last week in Des Moines Iowa, Miami, Atlanta, Richmond Albuquerque, and Philadelphia. There is an encampment outside the Gainesville Prison Work Camp that is headed into its fifth day as we go to air. Nocturnal rebels hung a banner reading, “You Lost Jerkhoff!” in front of the J20 prosecutor’s house outside Washington DC, stating in their communiqué, “The mass incarceration machine is gripped by the largest prisoner strike this country has ever seen, which started on August 21st and will go through September 9th. We know that while you put some of us through a traumatic year with your overreach, what happened to our friends is nothing compared to the collective trauma the criminal justice system inflicts on whole communities every day. People like you ruin lives and tear apart families for a living.”
And….a community of radical and abolitionist Christians in Philadelphia met outside police headquarters and prayed for those striking in prison, the abolition of the police and all prisons, as well as our own incarcerated friends and family. We here at the Hotwire don’t believe you can pray prisons away, but hey-to each their own. But we do believe that we can take them all down, and we really, really hope we get to live to see the day.
Riot Dogg: And speaking of strikes, the teacher strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona last spring were never supposed to happen. Tens of thousands of teachers went on strike in bright red states where government-employee unions are historically weak. They boiled over, angry at low pay and lawmakers who kept cutting taxes while letting school funding sink to woeful levels. The teachers in those states won raises, and so did the ones who walked out in Kentucky and Colorado.
On the eve of Labor Day, the ire of many teachers across the country was still growing. More than 30,000 teachers in Los Angles voted Thursday to authorize a strike if their union and school district fail to agree on a contract. Earlier in the week, teachers in Seattle voted to strike in September if their union and school district don’t reach a deal, while there are teachers currently on strike across Southwest Washington State. And North Carolina’s teachers are inching closer toward a statewide walkout. The situation in Los Angeles is of particular interest for two reasons. One, it is the second largest school district in the country and two, it voted 98 percent to 2 percent to authorize their first strike in nearly 30 years.
At the top of the educators’ list of demands are reducing class size; less testing and more teaching time; basics such as new textbooks, and restoring essential support structures that students need, including school nurses and guidance counselors.
A survey of LA teachers was taken, and when asked, “If management offered to meet your salary demands and nothing else, would you still plan to strike?” All said yes. Props to LA teachers for redefining the meaning of “No child left behind.”
Rebel Girl: On Saturday in smalltown Madison, Indiana, a cookout of a dozen Klansmen was outnumbered and shouted down by 300 anti-racist protesters. There was no masked-up antifa presence, but an interview with one of the local anti-Klan demonstrators showed just how common sense the anti-fascist strategy of deplatforming is:
TV REPORT: On one side, there were members of the Klan. On the other side of a fence, were people like Jeff Dillow, who admits, he was fighting mad. “I did want to go around there, you’re right. ’Cause I wanted to stand right there in the middle of it. If they’ve got a right to stand there, what gives them the right to be the only ones to stand up there?”
Rebel Girl: Gotta love that Midwestern sensibility.
Riot Dogg: Meanwhile, in Houston, Texas Proud Boys and three-percenters were outnumbered 80 to 12, and faced the armed Huey P Newton gun club, as they protested an Islamic art convention downtown. At one point, a white supremacist ran across the police barricades to start punching counterprotesters. One article reports that, “Three people were handcuffed, briefly detained and released under the condition they leave the protests for the day, said the assistant chief of homeland security for the Houston Police Department.”
Rebel Girl: Wait, besides the absurdity of having to leave a protest for defending yourself against a violent racist, what the hell is the homeland security division of the Houston Police Department doing there? Were they there just because this took place outside a Muslim-related event?
Riot Dogg: Yeah it’s ridiculous. Like always, the most dangerous people there were the self-avowed defenders of the homeland—cops and racists.
Rebel Girl: Sub.media reports that on August 30, “in Montreal, over 20 migrant justice activists locked down the headquarters of Canadian Border Services and Immigration Canada, blocking employees from entering the building. This was done in response to the death of Bolante Idowu Alo, a Nigerian migrant who died while being deported… in the custody of Canadian Border Services. Meanwhile, in the US, ICE just carried out its largest workplace raid in over 10 years, detaining 160 people at an assembly plant in Texas.
Riot Dogg: In Connecticut, for the second time in just over a week, we have a report from a successful anti-deportation rally. The contribution from New London Mutual Aid reads, “On August 29, a diverse coalition of… immigration support groups and activists numbering over 200 met in New London to show support and solidarity with a Colombian immigrant slated for deportation on the 12th of September. A few days later on September 1 it was announced that there would be a stay of deportation. Emboldened by the more rapid results of non-electoral organizing, there is already talk of repeating this tactic for others at risk for deportation, as New London and the surrounding area have enormous immigrant populations.”
Rebel Girl: In Iowa, racist xenophobes have been trying to stoke white outrage after an allegedly undocumented Mexican immigrant was charged last month with the murder of white university student Mollie Tibbetts. One openly neo-Nazi group has organized robocalls to Iowa residents, describing Tibbetts’ murderer as, “an invader from Mexico.”
And that rhetoric has been echoed from the highest echelons of power, with the Des Moines Register giving Donald Trump Jr. a guest column to blame the Tibbetts’ family’s loss on “illegal aliens.” But the family isn’t having it.
Her aunt, cousins, father, and friends have come out to publicly reject the White House’ racist narrative that Mollie’s death was the result of immigration. In perhaps the strongest public statement, her second cousin tweeted out, “hey i’m a member of mollie’s family and we are not so fucking small-minded that we generalize a whole population based on some bad individuals. now stop being a fucking snake and using my cousins death as political propaganda. take her name out of your mouth.”
But the boldest such rejection came from Mollie’s father during her funeral, “the Hispanic community are Iowans, they have the same values as Iowans. As far as I’m concerned, they’re Iowans with better food. The person who is accused of taking Mollie’s life is no more a refection of the Hispanic community as white supremacists are of all white people. To suggest otherwise is a lie. That you’ve been beset by the circumstances of Mollie’s death is wrong. We treasure the contribution you bring to the American tapestry in all its color and melody. And yes, we love your food."
Riot Dogg: Powerful, but also… what’s up with his weird fixation on Latino food?
Rebel Girl: I know, it is weird. But like, while that might be even kind of racist in another context…
Riot Dogg: You mean like Trump eating Taco Bell with a big stupid grin on Cinco de Mayo?
Rebel Girl: Sure but in this case, this guy was speaking up against the right-wing hijacking of the narrative around his daughter’s death. And at her funeral! It just goes to show you that anti-racism isn’t always about having the most refined analysis, there’s a kind of sincere spirit of solidarity that’s as important as it is hard to define, but you know it when you see it.
ANTIFA BLOCKS NAZIS IN CHEMNITZ
Riot Dogg: It’s definitely good that he pushed back on the anti-immigrant sentiment, especially considering the story we shared last week about how quickly nationalists and xenophobes mobilized racist mobs in Chemnitz after two migrants were arrested there over the murder of a German national last Sunday.
On Saturday, thousands of Nazis and the far-right rallied once more in the East German city, but in contrast to last week there was an anti-fascist opposition of equal numbers who successfully blocked their march. Part of the nationalist crowd rallied behind a banner with pictures of bloodied women, who they claim to be victims of immigrant violence, but in fact are mostly American and British women who survived domestic violence or police attacks.
Rebel Girl: Fail.
Riot Dogg: And speaking of the police, they also showed up in force, after being heavily criticized for giving free reign to the migrant-hunting Nazi mobs last week and for leaking the name of one of the arrested migrants, which should be confidential under German law, to the head of the far-right anti-immigrant organization PEGIDA. The premiere of the region trumpeted the increase in police numbers as some sort of victory against fascism, “We will make it clear that the state has the monopoly on the use of force.”
Rebel Girl: So, basically he’s saying that the problem with fascism isn’t the persecution of the marginalized or racism or sexism or any of that—but that it functions outside the control of the state?
Riot Dogg: Basically. Politicians, am I right? Of course, as the leaking scandal shows, there’s plenty of fascist support from state actors, especially cops. To find out more we talked with an anti-fascist in Germany who was on the streets of Chemnitz on Saturday.
So what happened on Saturday and how’s that different from what we saw last week?
Antifascist: Personally I didn’t have time on Monday to get there as well so that’s why I went there on Saturday. Things went differently on Saturday because the police were hugely criticized about what happened on Monday. In the beginning, there were to be two demonstrations on Saturday. So, one for the AfD party (the Alternative für Deutschland right wing populists with fascist tendencies right wing party), and some local fascist initiatives like Pro Chemnitz, but really soon they unified into one. A lot of people tried to leave the square where the counter-demonstration was held, and tried to block the route. Actually, there were two blockings that were successful. So they had to stop and that’s when they went furious and people started - fascists started separating from their demonstration and gathering around the city looking for people to beat up. They also got very aggressive towards journalists of any kind, so they beat them, they threw down their cameras. In the end, they could not walk their desired route because also the alternative route was blocked by counter-protesters, so they had to stop and in the end they had to cancel their demonstration, which meant that now a lot more fascists were on the street, gathered around, looking for people to beat up.
On Monday, the 3rd of September, there was a huge concert organized by local artists from Chemnitz. The band Kraftklub and also Feine Sahne Fischfilet and other artists from all over Germany gathered together in Chemnitz to give a free concert under the motto “Wir Send Mehr,” “We Are More,” to show that there, the majority is not supporting the fascist ideas which were presented on Saturday, on Monday, and on the Sunday before.
I think this concert got a lot of attention, and it was kind of a good move because I think people are more eager to know what’s going on in a city if they’ve been there and for this concert 65000 people from all over Germany arrived in Chemnitz and I think this helped a lot of people get a personal relationship to the city.
Riot Dogg: Thanks so much for speaking with us. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Antifascist: Notice that on Saturday, even though we had a week of preparation time, the fascists were between 3000–5000 and the counter-demonstrators were about 3000, so it’s like one-to-one. This used to different in the past, like twenty years ago, fifteen years ago, it used to be the fascists were outnumbered by a factor of 10 at least with every demonstration they started. Those times have changed, and I’m not quite sure in what direction it will change.
Rebel Girl: In rural Scotia, California, a week of action to save the Mattole Forest ended with a blockade outside the Humboldt Redwood Company’s lumber mill, during which a trucker plowed his vehicle through a banner held by demonstrators. Luckily, no one was injured.
Riot Dogg: Over the weekend, a protest flotilla including several groups of American Indians gathered against Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline in Northern Michigan. Unlike the Bayou Bridge Pipeline or the movement at Standing Rock two years ago, the campaign against Line 5 isn’t about stopping construction, it’s about shutting down a dangerously old piece of oil infrastructure. On Monday, pipeline opponents in Michigan continued the resistance by dropping a banner that read, “No line 5. No Compromise.”
TRANS MOUNTAIN PIPELINE ON PAUSE
Rebel Girl: In Canada, a federal court struck down the government’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which would bring tar sands oil from Alberta to British Columbia. After Kinder Morgan, the corporation behind the pipeline, was having trouble funding the project, the Canadian government purchased it in May for four-and-a-half billion dollars. We caught up with someone involved in the anti-Trans Mountain Pipeline struggle to hear about the resistance that led up to this point and whether we should go ahead and declare this a victory.
Rebel Girl: Who are we speaking with and can you tell us about the struggle that has been waged against the pipeline up to this point?
Rhino: My name is Rhino. I’m an anarchist organizer who resides on Wet’suwet’en territories in so-called northern British Columbia. I’ve been involved with the struggle against the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion project since about 2014, when we did the month long encampment on Burnaby Mountain which was doing direct action against surveyors. Since then, there’s been ongoing resistance against the pipeline on all levels. You had…at the top, you had Tsleil-Waututh Nation has been leading a legal challenge, and the NGOs have been running their own awareness raising campaigns, and then you have the grassroots people doing, basically, direct action as they can, some of which can be talked about, some of which can’t, but in the end, in the last year, we’ve seen a real focus towards indigenous-led actions such as the Tsleil-Waututh watchhouse, which has been set up near the Kinder Morgan tank farm. You had more of a grassroots indigenous-led encampment called Camp Cloud, which was recently taken down by the city of Burnaby, and has gone mobile and is still out there. You had groups like Tiny House Warriors, which was led by grassroots Secwepemc people, including Kanahus Manuel, and you had lots and lots of different people from different nations trying to figure out what their tactic was gonna be. And we were really coming into a crunch time, where construction was about to start, and then, lo and behold, the Tsleil-Waututh legal suit won its case. Trans Mountain had its approval revoked and the construction had to stop.
Rebel Girl: Is this the end of the TransMountain pipeline? I remember the Dakota Access Pipeline was declared dead during Standing Rock, and then just months later construction on the project began anew.
Rhino: The short answer is no, absolutely not. If you look at the decision from the federal court of appeals, it gives a very clear path for Trans Mountain to continue. They need to go back, and they need to do an additional environmental assessment to look at the impact of the tanker traffic on the B.C. coast and, in particular, the impact on the Orca whale population. The Canadian government has explicitly stated that they will be looking at options for how they can go ahead. What we are looking at is a lengthy delay of months, possibly a year. We don’t know exactly, it depends on how exactly the government goes about its business. One, I think, critical difference to draw out between the Trans Mountain decision and the Dakota Access situation is the Dakota Access decision to have a EIS by Obama, I think, was a deliberate de-escalation of when Standing Rock was rising towards a really key moment where people were ready to fight back. Here, I feel like this decision is a real blessing because nobody’s under the delusion that Trans Mountain’s over, and now we have more time to figure out our grassroots resistance strategies.
Rebel Girl: Are there lessons for other anti-pipeline struggle around North America, or just environmental direct action anywhere?
Rhino: I think the biggest lesson is that we need to do more to build up our capacity to support frontlines, and especially indigenous frontlines, last week Trans Mountain was literally putting shovels in the ground and over a year of organizing efforts had so far… has failed, to really get support out to the frontlines at the level that’s gonna be necessary to stop these pipelines. Because the lawsuits, I think, have won as much they are gonna win at this point, and they won more than we ever expected they could. If this was a privately owned company, or if this pipeline was privately owned, this pipeline would be dead, there’s no question. However, the nature of the game has changed, this is now a state-owned project, and I think it’s beyond the capacity of NGOs and lawsuits to stop it. So what we’re gonna look at is to be ready with medics, with people who have direct action training, with people who are willing to put their bodies on the line, to do the necessary fundraising, and we have this gift of another year to try to build the ground game which is gonna prevent this or any other pipeline from going through.
Rebel Girl: Thanks so much for speaking with us and everything you’re doing up there. Anything you’d like to add before we let you go?
Rhino: If I could say anything else, I would shout out that really I think the pipeline to really watch out for in British Columbia right now is Coastal Gaslink, which is threatening Unist’ot’en territory in northern B.C. and could start construction in October.
Rebel Girl: On Thursday in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, anti-racists danced on the remains of the confederate statue that was toppled during a demonstration two weeks ago. The dance party was called for in response to a neo-confederate “twilight vigil” for the fallen statue. Police escorted about 50 or so pro-confederates into a fenced-off area around the statue’s now-empty pedestal, while 300 anti-racist demonstrators surrounded the fence and, in the words of the pro-confederates, engaged in “a large amount of devilish and ungodly opposition.”
Riot Dogg: Yeah, they also said that anti-racists weren’t there to “play on the merry-go-round and play pattiecake in the sand box.” Which…uhhh…is true…but I guess they were trying to make the celebratory dance party and anti-fascist ice cream cart that were there sound menacing or something? Of course, in reality, the most dangerous element present that night was the police. When the racists decided to pack up and leave, 45 minutes earlier than their announced end time, cops followed the pattern we’ve seen throughout August in places like Portland and Berkeley: they arrested anti-racists and attacked their crowd with pepper spray, meanwhile catering to the white supremacists.
Rebel Girl: A few hours up the road in Charlottesville, Virginia, police arrested six people and HOSPITALIZED ONE after about 50 community members associated with the Hate Free Schools Coalition led a “people’s meeting” in the lobby of the Albemarle County School Board. It was the second time in a week that activists have disrupted the School Board’s meetings over a dress code policy that does not ban the display of confederate flags.
The policy isn’t simple oversight by the way. During last week’s meeting, one of the school board’s members wore a tie decorated with confederate flags. That meeting was dispersed by police during the first public comment from the floor—whereas this week, public comment was banned, and in addition to the “people’s meeting” in the lobby, about half-a-dozen anti-racists with tape over their mouths held up a banner in front of the school board that read, “RACISTS DON’T GET RE-ELECTED.”
Riot Dogg: Boy do I have some bad news for those banner holders…
Rebel Girl: Whoa there Dogg—okay, so maybe some of the activists in Cville weren’t ballot-boycotting anarchists, but it’s still cool that they’re giving the school board hell over this racist policy.
Riot Dogg: No totally, every racist school board member should have banners shoved in his or her face—the thing is there’s actually so much more promise in that than in waiting for the sanctioned time once every so often to elect a new representative. We should be organizing to make racist policies unenforceable and to make our lives ungovernable regardless of who gets elected.
It’s one thing to change a policy, but what if that kind of power didn’t just reside in the hands of the school board? What if students had their own anti-racist organizing bodies, to identify and expose racist bullies or to call-in kids who wear the confederate flag but maybe don’t really know its white supremacist history or how it makes their classmates feel? Building that kind of community resilience outside of the established channels would just make the out-of-touch racist adults who sit on school boards irrelevant.
Rebel Girl: I was with you on the “become ungovernable” part, but this whole anti-racist student assembly thing seems a little far-fetched, even for you, Dogg.
Riot Dogg: First off, don’t call it an assembly—everyone hates school assemblies. Secondly, if there were ever a year that we were close to such a “far-fetched idea” happening, this would be it! There was that wave of student walkouts and protests that you were all excited about after the Parkland shooting. If only the whole #NeverAgain movement hadn’t been swept up into electoralism, the next logical step would’ve been student-led organizing within schools. And that would’ve naturally brought up confederate apparel since school shooters are often confederate-flag or MAGA dudes.
Rebel Girl: Argh yeah, it is annoying how firmly the democrats co-opted all of that energy and potential. You know, normally the North American anarchist propaganda calendar only requires our critique of voting once every four years, but with all the hype on the midterm elections in November, it might do us well to emphasize our platform: don’t vote, take direct action! Not in the least because anarchists themselves keep running for office.
Riot Dogg: Wait, what?
Rebel Girl: Yeah, I came across this article the other day, “Meet the Anarchist who Wants to Abolish Government… by Joining It.”
Riot Dogg: Oh no…
Rebel Girl: Ahem, “John Michael Carico, 32, is not a typical anarchist. Most anarchists would never launch a serious bid for public office because they oppose the existence of the state but, despite loathing the electoral process, Carico is running for U.S. Senate in Tennessee as an Independent.
Riot Dogg: Ok hold up—not “most,” ALL anarchists oppose the existence of the state—if the word means anything it at least means that.
Rebel Girl: May I finish?
“This is not an act of radical performance art, like when the activist Vermin Supreme runs for various offices wearing a boot on his head and promising everyone ponies if elected. Carico’s bid is real.
“Carico, who is nonbinary and goes by Jae Em, wants to mainstream anarchism and push Democrats further left.”
Oh, and here’s a quote later in the article that seems to be just for you, “Anarchists should make as much effort to reach the public as those who support the state. The stakes are a little high for dogma.”
Riot Dogg: Ok listen—I’m as tired as the next canine of all those old anarchist platitudes—if voting changed anything it would be illegal, yadda yadda. But political purism aside, there’s two main problems I see with anarcho-campaigning, even if it’s just for propaganda purposes—1) whatever organizing you do around your campaign necessarily has an expiration date, and 2) the focus is on an individual rather than a set of collective practices that anyone can get involved in.
Like, for example, I love Chelsea Manning—great tweets, she’s a queen, #WeGotThis—and her senate campaign had great talking points, just listen to this:
Chelsea Manning: We live in trying times. Times of fear. Times of suppression. Of hate. We don’t need more, or better leaders. We need someone willing to fight. We need to stop asking them to give us our rights—they won’t support us. They won’t compromise. We need to stop expecting that our systems will somehow fix themselves. We need to actually take the reigns of power from them. We need to challenge them at every level. We need to fix this. We don’t need them anymore, we can do better. You’re damn right we got this.
Rebel Girl: Wow. That’s basically pure anarchist propaganda. Go Chelsea!
Riot Dogg: I know! It’s great, but it doesn’t really suggest anything people can do now that her campaign is over, even if they agreed. Anarchist engagement around elections should offer departure points for more fulfilling and direct ways to take power back into our own lives. And it should stay relevant once the voting is over and all the chumps are sworn into office. Like some kind of nagging afterthought: “hey, that didn’t do anything, why not and what now?” or “you know that wasn’t enough. Maybe you should learn more about what those crazy anti-government people were saying about building local communes and assemblies?”
Rebel Girl: Well well, I’ve never found the idea of a nagging afterthought so inspiring.
Riot Dogg: Listen, I was just trying to come up with a unique way of looking at this age-old debate. You know that if I had it my way, I’d just propose we all run wild and naked in the streets, barking at drones and biting cops.
Rebel Girl: In this week’s repression roundup, Jeff Winder of Charlottesville, Virginia has been found guilty on his appeal of an assault charge for punching Jason Kessler, the organizer of Unite the Right, on the day after the deadly neo-Nazi rally last year. The court sentenced him to 0 days in jail and a fine of…
Riot Dogg: It doesn’t matter what the fine is! Solidarity is the measure of our movement’s strength, and if one of ours is facing repression for a courageous, righteous, anti-fascist act, well then we’ll dig deep to defend them and cover whatever costs they may…
Rebel Girl: Uh dogg, dogg… DOGG!
Riot Dogg: What?
Rebel Girl: The court sentenced him to a fine of $1 dollar.
Riot Dogg: $1 dollar?
Rebel Girl: $1 dollar.
Riot Dogg: That’s all it costs to punch Jason Kessler?
Rebel Girl: Apparently?
RIOT DOGG. Then surely we can raise at least a hundred dollars.
Rebel Girl: You can support Jeff by donating to gofundme.com/support-for-jeff-winder [SUPPORT DASH FOR DASH etc…]. And if somehow, some way, any extra funds are raised beyond this unjust fine, it will be donated to the Charlottesville Community Resilience Fund, which is also doing legal support for the folks arrested at the school board meeting we mentioned earlier.
NEXT WEEK’S NEWS
Riot Dogg: And now for prisoner birthdays and next week’s news.
Today is the birthday of Brian Vaillancourt, who was arrested in 2013 after allegedly attempting to, “burn down a slaughterhouse known as McDonalds.”
It’s also the birthday of Alex Irwin, one of the prisoners from the Ferguson uprising in 2014.
Rebel Girl: And on September 10, Dion Ortiz, one of the water protector political prisoners from the 2016 resistance to the Daktoa Access Pipeline at Standing Rock. Dion recently accepted a non-cooperation plea agreement in July, and is awaiting sentencing in October.
Riot Dogg: We have addresses for writing to Brian, Alex and Dion in our shownotes, where you can also find a useful guide for writing prisoners from New York City Anarchist Black Cross.
Rebel Girl: And now, for next week’s news, our list of events that you can plug into in real life.
Riot Dogg: There’s a bunch of #PrisonStrike related events coming up:
On Friday, September 7 at 7 PM, a noise demo outside the youth jail in Seattle.
And then on September 9, some prisoner letter-writing at Pipsqueak on 16th ave in Seattle.
Rebel Girl: At 1:30 PM on Saturday, September 8, a rally outside the South Carolina State House in Columbia. The rally is for prison reform, but we encourage any abolitionists to attend anyway and push the conversation is a more radical direction
Riot Dogg: Also on Saturday, a prison strike solidarity rally at 4 PM in Roosevelt park, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Rebel Girl: In Vancouver, British Columbia on September 9, a benefit screening of From Prisons to Prisons at 6 PM at 119 Main Street.
Riot Dogg: And on September 21 at 6 PM, a letter-writing night in Minneapolis at Boneshaker books.
Rebel Girl: Portland Rad Movie night is screening the cult anti-capitalist classic They Live! at 7 PM on September 6 at the Social Justice Action Center on 12th Ave. The event is BYOB—as in bring your own bubblegum.
Riot Dogg: Houseless activists and public space advocates in Olympia, Washington are organizing a massive turnout for a city council meeting on September 11 in response to the city’s recent fencing off of the Artesian Commons, a park with free well water, a 24-hour bathroom, and convenient proximity to the many services downtown that houseless people need to survive.
Rebel Girl: The enclosure of the commons! This is what we’ve always been against! Even before we called ourselves anarchists!!!
Riot Dogg: It’s true—in response anarchists have been waging a low level propaganda battle against the fence, utilizing banners, graffiti, and wheatpasted posters. If you’re in Olympia, try to make it out to the September 11 city council meeting and show them that the commons are ungovernable.
Riot Dogg: The Eastern Connecticut Workers Bookfair will take place on September 15 in Parade Plaza, New London, Connecticut. And also on September 15 is the 23rd annual Bay Area anarchist bookfair in California, check out bayareaanarchistbookfair.com for more info.
Rebel Girl: Cutting in Germany’s old growth Hambach forest could begin as soon as this week. Last Wednesday police confiscated a mobile kitchen from the forest camp under the pretext that it could be used to manufacture Molotov cocktails. Activists speculate that the state could be laying the groundwork for mobilizing massive resources to evict the forest defenders. There’s an action camp planned from September 22 to October 3, but stay tuned to HambachForest.org for updates, and go check out this amazing resistance camp if you’re in Europe!
Riot Dogg: We’ve received the following call-out from “some Anarchists in Appalachia:
“The League of the South and other far right/neo-nazi groups are organizing two events in Northeast Tennessee this month.
“TriPride will be held in Johnson City, TN on September 15th and will march through downtown, starting at 101 Commerce Street. Tennessee League of the South coordinator Tom Pierce has called for a protest to happen along the march route. We’re calling for folx to organize autonomously for this event. The fascists could show up on any part of the march route so be prepared to visibly or physically block them from interfering with the pride march.
“And on September 29th in Elizabethton Tennessee, League of the South will hold a rally protesting the fall of Silent Sam and other Confederate monuments. Sycamore Shoals State Park has been announced as the venue, but the word from park officials is no one has applied for a “special permit” for the announced date. The league continues to promote the event online despite this, so let’s be ready despite what state officials might tell us. We must throw down against this hate and show these fascists that Appalachia will not tolerate their presence in our hollers. Stay tuned to @HollerNetwork and @knoxradical on twitter for updates.”
Rebel Girl: And lastly, pre-sales are now open for the 2019 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar. The theme of next year’s calendar is Health/Care, and it features art and writing from current and former political prisoners like David Gilbert, Mike and Chuck Africa, and Laura Whitehorn. The calendar is a great way to fundraise for your own group, and orders start shipping September 10!
Rebel Girl: And that’s it for this Hotwire. As always thanks to Underground Reverie for the music, and thanks to Rhino and our anti-fascist comrade in Germany for the interviews. Stay in touch with us by e-mail to podcast[AT]CrimethInc[DOT]com or follow us on Twitter @HotwireWeekly. Don’t forget to check out all the links, mailing addresses, and useful notes we customized for this episode at CrimethInc.com.
Riot Dogg: 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. Believe it or not, every Hotwire is radio ready, so feel free to put The Hotwire on your local airwaves. If you do, let us know so we can plug your station.
Rebel Girl: Stay informed. Stay rebel. Plug into the Hotwire. Ow oww…!