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Rebel Girl: November 8, 2017: Interviews with J20 support in DC and anarchists facing repression in Brazil, worldwide actions against animal exploitation, and a rant against daylight saving 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 episode, we bring you two interviews. One with Sam from DC Legal Posse about important developments in the J20 inauguration protest case, and we also interview a Brazilian anarchist about the Operation Érebo repression campaign that hit hard last week. We also go back in history to chart authoritarian communist repression of revolutionary movements, and to recount the anarchist struggles against time itself!
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.
Now… for the headlines.
Anger over the death of Argentinean indigenous rights activist Santiago Maldonado continues to burn. On October 24, saboteurs in Uruguay carried out an incendiary attack on the Argentine Military Attaché’s office in Montevideo. In Copenhagen, Denmark, anarchists redecorated the Argentine embassy with paint in memory of Maldonado.
On November 2, the Ocotl Anarchist Group of the Informal Anarchist Federation used an explosive against the so-called Heroic Military Academy in Mexico City. In their communiqué, the anarchists called for the release of all human and non-human animals, making special mention of anarchist political prisoner Luis Fernando Barcenas.
Last week was the International Week of Action Against Speciesism. Rallies took place in Milan, Italy and Istanbul, Turkey; marches were held in Madrid, Spain and Athens, Greece, and a sabotage against an animal exploiting business was carried out in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Also last week, Wild Salmon Warriors removed nets that disrupt natural salmon habitats in so-called British Columbia. The nets were placed by Kinder Morgan, the company whose tar sands pipeline on indigenous Secwepemc land is being resisted by means of building tiny houses along the pipeline’s proposed route.
On November 7, migrant solidarity activists disrupted the Melbourne Cup horserace in Australia to call attention to the over 600 refugees marooned on Manus Island. They were imprisoned there by Australian authorities for entering the country by boat, and have since been abandoned without electricity, water or any other essential services.
Activists dropped banners throughout Melbourne, as well as running onto the racecourse itself with a banner that read, “Free the Refugees!” A group of anarchists majorly disrupted transportation to the horserace by blocking railway tracks with a car. Signs were displayed prominently opposing both Australia’s cruel treatment of refugees and also the Melbourne Cup’s cruelty to animals.
In memory of recently deceased American Indian Movement co-founder Dennis Banks, and in solidarity with indigenous-led resistance to the proposed Line 3 pipeline in northern Minnesota, people held space in the middle of Cedar Ave in Minneapolis. Rest in power Dennis Banks, we will keep your struggle alive.
While the 23rd United Nations Climate Conference begins this week in Germany, over 15,000 demonstrated against capitalist climate change in general, and specifically against Europe’s largest source of CO2 emissions, Germany’s open cast coal mines, which are located only 30 miles from where the Climate Conference is taking place. Check our shownotes for an insane picture of demonstrations against the coalmines. It seriously looks like something out of Star Wars or Avatar. Hopefully our planet’s saga has a happy ending, but that’s up to us.
For over a week, students at Reed College in Portland, Oregon have been occupying the administrative building on campus. They’re protesting the college’s financial ties to Wells Fargo, infamous for their investments in private prisons, immigration detention, the Dakota Access Pipeline, police foundations and Israeli Apartheid. We wish luck and victory to the rebel students at Reed. Check out our shownotes for a full report on their ongoing occupation.
Also in Oregon this weekend, hunger strikers in a privately run immigration detention center declared victory when ICE officials committed to allow detainees three hours of free video calling every month, more food and clothes, and improved library options in Spanish. The victory comes after lively noise demonstrations took place outside the facility—so loud that the detainees inside could hear their supporters!
In nearby Tacoma, Washington, Northwest Detention Center Resistance has been leading ongoing noise demonstrations outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Tacoma. Check out our shownotes at CrimethInc.com to find out how to get involved.
Remember, solidarity saves lives.
TEXAS SHOOTING AND WHITE MASCULINE VIOLENCE
On Sunday, a white Air Force vet opened fire in a Texas church, leaving 26 dead and 20 injured. The act surpassed Dylan Roof’s 2015 racist massacre at a black church in South Carolina as the deadliest church shooting in American history. While the FBI recently added “black identity extremists” to their list of domestic terrorists, and while Homeland Security considers Antifa, who haven’t killed anyone, a domestic terrorist group, white men, the most violent people in the whole world and in all of history, continue to skirt the “t”-label.
How? Well, the word “terrorism” is a political term. Rather than describing specific behavior, it more so designates what groups are worthy of state repression and surveillance. Something similar happens with the word “violence” when used politically. When those further up a hierarchy direct violence to those below, it’s normalized and invisible. But when people below direct violence to those with more power than them, it’s regarded with shock and horror. This partially explains why, after Charlottesville, more counter-protesters have been arrested than white supremacists.
As anarchists, we don’t favor pointing out who the “real terrorists” are—rather we point out how the normal functioning of hierarchical power always excuses the suffering it spawns, while often masking its oppression as a protective measure for the rest of us. Allow us to mention here that according to KilledByPolice.net, 999 people have been killed by US law enforcement in 2017 alone.
For more of an anarchist understanding of violence, and also non-violence, check out the essay The Illegitimacy of Violence, the Violence of Legitimacy available at CrimethInc.com. Also check out Hotwire #7 from October 4 for a more specific anarchist critique of the use of the word “terrorism.”
The arc of recent white masculine violence from Las Vegas to Texas was also downplayed by far-right trolls who used doctored images and conspiracy theories to blame the Texas church shooting on Antifa.
This was just one day after the supposed November 4 Antifa revolution, a hoax drummed up by right-wing trolls to justify anti-left violence. While the internet was full of hilariously overblown memes about supposed Antifa supersoldiers, it’s actually pretty disturbing how much reach the conspiracy theory got. Even Fox News was amplifying the hoax and laying the groundwork for right-wing violence. Thankfully, the worst that happened on November 4 was just a few scuffles, but let’s stay alert about these kinds of conspiracy theories in the future, and how we can use them to discredit and disarm the far-right.
On Sunday night, the clock fell back an hour for Daylight Saving. Mm, time… over here at CrimethInc., we’ve got a lot to say about time. Many of our early texts implored readers not to sell their time, and instead invest it directly on joyous and liberating pursuits.
Take this paragraph from the essay AlieNation: The Map of Despair:
“The entire world moves and lives according to a standardized time system, designed to synchronize our movements from one side of the planet to the other. Inside of this larger system, we all have our lives regimented by our work schedules and/or school hours, as well as the hours that public transportation runs and businesses operate. This scheduling of our lives, which begins in childhood, exerts a subtle but deep control over us all: we come to forget that the time of our lives is ultimately ours to spend how we choose, and instead think in terms of work days, lunch hours, and weekends. A truly spontaneous life is unthinkable to most of us; and so-called “free” time is usually just time that has been scheduled for something other than work.”
Indeed, just as borders and fences divide and subdivide lands and peoples, hours and minutes divide and conquer our days, our years, our lives!
The usual complaint about Daylight Saving is that it screws up our clocks—which takes for granted that clocks are somehow natural in the first place! Only with the industrial revolution did more and more of humanity have to sell their time on the clock, having been kicked off the enclosed land they once held in common.
Allow us to quote from a Washington Post thinkpiece titled “Daylight saving time is just one way standardized time zones oppress you,”
“If time can be used to command our attention and impose order on our lives, then the ability to set it, and ultimately to decide how others use it, is a source of tremendous power. When clocks became fixtures in 19th-century British factories, workers complained that their bosses unfairly set the clocks ahead in the morning and back at night, to squeeze more labor out of the day. Workmen… feared carrying their own watches, since it was no uncommon event for managers to fire any worker who presumed to know too much about the science of horology.”
Walter Benjamin, in his essay “On the Concept of History,” states that in France’s July Revolution of 1830, “During the evening of the first skirmishes, it turned out that the clock-towers were shot at independently and simultaneously in several places in Paris.”
And in 1894, just ten years after Greenwich Mean Time was adopted as the international meridian against which all other time zones would be set, a 26-year-old French anarchist, Martial Bourdin, died outside the Royal Observatory in Greenwich when an explosive he was carrying prematurely detonated in his hands. Police speculated that his target was the observatory.
In 1920, the Italian anarchist Pietro Ferrero was active in a Fiat workers strike against the decision to shift their factories’ hours from standard time to daylight saving time.
So, instead of excusing Daylight Saving by celebrating the extra hour of sleep you got to recover from selling your labor all week—borrowed time we might add, you have to give that hour up again in March!—instead we invite you to use Autumn’s extra hour to subvert capitalism, and even more fundamentally, the dividing up of our very lives. We’re not saying you gotta go totally Bourdin or anything. Use your hour allow yourself to do whatever revolutionary task you’ve been putting off. Use it to write political prisoners, you can find addresses for some in other episodes of this podcast. Use it to reconnect with those close to you, or to the ever-shrinking wilderness, or to one of your passions—anything that reminds you why we’re fighting against the partitioning and auctioning of our very lives. Time doesn’t have to be minutes and hours, instead it can be ours if we seize it, and it’s about time we do!
Today, November 8, 2017, marks one hundred years since the seizure of the Winter Palace during the so-called October Revolution in Russia. Our regular listeners will remember that last week we announced zombie anarchists on Twitter were calling out the authoritarian turn of the revolution over Halloween, but that’s because they used a different calendar a hundred years ago in Russia. According to the calendar we used today, the October Revolution actually happened in November—one more sign that all standardized systems for measuring time are arbitrary constructs.
After the Bolsheviks came to power, they systematically centralized control of the Russian state in their hands, then turned the weapons of the state against everyone who was still trying to carry out a genuine emancipatory revolution. The well-known horrors of Stalinism date back to the beginning of Lenin’s dictatorship over the proletariat, but anarchists had been warning against this sort of thing for more than fifty years beforehand.
To observe this centennial, We’ve published “One Hundred Years after the Bolshevik Counterrevolution,” a detailed timeline of the Bolshevik crackdown on revolutionary currents in Russia, starting before the so-called October Revolution and running up to the treaty between Stalin and Hitler that led to the outbreak of World War II. Read it on our website CrimethInc.com.
The only reason anyone would continue to praise or defend the Bolshevik model for seizing totalitarian power in the name of the proletariat is to make it possible for all these tragedies to repeat themselves. Unless you want to reserve the right to be a dictator or to die at a dictator’s hands, let’s celebrate the real steps that have been taken towards liberation, and reject all excuses for authoritarian methods that close the road to freedom.
Rebel Girl: November 8 also marks one year since the election of Donald Trump—a year of right-wing reaction, but also a year of resistance. We don’t have time this episode to do a whole retrospective, but stay tuned closer to New Year’s for The Ex-Worker’s annual year in review episode. We’ll be off the air by then, returning in February for our second season of The Hotwire.
Even though we’re not ready to do a whole year in review now, we can say that this has been one of the most intense years for struggle in our lives. Trump’s election was immediately met with resistance in the streets, which culminated on January 20 with the fierce demonstrations against the presidential inauguration, featuring a burning limousine, a thousand person strong black bloc, blockades throughout the city, and the punch seen ‘round the world of alt-right doofus Richard Spencer. Check out Ex-Worker episode 55 for full coverage of the J20 inauguration protests.
With resistance comes repression, but the repression for inauguration protesters went well beyond what anyone expected. During an anti-capitalist, anti-fascist march, police illegally kettled, mass arrested, and brutalized over 200 people who now face multiple felonies each. The government contends that all the defendants are guilty for a couple of broken windows by means of conspiracy. In characterizing the protests as a conspiracy, they get to argue that simply chanting slogans or dressing in black makes all of the nearly 200 codefendants equally responsible for the small amount of property destruction that occurred. If this precedent had existed during the Black Lives Matter or Occupy waves of action, thousands of people would face felony trials as a result.
One week from today, the first batch of J20 defendants will take their case to trial. There have been some significant developments on both the court and support sides of the case, so we talked to Sam from DC Legal Posse for an update.
Thanks so much for speaking with us. For those who haven’t paid attention to the J20 case in a minute, can you bring us up to speed?
Sam DCLP: This week there were several significant events in the J20 cases. The first was that Judge Lynn Leibowitz issued a very brief order last week reducing counts two and three of the indictment which were Engaging in a Riot and Conspiracy to Riot down to misdemeanors, stating that the operative statute actually only includes misdemeanors and doesn’t have felony level charges for those particular criminalized behaviors.
So, that was a major win that means that 20 years of the potential maximum that folks were facing got knocked off. Now, that sort of casts a new light on the potential shakiness of the prosecution’s case. A lot of people are feeling really good about it. The other major thing that happened is we kicked off a fundraiser campaign. We’re hoping to raise about $150,000 for the defendants, 190 of whom are going to trial for the next year. The other thing that happened is that on Friday there were hearings for the groups of folks going to trial starting November 15 and starting December 11, where the prosecution was forced by the judge to lay out the specifics of the conspiracy charges against individual people. The allegations were incredibly weak, and the prosecution actually got a lot of pushback form the judge, demanding to know why these particular things were actually proof of conspiracy.
Rebel Girl: Can you speak to some of the things people can do to support the J20 defendants?
Sam DCLP: Yeah, sure! Wednesday, November 8 the good folks at Sub.media will be dropping a video in support of the fundraising campaign and we’re doing a big social media push to do a major roll out. Folks can go to defendj20resistance on Facebook or defendj20 on Twitter and sign up for the Thunderclap campaign to basically push out information about that fundraiser campaign and about that sub.media video that will be coming out.
There are still a number of support roles that folks can play if they are able to come to Washington, D.C. for the trial. The first trial starts November 15, so jury selection will be the 15 and the 16, there will be motions and stuff happening the 17, and then the actual meat of the trial will begin Monday, November 20 and should last a couple of weeks after that. So if folks are able to come to dc they can come and help cook, they can help do support, errands, emotional support for defendants, and for other supporters, they can come help do demonstrations for folks and plug in to the broader efforts reflecting requests of the defendants.
We also have folks doing note taking in court and a bunch of other things. Folks can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if they’re interested in getting plugged into the volunteer efforts.
Rebel Girl: Big, big props to the support folks melting their brains in the techno dystopia of social media to support J20 defendants, but how far word about this case reaches depends on you, dear listener. In our shownotes at CrimethInc.com, we have links to the Thunderclap social media campaign, the fundraiser site and video, and a guide to weathering political imprisonment by J20 political prisoner Dane Powell. Please do check them out and do what you can to show solidarity during this historic case for anarchists, anti-fascists, and resistance movements in general.
In last week’s hotwire, we reported on the sweeping raids and warrants carried out last week against anarchists in Brazil. (https://en-contrainfo.espiv.net/2017/10/26/porte-alegre-brazil-police-raided-several-houses-and-anarchists-spaces-in-the-eve-of-anarchist-bookfair/)
This week, we were able to catch up with an anarchist in Brazil to hear about where this repression is coming from and what anarchists outside of Brazil can do to show solidarity.
Thank you so much for speaking with us, what happened last week?
Anarchist in Brazil: This operation started one week ago. They got into several places, like people’s houses who call themselves anarchists, and also some social spaces and squats. They arrested a lot of stuff, mainly computers but also a lot of books. This is very worrying for us because they are putting books as if it was some kind of proof of something. So, they have a lot of common anarchist books like from Bakunin or whatever, and they are saying, “This is proof that they are part of a criminal organization.” Now, they are investigating and in about one month they say they will make some arrests. So far, nobody was arrested, but there’s a lot of pressure put in these spaces to get some information about these actions that were happening and that they’re investigating.
Rebel Girl: Why is this repression happening now?
Anarchist in Brazil: The narrative they are putting out in the media is about this sort of retaliation around a series of attacks that happened in the last two to three years. We are not sure that this is the real motivation, but they are saying this in the news, that it’s about some fires, some arsons against police cars, some attacks against the German embassy here, and small attacks that happened in the last two to three years. This is what they were basically investigating, after a police car was set on fire. This was the beginning of the investigation, about one year ago. This is when the investigation really kicked off.
I think right now people can show some solidarity like spreading the word and sharing the texts that were translated to English and to other languages. I think right now it’s this, but in a few months I think we probably need to raise some money for legal fees and also some more legal problems that we may face, but right now I think solidarity is all we can ask. This would be great. We have to stay in touch and in contact because I think the next months can be a bit of trouble.
Rebel Girl: Thanks for speaking with us. Please stay in touch when further support is needed.
Anarchist in Brazil: Yeah, for sure. Ok, when we have some more news we will be in touch.
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.
NEXT WEEK’S NEWS
We’ll close out this Hotwire with next week’s news, our list of events that you can plug into in real life.
November 11 & 12 is the Boston Anarchist Book Fair. Go to BostonAnarchistBookfair.org for more details.
In Philly on November 11 at 1 PM, there is a rally to support J20 defendants, complete with a live DJ! Bring puppets, creative signs, and noisemakers. Where is this rally for the underdogs of a big political bout taking place? Where else? The Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The G7, the group of the seven wealthiest nations on earth, will meet in Canada in June of 2018 to decide on the fate of millions across the globe. Anti-G7 resistance is ramping up in Quebec, with an organizing meeting being held on November 18 at Comité social Centre-Sud in Montreal. We have the full details for the meeting in our shownotes.
Cascadia Forest Defenders in Oregon have been fighting the logging of the Willamette National Forest. Check out the latest episode of the anarchist podcast The Final Straw for an interview about their 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. https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/2017/11/05/a-conversation-with-cascadia-forest-defenders/
The anti-pipeline Camp White Pine in Pennsylvania is in need of support as construction crews approach. For nearly two years, Elise and Ellen Gerhart, along with many allies, have been holding tree sits on their property to defend their land from Energy Transfer Partners’ Mariner East II Pipeline. Check out our shownotes to donate to their bail and legal fund.
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 email@example.com
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.
That’s it for your weekly Hotwire. Many thanks to Sam from DC Legal Posse and our comrade in Brazil for speaking with us, 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.