Hundreds protest on Rumsey Bridge against Potomac Pipeline

On the 14th of October, over 350 people participated in “Hands Across the Potomac, a protest against TransCanada’s proposed Potomac Pipeline for fracked gas. After assembling in Shepherdstown, W Va for speakers, protesters marched onto the Rumsey Bridge over the Potomac, lining the downstream rail from W Va to MD.

Protesters are asking MD Governor Hogan to use his authority to scuttle the Potomac Pipeline project, thus backing up the prohibition on fracking gas in MD by blocking a pipeline across MD whose only purpose would be to promote more fracking in nearby Pennsylvania’s already badly damaged shalefields.This was about solidarity between MD and West Virginia, and by both with hard-pressed residents of the Pennsylvania gaslands.

The proposed Potomac Pipeline would run under the Potomac River near Hancok, MD, a bit upsteam of the Rumsey Bridge. The proposed pipeline would deliver fracked gas from Pennsylvania’s shale fields to not yet existing businesses in W Va that have not even proposed to relocate there. It is a “build it and they will come” proposition as one of the speakers said in a natural ampitheater created by a sinkhole on the Shepherdstown side of the bridge. Connections to the pipeline would be too expensive for Mountaineer Gas (TransCanada’s partner in the project) to use it as a local distribution pipeline. In addition the size and pressure proposed for the line would create a 500 foot blast radius around any break, and families with children live within that distance of the proposed pipeline.

True to form, Mountaineer Gas has resorted to eminent domain court, following the example of corporate partner TransCanada’s behavior on the route of their infamous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. One landowner spoke of losing (by eminent domain) the legal right to run trespassing gas company surveyors off at gunpoint and being reduced to shooting video of the trespassers. She spoke of having two families of coyotes already living on her farm and not needing cover created by discarded tree stumps to encourage even more. Coyotes, of course, are far less damaging to any form of agriculture than the two-legged corporate predators now stalking her farm.

Video from Hands Across the Potomac(1 min 25 sec)

Marching onto Rumsey Bridge

Protesters lined Rumsey Bridge from shore to shore

Throwing flowers into the Potomac River from the Rumsey Bridge

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Brazilian fascist Jair Bolsonaro forced to cancel GW University speech

On the 13th of October,extreme-right Brazilian congressman Jair Bolsonaro was forced to cancel his planned appearance at George Washington University after students began mobilizing against him. He is a far-right fascist planning to run for President of Brazil. In a recent scandal Bolsonaro called for the execution by firing squad of the curators of an LGBTQ art exhibit.

Bolsonaro claimed his schedule in NYC is too busy to permit his appearance at GWU, but his speech there was planned before his NYC trip and apparently was the official reason given for his visa to enter the US at all. Thus time is an unlikely excuse, used by a fascist who does not want to admit he is afraid of the students and people at GWU and surrounding areas.

DC is now on the books as a place where Fascist events can be no-platformed and shut down by determined opposition. Richard Spencer has been punched in the face, NPI’s November 2016 “Heil Trump” dinner was raided and exposed by antifascists, Trump’s Inauguration was ruined and his honeymoon taken away. It can even be said that the J20 persecution is about “one broken Presidency, not 11 broken windows.”

Now Brazilian fascist Bolsonaro has been forced to cancel his appearance in DC. Especially in the aftermath of the Nazi torches and terror attack in Charlottesville, things are just too hot for him in DC and especially in places like GWU. No fascist can show his face in DC for more than a few minutes before being engaged by anyone from hard-core antifascist fighters to tourists. Even Richard Spencer’s unannounced Oct 7 appearance on the Mall en route to Charlottesville required police to protect him from jeering tourists.

Bolsonaro is a Christian Social Party (PSC) congressman in Brazil, and though he has not formally declared his candidate for Brazil’s presidency he is running at #2 in opinion polls for that office, rather like Donald Trump at the start of his 2016 campaign. He is even more dangerous than Donald Trump within the (European-drawn) borders of his own country, with some estimating a Bolsonaro presidency could cause as many as 30,000 deaths as Phillipines-style death squad activity and police brutality explode.

Bolsonaro is especially an enemy of Brazil’s Indigenous population, as an advocate of what would amount to confiscating Indigenous lands for corporate exploitation. One of his quotes is “Where there is indigenous land, there is wealth beneath it.” Earlier this year Jail Bolsonaro was fined R$50,000 for using racial slurs against indigenous Quilombola communities. He is also especially filled with hate for GLBTQ folks, saying he would prefer the death of his own child “in an accident” to that child being Gay.

Bolsonaro is not only a fascist but a terrorist, suspected of bombings at a military headquarters and a water main bombing. The bombings were for no more reason than an attempt to increase soldier’s pay.

VICTORY! Bolsonaro cancelled his appearance before this mobilization had to occur

Official cancellation notice

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Fair Trade advocates Protest Trump’s NAFTA renegotiation talks

On the 11th of October, the 4th round of NAFTA renegotiation talks opened at the Pentagon City Sheraton in Virginia. Outside, protesters demanded NAFTA be scrapped instead, and a banner across the street read “Fix it or Nix it. Similar posters appeared all over Capitol Hill and around the IMF and World Bank, which meet Oct 13-15.

One protesters backed up by a videographer managed to get inside the Sheraton, but security was very fast to order the pair back out.

That same morning, the Council of Canadians and their allies delivered petitions on Capitol Hill demanding that corporate courts known as Investor State Disupte Resolution (ISDN) be removed from NAFTA. This while Trump is saying “NAFTA will have to be terminated if we’re going to make it good.” Trump is trying to use existing trade as a hostage to ram through even more demands on Canada and Mexico, but the Council of Canadians now estimates the odds that the US will simply pull out of NAFTA as about 50%.

Speaking of ISDN, NAFTA’s corporate courts were the model for similar provisions in almost every trade deal promoted by the United States ever since. For example, because of ISDN in the CAFTA (Central America Free Trade Area) deal, El Salvador has paid out huge judgements to mining corporation Pacific Rim rather than permit them to mine gold using cyanide, and in the process destroy one of the country’s great rivers. Poisoning that river would poison Indigenous people who depend on it, but Pacific Rim would have made a lot of money. The ISDN process allows such corporations to sue, demanding their lost profits be paid back in full.

The existing NAFTA mechanism was been used by TransCanada to sue the US for blocking the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, though Trump’s approval might have mooted the lawsuit. On the other hand, it may not have, as Transcanada now can never make the profits they would have if the line had been opened from mid 2012 until oil prices crashed in 2014. The pipeline is probably no longer profitable to build, TransCanada says they will make a final announcement sometime this fall.

Trump is talking a nasty “America First” line, making demands for more concessions from Canada and Mexico. These include the insertion of some of the worst corporate-friendly provisions from the TPP or Trans-Pacific Partnership that he effectively ran against. This may prevent the negotiations from going anywhere. The President of Mexico is a right-winger, but faces a progressive opponent in next year’s election. Almost the worst possible image for any candidate for office in Mexico is to be seen as subservient to Donald Trump. There is even talk of a US-Canada trade deal excluding Mexico and presumably dumping NAFTA because of this.

The TPP was so unpopular that both Hillery and Trump were forced to oppose it, perceptions among white working class voters unconcerned with Trump’s racism that Hillery would flip-flop on the TPP may be the reason Trump is in power. Now Trump is seeking to impose the TPP’s rules on both Canada and Mexico, raising the likelihood that either or both will walk away from any deal.

Video from protest both outside and inside the Sheraton

A protester gets inside the Sheraton where the 4th round of NAFTA renegotiation talks are being held(photo by Flush the TPP

Council of Canadians delivering petitions on Capitol Hill demanding the removal of ISDN corporate courts from NAFTA(Brent Patterson photo)

“Trump” taking a knee outside the NAFTA negotiations

Anti-NAFTA poster by the World Bank (which meets this weekend)

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Immigrants and supporters March from ICE to Wilson Buildng demanding Mayor Bowser block further raids

In the last week of September, ICE and Trump brazenly declared war on sanctuary cites such as DC, sending ICE to raid homes and detain over 450 people. Fourteen were taken by these terrorists here in DC. On Oct 4, immigrants and supporters marched from ICE headquarters to the Wilson Building to demand that Mayor Bowser take action to prevent further raids. So far she has been silent on this assault immigrant communities.

ICE is playing the “good immigrant, bad immigrant” game, rather like “good protester, bad protester” even naming the September terror raids “Operation Safe City” while focussing on sanctuary cities. Protesters in front of ICE called out ICE’s lies, pointing out that these raids are nothing but vengeance from Donald Trump and ICE against cities that dare to defy his will.

At the Wilson Building, four demands were made:

The first demand is that Mayor Bowser publicly condemn “Operation Safe City” and every other raid or apprehension of a DC resident

The second demand is that Mayor Bowser publicly intervene on behalf of all 14 individuals (detained in DC) and demand their immediate release

The 3ed demand is Mayor Bowser ensure all 14 detainees have legal representation (provided by the city)

The 4th demand is that Mayor Bowser take action to strengthen rather than back down existing policies and refuse to honor all ICE detainers or notification requests.

Video including the march and the four demands

Assembling in front of ICE to protest Trump’s so-called “safe city” raids and terror

Marching to ICE

In front of the Wilson Building demanding that Mayor Bowser speak out against the raids and take action to block future raids.

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Massive March for Racial Justice “takes a knee” at Trump Hotel

On the 30th of September, the March for Racial Justice and the March for Black Women converged at Lincoln Park and marched to the Mall. On the way, the march passed the Dept of “Justice” and Trump Hotel. At Trump Hotel many of the marchers stopped to “take a knee” and boo at the hotel.

Donald Trump’s anti-free speech tantrums targetting NFL players and demanding they be fired for protesting his regime have hit a nerve. The NFL has a lot of racist white viewers, some of whom are no longer watching the games. On the other hand, a great many of those who actually play football for the NFL teams are African-American, directly threatened by racist, brutal police. Donald Trump has shown the alt-right’s complaints about free speech to be lies with his own efforts to muzzle NFL players. He is also probably the first king, dictator, or other head of state in history to regard kneeling as an insult.

Video-the march takes a knee at Trump Hotel first on the street, then the sidewalk up close

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Fascist cowards no-show at Mark Bray Antifa book event

On the 29th of September, Mark Bray spoke at Politics and Prose almost next door to Comet Pizza to promote his book “Antifa” subtitled “the anti-fascist handbook.” Fascists were expected to attempt to disrupt this militantly anti-fascist event like earlier this year at Potter’s House when another antifascist author spoke, but never showed up.

Politics and Prose was packed for Mark Bray’s book event around “Antifa” subtitled “the anti-fascist handbook”

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Counter Repression bike ride to Pittsburgh departs from 12th and L in DC

On the 27th of September, the CounterRepressionSpokes bike ride set out from 12th and L sts in DC, bound for Pittsburgh via the C&O Canal towpath and other trails. The ride is raising money for Dead City Legal Posse(J20 defense), One People’s Project, and St. Louis Legal Fund. Each group gets 1/3 of all donations collected.

After crossing DC, the ride took the Capitol Crescent Trail as far as the last crossover to the C&O canal towpath that did not involve taking loaded bikes on a flight of stairs. An Indymedia videographer accompanied the ride as far as Great Falls in MD. At the end of the first day, riders had reached as far as Harper’s Ferry, 61 miles from the start of the C&O canal in DC and maybe 63 miles from the start of the ride.

Video of the segment from DC to Great Falls

A stop on the trail: Photo from Resist This twitter feed

The sendoff in DC

First turns of the pedals en route to Pittsburgh

Getting to work: early section of the C&O Canal towpath

The spectacular “widewater” section of the C&O canal

Stopping at Great Falls

On the Great Falls boardwalk close to the bikes

Remembering the John Brown uprising and railroad strikes at Harper’s Ferry. Photo and caption from

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