Housing protesters show up at Mayor Bowser’s State of the District Address

On the 18th of March, DC’s Mayor Muriel Bowser held her annual State of the District address. Outside, protesters demanded she spend money on public housing instead of corporate giveaways and halt “redevelopment” projects that displace low income residents and give public land to private developers.

Video including a discussion with one of the picketers about the Bowser/Greg Casten(developer) relationship 2 min 52 sec

Greg Casten is most famous for his attempts to turn Crummel School into townhouses for the rich, but that’s not his only project. He is very close to Mayor Bowser, whose birthday party in 2018 was at one of Greg Casten’s restaurants. That whole relationship between Greg Casten and DC Mayor Muriel Boser smells like so much rotting dead fish at the dock.


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Visit by Brazil’s Fascist President Bolsonaro to White House draws protest

On the 17th of March, Brazil’s new Fascist president Jail Bolsonaro came to DC to meet with his fellow Fascist Donald Trump. Protesters gathered in front of the White House to oppose everything he stands for: theft of Indigenous land, violence against people of color, women, and GLBTQ folks, and corporate supremacy.

Protesters picketed by the fence defending Blair House (where Bolsonaro is staying) between two rounds of speakers in Lafayette Square. One speaker at the rally said Fascists in Brazil took advantage of widepread chaos stemming from displacement and militarization the previous government used to clear physical and social space for the Olympics and the World Cup.Another said that Bolsonaro is so misogynistic that he called a Brazilian Congresswoman “too ugly to rape” and said he would rather have a son die in a car crash than have a Gay son. Bolsonaro is already trying to transfer Indigenous land in the Amazon to multinational corporations as fast as he can. Uncontacted tribes are now at risk of flat-out extermination and genocide.

Someone said it was no surprise that a man like this would meet with Donald Trump, and a speaker from DC’s antifa group recounted the success of antifascists in driving the alt-right off the streets in DC but warned that the fascists inside the government (notably Trump) were now the main danger. At one point protesters against the fascist and Islamist regime in Sudan joined forces with the anti-Bolsonaro protest and one of their speakers addressed the joint crowd.

Video-speakers and picket against Bolsonaro’s visit to Trump 4 min 8 sec




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Arlington approves funding package for Amazon in hearing disrupted by protests

Update 3-17 11:26PM: There is a report that Amazon may end up quitting Northern Virginia as they gave up in NYC, apparently they fear the wrath of the people more than bought-and-paid for politicians do.

On the 16th of March, the Arlington County Board met to discuss a multi-million dollar giveaway to Amazon and Jeff Bezos for HQ2, possibly the richest man in the world. Protesters disrupted the hearing, calling affordable housing and similar priorities more important than Amazon. Disregarding the public dissent, the board voted to approve the funding package by 5 to zero.

The Washington Post reported that the board twice had to leave the room as protest heated up. A smaller number of pro-Amazon protesters were also present, unknown if any of them were paid by Amazon to be there. Media outlets have published figured for the value of the giveaway to Amazon of between $23 million and up to $51 million.

Amazon had to pull out of NYC after public opposition to an Amazon HQ2 site there exploded. Concerns there as in Alexandria centered on Amazon’s history of driving huge rent hikes and housing price increases along with traffic and transit problems in Seattle. In Alexandria a substantial lower-income Latino community is at risk of displacement if this is repeated in Virginia. Not only are Virginia politicians not trying to stop Amazon though, they are rolling out the red carpet for them with public giveaways.

In addition to the housing and traffic issues, Amazon is being called out for collaborating with ICE, letting ICE used Amazon’s “Rekognition” facial recognition software to target people for deportation. Perhaps this software and service should be renamed “ReKKKognition” to recognize that ICE is one of it’s users. In addition to ICE, police departments are also buying the software, using it to profile “undesirable” people and no doubt to track protesters and organizers. The software is so inaccurate that it reportedly matched photos of 28 members of Congres to mugshots taken of others who had been arrested by police. Such matches against the general public can lead to anything from stop-and-frisk incidents to house raids by heavily armed SWAT teams.

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Pro-Venezuala protesters march against US intervention

On the 16th of March, protesters marched from the White House to Trump Hotel and finally the Inter-American Development Bank, opposing US intervention in Venezuala. A much smaller group of counterprotesters siding with Venezuala’s rival, US backed, self-declared, fake “president” Juan Guaidó also showed up.

There were some arguments at the very start, then police separated the two groups. There was no fighting or violence at all. Protesters opposing US intervention were well aware that a street fight in front of the White House between two rival groups of Venezualans and their backers would play right into Trump’s hands. Such an event would boost the claim of “civil war” in Venezuala, so it’s a bit of a surprise the cops were not withdrawn. Certainly their presence to keep the two sides apart was light, including a couple horse cops, a few feet of waist-high portable fence and a few more cops than usually present. It looked symbolic though, and probably would not have been capable of stopping either group from charging into the other’s lines had they wanted to. The pro-Guaidó crew would not have been able to dent the anti-intervention protest so they didn’t want to fight, and anti-intervention protesters knew better than to play into Trump’s hands.

Eventually, the entire anti-intervention protest marched away from the White House, bound for Trump Hotel, the Inter-American Development Bank, and a church across the street from that “bank” where speakers were waiting. The crowd looked way too big to fit in the church.

The Trump regime is blaming Maduro for an economic collapse caused by the post-2014 oil price collapse, which in turn was caused by US oil fracking. US sanctions have made matters worse. Now Juan Guaidó has unilaterally tried to declare himself President, the US is openly supporting him, and efforts to finish off Venezuala’s economy are in high gear. One of the speakers in front of the White House reported that during the blackout a power station had been bombed by unknown but presumably US backed forces. It is also widely reported that the “aid convoys” carried more than just food, medicine, and other relief supplies.

The oil price collapse hit Venezuala very hard. Long before Hugo Chavez the country’s economy depended on oil exports, and any one-crop, export based economy is incredibly vulnerable to market crashes.
In 2014 US fracked oil production reached a level that worried the Saudis, and they launched a failed effort to kill oil fracking by maxing out their production to crash oil prices. That stopped some of the fracking, but one part of N Dakota was able to produce oil so cheap all the frackers descended on that area, and oil that once sold for $80+ a barrel now sells closer to $40 a barrel. The good thing about this is tar sands is now unprofitable and there is no money to be made with projects like the Keystone XL pipeline. The bad part of it is that Venezuala depended on oil revenue to finance social programs that had taken a huge bite out of poverty, and now that money is gone.

Had the Obama administration overthrown the Venezualan government in say, 2012, no doubt there would be newspaper stories and opposition protests blaming the US backed coup government for the economic collapse, just as the US and current opposition blame Maduro. Certainly Juan Guaidó cannot fix this, as he cannot raise the global price of oil. Even if capitalists chose to exploit Venezuala for sweatshop labor or some other mineral, most of that wealth would leave the country and it would take years for any of it to even be produced at all.

Video of the march 2 min 41 sec


Marching away from the White House and refusing to mix it up with a smaller group of counterprotesters

Two of the lead banners in the march

No coup, no sanctions, no war

Outside the Inter-American “Development” Bank

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“Banantifa” protest at Tucker Carlson’s house after his racist and sexist remarks

In the wake of Tucker Carlon’s gutter racist and misogynistic remarks on “Bubba the Love Sponge,” protesters arrived at his home on the evening of March 15. Several were dressed as “Banantifa” in banana costumes, while more were in Halloween costumes. A lot of cops and a number of area fascists stood on the other side of the street.

While one of the fascists was extremely confrontational and argumentive, no “incidents” resulted from his provocation. Fascists are known for using provocation to get people arrested, but they failed at Tucker Carlson’s house.

Activists say “Tucker is a slippery sucker and we are going to keep pulling back the peel until that is clear to everybody.”

Video from in front of Tucker Carlson’s house 2 min 32 sec


“Banantifa”

At Tucker Carlson’s home

Cops, undercovers, and area fascists lined the side of the street containing Tucker Carolson’s house

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Rally at White House remembers murdered Brazilian activist Marielle Franco

On March 14, 2019, murdered Brazilian human rights activists and Rio de Janeiro city council member Marielle Franco was remembered with with a vigil at the White House. Protesters condemned Brazil’s fascist President Bolsonaro who among many other crimes once gave awards to the two military policemen who have been charged with Marielle’s murder. Protesters also displayed copies of a street sign remembering her that pro-Bolsonaro politicians have been photographed holding broken pieces of while threatening to break other opponents of facism and white supremacy.

All over Brazil, protesters ask “who killed Marielle Franco” and the question is often meant as “who gave the orders.” Her name and image have become the polar opposite of Jair Bolsonaro and his supporters. She stood for human rights, womens’ liberation, and GLBTQ liberation while Bolsonaro stands for racial hate, gutter misogyny, and violent hatred of any and all non-cishet people. Marielle Franco was Black, identified as Bi, and lived in a favela. In short, she was everything the fascists and far-right in Brazil want to wipe out, and she held public office against them.

As for who ordered the assassiation, one clue is this: the bullets used by to kill Marielle Franco came from a batch sold to the Federal Police back in 2006.

https://justiceformarielle.com/

Video: Protesters call out Brazil’s far-right for assasinating Marielle and using her murder to threaten others 4 min 11 sec

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“Kremlin Annex” protests for impeachment still going on at White House

On the 14th of March, “Kremlin Annex” protesters held another of their still going on several times a week protests at the White House demanding that Trump step down, be impeached, or be removed for unfitness (25th Amendment).

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