Federal court hearing on Dakota Access Pipeline draws hundreds to protest

On the24th of August, US District Court at 333 Constitution Ave heard the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s lawsuit against the US Army Corps of Engineers over the Dakota Access Pipeline. Outside hundreds protested as speakers alternated with drumming and singing. As this case was being heard, construction at the site where protesters are blocking the pipeline in North Dakota has been halted pending resolution of this and several other legal cases. Dozens have been arrested there, but a hearing set (in another case)for August 25 on an injunction to limit protest and direct action at the pipeline site was cancelled in light of the construction halt.

One of the speakers at the rally stated that the lies about rifles and “pipe bombs” at the protest camp being spewed by Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier may have originated when someone overheard the words “get the pipe” referring to the sacred pipe used in Lakota ceremonies. There is also the curious nature of false allegations about “pipe bombs” coming from police who fight to defend an actual pipe (that could leak or explode) from the people.

Video featuring speaker who has been at Sacred Stone Camp for 2 1/2 weeks and seen no violence from activists at all

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Reportback from Black August Town Hall

A Black August town hall at a church in NW DC on August 20th generated some very strong suggestions on what it will take to hold racist officials and killer cops responsible for their crimes. One speaker during the “aggressive protests and public relations” panel said getting the government to pay attention (at the Cabinet level) to say, anti-TPP protests would require shutting down the Port of Baltimore and all traffic on I-95 in both directions. In the final panel one speaker warned that both the 1st and 2nd Amendments are being ignored by police and courts where African-Americans are involved.

Most of this Town Hall Meeting of United Organizations and Activists Against Police State Murders and Mass Incarceration concerned legal and legislative strategies to combat the second-class citizen status of Black Americans. Even there tough talk was heard about encouraging a global boycott of anything “made in AmeriiKKKa,”
of tourism, and of holding the US accountable before the United Nations for persistant human rights violations and outright murder targetting people of African descent. Crimes against Native Americans also came up as grounds for internatonal sanctions, divestment, and boycotts aimed at the US.

In the arena of legislative and electoral action,MD Senator Mike Miller from PG County was called out as a vicious racist who could be defeated by swinging as few 10,000 votes. MD Sen Miller has been in office over 30 years, and the Baltimore Sun called him out for such things as “vehemently oppsing” replacing slave owner John Hanson with Harriett Tubman in MD’s contribution to the National Statutory Hall Collection. John Hanson was president of the 1st Continental Congress-and once posted a bounty of $30 for the return of a person who had escaped from slavery at his hands. In those days a dollar was 1/20th of a ounce of gold. In August 2016, nasdaq.com listed gold as reaching a price of just over $1,370 per ounce and closing Friday at $1,346.20 per ounce. In other words, John Hanson was offering a bribe of just over $2,000 in today’s money to kidnap and return someone he claimed as a slave, yet MD Senator Mike Miller is violently opposed to replacing his statue with one of anti-slavery warrior Harriett Tubman! He is from majority Black PG County and yet he gets away with things like this. As it is with MD Senator Miller, so it is with legislators in general.

With racists like that in power, the question of whether or not it is justifiable to place the Port of Baltimore under blockade and do the same thing to I-95 just north or south of the Baltimore Beltway should not have to be asked. Instead the questions would be the ones that were in fact mentioned by that speaker in the first panel mentioning a hypothetical TPP protest: Are the resources to support that level of protest ready? Has bail money been raised? Are lawyers of the Kunstler class standing by to counter prosecutors seeking to send the protest organizers to federal prison? We’ve already seen a law passed a decade or more ago here in DC that made blocking the 14th st and similar bridges a felony after striking garbage collectors used their trucks to block the the 14th st bridge in rush hour. More recent Black Lives Matter blockades of the same bridge targetted the approaches to the bridge instead, thus preventing such charge by staying just yards out of range and letting traffic do the rest.

Although the Port of Baltimore has not yet been shut down by Black Lives Matter or by TPP protesters, the April 2015 Baltimore Uprising did shut down a major strategic target by laying siege to the Baltimore Orioles stadium and trashing some of the surrounding sports bars. That stadium had to be shut down for a week, costing white-owned upscale business millions in lost revenue. As for ports, all ports on the West Coast were shut down both by striking longshoremen on May Day 2008 to protest the Iraq War. In 2011 Occupy Oakland shut down the roads exiting the port of Oakland for several hours, costing the city an estimated $4M in revenue. All of these were in fact exercises in strategic warfare, focussed on inflicting economic damage on an enemy and ultimately denying that enemy the resources to continue a conflict.

Speakers name Port of Baltimore as strategic target, suggest 1st and 2nd Amendments being treated as white-only

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Va residents hold Hands Across Our Land rally against gas pipeline proposals

On the 14th of August, Virginia residents gathered in Riverbend Park upstream of Great Falls for a rally opposing several major fracked gas pipelines in their state. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is Dominion’s proposal and would among other things violate Native American burial grounds. Colombia Pipeline(owned by TransCanada) is pushing the WB Express pipeline expansion, a series of new compressor stations and 2.2 new miles of pipe in Fairfax County. Both would ship fracked gas from the Marcellus Shale “to market.” The market the gas industry is most interested in is gas export via the Cove Point LNG terminal and similar facilities, as global gas prices are as much as triple US prices.

This was the first in a national series of “Hands Across Our Land” protests against fracked gas and oil infrastruction projects by land defenders across the continent. Most are being held on Wednesday, August 17.

Video from Hands Across Our Land Featuring a speaker from Beyond Extreme Energy on what’s going on at FERC

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August DC Bike Party takes over the streets

On the 10th of August, the DC Bike Party once again took to the streets of DC with hundreds of riders participating.

Video from August 2016 DC Bike Party

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Police close Penn Ave in face of Nagasaki Vigil

On the 8th of August, antiwar and antinuclear activists walked from a
nearby church to the White House for a candlelight vigil on the 71st
anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.Minutes before the
procession left the church, Secret Service shut down Penn Ave in front
of the White House. Seconds after the end of the two minutes of silence
at the exact moment of the bombing anniversary and while one of the
Hibakuash (nuclear survivors) was speaking, they reopened the street.

For the past year, overly “convenient” closures of Penn Ave when
protesters are expected has been extremely common. This began with the
closure aimed at preventing Christian theocrats from burning a Koran in
front of the White House in December 2015 but has been increasingly
common at other protests considered politically embarassing ever since.
On August 8th, no motorcades arrived nor departed during this closure
and there was no evidence of police searching any suspicious package
etc. Shortly after the closure began two cyclists tried to sprint for
the far end of Penn Ave but were cut off by police and didn’t make it.
Cops acted like they were going to search them or worse but let them go
shortly after a camera was pointed at them.

Video from the Nagasaki vigil showing how police timed the street closure

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Standing Rock Sioux, allies protest Dakota Access pipeline

On the 6th of August, residents of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation showed up in front of the White House backed by other Native American and pro-Earth activists. The Dakota Access pipeline would pass under Native American burial grounds and when it breaks and spills will contaminate water the tanding Rock Sioux Reservation’s residents depend on to stay alive. Digging has already begun for this pipeline even though permits have NOT been issued.

Video from the No Dakota Access protest

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Bike Around the Bomb circles area small nuke would destroy in DC

On the 6th of August, Global Zero’s “Bike around the Bomb” bike ride circled the area a small nuclear weapon would destroy in DC Heading north from the White House the ride went to U st, down 9th st, E on Penn to 3ed st, down to Indep Ave, and across back to 15th st. From there they returned to the White House. This route suggests a Ground Zero somewhere around K and 12th sts, missing the White House as a target just as the Hiroshima bomb is said to have been offset from its intended detonation spot.The size of the area suggests a device detonated by Daesh as opposed to the huge Russian nukes.

For the largest nuclear bomb ever detonated (the 60 MT Russian Tsar Bomba) the ride would have had to pass north of Baltimore, then go well out to sea by sea kayak before landing in Virgina well south of DC and then riding west most of the way to the mountains. That assume a “2 for 1 shot” aimed at taking out both DC and Baltimore with one device, something the Tsar Bomba may have been capable of, especially at its full 100MT design power.

Video of Bike Around the Bomb 2016

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