On the 25th of May, protesters repeatedly disrupted a Senate confirmation hearing for Trump’s nomineess to FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. One of the protesters was locked to a chair, and someone threw a loud noisemaker into the room.
Beyond Extreme Energy organizer Lee Steward called FERC “an arm of the oil and gas industries,” referring to their history of rubber stamping almost all proposed oil and gas project. Protesters said that FERC was not qualified to manage a transition to renewable energy and should be replaced rather than re-enabled with new commissioners. FERC lacks a quorum at the moment and cannot approve new eminent domain pipelines.
Video-intense disruption of the FERC commissioners’ confirmation hearing with protest continuing in the hall outside
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On the 22nd of May, the DC Zoning Commission approved the “second stage PUD” to allow redeveloping Brookland Manor without any of the current larger family units and a reduction of over 100 units of affordable housing. This is to make way for over 1,000 small luxury units. Residents protested both outside and inside the hearing, some vowing to camp on or in DC officials and Mid City’s own buildings if they lose their apartments.
Ward 5 councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Mayor Bowser, and the senior execs at Mid-City Financial have with this project placed themselves at risk for finding furious tenants inside their own homes. Direct promises of not only camping in front of but actually occupying their homes and offices were made at the protest before the zoning hearing started.
Some said this “redevelopment” was part of the explicitly racist agenda of gentrification, of moving people of color out of the city to make way for upscale white professionals. Seemingly every corporation on Earth that interacts with the US has sends lobbyists and lawyers to DC, few other explanations exist for the insane and seemingly unlimited number of rich buyers for tiny condos with granite countertops and fancy faucet fittings in DC.
Meanwhile its bedbugs and roaches for everyone else as developers use deliberate non-maintainance seek to force tenants to abandon affordable units as a legal way to dodge obligations to keep or replace them during redevelopment projects. Worse yet, at Brookland Manor, Mid City was reported by residents speaking at the protest to have sent in “security guards” whose sole function is to write “infraction tickets” for made up violations such as stepping outside one’s own unit as a way to take residents to eviction court. Speakers even reported children there now run for cover at the site of “security” for fear their families will be evicted because they were playing outside. The conditions imposed by Mid-City Financial’s security goons were bluntly compared to jail.
Speaking of jail, blunt vows of civil disobedience were spoken by two speakers, along with the promises (not threats…) to occupy the homes and offices of those responsible for throwing families out of their homes. The zoning commission may have decided to support the gentrifying thugs at Mid City, but the battle has barely begun.
“Hell No We Won’t Go” -Street Sense article on Brookland Manor from March 16th 2017
Video-Brookland Manor tenants, allies vow to occupy city official’s homes over just-approved “redevelopment”
On the 20th of May, the annual March on Monsanto marched from the White House to Monsanto’s DC corporate lobbying office on I st by the south side of Franklin Square. This time around, protesters were demanding not only an end to Monsanto’s genetically modified crops and seed patents but also to their production of white phosphorus, sold to the US military and used in places like Gaza.
Other issues raised were the use of seed patents to bully farmers out or reusing seeds, the incredible amount of glyphosate (Roundup) contaminating water, food, etc, and the effect of Monsanto’s pesticide-producing crops on bees. Someone said Monsanto’s “scientists” have gone so far as to propose tiny mechanical “bees” as substitute pollinators. The patents and software copyrights that project would generate would of course give Monsanto a monopoly on pollination and an incentive to let real bees die off.
News hit some of the anti-GMO websites in 2016 (after last year’s march) that Monsanto is the supplier of white phosphorus incendiary munitions used by the US and exported to Israel. Not only that, US supplies of white phosphorus have been reported to pass through ICL Performance Products , which is a subsidiary of Israel Chemicals, Ltd. Israel fired white phosphorus during both their 2006 war with Lebanon and their 2008-2009 “winter war” in Gaza.
Offically, the US uses white phosphorus in the 155MM M110A2 Smoke Projectile made at Pine Bluff Arsenal. In the field this “smoke round” can also be fired “off-label” as a devastating incendiary that continues to burn under water-or inside the human body. A hit from white phosphorus is worse even than a napalm hit. Speaking of the weapons of the Vietnam War, Monsanto also made Agent Orange. Due to the severe impacts of white phosphorus burns, the Geneva Convention forbids its use even to generate obscuring smoke in “civilian areas” but this did not prevent Israel from using it in densely populated Gaza.
On the 19th of May, DC area activists staged a street march and series of vigils and flower layings to remember those killed by police and the FBI. Terrence Sterling’s name came up a lot during the march. This was during National Police Week, when cops from all over Turtle Island come to DC to celebrate their crimes, get drunk, and sometimes even riot and damage hotel property.
Yes, police have actually rioted during National Police Week. Some years ago, two rival groups of cops got into a massive fight in the hotel they were staying in, using common hotel items as “play weapons.” By the time it was over, the hotel had received a considerable amount of property damage. During the May 19th march there were no violent incidents but several instances of insults and “off the settlement” behavior by individual cops.
There were stops along the march route at the FBI, Trump Hotel, the FBI Washington Field Office, the Fraternal Order of Police, and a number of locations in Chinatown. One cop tried to provoke the march near the FBI Washington Field Office but nobody backed him up and his efforts failed At some stops (notably at the FBI), flowers were laid to commemorate those who died at the hands of police.
Video highlights of the march
Marching in the streets to remember those killed by police-during National Police Week
Laying flowers to remember those killed by the FBI outside FBI headquarters
At FBI Washington Field Office sign for National Police Week just before one “FBI Police” officer tried and failed at provocateuring against the march
Banners set up on a busy street corner
On the 16th of May, Turkish dictator Erdogan’s security forces beat and kicked peaceful pro-YPG and Armenian protesters near the Turkish Embassy.On the 19th of May, protesters returned to the Turkish ambassador’s home near the embassy. They denounced both Erdogan’s security squad’s brutality in DC and routine similar behavior in Turkey. Kurdish activists and DC area antifascists were both present at this protest.
The dictator of Turkey has chosen to restart a war between Turkey and Kurdistan that was thought to have been over. Most Kurds consider Erdogan to be covertly allied with Daesh(ISIS) as he like the Daesh leadership is a theocrat. The foreign state sponsored terror inflicted by Erdogan’s security goons here in DC included group kickings to the head, which can kill. With at least one member of DC’s anticapitalist community as well as our Kurdish allies assaulted by his personal security detail, this was an act of war against not only Kurdistan but the anticapitalist community too. Turkey should now expect that support for the YPG from US East Coast anticapitalists will be considerably intensified. The cowardly acts of Erdogan’s security goons on May 16 will NOT be forgotten.
As for claims by MPD that they are “investigating” this brutality, one of the two people they arrested on Tuesday turned out to be a Kurdish protester arrested by mistake. He has been released, but his attackers have gotten away-for now, and from MPD.
Breaking-Video emerges on Youtube with evidence Erdogen personally ordered the May 16th attack
Video of the brutal beating and kicking of peaceful protesters by Erdogan’s security detail on May 16, 2017
On the 18th of May, the FCC met to vote on keeping existing net neutrality rules or scrapping them and starting a new rulemaking from scratch. Net neutrality protestrs set up outside to oppose the push for “fast lanes” and “toll roads” on the Internet. The FCC voted 2-1 to scrap net neutrality anway, so the fight is ON.
This is after a week of protests in front of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s home,and a Tuesday protest in which junk computers were smashed in front of the FCC with statements made that “our computers are trash” without net neutrality. The fight has just begun, former FCC Chairman Wheeler was also against net neutrality until a steady drumbeat of protest and millions of public comments forced him to change his mind. Reopening what has been settled law is another decision that came from Trump and guided his choice of who was to take over at FCC, but the Trump White House is now said to be in “chaos” as a special prosecutor is appointed to investigate Russiagate and obstruction of justice. Calls for impeachment have begun on Capitol Hill, so it is uncertain if Trump’s anti-net neutrality efforts will last long whether or not he can stay in office.
Tues, May 16:Net Neutrality activists smash old computers in front of FCC Video
Sun, May 14: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gets home demo for net neutralityVideo
Photos from May 18:
On the 17th of May, DC Reinvest and Rising Hearts Coalition once again showed up in front of the Wells Fargo across 17th st from the White House. They were demanding that Wells Fargo dump the Dakota Access Pipeline and similar pipelines such as the revived Keystone XL. Failing that, they are demanding that the DC Government terminate their business relationship with Wells Fargo and advising depositors to move their money elsewhere.
As has become a tradition at the DC Reinvest bank protests, a round dance was held after the speakers finished. This is a social dance and in this context symbolizes unity among Indigenous people and with all the others harmed by and resisting Well’s Fargo’s dirty pipeline investments.
Anyone keeping their money in Wells Fargo is directly paying for the (already leaked once) Dakota Access Pipeline, the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, discriminatory housing practices, and all those private prisons the GEO Groups funds. Wells Fargo’s failing grade for housing discrimination means existing DC law calls for removing the DC government’s money from the bank. A bill to do so has been introduced but the committee that is supposed to hear the bill has so far refused to put it on the agenda.
Indigenous nations living in the path of the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone XL are being directly harmed by Wells Fargo today just as they were in the 19th Century when Wells Fargo statecoaches supported the invasion of Indigenous lands in Central and Western Turtle Island. Even the Wells Fargo statecoach logo is a deliberate celebration of assault while armed, armed robbery of the land itself, and genocide of the owners of that land.
Wells Fargo also has so bad a reputation that one of the most heard demands from No Justice No Pride is that Wells Fargo be expelled from the 2017 Capitol Pride Parade. Similar demands exist for other corporate sponsors but Wells Fargo is a “tier one offender” which has been protested at Pride many times before. Thus the claims by Capitol Pride organizers that there is no time to re-evaluate the presence of Wells Fargo in Pride for thie year ring hollow. They have had at least five years.
Video of the Wells Fargo speakers and round dance