July 5 and 6 bought Indigenous activists and environmentalists two huge victories. On July 5, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy threw in the towel and abandoned the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, citing court delays. Then on July 6, US District Court judge Boasberg ordered the infamous Dakota Access Pipeline shut down by August 5, requiring its operators to apply for new permits.
Pipeline protests, lawfare, and direct actions have in fact made the Atlantic Coast Pipeline so difficult that Dominion has not only cancelled the ACP outright but decided to entirely sell off their gas transmission (pipeline) business to Berkshire Hathaway Energy. Real world is this took more than court delays, but no corporate CEO wants to admit that protest and hard-fought, in-the-trenches direct action campaigns actually WORK.
On the 7th of July, some kind of minor skirmish on Black Lives Matter Plaza was used by MPD as an excuse to pounce on and arrest several Black Lives Matter protesters. From there matters escalated, and police were suspected of provoking fights to “sting” protesters. H st ended up blocked off by cops again, only to be effectively back in protester hands by sunset.
Many times cops have conquered H st by force and violence, not once have they been able to sustain the resources to hold the street, and it is even more difficult to simultaniously hold a street against protesters while opening it to motor traffic. Any road open to traffic is vulnerable to marches and to bicycle cavalry strikes. To allow traffic only by motor vehicle violates the city’s laws concerning bicycles (considered traffic) and also fails to pre-empt “batmobile” lockdowns using old cars to sieze and hold space in the street. On September 27, 2019, DC police were not successful despite a very determined attempt in preventing not only car blockades but a boat blockade too from being deployed in the climate-oriented “Shut Down DC” protests.
Mayor Bowser is probably motivated to launch these police attacks by the “White House Problem” that divides DC in half at 16th st for wealthy car commuters, combined with last week’s Phase II reopening. When the Secret Service closed Penn Ave and E st back in the 1990’s, that cut all routes across the White House between Constitution Ave and H st. Severe traffic jams resulted and were not resolved until H st, I st, L st, and M st were all made one-way streets.
The May 30th decision of Secret Service to wall off Lafayette Square after the battles of May 29 drove Trump into his bunker forced protesters onto H st, which is a two-way pair with I st, one street going each way. The size of the protests led to 16th st being occupied all the way back to K st and sometimes beyond. The effect was to (once again due to White House decisionmaking) cut all commuter routes across the White House area from Constitution Ave all the way to K st, basically cutting downtown in half. As of the moment there are simply not enough businesses open for this to be a major traffic jam maker, but surely the Mayor hopes to reopen all of the city at some point in the future. This sets up a race: will the coronavirus or police brutality and murder be stopped first?
Video of arrests and assaults by MPD 4 min 21 sec from DC Media Group and Kate Kanterell raw clips
On the 7th of July, activists from IfNotNow poured Trump adviser Jared Kusher a very strong cup of anti-occupation wakeup. The noisy protest in front of his home demanded that the US condition futher aid to Israel on cancellation of plans to annex 1/3ed of the occupied West Bank.
Jared Kushner need to listen when Jewish activists show up at his home over what he is counselling Trump to do in Israel. Many both here and there have condemned the currently-delayed but not cancelled annexation plans. Trump for his part has been supporting extremist elements in Israeli politics and fanning the flames of war.
Video-blowing the shofar at Kusher’s house 40 sec
Black Lives Mater activists are demanding that all DC Councilmembers vote NO on the budget until funding for MPD is entirely removed. On the night of July 6, eve of the vote, Black Youth Project 100 held an all-night protest at the home of Councilmember George Allen. Protesters demanded he come outside but he refused until the following morning.
Late in the night and under drenching rains, police attempted without success to drive off the protesters. Protesters stood their ground, and the cops retreated just as the rain always ends.
In the morning,Councilmember Charles Allen trotted out excuses for the corwd, claiming the budget is “not bold enough” (which should be a reason to vote NO), and “his hands are tied.” He “blamed” both the Council and the Mayor but stated he would not vote against the budget.
There was ugliness later: he invited members of the crowd to attend the hearing, but when they got to the Wilson Building members of BYP100 were threatened with arrest by security guards!
On July 4, anti-racist protesters yanked down the statue of slave trader and father of colonialism Christopher Columbus in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. They then tossed part of the statue in the harbor, throwing Columbus back into the sea to start his deportation back to Europe.
Many Columbus statues came down on July 4, this was just one of them. A week earlier, Trump claimed that he had stopped the wave of statue teardowns with his blustering threats of ten years in prison. Now he has been forced to eat those words.
Video compiled from various Twitter clips 35 sec
On the 4th of July, a toxic mix of Proud Boys, MAGAts (Trumpers) and other far-right supporters descended on DC seeking confrontations with Black Lives Matter protesters. They got their confrontations but not their desired outcome. The “Fuck the Police march” put them to flight, chasing them through the Washington Monument area and eventually back to their base at Harry’s Bar.
The day had featured ever growing marches, and in rich neighborhoods the chant of “fire, fire, gentrifier!” rose up. As evening approached Refuse Fascism staged a fiery “flag burning challenge” in front of the White House on H Street. Then came the Fuck the Police march, which caught the fascists somewhere around 15th st and confrontations began. Smoky chaos ensued as protesters pursued fascists to the Washinton Monument and a Park Police cruiser became trapped. Russian patriotic music (1812 Overture) played as fireworks dazzled and smoke filled the air.
The end of the night featured the police shutting down Harry’s Bar for hosting so many Nazis and Trumpers as to exceed their legal capacity. A Proud Boys flag was seen there alongside the Trump and US flags, confirming the presence of full-on white supremacists. There were no masks and no social distancing at the Harry’s Bar “Covid party” whatsoever, and the bar was violating social distancing restrictions as a result. Also the total numbers were well over legal capacity, a COVID outbreak waiting to happen. Police lines blocked access to the area in a halfhearted attempt to keep antifascist and Black Lives Matter protesters from heckling the fascists as they exited the area in small groups. These groups were then further pursued in the streets.
Video: chasing the fash through the Monument area, and Harry’s Bar gets shut down 5 min 29 sec
This is probably the best photo anyone got of the smoky chaos at the Monument. It made the rounds of listservs etc from someone’s FB post.
Police line at Washington Monument at Park Police seek to extract trapped squad car while protecting Trumpers
Park Police surrounded
Showdown at the Washington Monument
Black Lives Matter and a red flag at the Washington Monument
Smoky chaos as the fireworks began and Russian patriotic music played on the official fireworks sound system
Pyrotechnic fireworks light up political fireworks
Fireworks mortars firing
Fascist crowds at Harry’s Bar (a tradition there) were a real COVID party this time around
Proud Boys flag at Harry’s Bar
Cops protecting the fascists while ordering Harry’s Bar closed for the night
At the end of the night, 16th st was occupied and tents pitched for the second night in a row
On the 3ed of July, a small crew of fascists and Trumpers from nearby Harry’s Bar held an anti-migrant hate rally on Freedom Plaza. Black Lives Matter supporters and antifascists descended on them to counterprotest. Cops held them apart until a second BLM contingent came in behind the police. At that point, cops folded their hand, and the fascists had to literally strike (lower) their flags and leave.
As a rule, cops are not happy with being meat in a “cop sandwitch” made with genuine Antifa bread and a fashy filling.
As in prior incidents in that area, the fascists were based out of Harry’s Bar, an “Americana” bar attached to the Hotel Harrington. This establishment has a long history of harboring Trump, fascist, and Nazi events. This time around they may also be harboring COVID-19, as neither masks nor any form of social distancing were visible among the packed crowd of pro-Trump July 4 partiers the fascists were embedded in. A baying mob screaming Posobiec/Cernovich talking points poured out of that sidewalk when a single antifa journalist rode by on a bicycle. Just one of those maskless screamers with COVID-19 could infect all the others. Perhaps Harry’s Bar should be renamed “Club Covid” in the interests of full disclosure.
Video: BLM and antifascists shut down anti-migrant hate rally 1 min 21 sec
Counterprotesters literally forced the fascist/MAGAt rally to strike their flags
A baying mob poured out of Harry’s bar to pursue a single antifa journalist minutes before the rally was broken up
Israel had originally planned to announce annexation of about 1/3 of the Occupied West Bank on July 1, only to have to delay in the face of “Day of Rage” protests throughout Palestine and worldwide (excluding Trump) opposition. A protest at the Israeli Embassy proceeded anyway on July 3, warning that delay does NOT mean Israel has abandoned the planned annexation.
Video: speaker warns against being fooled by postponement of W Bank annexation announcement 18 sec
On the last day of June, a “Fuck the Police” march set out from Columbus Circle in front of Union Station. The march stormed an expensive restaurant en route to Black Lives Matter Plaza. From there they successfully marched to Mayor Bowser’s house, despite being outnumbered 5-1 by cops at one point.
Video: diner at restaurant wades into protesters to argue-WITHOUT A MASK 1 mn 20 sec
“While you are dining, Black people are dying”
Too dark for most video at Bowser’s house, but Benjamin Rubenstein’s livestream captured this scene of what looks like cops guarding the Mayor’s home from the protesters
On the 28th of June, protesters marched on the massive, palatial DC home of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. They brought a mock guillotine with them-and set it up right in front of Jeff Bezo’s home.
Bezos and other corporate CEOs were called out for union busting, poverty wages, and worker deaths caused by their refusal to provide personal protective gear against the coronavirus. Jeff Bezos like many CEO’s made more money by sacrificing worker safety in the deadly coronvirus pandemic.
Video-guillotine set up at Jeff Bezo’s house 1 min 48 sec
Guillotine in front of the DC home of Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos gets a home demo featuring a guillotine
What the rich saw in the French Revolution