WERK for peace marches on Sen McConnell’s home against “Trumpcare” health bill

On the 26th of June, the mostly GLBTQ group “WERK for peace” staged a dance party style march on the home of Sen majority leader Mitch McConnell. Upon arrival they threw heaps of biodegradeable confetti into the air while shutting down the entire block. WERK for Peace is demanding that Sen McConnell block Trump’s healthcare bill, which would gut Medicaid and boot an estimated 22 million people off of health insurance.

Scenes from the march and at Mitch McConnell’s house

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Supreme Court restores part of Muslim Ban, protesters show up outside

On the 26th of June, the US Supreme Court let much of Trump’s ban on Muslim travellers from six countries go into effect for 90 days. Those who could prove a connection to a US citizen or organizations were exempted. Several hours later, protesters assembled outside the Supreme Court, and attorneys were reported to be on their way to airports again.

The Supreme Courts lists only a “bona fide relationship” to someone or an organization (e.g a corporation) already in the US. Fear of death or torture at the hands of Daesh, Assad, Erogden et all the Supreme Court did not seem to care about. This kind of hate is part of what makes Trump a Fascist.

Video-protesters chant “Here hate has no home” at SCOTUS

Second photo by Amnesty International

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Antifa protest MPD free speech violations as alt-right stages dueling “free speech” rallies

On the 25th of June, the so-called “Proud boys,” Richard Spencer, and Identity Evropa held a “free speech” protest on the Mall peddling a narrative that anti-fascists (antifa) oppose free speech. Rejecting the bait, anti-fascists descended instead on MPD’s headquarters to condemn police violations of free speech rights such as the efforts to imprison Inauguration protesters for up to 80 years. A second counterprotest held the high ground over the facists on the Lincoln Memorial steps, and a second fascist rally took place at the White House

The main fascist rally at the Lincoln Memorial included Richard Spencer, and it was splits between him and the rapey/”alt-light” set that drove some of the fascists to stage a splinter rally at the White House. There were a fair amount of “dueling chants” between the ISO and DC United Against Hate counterprotest on the high ground (Lincoln Memorial steps) and the fascists on the low ground(by the reflecting pool), but neither side tried to breach the lightly-manned double wall of bike-rack fence to attack the other. When Richard Spencer wrapped up his long-winded racist speech, fascists set off green smoke flares around their banner. The smoke was thick and irritating to the lungs, and a mainstream journalist was reported as joking “they’re releasing the Zyklon.” After all, gassing people is one of the acts the Nazis are best known for-over 6 million Jews and countless others died in their gas chambers during WWII.

While the Nazis mixed demands for a whites-only US with demands for not being counterprotested, protesters at MPD demanded an end to the prosecutions seeking to imprison activists for daring to speak against the Trumpenfuhrer on Jan 20. In essence, MPD itself and Richard Spencer are making the same demand, and anti-Fascists deemed MPD the more dangerous party. This being so, demands of the protest outside included nothing less than the end of MPD as an institution.Referring to the 80 year prison terms MPD is seeking against Inauguration protesters, one activist said shortly before the protest “The real #freespeech threat isn’t “snowflakes” on college campuses —it’s draconian charges meant to discourage and silence dissent.”

The splinter group off of the main far-right rally featured Jack Posobiec,Mike Cernovich and the rest of the rapey “alt-lite” set who were unconfortable sharing the stage with the famously punched Richard Spencer. They whined that anyone who is not one of them is “violent,” with one of them holding a sign reading “Democrats are a riot.” The Democrats did NOT participate in the direct action against Trump on January 20, they marched on Jan 21 in the Women’s March only. One of the speakers at MPD condemned those who marched in pussy hats but ignored or worse criticized those who were held hostage over that weekend by MPD. Democrats not only do not riot, they co-opt protest movements into “get out the vote” campaigns for existing candidates and usually lead the origjnal movements in question to defeat. It was not be getting in harness as a Democratic Tea Party that the anti-globalization movement forced both candidates in the 2016 election to oppose the TPP, thus sinking that trade deal.

The “alt-light” group was expected to show up at MPD with cameras in efforts to first photograph and then dox participants in the protest at the Metropolitan Police Department(MPD). One of the two Portland-style spiders brought by the protesters even said “Dox me Posobiec” in reference to this. A well-planned security response kept suspicious photgraphers at a distance and there was no mass invasion by facists from either rally at any time. Such an invasion was entirely expected but never arrived. Due to the announced plans for Kyle Chapman (“Based Stickman”) to be at the Lincoln Memorial rally, the possibilty of armored fascists armed with melee weapons wading into the crowd had to be considered This time around, however, the only fascists who showed up at MPD were the cops and a few far-right photographers. When the expected fascist assault didn’t show up, the free speech protest eventually marched away to a nearby Metro station to get people out of a still-dangerous area.

Video from both the MPD protest and the fascist rally & counterprotest at the Lincoln Memorial

Protesting MPD’s assault on free speech

A challenge to Jack Posobiec, infamous for doxing progressive activists

Both of the “Portland Spiders” at MPD

Jack Posobiec’s rally at the White House as seen through two layers of fence

DC United Against Hate at the Lincoln Memorial. They are on both the moral and physical high ground

Spencer/Identity Evropa/Proud Boys on the low ground below the Lincoln Memorial

Alex Rubenstein shot of Richard Spencer’s “security” detail. He is afraid to appear without them

Fascists blowing smoke with flares after they finished blowing smoke with words

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Indigenous activists rally outside Federal court status hearing for potential DAPL shutdown

On the 21st of June, Judge Boasberg held a status hearing in the Federal courthouse on Const Ave for the ongoing case between the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Standing Rock Sioux concerning the Dakota Access Pipeline. This was to set a schedule to determine remedies for what he held last week to be the unlawful bypass by Donald Trump of normal pipeline approval processes. As the hearing went on, the activists from a number of groups held a solidarity rally outside the courthouse

The rally included members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Cheyenne River Sioux tribe, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Rising Hearts Coalition.

During the rally, several speakers stressed that the DC government and Mayor Bowser also have a role to play. Rev Yearwood stressed that Mayor Bowser is not exercising “climate leadership” by supporting the Paris Climate Agreement on Monday but doing business as usual with Wells Fargo and other pipeline profiteers the rest of the week.Wells Fargo is one of the biggest funders of both the Dakota Access fracked oil Pipeline and the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Judge Boasberg has already ruled that the US Army Corps of Engineers unlawfully granted the permit at the request of Donald Trump. (TrumpOcO?) Today’s status hearing was to set a court date in September to determine remedies. The usual remedy for a permit granted in violation of the underlying law is to vacate the permit. This would leave Energy Transfer Partners with no permit and no legal way to operate the pipeline. That means the DAPL would shut down until and unless Energy Transfer could get a permit within the law. That would mean addressing such concerns as the effects of oil spills on those downstream such as the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux reservations. Doubtful they can get a permit under those requirements.

Last week’s ruling held that the failure of the corps of engineers to consider risks of an oil spill was illegal. The ruling also held that limiting environmental consideration to the lake itself and immediate area of the pipeline and not downstream was a violation of environmental justice laws. Apparently the interests of “7 white men and some cows” near the pipeline were considered but not those of anyone downstream. Downstream includes both the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux reservations. This portion of the judge’s findings is a breakthrough ruling.

Now the question of remedies must be decided. The normal remedy for a permit issued in violation of the relevant laws is to vacate the permit. If this occurs, Energy Transfer Partners will have no permit to operate the Dakota Access Pipeline and will have spent billions to construct a pipeline it will then be illegal to use. Some at the rally feared that Energy Transfer’s attorneys will manage to limit the remedy to monetary damages, rather like the money the US has been trying to pay the Lakota as “compensation” for seizing the Black Hills, money the tribe has refused to accept

Video from the rally ending with attorney reportback from court hearings

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Memorial for slain Muslim teenager burned in Dupont Circle

Early morning on the 21st of June, a memorial for slain Muslim teenager Nabra Hassanen was burned in Dupont Circle. It has been placed the previous night during a “Justice for Nabra” vigil.

Nabra Hassanen was caught by a driver and beaten to death after the driver became enraged at a group of Muslim teenagers walking on the sidewalk. The others escaped his attack but news reports indicate she tripped on her clothing and went down, then was assaulted. Police deny that this attack was a hate crime or terrorism, claiming it was only road rage. Now, after detaining a 24 year old man from South Carolina for burning her memorial, they claim he was only illegally “tending a bonfire” rather than committing a terrorist act aimed at intimidating the Muslim community.

Had this been a memorial to a Trump supporter killed by anyone else, the person setting the fire would have almost certainly faced worse charges. In DC arson laws are limited to “structures” it seems, but he would probably have been charged with arson anyway. Maybe the charge would have been no-papered, but more likely he would have had to go to trial to get the charge thrown out-or plead guilty to lesser charges if the strain of years of court dates and attorney’s fees was too much.

DCist thumbnails of after and before photo

Photo by thehill.com of flowers laid in Dupont as the memorial began

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Mayor Bowser raids another homeless camp to make way for condos

On the 20th of June at 10AM, DC Dept of Public Works trashed and removed tents and other property of homeless people camping under the railroad overpasses on K and L sts NE around 1st st NE. A construction project is going up between K and L sts just west of the tracks, the Washingon Post reports this is condos and rationalized the attack with a claim that yuppies were walking in the streets to avoid interacting with the homeless.

The Washington Post reprinted claims that “safety” was the reason for this raid, but this is at least the fourth such raid on a homeless tent city from Mayor Bowser. The first one was in Rock Creek Park near Va Ave back in Nov 2015 and that tent city was nearly out of sight unless people were looking for it. This site was re-raided at least once after people returned. The second target was campers along 1st st NE itself near Union Station. Now further back from Union Station campers under the overpasses have been hit.

It is very clear that the purpose of this assault on a homeless camp is to make way for the condos under construction, and to ensure that rich, mostly white “New Washingtonians” do not have to approach homeless people of color to cross beneath the Metro and Amtrak rails. This kind of behavior by the city has exploded under Mayor Bowser, and has earned her comparisons to the explicitly racist Donald Trump.

In all of Bowser’s tent city raids, DPW posted warning signs about “general cleanup” scheduled for the area to at least give those who can find another spot time to move. Then when anyone could not or would not move, the main thrust of the assault was use of trash collectors to dispose of people’s belongings while police stood by to ensure there was no resistance.The Washington Post called the July 20th raid “peaceful” but it was about as peaceful as demanding someone’s wallet while a buddy in a uniform holds a gun to your target’s head. The use of “trash collection” as a rationale for confiscating and throwing away the property of the homeless implies that it is not just the belongings of the homeless but the homeless themselves that the Mayor regards as garbage.

The Mayor’s folks have advised the newly-displaced tent city residents to check into shelters, but they are always full, often have entry requirements such as bag searches, and tent city residents complained that the shelters are infested with bedbugs. There is the risk of course that Ms Bowser will use that complaint as a justification for closing down shelters too. Shelter closings are also part of the gentrification strategy, just as homeless sweeps of any kind are. When former Mayor Williams settled on O and S Cap as the location for the Washington Nationals baseball stadium, along with eminent domain against all local businesses one of his first moves was to close the former homeless shelter in Randall School. This shelter was just too close to the baseball stadium, and any other reason for its closing defied logic in the face of that. Now we are seeing the same behavior from Mayor Bowser, this time for luxury condominium construction.

Here we have a condo project started right next to where the Mayor ordered trash collectors to remove another homeless tent city

Not just people’s property regarded as trash it seems

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Hundreds strong DC Bike Party takes to the streets

On the 14th of June, the DC Bike Party returned to the streets for the annual Pride month ride. This ride doubled as a fundraiser for the DC Center for the LGBT Community.

Video from the June 14 2017 DC Bike Party

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