Beyond Extreme Energy protests fracked gas export facilities at FERC’s monthly meeting

On the 18th of January, Beyond Extreme Energy showed up outside FERC, the Federal Energy “Regulatory” Agency. They were there to demand that possibly retiring FERC commissioner Cherly Lefleur vote against several proposed fracked gas export facilities-and against Canadian and other foreign pipeline companies using eminent domain for private gain against US residents.

Pipeline companies get a guaranteed 14% return on equity on new gas pipelines. This all but guarantees overbuilding this infrastructure as few investments can match this. FERC is perhaps Trump’s model for how a Federal regulatory agency should be run, captive to and a total rubber stamp for the industry regulated due to dependence on it for all their financing.

FERC was meeting to deliberate on the Willis Lateral Project, a fracked gas pipeline lateral in South East Texas. Concerns were expressed prior to FERC’s 10 AM meeting that Cheryl Lefleur’s recent round of votes to approve almost every possible gas export terminal may be an “audition” for a job in the gas industry. For a while she was voting to block new fracked gas infrastructure, but now she is voting with what may well be her own pocketbook. Even if July 18 does not turn out to be FERC commissioner Cheryl LeFleur’s last session as a FERC commissioner(as some thought this might be), FERC is paid by the gas and electrical utilities and effectively paid in proportion to what they approve! This funding model instead of the usual Federal funding is equivalent to a charter requiring FERC to sustain itself solely from industry bribes. FERC has long been known as the pipeline industry’s rubber stamp, and until recent and intense rounds of activism was not known to ever block any project no matter how destructive.

There are now cracks in FERC’s facade however,with one vacancy and another commissioner voting against the agency’s own financial interests to block new gas infrastructure. This made Cheryl Lefleur the swing vote in a 4 member commission at the July 18 meeting, thus the focus on her by Beyond Extreme Energy and others seeking to block the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and several other facilities.

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Protesters invoking “Never Again” surround, blockade and enter ICE headquarters

On the 16th of July, protesters from Never Again Action, Jews against ICE, and Movimiento Cosecha blocked every dooryway into ICE headquarters on 12th street and the streets outside. In addition, 12 protesters entered the building and reportedly were the only protesters arrested in this day of direct action against ICE and concentration camps. Jewish activists explicitly tied Trump’s concentration camps to those used by the Nazis during WWII, using talking points like “Never Again means NOW!”

One participant reported via Twitter “Someone walking by our protest said that an ICE employee blocked from leaving ‘probably just wants to go home and see her kids,'” continuing “THOUSANDS of immigrants in detention just want to go see their kids. ICE employees can wait a few hours.”

In desperation ICE bosses had to resort to trying to shuttle their “typists and file clerks” (as in the 1940’s round of camps) to another building. This was made more difficult by street blockades reinforcing the all-doorways blockade. This type of combined blockade is reminescent of Occupy DC’s October 4, 2011 blockade of the Koch Brother’s “defending the American Dream” convention of GOP extremists in the Washington Convention Center.That too blocked all doorway and all street access to the target. That time around however, efforts by protesters to gain entry did not work as they were probably expected.

At ICE by comparison, protesters succeeded both in denying the adminstrators that keep Trump’s racial purity police running access to their offices and in gaining entry into the building themselves. The only known arrests were 12 people who entered the building. Nobody in the doorway or street blockades was arrested, with everyone finally marching away in victory shortly after 4:30PM, with the “working” day well and truly ended for those whose work is to “Make America White Again.” There is NOTHING uglier than blunt talk from even members of Congress about concentration camps and the videos that have emerged from them, and no stronger condemnation possible than this flat-out invocation of the Holocaust with “Never Again.” That may have played a role in discouraging further arrests.

At this point, Trump’s planned major offensive against urban migrant communities has bogged down in a storm of protests, ugly historical comparison, and all-out direct action. As of now, protesters and migrant activists may have succeeded in gaining the offensive. Now is the time to take the fight to white supremacists and their minions wherever they work and wherever they live!

Video: street and door blockades isolate and shut down ICE headquarters 1 min 38 sec

Marching off the road in victory after shutting down much of ICE headquarters with an all-entrances plus street blockade

Jewish activists bluntly invoke “Never Again”

Aerial view of the combined street and door blockades-cropped from Alyssa Rubin photo

Sophe Ellman-Golan photo (cropped) of one of the human chains blockading the streets around ICE

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Amazon’s contract with Palantir/ICE earns Jeff Bezos a protest at his HOUSE

On Amazon Prime Day the 16th of July, protesters descended on the home of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. They carried mock Amazon Prime delivery boxes loaded with petitions demanding Amazon drop their DHS/Palantir contract which has caused thousands of deportations. The petition boxes changed Amazon’s smile to a well-earned frown.

Mijente’s “Who’s Behind ICE?” report found some ugly truths about Palantir’s data mining software, which runs on AmazonAWS servers:

“These systems accumulate unprecedented amounts of personal and private information and enable the rapid expansion of information-sharing capabilities among city, state, and regional law enforcement agencies, as well as some foreign governments, for the purpose of finding, deporting, and detaining immigrants”

In other words, Amazon is helping ICE use cellphone records, driving and motor records, social media posts and accouts, and even utility bills and property data to find migrants. Once found, migrants are at risk of ending up in one of Trumps’ concentration camps, many run by other private businesses like GEO Group. There is an exceptionally ugly precedent for that in concentration camps: Auschwitz was privately owned by I.G. Farben, from which Bayer and many other German pharmaceutical companies descend. Thus, Amazon is in the role of the typists and keypunch operators without which the SS could never have managed the Holocaust.

Chase Carter photo of security guards kicking the petition boxes into the street

Chase Carter photo of the scene in front of the home of Jeff Bezos

Chase Carter photo of the march to the home of Jeff Bezos, clearly showing the “Amazon Frown” petition boxes

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DC Bike Party’s 7th anniversary ride makes special stop at Lights for Liberty

On the 12th of July, the DC Bike Party’s 7th anniversary ride made a special stopover at the Lights for Liberty vigil. Riders dismounted and walked by this vigil, a protest against Donald Trump’s border concentration camps and threatened terror raids against migrant communities.

HD Video: Start of the ride and the stopover at Lights for Liberty 2min 8 sec

The Bike Party as seen from the vigil

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“Lights for Liberty” vigil protests border concentration camps, proposed raids

On the 12 of July, “Lights for Liberty” protests were held from coast to coast against Trump’s concentration camps on the border and the threatened ICE raids. Here in DC, the American Federation of Teachers sent a feeder march, and the DC Bike Party stopped by, with most riders dismounting and walking past in solidarity. Comparisons were made my many protesters to Hitler’s camps, Trump too being considered a fascist. A speaker at the rally (on video) described horrific conditions in a camp she had managed to visit, focussing on a detained mother and her premature baby who got no help from anyone until she went to the media.

That same night, CNN release horrific video from one of the concentration camps, with adult men crammed into cages so densely that they could not all lie down at once, and a “strong stench of urine” reported. Access to showers and any kind of soap, toothpaste, or other hygienic supplies has been reported denied by other sources and again by CNN. Children complained about having to not eat because they were too embarassed to use toilets in full view of everyone else. It is no wonder people are dying in these camps.

HD Video featuring the speaker describing conditions imposed on a mother and premature baby in a border camp 2 min 23 sec

One of several signs referencing the Nazi Holocaust and that round of camps

“Never again” means NOW!

The vigil shortly before 9PM

Most DC Bike Party riders dismount and walk past the vigil in solidarity.

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Extinction Rebellion marches on Capitol Hill in face of police harassment

On the 9th of July, the DC Chapter of the global Extinction Rebellion movement marched on the US Capitol to support a climate emergency resolution introduced by Sen Bernie Sanders and Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.The march faced considerable harassment by US Capitol Police.

Capitol Police repeated protesters to sidewalks and created a safety hazard by raising one of the steel vehicle barriers on an access road at the last second as protesters marched in. As protesters prepared to leave one was detained or arrested by Capitol Police. Protesters even had difficult disengaging Capitol Police as they left to load up the artwork and depart for a nearby pub. It seemed the pigs just didn’t want to let go.

Video of the march showing the police harassment and aggression 5 min 21 sec

Motorcycle cops push, hold the march to the sidewalk

Crossing Independence Ave as police horns and sirens blare. No cause for that other than the protest

Cops and yellow tape on the Capitol E lawn

Police detained or arrested one of the activists (a marshal?) as protesters were preparing to leave.

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Protesters disrupt, blockade, attempt to storm “Christian Zionist” convention

On the 8th of July, the so-called “Christian Zionist” group Christians United for Israel or CUFI held their convention at the Washington Convention Centers. Small teams of protesters got inside, disrupting VP Mike Pence (an infamous Christian Dominionist) and other speakers. Outside, protesters marched on the building and tried to enter via the more weakly-defended rear entrance. When that failed the doors were blocked and at times windows pounded on. Hours later, protesters marched to the front doors and got past police barricades, stopping at the locked front doors.

CUFI’s executive board includes John Hagee, as CUFI’s own website trumpets. Hagee has been called anti-Semitic for his 2008 remarks claiming the Holocaust was a tool of God to force Jews to leave Europe and migrate to Palestine to establish the State of Israel. Huffington Post report w audio.

Many Christian Zionists are interested in Israel because they believe Jerusalem must be in Jewish hands for the Second Coming to occur. This is known as dispensationalism, and John Hagee himself is a dispensationalist. Many dispensationalists believe a wholesale conversion of Jews to Christianity will occur after the Second Coming, and there are rumors of darker prophecies.

Vice President Pence is himself known to be a “Christian Dominionist” or believer that the Bible and the Constitution are or should be of equal weight in determining the laws of the US. He was one of the keynote speakers at CUFI, but did NOT speak unopposed. One of the speakers at the protest said they had been inside when Pence spoke and shouted him down before being forcibly removed from the building. Pence’s presence here follows in the footsteps of Jerry Falwell, who once sat on CUFI’s executive board. During his speech, Pence blustered threats against Iran, presumably on behalf of his boss Donald Trump. It has in fact been argued that Trump should not be impeached because Pence is licking his chops at the thought of taking the White House for himself.

There are only two political philosophies to the right of Fascism and Naziism: monarchism and theocracy. Pence and many other CUFI attendees are theocrats, cut from the same cloth as Daesh (ISIS) save for the name they worship their god under.

HD Video-protesters surge past police barricades to blockade front door, bonus footage of inside disruption 3 min 19 sec

Blockading the L st entrance to the Washington Convention Center after an initial attempt to gain entry here

Protesters surge past police barricades to the front door

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