DC protest against prison slavery in Alabama invokes Attica uprising

On the 20th of September, relatives and former prison inmates from Alabama backed by DC area activists held a rally in Pershing Park demanding that the Dept of Justice sue the Alabama Dept of Corrections over prison slavery as well as assaults and murders by guards. The main banner had the slogan “We Are Men” used in the 1971 Attica prison Uprising (mens’ prison) to indicate inmates were people not animals on somebody’s factory farm.

Any invocation of Attica in the context of resistance by prisoners to abuse is no joke at all, and the Alabama Dept of Corrections had better listen unless they want history to repeat itself. The Attica prison uprising was the bloodiest in US history for BOTH sides, with ten guards and contractors dead plus 33 inmates. Today, the Alabama Dept of Corrections is considered the worst prison system in the entire United Snakes, and Trump’s Dept of “Just-Us” naturally is refusing to sue or prosecute anyone responsible for the rapes, the beatings, and murders by guards, or for the intense and inescapable heat so many inmates there are subjected to.

At Attica in 1971, Elliot James “L.D” Barkley has been quoted as having said:
“We are men! We are not beasts and we do not intend to be beaten or driven as such. The entire prison populace, that means each and every one of us here, have set forth to change forever the ruthless brutalization and disregard for the lives of the prisoners here and throughout the United States. What has happened here is but the sound before the fury of those who are oppressed. We will not compromise on any terms except those terms that are agreeable to us. We’ve called upon all the conscientious citizens of America to assist us in putting an end to this situation that threatens the lives of not only us, but of each and every one of you, as well.”

Today, organizers inside Alabama’s prisons and their supporters on the outside of the walls are putting forth nearly the same demands that were made so long ago and at such high cost at Attica.

HD Video: Prison slavery protesters invoke Attica 1 min

The slogan “We are Men” on the banner was used at the 1971 Attica uprising

A flier for the rally in Pershing Park

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Students strike for climate action descends on US Capitol

On the 20th of September, thousands of students refused to show up for school, instead descending on the US Capitol to demand action against global climate chaos. This was just one of a global series of coordinated student strikes around the entire world with millions walking out.

The students here in DC at the US Capitol were supported by older activists, notably including Indigenous activists from several frontline communities. One of them was from Minnesota where Ojibwe activists are fighting to stop Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline. Speakers opened with a representative of the Piscataway Nation, upon whose territory the US Capitol and all of DC squat.

The original plan for the DC event was to march from the White House to the Capitol. That was replaced by a much shorter march from John Marshall park near the Newseum, which set out very quickly and was moving just 15 minutes after the announced start time of 11AM. According to one report from a protest attendee, Trump made sure the permit for Lafayette Park was cancelled. That park was in fact closed at noon. Another person claimed a march from the White House was “too long” but that sounds unlikely as this route is marched all the time, often with stopovers at Trump Hotel. Young students in particular would be unlikely to have trouble with a march of that length. Thus, interference from Trump sounds like the most likely explanation, and has happened before.

While there was a visit from the Ambassador of Australia scheduled, that would normally close Penn Ave at the most. Lafayette Park was open during the 2017 visit by the Ambassador of Turkey. That event was protested by the same YPG supporters who were beaten by the Turkish ambassador’s residence later that same day. If Lafayette Park could be open while the Turkish Ambassador visited Trump in 2017, and stay open even as pro and anti-Erdogen forces protested each other, the park could certainly be open for a peaceful state visit from Australia. This too raises suspicions (though it is not proof) that Trump may indeed have intervened to deny the students a permit for Lafayette Park.

HD video including two stirring musical performances from the stage 3 min 13 sec

Fossil fuels for dinosaur people

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Amazon Watch, Code Pink protest Brazilian Environmental minister Salles at US Chamber of Commerce

On the 19th of September, Amazon Watch and Code Pink protested against the US visit of Brazil’s environmental minister (and Amazon arson enabler) Ricardo Salles as he entered the headquarters of the US Chamber of Commerce. Efforts by Salles to evade protesters failed, and he had to drive past jeering, shouting protesters to enter the building. He was called a traitor and a terrorist by a protester from Brazil.

A few days ago, the Guardian reportedthat Ricardo Salles was in town to meet with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a known climate change denier. His government under Jair Bolsonaro is known globally for this year’s wave of set fires in the Amazon, clearing the rainforest to make way for corporate beef and soybean plantations. There was even a “Day of Fire” organized by right-wing agricultural interests in support of Bolsonaro.

Thus, Bolsonaro may be the most dangerous arsonist ever to appear on this planet or in any human population. An arsonist in a wooden city prior to the development of fire departments was limited to burning down once city, Bolsonaro could destroy the entire Amazon if the cleared area reaches a not-far away threshold somewhere around 20%. At that point, a “dieback” scenaro could cause remaining trees to die off, the entire region would turn to savannah-and all the CO2 stored in the rainforest would be released back to the atmosphere nearly at once. Next to this, Nero’s fire that burned part of Rome was but the flare of a match.

HD Video featuring protester from Brazil calling Salles a terrorist and a traitor 1 min 12 sec

This was the scene while waiting for Ricardo Salles to arrive

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Climate protests start early as Climate First! protests Chase Bank

On the 19th of September, Climate First! kicked off the upcoming climate protests early with a protest against Chase Bank. Chase is a major, major investor in fossil fuels and has substantial investments in both Enbridge and TransCanada

HD Video-Climate First protests pipeline-funding Chase Bank (24 sec)

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Anti-migrant hate rally in Rockville draws huge counterprotest

On the 13th of September, an anti-migrant hate rally (some participants in MAGA hats) in front of the Montgomery County Council’s offices drew a much larger counterprotest. The hate rally was demanding Montgomery County hold jail inmates for ICE detainers, which is not the current practice.

The hate rally was demanding Montgomery County hold jail inmates for ICE detainers, which is not the current practice. The MAGA hatted racists were accusing Montgomery County of violating some kind of law by denying ICE access to “secure areas” of the county jail, even though Federal court rulings have held that localities and states are not obligated to enforce Federal laws. They made this complaint while themselves occupying the steps in defiance of direct orders from police. Thus, the hypocrisy of the far-right was on full display. Needless to say, since cops tend to support ICE and fascism in general police took no action against the racists for defying them. Had it been CASA de MD occupying the steps, police violence would have been expected.

The MAGATs even went so far as to demand prosecution of Montgomery County officials for their very limited and partial sanctuary county measures. The excuse given was 8 crimes allegedly committed by undocumented migrants, out of the tens of thousands of migrants documented and otherwise in the county. Statistics have shown that migrants to the US have a lower rate of arrests for violent crimes or “property crimes” than the average for the population at-large. After all, successful criminals simply don’t need to leave their homes behind and travel thousands of miles to an unknown land where many do not even speak the language.

One of the alleged crimes was a rape, in a re-invocation of the classic racist trope about people of color raping white women that has been used to “justify” so many lynchings and pogroms over the years. In response, one of the counterprotesters had a sign saying “you don’t care about rape, you just hate brown people!”

Both Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller showed up in addition to the presence of MAGA-hatted Trumpers in the right-wing rally. The Daily Caller is often present at outright Nazi events such as “Unite The Right II” Aug 12 2018 in DC. Judicial Watch is famous for false claims of voter fraud and even for harassing climate scientists.

Although it was the racists in the MAGA hats that were in front of the County Council office saying county officials should be jailed and who knows what else, most of the police were as usual focussed on ensuring the fascists were protected from counterprotesters.

HD Video: Big counterprotest opposes Rockville anti-migrant hate rally 2 min 36 sec

The reality of the far-right’s campaign in Montgomery County

Long view of the counterprotest with the smaller hate rally on the other side of the street

“Hate will not replace us” responds to white nationalist “you will not replace us/Jews will not replace us” chants from Charlottesville

MAGA-hatted Trump supporters were common in the hate rally

One of the MAGA-hatted Trumpers up close

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DC Bike Party rides to Anacostia

On Sep 11, 2019 the DC Bike Party’s “back to school ride” rode from Dupont Circle to Busboys and Poets in Anacostia

Early in the Bike Party, still in NW

DC Bike Party takes the 11th st Bridge

DC Bike Party by the Anacostia River

HD Video-the DC Bike Party in Anacostia 2 min 33 sec

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Decarcerate DC protest held against US atty’s fanatical opposition to Second Look Amendment Act

On the 5th of September, US Atty for DC , Jessie K. Liu (a Trump appointee) held an ostensably public meeting aimed at sabotaging and undermining the DC Council’s Second Look Amendment Act. Outside, DC residents and representatives from Black Lives Matter held a protest as the meeting was limited to hand-picked residents. Liu’s staff told members of the public the meeting was “for elected officials only.”

The Second Look Amendment Act would allow a rather rare sentence modification hearing now allowed for those incarcerated as teenagers who have served 15 years in prison to be extended to those whose alleged offenses took place up to age 25. Very few people have ever been released under the existing law and rearrests are almost unheard of, yet Jessie K. Liu is mounting almost fanatical resistance to this amendment. The reasons for this opposition are unknown, but she is using a false claim that t ALL survivors of sexual assault and violence oppose this bil. THis “all” statement was quite simply proven false by a single speaker who said she is a survivor of sexual violence and SUPPORTS the bill. Thus it appears that Liu’s fanaticism for prison and exploitation is not matched by her skills in basic logic.

link broken with (dot) as precaution against 3ed party corporate tools and JS on DC Council website autoloading here

US Attorney for DC Jessie K. Liu’s response to the protest was these fences and cops

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