IT'S GOING DOWN

IT'S GOING DOWN

IGDCAST

  • 2 hours 36 minutes
    More Voices From the Growing Anti-War Movement in Solidarity with Palestine

    On this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we speak with folks across the so-called United States about the ongoing movement in solidarity with Palestine continuing to expand across college campuses.

    First, we speak with someone in Austin, Texas, who discusses the explosive protests at UT Austin which were repressed by a phalanx of police. We talk about how anti-authoritarians intervened in the struggle, pushed back against repression and counter-insurgency, and are continuing their organizing in solidarity with Palestine.

    Next, we talk with someone on the picket lines at University of California Santa Cruz, one of the campuses hit by a recent strike by tens of thousands of student-workers in solidarity with students facing police repression. We talk about the strike, its role in the growing struggle, and how it spread across various campuses. Since this interview took place, a California judge has ruled in favor of UC bureaucrats, granting a restraining order against the strike as “threats of wildcat strikes by rank-and-file workers forced the UAW to expand the strike.”

    Lastly we speak with Mohamed Abdou, author of Anarchism and Islam, and until recently, a professor at Columbia University in New York City. Abdou speaks at length about the role of faculty in the struggle and being targeted under recent hearings aimed at snuffing out pro-Palestinian organizing on campus and being labeled “anti-Semitic” and “pro-Hamas” by right-wing outlets and pro-war grifters.

    13 June 2024, 6:21 pm
  • Andrew Lee on Displacement, Rising Rents, and Social War

    On this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we speak with Andrew Lee, an organizer and author of the new book out from AK Press, Defying Displacement: Urban Recomposition and Social War.

    During our discussion, we speak with Lee about how elites, capitalists, and city bureaucrats are banking on gentrification and how people are pushing back against displacement. We also discuss the crisis of rising rents, how gentrification is tied to a push to better police the poor and communities of color, growing attacks on the houseless, and the tenant union movement.

    From the AK Press website:

    Cities around the world are in the midst of a profound transformation as the wealthy price out the remnants of the urban working class, especially people of color. Displacement is neither accidental or inevitable. It happens because a whole range of people and institutions profit handsomely. Defying Displacement, focused on the US but informed by global examples, investigates gentrification from the perspective of the people fighting it, members of communities whose survival is threatened by some of the most powerful institutions on the planet. Andrew Lee names the names and identifies the actual state and corporate forces that work together to enrich a very specific group of people: property developers and real estate investors who make a killing, politicians who watch their tax bases grow, banks that write profitable loans for new businesses and mortgages for new homeowners. Meanwhile, business districts are planned, tax abatements unveiled, redevelopment schemes dreamed up, corporate and university campuses expanded, and ordinary people are driven from their homes.

    The city has long served as the stage for political life and popular revolt. As mass displacement alters the composition of gentrifying cities, the avenues available for social change become unsettled as well, forcing us to reimagine our strategies for building a better world. Around the world communities are pushing the struggle against forced displacement in new directions, shutting down developments and evictions and bringing cities to a halt, fighting militarized police and the most powerful companies in the world. Activists and residents in struggle—dozens of whom are interviewed by Lee to inform his work—are charting the way forward to affordable and sustainable cities run by the people who inhabit them.

    For more writings from Lee, go here. Music from The Last Gang.

    Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

    27 May 2024, 12:18 am
  • 54 minutes 28 seconds
    “They’ll Never Forget It”: Report from the Battle to Defend the Palestine Solidarity Encampment at UCLA

    Photo by Shay Horse

    On this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we are joined with a guest who discusses the mass mobilization to defend the Palestine Solidarity Encampment at UCLA in Los Angeles, CA, which was attacked by far-Right Zionists on April 30th and then by hundreds of riot police on May 1st, who made over 200 violent arrests.

    During our discussion, our guest breaks down how the UCLA encampment grew in the face on continued harassment and attacks from far-Right pro-Israel counter-protesters. These attacks escalated on April 30th, when a group of Zionists attacked barricades erected around the outside of the encampment, in full view of security and police, who left the area and watched the attack. As people defended themselves from violent counter-demonstrators, clashes escalated, lasting into the early morning. The next day, police then used the attack as a context for carrying out a violent raid of the encampment, shooting and injuring students and community members with projectile weapons.

    As the New York Times wrote:

    [An] examination of more than 100 videos from clashes at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that violence ebbed and flowed for nearly five hours, mostly with little or no police intervention. The violence had been instigated by dozens of [far-Right Zionists] who are seen in videos counterprotesting the encampment.

    The videos showed counterprotesters attacking students in the pro-Palestinian encampment for several hours, including beating them with sticks, using chemical sprays and launching fireworks as weapons. As of Friday, no arrests had been made in connection with the attack.

    The melee began when a group of counterprotesters started tearing away metal barriers that had been in place to cordon off pro-Palestinian protesters. Hours earlier, U.C.L.A. officials had declared the encampment illegal.

    Security personnel hired by the university are seen in yellow vests standing to the side throughout the incident. A university spokesperson declined to comment on the security staff’s response.

    Police shoot off riot shotguns at UCLA encampment.

    TruthOut reported:

    Los Angeles Times higher education journalist Teresa Watanabe reported that members of the pro-Israel mob used explicitly genocidal language as they ripped down encampment barriers, yelling, “Second Nakba!” — a reference to the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes in 1948.

    “For over seven hours, Zionist aggressors hurled gas canisters, sprayed pepper spray, and threw fireworks and bricks into our encampment,” organizers said. “They broke our barriers repeatedly, clearly in an attempt to kill our community.”

    “Law enforcement simply stood at the edge of the lawn and refused to budge as we screamed for their help,” the statement continued. “The only means of protection we had was each other. We keep each other safe.”

    The Daily Bruin, which had student reporters on the scene, reported that “security and UCPD both retreated as pro-Israel counter-protesters and other groups attacked protesters in the encampment.”

    As we cover on the podcast, the far-Right Zionist and police violence on full display at UCLA exposes the false claims by the Biden administration and campus leaders across the country; growing police repression of campus demonstrations is aimed at crushing the anti-war movement which threatens US military interests, not to “protect students” or ensure their “safety.”

    The successful mass defense of the UCLA encampment from the far-Right is a turning point for the movement. As one person posted on social media following the clashes, “Everyone at UCLA should feel incredibly proud of themselves. Fighting the cops is where all our movements will have to go, and they’re correct to do it and brave to face it.” Another account added, “There were thousands of people at UCLA who didn’t back down and battled to defend the camp. We will never forget what that night was like. So many people came out in solidarity.” Throughout our discussion, we talk about the dynamics on the ground, the various forces at play, and where the movement might go next.

    Music: No$hu, “The Bonk Song”

    5 May 2024, 9:02 pm
  • 1 hour 28 minutes
    “We Are Not Afraid of You”: Voices from Inside the Growing Anti-War Movement Sweeping US Campuses

    On this special episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we speak with folks across the country that are taking part in the exploding movement of anti-war encampments and occupations sweeping across US campuses in solidarity with Palestine.

    First, we speak with someone at Columbia University in New York. We discuss how the Right and the campus administration is attempting to attack protesters as ‘anti-Semitic,’ even as anti-Zionist Jewish students are playing a key role in the organizing alongside many other students from a variety of backgrounds.

    Next, we speak with grassroots journalist Vishal P. Singh, who reports on the violent police attack on protesters at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. We also discuss how the far-Right is responding to the growing movement.

    Finally, we speak with someone involved in the ongoing occupation of an administration building at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. We talk about attempts by the administration to break the demonstrations and how people are coming together to keep themselves safe in the face of police violence.

    More Info: Roundup of campus encampments and occupations on IGD here. Reports on CrimethInc. here, here and here. First We Take Columbia on Ill Will. Escalate Network on Twitter.

    26 April 2024, 8:44 am
  • 2 hours 30 minutes
    This Is America #196: Houston Food not Bombs Fights City Hall, Montreal Autonomous Tenants’ Union, National Guard on New York Subway

    Welcome, to This Is America, April 18th, 2024.

    In this episode, first we present an interview with a member of Houston Food Not Bombs, who speaks about how the group has been pushing back on attempts by the city to shut down their mutual aid program through ongoing ticketing and police harassment.

    We then turn towards New York City, and discuss how Democrats have greased the wheels through fear campaigns over crime and migrants, to bring in the National Guard onto the city’s subway system.

    Via @slam.matu

    We then speak to members of the Montreal Autonomous Tenants’ Union, who discuss their organizing efforts and fighting back against landlords, rising rents, and gentrification. Note, this interview is quite old, be sure to check out and follow the group on Instagram here for current updates.

    Finally, we discuss the unfolding legal circus around Trump and why we shouldn’t be surprised when rich and powerful people – don’t go to jail.

    But first, here’s some upcoming events!

    Upcoming Events

    • April 19th – 21st: Chicago Anarchist Skillshare. More info here.
    • April 20th: Free Em All Ball. Benefit for political prisoners. Huntington Park, CA. More info here.
    • April 26th – 29th: Northeast Bash Back Convergence. Philly, PA. More info here.
    • April 27th: Rattling the Cages: Political Prisoners, Mass Incarceration and Abolition. Virtual event. More info here.
    • May 4th: First Ever Kitsap Anarchist Bookfair. Bremerton, WA. More info here.
    • May 4th: First Annual Upstate Anarchist Bookfair, Binghamton, NY. More info here.
    • May 18th: Free Tall Can. Benefit for antifascist political prisoners. San Bernadino, CA. More info here.
    • May 23rd – 29th: Lost Sierra Action Camp. Plumas National Forest, California. More info here.
    • May 24th – 26th: Constellation: An Anarchist Festival in Montreal. More info here.
    • June 28th – 30th: Another Carolina Anarchist Bookfair. Asheville, NC. More info here.
    • July 2nd – 9th: Hudson Valley, Earth First! Gathering. More info here.
    • July 12th – 14th: Dual Power Gathering. Pacific Northwest. More info here.
    • November 26th – 28th: Indigenous anarchist convergence. Occupied so-called Phoenix, AZ. More info here.
    19 April 2024, 4:31 am
  • The IWW, the Red Scare, and Lessons on Resisting Repression Today

    On today’s episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we sit down with labor historian Peter Cole, who speaks on how the state in the midst of World War I, used a variety of tactics, which came to be known as the ‘Red Scare,’ to attack and smash the ascendant Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), an anti-capitalist labor union organized around syndicalist lines.

    Cole maps out the variety of forces which attacked the union, ranging from coordinated government raids on IWW union halls, attacks from far-Right vigilantes in the the Ku-Klux-Klan and the American Legion, and the assassination of organizers by local police. We look at how the American state utilized the courts against the IWW through things like the the Espionage Act, the Sedition Act and the Criminal Syndicalism laws, which criminalized membership within the union. Finally, we unpack the role of early nationalist disinformation, which attempted to paint the IWW as agents of the German state in the midst of the the war, especially at a time when the IWW was organizing heavily in industries which were crucial to the war effort.

    In closing, we compare this history of the Red Scare with the ongoing wave of repression happening in Atlanta today, as the state attempts to break the movement against Cop City. We also look at recent attempts by the US government to demonize membership in the IWW, such as in the J20 trials and the assassination of forest defender Tortuguita in Atlanta.

    The history of the Red Scare is a dire warning about the ability of the democratic State to smash by any means necessary radical working-class organizing from below, utilizing a wide range of repressive tactics. Just as today, the state is ready to criminalize ideology and participation in social movements in an effort to safeguard its interests.

    More Info: Peter Cole interview on IWW.org. Check out Peter Cole on the IGD podcast here, here, and here.

    28 March 2024, 12:36 am
  • 1 hour 50 minutes
    This Is America #195: Friends of Aaron Bushnell Speak, Deep Dive on Situation in Haiti

    Welcome, to This Is America, March 21st, 2024.

    In this episode, first we speak with several anarchists and mutual aid organizers in so-called San Antonio, Texas about their late friend, Aaron Bushnell. On February 25th of this year, Bushnell, an anarchist originally from the Cape Cod area of Massachusetts. engaged in what he described as an “extreme act of protest,” when he set him self on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington DC, in protest of the US government’s ongoing support of the state of Israel and its campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in the occupied territories. We speak about their friend and how they came to know Bushnell as he lived and worked in the area alongside them. We talk about Aaron’s upbringing in a Christian sect and how it influenced him later in life and how he came to embrace anarchism. We also speak about how his friends have dealt with the aftermath of his death and attacks on Aaron from neoliberal and far-Right media.

    We then speak with an anarchist currently living in Montreal on the situation in Haiti and about the recent wave of resistance in the region. We also unpack the long history of rebellion, colonialism, and US intervention on the island, and how these realities continue to influence political and social life in the territory in the 21st century.

    Upcoming Events

    • April 19th – 21st: Chicago Anarchist Skillshare. More info here.
    • April 26th – 29th: Northeast Bash Back Convergence. More info here.
    • May 4th: First Ever Kitsap Anarchist Bookfair. Bremerton, WA. More info here.
    • May 4th, 2024: First Annual Upstate Anarchist Bookfair, Binghamton, NY. More info here.
    • June 28th – 30th: Another Carolina Anarchist Bookfair. Asheville, NC. More info here.
    • July 2nd – 9th: Hudson Valley, Earth First! Gathering. More info here.

    It’s Going Down

    If you value IGD as a revolutionary autonomous media resource in times of crisis, please help us grow the platform!

    21 March 2024, 9:51 am
  • 1 hour 53 minutes
    This Is America #194: Jeremy White on San Diego ‘Antifa’ Case, Smash by Smash West, Franklin Lopez on New Children’s Book

    Welcome, to This Is America, March 8th, 2024.

    On today’s episode, we feature an interview first with Jeremy White, a long-time community organizer in Southern California who is currently facing felony charges stemming from a counter-protest against violent far-Right gangs in San Diego in 2017. We talk about how Jeremy and other activists were selectively targeted by the State and law enforcement, while fascist groups like the Proud Boys and American Guard were allowed to run wild and openly attack members of the public.

    We then talk to folks in Austin, Texas about the upcoming Smash By Smash West counter-summit. Finally, we speak with long-time anarchist media maker Franklin Lopez, who has now completed a new book for kids. We speak about anarchist media and the need for more engaging content geared at young people and parents alike.

    All this and more, but first, let’s get to the news.

    Living and Fighting

    Photos from vigils in memory of Aaron Bushnell across the US. SOURCE: Facebook / Various

    Across the world, people held vigils in memory of anarchist Aaron Bushnell, the 25 year-old active duty member of the Air Force who in late February, set himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington DC in what he called “an extreme protest” against the US’s continued support of the war and ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine. In Portland, as Alissa Azar reported, in “a moving act of solidarity…Veterans [burned] their uniforms at a vigil for Aaron Bushnell, hosted by Veterans Against War.”

    Protests, mass marches, and blockades against the US backed war in Gaza continue. In New York, a militant marches took the streets, in San Francisco, thousands marched on the Israeli consulate and were attacked by police, in Chicago, street blockades shut down intersections, several defense contractors in New Hampshire were recently hit with vandalism, in Ontario, over 400 pro-Palestinian protesters mobilized to shut down a speaking event featuring “prime minister Justin Trudeau in honor of [the] Italian prime minister,” a protest encampment sprang up outside of the home of US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and in Oakland, middle school students organized a walkout.

    In Berkeley, California, hundreds shut down a speaking event featuring the deputy director of a far-Right Israeli think-tank, heavily involved in the state’s current trajectory. Protesters rallied outside of the event, windows were broken, and the speaker was evacuated out of the building.

    Blockades of weapons manufactures also continued. In Plymouth, Minnesota, demonstrators blockaded Northrop Grumman, which “manufactures weapons that Israel uses against Palestinians.” Meanwhile, pickets and blockades also took place outside of Lockheed Martin offices in “Vancouver, Quebec City, Calgary and Toronto.”

    A call in the Pacific Northwest has also been made for a mobilization against the upcoming “Aerospace and Defense Supplier Summit at the Seattle Convention Center.” According to the call posted to Puget Sound Anarchists:

    On March 12th to 14th Seattle will host the 2024 Aerospace and Defense Supplier Summit at the Seattle Convention Center. This conference will bring together suppliers and subcontractors from around the world, including Boeing, to network and show off products that will be used to build weapons that will murder people in wars of colonial expansion in Palestine and around the world.

    Read the full call here.

    Vigils were also held across the US in memory of Nex Benedict, an Indigenous non-binary student who died after being attacked in a bathroom at a school in a district that had been targeted by gender fascists. In Los Angeles, California, people took to the streets to mourn the violent murder of Nex and also call for an end to attacks on the LGBTQ+ community.

    Crowd rallies outside of St. Cloud prison in Springvalle, Alabama. SOURCE: Instagram

    As we reported on in our recent In Contempt column, various groups have been rallying in solidarity with the call from the Free Alabama Movement for strike and protest action. One person wrote on Instagram, stating:

    Today, we protested again for the fourth week in a row in solidarity with the Free Alabama Movement’s 90-day prison shutdown. In honor of the international day of action for Rafah, the Young Palestinians of Birmingham (@yp.bham) joined us in solidarity where we united in chants about Palestine, Alabama, Congo, and more.

    Incarcerated people in America are forced to produce a wide range of products and services, including the bombs and weapons that are killing Palestinians and other innocent people all over the world. When incarcerated people refuse the forced labor, they are subjected to beatings and solitary confinement.

    Currently, incarcerated people in the U.S. do all the work to maintain the jails and are forced to work to make profits for the state and for companies like Raytheon. The same companies profiting from the occupation and genocide in Palestine are the same companies profiting from the exploitation and genocide of incarcerated people here.

    As long as the ADOC and companies like Raytheon can use prison labor they will and as long as they can profit from genocide they will. Prison work stoppages shut down the entire economic system and get directly into companies’ pockets.

    Cargill Tenants Union rallies in support of rent strike in Putnam, CT. SOURCE: Cargill Tenants Union Instagram

    A rent strike organized by the Cargill Tenants Union in Putnam, Connecticut has continued into February and March, as tenants face threats of eviction as they continue to demand that landlord address health and safety concerns over lead, mold and beyond. Most recently, the rent strike has pushed the attorney general of Connecticut to launch an official inquiry. From a recent statement from the CTU:

    Our rent strike and tenant union organizing has been building pressure to remediate this mill for our members. This is a major development directly resulting from attention on our rent strike. We still face retaliatory evictions, but the tide is turning in our favor. Organizing gets the goods.

    Resistance to Cop City in so-called Atlanta and beyond continued across the so-called US. According to communiques recently posted to Scenes from the Atlanta Forest, an office in Santa Cruz, California of a subsidiary of Nationwide, an insurance provider to the Cop City project, was vandalized with graffiti slogans and had their locks glued. In Brooklyn, New York, police cars and buses had their tires punctured and the slogan, “For Tort,” was left behind. On Lenapehoking territory, three Nationwide offices were covered in anti-Cop City slogans and posters. A video of the communique was released:

    Supporters of Jack, who was recently arrested in raids against the movement in Atlanta, rallied at a recent court hearing, complete with a hardcore band who played outside of the court house. A rally was also recently organized outside of the home of the Atlanta Mayor in protest of the Cop City project.

    Rally with hardcore band playing in support of Jack in so-called Atlanta, Georgia. SOURCE: Unicorn Riot

    In the Pacific Northwest, action continued against a proposed Cop City in Lacey, WA. A communique posted to Puget Sound Anarchists wrote:

    In the earliest hours of Saturday morning, a small crew spiked various trees in the woods that are currently being logged, a well-known eco-defense practice to prevent or at least delay the logging of these precious trees. We need forests, not cops. Hours later, a separate crew dropped a banner that read Stop Lacey Cop Complex #stopallcopcities at the Olympia/Lacey pedestrian bridge over Pacific Avenue that will hopefully bring more awareness to the project…

    In Houston, Texas, a judge has ruled that police must “temporarily” stop the ticketing of the local Food Not Bombs chapter. According to one report:

    Food Not Bombs have been operating in Houston, Texas since 1994 and after nearly three decades in 2023, they started getting tickets for serving free meals outside of the city’s Central Library. So far they’ve received 96 tickets which made them file a lawsuit against the city authorities who claim that their meal service was a constitutionally protected protest.

    Graffiti and broken windows at Army recruiting station in Chicago, IL. SOURCE: Chicago Anti-Report.

    In Chicago, a communique posted to Chicago Anti-Report claimed credit for breaking out windows and covering an army recruitment center in paint and anti-war graffiti slogans. According to the communique:

    One week ago, Aaron Bushnell self-immolated outside the zionist embassy in so-called Washington DC. He follows an unnamed self-immolation outside the zionist embassy in so-called Atlanta. In addition, in 2023, a man self-immolated in Kinshasa, DRC in protest of the genocide in Congo over capitalist green and resource extraction of cobalt and copper for the world’s technology.

    As such, comrades took the following actions against the recruitment center for the 33,000+ Palestinian martyrs since October 7, for Aaron Bushnell, and for all those struggling against the US imperialist machine:

    • Painted Avenge Aaron, Gaza will Haunt You, and Free Gaza across the military machine recruitment center windows
    • Smashed windows of the main army recruitment office
    • Covered surveillance cameras with spray paint
    • Poured red paint on windows of the Marines recruitment office

    Finally, following a successful week of action against the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), direct actions and protests continue in Appalachia, with various lock-downs and disruptions of pipeline construction shutting down work sites for hours. Be sure to check out Appalachians Against Pipelines for updates on ongoing resistance.

    Forest defenders shut down construction for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. SOURCE: Appalachians Against Pipelines

    Upcoming Events

    • March 8th – 16th: Smash By Smash West. Austin, TX. Counter-summit. More info here.
    • March 9th: Houston, TX. Anarchist Bookfair. More info here.
    • March 10th: Solidarity Fundraiser for Jeremy White. Los Angeles, CA. 1st Street Billiards. 7 PM. More info here.
    • March 15th: Rally and speak out against police brutality. Olympia, WA. More info here.
    • April 26th – 29th: Northeast Bash Back Convergence. Philadelphia, PA. More info here.
    • June 28th – 30th: Another Carolina Anarchist Bookfair. Asheville, NC. More info here.
    • July 2nd – 9th: Hudson Valley, Earth First! Gathering. More info here.

    It’s Going Down

    If you value IGD as a revolutionary autonomous media resource in times of crisis, please help us grow the platform!

    10 March 2024, 7:39 am
  • 1 hour 10 minutes
    How Antifascist Moms Are Pushing Back Against the far-Right and Anti-LGBTQ+ Bigots in SoCal

    In this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we speak with members of Safe Redlands Schools (SRS), a group of antifascist moms who have come together to push back against far-Right and fascist groups attempting to advance an authoritarian agenda in the Southern California area, specifically in local school districts.

    During our discussion, we talk about how these groups, which include far-Right street gangs like the Proud Boys, grew out of far-Right conspiracy theories and reaction to COVID-19 lockdowns, pivoting quickly to opposing “Critical Race Theory” and embracing a politics of gender fascism. As far-Right militants set their sites on the schools boards as a new terrain of confrontation, violence erupted at various meetings, with parents and their children often caught in the middle between politicians, out of town grifters, and their followers in violent far-Right organizations.

    Members of SRS map out how they have built a network of concerned parents across their region, the wide variety of organizing that they engage in within their communities against the far-Right, and why they made the important decision to openly label themselves as “anti-fascist.”

    More Info: Safe Redlands Schools (SRS) on Instagram, homepage, and beyond.

    23 February 2024, 2:36 am
  • 2 hours 6 minutes
    This Is America #193: Report from the Border on Far-Right Convoy and Beyond

    Welcome, to This Is America, February 17th, 2024.

    On this episode, first we speak with independent journalist Alissa Azar about their recent trip to the border, the unfolding crisis between Republican governors and president Biden, the far-Right convoy who came out to support the GOP, and the refugees and asylum seekers caught in the middle. Support Azar on Patreon here.

    We also speak with an organizer in so-called Tucson, Arizona about an upcoming Stop Cop City convergence later this month and dive into a discussion of the news.

    Upcoming Events

    • February 23rd – 26th: Nationwide Summit to Stop Cop City. Tucson, AZ. More info here.
    • March 9th: Houston, TX. Anarchist Bookfair. More info here.
    • May 4th: First Ever Kitsap Anarchist Bookfair. Bremerton, WA. More info here.
    • May 4th, 2024: First Annual Upstate Anarchist Bookfair, Binghamton, NY. More info here.
    • July 2nd – 9th: Hudson Valley, Earth First! Gathering. More info here.

    photo: Screenshot via Rebel HQ

    18 February 2024, 7:31 am
  • 56 minutes 57 seconds
    Building Solidarity with Asylum Seekers in Sacramento

    On this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we speak with someone involved in Nor Cal Resist, a group based out of Sacramento, California organizing around mutual aid, community solidarity, and building movement infrastructure. During our discussion, we talk about how the group has begun to organize and work with asylum seekers, mainly from Venezuela, Afghanistan, and the Ukraine, and the struggles that they have faced along way and the economic and imperial forces which pushed them to carry out such dangerous journeys. We talk about how Republican governors have shipped asylum seekers into “blue cities” including Sacramento, and how mutual aid groups like Nor Cal Resist has mobilized to provide support and direct aid in the face of increasing racist conspiracy theories and State repression.

    As Truthout reported:

    The recent rise in refugees attempting to enter the U.S. — reaching a high point of 2.5 million by 2023 — is a result of displacing factors in which U.S. government policy has played a role.

    For instance, the largest percentage (53 percent) of migrants attempting to enter the U.S. since 2020 have come from Venezuela — where the U.S. government has maintained a suffocating regime of economic sanctions since 2014.

    There has also been an increase in state repression and restrictive changes in policy that have reduced how many migrants attain refugee status after entering the country. For instance, while there is a recent increase in people seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border — a process rooted in long-standing U.S. policy — Trump largely dismantled the practice, instead automatically expelling migrants at the border. Biden continued Trump’s policy until May 2023, deporting even more than Trump.

    While 2.3 million migrants and refugees have been temporarily “paroled” into the U.S. under Biden, nearly 4 million have been denied entry or deported. Most paroled individuals are in active removal proceedings, and only a small percentage are likely to attain refugee status as Biden has capped asylum cases at 125,000 per year. So no, migrants are not “the problem.” And the U.S. has sufficient resources to settle migrants and refugees — if that were a priority.

    The real threat at the border is the far right, which has fueled a civil war-like showdown between the federal government and the Texas state government by weaponizing anti-immigration politics.

    As both corporate political parties push to manufacture a crisis at the border over asylum seekers and refugees, social movements must work to show that the capitalist system which is attacking workers and the poor across the world is our common enemy, along with the racists and white supremacists attempting to divide us.

    More Info: Nor Cal Resist on Instagram and Link Tree.

    9 February 2024, 3:59 am
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