February 2016

Donald Trump challenged to boxing match, promoter Bob Arum vows to "shut his mouth"

Donald Trump is famous for saying he wanted to "punch protesters" and for violent assaults on protesters at his events. Now he has been challenged to put up or shut up by boxing promoter Bob Arum. At an unrelated boxing match he vowed "“Any time he wants, all proceeds go to charity. Let me take on Donald Trump." He added "I’ll handle him, not like these guys who don’t hit him and treat him with kid gloves. I mean, he’s a disgrace. You can’t say what he’s saying; you can’t make these hateful speeches when you’re running for President of the United States."

March to continuing White House Peace vigil remembers Concepcion Piccolo

On the 27th of February, a memorial service at Luther Place remembered Concepcion Piccolo, who for 35 years maintained a vigil in front of the White House against nuclear weapons and war. At the conclusion of the service participants marched into the streets and to the White House, where the Peace Vigil continues.

Video of the march and featuring Ellen's speech

Remembering Concepcion

Code Pink confronts Secretary of State Kerry over US weapons sales to Saudi Arabia

On the 26th of February, Code Pink released video of Medea Benjamin confronting US Secretary of State Kerry over US sales of weapons to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a Wahhabi theocracy known for whippings and beheadings, with few differences for its subjects from living in Daesh's so-called "caliphate." They spend billions gotten from the world oil market on promoting their fundamentalist visions in Muslim communities around the world and they intervene in countries like Bahrain to support Sunni governments against popular uprisings. The weapons used in Saudi military interventions come from the United States

Video released by Code Pink of Media's confrontation with John Kerry over US weapons to Saudi Arabia

Code Pink vs SecState Kerry over US arms to Saudi Arabia

Tenants facing mass eviction, rent hikes storm Bush Properties office

On the 25th of February, tenants from Museum Square and Mt Vernon Plaza backed by ONE DC and API Resistance showed up outside their landlord's office in Clarendon, VA. Originally the plan was to send a delegation inside to deliver their letter demanding an end to illegal attempts to intimidate tenants into moving out. The tenants themselves though had another idea, with almost the whole group essentially storming the building and taking over the lobby. Bush Properties accepted their letter, but the person taking denied that they were even at the right office. Organizers knew better than to buy that excuse but everyone marched back outside, chanting "we'll be back!"

Video from the Bush Properties tenant protest

Tenants drive home the "no mass evictions" message to Bush Properties

FBI demand to unlock iPhones draws protest at Hoover Building

On the 23rd of February, protesters representing groups from Code Pink all the way to the CATO Institute showed up in front of the FBI's J Edgar Hoover building to protest the FBI's demands that Apple help them defeat encrypted iPhones. Speakers emphasized that this is not about one iPhone but all iPhones. Several predicted that if the FBI is sucessful those who steal credit card information would also take advantage of it. A Black Lives Matter speaker emphasized the danger that police surveillance and especially phone snooping poses to their movement. She reminded everyone of the ugly history of COOINTELPRO and racist FBI suppression of people of color. To many in this world, the FBI is not fighting terrorists, they are the terrorists.

Video-activists warn true purpose of FBI snooping is to suppress domestic dissent

activists warn domestic dissent true target of FBI iPhone backdoor demand

8 Arrests after Coal Ash, Pipeline opponents march on Dominion, occupy VA Capitol steps

On the 20th of February, a massive protest assembled in Richmond by the Capitol bell tower before marching on Dominion's headquarters. They were marching against Dominion's practice of dumping coal ash into the James River. Also present were opponents of the Atlantic Coast pipeline (fracked gas) and the LNG export plant at Cove Point, MD. All of those are Dominion projects. At the end of the march, some of the protesters occupied the Va Capitol steps, demanding that the governor come out to meet w-th them-or resign.

Video highlights of the march and occupation of the VA state Capitol steps(3 min 27 sec)

March and civil disobedience in Richmond against Dominion dumping coal ash

America must decide! Bernie Sanders or Bob Avakian

Bernie Sanders and the (Deadly) Illusion of Painless Progress

Bowser faces disruption and St E's demolition ceremony for sports stadium

On the 19th of February, two women with a banner disrupted Mayor Bowser's ceremonial appearance at the start of demolition of part of the old St Elizebeth's psychiatric hospital. They were able to get behind the Mayor's podium and shout her down before being dragged away by dozens of men. The site is slated for replacement by a new stadium for the Washington Mystic also to be used for practice by the Wizards. Once again, professional sports is allowed to demolish public property in DC.

Photo by DCist

Skanska execs, neighbors get anti-viviseection valentines

on Feb 15, Valentine's Day, animal rights activists distributed hundreds of valentines to Skanska executives and their neighbors, asking that construction company Skanska USA drop their contract with University of Washington to build an underground "primate reseach center" or vivisection lab.

Rich Ward 1 residents scream about proposed homeless shelter

On the 17th of February, FOX News pre-empted the crime coverage that usually starts their broadcast to focus on furious upscale residents at a Van Ness community meeting. The subject was Mayor Bowser's proposal to locate one of 8 dispersed homeless shelters in their neighborhood. Objections to opening a homeless shelter in upscale neighborhoods like anywhere in Ward 1 are usually based in NIMBYism (not in my back yard) fortified with an unhealthy heap of racism. In this case, there are legitimate questions about Mayor Bowser's objectives, given her police raids on homeless camps and her seeming belief that more arrests,searches, and police harassment can solve any social problem.