August 2016

Reportback from Rally4Refugees

On the 28th of August DCRally4Refugees held a mixed concert/speaking event at Sylvan Theater near the Washington Monument. Bands alternated with speakers as organizers sought to raise funds and connect people with groups active on refugee issues. They pointed out that more people have been displaced from their homes now than ever before, and due to the war in Syria the total number of international refugees has now topped 20 million. A tiny number of Trump supporters tried to counterprotest this event, but at one point a pair of Code Pink activist counter-counterprotesting them was equal to 40% of their numbers. Meanwhile, a speaker from El Salvador called out the utter hypocrisy of those who benefit from migrant labor while demanding migrants leave.

Some video highlights of DCRally4Refugees

Advocates in life jackets symbolize the dangers faced on the water by one of the largest refugee populations in human history


Federal court hearing on Dakota Access Pipeline draws hundreds to protest

On the 24th of August, US District Court at 333 Constitution Ave heard the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's lawsuit against the US Army Corps of Engineers over the Dakota Access Pipeline. Outside hundreds protested as speakers alternated with drumming and singing. As this case was being heard, construction at the site where protesters are blocking the pipeline in North Dakota has been halted pending resolution of this and several other legal cases. Dozens have been arrested there, but a hearing set (in another case)for August 25 on an injunction to limit protest and direct action at the pipeline site was cancelled in light of the construction halt.

Video featuring speaker who has been at Sacred Stone Camp for 2 1/2 weeks and seen no violence from activists at all

No Dakota Access Pipeline protest at US District Court in DC

Code Pink blocks Saudi Embassy to protest bombing of Yemen

On the 23ed of August, Code Pink blockaded the front entrance of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia to demand they stop their bombing campaign in Yemen. Saudi Arabia's terror bombing there differs from what Daesh does mostly in the use of aircraft to deliver the bombs-and in that fact that the bombs are supplied by the United States.The sectarian nature of Saudi Arabia's intervention in Yemen is essentially the same as that seen elsewhere from Daesh.

Emergency call for solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux at Fed court hearing over Dakota Access Pipeline

On the 24th of August, the US District Court will hear the lawsuit by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against the US Army Corps of Engineers over the Dakota Access Pipeline in N Dakota. The hearing runs 1PM-5PM August 24 at 333 Constitution Ave.. There will be a rally outside and presumably observers inside as well. Construction has been stopped pending this hearing because protesters at the Sacred Stone Camp have occupied and shut down the site. If the lawsuit is sucessful and the permit is blocked, the Dakota Access Pipeline will be defeated. Otherwise a situation that has been made dangerous by government officials and their "state of emergency" will continue to escalate. Things are getting very ugly in N Dakota.

Followup: Lakota warriors block illegal pipeline construction a week after DC protest

On the 6th of August, the Standing Rock Sioux Nation held a protest at the White House against the Dakota Access pipeline for fracked Bakken crude oil. Construction on this line, another "Black Snake" like the Keystone, has begun without permits. A week after the DC protest, warriors from many bands succeeded in stopping construction by occupying the site, at the cost of many arrests. Protests are ongoing and continuing as this is reported. Like the 2014 Mi'kmaq victory that drove SouthWest Energy from New Brunswick(in Occupied Canada), this has a good chance in ending with an Indigenous victory over resource extraction.

Youtube video of arrests of Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II and Councilman Dana Wasinzi at the Dakota Access pipeline site.

There is more than one Black Snake in this world: we stopped the Keystone and we shall stop the Dakota Access too!

DC Police launch harassment campaign against transgender sex workers

Early AM on Sun, August 21, the entire area of K and L streets between N Cap st and 1st st NE was overrrun with cops while transgender sex workers were forced to move east to a temporary area to meet their clients. Presumably their clients knew to check further east if the normal area was overrun with pigs, as this is the direction cops have been pushing them since condos took over the old 5th and K area. Out of state cars seen parked near places like NPR radio were harassed with fake "crime alert" parking tickets whose real purpose no doubt was to warn that license plates were being logged by cops. The broken piles of car window glass indicating an active car break-in zone have never been evident in that area, thus casting doubt on any actual "crime" problem concerning anything other than sex work.

Reportback from Black August Town Hall

A Black August town hall at a church in NW DC on August 20th generated some very strong suggestions on what it will take to hold racist officials and killer cops responsible for their crimes. One speaker during the "aggressive protests and public relations" panel said getting the government to pay attention (at the Cabinet level) to say, anti-TPP protests would require shutting down the Port of Baltimore and all traffic on I-95 in both directions. In the final panel one speaker warned that both the 1st and 2nd Amendments are being ignored by police and courts where African-Americans are involved.

Speakers name Port of Baltimore as strategic target, suggest 1st and 2nd Amendments being treated as white-only

Blac kAugust Town Hall speakers: Port of Baltimore a strategic target,Black denied 1st and 2nd Amendments

Police harassing Black Lives Matter activists in SE

On the 16th of August, reports surfaced on Twitter of multiple instances of police harassment of Black Lives Matter activists in DC over the past year. An activist using the handle @agoggans has been repeatedly harassed by police, including at her home when police harassed a Black Joy Sunday event at her home last year. On August 16th she was harassed again, officers with badge numbers 3344 and 2520 were both involved and are reported to be harassing her every chance they get.Overt surveillance is also being reported and the overall situation should be considered a dangerous threat.

Black Lives Matter activists blockade, disrupt FOP conference in Baltimore

On the 14th of August, the Fraternal Order of Police held a conference at the Hyatt in Baltimore. Black Lives Matter activsts blockaded doors using lockboxes and dropped banners inside in a full court press disruption. Twelve protesters were arrested after police managed to saw through the lockboxes. One of the FOP attendees showed off the "Frat" part of "Fraternal Order of Police" by saying "Move or I'm going to piss on you bitch" to one of the women in the protest. The Hyatt was reduced to forcing people out of the conference-and the hotel and refunding money paid to enter.

Ahsa Rosa photo of lockdown at the doors

Va residents hold Hands Across Our Land rally against gas pipeline proposals

On the 14th of August, Virginia residents gathered in Riverbend Park upstream of Great Falls for a rally opposing several major fracked gas pipelines in their state.

Video from Hands Across Our Land Featuring a speaker from Beyond Extreme Energy on what's going on at FERC

Hands Across our Land protest against Va fracked gas pipelines