TFSR Freeing Them All is in Part How We Free Ourselves (Matt Meyer on Kuwasi Balagoon) Thursday Night at 8PM ET on Activate Radio
This week we had the chance to interview Matt Meyer, who, among many other pursuits, is a retired professor and an editor of A Soldiers Story: Revolutionary Writings by a New Afrikan Anarchist, out from PM Press, which highlights the life and writings of Kuwasi Balagoon. Balagoon was a defendant in the Panther 21 case in the late 1960s, in which 21 people were arrested and accused of planned coordinated bombing and long-range rifle attacks on two police stations and an education office in New York City. He was ultimately acquitted of this, but was caught up on charges related to a robbery some time later and passed in prison in 1986 from AIDS-related illness.
In this interview, Bursts and Matt discuss Balagoons life and writings and why this book is especially relevant right now. Theyll talk about his abiding love for his comrades, a things which seems to have driven much of his politics, and his queerness, an aspect of his life which seemed very important and also complex. Stay tuned to the end of the conversation for questions submitted to The Final Straw by imprisoned anarchist Michael Kimble, who has been a guest on this show and is an admirer of Kuwasi. To see more of Michaels work and to write to him, you can visit anarchylive.noblogs.org
‘Blatant Attempt to Intimidate’: Trump Administration Proposal Threatens Pipeline Protesters With Up to 20 Years in Prison
“This dangerous proposal threatens to undermine Americans’ right to peaceful assembly and free speech.”
by Jake Johnson
Building on efforts by multiple states to crack down on those fighting the construction of climate-destroying fossil fuel infrastructure, the Trump administration unveiled a proposal on Monday that would criminalize pipeline protests at the federal level and hit demonstrators with up to 20 years in prison.
“This dangerous proposal threatens to undermine Americans’ right to peaceful assembly and free speech.” —Kelly Martin, Sierra Club
The new proposal, released by Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, was immediately denounced by environmentalists as a serious threat to the First Amendment.
“This dangerous proposal threatens to undermine Americans’ right to peaceful assembly and free speech,” Kelly Martin, director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fossil Fuels campaign, said in a statement. “It is a blatant attempt to intimidate those who would exercise their First Amendment rights to speak out against pipeline projects that put our clean water, communities, and climate at risk.”
“Rather than focusing on shielding corporate polluters from public protest,” Martin said, “the administration should be working to ensure that communities are protected from dirty, dangerous fossil fuel projects.”
As Politicoreported Monday, the Transportation Department’s proposal would “treat some pipeline protests as a federal crime, mirroring state legislative efforts that have spread in the wake of high-profile demonstrations around the country.”
The Trump administration, according to Politico, is “calling for Congress to expand a law that threatens fines and up to 20 years’ prison time for ‘damaging or destroying’ pipelines currently in operation. The expanded version would add ‘vandalism, tampering with, or impeding, disrupting, or inhibiting the operation of’ either existing pipelines or those ‘under construction.'”
So. Yeah. This is very very bad (and also just the latest in a trend that started in oil-friendly states): Trump pushes up to 20 years in prison for pipeline protesters https://t.co/yuqiNHibLf via @thinkprogress
Elly Page, attorney for International Center for Not-For-Profit Law—an organization that has tracked anti-protest efforts by individual states—told Politico that the Trump administration’s “proposed penalty is far and away more extreme than what we’ve seen at the state level.”
“When you combine provisions that vague to penalties that extreme,” Page said, “that creates uncertainty about what is and isn’t legal.”
House Democrats signaled that they would oppose the measure, which comes just two weeks after the Texas state Senate passed a bill that would hit pipeline protesters with up to 10 years in prison.
A spokesperson for House Energy and Commerce chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) told Politico that the congressman “has no intention of allowing a pipeline safety bill to be used as a vehicle for stifling legitimate dissent and protest.”
On Twitter, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) warned that as “we grapple with the mounting climate catastrophe, the fossil fuel industry is holding nothing back in its attempt to silence its critics and those who assemble to protest their destruction of our shared climate.”
“We’re not giving in to the dirty fossil fuel industry’s bullying ways,” said NRDC.
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A Demagogue, Fascist, and Serious Threat: UK Mobilizes to Make Sure Trump Knows He ‘Is Not Welcome’
“Donald Trump is just one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat. The far-right is on the rise around the world, threatening our hard-won rights and freedoms.”
With the city of London effectively on “lockdown” in anticipation of the protests—complete with the now-famous Trump Baby Blimp—that are expected to flood the city’s streets on Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump touched down in the United Kingdom Monday for his first state visit shortly after tweeting an attack on London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
“Sadiq Khan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly ‘nasty’ to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom,” Trump tweeted just before landing at the Stansted Airport in London on Monday. “He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me.”
“We know Trump isn’t a joke—he is responsible for rampant xenophobia, sexism, and transphobia and the creeping rise of far-right politics.” —Anna Vickerstaff
Trump’s attack on Khan came after the London mayor—who granted permission for protestors to fly the Trump baby blimp during Tuesday’s mass demonstrations—accused the U.S. president of behaving like “the fascists of the 20th century to garner support” and said he would join the U.K. Labour Party in boycotting the state visit.
“Donald Trump is just one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat,” Khan wrote in an op-ed for The Guardian on Saturday. “The far-right is on the rise around the world, threatening our hard-won rights and freedoms and the values that have defined our liberal, democratic societies for more than seventy years.
Khan further explained his opposition to “rolling out the red carpet” for Trump in an interview Sunday on Sky News:
Khan’s view of Trump as the face of a global far-right movement was echoed by the organizers of Tuesday’s demonstrations, which are expected to bring hundreds of thousands of people into the streets across the U.K.
Anna Vickerstaff, part of the team of demonstrators that will be “babysitting” the Trump blimp Tuesday, said the protests against the U.S. president are about far more than displaying a silly balloon designed to humiliate Trump.
“We know Trump isn’t a joke—he is responsible for rampant xenophobia, sexism, and transphobia and the creeping rise of far-right politics,” Vickerstaff wrote in an op-ed for The Independent on Monday. “His climate denial and persistent facilitation of the fossil fuel industry is a death sentence for communities in the global south. But if flying a balloon caricature is what gets under his skin—then that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
“Our balloon,” wrote Vickerstaff, “is part of a proud history of political satire in the U.K. that sends a clear, orange, message to Trump and his politics of hate that they are not welcome here.”
'We’re flying the Trump baby blimp again – because the US president doesn’t deserve our respect'https://t.co/wkRNdWVgBk
According to the U.K.-based Metro, a “huge police and security operation” is in place as London authorities prepare for the mass protests against the U.S. president’s three-day state visit.
In addition to the Trump baby blimp, the Metro reported, a “16ft talking robot of Mr. Trump sitting on a gold toilet is also expected to make an appearance. It depicts the American leader with his trousers round his ankles while tweeting and says some of his well-known phrases such as ‘stable genius’ and ‘no collusion,’ as well as breaking wind.”
More seriously, Amnesty International is expected to unfurl massive banners from Vauxhall Bridge that read “Resist sexism,” “Resist racism,” and “Resist Trump.”
Ahead of Trump’s arrival in the U.K., The Guardian expressed the view of many Britons when it declared in an editorial Sunday that “the president is not welcome.”
“Mr. Trump is a demagogue who represents a threat to peace, democracy, and the climate of our planet,” the newspaper said. “As elected leader of the U.K.’s closest ally, he can’t be ignored. But making him, his wife, and four adult children the honored guests of the Queen risks legitimizing his destructive policies, his cronyism, and his leanings towards autocracy.”
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