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This Is America #89: Inside the Strike Against GM

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The post This Is America #89: Inside the Strike Against GM appeared first on It’s Going Down.

Welcome, to This Is America, September 24th, 2019.

In this episode we catch up with a rank-n-file member of the UAW who is on strike against General Motors in New York. We talk about the strike, how the company has created a system of different tiers of workers who get different pay, and the need for solidarity with those on the picket lines facing down scabs and police.

We then launch into our discussion, looking back on the past several years of activity and struggle within the anarchist movement as well as a look at the evolving situation between the US and Saudi Arabia.

All that and more, but first, let’s get to the news!

Living and Fighting:

The #ClimateStrike has come and gone, leaving many of us with mixed feelings. For the last four years, autonomous social movements and struggles have been building and often events like the #ClimateStrike, where NGOs and DNC aligned groups like the Sun Rise Movement are playing larger roles, threaten to derail this growth. We have to seriously think about how to engage with these movements in a way that challenges this attempt to walk people lock and step into the Democratic Party as well as encourage people to support grassroots ecological campaigns.

On the other hand, the #ClimateStrike also shows the widespread growing anger at elites, both corporate and State, for their role in the growing ecological crisis. Let’s take Greta’s recent threats in front of the UN that, “Change is coming, whether you want it or not,” to heart and continue to think about how to move, intervene, and take action in this developing terrain.

In other news:

  • In Sacramento, people dropped banners in solidarity with the Youth Liberation Front who were attacked by Portland police during the #ClimateStrike.
  • There are growing reports of police arresting UAW workers who are on the picket lines, fighting against scabs coming into General Motors plants. Workers are calling on supporters to flood the picket lines in solidarity. General Motors has also cut workers and their families off from receiving health benefits, so bringing food and other supplies down to pickets is needed now more than ever. Find a picket near you here.
  • A network of self-organized assemblies have sprung up in Puerto Rico in the wake of this summer’s revolutionary upheaval which caused several Governors to step down. According to the New York Times:

The people’s assemblies are a new phenomenon that sprang up in the wake of this summer’s protests…to discuss what they call “auto-gestión,” or self-management.

“One has to dream,” said Prixda Santos, 66, who is working to turn an abandoned school into a community center in the municipality of Cidra. “If we don’t dream, we are badly off.”

“What Maria did was very important in political terms: It showed that the government of Puerto Rico was the equivalent of a failed state,” said Emilio Pantojas García, a sociology professor at the University of Puerto Rico. “We survived Hurricane Maria because of solidarity among churches, community organizations, neighbors. The government never arrived.”

“If my community empowers itself, and learns to be independent and not be dependent on the government, we could change many things,” Mr. Vega, 30, said. “It’s something people are learning little by little.”

  • People have been busy taking down and destroying posters and stickers belonging to neo-Nazi groups Patriot Front and American Identity Movement in Nashville, Baltimore, and beyond.

Solidarity:

  • On Thursday, September 26th, IWOC is organizing a call-in campaign. More info here.
  • There is also a call in campaign for Miguel Peralta, anarchist and indigenous political prisoner in Mexico. More info here.

Upcoming Events:

  • September 23rd – October 4th: L’eau Est La Vie Camp West Coast Tour. More info.
  • September 27th: Southeast Climate Strike & Rebellion. More info.
  • September 27th: “Another End of the World Is Possible” Climate Strike in Montreal. More info.
  • September 28th: Toronto Anarchist Bookfair. More info.
  • October 1st: Direct Action Against Prison Slavery. Washington DC. More info.
  • October 6th: IWW Organizer Training. Olympia, WA. More info.
  • October 19th – October 27th: Mutual Aid Disaster Relief East Coast Tour. More info.
  • November 9th: Boston Anarchist Bookfair. More info.