Defending Dissent

Advocacy Groups Fight Back Against Corporations Working to Criminalize Protest

(CD) - With wealthy corporations, state legislatures, and the federal government finding new ways to challenge Americans' right to protest, several nonprofit groups have banded together to fight back on behalf of those facing legal jeopardy for peacefully blocking pipelines or using civil disobedience to resist other fossil projects and destructive policies



Kalamazoo Criminalizes Homelessness and Arrests Activists

Kalamazoo's City Commissioner, Shannon Sykes Nehring, was arrested along with around a dozen protesters at the city's Bronson Park early this morning.  The group had been occupying the park since August 19th as a protest against proposed changes to a city ordinance which would ban sleeping overnight in the park.


Reports From the 2018 Prisoner Strike

Rustbelt Abolition Radio Episode 21

(RAR) - As reports of the 2018 Prison Strike actions and state retaliation continue to come in, we speak with Amani Sawari –organizer and media contact with Jailhouse Lawyers Speak— about ways to support prison rebels. We also hear from J, who’s among the strikers inside a South Carolina Prison.


The Defense of Charlottesville

An oral history chronicling the Antifascist actions in Charlottesville/DC the weekend of August 10-12, 2018. Transcribed with permission from the original author.

August 10th, 2018

As Antifa chapters convened across the country, many under the Great Lakes Antifa (GLA) banner, so to did the Abolish ICE Network gather in the humid and ordinarily friendly confines of Charlottesville, VA. A city besieged by white supremacist violence just a year ago, culminating in the savage beating of DeAndre Harris and murder of Heather Heyer, found itself in the grip of an oppressive police state. State Trooper vehicles lined the entrances to the historic campus, formations focused around the college's numerous monuments, and frequent patrols skulked through the downtown streets. 


ACAB: Berkeley PD Emails Celebrate Doxxing Protesters

(BoingBoing) - Internal emails show that the Berkeley, California Police Department (BPD) talked of building a “counter-narrative” on social media against anti-fascist protesters as BPD tweeted out their names and mugshots, then boasted of retweets and “engagement” metrics when mugshots went viral. This amounts to cops doxxing protesters and high-fiving each other over it. That's creepy, and seems like an obvious abuse of power, if not also an abuse of the law.


KS Prison Transfers Used to Silence Dissent

(IWOC) - In the late hours of Sunday, May 20th, Kansas Department of Corrections officials sent a special operations team, known in Kansas prisons as the "black suits," to the prison cell of Eric Sims, imprisoned in El Dorado Correctional Facility. They placed him in handcuffs and escorted him to a holding cell in another part of the institution, along with all his property. About an hour later, another special operations team arrived from Hutchinson Correctional Facility, removed Sims from the isolation cell, placed him in belly-chains and leg-irons, and then put him in a cage in the back of a van.


Phonezap for Wabash Valley Hunger Strikers in the SHU

MAKE THE LINES RING ALL DAY! FRIDAY, AUG 31, sunrise to sunset!

(IWOC) - Several inmates in the Secure Housing Unit (SHU) at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility are initiating a hunger strike in protest of their already starvation-level meal portions, their lack of access to basic necessities like adequate clothing, and access to commissary items . Food portions are extremely small, imagine a high school lunch tray where the section for your main course isn't even half full. The food they receive is already lacking in nutrition and comes in boxes labelled "not for human consumption." Food services in the IDOC are managed by the private corporation Aramark, and food served to inmates lacks basic nutritional value and is often served rotten. To make matters worse, Corrections Officers are known to contaminate food with saliva and feces.


Kent State Orders "Cease and Desist" to Open Carry Rally

Organizer Fails to Register, Blames "Communist" University

Last week, we wrote about an upcoming open carry rally and the thinly veiled racist and fascist connections of its organizer and top speaker.  Today, the university has responded by ordering that they "cease and desist from advertising a planned rally on campus" due to the fact that the organizer, Kaitlin Bennett, has failed to properly register and gain university approval for the event.


Delivering A Devastating Blow to Human Slavery

Prison Strike 2018

Chattel slavery was supposedly terminated in 1865.  So why, in 2018, are human beings kept in cages and forced to work for pennies and “rented” and “traded” around the country? 

This is the reality of the prison labor force in America.  The American prison industry costs around $70 billion per year to sustain, and the vast majority of that cost is passed on to prisoners, their families and the American tax-payer.  However, there is an additional billion-dollar industry that is largely overlooked by the public:  prison labor for profit.  Detention centers negotiate lucrative contracts with industry to exploit prisoners as a labor source for pennies per hour, hardly a living wage.  Most of what they earn is quickly gobbled up by the company store model, “commissary” in which the basic necessities of life are sold.  A cup of ramen soup can cost 10 hours of hard labor in this model.  Meanwhile, corporations reap astronomical profits from both the labor and the contracts providing goods to the incarcerated.


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