Prison Strike Info Session: Prison Rebellion/Outside Complicity

from Facebook

A presentation and discussion in the lead-up to the upcoming national prison strike beginning August 21st, 2018. We’ll cover a quick analysis of prisons and policing in the U.S., some history of prisoner resistance during the rise of mass incarceration, and emphasize organizing and rebellion inside over the past decade. We’ll also take a closer look at outside actions during the national prison strike in 2016 to try and glean lessons and inspiration to continue supporting those fighting inside while undermining and attacking prisons and policing beyond the prison walls themselves.

“August 2018 is going to be lit. By that we mean: massive,
transformative, world-changing.”

For the initial strike call, see:
http://sfbayview.com/2018/04/south-carolina-freedom-fighters-call-for-national-prisoners-strike-aug-21-sept-9-2018/

For more info, see:

https://fireinside.noblogs.org
https://incarceratedworkers.org
https://redistributethepain.wordpress.com
https://michiganabolition.org
https://itsgoingdown.org

For more additional information about the info night or if you have any questions please email delawarevalleyanti-prisonnetwork@protonmail.com

Propaganda Against Amazon and for the Prison Strike

from Instagram

Prison Strike Graffiti in West Philly

from Instagram

Spotted on a ride through West Philly. All prisoners are political. #PrisonStrike #Solidarity

#OccupyICEPHL camp destroyed, a new one begins at City Hall, & other updates from Friendly Fire

From Friendly Fire Collective

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Yesterday the ICE encampment was aggressively and abruptly dismantled by counter-terrorism/DHS and PPD officers. Several were arrested. The experience for many was traumatic, seeing their hard work destroyed in a matter of minutes. That evening, on the ruins of the camp, a general assembly was gathered, giving voice to various orgs and participants. Many spoke about the victory of making it as long as we did, as well as the need for a diversity of tactics. Most decided it was not tactically wise to stay at that location, and the space was given up within hours.

Two dozen or so, independent of the original coalition, decided to trek out to City Hall after the assembly and focus their energies on confronting the mayor and city officials with the original occupation’s demands, as well as educating the public about Philadelphia’s Preliminary Arraignment Reporting System (PARS).

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The PARS contract allows ICE to access Philadelphia’s database of arrests with the intention of ridding our city of “criminal aliens” – though the Mayor’s office’s definition of criminal aliens includes those with minor offenses such as loitering and traffic violations. That being said, Philly’s police are cooperating and working with ICE and yet Mayor Kenney claims that this is a sanctuary city. This a lie.

The contract is up for review in August, and now is the time for there to be pressure on Kenney to not renew this contract.

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The new camp continues with 70 or so on the ground, who remain chanting, picketing, actively feeding all who pass by the very centrally-located camp, hosting discussions and communal meals.

Today the Mayor addressed this new camp, expressing concern that the camp may become “unsanitary and unhealthy and unsafe environment” but that it can remain as long as it does not become a “permanent encampment” with things like tents and generators. He said he has not come to the decision yet on whether or not he will renew the PARS contract.

It has been a long week for occupiers. Flash floods, police brutality, and a heat wave. The total number of arrests were around 40 or so, which included Friendly Fire comrades, both of which clung onto their rosaries in prayer as it occurred. The police responded by bashing one comrade’s head into the van, tearing the rosary out of her hand, and then stomping on it in front of her. This was after an already brutal beating. After being released within a few hours with a citation, she returned to camp, ready to continue holding ground.

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Friendly Fire has held small prayer meetings throughout the week at the occupation, including a tent meeting and an exorcism of the ICE building. We are all committed to the efforts at the new camp.

We have been blown away by how the Left came together for #OccupyICEPHL and we are hopeful that we will continue building coalitions, working alongside together, even with our various tendencies and tactics. To tackle the monster that is ICE, and dare I say the police, we have no choice but a diversity of tactics.

AN ANARCHIST REPORT BACK AND SOME EMBEDDED CRITIQUES OF #OCCUPYICE PHILADELPHIA

Submission

“These texts were written in response to our various experience during the first day and night of OccupyICE. While the encampment has changed a lot since, we feel that the power dynamics and social situation still warrant these critiques.”

[Zine Web]

[Zine Collated]

Dispatch from Occupy ICE Philly

from Radical Education Department

Arthur Burbridge

Intro

On July 2nd, a coalition of groups in Philadelphia occupied the local ICE office.  In what follows  I offer a few quick sketches of the occupation.  I was there at the opening of the march at City Hall at 5PM until I had to leave at 9, and then again the next day (July 3rd) at 9:30, leaving just after noon. Today, July 4th, the occupation enters its third day.  The account and ideas below are therefore cobbled together from my own experiences, from Unicorn Riot’s live feed, and from reports from comrades who were there when I couldn’t be.

These sketches are partial, and they need to be filled out and corrected as the struggle continues.  But I hope they can add to our reflections on the ongoing ICE occupations and help us to continue building and developing radical power.

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A loose timeline

The occupation was a planned escalation out of an anti-ICE rally at City Hall.  After the rally, about 500 of us took to the streets.  The cops were clearly expecting this to some degree—they had shut down a number of roads leading from City Hall to the ICE office—but they were also  unprepared.  We waded through traffic, turning suddenly and sending the police scrambling.  A section of bikers darted ahead to help find a path.  When we reached the ICE office at the corner of 8th and Cherry, we set up a two-part camp.  The first one was in front of ICE’s van garages on Cherry.  The second was on the 8th street side of the building in front of ICE’s main doors.

Tents popped up immediately and people threw down their gear to block the garages.  At the other entrances, a bike loaded with food and water blocked the doors.  Someone brought in a massive red van with a PA system, and parked it to block Cherry and keep out cop cars.  The van started blasting tunes, and  people started dancing.  Somehow a couch made its way in front of the fenced parking lot for ICE vehicles.  Banners swung across the streets

The cop presence was large and growing at this point.  I was with the 8th street crowd guarding the building doors.  I couldn’t see what was going on around the corner at the garage.  But dozens of bike cops were lined up across from us.  Within 15 or 20 minutes they rushed the crowd, swinging their bikes as weapons for maximum effect.  They broke through the occupiers to cut the 8th street crowd in half and secure the building entrances.  But the priority was obviously the van garages (we later learned there is an entrance into the building, shared by a women’s center, that ICE employees are exploiting).  The pigs backed off and left the 8th street doors to us.  Almost immediately the bike brigade stood wheel to wheel and people jumped into the street to cut the road off from the cops.

But police started massing forces to retake 8th.  There was a commotion around the corner (since then, I heard a cop just tripped and fell down).  The cops on our side panicked and tried to break through the bike line to get across.  But the bike crew and the other occupiers around them refused.  The line was two or three bikes deep across the street; bikes collided and people pushed back, forcing the cops to retreat.

By 9, there were over 50 cop cars lined up down the street, and rumors of riot gear being unloaded.  Over the next few hours, a cop or two started appearing wearing some heavy-duty gear (vest, helmet, gas mask, etc.) that was marked “Counterterrorism Unit.”  Around the corner from me—on Cherry—cops apparently tried to bum rush the crowd to break through.  They were forced back again and occupiers locked arms to prevent another attack.  Occupiers threw up barricades to separate the tents and occupiers from police on the north end of 8th and to create a barrier in front of the garages—wooden pallets, trash, other city debris.

As the night dragged on, more whiteshirts.  Ross, the police commissioner, Ross, appeared.  Cops demanded the removal of the barricades, the couch, and the banners stretched across the streets.  Occupiers allowed these to be carted away.  To get rid of the couch, though, the cops had to haul it up into a trash truck.  People were screaming at that the police were scabbing the municipal services.  By 1 the cops backed down and started trickling away.  The threat of an immediate raid lifted.  A number of people—maybe 50, I’m not sure—stayed the night.  The cops turned on the building floodlights to fuck with people trying to sleep.

But by 6 a.m., police forces were regrouping.  By 11, the camp was building its numbers, along with its cop presence.  Dozens of beach umbrellas are popping up. It looked like a beach.  Chants started up again in earnest.  People—many otherwise unconnected to the event—were unloading car after car of food, water, ice, coolers, food.

But the pigs were biding their time for a noon assault to secure the garages.  They marched out the mounted police and dozens of regular officers, along with about a dozen or two whiteshirts. Occupiers closed ranks and linked arms.  Bike cops charged, shoving people aside along the wall and garage.  A dense mass of occupiers refused to move.  There were apparently about two dozen arrests.  The pigs took control of the garages.  They put up and are guarding metal barracades to make sure ICE can keep on working as efficiently as possible.  It’s not clear what the future of the occupation will look like from here, but the site is still occupied without any plans to leave.

The event represents one more episode in the growing militancy and radicalism of hilly, and it offers some important lessons as radical struggles continue to grow.

The developing tactic of occupation in Philly

The actions around ICE are a reminder of the Occupy encampment a few blocks away.  But this action is different.  Occupy was flooded by liberals and libertarians alongside a number of radical individuals and groups.  More militant actions, like confrontations with the police, were infrequent and did not occur on a large, coordinated scale. And in Occupy, the strategic plan was extremely unclear.  In this vacuum, it seemed like the site was being held simply for the sake of occupying it, regardless of its tactical or strategic value.

Little of that applies here.  Militancy is built into the plan.  The bike squad was part of a design to keep cops away from the building and clashes between them were inevitable.  The strategic aims of the occupation are clear: disrupt as far as possible the operation of the ICE office; create official and unofficial refusal to cooperate with ICE.  These goals are paired with broader demands: stop deportations, end family detention in Berks Family Detention Center, and end Philly’s cooperation with ICE.

The militancy here seems to be building off of the growing energy and numbers of radical antiauthoritarian struggles over the past couple of years here, in the Summer of Rage Anarchist Crew, the actions around J20, in Antifa on the national and local level, etc.  I think the militancy of anarchists as well as police abolitionists have laid some of the important groundwork.  In other words, we’re witnessing a kind of accidental but powerful collaboration between groups that is building Philly’s radical power.

Is it possible for this kind of collaboration to be developed, going forward, in a more deliberate way? For anarchists and radical Socialists to deliberately coordinate successive militant actions, or actions that are different but complement each other—creating groundwork for each other, building on each other, even despite major differences?

The Cops

There is no question that the cops are working for and coordinating with ICE.  This isn’t just obvious from their violent protection of the building.  I’ve heard from a reliable source that on Tuesday morning, the cops helped clear occupiers out from in front of the parking lot to let in an employee car.

This opens up more space for developing local radical politics.  The police are very clearly aligning here with white supremacist and fascistic forces in the state.  This isn’t a shock to many of us.  But the radical left has here a chance to emphasize the links between the police, the state, capital, and colonial violence.  In this situation, it can become very clear why calls for police abolition, prison abolition, and radical anti-capitalist politics need to be connected.

To the barricades?

As far as I know, barricades have not been a particularly popular tactic in Philly in recent years.  On the very last night of Occupy Philly, in the face of overwhelming police power, occupiers threw up a hasty barricade without much result.  But barricades have played an important part in the occupation of the ICE office so far.

As police were gathering forces and preparing to invade last night, the barricades signaled a militant defense of the occupation that was unusual for the city.  The dumpster rolling down the street—that was the signal of an even higher level of struggle, it seems, the threat of a pitched battle.  All this seemed to spook the cops.  And so it played another unexpected role, too.  The cops were hesitating to raid the space.  The barricades became a point of negotiation.  It’s like pigs need to save face; all that hyper-masculine bullshit needs to convince itself it’s forced people to obey.  The cops took the couch and the barricades.  The people kept the office.

How do we up the ante and expand our use of barricades in the future?  Can we set them up in advance to fuck with the way police will try to guide marches?  Are there techniques we can learn to build them bigger, higher, stronger, more durable?  How could they tactically help us resist repression—maybe buying us time to stay at a location, or giving us a few minutes to fly to another one while cops are stumbling over trash?

Some tactical possibilities

It’s clear the police are blundering to try to deal with this tactic and its new level of aggression.  Cops were panicked and swarming us during the march, and within an hour or two at the ICE office there were easily 60-75 cop cars gathered up.  But cops made an enormous traffic jam.  We can use this confusing and this overwhelming show of force against cops in a two (or more) stage operation.

If a large crowd is moving towards occupying a key spot, like ICE, cops will swarm.  But if we plan things right, and have the numbers, this could be followed up by getting another, separate crowd mobilized blocks away to take another major target.  With so many of them tangled up at the first spot, the chance for embedding in that second location would be much higher.

And the more that we use two stage actions, the more paranoid the pigs will get.  They’d be extremely hesitant to launch a massive force against an occupation for fear of the next steps—and we could use that to our advantage. Or they’d try greater shows of strength (riot gear etc.).  That could be a problem, but it could be a real opportunity, too, in a city like Philly that claims to be progressive.  It’s clear this city wants to shed its well-earned image of police violence.

Coalition work

The occupation is also an important experiment in radical coalition-building.  The event emerged through the efforts of the following official endorsers (but many other groups were also present at the event and probably helped in various ways): Philly Socialists, Socialist Alternative, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Montgomery County Socialists, Liberation Project, Philly DSA, Reclaim Philadelphia, Green Party of Philadelphia, International Marxist Tendency, POWER, and IWW Philly.

The list shows that the event emerged out of the socialist scene here, connecting more radical groups with more reformist and traditional groups.  This kind of project isn’t unusual in Philly, but the scale and militancy seems to me to be a serious step up.

The occupation acts as a kind of “estuary” where currents from different traditions, especially the more radical anticapitalist kind, are combining, and where a space for new, less ideologically rigid projects and ideas to develop.  Even though the “official” planning of the event was largely socialist, many other far left groups and tendencies appeared, too: a strong police abolitionist presence as well as at least some anarchists.  This kind of combination crucial as the fascistic state in the US grows in power and audacity.  Developing and deepening connections among radical groups are essential today if we’re going to build an effective (and therefore, necessarily, mass) response to fascism in a still deeply fractured radical scene.

But the event also raises an important question for Philly anarchists and the other parts of the radical left beyond the socialist scene.  Is this event worth throwing support behind?  What about the major differences in ideology between anarchists and groups like the PSL or Philly Socialists?  The occupation is mounting a clear challenge to a key local branch of fascistic power in this country.  And it’s helping build radical militancy and connections among anticapitalists here.  For anarchists or other radical anticapitalists to sit this out would be an important missed opportunity.

We can’t just wish away major ideological differences.  They are real and create tensions that can’t be ignored.  But there are also levels of coalition, the lowest being merely tactical unity without strategic or ideological agreement.  This is highly limited.  But it is still important, even as a first step, particularly if we’re going to go on the attack against an increasingly audacious state.

And the occupation shows the importance of different kinds of coalitions.  A single Philly wide coalition right now for all anticapitalists would be too internally divided and weak.  If the differences are just too big between some groups, they are much smaller between others; we see this principle at work in Philly’s current occupation.  What would it look like to create more “nodes,” or sites where closer segments of the revolutionary left experimentally build together?  Philly’s occupation is a coalitional project driven mostly by socialists.  Something similar, maybe, could be developed across different but still close sectors of the radical scene in Philly—the most anarchic wing of socialist groups with sympathetic anarchists and prison abolitionists. 

And finally, the occupation is a reminder that building revolutionary power is a process and an experiment.  Connecting at least some of the revolutionary forces in a city will come step by step, by connecting some individuals across groups that share a liberatory anticapitalism, and building outward from there.  We’re laying the foundation for many more struggles after this one.

Radical Education Department

radicaleducationdepartment.com

radicaleducation@protonmail.com

Protesters Occupy Philadelphia ICE Office

from Unicorn Riot

Philadelphia, PA – In the latest development in the “Occupy ICE” protest encampments spreading across America, protesters have set up a new encampment outside an ICE building at 8th & Cherry Street in Philadelphia (a “sanctuary city“). Unicorn Riot has been providing live coverage into the night.

7/5/18 – 10:57 PM EDT UPDATE: The encampment outside the ICE office at 8th and Cherry has mostly disbanded at this point; a new occupation is being set up at Philadelphia City Hall to demand Philadelphia’s Mayor end the information sharing relationship with the Philadelphia Police and ICE via the PARS system.

[See updates below live feed]

Watch streams from 8th and Cherry below.


7/5/18 – 12:15 PM EDT UPDATE: Philadelphia police have just swept through the #OccupyICEPHL camp outside the Philadelphia ICE office, making seven arrests for “failure to disperse”. Counter-Terrorism Unit, SWAT, DHS federal police, and Philly bike police have formed a crowd control line on the street facing #AbolishICE protesters.


7/3/18 – 2:15 PM EDT UPDATE: Philadelphia Police say 29 #AbolishICE protesters were “issued citations for Failure to Disperse” outside the ICE offices. Two protesters were injured, one person was transported to an area hospital for treatment.

7/3/18 – 12:30 PM EDT UPDATE: Philadelphia Counter-Terrorism Unit & DHS federal police have cleared #AbolishICE protesters from two garage entrances used to move ICE detainees. Activist legal support estimates ~20+ arrests & likely injuries – officers seen punching & pulling people from crowd, throwing them to the ground as police clear the street.

7/3/18 – 12:00 PM EDT UPDATE: Philadelphia Counter-Terrorism Unit and DHS are using pain compliance to break up protesters and make arrests that are blocking the ICE garage entrances. Counter-terrorism unit is making arrests.

CTU & DHS officers stand guard at ICE office after clearing street


7/2/18 – 11:00 PM EDT UPDATE: Philadelphia police have issued a “final warning”. Tents are blocking the ICE building garage entrances while protesters and vehicles are blocking the roads. Department of Homeland Security federal police and Counter Terrorism units are on scene with gas masks, along with Philadelphia police. Philadelphia police have requested a “mass arrest” team. Militarized police aka Mobile Field Force units (MFF)* are on the scene with zip ties and “less-lethal” weapons ready to make arrests. Police A/V units are gathering intelligence. Unicorn Riot will provide more live updates as the situation unfolds throughout the night.


* National Mobile Field Force doctrine training is provided via the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a 135-page guide found by Unicorn Riot in a data request revealed in November 2016.


The occupation was set up during a ‘STOP ICE’ rally held Monday afternoon at City Hall. The rally, endorsed by over 10 local Philly activist groups, presented three key demands: an end to deportations, the closure of the Berks County Family Detention Center outside of Philadelphia, and an end to Philly Police’s information-sharing relationship with ICE.

ICE’s Philadelphia office made headlines earlier this year when a ProPublica investigation found that the Philly branch of ICE, which covers a 3-state area, makes more arrests of immigrants without no criminal history than any other branch.

Other ‘#OccupyICE’ encampments have sprung up recently in several cities including Portland, New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Detroit.


To help our volunteer operated, horizontally organized, non-profit media collective please consider a tax-deductible donation:

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Block Party at ICE Office

from Twitter

[114 N. 8th St.

Bring friends! chairs! food! music!]

Philadelphia, PA: Feminist Vandals Make A Mess

Submission

We spruced up a pro-life billboard by throwing a bunch of paintbombs at it. The world hates women, and we’re sick of all the misogyny and patriarchy infused in every aspect of our lives.

We want body autonomy, more than the “rights” of healthcare and reproductive “freedom”, we mean freedom of movement. The freedom to come and go as we please, and as we want to be. The freedom to leave any four walls we happen to have around us. The freedom to live our lives as we choose. To be clear we don’t just mean freedom for women but freedom for anyone constrained by a social role or jailer.

May Day started the season off right, let’s keep it going. Remember when you see something you don’t like don’t wait to trash it. Later this summer is a huge nationwide prison strike, let’s be ready for it. As anarchists we want the destruction of all prisons, let’s put it into motion.

A thought goes out to Eric King, and to everyone fighting against ICE and borders.

Despite borders, gender, and prisons, chaos can always manage to spill through!

-Feminist Anarchist Vandals >:)

*How to fill a glass christmas ornament with paint*

1. Wearing gloves, remove the cap
2. Fill with a mixture of paint and water (using a funnel or squeeze bottle)
3. Replace cap and seal with tape
4. Wipe away any fingerprints and any mess you made
5. Transport carefully (maybe in a double bag)
6. Throw at something ugly

July 2nd Anti-Imperialist Letter-writing

from Philly ABC

While many are gathering on July 4th to celebrate the “birthday” of a deadly imperial force, Philly ABC ain’t having none of that. We’ll comfortably ignore this bizarre event and instead do something fun. Like an anti-imperialist letter-writing on July 2nd!!!

We invite you to join us, 6:30pm at LAVA, to show solidarity for anti-imperialist political prisoners! We’ll be writing letters to Jaan Karl Laaman, Tom Manning, and David Gilbert. Additionally we’re making birthday cards for Walter Bond (Animal Liberation), and Michael Foster (Earth Liberation). Good vegan food is provided by North Philly Food Not Bombs. So come on down and start your July with something that’s actually cool!

[4134 Lancaster Ave]