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Tag: Austin

What Is A Sanctuary City & How Can We Defend Immigrant Families?

Posted in Act Out!, Austin, and Journalism

The reports from the first wave of Trump’s ICE Raids are full of disturbing stories of jackbooted thugs oppressing the oppressed — and literally tearing families apart in the name of a fascist, xenophobic and factually inaccurate agenda.

Trump’s long-promised mass deportations have begun, ramping up from the Obama administration’s already disgusting record of nearly 3 million deportations. As more and more people find themselves in the crosshairs of fascism, it is quite clear that those of us lower on that checklist — because we are all on it — have an obligation to stand up — to demand our communities and cities be safe havens for all — sanctuary cities, if you will. And to be ready to put our bodies on the front lines for freedom, justice and human rights.

The concept of a “sanctuary city” actually dates back to the Old Testament, and early Christian rulers who designated certain cities as places of sanctuary for those accused of accidentally committing manslaughter.

Two thousand years later, and we’ve entered the bizarro world of 2017, where people who call themselves the followers of Christ have turned “sanctuary” into a dirty word and back a crackdown on the undocumented, literally among the most vulnerable people around.…

Protests & Events In Austin For Donald Trump’s Inauguration

Posted in Austin, and Creative Commons

You don’t have to go to Washington, D.C. to resist Donald Trump. Here in Austin, we’ve got a full weekend of protest — and some fun events to round it out.

Heres’s a list of every protest, rally, or inauguration-related event I know of in Austin. You can jump in the comments with links if you know about anything else I’ve missed.

I’m not endorsing any of these events, but I’ll be covering them when I can. Keep an eye on my Twitter for updates and my Facebook for live coverage.…

Don’t Let Unity Erase Your Struggle (Gonzo Notes 04)

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, Gonzo Notes, and Journalism

A vital part of preparing for the next 4 years is building broad coalitions, but lately I’ve been reminded that coalition building has a dark side too.

This is work we need to do, without a doubt. A coalition can mobilize thousands of people from diverse backgrounds, and illuminate the intersection between our struggles.

The trouble is that with every group you bring to the table, you have to accommodate not just another political agenda but differing tactics for achieving those goals.

Questions quickly arise: How far are you willing to go to resist the government? Will your coalition collaborate with the police and in what ways? Are all organizations committed to nonviolence and, if so, do they have compatible definitions of what nonviolence means?…

Austin Anarchist Black Cross: Solidarity With National Prison Strike (Audio Interview)

Posted in Austin, Journalism, and MintPress News

On Friday, I attended a small Austin protest held in solidarity with the national prison strike. This historic event was expected to take place at dozens of facilities around the country and potentially involve hundreds of inmates, and was scheduled to coincide with the 45th anniversary of the Attica Prison riots.

About 15 people protested in South Austin at the showroom of Texas Correctional Industries, a private corporation that sells products made through unpaid prison labor. Although prisoners are not paid for their work, which is mandatory, TCI brought in over $88 million in fiscal year 2014.

I interviewed an anonymous member of the Austin Anarchist Black Cross for my article in The Texas Observer on the protest but, as so often happens in journalism, great quotes get cut because you run out of space. Fortunately, I obtained permission to share the interview on SoundCloud. …

Texas Activists Protest Modern-Day ‘Slavery’ in Prisons

Posted in Austin, Journalism, and The Texas Observer

While prison inmates launched a nationwide strike last Friday — the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison riots — a small but vocal group of activists gathered in Austin to support their cause.

Hundreds of inmates have joined the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee(IWOC), a division of the Industrial Workers of the World union and a major motivator of the strike. Inmates at 40 facilities in 24 states were expected to take part, and some Texas prisoners have been engaging in work stoppages since April.

Prisoners say they want their work to count toward time off their sentences, improved living conditions in prisons, better access to attorneys during disputes, and an end to an annual $100 copay on medical services.…

Oaxaca Protests Swell Over Police Killings And Neoliberal Education Reforms

Posted in Austin, Journalism, and MintPress News

A brutal attack on protesters in Mexico has drawn expressions of solidarity from around the world, including a vigil held on Thursday at the Texas State Capitol.

At least eight civilians were killed and dozens injured on June 20, when police opened fire on a group of teachers, students and their allies blocking a section of highway connecting the state of Oaxaca to Mexico City. A journalist was also killed during the protests.

“They’re killing our people,” Magdalena Maria Gutierrez, a resident of Austin, Texas, who was born in Oaxaca, said in an interview with MintPress News before she spoke to the crowd gathered at the Texas State Capitol on Thursday for a vigil organized by the Committee in Solidarity with Teachers in Mexico.…

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