Kansas City J20 First Anniversary – Report Back

The Greater Kansas City IWW tabled at two separate events on the first anniversary of J20.

The first event was the first installment in a series of talks about racism in    America, hosted by the Reale Justice Network. This event focused on the city council’s vote to privatize the streets and sidewalks in the Westport area — a backwards attempt at gun control — and how that relates to the Sun Fresh grocery store boycott which was triggered by occurrences of violence and intimidation against black people perpetrated by police and private security forces at the store.

On December 11, 2017,

While going to the store to get soup for his sick wife, a community member was profiled and harassed by security guards at Sunfresh on Mills street in Westport. 3 security guards were on the ready to pull their weapons on him, a CUSTOMER who had shopped in that store several times. Since the incident, management has been UNCOOPERATIVE, UNACCOUNTABLE and UNCONCERNED about the potential physical harm that was sure to occur if one wrong move was made or the very real emotional and psychological harm this abuse did cause this family. [via Reale Justice Network]

***************CALL TO ACTION*************

BOYCOTT SUNFRESH IN WESTPORT 4001, MILLS ST.

Bob Smith runs the store, CALL HIM at 816-931-1639, ASK for the customer complaints process, Let him know how you feel about people being profiled and harassed in his store. TELL him to do the right thing, and reach out to the family for a proper meeting.

Tell your friends and family about what’s happening at this store.

CALL WSC SECURITY SERVICES, 913-305-3776, TELL THEM TO FIRE THE 3 GUARDS and to respond to the list of demands from the family and community organizations.

Demand that WSC issues an apology to Mr. Bowers

Please follow us on Facebook @Realejustice00, we will be following up on all demands and will update you all on what is going on and any next steps.

Reale Justice Network/No Justice No Profit/Operation Shut it down Demands

  1. We demand an apology for the way that Mr. Bowers was treated in the store.
  2. We demand a meeting with the store owner.
  3. We demand to be advised of the proper complaints process for the store.
  4. We demand to be advised of the proper complaints process for the security company, WSC Services.
  5. We demand the immediate release of the security video to the family.
  6. We demand the firing of all 3 security guards.
  7. We demand that Sunfresh releases it’s policies on following customers.
  8. We demand that WSC Services releases its policies on following customers.
  9. We demand that Sunfresh implement new non-discrimination policies, approved by the Bowers family, grassroots and community organizations.
  10. We demand that WSC Services implements new non-discrimination policies, approved by the Bowers family, grassroots and community organizations.

 

The second event, hosted by Food Not Bombs and IWW was the first installment in a series of screenings of Submedia’s documentary series Trouble and featured a group discussion of local anti-capitalist/activist efforts in the Kansas City area in the past year, present efforts and needs, and future goals and ambitions.

Introduction to J20 [read by 2 wobblies and a representative from Food Not Bombs]

On January 20th, 2017, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president. People showed up to protest all over the country. Over a million were in the streets. In D.C., particularly, many felt drawn to the capitol to express their dissent.

The MPD – D.C.’s police force – have a history of using excessive force to extinguish protests. In fact, Chief Newsham in 2002 ordered another mass arrest where over 400 “peaceful demonstrators, tourists, passers-by, and legal observers” were hogtied and many remained that way for over 24 hours.  The district was ultimately required to pay nearly 11 million dollars in settlements. Nearly everyone expected them to use a little more restraint on this occasion because of that incident.

They did not comply with people’s’ expectations. On January 20th, the MPD hurled concussion grenades at people just walking down the street engaged in peaceful protest. They also sprayed people with a chemical agent known as OC spray – or pepper

spray – but is certainly not as innocuous as it sounds. According to the KQED health website, it has been found to cause permanent damage to the cornea after repeated exposure. It is an inflammatory agent that in high doses can cause respiratory, cardiac, and neurological problems, or even death.

After all of these abuses that the MPD inflicted on DC residents and visitors, they proceeded to engage in a mass arrest, also known as a kettle, sweeping up 230 people indiscriminately just for being in the area when they decided to do it. They kept these people literally backed up against a wall with no access to bathrooms, food, or water for 8 hours. People were forced to urinate in empty water bottles. Not that police have a reputation for following protocol, but one concern in this case is their failure to call a dispersal order before making the mass arrest. According to their Standard Operating Procedure, they are legally required to issue a dispersal order before making any arrests. They attempted to claim that the sound of sirens and using pepper spray to displace the oxygen out of the greater D.C. area counts as a dispersal order. Even according to their own rules, logic aside, that is simply not true.

A very rough and incomplete J20 Defense Timeline                           

On November 29th 2017, ten months and nine days after 230 protesters and bystanders were kettled by militarized police, court proceedings for the first group of J20 defendants finally went underway.

-November 29, 2017

Washington, DC – In the courtroom of Judge Lynn Leibovitz, DC Superior Court, proceedings are underway for the first trial group of those mass-arrested during Trump’s inauguration protests. The individuals who were rounded up indiscriminately by police using a crowd-control tactic known as “kettling”, are now spending their days in front of a jury.

This is a clear example of what a police kettle looks like. This took place in 2010 at the G20 protests in Toronto.
The J20 kettle at 12th & L streets

In a trial expected to last many weeks, Assistant US Attorneys Jennifer Kerkhoff and Rizwan Qureshi are testing the viability of their radical guilt-by-association case on the first six defendants, who have insisted on their sixth amendment right to a speedy trial.

[via Unicorn Riot]

-December 3, 2017

    To absolutely no one’s surprise, the world finds out that the police commander behind the J20 arrests is a racist homophobe.

[via Unicorn Riot]

-December 21, 2017

    Jury Finds Six #J20 Defendants “Not Guilty” on All Charges

A jury in D.C. has found six J20 defendants not guilty on all charges, a major defeat for federal prosecutors in the first full trial. 188 individuals still face trial for participating in the inauguration-day protests against Trump in Washington, D.C. So far, 42 of the protest-related charges have been rejected at jury trial.

    And on January 18, 2018, two days before the anniversary of J20, the watching world awoke to this lovely headline:

US Attorney Drops 129 Trump Inauguration Protest Cases, 59 Still Face Decades In Prison  [https://www.unicornriot.ninja/2018/us-attorney-drops-129-trump-inauguration-protest-cases-59-still-face-decades-in-prison/]

 

On January 20th 2018, we gathered together, looked back on the previous year and said silently to ourselves “holy fucking shit, that was insane” and asked each other, out loud, “what do we do now?” Some of us have been arrested and imprisoned. We’ve been threatened by cop-sanctioned right-wing paramilitary LARPers. We know the violence of the state by the denial of basic human necessities to the women incarcerated at Franklin County Correctional Center. We know the violence of the state by the senseless beating and harassment by police of people of color in our community. We know it by murders perpetrated by the police in our own front yards. And we know it by the pain and precariousness – the day to day grind, whether employed or unemployed – of finding enough food to eat, clean clothes to wear, a warm bed to sleep in, and the peace of mind that the next day will come and we will still have the ability to fight.

But just as some of us have been arrested, we’ve bailed each other out. Just as we have been threatened and attacked, we have defended each other and pushed back. We have confronted the forces that treat our incarcerated sisters and brothers as less than human. We have fed each other, clothed and housed each other. We have taught each other and entertained one another. We have been there for each other.

Even while we have been tired, confused, beaten and bloodied, while we have fucked up and gotten angry at each other, we have been building something beautiful that exists without the state and without capitalism that can provide for us all, and I am extremely proud of all of us.

Phone Zap: Franklin County Detention Center

Franklin County Detention Center – Kansas

Phone Zap: November 27th

PLEASE CALL BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 9 AM TO 5 PM FOR MAXIMUM EFFECT

SCRIPT:

Detainees housed in the women’s section of the Franklin County Detention Center are being denied undergarments and feminine hygiene products. Detainees face public ridicule when asking for these necessary items. Nobody should have to jump through hoops, face illness, or be humiliated because they cannot easily or privately access pads or tampons. Requiring inmates to pay for these items is nothing short of denying access to basic necessities to those inmates that cannot afford them. The women in your jail should be afforded some basic human dignity and should not be put in a position in which their health is jeopardized.

305 South Main
Ottowa, KS 66067
Phone: 785-229-1220
Email: sheriffsoffice@franklincoks.org

Congressperson:
Blaine Finch
Capitol Office
Room: 167-W
Seat: 92
Phone: 785-296-7655
Email: blaine.finch@house.ks.gov

Home Information
5 SW Fairview Dr.
Ottawa, KS 66067
Phone: 785-242-3343
Fax: 785-242-3058
Email: blainefinch@gmail.com

Kansas City August 19th Reportback

“Millions for Prisoners”struggle hits Missouri

On Saturday, August 19, 50-100 people gathered in Kanas City to participate in the national “Millions for Prisoners’ Human Rights” rally against prison slavery and suffering, called by Jailhouse Lawyers Speaks and the IamWE Prison Advocacy Network. Alison, of the KC Greens, writes:

The #KCMillions4Prisoners march on Saturday, August 19th was organized by prisoner reformers & abolitionists, socialists, communists, & anarchists.

Several groups were present including Missouri CURE, Northeast Kansas John Brown Gun Club, One Struggle KC, Kansas City Food Not Bombs, Progressive Youth Organization – KC, Serve The People – Kansas City, ACLU of Missouri. Kansas City Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee of the IWW, Mothers of Incarcerated Sons and Daughters, SOS Squad of Siblings the Green Party of Kansas City, Missouri, and more

We marched to the the Jackson County Correctional Center, one stop on our tour. The prisoners inside knew that we would be coming. The marchers announced their arrival with a blow-horn, supported by drummers and chanting outside, The people inside reciprocated – they banged on the windows and made little signs with messages like “help” and “I love you” for us to read.

We ended the tour with a memorial service for those killed during the Attica rebellion and those killed by the police in MO and KS over the last two years.

The 3%s (a white supremacist group) were there too with weapons. We marched and they followed, chatting occasionally with the police who were there. This is the second time Green Party members have reported armed right wing militia at a protest in KC. The first time they came with arms was on June 10 with Act for America this summer. They are planning another gathering on September 9.

With all of the calls to tear down symbols of the confederacy, marchers were challenged to continue the movement and tear down all of the monuments build to uphold white supremacy – including the prison industrial complex.

Millions For Prisoners: A Day of Action with the Incarcerated (Press Release)

Millions For Prisoners: A Day of Action with the Incarcerated

August 19, 2017

Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee

The Call Has Been Issued

In Kansas City We Respond.

American slave labor is alive behind prison walls. This labor is the end result of a carceral state that entraps the poor, african american and latinx communities at an exponentially higher rate than others. It is extortionist, legally codified white supremacy in service to American Capitalism’s basest exploitation.

Last year, September 9th, marked the beginning of the “nationwide prison strike,” which catalyzed a wave of organizing, locally and nationally. We now have a level of national organization and communication that has not been seen before. On August 19 Jailhouse Lawyers Speak call for a day of action in solidarity with the incarcerated. Building this grassroots effort, initiated by JLS and by IWW members in prison, are the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, Free Alabama Movement, Free Ohio Movement, George Jackson University, New Abolitionist Movement, and many more. We stand together with those in prisons across the country.

Join The Millions for Prisoner March Here in K.C.

On August 19th From 5:30PM -8:30PM

At Ilus W. Davis Park, Downtown Between Locust and Oak on East 11th Street

Directory of Resources for Ex-Prisoners

This is intended to be a directory of resources for people who have been released from prison. This directory will change as resources are added and changed over time.

We will not be updating this page. Please go to https://www.prisonactivist.org/. They are awesome and have tons of regularly updated information for prisoners, ex-prisoners, and prison activists.

1. Social Security Administration

gives unemployed people $600.00/month (single) or $900.00 (married), and gives ex-prisoners $930.00 once, and only if you go to their office within 48 hours of getting out of prison. But you must take and show them your prison release papers & last two 2 months prison time sheets to get $930.00 check
– Address:
3100 Smith, Houston, Texas 7706
– phone:
tel: +1-1-800-772-1213
– web:
http://www.ssa.gov/ssi or http://www.ssa.gov

2. Emergency foodstamps

$150.00 at office visit and $110.00 per month per person:
– phone:
tel:1-800-582-4636
tel:1-800-221-5689
– web:
http://www.govbenefits.gov
http://www.foodstamps-step1.usda.gov
http://www.fns.usda.gov/fsp

3. 20-40% discount utility bills (air, heat, water, electicity!) + 5% extra senior citizens discount.
  • phone:
    tel:1-800-582-5706
  • web:
    http://www.acf.gov/programs/liheap
    http://www.aps.com
    http://www.liheap.ncat.org/sp.html
    http://www.hud.gov
    http://www.ncsha.org/section.cfm/4/39/187
4. 100% free government-provided children’s health insurance for children age 16 and under by Congress all towns [So your job can’t charge you for your kid’s insurance] & [It ain’t wellfare dept.] says:
  • phone:
    tel:1-800-KIDS-NOW (tel:1-800-4326-558)
    tel:1-800-747-1222
  • web:
    http://www.insurekidsnow.gov
    http://www.coveringkids.com
    http://www.huskyhealth.com
5. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • address
    451 7th Street SW Washington, D.C. 20410
  • phone:
    tel: 202-708-1112
  • web:
    http://www.hud.gov/renting/phprog.cfm
6. Mental health services
  • web:
    http://www.freementalhealth.com
7. Free or discount medicine(s)/prescription(s)
  • phone: tel:1-800-788-6417
    tel:1-888-477-2669

  • web:
    http://www.rxhope.com
    http://www.needymeds.org
    http://www.pparx.org
    http://www.atdn.org/access/pa2.html
    http://www.rxassist.org/docs/medicare-and-paps.cfm

8. Volunteers of America
  • web:
    http://www.voa.org
    http://www.seniorcorps.org (pays $200 cash / month to volunteers)
9. Free Dentists at:
  • web:
    http://www.adea.org
    http://www.nfdh.org
10. Free Accredited Colleges courses at:
  • web:
    http://www.khanacademy.org

  • 750+ Free Online Courses from the Best Colleges
    http://www.youtube.com/education
    http://www.einztein.com

11. Jobs that pay before you start work:
  • web:
    http://www.careerbuilders.com
    http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/fsa/index.html
  • gives up to $4,000 grant money to pay student to pay cost of living/bills
    http://www.nsep.gov/initiatives
  • gives up to $20,000 to $30,000 grant money for student to fellowship at schools in “U.S.A.” & abroad
12. U.S.A. Small Business Administration

loans ex-prisoners $150,000 up to $$1,000,000 for up to 10 years to repay total to open a business in the US.
– Address:
4300 Amon Carter Blvd. Suite #114, Fort Worh, TX 77074
– phone:
tel: (817)684-5500
tel: (817)355-1933
tel: (713)773-6500
– web:
http://www.sba.gov

2017 MidWest Skill Share March 25th & 26th

Kansas City IWW & Friends

2017 MidWest Skill Share

Work | Home | Street | Community | Prison

March 25th & 26th

Contact us at greaterkciww@gmail.com for more info!!

Featuring:

  • IWW Do-It-Yourself Workplace Organizing! Learn how to organize your own workplace!! your job, your voice, your union!
  • Incarceerated Workers Organizing Committee. Prisoner organizing and the 2017 National Prisoner effort!!
  • Building a Poor People’s Survival Movement. Presented by Jonina Abron Ervin for Black Autonomy Federation
  • Pod networking and direct action; possibilities for survivor-centric justice
  • The coming Repression: Solidarity, Resistance, & Liberation in the Age of Trump
    • As resistance builds against the Trump regime and its white nationalist visions, state repression of our movements will also increase. This presentation and discussion will examine some of the recent history and trends in political repression, as well as strategies and tactics for building resilient movements and defending our communities.

Schedule:

Friday night – social

Saturday –

9:30am – 1:00pm brunch / grazing

10:30am – 11:30am – Introductions
11:30am – 12:30pm – Intro to IWW / whatever

12:30pm – 1pm break

1pm – 3pm JoNina Abron Ervin presenting for Black Autonomy Federation

3pm – 4pm break

4pm – 7pm survivor pod

7pm – 8:30pm dinner

8:30pm – 10:00pm iwoc

Sunday

9:30am – 10:30am breakfast

10:30am – 1:30pm confronting state repression

1:30pm – 3:00pm lunch

3:00pm – 6:00pm iww workplace

6:00pm dinner