Repression and Resistance: Week in Protest, December 11-17

Cover Photo: Minneapolis police arrest CNN reporter live on air during May Uprising.

“Repression and Resistance” is a column from Tribune of the People that highlights rebellions and repression happening in protests across the US each week. If you want us to cover a protest happening in your city, please send us a pitch.

National

The Freedom of the Press Foundation published a report this week showing that at least 117 journalists have been arrested on the job in the US this year in a dramatic increase from prior years. During the week of the May Uprising alone, more journalists were arrested than the previous three years combined.

More than a third of these arrests were accompanied by police brutality. This week, one photographer filed a federal lawsuit against the Jacksonville Sherriff’s office, alleging that officers slammed her to the ground during a May 31 protest and repeatedly struck her in the head, knocking her unconscious.

This repression of reporters is one sign of the state’s reactionization. It is one method the police use to control protests and hide any evidence of their own crimes. The widespread targeting of journalists, nearly all of whom work for bourgeois media outlets, reveals the bankruptcy of US bourgeois democracy.

Seattle, WA

Over 100 protesters surrounded the homeless encampment at Cal Anderson park on Wednesday in response to Parks department notice on Monday for those living there to clear out. Barricades were set up around the park with graffiti of anti-police slogans as well as demands for housing. One tent was set on fire. On Thursday, a federal judge denied a request to stop the city crews from sweeping the area.

The park was the center of the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) over the summer, and the city has claimed that its personnel have received threats of violence when attempting to clean the camp to justify police assistance in the planned sweep.

Last Sunday, protesters marched to the South Precinct of the Seattle Police Department, demanding justice for Shaun Fuhr who was killed by SWAT officer Noah Zech in April.

“[SPD believes] with time people forgive, or just forget stuff … swept under the rug,” Shaun’s father Jason said to the crowd in front of the Precinct. “I look at my dresser and I look at my son, and I will never forget. I will never lay down, until I’m in the dirt. I won’t stop.”

Portland, OR

In what has become known as the Big Red House protest, activists continue to occupy property in a gentrifying neighborhood of Portland in defense of a Black family under threat of eviction. Barricades which were raised in the streets around the house have been removed since last week, but the situation remains tense and so far no resolution to the family’s situation has been proposed.

Photo by KOIN 6

Rochester, NY

Protesters marched downtown on Tuesday in response to an announcement by the city that no police officers would face any consequences for the murder of Daniel Prude in March. Video of the incident showed police forcing a bag over Daniel’s head and pinning him to the ground, putting him in a coma that would lead to his death. Release of these images sparked an uprising in the city in September, where thousands took to the streets for days.

“Mayor Lovely Warren is guilty,” said one teenage activist at Tuesday’s protest. “The City is guilty. I don’t know what the City’s ‘ethical standards’ are, but the ethical standards of the people, the standards of the same people in the same community that you grew up in, it is an ethical standard to put the Black community, which makes up the majority of the City, before all the white cops from the suburbs who have been harassing us.”

District of Columbia

Thousands of Trump supporters, including hundreds of Proud Boys, continued to clash with counterprotesters in the streets of Washington, DC over the weekend. Dozens were arrested, multiple stabbings occurred, and several police officers were injured. Later in the night, Proud Boys burned Black Lives Matter signs from two Black churches.

Olympia, WA

For the second weekend in a row, a reactionary shot someone during clashes between Trump supporters, including Boogaloo Boys and Proud Boys, and counterprotesters in Olympia. The name of the shooter has not been released, but he has been taken into custody. Four police officers were injured by projectiles, and at least five were arrested.

New York City, NY

Last Friday, a woman in a Black sedan rammed her vehicle into a protest march in solidarity with ICE detainees on hunger strike. Several people were injured, and the woman has since been taken into custody.

Minneapolis, MN

A Minneapolis man pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit arson this week related to the incineration of the 3rd precinct headquarters of the Minneapolis Police Department during the May Uprising. Several others have been charged in relation to the fire as part of the state’s systematic persecution of protesters this year.

Photo by Carlos Gonzalez

Louisville, KY

Charges were dropped against a woman protester who had pulled a gun in self-defense against a man who had driven into a march and threatened protesters with his own gun in September. The march was part of the ongoing protests that have been demanding justice for the police murder of Breonna Taylor.

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