Cover Photo of activists resisting evictions in Los Angeles by KTLA
“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.
Amazon workers across the country are expected to go on strike today, disrupting the monopoly corporation’s operations at the beginning of its peak sales season. Joined by Amazon workers in 14 other countries, the Black Friday strike at Amazon facilities has been gaining momentum over the past several years but has lacked the leadership to strike blows back at management’s counteroffensive.
It is estimated that Amazon processes half of all online shopping, and the company is currently facing antitrust charges from the European Union. Recent leaked documents also exposed Amazon’s efforts to bust unionizing and other organizing among workers, including hiring Pinkerton agents to spy on those at Amazon warehouses.
Those documents also detailed the strict monitoring system that Amazon uses to track workers and enforce excessive production quotas.
As a preemptive move to undermine the strike, Amazon announced this week that it would pay employees small bonuses for the month of December, $300 for full-time workers and $150 for part-time. By comparison, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s wealth has grown by tens of billions of dollars this year, even as Amazon workers have faced risks of unemployment, eviction, and sickness.
Last year Amazon announced, without going into specifics, that the Black Friday weekend broke the company’s shopping records. The profits enjoyed by Amazon shareholders during the holiday season correlate with a jump in worker injuries and greater strain under a heavier workload.
It’s no surprise that these conditions have led to workers going on strike and protesting, like outside of Bezos’s own residence, but they must take up proletarian ideology to effectively combat and resist the imperialists behind Amazon’s management and take aim at the bosses.
Cases against protesters continued to be processed around the US as well this week. A Douglas County Judge dismissed charges against 25 protesters for blocking a street during a July march protesting the shooting of James Scurlock by white bar owner Jacob Gardner. Those charged were among 120 who had been arrested that night.
Another protester from Florida was sentenced to 21 months in prison this week for allegedly attacking a Jacksonville police officer during the May Uprising. More than 100 others were also arrested during that weekend in Jacksonville, and over 14,000 have been arrested across the country this year.
On Wednesday, a large group of protesters confronted California Highway Patrol as they carried out evictions and arrests in the El Sereno neighborhood outside of Los Angeles. The crowd eventually forced law enforcement to retreat, chanting, “Move bitch! Get out the way!”
This week protesters have been gathering outside of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s home in response to news that he may be joining President-elect Joe Biden’s administration. Garcetti was the co-chair of the Biden campaign. Protesters chanted, “Fuck Garcetti!” and demanded that he not be appointed to any political office.
On Thanksgiving, two statues celebrating US colonialism were vandalized in Minneapolis. A bust of George Washington was toppled, and red paint was splattered on another monument to US ‘pioneers,’ with graffiti slogans written on the base such as, “No more genocide.”
Oklahoma City, OK
Over 100 people surrounded the Oklahoma City Police Department on Wednesday night in protest of the police murder of 15-year-old Stavian Rodriguez, chanting “No Justice, No Peace!”
Over 200 gathered for a vigil on Monday night to honor Hamza “Travis” Nagdy, a key figure in the Louisville movement for Black Lives who was killed in a shooting the previous night. The details of the shooting are still unclear.
Known affectionately as “Chants the Rapper,” Travis was a passionate fighter in the protests demanding justice for the police murder of Breonna Taylor. Having been a foster child and incarcerated as a juvenile, he was a bright example of someone who rose in defiance of the racist society of US imperialism that had imposed so many burdens on him.
“[He had] a strong sense of strength, a sense of willingness to spend and give everything he had toward this,” said a fellow protester during a livestream on Monday. “I can only assume that that energy is going to waft over all of us like a wildfire.”
Readers can donate to his family’s fundraiser for funeral expenses here.
The windows of several downtown businesses were smashed during a protest in Portland Wednesday night, and statues symbolizing US colonialism were also vandalized later in the evening.
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