Alicia Jrapko, Presente!

With deep sorrow and on behalf of her family, we announce that our dear colleague, sister and friend Alicia Jrapko passed away last evening after fighting a cruel illness for more than two years. In spite of the hard treatment, she never stopped working as much as she could.  Alicia regretted not being able to continue contributing, loving and living with the energy that always characterized her.

Alicia was a great Argentine revolutionary, the daughter of workers who at a very young age took up the struggles of a generation that dreamed of building an Argentina with social justice for the people. Alicia once said in an interview…”in Latin America a great admiration was forged for Cuba, for Fidel, Raul, Che and so many other revolutionaries. In Argentina we wanted the same thing, but it was not achieved and a great part of my generation lost their best children”.

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Report-Back From A Rail Blockade In Saint-Lambert

On Saturday, more than sixty people acting in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders blocked the CN main line in Saint-Lambert south of Montreal for over six hours. It was the longest rail blockade in Quebec since the winter of 2020, interrupting Via Rail service and immobilizing six freight trains. These notes reflect the experience of a couple participants in Saturday’s blockade.

Nostalgia mixed with anticipation as we arrived at the tracks where they cross rue Saint-Georges, with banners ready to hang across the rail crossing and no police in sight. It was a bright morning, temperatures just below freezing and the ground snowless, a contrast with that first night in February 2020, when temperatures sunk to 25 below and snow could be piled into mounds atop the rails.

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Forest Defenders Blockade Logging Roads In Mattole Headwaters

Early Thursday morning, 20 forest defenders barricaded logging roads in the headwaters of the upper North Fork Mattole River in anticipation of Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC) logging operations. “Road building on steep, unstable slopes and logging of old-growth forest is unacceptable,” said a local resident participating in the blockade. “This logging plan will release a large amount of long term greenhouse gas, and along with industrial logging across the Pacific Northwest, constitutes a major driver of climate catastrophe.”

HRC plans to log over 300 acres just outside of Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The activists say that while the company has policies against logging old growth forest, much of the unspoiled habitat here is excluded from protections.

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Immigrant Leaders Shut Down ICE ‘Black Site’

Newark, NJ — Immigrant leaders and immigration justice organizers chained themselves together and blockaded the entrance of the Newark SAC office in response to escalating abuses by ICE. Protesters are calling this unidentified office located in a desolate industrial neighborhood in Newark, NJ an “ICE black site”; and are demanding #ReleasesNotTransfers as detainees continue to be transferred out of New Jersey jails to detention centers across the country and away from their families. Advocates say this Homeland Security Investigations office is where unmarked vans bring detainees and ICE processes all deportations and transfers in the state, a “transfer roulette” brought to a halt by the blockade today.

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Water Protectors Shut Down Line 3 Worksite

Floodwood, MN – On Saturday July 10th, water protectors stopped construction for a full day on an Enbridge worksite laying pipe for the Line 3 pipeline. Two water protectors locked to each other through the treads of a machine, while two others climbed up an excavator’s arm, where they stayed for 7 hours. This action took place on Anishinaabe treaty territories in solidarity with leaders of the growing Indigenous-led resistance to Line 3.                                                                                        

As these four water protectors stopped machinery, a large crowd gathered on the roadway in support, drumming, singing, and rallying in the summer heat. About 30 police officers from St. Louis, Carlton, and Aitkin counties responded, as well as State Troopers and a Fond Du Lac Tribal Officer.

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Make Normalizing Relations With Cuba A Priority

Silvia from Miami, Eduardo from Hialeah, Abel from Lakeland. The names pour in on the donations page for “Syringes to Cuba” as Carlos Lazo promotes the campaign on his popular Facebook livestream.

An energetic Cuban-American high school teacher in Seattle, Lazo created a group called Puentes de Amor, Bridges of Love, to unite Cuban Americans who want to lift the searing U.S. blockade that is immiserating their loved ones on the island.

Puentes de Amor is the latest addition to the Syringes to Cuba initiative, which was started by the Saving Lives Campaign and the humanitarian organization Global Health Partners to help Cuba vaccinate its people against COVID-19.

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Railroad Blockaded In Solidarity With Palestine

Coastal Cities Vow To ‘Block The Boat.’

For several hours on Sunday, May 30th, hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists blockaded the Lisgar GO railway, located in so-called Mississauga, Ontario. The GO train system serves millions of commuters between different hubs throughout Canada. Activists were protesting to demand that the Canadian government stop supplying arms to the State of Israel.

One activist on social media posted following the demonstration:

After a three-hour shutdown of the railway, surrounded by police, with trains stopped dead in their tracks, we’ve dispersed with our heads held high. Thanks to all those who stood in solidarity with us. We will continue to fight for our families in Palestine. #StopArmingIsrael

This is not the first time anti-colonial movements have utilized train blockades as a tactic in struggle across so-called Canada. In the Spring of 2020, #ShutDownCanada demonstrators and Native warriors shutdown GO trains throughout Canada in protest against attacks on Wet’suwet’en sovereignty by the state of Canada and extraction industries.

The recent rail blockades are only the latest in a series of mass demonstrations in solidarity with Palestine, not only in the Mississauga area, but across the world. It would also seem as if the tactics of blockading are spreading, as multiple cities on various coasts have signaled they are ready to “Block the Boat,” in an effort to blockade Israeli goods from being imported into the US. Already in Oakland, California, where mass demonstrations in 2014 blocked a similar boat, just the threat of repeat blockades has prevented the “Israeli-operated ZIM cargo ship from docking” for 10 days. Port workers with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have also issued statements in solidarity with “Palestine and Palestinian communities across the world.”

Communities In Guerrero Set Up Road Blockades

On May 28, 2021, Indigenous communities belonging to the Popular Indigenous Council of Guerrero-Emiliano Zapata, and to the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities-Community Police-Founding Pueblos, set up road blockades in the Montaña Baja region of Guerrero, a southern state in so-called Mexico, announcing they will prohibit the June 6 mid-term elections from taking place in their communities.

The mobilizations by the 24 communities belonging to CIPOG-EZ and CRAC-PC-PF are a response to the ongoing attacks carried out by the organized crime group, Los Ardillos, who are active in the region. While CIPOG-EZ has continually denounced the disappearances, kidnappings, assassinations, and unbearable climate of violence in their communities since 2015, the state has ignored the situation, effectively facilitating the attacks.

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Drivers Forced To Drive Around Extinction Rebellion Protesters

Swansea, Wales – Extinction Rebellion protesters across Swansea stopped traffic across the city after staging a sit down protest on busy roads.

The 30 minute protest, took place on Swansea’s High Street, Gower Road in Upper Killay and Sketty Road in Uplands on Saturday morning.

Video footage from Upper Killay shows a protester peacefully sitting in the road wearing a sign that read: “I’m terrified that there is nothing to live for because of the climate crisis”.

The protest led to queues of traffic forcing cars to drive around the protester.

In the video, one business owner can be heard asking the man to move.

“I’ve got a business to run and you’re blocking the road,” he said, before walking away.

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Pipeline Protesters Charged With ‘Felony Kidnapping,’ Held Without Bond

Maybrook, VA — On Friday 4/30/21 at 10:30 AM, Mountain Valley Pipeline protester Thomas Adams blocked a pipe truck just before it crossed a bridge over Sinking Creek in Giles County, and locked himself to the underside of the truck. The bridge is less than two miles away from the site where the pipeline is slated to cross the creek (although MVP currently lacks the permits to do so). A rally of over a dozen people gathered to support Thomas at the scene. Signs and banners on site read, “Save the Planet, Stop the MVP,” “MVP Just Give Up,” “Not Here, Not Anywhere,” and “Doom to the Pipeline.”

At 1 PM, after 2.5 hours blockading the pipe truck, Thomas was extracted and arrested. Another person on site, Molly, who had been at the support rally, was also arrested.

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Water Protectors Block Line 3 Construction In Honor Of Earth Day

Hill City, MN – Early Friday morning, five water protectors locked themselves into concrete barrels at the entrance of Swatara oil pump station, halting construction of the Line 3 Replacement project. This action was taken with Camp Migizi in recognition of Earth Day, coming a day ahead of “Stop Line 3 x Earth Day”, a march that will be taking place in Duluth, Minnesota. Two of the protestors sat behind a hand painted banner reading “Earth Day Every Day”, while other banners in front of the pump station gate read “No Pipelines on Stolen Land,” “Land Back,” and “Protect the Water.” 

Construction faces active and growing resistance led by Indigenous groups who see the project and the risk of a spill as a violation of treaty rights, as the project endangers wild rice lakes in treaty territories where the Anishinaabe have the right to hunt, fish, and gather.

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The Fairy Creek Blockaders

Simon Frankson emerged from his sleeping bag at 4 a.m., just in time to join the fray.

The day before, a balmy afternoon in early August, he and about a dozen campers had studied a satellite photo of the area: a mountainside sheathed in deep green cedars and Douglas fir trees, many of them hundreds or thousands of years old, in a watershed known as Fairy Creek in the southwest corner of Vancouver Island. The telling grey stripe of a logging road was creeping up from the left side of the image. It was the same kind of road that has, over the past century, made way for logging companies to cut down 80 per cent of the ancient forest on an island larger than Belgium.

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Activists Block Rail Line Near General Dynamics Over Arms Sales

London, Ontario – A small group of activists blocked a rail line in east London Friday, demanding the federal government cancel a contract to provide military vehicles to Saudi Arabia.

About 15 people from various anti-war groups demonstrated on the railroad tracks at Clarke Road and Oxford Street East in London, just west of the General Dynamics Land Systems plant, which manufactures light armoured vehicles (LAVs).

The protest was meant to stop any shipments of military vehicles bound for the middle eastern kingdom. No trains came through during the protest.

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Water Protectors Lock To Gate And Ascend Equipment To Stop Line 3

Floodwood, MN – Early Thursday morning, several Water Protectors under Indigenous leadership took action to shut down two Enbridge construction sites on the Line 3 pipeline route. While two people locked themselves to a gate, blocking access to a worksite building a pump station, four more individuals (Sonja Birthisel, Julie Macuga, Cody Pajic, and Leif Taranta) ascended and chained themselves to the top of large machines attempting to lay pipe at an adjacent construction site in St. Louis County. 

Since construction began in December of 2020, the movement to stop the Line 3 pipeline has been steadily growing.

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‘This Is Hell’: UN Food Chief Visits Yemen

The head of the UN’s World Food Program (WFP) visited Yemen and described the conditions he saw in the country to reporters as “hell.” His visit comes as the UN is warning 400,000 Yemeni children will starve to death in 2021 if conditions do not change.

David Beasley described what he saw in a visit to a Yemeni hospital to The Associated Press. “In a children’s wing or ward of a hospital, you know you normally hear crying and laughter. There’s no crying, there’s no laughter, there’s dead silence,” he said. “This is hell. It’s the worst place on earth. And it’s entirely man-made.”

The suffering in Yemen is a direct result of the US-backed Saudi-led war that has been raging since March 2015. Besides a vicious bombing campaign that frequently targets civilian infrastructure, including food supplies, the US and Saudi Arabia have been enforcing a blockade on Yemen.

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