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Despite the fact that he froze services to low-income internet users soon after taking office, Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai came to San Francisco to talk to tech executives about bridging the digital divide for underserved communities. Pai was named by President Trump as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in January. When he visited San Francisco on September 12, protesters demonstrated at the site of the meeting in the city's financial district, saying net neutrality is a racial justice issue.
The Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair is an annual event that brings together people interested in radical work to connect, learn, and discuss through books and information tables, workshops, panel discussions, skillshares, films, and more. The free event will take place on Saturday, September 16 in Oakland. Workshops include Surveillance Self Defense, Rad Families, Palestine to Chowchilla, Women’s DIY Health, and Knowing the Enemy. Organizers state, "We seek to create an inclusive space to introduce new folks to anarchism, foster a productive dialogue between various political traditions as well as anarchists from different milieus, and create an opportunity to dissect our movements’ strengths, weaknesses, strategies, and tactics."
Linksunten.indymedia.org, the main independent media website in Germany, was banned by the German government's Ministry of Interior on August 25. Maintaining the website and using its logo are now considered criminal offenses in the country. Linksunten volunteers are also being prosecuted as a "club," which means that administrators are considered responsible for everything that has been published. Administrators are also being accused of being members of a terrorist association. This represents a new step in the repression in Europe. The last time something of this significance occurred was in 1995, when the German central power banned the newspaper "Radikal", which sparked demonstrations all over the country.
Tens of thousands of people hit the streets of San Francisco and Berkeley against a series of far-right rallies. Antifascist groups, labor, faith-based organizations, and a multitude of sectors mobilized to confront the far-right, showing that the autonomous power and energy that was unleashed after Charlottesville is still very much alive and is growing among the broader population. But, in the face of growing mass popular opposition not controlled or contained by the Democratic Party, through building a coalition that includes anarchists and antifascists, both the Right, Center, and liberal Left began to launch a series of attacks in the media against "antifa."
On August 25, the German government raided and shut down Linksunten Indymedia, an integral part of the global Independent Media Center network, and the most widely used German-language platform for radical politics and organizing. In Freiburg, riot police seized computers and harassed those they accuse of maintaining the site, justifying their actions on the grounds that the alleged administrators constitute an illegal organization intent on destroying the German Constitution. This represents a massive escalation in state repression against what the authorities call “left-wing extremism,” disingenuously suggesting an equivalence between those who seek to build communities beyond the reach of state violence and Neo-Nazis organizing to carry out attacks and murders.
Thu Aug 24 2017 (Updated 09/02/17)
DOJ Demands User Data from Anti-Trump Website
Federal prosecutors say DisruptJ20.org was used to plan a violent anti-Trump riot on Inauguration Day in Washington, D.C. Initially, the Department of Justice (DoJ) demanded that the site’s web host, DreamHost, turn over extensive data including 1.3 million IP addresses. After DreamHost and activist organizations complained that the warrant was an abuse of government authority, the DoJ narrowed the scope of the warrant on August 21, dropping IP addresses but still seeking information on private groups that organized via the website. On August 24, the court ruled that DreamHost still needs to disclose some information about the operators of disruptj20.org.
Thu Aug 17 2017 (Updated 08/18/17)
Alameda Sheriff Retweets and Follows Nazi Accounts
On the night of August 14, the official Twitter account of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office retweeted a video of a press conference organized by Richard Spencer, the icon of the white supremacist “alt-right” movement. The retweet dubbed the press conference with a “Unite the Right” hashtag — the same slogan that white supremacist groups used to mobilize people to Charlottesville, VA, which resulted in the tragic murder of an anti-racist demonstrator by a white supremacist. A protest was held at the Sheriff’s Office in Oakland on August 16. Community members condemned not just the retweet, but the ongoing racism and violence of the Sheriff’s Office.