By Rebecca C
The massive marches happening now all over Puerto Rico were preceded by a series of failures of the local government and instances of graft and corruption, all of course under the long history of US imperialism and disaster capitalism, and the shorter history of the recovery of the island after Hurricane Maria:
Prior to her becoming secretary of ed, #JuliaKeleher had more than 1 million in contracts with the department. The tasks and results of these contracts were never made clear to the public. (2/8)
— Rima Brusi (@RimaBrusi) July 10, 2019
— Yarimar Bonilla 👩🏾💻 (@yarimarbonilla) July 15, 2019
The sexist, homophobic, insulting and just gross texts written by Governor Rosselló seemed to be the final straw – the large demonstrations which have grown over the past two weeks began following their publication on July 14. (Demonstrations against corruption and other injustices had been frequent in Puerto Rico before this event.)
The hashtag #RickyRenuncia started on July 15 and has been used in Twitter coverage of the increasingly massive demonstrations:
HAPPENING NOW IN #PUERTORICO:
— Defend Puerto Rico (@DefendPR) July 15, 2019
Reporter David Begnaud of CBS has been the primary mainstream TV journalist on the scene, following his dedicated reporting during hurricane Maria.
For a 10th straight night, Puerto Rican’s have taken to the street across the island protesting the Governor – this is in front of the Governors mansion. Many of the faces are young. Very young. I met a 15 year old young woman standing on the police barricades. pic.twitter.com/Vupjpn4Jv9
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) July 23, 2019
This is just a powerful image for the history books, showing demonstrators in the torrential downpour on July 22:
Ni la lluvia paró a mi pueblo hoy.
📸 Fabián Rodriguez-Torres pic.twitter.com/N0as1ZcXpM
— Jossie Valentin (@JossieValentin) July 22, 2019
And another image capturing the size of the protests in San Juan:
— Rep. Nydia Velazquez (@NydiaVelazquez) July 22, 2019
This is Ricky Martin (one of the people mentioned in the leaked texts and an early celebrity calling for the Governor to resign) on a truck LIVING HIS GODDAMN LIFE:
— 𝖁𝖎𝖗𝖌𝖊𝖓 𝕸𝖆𝖗í𝖆 🌹 (@cabr0ncitaa) July 22, 2019
And in NYC, the demonstrations continued with what looks to be a jubilant display of solidarity and the electric slide:
Grand Central en NYC pic.twitter.com/Gxg4CAsnW4
— Ricardo Alberto Maldonado 🇵🇷 (@bookswimming) July 22, 2019
Police have been firing teargas at protesters and enforcing curfews. Solidarity to camaradas boricuas – we are so inspired by you! Be safe:
SINCE WHEN DOES PUERTO RICO HAVE A CURFEW? WHY DOES THE POLICE DEPARTMENT SUFFOCATE PEACEFUL PROTESTERS EVERY NIGHT AT 11PM?!?! THIS IS A DEMOCRACY?!?? THIS IS DISGUSTING! #RickyRenuncia
— rocketqueen (@deviIette) July 23, 2019
— World News (@worldnewsevery) July 25, 2019
NoTechforICE on Amazon Prime Day
On July 11 and 12, during Amazon’s Prime Day promotional sale and concurrent AWS Summits (I truly have no idea what that stands for and am too lazy to look it up) around the world at various headquarters, demonstrators showed up to protest Amazon’s business practices. In NYC, NYC-DSA Tech action and allied groups rallied against Amazon’s collaboration with ICE:
Amazon—the world’s most valuable company—exploits workers, evades taxes, destroys the environment, undermines democracy, and creates tech that fuels police, the military, and ICE. This is the function of capitalism laid bare—profit over people. #PrimeDay boycott #NoTechForICE
— NYC-DSA Tech Action🌹 (@NYCDSATechWG) July 15, 2019
NOW: We’re outside of @Amazon’s Annual Tech Summit.
Hundreds of immigrants have one clear message:
— Yatziri 🦋 (@yatziritovar) July 11, 2019
There was also a rally outside Palantir’s (another tech company that provides intelligence software and other technology to assist in apprehending undocumented immigrants) headquarters:
— Rebecca Pierce (The Afrikomen) (@aptly_engineerd) July 13, 2019
Thread from Never Again Action (@NeverAgainActn – you definitely need to follow them if you haven’t already) about collaborations between early technology companies, in this case IBM, and the Nazis:
As the brave activists and employees of tech companies have come out to stand up for #NoTech4ICE, we must remember that willingness of technology companies to choose profits over morality has been a tradition that has led to some of the worst atrocities in human history. pic.twitter.com/4Injl8Il5y
— ✡️ Never Again Action ✡️ (@NeverAgainActn) July 11, 2019
There was also at least one worker strike at an Amazon warehouse:
Exclusive: Amazon warehouse workers in Minnesota plan to strike on Prime Day, the company’s summer sales extravaganza https://t.co/qGYBxNaWTn
— Josh Eidelson (@josheidelson) July 8, 2019
Blackouts / Con Ed / Public Power!
After 2 major blackouts (one in which Con Ed deliberately shut off power to customers in Brooklyn in neighborhoods where people of color live to avoid taxing the grid)…
Con Edison chose to cut off electricity in heat-vulnerable, predominantly Black BK neighborhood during heatwave. This is why community-led renewable energy & our involvement in decision-making of utility companies are critical to a #JustTransition. https://t.co/ENMLAUcBLJ
— NYC-EJA (@NYCEJAlliance) July 23, 2019
De Blasio and Cuomo are both floating the idea of ending this whole private power monopoly thing:
— David S. Joachim (@davidjoachim) July 22, 2019
We should presume a lack of seriousness on these pols’ part, but NYC-DSA Ecosocialists have a plan!
There are multiple potential paths to #PublicPower.
One is municipalization.
The other is expanding the New York Power Authority, the largest public power utility, founded by FDR.
— NYC-DSA Ecosocialist Working Group 🌹 (@NYCDSA_Climate) July 23, 2019
Check out this interview with Natalie James about the Reclaim Pride Coalition (you can read more about it in her article):
My comrade @natcjames of the Queer Liberation March aka @queermarch breaks it all down why we needed a march without corporations or cops, and how 48,000 people felt obligated to take it to the streets this Pride. pic.twitter.com/t1GGb7qn2U
— Jason Rosenberg (@mynameisjro) July 2, 2019
Nancy Pelosi vs. Freshman Dems
Nancy Pelosi had a nice little sit down with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd and casually stabbed the four House freshman Democrats (now called “the squad” which I guess is something we have to go along with although I wish we could have voted on it) in their backs yet again, part of an ongoing attempt by Democratic leadership to neutralize the grass roots-based progressive activist wing of the party:
“A glass of water could’ve [beat a 20-yr incumbt]”
“The Green Dream or whatever”
“Their public whatever”
Those aren’t quotes from me; they‘re from the Speaker. Having respect for ourselves doesn’t mean we lack respect for her.
It means we won’t let everyday people be dismissed. https://t.co/VMRkcd8xlL
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 8, 2019
— Eli Valley (@elivalley) July 15, 2019
And we all know what happened next:
— Karen Attiah (@KarenAttiah) July 14, 2019
All so they could do what? What is the strategy? Oh create a worst case scenario for the next Democratic president? Wow – great leadership you have there, my dudes.
In 2011 Republicans used the debt ceiling to cripple Obama and impose trillions in cuts. Today, Dem leaders agreed to lift the debt ceiling for the remainder of Trump’s presidency but reimpose it in 2021, when Republicans could again use it to cripple a Democratic president. https://t.co/fHH2m25IkB
— Adam Jentleson 🎈🐢 (@AJentleson) July 22, 2019
Odds and ends:
Couldn’t say it better myself:
if humanity exists in 200 years they will be studying these photos as evidence of a broken society funneling massive resources towards child gladiators at decaying public institutions of higher learning while careening towards global ecological collapse https://t.co/ql6YYJ4GCr
— Matt 🌹🌱 (@MJHaugen) July 22, 2019
And lastly, many congratulations to lying, incompetent dipshit Boris Johnson, long may he reign:
Good morning, Britain. pic.twitter.com/ctXQ3rPIue
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) July 23, 2019