Arizona Trans Woman Arrested and Jailed for Self-Defense

Arizona is a “stand your ground” state. For those who don’t know, that means that if you feel threatened by someone, but you have the ability to safely retreat, you have no legal obligation to do so. You are allowed to stand your ground, and use violence. I mention that, because when it comes to self-defense law in the United States, if you claim self defense, in many circumstances, you won’t even be arrested for killing someone. Unfortunately, as with most laws in the United States, the degree to which that “protection” actually protects you will often depend on who you are, and what the cops think of you.

Case in point: A trans woman named Epona Rose was accosted by a group of men who sexually harassed her until realizing she was trans, at which point the harassment became threats and assault. Rose defended herself, and for that she was arrested and jailed with bond set at $500,750, with her arraignment on August 28th. For comparison, Donald Trump, who has a private plane and has “joked” about fleeing to Russia, had his bond set at less than half that. Further, for the crime of defending herself while trans, Rose has been charged with assault and attempted murder:

Flagstaff, AZ — On the morning of August 11th, Epona Rose was attacked in downtown Kinłani/Flagstaff, Arizona by a group of three men while two or more watched. The men were drunk and sexually harassing her. The attack escalated into threats of rape, and then to physical violence, when they realized that Epona is transgender.

Epona defended herself bravely against this attack and did not call the police, but she was the only one arrested. Epona faces felony charges including aggravated assault. She was initially held on the men’s side of the Coconino County Jail in segregation with one hour a day out of her cell. She struggled to gain access to her prescribed medications. Political pressure seems to have improved her conditions; however, Epona is still unable to receive equitable treatment and has filed complaints of sexual harassment. Epona’s arraignment is August 28th and her bond is set for over $500,000. A team of national organizers and local support have mobilized and are fiercely working to overturn such an excessive amount and the fear mongering charges.

An initial arraignment on August 17th was vacated with no reason given by the courts. A rally was held with more than 25 people calling for Epona’s immediate release. A vigil was held outside of Coconino County Jail the previous evening, more than 40 people attended, sharing their stories and chanting, “Who keeps up safe? We keep us safe!”

Epona shared this statement from jail:

I was charged as a man, as I am a woman of trans experience. I was initially booked into jail on charges of aggravated assault, as well as attempted homicide, second degree, unjustly. I was defending myself, my womanhood, against three men. While I’ve been in this facility I’ve been mistreated. I have been treated as a man. I have been asked fourteen times about my genitalia by staff. I have been laughed at and ridiculed. I have been put into isolation. Make no mistakes, the United States is now living in the Weimar Republic era. I have been fighting the way I can from the inside with what little power I have from the inside.

Epona further stated, “I am not safe here, but I am holding on to hope, and I know that I will be free. I want to thank everybody who has shown support and is fighting for me on the outside. Thank you, loved ones, relatives, comrades. I look forward to seeing you. Thank you so much for the fight. Solidarity!”

The longer Epona is in jail, the much more at risk she is exposed to as a trans woman and abolitionist. We cannot let Epona be made an example out of by demanding the basic rights of genderqueer, third gender, Two Spirit, and/or trans people to exist!

Epona’s lawyer, Ryan Stevens of the Griffen & Stevens Law Firm in Flagstaff, explained, “Our priorities are clear: keep Epona safe; get her out; and present a complete defense to her charges in court. We are at the very beginning of what may be a long haul fighting for Epona and asserting her rights in court, including self-defense.”

Arraignment is scheduled for August 28th at 1pm; Epona’s supporters will be gathering at Coconino County Superior Court located at 200 N San Francisco st, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Epona’s supporters are fundraising for her legal fees and associated costs; please specify that your donation is for Epona. You can also use the “rose” emoji.

Support Epona’s legal defense and bail fund:
Paypal: @brokebackwolfpack
Venmo: @brokebackwolfpack
Cashapp: $brokebackwolfpack

You can also contact the Coconino County Board of Supervisors and demand Epona is treated with dignity as a trans woman:

Phone: 928-679-7120

Toll Free: 877-679-7120 Emails:,,,,

Contact Flagstaff City Council:
All council members:
Phone: (928) 213-2065

There are a lot of problems with the US constitution, and with US law. One of the good things, even if it took almost a century and a civil war to get it, is the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. [emphasis added]

My only real complaint about this is that it limits its protection to US citizens, rather than all people who find themselves under US jurisdiction. Other than that, this is good and important, and so naturally it’s often ignored by the US law enforcement system. There are many, many ways in which equal protection is denied to US citizens. I’m not talking hundreds of times per year, I’m talking thousands of times per day, across the country. The “trans panic” defense is one of the most heinous examples – a trans person (usually a woman) is assaulted or murdered, and the perpetrator claims that they “panicked” upon learning she was trans, and attacked her. This has existed for a long time, in a variety of forms. So far, the federal ban on this defense hasn’t gotten anywhere, but 17 states have passed their own bans, with New Hampshire being the latest, just 10 days ago (rare Sununu win). The NH ban only applies to homicides, though, so it won’t help people who were “just” assaulted. Arizona is not on that list, and the “panic” defense is still perfectly legal there.

Rose’s case feels as if the police took that “defense” as a matter of law, which made the violence of her attackers justified. That meant that, in the eyes of the police, Epona Rose had no right to self-defense in that situation. The police, and the judge who set a bail of – and I can’t stress this enough – over half a million dollars, have decided to punish her for defending herself, before the trial that is her right has even started. I also have to wonder what role her personal politics are playing in this – my impression is that people in the law enforcement system don’t like abolitionists, despite working so hard to make our case for us.

If you want to help in any way, all the information is in the block quote above. Hopefully Monday’s arraignment won’t be pushed back again, since that would mean still more time imprisoned and abused for defending herself. The extremely high trans murder rate (trans women of color in particular) is something that does get press, albeit far less than it should, but it’s also worth remembering that for every trans person murdered, there are others who are “merely” injured, and that almost never makes the news. This problem is not separate from the way the US “justice” system actively enables this violence, and even enacts this violence, as we are seeing in the case of Enola Rose.

Video: The Minneapolis Police Department Is a Criminal Organization

Big Joel is one of my “comfort” Youtubers. Most of his stuff is what I would call cultural criticism and/or commentary. If you want a deep dive into Shrek or The Lorax, he’s your guy, and while he does do a fair amount of political commentary, he tends to approach the people or media he’s looking at from that same cultural perspective. Probably my favorite example of this is his video deconstructing another Youtuber’s attempt at a “takedown” as a cultural work. Today, however, he put out a different sort of video, and I think it’s worth sharing. It’s a simple premise – he goes through the DOJ report on the federal investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department, that was conducted following the murder of George Floyd, and discusses the clear evidence of systemic abuse and criminality. It’s a bit rough to listen to, but I think this video is worth your time, for a couple reasons. The first is that it’s important to understand just how widespread and systemic this kind of abusive behavior is. It’s not just the “bad apples” who harass, rob, assault, injure, maim, and kill people, it’s also their fellow cops who cover for them, and supervisors who lie on reports for them. As the video lays out pretty clearly, these are people who revel in abusing their power and using violence against powerless people for no apparent reason other than their own sadistic pleasure.

The second reason, as I’ll discuss after the video, is that I do not think this is a widespread systemic problem within the Minneapolis Police Department, but rather within US policing as a whole. You should view this report as a representative sample of the profession.

So, why do I feel comfortable saying that Minneapolis is representative of a nationwide problem?

Well, regular readers will know that I’ve touched on this issue in the past. Cops in Atlanta make a regular appearance here, for their murderous campaign to force through a massive training facility. Austin PD decided to openly defy a law requiring more civilian oversight. A black kid in Mississippi called the cops for help, and they shot him. The DOJ investigation in to the Ferguson PD after the killing of Michael Brown found a similar pattern of widespread abuse of power, targeting of minorities, and cops lying to cover for each other. Across the US, cops steal more from people than burglars do, and the list goes on.

People defending the police might respond by saying that yes, they brutalize people, and guarantee that most of our rights only exist on paper, but we need them anyway, because the main thing they do is solve crime. Well, no. Not really.

(Reuters) – A new report adds to a growing line of research showing that police departments don’t solve serious or violent crimes with any regularity, and in fact, spend very little time on crime control, in contrast to popular narratives.

The report was published Oct. 25 by advocacy group Catalyst California and the ACLU of Southern California. It relies on county budgets’ numbers and new policing data provided under the state’s Racial and Identity Profiling Act, which took effect in 2019.

The law requires police to report demographic and other basic information about their work, including the duration of a stop and what actions were taken, like ordering someone out of a car.

Records provided by the sheriff’s departments in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Riverside showed the same longstanding pattern of racial disparities in police stops throughout the country for decades. Black people in San Diego were more than twice as likely than white residents to be stopped by sheriff’s deputies, for example.

More notably, researchers analyzed the data to show how officers spend their time, and the patterns that emerge tell a striking story about how policing actually works. Those results, too, comport with existing research showing that U.S. police spend much of their time conducting racially biased stops and searches of minority drivers, often without reasonable suspicion, rather than “fighting crime.”

Overall, sheriff patrol officers spend significantly more time on officer-initiated stops – “proactive policing” in law enforcement parlance – than they do responding to community members’ calls for help, according to the report. Research has shown that the practice is a fundamentally ineffective public safety strategy, the report pointed out.

In 2019, 88% of the time L.A. County sheriff’s officers spent on stops was for officer-initiated stops rather than in response to calls. The overwhelming majority of that time – 79% – was spent on traffic violations. By contrast, just 11% of those hours was spent on stops based on reasonable suspicion of a crime.

In Riverside, about 83% of deputies’ time spent on officer-initiated stops went toward traffic violations, and just 7% on stops based on reasonable suspicion.

Moreover, most of the stops are pointless, other than inconveniencing citizens, or worse – “a routine practice of pretextual stops,” researchers wrote. Roughly three out of every four hours that Sacramento sheriff’s officers spent investigating traffic violations were for stops that ended in warnings, or no action, for example.

Researchers calculated that more of the departments’ budgets go toward fruitless traffic stops than responses to service calls — essentially wasting millions of public dollars.

Chauncee Smith, a senior manager at Catalyst California, told me they wanted to test the dominant media and political narrative that police agencies use public funds to keep communities safe.

“We found there is a significant inconsistency between their practices” and what the public might think police do, Smith said. “It begs the question of why we keep doubling down on public safety strategies that have been proven time and time again to fail.”

The departments were mostly non-responsive to my questions.

Yeah, I bet.

The reality is that police do far more harm than good, and the vast majority of things they do either need to stop happening altogether, or need to be done by healthcare professionals and social workers. Traffic enforcement, to the degree that it’s needed can be done by automated camera, or at the very least by people who aren’t armed, and are under no obligation to chase down a fleeing “suspect”.

Police in the United States do not serve the communities in which they work. The good they happen to do is largely incidental, due to the fact that they’re the default first responder to everything. They’d have to be really dedicated to never do any good. No, their primary purpose is maintaining social order. That’s why rich people are happy to fund a place like Atlanta’s Cop City, where police will train in urban warfare, the better to control rowdy peasants. That’s why nothing is being done about the staggering amount of theft they commit, too – the victims are poor people, and in the eyes of the ruling class, poor people deserve their poverty, and have no real right to property or anything else.

I’m perfectly willing to accept that society needs first responders, including some trained in the use of arms. What we do not need, is anything resembling what policing has been throughout its history in the United States. The Minneapolis Police Department is a criminal organization, and it is not alone.

A Desert Full of Bones: Razor Wire, Asylum, and Fascism

There’s a scene in the 1981 film Time Bandits (spoiler warning), in which Kevin the landscaping angels who kidnapped him find themselves in a flat, barren landscape, with mist in the air, and the bones of strange creatures strewn about. They’re following a divine map, but it’s leading them so far into the desert that they might never find their way out. It’s a fair concern, given that time God “guided” the Israelites on a 40-year version of an 11-day trek, but just when the group is close to giving up, they hit a wall. An invisible barrier.

Randall shatters it with a skull, and they continue on their quest into the lair of Evil, but what if the barrier hadn’t broken? What if they’d come all that way, braving ogres and giants, shipwrecks and cannonfire, only to die in that desert, and become just a few more bones littering the ground outside the Fortress of Ultimate Darkness?

When I hear Republicans (and some Democrats) demand that we build a wall along the southern border, this desert full of bones always comes to mind. At first, it felt too “extreme” to say, but there has never been a question that every barrier erected along that border means more people dead. It has also become increasingly clear that Border Patrol and the people howling for a closed border absolutely do want to fill that desert with bones. They want to kill anyone trying to cross that border from the south who doesn’t go through a checkpoint. They don’t care that US law states that all humans have a right to enter the United States, by any means, to request asylum. Those who do so have a right to have their request considered, before any action is taken to deport them. When they talk about “The Law”, what they mean is “what we think ought to be the law”, and they feel fully justified in “enforcing” that, regardless of the actual legality, or the harm done. They look at some of the most desperate and powerless people in the world, and they want them to die.

They are sadistic, murderous extremists, and I no longer feel any hesitation in labeling them as such.

Honestly, I haven’t felt much hesitation about that for a while now. Desantis committed human trafficking for political gain, and conservatives across the US cheered him on, but now Gregg Abbot has taken things to another level, by actively trying to kill and maim anyone trying to cross using razor wire barriers and traps in and around the Rio Grande. Content warning for descriptions of horrifying violence, and discussion of hate speech going forward.

“Stuck in razor wire”

If that phrase doesn’t give you a reflexive chill, take a moment to really think about what it means.

And think about what it means that someone would see razor wire, and try to cross it anyway. We hear a lot about how dangerous the journey north can be, and when you see people willing to risk shredding their bodies like that, it’s hard not to conclude that they must be fleeing something genuinely awful; so awful that no amount of deterrence will dissuade them. It’s very clear that the people who want a closed border don’t actually care whether someone has a legitimate asylum request. They neither know nor care about the history or conditions of the countries from which people are fleeing, and if we’re honest, they don’t even see these people as human.

In addition to the buoy barrier, it appears that there are barrels wrapped in razor wire, presumably to tempt anyone crossing the river to use the barrels as floats, only to be cut up or – in the case of the child mentioned above, stuck on the blades of the wire. It also seems that there’s razor wire just in the water, where nobody crossing would be able to see it. This is, as said in this interview, torture. It’s also attempted murder, because in case anyone needed to hear this, slashing someone with a blade while they’re trying to cross a river dramatically increases their chances of drowning, not to mention the danger from the injury itself.

The Biden administration has not been great on the border issue. They didn’t stop separating children from their families, and they’re continuing to push for unreasonable – and unconstitutional – restrictions at the border. That said, this stuff with the razor wire was too much for them, and the DOJ has sued Texas for failing to remove the barriers as directed:

The DOJ suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Texas, seeks an injunction to block the state from placing more of the wrecking ball-sized, razor wire-topped buoys, which have already reportedly injured several people. The complaint accuses Texas and Abbott of violating the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act by erecting the barrier in a U.S. waterway without permission.

“This floating barrier poses threats to navigation and public safety and presents humanitarian concerns,” Associate U.S. Attorney General Vanita Gupta said in a statement. “Additionally, the presence of the floating barrier has prompted diplomatic protests by Mexico and risks damaging U.S. foreign policy.”

The lawsuit came on the same day that Abbott defiantly refused a DOJ request to dismantle the 1,000-foot barrier, which was installed along with netting and razor wire in and along the river that Mexicans call the Río Bravo near Eagle Pass in Maverick County.

“Texas will fully utilize its constitutional authority to deal with the crisis you have caused,” Abbott wrote in a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden in response to the DOJ’s request. “Texas will see you in court, Mr. President.”

In a weekend CNN appearance, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) called Abbott’s anti-migrant efforts “barbaric” and “extreme cruelty.”

“For him, this isn’t about border security—it’s about using taxpayer money to feed red meat to right-wing extremists,” Castro said of Abbott on Twitter.

It is also, I think, not just about immigration. This is how they want to respond to global warming. They know that global warming is already causing migration, just like they’ve always known that their efforts to close the border were killing people. Their solution to climate change is to maintain US power, and to use that power to force poor countries to keep supporting the rich ones, and to murder anyone who steps out of line. For that plan, climate change is actually a benefit, because it will make it that much harder for poorer nations to stand on their own, and to try to improve their conditions. At the same time, it will make it harder for people to survive the journey to the US and the crossing. They absolutely want that desert full of bones – they’d string bodies up along the wall as a warning, if they could – but deaths that happen before reaching the border make them happy too.

There were a few articles that went around, during Trump’s first (and hopefully only) term as President, about how folks close to him were big fans of a book called The Camp of the Saints. This book, beloved of Stephens Bannon and Miller is a revolting work of  propaganda from a French white supremacist who died in 2020 (good riddance), and it tells the story of a fleet of refugee boats sailing from India to France. The basic overview is that the Indian refugees are described throughout the book in disgusting and dehumanizing terms, as a liberal French society welcomes their approach, and the conservative “heroes” recommend that the boats be sunk at sea (sound familiar?) to save France from the zombie-like horde.

I do not recommend you read the book, but I do recommend you check out this overview of it by Youtuber José. I’m putting emphasis on this book right now, because I think it is extremely relevant to the current international fascist movement. Fascists seem to be driven by an obsession with humiliation and disgust. They constantly think and talk about cuckoldry, and the defeat of the “West”, and when they talk about groups of people they hate, they always find ways to invoke disgust. My first encounter with it was a website I found, back in highschool dedicated to hating Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was tortured to death in 1998. It was filled with graphic descriptions of what the website’s creator apparently thought gay people did, and all of them, including body fluids and excrement, could have come straight from the pages of The Camp of the Saints. Likewise, fascists love describing their targets as diseased – another thing immigrants apparently share with LGBTQIA people.

There are many groups under attack right now, but all of them are facing the same threat, and it is a very real threat. Fascists are actively coming for trans people and asylum seekers, just as the Nazis did in the early days. Defending those groups should be enough motivation for any decent person, but even if it’s not, they never stop there, because they always need people to blame and punish for their society’s problems.

I think it’s likely that the courts will rule against Abbot and his death traps, but they will keep hurting and killing people in the meantime. More than that, this will not be the last such attempt. If you take anything away from this let it be that, as long as fascists have any power, they will use that power for these ends. What’s happening at the border is shocking, but it’s not actually very far from what’s considered acceptable in US political discourse. Plenty of Democrats support closing the border. Plenty of Democrats support US meddling in South and Central America, and want to continue doing it. Part of the reason fascists have power in the US, is because the Democrats are a center-right party within a government that has spent decades supporting and aiding fascist groups all over the world, in the name of opposing left-wing movements. This is why I don’t have much faith in the Democratic Party’s ability to fend off rising fascism, and why I think it’s so important for us to build organized, collective power that’s not centered around elections or beholden to political parties. There is ample evidence that even if the Democrats are in power, they won’t do what’s needed without relentless pressure from the left. We are fighting fascism, with all of the horror and death that brings, and that means being clear about both the danger, and what tools and allies we do or do not have in that fight.

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Unequal Protection in a White Supremacist Police State

While I haven’t been great about consistently covering the movement to stop cop city (I failed to cover their recent week of action, for example), I think I’ve covered it enough that my regular readers have at least an idea of the general dynamic there. Basically, the police and a number of corporations want to build a huge playground/training facility for cops to practice urban warfare, among other things. The people don’t want it,  and the cost to the city keeps rising, but the cops and their backers are committed to forcing it through, over the bodies of protesters, if necessary.

This morning, my attention was drawn to a very telling juxtaposition, and I wanted to share it with all of you. Police have arrested a wide array of people involved in the movement to stop cop city, from old ladies holding signs at Home Depot, to people legally organizing a bail fund for fellow activists. This is far from the first time we’ve seen police violate civil rights, including the right to freedom of speech – violating rights is honestly something of a hobby for them. Tell me why, then, Atlanta cops suddenly found a deep respect for the first amendment when it came to Nazis, holding Nazi flags, outside of a fucking synagogue during Sabbath prayer?

Sabbath service ended with a protest outside a synagogue in suburban Atlanta.

About a dozen people waved swastika flags and shouted outside the Chabad of Cobb County during a worship service.

“Exercising our first amendment right,” picketer John Minadeo II told WSB-TV.

“This was the most frightening thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” synagogue member Stewart Levy said.

“The police are allowing it because it is ‘free speech’.” Levy added on Facebook.

Some people living nearby came out and shouted back at the protesters.

“You’re a Nazi and you’re an idiot,” one resident said.

Cobb County Police watched over the protest and said it was peaceful.

Georgia State Rep. Esther Panitch said it occurred as the synagogue held a summer camp for Jewish children.

Ok, so on the off chance you need this spelled out, the extermination of all Jewish people in the world has been a core part of Nazi ideology pretty much from the get-go. That has not changed. Their entire worldview revolves around the notion of a grand conflict between the Jewish and “Aryan” races, and victory can only be achieved through the total destruction of the enemy.

Holding up Swastikas outside a synagogue isn’t just a death threat, it’s a declaration of intent to commit genocide.

It’s a form of terrorism, and I seem to remember a “war on terror” occupying the background of most of my life, right up to this day. How could it be that these police, who have been so empowered in the name of fighting terrorism, are willing to allow, and even protect acts of terrorism? Well, it turns out that the call may be coming from inside the house. I’ll let Mr. de la Rocha explain:



Child Calls Police for Help, Gets Shot

Once upon a time, when I was but a child, I called the cops on my brother’s friends due to a misunderstanding.

My family lived for about a decade in South Medford, Massachusetts. That home was actually pretty near the Somerville flat where I lived prior to leaving the US, and while it’s not super close to any subway stops, it’s not super far, either – about half an hour to Davis Square if you’re walking, or a 10 minute drive. My brother is five years older than me, and he had a pretty tight group of friends at the time, who were scheduled to come over on that fateful evening. My parents got a call to drive over to Davis to pick up a couple of said friends, and so they went, along with my brother, knowing that they’d only be gone for 20 minutes, and that I would be fine just reading in my room.

Or so we thought.

I was doing my thing, lying on the floor and reading one of the Redwall books, when I heard a clatter. A moment later there was another, like something had hit my second story window. I poked my head up to look outside, and sure enough, there were a bunch of people throwing pebbles at my window. Naturally, I freaked out, dropped to the floor, crawled to the lamp, and turned it off.

I could now hear someone pounding on the back door, underneath my bedroom, and a man’s accented voice shouting to be let in. I was terrified, so I scampered to the phone, and called the fire department. I didn’t know 911 at the time, and the fire department’s number was written on the phone, so that’s what I went with. I told them what was happening, more or less as I’ve laid it out here, and they assured me that they were sending a police officer.

The cops got there at around the same time as my parents, I think, and it was a little while before it was made clear to me what had happened. The mysterious strangers trying to break into my home, were actually another group of my brother’s friends, being dropped off by a parent, who understandably thought they were expected. The police questioned me separately from my parents, assuming that this was some sort of domestic dispute, but things were eventually cleared up, and life went on. For quite a while, once I understood why they’d questioned me separately, it honestly made me feel good about police, that they would think to do that.

I’m telling you all this because a news story caught my eye, and made me think of it. An 11-year-old boy in Mississippi called the police for help with a domestic dispute, and the police “helped” by shooting him. The kid survived, but he’s recovering from a collapsed lung, liver damage, and broken ribs. He called for help, just like I did, and when “help” arrived, it shot him.

The boy was given a cellphone by his mother and told to call the police during a domestic disturbance involving the father of another one of her children, Moore said. After the child called 911, an Indianola police officer who was identified by the attorney as Greg Capers “had his gun blazing” upon arrival at the home at around 4 a.m., Moore said.

When Nakala Murry, the boy’s mother, told the officer that no one in the house was armed, the officer yelled out that anyone in the home should come out with their hands up, Moore said.

Even though Aderrien adhered to the officer’s commands and had his hands up, Capers shot him in the chest, according to the family and Moore.

“His words were: ‘Why did he shoot me? What did I do?’ and he started crying,” the boy’s mother said at a news conference this week.

The Indianola Board of Aldermen voted this week to place Capers on paid administrative leave while the case is investigated by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. It’s unclear whether he will face additional discipline or possible termination.

It’s easy to think that that could have been me, but honestly? It probably never would have been.

I’m white, you see, and this kid is black. Odds are we’ll never be able to definitively prove that that was a factor, but given history, I see no reason to give the shooter the benefit of the doubt. Aderrien Murry did everything right, every step of the way, and the police officer who was supposedly sent there to help him, shot him instead. The police chief said it was “extremely tragic on both sides”, because of course we have to consider the feelings of that poor cop! I can already hear the defense being built. They’ll say that the cop misheard the mother and thought everyone in the house was armed, or that Aderienn is “large and intimidating for an 11 year old”. There’s always some reason why it was perfectly understandable for a cop to shoot someone; why any reasonable person would have seen a frightened, unarmed child, and feared for their lives.

This isn’t something that reform can fix. An armed goon, trained to kill, should never have been the first responder to a call like this. When people argue against defunding or abolishing the police, they always talk about the harm they believe would follow, but there comes a point at which fear of the unknown can lead us to support far greater harm than could ever come from the changes that scare us so. Across much of the United States, the police are an occupying force, and one that increasingly resembles a military force. They actively oppose efforts at reform or oversight, and if they do manage to do good, it’s largely an accident of them being the go-to first responders for every conceivable crisis. If you throw cops at literally every problem, they’re bound to solve at least some of them. Police must be defunded, and their resources spent on addressing things that cause crime.

I’ll leave you with this thought: incidents like this may be a minority of police interactions, but the damage they do ripples out. Even discounting the trauma suffered by Aderrien, what happens the next time Nakala Murry fears her ex might turn violent? Do you think she’ll call the cops? Would you? What about the neighbors and friends of that family? What about other people who hear the story, and are in similar situations?

Society needs first responders, but police do more harm than good.

Video: Two minutes

I’ve already shared my opinion about the murder of Jordan Neely, and I haven’t really learned anything since that has changed it in any meaningful way. I’m glad that the killer is being charged with manslaughter. While I think what Penny did should be considered murder, I think it would be hard to convince a jury that he made the deliberate choice to just murder Neely.  Manslaughter, on the other hand, should be relatively easy to prove.

But if when you think about what happened, and what counts as “justice”, I think this is a useful perspective to keep in mind, and watching it will only take you about two minutes.

Gardaí Look Away as Fascists Commit Arson

When the pandemic hit, there was a sort of pause on the independence marches and rallies that Tegan and I had joined in Glasgow. Through a combination of habit, introversion, ADHD, and some version of irritable bowel syndrome, I haven’t gone out a whole lot since then, and while I’ve been getting out a bit more in recent months, I’ve not gotten back into activism. I also haven’t put in the time and effort to learn about Irish politics. I was aware that there were fascists around, but it didn’t feel like the same kind of problem it was back in the US. In my first couple months here, I scraped off all the stickers they had put up on signposts around town, but they have yet to be replaced. I had also noticed the hashtag “Ireland is full” trending on Twitter pretty regularly, but I had also seen one guy claiming credit for that, and outlining how he went about using bots and the like. Add in my effort to make a living through writing (I’d love to see more small donations at my Patreon), and it was easy to become a bit complacent.

Well, now I’m paying attention. and working to catch up.

Last night, a bunch of right-wing extremists held a hate rally against maybe a couple dozen asylum seekers who, lacking real housing, had set up an encampment near the relevant government office. After counterprotesters left, the Gardaí, Ireland’s national police force, apparently wandered off while the encampment was set on fire. The residents had been evacuated earlier, because of the danger, so as far as I can find out, nobody was hurt in the fire.

There are a number of refugees in Dublin from Ukraine and elsewhere, waiting on their asylum applications, and while some are in hotels, a sizable number are not, and have joined the city’s population of unhoused people. They’re being used as scapegoats by the far right, as usual, who blame them for crime, and a shortage of homes and jobs in Ireland. These are all real problems, of course, but with a number of vacant buildings around Dublin, including apartments, it’s not the immigrants causing the problem – it’s a system that values profit over human life.

That perspective isn’t encouraged by capitalists, of course, and it’s downright repugnant to people on the far right, so they lie, preach hate, and attack those with the least power to fight back. From the day before yesterday:

Asylum seekers living in a makeshift Dublin city campsite are ‘afraid for their lives’ after several violent attacks.

Video footage emerged on social media this week showing a violent scuffle at a shanty town housing International Protection applicants, which has appeared in the capital in recent weeks.

And last night the Garda Public Order Unit, along with dozens of gardaí, attended the scene of another protest at the site.

They stood between a group of anti-refugee demonstrators and counter-protesters who chanted ‘refugees are welcome here’.

The stand-off continued for around 90 minutes before gardaí escorted one group away.

Despite the strong garda presence at Sandwith Street last night, a spokesman for the force said: ‘We have no reports of any incidents from this location.’

The incident comes after people living in the makeshift camp, and volunteers at the Sandwith Street site, were on high alert yesterday afternoon following a confrontation between the residents and anti-asylum protesters on Thursday.

One of the residents was struck in the face and sustained bodily injuries after being hit with part of a metal fence.

The camp has been targeted numerous times in recent days, and more protests are expected later today.

At around lunchtime yesterday afternoon, a small number of men and women confronted the inhabitants yet again.

One homeless man from Bolivia said that he arrived at the camp earlier on Friday.

However, the 31-year-old man, named Jhonnes Dante Valverde, admitted being very nervous about being targeted by protesters.

‘I don’t understand why so many people want to attack us,’ he said. ‘All we’re trying to do is build a community for protection because we have nowhere else to go. We’re not bothering anyone and yet there are people who want to force us out.

‘Yes we’re afraid for our safety and even our lives, but my only priority now is to take everything day by day.

‘It’s very hard because I’ve sent nearly 70 CVs all around the city and haven’t got any answer,’ he said.

One volunteer who did not want to be named believes the asylum seekers’ safety is at ‘a huge risk’.

‘They’ve already injured one man here, but if they stormed the place, no one would have a chance.

The image shows Bolivian asylum-seeker Jesus Benitez-Gamez, standing near one end of the encampment. It's a dead-end alley, lined with abandoned buildings. On each side, makeshift shelters have been set up, along with furniture. At the far end, there's a blue tend standing by a fence. From Jesus Benitez Gamez, an asylum seeker also from Bolivia, said he's more concerned for his child's safety than his own. Pic: Michael Chester

The image shows Bolivian asylum-seeker Jesus Benitez-Gamez, standing near one end of the encampment. It’s a dead-end alley, lined with abandoned buildings. On each side, makeshift shelters have been set up, along with furniture. At the far end, there’s a blue tend standing by a fence. From Jesus Benitez Gamez, an asylum seeker also from Bolivia, said he’s more concerned for his child’s safety than his own. Pic: Michael Chester

As you can see, it’s a pretty tidy setup, and very clearly out of the way, and not causing any problems. As quoted above, they’re forming a community for the same reason as most homeless people – they’re subject to violence and harassment, and there is safety in numbers. Hell, it’s the same reason all of us form communities – because life is better working together, than trying to go it alone.

None of that matters to fascists, of course, so last night, they held another rally. There were anti-fascist activists there, using their bodies as a barricade between the fascist mob and the asylum seekers, but they were severely outnumbered, and not being allowed to leave. It appears, based on tweets from one of the mob’s leaders, that the Gardaí may have agreed with the mob that if they let the antifascists (and presumably any refugees with them) leave, they’d look the other way while the fascists “removed the tents”

The image is a tweet by one Gavin Pep (@PepGavin) that reads, "Credit to the gaurds they asked us if we got the people to let the anbtifa crowd go home they would let the lads down the lane to remove the tents true to there word they do a good job in an awkward situation caused by the government #MakeIrelandSafeAgain #irelandisfull. Underneath is a reply from "Joanne/@summerblu" saying, "In reality the guards are sick of the illegals aswell" Spelling mistakes included for accuracy.

The image is a tweet by one Gavin Pepper (@PepGavin) that reads, “Credit to the gaurds they asked us if we got the people to let the anbtifa crowd go home they would let the lads down the lane to remove the tents true to there word they do a good job in an awkward situation caused by the government #MakeIrelandSafeAgain #irelandisfull. Underneath is a reply from “Joanne/@summerblu” saying, “In reality the guards are sick of the illegals aswell” Spelling mistakes included for accuracy.

I think it’s worth mentioning, for those who don’t know, that Ireland’s population hasn’t yet recovered from the Great Famine, so we know for a fact that there is room for more people than currently live here. There may well be a housing shortage, beyond the artificial one caused by greedy landlords, but there is zero question that the housing situation is solvable. I don’t know enough about recent Irish politics and history to say what’s going on for certain, but this problem certainly feels familiar to what I’ve written about back in the US.

So, the refugees and the counterprotesters left, and the cops apparently left as well. As a result, these peoples homes and belongings were burned by a fascist mob, apparently with permission from law enforcement:

For those who can’t see it, the tweet contains a video showing the same dead-end alley as in the picture above, with the tents and furniture all in flames.

From what I can tell, the Gardaí were there or nearby, when the fire was started, and multiple people reported the arson attack, and were apparently ignored. What’s more, the fascists held another march today, celebrating the attack from last night:

As I said before, there is a real problem here, and the one thing Gavin got right is that the government is to blame for its continued existence, as well as the larger problem of homelessness. Poverty is a policy choice, and in capitalist countries, it’s almost always maintained for the benefit of those who exploit others for profit. The fascists have no solutions, and at least for the leaders, they want no solutions. If every immigrant left Ireland tomorrow, they’d find new scapegoats, like non-white Irish citizens, or Travelers.

The reason the far right is able to gain so much ground, is that liberal governments also don’t have a solution to these problems, because they’re too wedded to capitalism to actually solve the problem, and so it continues, and other problems like fascism feed on it and grow.

Until June, I’m still primarily focused on the novel, but I’m paying more attention to what’s going on around me, now, and I’ll be writing more about this.

River study shows how global warming is killing Indigenous Alaskans

When I hear about the thawing of the permafrost, my mind generally goes straight to the greenhouse gases being emitted, and how that’s making the climate crisis that much worse. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I tend to forget that it also has more immediate effects, down here on the ground. When we talk about changes to mountain snowpack, and melting glaciers, I think a lot of people get that that ties to water shortages either now, or in the not-so-distant future. Permafrost, in addition to holding a vast amount of dead plant matter, also holds a lot of water, and when that melts, it can join in with the snowpack and glacier water to change how the rivers downstream behave.

Streamflow is increasing in Alaskan rivers during both spring and fall seasons, primarily due to increasing air temperatures over the past 60 years, according to new CU Boulder-led research.

This increased volume of free-flowing water during the shoulder seasons is compounded by earlier snowmelt and thawing permafrost, also driven by increasing temperatures; all of which are affecting the formation and safety of Alaska river ice in winter, and the timing of when rivers “break up” in response to seasonal warming each spring.

The findings are the result of a collaboration between researchers at CU Boulder, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Park Service, who analyzed data from 1960 to 2019 for nine major river basins in Alaska. Their results, published in February in Environmental Research Letters, show how rivers can serve as a measurable quantity for understanding the cumulative impacts of climate change in Arctic regions.

“Measuring rivers is useful because it integrates all these other changes in temperature, precipitation, permafrost and snow cover. All the dynamics that feed the hydrologic cycle eventually get filtered into the amount of water in a river,” said Dylan Blaskey, lead author on the study and doctoral student in civil engineering.


The researchers analyzed six decades’ worth of monthly data from river gages in nine Alaskan rivers, comparing streamflow to air temperature, soil temperature, soil moisture and precipitation across the basins. They also accounted for large scale climate anomalies, such as El Niño and La Niña.

Streamflow in Alaskan rivers typically peaks in summer, and remains quite low in winter, with stark transitions between the two seasons. The study found that while the amount of water flowing through these rivers on a yearly basis is not changing, when it flows through them is shifting, with more water freely flowing from October through April—creating more gradual seasonal transitions.

Changes in air temperature have had the biggest impact on streamflow in these Alaskan rivers. The average days above freezing in April and October have increased by about a day every decade, according to Blaskey. These months are also when average monthly streamflow has increased the most: by 15% per decade in April and 7% per decade in October.

They also found that the correlation of increased streamflow with temperature is only getting stronger over time when data from the first 30 years (1960–1989) are compared to the most recent 30-year period (1990–2019).

Since the 1960s, winter air temperatures have increased by 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) on average across the global Arctic. The findings from Alaskan river gages help quantify the disproportionate impacts that climate change is having on the planet’s northernmost ecosystems.

“One of the opportunities and challenges of researching in Alaska is that signals of climate change have already begun to appear,” said Blaskey.

I’ve been primarily a city-dweller for over a decade now, and I’ve lived in places that don’t tend to have serious water problems yet. That means that while my work has generally kept me aware of what’s happening in the world around me, seemingly small fluctuations in river flow don’t really affect my life in any direct way. For the Indigenous people who have been living off the land in Alaska for millennia, there’s no choice but to deal with these changes:

Indigenous communities use rivers for vital transportation and sustenance, whether frozen in ice or as free-flowing water. Many rivers are part of traditional hunting and fishing routes, which can be traveled over when they are frozen. Rivers also serve as essential thoroughfares to connect communities and to bring in seasonal supplies, such as fuel and food, because road networks are limited in Alaska.

As the seasons shift, ice freezes later and breaks up earlier, undermining the stability and safety of river ice.

“The shrinking of the fall and spring seasons affects how long river ice persists and is safe to travel over. Indigenous communities have suffered an increasing number of fatalities over the last few decades,” said Musselman. “It seemed that everyone at the workshop had stories of someone who had fallen in the ice and lost their life.”

We’re well past the point where the metaphor of the canary in the coal mine is relevant – we’ve been losing actual miners for a while now. Fortunately, if we look to the history of mine safety, we know how to improve things- it’s by organizing and working together. Whether it’s activists or people just trying to go about their lives, we are losing people in this fight. The changes have barely begun, compared to what lies ahead, but the world has already been made measurably less safe in a myriad of small ways that can be difficult to quantify.

Take all of the evidence together, though, and it’s pretty clear that we’re in trouble. Those people who’ve been forced to the bottom, and to the margins of society are getting hit first, as we’ve always known they would, but there’s nowhere that’s not affected now, and it’s only going to keep getting hotter.

Murdered for defending a forest: Official autopsy undermines cop justification

This past January, I wrote briefly about the police killing of a forest defender named Manuel “Tortuguita” Terán . When I posted that, we didn’t know much, including who the victim was, but I pointed out that the story given by the cops – that Tortuguita had fired on them first – was probably a lie. The primary reason for that assumption was the simple fact that cops lie all the time, about pretty much everything. The secondary reason is that while there probably are activists out there who would feel justified in attacking police, I cannot believe that they’d go about it by facing an advancing wall of armed cops head-on, without any cover. My assumption seems to be well-founded, and I think I should provide a content warning for descriptions of gunshot wounds going forward.

The people who knew Tortuguita said that they were a pacifist, and as far as anyone knew, they were unarmed. Then came the body cam footage from cops who were nearby, saying that the gunfire they heard sounded suppressed (some of the cops’ weapons had silencers) and responding to someone on the radio implying that the cop who did get shot was the victim of “friendly fire”. Then came the autopsy commissioned by Tortuguita’s family, which indicated that they’d been hit by dozens of bullets – so many that their paths through their body frequently intersected.

And now, we have the official autopsy, revealing, in addition to the horrifying damage to their body, zero gunpowder residue on Tortuguita’s hands, meaning zero evidence that they had fired a gun.

DeKalb county’s autopsy, released to the media through open records requests on Wednesday, offers no support for the notion that Paez Terán fired a weapon, stating that “gunpowder residue is not seen on the hands” or clothes of Paez Terán. Residue on the hands might indicate that a person fired a gun, but neither this analysis nor a test known as the GSR kit is foolproof, according to experts.

Patrick Bailey, director of the DeKalb county medical examiner’s office, told the Guardian that the county forwarded evidence to the GBI for them to perform the GSR kit, or gunshot residue test.

Nonetheless, the autopsy report does little to clarify what actually happened that day, except for noting in 19 pages of clinical detail the 57 gunshot wounds that Paez Terán received, employing every letter of the alphabet more than once to label the injuries.

“I tried to read the whole thing – in the end it was a little too much,” said Daniel Paez, Manuel’s older brother, reached at his home in Texas. “The very fact that they’re talking about Manny, and how they died – I didn’t even want to share it with our mother, since the pain of losing Manny continues to haunt us; it doesn’t seem to get better.”

“It’s just brutal,” said Wingo Smith, one of the team of attorneys representing the Paez Terán family. “It’s just gruesome, the effect of the shots on their body, the actual devastation.” Smith and his colleagues received the autopsy results and met with staff at the DeKalb medical examiner’s office last week, and shared the report with the Paez Terán family.

I want to note, here, that we don’t seem to have any body cam footage from the officers that killed Tortuguita. It’s almost like there’s either something to hide so they won’t release it, or the cops went in with an intent to kill, and so turned of the cameras. I have no evidence for this, of course, other than the fact that they apparently lied about what happened, and the fact that, once again, body cam footage of the event is either being held back, or doesn’t exist. According to the Intercept article I linked earlier, the cops initially lied by saying there wasn’t any footage at all, then walked that back partially, saying there was footage of the aftermath (which they’re not releasing).

I’ve felt this way for a while, but I think there’s ample reason to view this killing as an extrajudicial execution for the crime of opposing them. They went in ready to kill, and that’s exactly what they did. That would explain the inconsistencies in the story, it would fit what everyone around Tortuguita had to say about who they were, and it would explain why there’s no footage of the shooting – because the cops didn’t want there to be.

This is exactly the shit that the movement to defend the Atlanta forest is trying to stop. A huge facility for cops to train in urban warfare is just another level of militarization, on top of the harm done to the community by destroying the forest. Tortuguita was killed for trying to stop that. Crimethinc goes into more detail in their post Atlanta Police and Georgia State Patrol are Guilty of Murder: The Evidence and the Motive:

Gunshot residue tests are held to be reliable indicators of whether a person has fired a gun, scientifically and legally speaking. Gunshot residue can wear off over a period of four to six hours, but as mentioned in the autopsy, Tortuguita’s hands were bagged shortly after the murder, in order that if there was any gunshot residue on their hands, it would be preserved. According to the “Investigator Narrative” included in the autopsy, the official who prepared that narrative reported to the scene of the murder within two and a half hours and “covered the hands with white handbags to preserve any trace evidence.”

We can be sure that Atlanta authorities missed no opportunity to secure and publicize any evidence that could corroborate their narrative that Tortuguita shot first. Instead, because the autopsy showed that Tortuguita did not fire a gun at all, the results of the Dekalb County autopsy were suppressed for months.

Is it possible that Tortuguita somehow fired a gun while wearing gloves, or fired a gun and then cleaned their hands? According to the Dekalb County autopsy, Tortuguita experienced at least 57 gunshot wounds; this video shows that all of the gunfire occurred in less than eleven seconds.1 That means that Tortuguita died within a few seconds of the first shot, whoever fired it. In the instants between the first couple shots and their death, there was no time for Tortuguita to remove and conceal gloves, nor to clean gunshot residue off their hands.

To all that evidence, we must add the findings of the second autopsy, the one that Tortuguita’s family commissioned, which found that Tortuguita was “likely sitting cross-legged with their hands up” when they were killed.

This is consistent with the gunshot wounds described in the autopsy conducted by the Dekalb County Medical Examiner:

• Right Forearm and Hand—fractures of the index finger and thumb metacarpal. […]

• Left Forearm and Hand—fracture of the middle finger proximal phalange.

The image is a diagram of the locations of gunshot wounds on Tortuguita’s body. A majority of them seem to be on their legs, with several on their hands and arms, two in their gut, two in the collarbone region, and one through the eye.

As can be seen in the diagram included in the Dekalb County autopsy, bullets struck Tortuguita in both their left hand and their right hand. If they had been holding a gun in either of those hands, the gun would have been struck by a bullet, leaving evidence that Tortuguita had been holding the gun when police opened fire. Atlanta authorities would have eagerly released that evidence in order to corroborate their narrative.

They have done no such thing. They did release a photograph of the gun that they allege was in Tortuguita’s possession—but in the photograph, the gun does not show any sign of having been struck by a bullet.

It follows that Tortuguita did not fire a gun on the morning of January 18, 2023.2

In that case, how did it occur that an officer was shot that day, and with a bullet allegedly matching a handgun registered to Tortuguita that was found on the scene?

According to an early Georgia Bureau of Investigation press release,

The handgun is described as a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm. Forensic ballistic analysis has confirmed that the projectile recovered from the trooper’s wound matches Teran’s handgun.

In fact, Georgia State Patrol—the officers who murdered Tortuguita—are all standard-issued firearms that use 9mm ammunition. According to the “Investigator Narrative” included in the Dekalb County autopsy, during the killing of Tortuguita,

“The uniformed officers reportedly discharged their service weapons, to include a .223 caliber rifle and 9mm handguns.”

So the fact that the gun apparently registered to Tortuguita used 9mm ammunition proves nothing, considering that Georgia State Patrol officers were shooting 9mm ammunition that day.

If exculpatory “forensic ballistic analysis” existed confirming that the bullet that struck the officer was fired from the specific handgun registered to Tortuguita, the authorities would surely have released that by now. The fact that they have not done so suggests that the GBI statement that “the projectile recovered from the trooper’s wound matches Teran’s handgun” means simply that it was 9mm ammunition, like all the bullets that the Georgia State Patrol officers were firing.

Tortuguita experienced at least 57 gunshot woulds within a period of eleven seconds. That offers a hint of how many bullets were in the air during the murder. We don’t know how many rounds Georgia State Patrol officers fired off, but it may have been considerably more than that.

I would say it’s almost guaranteed that there were more bullets than that. It’s been shown that cops tend to miss more often than they hit their targets, so there were probably at least 100 9mm bullets in the air during those 11 seconds. The article goes on to discuss the body cam footage I mentioned earlier, with an officer apparently believing the police shot one of their own. More than that, the police “evidence” doesn’t fit with the video footage we do have:

One more detail remains to be accounted for. According to the “Investigator Narrative” included in the Dekalb County autopsy, “Two empty 9mm shell casings were located under the decedent’s body” by the investigator who arrived on the scene after the shooting. Did Tortuguita fire those shells?

Video footage distinctly shows that the first three shots were fired in a steady, practiced rhythm, followed an instant later by a fourth shot, after which all the other shots began. It seems most likely that an edgy officer—not Tortuguita—fired those four shots, after which all the other officers began firing. If Tortuguita had fired those first shots, there would presumably have been three or four shell casings around Tortuguita’s body—and more to the point, there would have been gunshot residue on Tortuguita’s hands.

  Have I mentioned that cops lie, yet? I feel like I might have forgotten to mention that. Cops lie a lot, which makes it hard to believe anything they say, especially since they also have a habit of planting evidence. The Crimethinc article goes on to discuss motive, and some other factors – it’s worth a read.

Environmental activists are murdered with shocking regularity around the world, where activists – often Indigenous people – are pushing back against environmental destruction that is almost universally driven by greed. According to The Guardian, Tortuguita was the first such killing in the US. The biggest driving factor in Atlanta, while greed is certainly involved in the Cop City project, seems to be the degree to which USian cops hate being told “no”. They want their new playground, they want unchallenged authority, and they are clearly willing to kill to get their way.

I believe I’ve said before that I have a great deal of respect for the people on the front lines of this fight, and I hope it’s clear to all of you that using that “military” terminology is important. These activists are not trying to wage war, but a a war is being waged against them, and their lives are very much in danger.

If you want to help, Defend the Atlanta Forest has a few suggestions, most of which don’t involve putting your body on the line:

There are many ways to get involved. You can support online, help organize your community, show up for actions, or any other number of activities depending on your availability and comfort level. The movement appreciates the need for diverse tactics, meaning many forms of struggle that move towards a common goal. Here’s some more ideas:

  • You can sign up for sporadic text alerts here: 470.606.1212
  • You can Visit the forest at 3251 W Side Place, Atlanta GA 30316.
  • You can organize protests, send phone calls or emails, or help with direct actions of different kinds to encourage contractors of the various projects to stop the destruction. You can find some of the contractors here:
  • Call Brasfield & Gorrie (678.581.6400), the Atlanta Police Foundation (770.354.3392), and the City of Atlanta (404.330.6100) and ask them to cancel the project and to remain peaceful with tree-sitters and other on-the-ground protesters.
  •  You can form an Action Group in your community, neighborhood, town, city, college, or scene. Together, you can host information nights, movie screenings, potluck dinners, and protests at the offices of contractors, at the homes of the board members, on campus, or elsewhere. You can post and pass out fliers at public places and shows, knock on doors to talk to neighbors and sign them up for text alerts, fundraisers, or actions, or you can innovate new activities altogether.
  • You can conduct independent research about the destruction of the forest, construction projects, their funders, their contractors, or lesser-known details about the project using public records searches or other open source investigation techniques and send your findings to us at defendtheatlantaforest[at]protonmail[dot]com.
  • You can organize to join or create a camp in the South River/Weelaunee Forest. Respect people’s space and try to be friendly.
  • Finally, you and friends or your group could organize to caravan down to the forest from near or far during weeks of action.

Obviously, this fight is ongoing. The twitter account associated with this list has announced a week of action from June 24th to July 1st of this year (2023, for people reading this in the future). As they said, how you go about helping is up to you. Any help is better than none, and it takes a village to raze and empire. Tortuguita’s cause was just, and it’s one that we should carry on, be it in their name, or just because it is necessary. Climate change, bigotry, capitalism, authoritarianism – they’re all different fronts on the same war, and sitting out the fight simply isn’t an option.

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