Twin Cities GDC Calls for Mobilization at Donald Trump Fundraiser

The Twin Cities General Defense Committee Local 14 of the Industrial Workers of the World calls for all anti-racists and anti-fascists who want to put a stop to Donald Trump’s racist agenda to converge in Minneapolis on Friday the 19th to confront Trump and his hateful supporters. 

Donald Trump’s campaign has been a crusade against many of the marginalized elements of the working class. He has said vile and disgusting things about Muslims, immigrants, queer and trans people, people of color, the disabled, Jews, and union workers. His campaign has emboldened white supremacist, Neo-Nazi, and other fascist and racist hate groups like the Traditionalist Worker Party, Ku Klux Klan, and the National Socialist Movement. He represents a rising tide of far-right elements organizing to defend a racist social order that is crumbling under the pressure of urban revolt against police violence and dissidence in the prisons, not to mention the many other social movements for liberation that have also been gaining ground in the so-called United States. 

We are an organization that exists to defend the working class against all attacks and attempts to divide it. It is for that reason and our own desire to see a better world that we ask all like minded individuals answer this call, and to show the world that the Twin Cities will not stand for Trump or his racism. Defend the working class, unite against fascism!
-Twin Cities General Defense Committee Local 14

Twin Cities GDC Calls for Mobilization at Donald Trump Fundraiser

We are not afraid; We have Community Self Defense

At this point, some have heard that a few disgruntled people commented with threats against our protest planned this Saturday at 6PM at Saint Anthony City Hall. Some have asked us, reasonably, if the event is still on.
The Event Is Still On! We Are Going Ahead!
  • We have identified the threatmakers, and have home and work information on them, along with photographic proof that they have broken military law. We also know the particular grouping in which they operated within the WI National Guard. And we’ve put them on blast in public. They’ve asked us to remove some of the information, and insisted that they weren’t serious. 
  • Additionally, we have been threatened before. When we organized a protest against Bob KKKroll of the MPD Cop Union, and combined it (unannounced) with a shutdown of Sheriff Stanek’s fundraiser (both successful), Bob KKKroll himself sent threats to us to ‘Stay out of NE,’ and his equally repellent buddy cop Jeffrey Jindra also attempted to intimidate us.
  • Why aren’t we worried? Because, as has always been the case with the actions we organize, we provide our own security, our own marshals, and our own scouts. We do not rely on anyone else to protect us or those who attend our actions. We insist on Community Self Defense.
  • No GDC-planned action has resulted in attacks on our groups, despite internet threats. Fear is their major weapon. The community is ours.

WE DEMAND JUSTICE FOR PHILANDO!

Meet at St. Anthony Village – City Office
3301 Silver Lake Road NE St. Anthony, MN 55418
Organized by IWW General Defense Committee
Endorsed by IWW African Peoples Caucus • Justice4MarcusGolden • Justice for Phil Quinn • Black Lives Matter – St. Paul • Communities United Against Police Brutality •Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice 4 Jamar Clark • Blue LIES Matter • Saint Paul for Justice • Black Saint Paul . . . and more coming on board!

29 JULY 2016

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Mockingbird Paper Picks Up Threats Against GDC; Investigates

The excellent news source, The Mockingbird Paper [facebook|twitter] picked up our story on the threats by by a group of Army Wisconsin National Guard members, including posting a picture of a long rocket on our event page.

We encourage you to read it. Bello, the reporter, interviewed one of us for comment, and did more investigation: the Wisconsin National Guard currently has no one whom we can ask about threats on civilians made by armed veterans, and the possible theft of heavy weaponry from an armory.

White Supremacist militia threatens to attack black lives matter protest with heavy weapons, National Guard refuses to answer phone

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GDC #Justice4Philando Action Threatened With Violence; We Are Unafraid

28 July 2016

The Twin Cities General Defense Committee (GDC) of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) has received threats of armed violence against our planned picket of the Saint Anthony Municipal Liquor Store.

We have planned a community picket of the liquor store on Saturday, July 30th, at 6PM, because it is owned by the city of Saint Anthony, which helps to pay the salary of Jeronimo Yanez, the cop who murdered Philando Castile on July 6th. Click here to indicate that you’ll be attending on our Facebook event page.

In a comment thread started by a visitor to our page who expressed rage with the police department for murdering people. Angry replies were posted to our event page along with clear threats of violence. We have deleted that post because of how offensive and threatening it had become. We have screenshots of all the conversation, and of the threat-makers’ Facebook pages, including in some cases military service and places of employment. Some of which are below.

The response was largely initiated by Jeremy LaGrander of Hudson, Wisconsin, an apparent US Army Veteran who posted pictures of himself in uniform to the cover page of his Facebook account.

Jeremy LaGrander, Army Veteran, Threatmaker.

LaGrander tagged some of his Facebook contacts, [full list: James Miller, Cory Voigt (Owner of “Lifestyle Tint” in Albertville, MN) Jeremy BangelHolden Lucke, Jasen Pomroy (Army), Levi Jones (from Texas, he works for Kwest Group; he is also pictured in the uniformed photo above), Ron Hampton (In Oklahoma), Travis William (who posts hateful things about Muslims and likes the Confederate Flag), and Cory Anderson, who owns an auto shop in Scandia, MN called “Flake Creations“). Along with the tag, LaGrander called on his fellow veterans to:

Suit up!

James Miller promptly escalated the situation, posting pictures of his military-grade weaponry and asking if he could use it at the protest. Miller identifies as an Army veteran from the Infantry 1-128th Bravo Company, and posted that information, along with a picture of himself in uniform, to his public facebook page. However, he also posted a picture of Charlie Company, 128th, “Copperheads.”

James Miller Describing his military service and affiliation.

And then, the most explicit threat. Having been tagged to respond to a protest demanding justice for Philando Castile, a man murdered by a police officer, James Miller posted this picture of high-end weaponry on his bed, along with the comment:

Can I use this time [sic]? Cause Fuck them and 100′ around them!

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 2.29.06 PM

Threats of violence

Given the prior discussion on that thread, and the comment accompanying that picture, it seems clear that this is intended as a threat. Any reasonable person would agree with our interpretation.

The last time White Supremacists made threats towards a Twin Cities action protesting to demand that Black Lives Matter, they followed through, and shot five people. We don’t take this lightly.

Next, a friend of theirs named Jeremy Bangel then posted an image of a person firing an assault rifle with a Bible quote (Isaiah 6:8 for the trainspotters), apparently “volunteering for service.”

I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then said I, “Here I am. Send me!”

Jeremy Bangel may have been a military contractor based on his previous posts.

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 2.07.15 PM.jpeg

Another contact of theirs, Josh Eads, also an Army veteran, and a Design Engineer and Chandler, Inc., in Afton, MN, joined in with more usual forms of racist dog-whistling and trolling. A look at his Facebook indicates he posts a lot of White Supremacist iconography, identifies as a iii%er (Threeper, a group of militia-minded vets and others who have conspiracy theories and racial prejudices that might make even Trump blush).

Threepers have attended our previous rallies armed and attempted to physically disrupt and attack our protesters. Eads also thinks that there’s a conspiracy to seize power in in the Southwest US by Latinos:

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 2.29.27 PM

We aren’t afraid of these people, but we’d like folks to know who’s making threats against us, and to ask their’ employers, including the US Army, if this is the sort of behavior they condone and defend. Go ahead and make those calls.

See you Saturday. They won’t be there. We take care of our own security.

As for those people who were tagged but didn’t comment on that particular thread, they mostly share an Army/Wisconsin National Guard background, perhaps mostly around the 32nd Infantry Combat Team. We encourage readers to call their employers or former command centers, and to ask if they approve of this behavior.

 

Press inquiries should be sent to tc.gdc14@gmail.com. We have many more screenshots.

GDC #Justice4Philando Action Threatened With Violence; We Are Unafraid

No Justice, No Profits! Justice for #PhilandoCastile!

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St. Anthony Village police murdered Philando in cold blood.
Profits from the St. Anthony Village liquor stores fund their racist cops.
Make ’em pay! Shutdown St. Anthony’s city-owned liquor store!

When the police can get away with murdering a young Black working-class man for no reason and with no repercussions, we must move beyond symbolic protest.
There must be a cost for these crimes against the community.

6pm Saturday July 30th
Meet at St. Anthony Village – City Office
3301 Silver Lake Road NE St. Anthony, MN 55418

Respond on our Facebook event page.

Organized by IWW General Defense Committee & IWW African Peoples Caucus
Endorsed by Justice4MarcusGolden • Justice for Phil Quinn • Black Lives Matter – St. Paul • Native Lives Matter • A.I.M. – Twin Cities • Idle No More – Twin Cities • Native Lives Matter.org • Save the Kids – Twin Cities • Communities United Against Police Brutality • . . . more to come!

No Justice, No Profits! Justice for #PhilandoCastile!

Update: Public Statement Disavowing “Don’t Shoot’s” Event; “Justice for Philando Castile.”

**UPDATE as of 11:00 PM, Saturday**
Earlier today, the General Defense Committee (GDC) published an extensive reveal of the shoddy organization and frankly dangerous work of an out of town organization to call for a protest outside of the Saint Anthony Police Department. In that notice, we strongly encouraged people not to attend the rally, and instead to support the occupation at the Governor’s Mansion.
After a lengthy set of interactions, an ad-hoc committee which included GDC members had Don’t Shoot turn control of the entire event to that ad-hoc committee.
As a result, we no longer encourage people to stay away from this event. If you wish to go, we encourage you to go. We do, however, suspect that the Governor’s Mansion will and should remain the focus of our major efforts.
For the revolution that liberates all. Justice For Philando, and all victims of police murder and state violence. If we don’t see you tomorrow at 2, we’ll see you at the governor’s mansion.

 

TWIN CITIES IWW GENERAL DEFENSE COMMITTEE LOCAL 14·SATURDAY, JULY 9, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY

On July 7th 2016 local activist/organizers affiliated with the Justice for Jamar movement became aware of an event posted on Facebook titled “Justice for Philando Castile” by a previously unknown group called “Don’t Shoot”. In response, members of the General Defense Committee Local 14 and others decided to get in touch with “Don’t Shoot” to confirm who they are and what organizations they are working with. “Don’t Shoot” responded by stating that “student unions, the GreenParty of MN, Together We Stand, and Students for a Democratic Society at UMN are also helping us”

Screenshot_2016-07-08-11-35-29

Subsequently, members of the General Defense Committee contacted local organizers from the above mentioned organizations. None of these groups or individuals were able to confirm that they were working together with “Don’t Shoot” and denied that they were helping to organize the action on Sunday. To date no local organization has sponsored this event.

Screenshot_2016-07-08-11-38-05

Given the fact that “Don’t Shoot” has made contradictory statements about their organizing efforts and the fact that no local organizations know of them or their real intentions, for the safety and security of all those who RSVP’d, we strongly urge you not to attend this Sunday’s event at 2pm at the Saint Anthony Police Department. If you or anyone you know wants to continue supporting the movement for Justice for Philando Castile, we recommend that you instead support the ongoing occupation the outside of Governor Dayton’s mansion.
**PLEASE NOTE**
Just prior to publishing, we received an anonymous tip perhaps explaining who “Don’t Shoot” really is. Here’s what we got:
Don’t shoot is the facebook front for a domain called dontshoot.us.
This is all their webpage says: “Error establishing a database connection.” The website is registered to Clerk York at: 7501 W Cermak Rd North Riverside 60546. Which is in a strip mall. The phone number 7084421111 is a modem or fax machine. The carrier is AT&T and it is listed to Lee Nails, a nail salon in that strip mall and also to customer service for said strip mall. In other words, its a front for something…. total troll job.
In the spirit of solidarity,
Twin Cities General Defense Committee Local 14

 

https://www.facebook.com/notes/twin-cities-iww-general-defense-committee-local-14/public-statement-disavowing-dont-shoots-event-justice-for-philando-castile/1188221891212127

Update: Public Statement Disavowing “Don’t Shoot’s” Event; “Justice for Philando Castile.”

On the murder of Map Kong by Law Enforcement

mapkong

“You guys got something I can wash my hands with? I got some blood on my hands.”

-Last statement by officer in the video of the killing of Map Kong.

Today, we are told, yet again, that a secretive grand jury found that police officers were “justified” in killing a civilian. It’s tiresome. We’re tired of it. We haven’t believed in any of your rituals of hand-washing and blamelessness for decades, but we are still forced to engage it – to point out the blood still on the hands of the police, and no matter how many grand juries absolve them, no matter how many other police give them awards for the killing. There is still blood on your hands,.

Today, the victim we’re talking about is 38 year old Map Kong, a Cambodian-American man from Chaska, Minnesota who was killed by multiple officers in a McDonald’s parking lot in Burnsville, Minnesota,  on March 21st, 2016. According to toxicology reports, he was high on methamphetamines at the time, which help to explain his physical and social behavior in the video, including his inability or unwillingness to engage the police in the way they ordered him to. First they broken open the windows of his car, then they tased him. Then, when he was running away from them, multiple officers shot him in the back.

Once the grand jury cleared the officers, they released the video. KTSP has released it on their web page, here:

According to the initial reports this took place around 06:15 AM, and the police officers justified the multiple gunshots into Map Kong’s back by claiming he posed a threat to rush-hour traffic.

I hope we’ll learn a lot more about Map Kong: his life, his family, his friends. Where he worked, how he lived. What story brought him to use methamphetamine and be in that parking lot alone in the predawn darkness outside a McDonald’s in Burnsville, Minnesota? Born in 1978, it’s likely he was born in Cambodia or Thailand, under or fleeing the Khmer Rouge, and spent his early years in these camps before moving to the midwest of the United States.

But this is not that writeup. This is the writeup of the video itself. And the police will tell you that the police cannot be expected to know the stories and lives of the people they are empowered to kill.

There are many questions to ask. Here are a few crucial ones:

  1. What need was there to physically confront Map Kong at all? Despite one officer’s insistence that he couldn’t see in the rear, it is obvious that most officers are confident that Map Kong is in the car, by himself, with the windows closed, and aside from a knife, unarmed.
  2. Indeed, the officers discuss ‘containment’ as the first viable option, around 06’23 in the video. However, they elect for a far more confrontational and physically dangerous strategy: to break open multiple windows in his car, and to taze him. In what person’s mind was this a reasonable response? Is it possible the officers were too impatient to simply wait out the episode of a person experiencing a mental crisis event without attacking? If they had, Map Kong would likely be alive today. What justified this escalation of force?
  3. What justifies the shooting of a fleeing civilian, who has done no one any harm, and has committed thus far, to the knowledge of the officers, only the crimes of not obeying orders of police officers, in the back? They shot him in the back. Multiple times. They say it was to prevent him from rushing into rush-hour traffic. That seems like extremely bad reasoning.

Throughout, the officers seem overly eager to see physical action. The body-cam wearing officer cocks his rifle barely seconds out of his vehicle. Another male officer gratuitously aims his sidearm at Map Kong through a closed window, holding his gun in a sideways ‘gangster’ grip. Officers are told by another officer multiple times to put away their firearms, including while they are currently beating windows out of a car. I’d like to hear the Chief of Police explain the training on those procedures.

TIMELINE (Note that time markers here are approximate, not precise).

  • 00’45 – officer parks and exits car, rifle in hand.
  • 00’55 – cocks rifle while walking towards another officer, parked between him and the parking lot, standing at the front of his vehicle. At no point does the officer stop walking toward the lot.
  • 01’02 – Mentions the man in the parking lot, claims he’s “got a big knife.”
  • 01’05 – “I’m on already,” apparently a reference to his body cam.
  • Car is approached. Map Kong is visible in the front driver’s side seat. He is rocking back and forth (almost like head banging), and occasionally swinging his arms from side to side around his body. In a few moments, metal objects become visible in each hand. There doesn’t appear to be anyone else in the car.
  • 01’18 – first yelled orders to exit car.
  • 01’19 – 138 (Squad reference) – 10-33 (Emergency – need immediate assistance).
  • 01’33 – first “Drop the Knife” order, of many repeated orders.
  • 01’50 – Map is flailing about with the windows still closed.
  • 01’52 – Decision is made to ‘box him in.’
  • 02’02 – Map appears to realize what’s going on for a moment, raises both hands; one holding a metal object, showing them to the officers through the closed window, but is still shaking his hands. He looks really scared to me. This lasts until shortly after about 02’18. He starts to rock back and forth again.
  • 02’45 – Officers discuss tazing him.
  • 03’24 – “This is gonna go badly either way.”

  • 03’44 – The first civilian car drives behind Map’s vehicle, indicating traffic has not been blocked. It will not be blocked until later. Multiple civilian cars drive through the scene.
  • 04’47 – Officer approaches with weapon drawn and aimed.
  • 05’01 – Discussion of possibility of gun in car by one officer.
  • 05’24 – first mention of blocking traffic
  • 05’40 – Squad vehicle parks behind Map’s vehicle, blocking him in from the rear. Officer emerges with sidearm pulled, aimed at Map Kong in improper, sideways, ‘gangsta’ grip.
  • 06’23- Options discussed. Contain him, “Pop the back window out and tase him,” or “[AUDIO TROUBLE] that car.” One officer asks if he’s alone. Another officer quickly replies ‘Yes.’ Body cam officer (who seems more hyped up throughout) says he thinks Map is alone, but can’t see because the window is fogged up.
  • 07’00 – Decide to pursue option 2: breaking windows and tazing Map.
  • 07’22 – Male officer (the one who parked behind Map and used a ‘gangsta’ grip, I believe) starts using baton to beat out rear passenger side window. Has to be instructed to put away his firearm while doing so.
  • 07’40 – Same officer breaks front passenger window.
  • 07’44 – Same officer steps towards broken passenger window with taser, and fires taser into Map.
  • From this point on, there are repeated orders to drop the knife. The officers are apparently unaware of the effects of tasers on making muscles convulse involuntarily, thus making dropping anything voluntarily difficult if not impossible in many circumstances. Or they know this and don’t care.
  • 08’08 – Map manages to pull the taser plants from his body, opens driver side door, slides to the ground.
  • 08’12 – As he runs away, with his back to the camera and to all the officers, multiple gunshots are heard. I can’t count them. He falls forward onto his face.
  • 08’30 – Map Kong’s body, still facedown and motionless, is handcuffed.
  • 08’55 – Officer puts on gloves.
  • 09’11 – Turning over Maps’ body? Officer has to be reminded to put away firearm again.
  • 09’28 – Instructions given to an officer regarding witnesses and cameras.
  • 10’05 – Declares no pulse.
  • 11’45 – “Nothing you could do, man.”

  • 11’50 – “Couple of witnesses there?” “Yes.”
  • 14’17 – Shroud covers Map’s body.
  • 14’30 – Officer claims to identify the two knives in Map’s possession on the ground.
  • 14’52 – “You guys got something I can wash my hands with? I got some blood on my hands.”

On the murder of Map Kong by Law Enforcement