Powerful actions this week in Madison, Wisconsin, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Harlem, New York demonstrate the new tenor of resistance in the US.
On Tuesday June 24th, fury exploded outside the Wisconsin State Capitol on Tuesday night as protesters smashed windows at the statehouse, attacked a state senator, and tore down two iconic statues, following the arrest of a Black man who was arrested after bringing a megaphone and a baseball bat into a Capitol square restaurant. During the melee late Tuesday, a state Senator was assaulted after filming the protesters. Protesters broke glass at the Tommy Thompson Center on West Washington Avenue, smashed windows and lights at the state Capitol, and set a fire at the Dane County jail.
On Saturday, June 27th, healthcare workers and community members in Philadelphia held a temproary occupation of the shuttered Hahnemann Hospital. Following a rally at the City Hall, a crowd of around 100 people marched north to the empty hospital tower, erected canopies, tables, and chairs, and began to attend to patients who had joined the march and were eager to receive care. Before it was closed in the summer of 2019 it predominantly treated Black poor and working class people of Philadelphia, with social service providers housed in the same tower as doctors and specialists. Its most recent owner, the banker turned heathcare investor Joel Freedman, had bought it only a year before, and when he determined it wasn’t profitable enough he filed for bankruptcy, laid off around 800 unionized nurses, and deprived the underserved population of Philadelphia of their primary source of care.
On June 28th, people in Harlem, New York City, hurled bottles and insults at cops who tried to break up their street party. The crowd threw bottles and backed several NYPD SUVs down. The cops, who had prepared to rush the party in riot gear were blindsided by the power of the people. A resident said, “Well, a lot of us took it like, ‘Fuck this, we aren’t doing nothing wrong and you’re not gonna take our block.’”
Across the US, people have had enough of the white supremacist actions of the police and capitalists. They are finding their power to fight back.