We’ve got one of our favorite comrades, Pearson Bolt from the Coffee with Comrades podcast, with us today to talk about security culture. But first, we end up doing a massive ranty Pop Top about Kamala Harris’s win as Biden’s VP pick. Pearson ranted so fervently that Nichole dubbed him an honorary third bitch!
The three of us GO OFF about Kamala Harris being chosen by Biden for his VP. Nichole pulled some clips of Harris’ past speeches around school, truancy, and crime to highlight how heinous she is and how she is a cop at heart and the literal worst pick for a time that is brimming with anti-cop sentiment.
- TikTok about superheroes, politicians & fascism
- Attorney General Kamala Harris: Innovation & Evolution in our Criminal Justice System (YouTube)
- Kamala Harris (1/14/10)
- Unpacking Kamala Harris’s Record on Trans and Sex Work Issues (Them)
What do you call a zombie movie set during the French Revolution? (Thanks for the original joke submitted by comedian Mario Marrufo from the Brocial Cuckstice Warriors podcast on Anchor and Spotify | YouTube channel)
Main Topic: Security Culture / Operational Security with Pearson!
Pearson (he/they) has taught operational security many, many times so he joins us today to do a little security culture and OPSEC 101 with our audience. He covers tips for digital security in your everyday life, particularly if you are organizing online, and then we also go over tips for how to protect yourself in the streets.
Pearson recently did a similar episode on their podcast, Coffee with Comrades (link below), which we also highly recommend! The CrimethInc link below also has great information in writing in one place as an additional reference.
Security culture: a security culture is a set of customs shared by a community whose members may be targeted by the government, designed to minimize risk.
- Episode 92: “Practice Safe Sec” (Coffee with Comrades)
- CrimethInc definition of security culture (Crimethinc.com)
- Jail And Court Support (Rebel Steps Podcast)
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028 Let’s Talk About Sec, Baby!.mp3
Nichole [00:00:26] Hi, everyone. I’m Nichole.
Callie [00:00:29] And I’m Callie.
Nichole [00:00:30] We have Comrade Pearson in the studio from Coffee with Comrades and they’re here today to talk to us about security culture. Before we get into security culture, we three thought it would be fun, and we had many requests from you all, for us to generally pop off about this Kamala Harris V.P. pick for Biden.
Pearson [00:00:56] Boo, hiss.
Nichole [00:00:59] Boo, hiss is right. So Callie and I watched Jimmy Dore’s video about it which we’ll, I forgot to link, but I’ll link it in the description.
Pearson [00:01:11] Whomst is that?
Nichole [00:01:12] What?
Pearson [00:01:12] Whomst is that person?
Callie [00:01:12] Jimmy Dore?
Nichole [00:01:16] He is a comedian slash political commentator. And he’s not not problematic. But he also-
Pearson [00:01:25] Again, whomst among us can cast that first stone?
Nichole [00:01:29] Yeah. We enjoy his political coverage because he’s just very angry and he likes to pull together a lot of clips and he knows a lot of stuff. So we find it very entertaining. So I’m actually just gonna copy him. I wanted to do more research, maybe find different stuff, but this is how it went. So I’m going to play two clips from Kamala’s different speeches and then I’m going to mention an article and then we can just generally also tear into both of them. And I just want to say, for anyone who might be new, I am picking on Kamala today, but only because we have roasted Biden to hell and back the whole time.
Pearson [00:02:13] Ad nauseam.
Nichole [00:02:16] Ad nauseam. And I’m sure we’ll say stuff about him today. But I think, like we always say that it’s one thing to hear someone’s policies and to know that they are shit, but it’s another thing to hear that person like talking about those policies. And Jimmy’s video just reminded me of that, like how when you hear her saying this stuff herself, it just hits you, like way harder and you just realize, like, where her head’s at. All right. So this first one’s from the Commonwealth Club speech that she gave. And this is the one where she talks about truancy, her truancy policy, and yeah, we’ll just-
Callie [00:02:55] Not easing us in, huh? Going right for it.
Nichole [00:03:01] I’m just going right for it. Okay, and let me know if you don’t hear it.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:03:07] In San Francisco, a few years ago, we had a rash of homicides, the highest rate experienced in many… In decades. So every one of us in city leadership was concerned and I asked a staff member to go out and do an assessment and tell me who are our homicide victims who are under the age of 25 when they were killed. And the data came back and it included the fact that 94 percent of those homicide victims were high school dropouts. So then I went over to this-
Nichole [00:03:36] So already-
Pearson [00:03:37] Wait. They’re high school dropouts. So it doesn’t matter if they’re truant or not because…. God damnit! Like of course they are not in school because they dropped out. Fuck!
Nichole [00:03:48] Yeah. So already it’s like… Also this is one of those like false equivalency things like, yeah okay, they are high school dropouts. What else might they have in common?
Callie [00:04:00] Right.
Nichole [00:04:03] Because as we’ll see, she bases the whole fucking thing off this one fact but says nothing about, you know, access to services, access to resources, food security, financial security-
Pearson [00:04:17] Class.
Nichole [00:04:17] Housing security, class. Anything, race, anything like that. It’s just that they’re high school dropouts.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:04:24] School district, and I asked the superintendent at the time what’s going on? And she said, Kamala, well, of the few number of children we have in the San Francisco Unified School District, fifty-five hundred have been designated as habitually and chronically truant. And of the fifty-five hundred, twenty-four hundred are elementary school students.
Nichole [00:04:42] So now she tries to make it sound like the San Francisco school district has very few students. Because notice how she didn’t give a percentage. She didn’t say what percentage fifty-five hundred is, she’s just like, oh, this tiny school district in San Francisco… Because I’m thinking it’s probably a much smaller number than she like, wants to say, so she wants to use like the fifty-five hundred and make it sound huge.
Callie [00:05:08] Oh, yeah. I mean, there must be so many kids. Like, I grew up in a school, like not a super big city, and my graduating class was like six hundred fucking people. Like one class, so like I can only imagine, right, in a district like San Francisco, how many kids would be matriculating through. Fifty-five hundred is not a lot.
Nichole [00:05:31] Yes. I’m also glad that we’re profiling elementary students as well.
Pearson [00:05:36] Got to get them young.
Nichole [00:05:37] You’ve got to.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:05:41] So I asked the superintendent to convene a meeting for me with all of the principals and administrators of the school district and I shared with them a fact about myself, which I talk about in the book. I’m a product of California public schools. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Francis Wilson, God rest her soul, attended my law school graduation. I would not be standing here were it not for the education I received.
Nichole [00:06:07] But like, you’re the worst.
Pearson [00:06:11] So what? It’s not exactly a shining example of California’s prestigious educational system if it yields Kamala Harris to the world. If Kamala Harris is the best that California’s educational system can vomit up, then perhaps it needs an overhaul.
Callie [00:06:34] Yeah.
Nichole [00:06:34] Right. And again, this drawing this line between her having education and her having success without any acknowledgment of all the other factors around that. Including that she was raised by a radical leftist parent, god damn it.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:06:54] And I know many of us will say the same thing.
Nichole [00:06:57] This is where it gets good.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:06:57] And I believe a child going without an education is tantamount to a crime.
Nichole [00:07:01] Oh, because we needed to criminalize more things. That’s what we need is more things being a crime.
Pearson [00:07:09] I just love the way that you pause too, like there’s just this smug, self-righteous, like, self-assured look on her face right now.
Nichole [00:07:17] She’s like, I’m about to fucking blow your minds. Get ready.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:07:21] So I decided I was going to start prosecuting parents for truancy.
Callie [00:07:26] Look at her face.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:07:28] Well-.
Nichole [00:07:28] She’s so excited.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:07:30] Herschel in San Francisco.
Pearson [00:07:35] What is the fucking laugh. What the fuck dude? What the fuck?! Look at that face! That’s demonic!
Callie [00:07:42] She’s so pleased with herself.
Nichole [00:07:44] She is so pleased. She is so happy.
Callie [00:07:44] Like she’s like giddy over, like putting the fear into all these people.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:07:52] The staff went bananas. They were very concerned because we didn’t know at the time whether I was going to have an opponent in my reelection race.
Nichole [00:07:59] So, again-.
Pearson [00:08:01] Look at her face! I can’t get over it. I know that’s like really low hanging fruit, and I’m not trying… But it’s just like, it’s so evil! Just like this maniacal laughter. Like just like cartoon comic book villain status here.
Nichole [00:08:17] She’s so proud of herself. And I think maybe it didn’t come through as clearly. But like she was saying that her staff were like, what are you doing? They were like very concerned. They were very against it. And she’s just like, who cares? I’ve got this, like, this is what we’re doing. And also just the fact that she was like, oh, we didn’t know if I was going to run unopposed or not, is so gross to me. You know?
Callie [00:08:42] Yeah. That’s the only guard rail on you being halfway decent is if you’re going to have an opponent challenge you on your bullshit?
Nichole [00:08:50] Or if that would be the only reason that, like, people would be concerned about this is that it might make her unpopular for reelection versus the fact that it’s just fucking heinous. And again, if we paying attention to all the other factors at play here, then we would see that this would just enhance those stressors, not detract from them.
Callie [00:09:12] Yeah.
Nichole [00:09:13] All right.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:09:15] Well, I said, look, I’m done. This is a serious issue. And I’ve got a little political capital and I’m going to spend some of it. And this is what we do. We recognized that in that initiative as a prosecutor and law enforcement, I have a huge stick. The school district has a carrot. Let’s work in tandem around our collective objective and goal, which is to get those kids in school. So to that end, on my letterhead. Now, let me tell you something about my letterhead, when you’re the D.A. of a major city in this country. Usually the job comes with a badge and there is often an artistic rendering of said badge on your stationery. So I sent a letter out to every parent in the school district outlining the connection that was statistically proven between-
Pearson [00:10:12] Liberals love their statistics.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:10:14] -High school dropouts who will become a victim of crime and who will become a perpetrator of crime. We sent it out to everyone. A friend of mine actually called me. He said, “Kamala, my wife got the letter. She freaked out. She brought all the kids into the living room, held up the letter, said, ‘If you don’t go to school, Kamala’s going to put you and me in jail!'” It’s not funny. Yes, we achieved the intended effect.
Callie [00:10:40] She’s laughing about traumatizing people.
Nichole [00:10:44] Yeah, it’s disgusting.
Pearson [00:10:46] I also like that she implies that, like, the D.A.’s office is the stick and that like education is the carrot and that, you know, the only reason why we educate people is to like incentivize them to, like, get more carrots. Not because, you know, learning is important or because education is a rich and fulfilling thing that edifies our lives and gives us like a reason to exist in a purposeless world where we’re stranded on this isolated, lonely ass rock without meaning or purpose, and that perhaps education might give us some degree of agency and autonomy over our lives?! No, no, no. It’s that it’s the carrot that moves us towards the next carrot and the next carrot and the next carrot on this endless fucking scaffold that is capitalism. And if you don’t chase the carrots, well, guess what? You get beaten with Kamala’s big stick. God damn it, I fucking hate liberals so much. Fuck!
Callie [00:11:39] I like fucking living for how wide you just went with that.
Nichole [00:11:44] I know, it’s so good!
Callie [00:11:44] A thing of beauty. That was a full on fucking masterpiece. And never like, that’s the thing too when liberals are so focused on people going to school because school is what fucking brainwashes us into being good little workers later on, right?
Pearson [00:12:02] Exactly.
Callie [00:12:02] So you don’t go to school, guess what? You don’t get that like 12 years of fucking programing telling you how you’re supposed to go out and interact in the world.
Nichole [00:12:13] Exactly. Yeah and she goes on in that talk to talk about there’s that homeless woman with three kids and how they press charges against her. But then, you know, they found out, like, the things that she was struggling with and helped her get access to services that already existed. She makes sure to, like, really emphasize that the services already existed and then they were able to drop the charges against her. And so she’s like-.
Pearson [00:12:45] Or you could just not prosecute her in the first place and then just, you know, give her the access to the resources. I mean, it’s great that the resources exist, but maybe you could just, um, skip the whole step where you prosecute her and just give the resource, I don’t know I’m just spit balling here. It’s seems like that’s the more efficient and effective way to do this, but who am I to say?
Nichole [00:13:05] We’re just work shopping. No, and that’s the thing is like you can, sure, we could use truancy possibly as one of the litmus tests of like maybe a family need some help. So let’s send them some person who doesn’t exist today because everyone today is fucking plugged into the fucking cops. But like send, you know, reach out and say, like, hey, what’s going on? Can we help you? Do you need access to anything? But no instead it’s, we’ve got to press charges. We’ve got to threaten this family. And if you’re a person experiencing homelessness and you’re a single parent, like they’re threatening to take away your kids, too. Let’s be real. Pressing charges like you’re going to lose your kids and then acting like that was some kind of act of, like charity.
Nichole [00:13:48] And there’s so many layers underneath that of this way we like infantilize people who are financially insecure. Right, it’s like, oh, we had to go and be the big daddy and threatened with the punishment and then come in and, like, help this person. Because that’s the thing, too. She’s emphasizing that the services already exist to be like don’t worry, I don’t want to create any new programs like what we have is sufficient, which we all know that it’s not.
Callie [00:14:17] Right.
Nichole [00:14:17] But it’s also to kind of be like, see, this woman didn’t even know like to go do these things on her own. She had to be forced to do them.
Pearson [00:14:26] She had to be coddled by the state.
Nichole [00:14:28] Yeah. It’s this narrative that, like poor folks are lazy or ignorant and that you need, like, a daddy to come in and be like, okay, you need to get your shit together. And like, here’s the stuff that you could have found on your own, is just really disgusting to me. And it’s really disgusting that she just so blatantly is like, let me just draw this correlation and not look at any other factors.
Pearson [00:14:55] Totally.
Callie [00:14:56] It’s not, the fact that they miss school isn’t the correlation. It’s that usually school, like you’re saying, is like a sign that there is something going on, right? That there maybe needs to be like additional help, additional support, some services. Like it’s not like, oh, if you miss school then you’re gonna end up becoming a criminal when you’re in your late teens. It’s about like, oh, if you miss school, that that tends to be connected with a lot of other things that could then lead to like anti-social behavior, right?
Callie [00:15:30] And like you were talking about, not only are these parents like if they get arrested, then that could lead them on the path through the system of them losing their kids, like the system violently taking their kids from their care. But it also is highly likely that these people lose their jobs, right? Because if you’re already in an economically vulnerable position, you probably have a job where, like, you can’t miss work. And if you get arrested, you could miss a day of work. You could miss several days of work. You could miss work because you’re trying to go to court and deal with all the bullshit and now you’ve lost your job on top of everything else. Like, it’s so fucking cruel.
Callie [00:16:13] And I remember when I was researching this story, like months ago, her whole, like, fucking truancy thing and there was this interview, I can’t remember if it was on like Vox or what it was, but it was a woman talking about, a mother talking about how her child is ill, like, I think her child had like cancer or something like horrible and missed a ton of school. The teachers were aware, the principal was aware, the school district was aware, but it was still in violation of the policy because the student was missing school and the mom got arrested anyway. And she’s like, what the fuck do you want me to do? Like, you know, that she’s sick and why she’s missing school. They don’t care.
Nichole [00:16:59] They don’t care. No, they don’t care. They just want to criminalize more shit. And have more indirect ways of targeting black and brown communities and poor communities, right, without coming out and saying that that’s what they’re doing. Because that’s what I keep harping on. Like, if you looked at the reasons that kids miss school, they’re almost always like financially related in some way. Even if it’s a parent struggling with addiction that tends to be tied into like they can’t afford to get help, they can’t afford to go to rehab or get any kind of support. They may not have, like community ties around them with people who can help out. Like, there’s always… There’s reasons that kids aren’t in school that go beyond like they’re just not going. And for her to draw this false equivalency of like, oh, when people go to school, then they don’t commit crimes.
Nichole [00:17:53] It’s like the reasons people commit crimes, if they’re there, then they’re still there. You know, like if you’re committing crimes for economic reasons, if you’re trying to survive, then that isn’t going to change whether or not you’re in school. Yeah, you might, some people might have a better shot of getting out of that position with a high school diploma. But like we all know, too, there’s only so many jobs to go around. Minimum wage is shit. Like there’s no guarantees. So, yeah, for her, it’s just one of these ways that people are like, come in and they’re like, look at how I just took these like ruffians and helped them out, you know?
Pearson [00:18:35] Ursula K. Le Guin has this really good quote where she says, “To make a thief, make an owner. To create crime, create laws.” And I think that, like, really like sums up this Kamala Harris presentation, if you could even call it that, of this new policy. I mean, make no mistake, like Kamala Harris is in many ways like a leading architect of the prison industrial complex. And so it’s no surprise that she ends up being the V.P. on the Biden ticket, considering the fact that Biden was the architect of the 94 crime omnibus bill, which was championed by the Clinton administration. And so, like, you know, this fusion, right, of Kamala Harris and Joe Biden is, I think, a big refutation and a big middle finger to the progressive flank, such as it is, of the Democratic Party and a general fuck you to the left more broadly. And I think that, I think it’s pretty clear to me that this so-called referendum on Trump is doomed to fail because we tried this shit already in 2016 with a Neoliberal candidate.
Pearson [00:20:00] And ain’t shit changed, right? I mean, like, it’s really disappointing to see people like Angela Davis, for instance, whom I love and whom I think very highly of, who has, you know, given so much of her life and her effort and her energy in the struggle towards prison abolition, celebrating Kamala Harris. Again, like I see a lot of leftists saying, like, you know, this is very kind of hero worship thing where it’s like, well, you know, you know, Angela Davis has given so much of herself to the struggle for prison abolition. Who are you to say that you know better than she does? And it’s like, okay, like both things can be true simultaneously. Like, I can critique someone even as they’re really good at a thing, right? Like this idea of hero worship, I think is really a disappointment on the left, and it has this sort of this sort of puritanical, like religious kind of like fetishization of these figures instead of like an actual, like, materialist critique of their positions.
Pearson [00:21:05] You know, I like the same thing can be said of, like, Noam Chomsky. So I don’t want to go hearing anybody saying that, like Pearson’s just going after Angela Davis because she’s a Marxist. No, I’m happy to critique everybody. It’s just like if we’re actually going to practice what Marx called the ruthless critique of all that exists, then we kind of, you know, have to do that. We can’t just, like, pick and choose. You know, when one person, you know, is like, you know, the hero of our, of our so-called movement, like we got to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time as it were. So like, I think that the Kamala Harris and Biden ticket is incapable of actually presenting a legitimate challenge to Donald Trump and is simply a further progression to the right in this country, which has been the steady course that neoliberalism has been on for the last 40 years, right?
Pearson [00:22:02] Like, if we look at it on a broader timescale, right, if we look back at Reagan, right, and Reaganomics, the real way that neoliberalism was constructed, right, transitioning into the Clinton administration, which had the crime omnibus bill and like really championed mass incarceration to George Bush, to Barack Obama, to Donald Trump. We’re just moving further and further and further to the right in this country. And I think that that in many ways reflects the project of neoliberalism in general. I think it was Lenin who said that capitalism, or rather fascism is capitalism in decay. And what are we looking at this moment, if not the decay of capitalism? I mean, neoliberalism is just an absolutely gutting economic system that implements privatization, financialization, austerity, and is absolutely ravaging people’s lives.
Pearson [00:23:01] And so it’s like, you know, we can keep voting for these fuckheads and continue to move further and further and further to the right, or we can actually, like, do something meaningful and productive with our time and actually try and build and prefigure the alternatives that we want to see right here and right now. Not wait for some mythical, capital R, patriarchal revolution where some heroes are going to swoop in and kill all bad guys and save us, but instead, like, actually work meaningfully towards developing a more robust and a more, a more like cogent critique of how capitalism functions and how it insinuates itself within state power. So I’ve talked to a lot, I’ll shut the fuck up.
Nichole [00:23:47] I mean, we can end the podcast here.
Callie [00:23:53] I know, that was all so good. No, I saw, I’ll try to remember the name of the person who said it and I want to be able to credit them so I’ll try to find the Tik-Tok and post a link to it. But it was a really interesting perspective on the similarity between like fascism and like superhero culture and how Americans basically being like raised on superheroes and always kind of waiting for this kind of savior and that we all have our favorite superhero and we like stand for them and we fully support them and hero worship them. And how like doing that with our politicians, like basically stanning any politician is just like fucking fascist, you know, like it just it tells the politician that, like, you can do what you want. I like you and I am not going to, like, hold you accountable for, like, policy decisions, you know, and that’s basically what we’re seeing.
Callie [00:24:46] I mean, Kamala Harris, like, has her KHive. She literally has a bunch of people on fucking Twitter that like basically act like Beyoncé fans. And dear god, please don’t cancel me, Beyoncé fans, for saying that. Like y’all are truly scary. But like, you know, all these people that are like going out and acting, like tearing into people who dare to hold Kamala Harris accountable. And that’s fucking scary. I mean, these are not, they’re not pop stars. They’re not fictional superheroes. Like these people are supposedly our elected leaders. Like we should hold them accountable, even the ones that we like. Like even our faves. And we shouldn’t have faves but like-.
Pearson [00:25:38] It’s the fandom of politics, right? It’s like it’s political fandom. You know, it’s this myopic fixation on these larger than life, like you said, like messianic figures who are supposedly going to bring us safety or, you know, drive the mean orange guy out of the White House, right? But like, there’s no actual engagement on a like material or on a policy level, because in reality, it’s just fanatic hero worship and nothing more and nothing less.
Nichole [00:26:16] Yeah, I saw someone on Twitter talking about that with Bernie and they were saying, like the liberals just like support a politician no matter what, because they don’t actually support, like, what they stand for. Or they do, but it’s not like about their policies, right, it’s about like what they represent. And so they just couldn’t understand that so many of us Bernie, supporters were like, no, we literally supported him because of his policies and now that he’s out, like, we’re fucking done. Like and they were like, you know, how libs have just been baffled that, like Bernie’s been out here supporting Biden and now he’s like raving about Kamala, which like Bernie, you were already fucking canceled to me and now you’re dead to me, like goodbye.
Pearson [00:27:00] I always think of that meme of the, like, kid who was like dressed in the Pooh Bear thing and he’s like holding the gun and he’s like crying, and it’s like, you know, talking about how he’s going to kill Bernie Sanders. Apparently not actionable, for the record. But you know, just that meme is justice.
Callie [00:27:20] That is just very much exactly how I feel about Bernie Sanders.
Nichole [00:27:26] Yeah, we posted the version to our Instagram where it was like me getting ready to tell Bernie to go fuck himself when he supports Biden and the kid’s like weeping. But like holding the gun.
Callie [00:27:36] Oh no, but Nichole where a cult and we will do anything he says and didn’t actually like him for his policies.
Nichole [00:27:41] That’s right. The cult of personality.
Pearson [00:27:44] Right.
Callie [00:27:45] Except that the minute he did something we didn’t like, we were like, then fuck you, we’re going this way.
Pearson [00:27:50] I think it’s also funny that you point out like the KHive too, because like, you know, what was the thing that they tried to throw against Bernie Sanders supporters? Well, it was the Bernie Bro narrative right? Over and over and over again, right, the Bernie Bro narrative, it is, you know, this hive mind, this hodgepodge, this patriarchal dude, bro, who only cares about Bernie Sanders because it’s cool to do on the Internet, right? And that’s all like very bad and should be condemned and is contemptible. But the KHive is something very celebrated because yay, Kamala!
Pearson [00:28:29] You know, it points to the failures of liberal identity politics and the ways that liberals have tried to co-opt the rich tradition of intersectionality that was championed by the Combahee River Collective, right, this queer collective of black women who like, actually really like had a cogent intersectional critique of capitalism, the state, patriarchy, heteronormativity. And instead, it’s been weaponized by liberals as a sort of tepid attempts to pacify the left, right? Oh, we’ve chosen Kamala Harris and she’ll be the first female V.P. She’ll be the first woman of color who is a V.P. And it’s just like these banal gestures that are meant to pacify people and even excite people. And it really sort of shows the light to the lie of liberal identity politics and how myopic and how idealistic they are.
Speaker [00:29:38] Like, they don’t actually have anything material to offer people, right? Like Kamala Harris in the vice president’s office isn’t going to give people health care, right? Kamala Harris in the vice president’s office isn’t going to make education better in this country. Kamala Harris in the vice president’s office isn’t going to suddenly end all of our endless wars and our fracking and our capitalist expansion, our imperialism, right? It’s literally just a fucking action figure place holder. I think the rhetoric of superheroes works really well here. It’s just… God, it’s awful.
Callie [00:30:19] Yeah.
Nichole [00:30:19] It is awful.
Callie [00:30:19] Well, I think that’s what’s so… I think that’s what’s been the most like deeply disturbing to me of this whole process, is just seeing how… It’s like the curtain has been pulled back. The Democrats are officially like where we don’t even care, like, the wheels are fucking coming off this thing, right? It’s late stage capitalism. It’s just about like getting as much as we can before everything officially goes to shit. Like we’re not even going to pretend to, like, do what you want us to do. Like to be in a pandemic and still be actively against universal healthcare like Medicare for all is just so deeply disgusting. You know?
Pearson [00:31:05] You can say the exact same thing for like the fact that we are in the midst of one of the longest protracted insurrectionary movements whose main target is the police and who do you, who do you asked for your V.P.? Why the self-proclaimed top cop of California, right? It’s a big, you know, fuck you to everyone who actually has, you know, two brain cells between their ears to spark together and, you know, think critically about this situation. And again, I don’t want to beat a dead horse or dog pile anyone, but it’s just really dispiriting seeing like actual authentic leftists who have been committed to the movement for so long, you know, making apologia for a self-proclaimed top cop who literally fucking celebrated the fact that we should have more people in the incarcerated, in the carceral state so that they can go and fight California’s wildfires.
Pearson [00:32:00] Kamala Harris literally wanted to, was like happy that they had more people who could use slave labor in the carceral system to go fight fires in California. This is the person who were supposed to be celebrating? Nah, fuck that. Miss me with that bullshit.
Callie [00:32:16] Yeah. I mean, nothing could be a bigger fuck you to our times than this Democratic ticket. Like we’re in the worst economic crisis, probably in our country’s history. I mean, I know we haven’t felt all the effects yet, but this is going to end up being worse than the Great Depression, right?
Pearson [00:32:33] It already is in many ways. Statistically it is.
Callie [00:32:35] Yeah. And it’s like it hasn’t even really gotten… The shit hasn’t even really hit the fan yet and we’re not even out of this pandemic, it’s probably going to last at least another year. And so you have the father of basically modern day slavery through mass incarceration and this tough on crime, fucking racist white supremacist bullshit, now partnered with California’s top cop who declined to prosecute someone who took advantage of like thousands and thousands of families, right, Steve Moonchan? Munchen?
Pearson [00:33:13] Yeah, Steve Mnuchin.
Callie [00:33:15] Steve Mnuchin. I always forget how to say his last name.
Pearson [00:33:17] It’s okay, he’s a piece of shit though so it doesn’t matter. You can mispronounce it all you want. Fuck Steven Mnuchin. He’s a piece of shit.
Callie [00:33:23] So you have someone who, like, is looking the other way with people who have done so much harm because they’re part of the, you know, capitalist white class, right, who’s then targeting and openly bragging about, like, harming black poor, like POC families, right? Like, I just I can’t imagine a bigger fuck you. Like literally everything this Democratic ticket stands for is the exact opposite of what people want nowadays. Like 90 percent of Democrats want Medicare for all. Is that even in the platform of the DNC? No, they wouldn’t even have to do it. They don’t even have the decency to lie to us anymore and be like yeah, that is our policy, but oh, shucks, we just couldn’t make it happen. They’re like no, fuck you.
Pearson [00:34:10] Because of those pesky Republicans, they just wouldn’t let us pass it.
Callie [00:34:15] Right, exactly. They’re like, what? Who are you gonna go for? Trump. No, we’re just gonna do whatever the fuck we want. We’re gonna pick someone who is like bragging about being a fucking artistic, rendering of a shield like she’s that much in love with, like the idea of being law enforcement and having a big stick that she’s like-.
Pearson [00:34:34] Blue lives matter.
Callie [00:34:36] Right! And like in a time when millions are taking to the streets to protest, like police brutality, they just like, honestly, don’t give a fuck anymore. I don’t think anything sums this up better than, especially this video that Nichole’s been patiently waiting to play.
Nichole [00:34:54] Good segue. All right, so this clip is shorter, it’s like a minute and a half. But, yeah, I think it sums up like a lot of what we were just saying.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:35:04] Okay, so I say with all love and warmth.
Callie [00:35:07] No. Already.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:35:09] Out of the concern also for people who are progressive thinking, and liberal minded, or just progressive thinking in terms of just fix it, fix it, is that we all have these posters in our closets that we’ve attached to a stick-
Callie [00:35:28] Bitch, you don’t.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:35:28] -More thoughtful about criminal justice policy, and those statistics that you first heard when we opened it up, incarceration. And we run around with these signs, “build more schools, less jails”, “build more schools, less jails”, and we walk around everywhere, “build more school”. We protest, “build more schools, less jails”. “Put money into education, not prisons”. There’s a fundamental problem with that approach in my opinion.
Pearson [00:35:54] I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Wait, hold on, so…
Nichole [00:36:02] Did you catch it Pearson? Have you caught it yet?
Pearson [00:36:02] There’s a fundamental problem with saying “more schools, less jails”?!
Nichole [00:36:10] Yeah.
Callie [00:36:11] Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mh hmm. No, she’s a fool, like she is such a piece of shit, like she’s openly mocking people, like she’s just sneering at us all.
Nichole [00:36:32] Yeah. Did you hear her define progressive minded as people who want to fix it now? In a mocking tone? I think Pearson might be frozen.
Pearson [00:36:46] No, I’m just I, I just…
Callie [00:36:53] That was the best thing!
Pearson [00:36:53] I’m at a loss for words. I mean…
Nichole [00:36:55] That was almost a jump scare. That was amazing.
Pearson [00:37:01] I mean… I don’t even know where to begin. Like, as an educator, I’m just so like, what are you fucking talking about? What are you fucking talking about?! Like even…Like okay, so like we’ll take two steps back, right, put yourself into the mind, right, of a Neoliberal capitalist, right? The whole idea, right, is that you want to train your workers up to be good obedient worker bees. How can you do that if you don’t have an actual like, you know, functional, like even semi-functional education system, right? You’re not going to be actually able to do it. And what we’re seeing right is, is the you know, we’re seeing more of that stick that she like was so proud to talk about in the last video that you showed, right?
Nichole [00:37:44] She put a sign on it, she put a sign on the stick.
Pearson [00:37:47] Exactly. She put a sign on the stick this time. You know, it’s like… Okay, it’s like, it’s like she’s basically saying, right that, okay, we well tried the carrot so now here’s the stick, right? And then what do we, you know, what are we looking at if not that exact fucking pattern over and over and over again over the last four decades, right, over the last 40 years where neoliberalism has reigned supreme, right? As Margaret Thatcher said, like there is no alternative to capitalism, right, it is the hegemonic system under which we all live, right? You know, the idea that we are just continuing to drift further and further and further and further right, and as we get to a point where now, okay, we don’t actually need workers to pay a wage do we? We just need good, obedient fucking slaves to put into, put into mass incarceration to work for pennies on the dollar?.
Nichole [00:38:36] That’s really it.
Callie [00:38:37] Yeah.
Nichole [00:38:38] Because wasn’t she the one too in California when they were… We were looking at releasing a bunch of inmates. She was like, it’ll literally like bankrupt our economy?
Pearson [00:38:47] Yeah.
Nichole [00:38:48] Because California relies so heavily on prison labor?
Callie [00:38:51] Yeah.
Pearson [00:38:51] Slave labor. Slave labor.
Nichole [00:38:54] Which is slave labor. Modernized slavery.
Callie [00:38:56] Her lawyers are, like a judge told her office to release people-.
Nichole [00:39:01] That’s what it was, yeah.
Callie [00:39:02] And they refused.
Nichole [00:39:04] She’s like, “We can’t because these corporations need the labor.”.
Callie [00:39:04] Like, not only were they not…they fought it. Exactly, and they said this would like hurt California’s economy. And a judge was like, get them out. Like, they literally had to be like, what are you fucking doing? Like, you’re not doing what I told you to. And now her whole thing is she’s like, oh, I didn’t know that our office policy was to argue. And it’s like they were your lawyers! It was your office! You cannot possibly say that you did not understand that that was the argument being made in court.
Pearson [00:39:36] Yeah, it’s total bullshit.
Nichole [00:39:39] Pure bullshit. All right, let’s let her finish. She’s got a big point to make. She’s going to, she’s got a big thing she’s proud of herself to say.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:39:46] I agree with that conceptually.
Callie [00:39:49] I don’t think she does.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:39:49] You have not addressed the reason I have three padlocks on my front door.
Nichole [00:39:53] This bitch does not have three padlocks on her door. Okay, first of all.
Callie [00:40:00] Also, who puts padlocks on their door? Like bike locks, like i just…?
Pearson [00:40:03] They’ve got like the one with the whole chain that they like wrap around.
Callie [00:40:14] I mean, I know it’s such a small thing to pick on her for, just mixing up her words, but I’m also like but fuck you.
Nichole [00:40:21] No but she meant it. She practiced this speech. She had this written out. And this is what, like as a person who grew up in poverty, this is the kind of shit that always, like, sets my hair on fire, because… it’s me.
Pearson [00:40:37] They’re coming for you. They’re coming for you, Nichole.
Nichole [00:40:41] I know! It’s like this is the kind of shit people say because they think that’s what like being poor is like or they think that’s like, it’s like this cartoonish version of like crime, right, that everyone’s going to respond to is that we all have these padlocks on our door and it’s like, no, you don’t.
Callie [00:40:57] Yeah.
Nichole [00:40:58] You live in some gated fucking area. You probably have security, like, stop it. All right.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:41:06] So part of the discussion about reform of criminal justice policy has to be an acknowledgment that crime does occur. And especially when it is violent crime, a serious crime. Well, there should be a broad consensus that there should be serious and severe and swift consequence to crime.
Pearson [00:41:29] Yeah and what has that done for anyone? Has that ever deterred crime? No, of course not. And we can see that time and time and time again, just like how the death penalty doesn’t stop people from killing each other. So, too, does it not prevent people from doing, you know, more like less severe like crimes. I mean, like I mean so severe. Like it’s definitely like a terrible thing to, like, assault someone. But like, you know, the threat of punishment has never deterred people, right?
Nichole [00:42:00] Never.
Pearson [00:42:00] Especially because a lot of times it just happens instantaneously, right? It’s something that just boils over. A lot of times it’s not premeditated, right, and we throw people into the carceral system. What does it do but churn out people who are more hardened, people who are more willing to do violence, and people who have no other option oftentimes, but to do that violence in order to, like, make ends meet. And so it’s just like this myopic cycle that we keep going through time and time and time and time again continues to perpetuate violence, and if we continue to do this, this sort of retributive type of justice, if you can even call it that, then we’re never actually going to be able to move towards a more just and egalitarian society. These people don’t care about justice. They care about the bottom line. They care about how much money is lining their pocketbooks because of corporate lobbyists. They don’t give a fuck about what’s right or what’s true or what’s just. All they care about is how much fucking money they can scrape together. Because guess what? They’re not here for a long time. They’re just here for a good time. And they’re gonna take us all on a fucking ride as they go down with their fucking ship.
Callie [00:43:08] Exactly.
Nichole [00:43:08] Yeah.
Callie [00:43:09] I just can’t… It’s so disgusting when you really take a step back and think about like we shouldn’t have people in law enforcement, like attorney generals and prosecutors, making decisions that don’t fundamentally understand crime and why it happens. And we shouldn’t have legislature, like people in our like, legislative positions who also don’t understand crime. And she is both! Like she is now a senator and she was California’s top attorney general. And she doesn’t understand criminal behavior? Like I learned in sociology one -oh-fucking-one what crime is and how you actually prevent it. And like all this, so many studies have proven that it’s not this, like, you can’t…
Callie [00:43:58] The stick doesn’t work. They’ve proven that time and time again, just like having worse prisons or having more brutal sentences, having this like really strict, like punishing arm of the state doesn’t actually help lower crime. It actually makes things worse because-.
Pearson [00:44:16] It exacerbates it.
Callie [00:44:17] Yes! It’s what you were just saying. Like you put people in prison, you sap like the rest of their hope and then you turn them out. They most times have lost the ability to vote. They can’t get a regular job. They’re fucking monitored. They’re being taken advantage of by like probation officers. Like it’s fucking horrible. You give them no options and then you wonder why they end up reoffending and going back. We can see in places that have different ideas of how to, like, truly rehabilitate people or how to truly prevent crime, like maybe decriminalize the things that are not violent, right? Like what that actually does. That’s what helps. And to have someone like her who’s seen as this expert on like criminal behavior, on law enforcement, on creating laws and enforcing them, not understand this? That’s criminal.
Callie [00:45:15] Honestly, like she has ruined so many lives and doesn’t even have a basic understanding. Or I mean, she does she just like is so fucking greedy she doesn’t give a fuck. But it’s really upsetting. Like we can see even within our own country, like certain states. Like the states, like Arizona. Do you remember fuckin Sheriff Joe or whatever that white supremacist piece of shit, the guy who, like, would put his prisoners in like pink jumpsuits and be like out in the hot desert, like doing, you know, desert clean up or whatever the fuck, like the rates of people reoffending there are so much higher than in states that have more of like a rehabilitative approach, right. Where it’s not like, oh, we’re just going to try to scare you into not coming back. Like we can see the evidence is clear.
Nichole [00:46:05] Yeah. And I liked those two clips together because it shows how bullshit everything is, because in the first one she’s saying that school does prevent crime. And in the second one, she’s saying school does not prevent crime, right? Like school has like… We can’t build new schools if we’re not here talking about violent crime and violent criminals and how we need people to intercede on that. So it just shows that… And it just shows the whole thing is a grift. Exactly.
Pearson [00:46:40] Well, I’m really glad you pointed that out, because I hadn’t considered that particular vector of analysis. Like that pairing of those two videos works so well because it’s literally just exposing that it’s all total utter bullshit.
Nichole [00:46:56] Yup. Yeah. She’s literally making fun of people who are pushing for school in the second video. When in the first one, that’s her whole thesis statement. Her whole hypothesis is that, look, school is so important because it prevents crime. And then in the second one, she’s making fun of progressive people for thinking school is like this social solution to things.
Callie [00:47:21] Yeah. Before we move on to this story, can we finish the rest of that clip? Because it’s so fucking funny to me that she’s like such a fucking asshole that she’s going to like dis people’s appearances.
Nichole [00:47:38] Oh, okay yeah, we can do that.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:47:43] That I think is essential. And by the way, it’s, it, when you break it down, everybody agrees. You know?
Pearson [00:47:51] We don’t!
Callie [00:47:52] We don’t actually…
Kamala Harris Recording [00:47:56] One year long as… Many years ago I was speaking before the San Francisco Democratic Party, the annual meeting. And it was a Saturday, I had done a bunch of events so I got there and was a little tired. And I got to the podium and I looked out at the San Francisco Democratic Party-
Callie [00:48:11] I hate this so much.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:48:12] And I leaned looked at the podium, kind of leaned over, I’m just exhausted. I’m looking at, you know, the glorious party that it is, right? So it’s like the Black guy with the blond hair, the white guy with the dreadlocks, you know, the lady there with the purple hair and all the buttons, right, and I just looked out at this fabulous motley crew and I said, “Okay, so who of us is Democrats, raise your hand, and saying people shouldn’t have to go to jail?”
Pearson [00:48:37] Well, I mean, I’m not a Democrat, but I am raising my hand. People shouldn’t have to go to jail.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:48:43] One human being kills, another human being. A woman is raped.
Callie [00:48:47] Ooh I didn’t think about that.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:48:47] A child is molested. Is that what we’re saying?
Nichole [00:48:51] Yes!
Kamala Harris Recording [00:48:52] Her response was to suggest we don’t want law enforcement and public safety.
Callie [00:48:57] Yes!
Pearson [00:48:57] Correct. Yes! Abolition now, motherfucker. Come on, Jesus.
Kamala Harris Recording [00:49:02] -About challenging ourselves in terms-
Nichole [00:49:04] That’s not what we mean. No! It is what we fucking mean!
Pearson [00:49:07] It is, it is, yes abolition is when we say abolition, we mean abolition. The abolition of the police.
Nichole [00:49:13] Stop coopting all of our fucking words, you asshole.
Callie [00:49:16] I just love that for so many reasons because you can tell how much like fucking disdain she has-.
Pearson [00:49:22] For the base, yeah.
Callie [00:49:23] Yeah, in her own party.
Nichole [00:49:25] Yeah. Like in her own city.
Callie [00:49:27] Yeah, in her own city! It’s like you can’t, like… What stick is like… What is wrong with you that you’re like, oh like the woman with PURPLE hair thinking she doesn’t want cops.
Pearson [00:49:40] And the BUTTONS?!
Callie [00:49:47] Yeah!
Pearson [00:49:49] She has purple hair and buttons?! Those buttons!!
Callie [00:49:51] Seriously. Oh and that fucking sign in your closet like oh, oh, you have a sign in your closet? And it’s like, girl I think you’re actually looking for the Republican conference.
Nichole [00:49:58] Yeah, I think a lot of you are lost.
Callie [00:49:59] You’ve stumbled into the wrong place. Like what is the matter with you?
Pearson [00:50:06] I mean she is true though. Like I don’t hear any liberals actually calling for, at least not authentically calling for, police abolition.
Nichole [00:50:13] No, it’s true.
Pearson [00:50:14] You know, there are plenty of liberals who are perfectly content to post like Black Lives Matter in their Twitter bio and say defund the police. And then they turned around and fucking venerate Kamala Harris as soon as Biden picked her for his V.P.. So it’s like, you know, it’s totally not an actual gesture of solidarity or of authentic comradeship. It’s merely a banal platitude that is supposed to get the mean orange man out of the White House. And, you know, these people, these exact same people, we’re fucking absolutely mute when Michael Brown was murdered and who was the person who was presiding over the White House in that critical juncture? Well, it was Obama. Did they have anything to say when Eric Garner was murdered? Nope. Who was the president at that time? Oh, it was Barack Obama. Did they have anything to say when Philando Castile was murdered? Oh, no. That was also Obama. And they had precisely jack shit to say. So, you know, it really reveals itself for just the total fucking grift that it is.
Pearson [00:51:19] And I think that she’s on to something when she says the liberals don’t actually want that, because it’s true that liberals don’t actually want that. But there are people in the so-called Democratic Party who are on the progressive flank who do want like an authentic defunding of the police. And there’s obviously those of us on the left who are genuinely committed to abolition, not just of the police, but also of the prison system and ultimately the state itself.
Nichole [00:51:48] Yes, comrade. So the last thing I want to bring up, I haven’t had time to read through this entire article but this popped up. I saw it promoted on Instagram. This account “them”. I really like a lot. I highly recommend it. But it just goes through and unpacks Kamala Harris’ record on trans and sex work issues. I saw Everett in the comments talking about how like their lib friends will try to tell them, like the white cis gays will try to say what a ally Kamala is for the LGBTQ community. And the truth is, you know, she has been an ally in terms of being like pro-gay marriage and things like that. But she’s been very, very anti sex work. She actually laughed at the idea of decriminalizing sex work. And as we know, that disproportionately affects trans folks, particularly black trans folks. And also, she is someone who has sent many trans women to men’s prisons. So she is not a fucking ally.
Nichole [00:52:52] She’s an ally in a way that is palatable, which if you haven’t listened to it, I do recommend our recent interview on Progressive Podcast Australia, because we talked about a lot of stuff like this. But, you know, just as we’ve also been talking about like queer anarchist things, we talked about how monosexual white gay culture has become fairly palatable to the mainstream by accessing things like the traditional institution of marriage. So she’s being an ally, but only to these things that basically still reinforce oppression in the state-
Pearson [00:53:30] Heteronormativity.
Nichole [00:53:31] Heteronormativity, cisnormativity, Christian puritanical ideals, right, like sex work is dirty and terrible and criminal, but marriage is like clean and great. So I think that’s just like-
Pearson [00:53:43] That’s why so many people get divorced, right, it’s because marriage is just so clean and great.
Nichole [00:53:48] it’s just so great!
Callie [00:53:48] Well gay culture is fine only so long as the whole point is that you assimilate into this like Christian, patriarchal world, right, this culture. It’s like the gays are fine as long as they’re like cute and nice and conventionally attractive and like have nice gardens and move into your suburbs.
Pearson [00:54:10] As long as they’re not those gays.
Callie [00:54:12] Right. Exactly. With the wild hair and the signs.
Nichole [00:54:18] The buttons.
Pearson [00:54:18] The purple hair and the buttons.
Callie [00:54:20] Who are advocating for like decriminalize sex work or, you know, non-traditional families. Like, it’s just, she’s honestly just, she’s such a piece of shit. I can’t even. I’m so glad, and when Nichole and I were talking about doing this segment, I was really happy that Nichole, like, thought about playing these videos because there’s something I think lost when, when you’re reading someone’s track record, like when you’re reading an article and seeing all the things that she’s done, I mean, obviously it’s still horrifying and deeply upsetting. But then when you see her, like you see her on stage, like openly sneering at people, like she is laughing and joking and condescending to her own base, her own party, even other leaders within the Democratic Party, you know, she’s being condescending to. And just the, I think a lot is said for people’s like, real tone and attitude.
Callie [00:55:24] And I think, I think for anyone who is like, well, maybe she’s like done a few bad things, but her, like, heart’s in the right place. It’s like it’s not. Like you can see what she truly believes. You know, she knew enough on those debate stages to like, say the right things. But this is who she is. She is this top cop who thinks like people that are criminals are just fucking criminals. They’re just bad people. We got to lock them up. And while they’re in jail, you know, we just might as well exploit their, like labor so that corporations can make more money. And she’s just like fucking gross, honestly. And the fact that the Democratic Party is just like, oh, here’s all the things that are important to you. Just kidding. We’re going to put up like the two people that are literally the opposite because like we are telling you that you can’t hold us accountable. We’re not going to bend to your will. You literally have no power or leverage in this situation. And you’re not even allowed to criticize us, because then all we’re gonna say to you is smear you as like a Russian asset or tell you to go fucking vote for Trump. I mean, it’s like ridiculous that that’s the level of discourse happening right now on the so-called left. And it’s not even really left, but…
Pearson [00:56:46] Its center-right.
Callie [00:56:47] Yeah.
Pearson [00:56:49] And becoming more and more right with each passing fucking day.
Callie [00:56:53] Yeah.
Nichole [00:56:54] It’s really disturbing, honestly. Someone who’s calling themselves a radical leftist on Twitter but then said something so lib and I was like… How many of us jumped in and were like, you’re not, like stop. You’re being ridiculous. So. Fuck all this shit. We’re not excited.
Callie [00:57:18] No.
Nichole [00:57:19] And it’s just, I just hope everyone can see, like, how fucking Orwellian this is, like just how gross that in the midst of this huge Black Lives Matter, like, antipolice movement, that they bring in a black woman who is a cop. Like, I just, I just hope everyone sees it because they really, this cooption of identity politics, like they really do think that she is going to be beyond reproach. She’s gonna be beyond criticism. And they really do think like, well, we gave you what you asked for, like, what is the problem, you know? Even though I know they’re cackling behind closed doors, knowing that this is also sending a huge fuck you to the anti-police movement to be like not only are we not backing down from the police, but like we’re going to literally bring a cop into the White House to reinforce this shit.
Nichole [00:58:16] And Callie and I were talking about it. I think a couple of days ago, but, you know, I was saying one of my fears with Biden winning is that the Democratic Party is going to use this time, you know, people are going to be pacified for a small amount of time. And then I just think that they’re not going to be able to keep us down because of the pandemic, because of the stock market, because of everything that’s happening. But they’re going to prepare in a way that people are not going to be ready for. Whereas Trump is like doing this shit out loud right now and we’re already resisting it. You know what I mean, and I think that’s another reason that Kamala was picked is because it’s like, okay, if we get in, people are going to calm down for a little while and we need to be ready for when they come back. We need to be, like, ready to crush that shit. And Obama was like that. Obama was not afraid to crush a fucking protest.
Callie [00:59:11] Nope.
Pearson [00:59:11] Look at the NoDAPL protest movement, right? I mean, the indigenous peoples there were absolutely fucking crushed and decimated by police militarization, right?. And they fought valiantly and have continued that struggle even to this day. And I think that you’re absolutely right. I think that the bourgeoisie are closing ranks and are sort of like preparing themselves for, you know, buying some time so that they can further consolidate their power, further militarize the police while less people are paying attention. I think that’s a very astute observation.
Pearson [00:59:49] I just also don’t think it’s going to, that gambit is not going to work. Like Trump is going to win again in November. Like, you know, I hear a lot of people who just seem convinced, right, that Biden and Harris are going to come out victorious over Trump and Pence. And I just can’t help but think that that’s a pipe dream. I mean, you know, this is the exact same thing that people were saying about Clinton in 2016, that Clinton had it cinched and it was in the bag and that Trump’s you know, there’s no way that Trump would get it. And people are saying the same thing now, like Trump’s approval ratings are dog shit. Well, like what they don’t seem to understand is that they’re still filtering all of this through the corporate media and they’re myopic and erroneous polling that simply tries to present a particular skewed narrative, but is actually incapable of recognizing the fact that Trump has a solid base that is unshakable. That is not going to move that, as Trump himself said, he could literally stand in Central Park and shoot somebody in the face and he would be, you know, still voted for. That’s exactly what has been happening. His base has continued to, you know, rally behind him in the most rabid way possible. And that’s, you know, exactly what’s going to happen come November.
Pearson [01:01:07] And, you know, like I mentioned before, the Democrats made this gamble last time in 2016 with Clinton. And they chose the neoliberal candidate, the candidate of the ruling class and of the corporate elite. And what happened? Well, Trump got elected, and that is precisely what’s going to happen again. And it’s been a little bit discouraging to even see, like comrades and like other leftists be like, you know, like I think Biden and Harris have it in the bag. And it’s like, brother, are you not paying attention? It’s like we’re looking at two very different world, you and I.
Nichole [01:01:41] Yeah, yeah.
Callie [01:01:42] Yeah. Well, and you’ve got, I mean, you’ve got Trump now who is passing, who may have even did the executive order, but he was trying to give like 400 extra a week, right, to unemployment?
Pearson [01:01:57] No. Two hundred less. Just 400 instead of 600.
Callie [01:02:00] Oh. But it’s like he does these things that on the surface, like if you’re someone who’s, like, following Fox News or whatever, they he says and does somewhat of the right things. Right, he tries to make it seem like, oh, I’m going to help the people. And it’s never actually that. It’s always like somehow the people getting screwed over. But it sounds good to the people that he needs to win over. And then the elites still do like whatever the fuck they want to do. Like, I just don’t think that because our media is so like corporate liberal, like we only ever hear, like, the bad things about Trump, like we don’t actually hear some of the things that maybe his base would like. We don’t hear the things that are actually like decent, you know, not that he has done anything like good, but we don’t hear any of that. So liberals only ever hear, like, the fuckin bad, like identity politics bullshit. And they’re not getting an accurate sense of, like, how this country feels about him or how the country feels about Biden.
Callie [01:03:07] You know, people hated Biden during the primary. And Kamala Harris, this is something too where like the V.P. pick used to be someone who was like, strategic. Right, like that was like maybe the runner up, the person who like if a party was divided and got a lot of the votes and it was close, then the V.P. pick would be that person. It was a way to, like, unite the party into, like the voting base, into voting for them. Like Kamala Harris had to drop out before the primary of her own fucking state!
Pearson [01:03:37] She couldn’t even win her own fucking state.
Callie [01:03:39] Yes, she got… I don’t think she had a single fuckin… Now I’m forgetting the word for it.
Nichole [01:03:47] Delegate?
Pearson [01:03:48] Delegate for the Electoral College? Yeah.
Callie [01:03:49] She did not get a single delegate. Like she had to drop out before her own state because it would have been an embarrassing loss for her. Like people didn’t like her in the primary. I don’t know why they would pick her beyond just like, oh, she looks good identity politics wise. But even the politics of, like, a few decades ago would have had the Democratic Party taking, like, different action. You know. We’ve just completely forgotten how politics used to work, because now it’s been so taken over by this, like really weird, like nonsensical liberal bullshit.
Pearson [01:04:23] I mean, it’s the consolidation and the hegemony of neoliberalism. Right, like, you know, this is, you know, the only thing that the Democratic Party is capable of offering the American people anymore. The choice between a neoliberal shill who will grovel and obey the every whim of the corporate elite and the bourgeoisie and be handsomely rewarded for it. Or a far right reactionary. And I feel like I, I hope I’m not beating a dead horse here, but it’s just, this is precisely what happens if we continue to play into this game. If we continue to vote for these twisted fucks, then we’re just going to continue to move more and more and more and more and more to the right, because capitalism cannot continue to function. It’s simply, the contradictions of it have been laid so perfectly bare that you have to be willfully ignorant to ignore them.
Pearson [01:05:28] It’s so clear that you cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet. And yet, what are we trying to do but rake in as many dollars as we can to pull out all of the fossil fuels out of the earth to penalize, protest and to crack down brutally on any form of dissent. And so, you know, this is precisely what we’re heading towards. And it’s a terrifying thing to stare down because it’s akin to looking down the barrel of a loaded gun. But I think that unless we start, to follow the gun metaphor, unless we start, you know, arming ourselves and being willing to shoot back, then we’re not going to be able to do anything other than simply, you know, kneel on the face of a mass grave as we wait for the bullet that’s going to be shot into the back of our head while our corpse falls into the grave with everybody else.
Pearson [01:06:21] Like, you know, if this is what we’re gonna do, if we’re gonna just keep, you know, vapidly kneeling before the corporate elite and the bourgeoisie, then what other choice are we going to expect? You know, people like want to say like, though this is the only choice we have is the lesser of two evils, while the lesser of two evils still ends up with me getting a bullet to the back of my head. Then I’m going to choose the third one where I at least try to fight back.
Nichole [01:06:50] I’m going to choose direct action and I’m not going to put up with this shit.
Pearson [01:06:52] Exactly.
Nichole [01:06:52] I was telling you all before we started recording that like, that happened to me on Twitter. I posted something about, you know, general striking and whatnot. Oh, I was like the vote blue no matter who crowd is, just like wringing their hands and being like, what else can we do? And it’s like there’s a lot else that we can do. And we’re seeing that, like Belarus, they just had a huge workers strike in response to their fucking like, authoritarian government. And so, you know, but then people were coming back with, like, well they’re looking for like realistic solutions. And I’m like, all right, dude, if fucking fascism is realistic to you, like, it’s more realistic to allow fascism to happen than it is for you to see that like we as people need to come together and do something then like you’re lost. Like, I don’t, I don’t know what to tell you, but I’m not going to sit here and just check a fucking box in November and then be like, yay, it’s solved. It’s done. No, I absolutely will not do it.
Nichole [01:08:00] So speaking of all of those things, I think that’s a good segue into our main topic.
Pearson [01:08:06] Now that we’ve spent an hour and fifteen minutes bullshitting.
Nichole [01:08:07] I know, I looked at it and I was like oh, that was quite the pop top, my goodness. All right. So I have an original joke by comedian Mario Maruffo, I can never say Italian names, which is so embarrassing for me. So he has a podcast called Brocial Cuckstice Warriors, inspired by, I think our name as well, which is very funny. And Pearson, I picked this joke because I think you’ll like it.
Pearson [01:08:39] Oh heck yeah.
Nichole [01:08:40] What would you title a zombie movie set during the French Revolution? You have to say, I don’t know.
Pearson [01:08:51] I don’t know. Tell me. Tell me, Nic, tell me!
Nichole [01:08:55] Forced participation. Bourgiois-Z. Get it? Bourgiois-Z. I can never say that word. And then he was like, oh, I think that joke only works in the US. And I’m like, it’s fine, we’ll do it.
Callie [01:09:14] Oh, my gosh.
Nichole [01:09:16] So thank you, Mario, for that. Do we have anyone to thank today? Are we prepared for that? Should we delay it?
Callie [01:09:23] Let’s delay.
Nichole [01:09:26] Okay. So I know we did get a couple Patreons, I think, but we’ll thank you next week. So you know who you are. You know what you did.
Callie [01:09:35] What you did.
Nichole [01:09:37] So thank you for that. If you want to help out the show, you can go to patreon.com/bitchyshitshow and give us a little tip there. We appreciate it. So. Let’s talk about safe sec.
Pearson [01:09:53] Let’s do it.
Callie [01:09:54] You are just so proud of yourself.
Nichole [01:09:57] No, Pearson came up with that and then I just had to… I called this episode “Let’s talk about sec, baby.”.
Pearson [01:10:04] It’s very good. Like the song.
Nichole [01:10:05] But Pearson titled their episode “Practice Safe Sec” I think. And I was like, I like that.
Pearson [01:10:16] Hey, puns! It’s a good time.
Callie [01:10:18] I am so excited about this topic because honestly, Nichole and I have been talking for years about the fact that we don’t have any fucking clue, to be honest, about security culture stuff. So we’re just, I’m excited to learn.
Pearson [01:10:36] Yeah, for sure. Well, I guess, you know, maybe a good place to kind of start, and then we can kind of veer into one of two directions. It’s just like, you know, why should we have, like, operational security? Right, like what is the point? And so I guess, you know, a good place to really begin is like defining what operational security is, right? You know, if you are in a situation where you are about to do some good, good direct action, if you are in a situation where you are browsing the Internet and researching something that you maybe don’t want, you know, Google to catalog for eternity, if you are in a situation where you and your comrades are going to be planning some large demonstration, then it’s likely that you might want to practice operational security in order to defend yourself and to protect your friends and your comrades. And your family as well. And depending on who you live with and whatnot.
Pearson [01:11:44] And so I think that operational security can be broadly defined as tools or strategies that people in a community use in order to keep themselves and keep each other safe. And practicing robust operational security is, I think, really important to the success of any type of direct action, any type of demonstration, or even just like keeping your yourself and your personal data safe, in our digital age. Especially now when we’re so, you know, so online. Those of us who’ve already been super online, are even more online and now everyone is super online in Rona Hell World that we’re all living through.
Pearson [01:12:32] Well, yeah. So, you know, operational security I think is super, super vital to practice. And it’s also really important to draw a demarcation between being paranoid and actually practicing good operational security. Because if you are super paranoid and you don’t trust anyone, then you’re already doomed from the start because like no, you know, healthy or productive action or demonstration ever began with a lack of trust, right? You know, we have to be able to, you know, trust our friends and trust our comrades and move towards, you know, collective emancipation in tandem with one another. And so I think that we have to start from a place of trust, but kind of in that, you know, vein, trust but verify. Right, like, make sure that, you know, you have good reason to trust the people who you are communicating with and take measures and steps in order to ensure that the risks are mitigated in some way, shape or form.
Pearson [01:13:46] And so in order to talk about operational security, Callie and Nichole, I thought there are two maybe ways that we could potentially look at it. We can look at something like doing some type of street action or some type of demonstration or dare I say some sort of sabotage or animal liberation or something like that in spirit with y’alls show. Or we could look at kind of like, you know, security in a digital era and how to protect ourselves when we’re online. I can leave it up to y’all, we can ask the chat, I’m open to whatever. We could do both and?
Nichole [01:14:27] I think maybe both and, because I really like learning about the day to day. And I think that is really important for people because we are so online.
Pearson [01:14:38] So online.
Nichole [01:14:39] So online. And so I think there’s a lot of like, just a lot of good daily practices that are accessible to everybody, whether you’re, you know, involved in actions or not. But I also think that the security around going to an action, especially now that so many more people are also in the streets than they probably have been before, is also really interesting. So maybe we can do like a kind of intro level. And then if people are interested, we can tell them where to find more information or do a follow up at some point for a deeper dive. But I really liked everything you covered on your episode, so.
Pearson [01:15:20] Where should we go first then? So we want to do both, but which one do you guys think would be good to tackle first?
Callie [01:15:25] Let’s do internet first.
Nichole [01:15:28] Okay, yeah, the online.
Pearson [01:15:29] All right. Great. So I guess there are several big and obvious tools that you should use if you are online. The first and probably the most important is to use good passwords. It’s annoying as hell having to have a bunch of different passwords that you have to have memorized for every different thing. But raise your hand if you are guilty of accidentally using the same password on multiple things despite the fact that you probably shouldn’t. Yes. You know, it’s the thing that we all do because, right, like, it’s so much easier than having 50 jillion passwords that you have to remember, right? But it’s super important that you use different passwords, because in the event that something gets compromised, it ends up that you are then suddenly incapable of having to fix everything all over again, change passwords or everything, instead of just having to change that one particular password. And if somebody is able to get your password for something very small through some kind of a hack or because of some mistake that you’ve made, then it will be easy for them to get access to all of your information, right?
Pearson [01:16:41] So one instance of this for me was because I am a huge nerd, I play a lot of tabletop role playing games. And one of the places that I do that is on this place called Roll 20, which is like a digital website where you can, like, have video chats with your friends and do tabletop role playing games. And Roll 20 got hacked. But fortunately, I had a different password for that particular account than I have for everything else. And so despite the fact that Roll 20 was hacked and it was attached to one of my email addresses, they were not able to get any of my information through that medium, which is obviously like a good thing. Right, and so having different passwords is really useful. But as y’all I’m sure are aware, right, you have like 50 different things and 50 different accounts for things.
Nichole [01:17:32] At least.
Pearson [01:17:34] At least, right? Everything these days is asking you for a password, right? Everything wants your email address and they want a password. And the reason why is because they want to be able to sell your information for ad revenue and so they can, like, make money off of you, right? So many of the services that we use are free, and the reason why they’re free is because they can take your information and sell it to advertisers in order to make a quick buck. You know, as the adage goes, if you can’t tell what the product is, the product is you. And so, you know, trying to prevent that, I think, it can be done with having different types of passwords. And I would recommend getting a password manager. There are password managers that you can purchase online. You can just like sort of like look into them in the interest of time I’m not going to give, like, a whole bunch of recommendations, but there are several good ones. In addition, you could also just like get an actual physical book that you keep on you and make a record of each of them so that you actually have them handy.
Pearson [01:18:36] Don’t save passwords. Like a lot of times your browser will say, hey, you can save a password here. Don’t do that. Just have it handy so you can type it in when you need to. Also an additional thing is like you should change passwords often. Think of passwords like underwear. You know, you don’t wear the same fucking thing of underwear around all the time. You know, every six months or so you should change your password. Please, please, love for the love of God, change your underwear more often than your password. But the, you know-
Callie [01:19:08] Yeah, the analogy kind of falls apart when you-
Pearson [01:19:12] Yeah, yeah, yeah, but you know, the general principles still applies.
Callie [01:19:16] Right.
Pearson [01:19:17] So passwords is a huge thing, right? The other big thing is, depending on the type of thing that you’re doing, it’s okay, it’s perfectly okay to have like a professional account where you have your full name, your stuff. Like a lot of people need that for their work or for, you know, being able to, for lack of a better term, like brand themselves. I don’t like that type of language, but I don’t know how else to explain it. Right, like, you know, if you’re an academic or if you are in marketing or if you’re a freelancer or if you’re a journalist. Like a lot of times you need to have your, like, actual name on a thing so that you can build up a reputation for yourself and so that people will look at you favorably and hire you, all that kind of stuff, right? That’s fine. If you have an account like that, you know, it’s necessary that you understand that there’s going to be a certain level of risk for it, for doxing or for things of that nature.
Pearson [01:20:12] And so, you know, depending on how much level of risk you want to take, you know, if that thing is Googleable, it’s probably possible that your employer or your prospective employers might be able to see things about your political beliefs, your personal connections to other people. You know, what things you follow on the internet. And so, you know, taking that with a grain of salt, sometimes it might be better for you to have an account that’s not tied to you, or not tied to your address, at least in a noticeable way. There are ways to go like really deep and make it so that literally no one can know who is attached to that particular account. But it takes a lot of habit building. It takes a lot of tools and resources. And probably don’t have time to go into all of that today.
Pearson [01:20:58] But the generals would be trying to not have a picture of yourself as your avatar, not having a name that is noticeable to your avatar. Don’t follow yourself just so you can have more followers. Just don’t, just like… Why? Why would you do that? But like, I know it seems like, people do silly things, so it seems like something I should probably say. And, you know, generally, like when you’re on that particular account, only access it from the same device and only do so when you are attached to a VPN and or using the Tor browser.
Pearson [01:21:43] VPN for folks who are unaware is called a virtual private network. Essentially, it spoofs your IP address, every device that you have from your phone to your tablets, your laptop to your PC to your fucking like PS4 has an IP address, right? It has this unique string of identifiers that marks it as this particular device, right? And you can mask yourself and hide yourself from snooping by changing your IP address via a VPN. I have a VPN called ExpressVPN. It works really great. It’s great for extracurricular activities like watching Netflix in foreign countries, which is nice because they have different like libraries in those different places. But it also means that you can browse the internet not anonymously, but more anonymously. Right, like, it’s a, it’s a new IP address that’s spontaneously created for you in that particular instance, you log out and the IP address is no longer there. It’s no longer connected to your computer.
Pearson [01:22:51] The other thing that I mentioned was Tor or the onion router and using the Tor browser. Tor is a network that prides itself on masking and hiding your identifying information. You can find out more by going to torbrowser.com. Maybe it’s torbrowser.org. I can’t remember off top of my head, just Google the onion router or Tor and it’ll come up. I highly recommend that, especially if you’re doing like research or if you’re trying to identify fash or you are trying to look into, you know, a particular corporation because you’re thinking about doing a little bit of direct action. It’s always best if you’re, you know, actively planning something, to try and use Tor to protect yourself.
Pearson [01:23:47] For email you can use what’s called ProtonMail. You can get a free account. It’s through Switzerland, I believe. And they have like really good privacy laws and anti extradition laws. So you’ll be able to protect yourself and your email address. Everything is encrypted using encryption and it does it automatically. And then finally, the thing that I would recommend is everyone should download and use Signal. You can use Signal on your PC, your laptop, your tablet, your phone. It is an end to end encrypted messaging app. Unlike WhatsApp, it is not owned by Facebook or any large company. Instead, it is all open source. And so that means they can be actively reviewed by privacy enthusiasts and people in the community who are interested in operational security or digital safety. And a lot of people, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about Signal, people say that Signal is like, compromised. It’s not. It’s perfectly safe. Use signal. It, especially, especially, especially, especially if you are engaged in some kind of direct action and you need to have your phone on your person for some reason.
Pearson [01:25:03] So, yeah. That’s like a quick fly by. Like, you know, one-oh-one digital, like, security. What questions do you all have or does a chat have that I can maybe answer before we talk about more like direct action or protest or dissent?
Nichole [01:25:20] So I saw a question come in which I actually had as well. So the best practice is to not save your passwords on your browser, right? What is the reason behind that? Is it just if someone ends up getting access to your computer that it will auto fill? Or is there, are there other reasons that that’s a risk?
Pearson [01:25:40] So that’s one reason. The other reason is because if you are connected to your browser, right? Like, so, for example, if you have your Gmail stored in your, if you’re using Google Chrome, for example, if somebody somehow gets your Gmail password, right, then they can log into your Google Chrome account and get literally everything that you have stored on there. And so it’s not just if they pwn your actual computer, they can also do it remotely. If they are able to pwn certain apps or certain websites that you have a password on, if they can find that password, then they can use that information in order to remotely get access to all of the passwords that you have stored on your computer. They don’t just have to manually go and like break into your computer. They can actually do it remotely depending on what password they are able to get from you.
Callie [01:26:34] Are things like a second verification step with Google, does it help mitigate that?
Pearson [01:26:40] One hundred percent? Yeah, because if you have two factor authentication and somebody is trying to log in and it’s not you, it’s going to send you like a text to your phone and it’ll say, are you trying to log in from Thailand at the moment? And you’re like, no, motherfucker. I am most certainly not. And then you can quickly and like deny it and then, you know, change your password. This has happened to me. It happened to me multiple times with the Coffee with Comrade’s Instagram. People were trying to, like, hack into it. And I’ve had to change that password like six different times in like the last six months, just because people have been trying to brute force their way into the Coffee with Comrade’s Instagram, which is like really funny because it’s such a small like Instagram now.
Nichole [01:27:22] I know.
Pearson [01:27:22] I’m just like, what are you trying to do? Like, come on.
Nichole [01:27:25] It’s weird how our baby accounts made people so mad and we’re so tiny, like, calm down.
Callie [01:27:32] Well, I think it’s because, I mean, I think it’s similar to what you were talking about with YouTube, where there’s like, if you can stop something when it’s small, before it gets big enough to kind of become known. Where like, if something happens to it, people are going to be like, oh, whoa, like, wait a minute, you know? I feel like easier to take down smaller things because it’s like who the fuck is going to care about that and stop it from like, from getting, you know, too big. Because it’s like yeah, also like Instagram, like oh yeah. If you took over our Instagram, like, what the fuck is that going to do? Like, it’s not like anything like really important is happening, you know?
Nichole [01:28:10] So what I’ve been doing, I have a password manager and it has a browser extension so you can have, your passwords are stored on it and it can populate that information for you, but it’s not connected to like Chrome. And if you try to access it from a new device, then you have to know the master password to get into it, which I have on like a separate device. Probably still not as safe as just not having them stored there at all. But considering I live alone and like literally no one comes into my apartment, I feel like okay about it. Because we also had another question, what’s the best way to come up with a variety of safe passwords? Which is a good question. I will say what I do is I use that password manager and it will generate passwords for you randomly. And I set them to be pretty long and, you know, include symbols and numbers. And then that way, like, I can have different passwords that are random for everything and not need to remember them, but still have them in a separate space where someone can’t get into it.
Pearson [01:29:19] Totally. Another way to do it that’s also fun and nerdy because again, I’m a huge fucking nerd, is you can take six d6s and EFF, Electronic Frontier Foundation has a password generator and you roll the six dice and then you find the corresponding number and you, it’ll correspond to a word, like an actual word in the English language. And then you do it again and again and again and again. And you can have basically, a totally randomized six word long password that is easier to remember, especially if you don’t want to write it down. That’s easier to remember, but it’s still incredibly robust because of the fact that it’s so long. Right, the longer your password is, the more secure it is. A lot of people think, oh, if I just change some characters around and I have eight like letters or eight characters in my password that I’m good to G O. No, not really. You need to have long passwords because the longer it is, the more difficult it is to brute force break into.
Callie [01:30:20] Yeah.
Nichole [01:30:22] I’m good to G O. I like that. Okay, and I think that, maybe not so much a question but I’ve noticed, so I do use ExpressVPN as well. And I have noticed that when I have it on, there are certain services that I can’t access. Like I can’t watch videos on Amazon Prime, which gross and I’m going to cancel my membership anyway, because beyond the fact that they’re evil, they’ve started including tons of commercials in the movies that are included in Prime and it’s like, literally, what are we paying for anymore?
Pearson [01:31:00] The commercials, obviously.
Nichole [01:31:00] Yeah, I think, and I’ve noticed like if I go on to Twitter, twitter won’t load images when I have the VPN on. So I think it’s just something to be aware of, that I think companies have gotten wise to VPN and are doing things to make it more difficult to, like, just seamlessly navigate the internet with it on. But they’re very easy to turn on and off. So like, if you do have to turn it on off for a minute to go on Twitter or do whatever, it’s really easy to do.
Pearson [01:31:31] Yeah. And you can also try and reset the address that you’re at, because a lot of times, if that’s happening, you can reset the address and it’ll give you a brand new IP address. And then a lot of times for me, when that happens, those problems go away. Not always, but a lot of times.
Nichole [01:31:49] See? I’m glad I brought it up. Okay. So I think that’s probably good for now. We can always answer more questions later. But yeah, I’m really excited to get into street security culture, our operational security.
Pearson [01:32:03] Fuck yeah.
Nichole [01:32:03] What do we do if we’re out, out and about?
Pearson [01:32:07] Out and about. Well, first things first, don’t carry a phone, which a lot of people hear-.
Nichole [01:32:12] That like blew my mind when I heard that.
Pearson [01:32:13] -And are immediately like no, what, I need to have my phone on me at all times! Right? But what is your phone, if not like the biggest snitch in the world? It’s literally connected to the internet at all times, it’s telling the authorities where you’re going. And increasingly, the state and their lackeys, like the police, have incredibly sophisticated devices, such as like stingray devices, which essentially mimic cell phone towers and routes all traffic through the stingray in order to capture all of the information and data that is being exchanged within a particular vicinity. And this tool really became popular during the Ferguson rebellion and the uprising against police violence in Ferguson, Missouri, back in, was that 2014? 2015?
Callie [01:33:11] Another under democratic leaders by the way.
Pearson [01:33:13] Again under Democratic leaders, under Democratic leadership.
Callie [01:33:17] People were like, oh my god, like, Biden would never call in the military again. And I’m like, Obama did that shit all the time.
Nichole [01:33:26] A lot of what Trump is able to do today is because of things that Democrats put into place.
Pearson [01:33:30] One hundred percent. One hundred percent. You know, like that meme where people are like, “Thanks, Obama”. Well, like seriously like thanks Obama…
Callie [01:33:38] We’re like, no, we’re saying it like for real, though. Like fuck that.
Nichole [01:33:43] Yeah.
Pearson [01:33:44] For sure. Yeah. So, like, you know, not having your actual cell phone behooves you because you have a lot of personal data on that device. Moreover, if you get arrested, all the cops need to do is take your phone and especially if you have fingerprint services, they literally just take your finger, put it on there and then voila, they have access to everything on your phone instantaneously. So not having your phone is great, especially because if you’re filming the cops, they might try and hit it out of your hand or crush it. Especially if you’re filming some type of police brutality, because, of course, they don’t want that to be captured and distributed widely online.
Pearson [01:34:21] And so what I recommend people do is get a burner phone. If you absolutely have to have your cell phone on you at all times, if you are a parent or if you have a loved one who is in need or if you are doing a jail support, right, then it might make sense for you to have a burner phone on your person. Burner phones can be kind of expensive. However, there’s a really great article by The Intercept by, I believe it’s Michael Lee, I can’t remember what the journalist’s last name is, but I believe his name is Mike Lee and he has a whole video walking me through how to set up a burner phone. I think he did it for like one hundred and twenty bucks, which is expensive. But if it’s the difference between losing your, you know, seven hundred dollars something iPhone versus having this burner phone that you can use to, you know, continue to access the internet and, you know, document everything and still be connected, then it might be worth that cost. Right, cost benefit analysis. So getting a burner phone can be really helpful.
Pearson [01:35:26] Additionally, if you are at a protest, I always recommend people mask up. Fortunately, that is really easy to do right now because again, we live in Rona Hell and all you have to do is wear a mask. It’s going to be interesting to see, you know, over the next several years, especially here in this country, what it looks like to wear a mask. I have Comrades who have been arrested for wearing masks at actions and demonstrations. Oddly enough, I have friends who were arrested on charges of criminal anarchy for wearing a mask, which is perhaps the most bad ass thing that you could ever be arrested for. And moreover, you know, these people, these laws exist because they were ostensibly meant to penalize the KKK. But, you know, what do we do with laws right in this country? Laws always end up coming back to punish the left. That’s why, again, to quote Ursula K. Le Guin, “If you want to create a thief, create property. If you want to create crime, create laws.” Right. But I digress. Wear a mask.
Pearson [01:36:30] A lot of people think that you should wear black. You know, that’s not a bad idea. But if you’re in the middle of the fuckin ass end of summer, wearing all black is going to be positively fucking miserable. Really, the only reason you need to wear all black at a protest is if you are part of a black bloc, right, which is a specific tactic that is used in order to obfuscate so-called criminal activity in air quotes, so-called criminal activity from being identifiable by the authorities. Now, I instead recommend people wear close-toed shoes, clothing that is breathable and comfortable, things that you’re willing to sweat in, shoes that you can march in, you know, bring water. These things are all super important because you’re probably going to be outside. You’re probably going to be moving around and you want to, you know, have the ability to move about.
Pearson [01:37:31] If you are going to be engaging in any type of illegal activity for whatever reason, you want to make sure to hide any distinguishing attributes. Whether those are tattoos, facial hair, your hair itself, you want to try and make yourself as inconspicuous as humanly possible. Which unfortunately is easier said than done, because everything from your shoes to your glasses to your facial piercings can be used and have been used by the authorities in order to track down protesters and criminalize their dissent.
Pearson [01:38:10] Now, I also recommend that if you are engaging in some type of illicit activity, that you do so with the express knowledge of people who are there. You don’t necessarily need to have your thing okayed by everyone. But part of direct action is consent. And you want to make sure that the people who are with you, especially your comrades, the people you travelled there with, are aware of generally what you’re doing. But you also don’t want to tattle on yourself and say, this is my elaborate plan. These are all the things that I want to do. Right. You know, give people as much information as they need to know.
Pearson [01:38:48] Right, I think the biggest thing that you can take away from this conversation, the biggest thing that is the most important thing is nobody needs to know anything unless they need to know it, right? There is no reason for anyone to know anything about you or anything about the action that you’re doing unless they need to know it, right? So, for example, if you know that there is a high possibility of arrest, it’s probably a good idea to have somebody on jail support who knows your name, your birth date and like your legal name, your birth date, and has, like, the ability to get you out of jail, right?
Pearson [01:39:24] If you are engaging in some type of sabotage against industry in order to stop the fossil fuel machine, then it’s probably important that the people who are engaging in that with you are aware of precisely what you guys are going to do so that they can, you know, determine whether or not they want to be involved in that and the level of risk they are willing to take on, right? This should all be always about voluntary association. You don’t want to spring things on people. You don’t want to put people into a corner that make them feel like they have to engage or they’ve taken, you know, two steps too far. And you know, that now they have to take the whole jump, right? It’s always got to be rooted in consent and in, you know, the personal agency of whatever individual is engaging in a type of action. Trying to think of anything else off of my head that’s really important.
Nichole [01:40:19] What would you say for people, one of the things I found interesting, you know just hearing through various resources is what should someone do if there is a risk of arrest? Like, how can they prepare ahead of time to make sure that they have some safety in place for that if that occurs?
Pearson [01:40:39] Totally.
Nichole [01:40:39] Because I think honestly, right now, like almost everyone who’s going out is at a much greater risk than they may have been in the past. So I just think, like having these things in the back of your head is really important.
Pearson [01:40:52] Yeah. I mean, the biggest thing that you can do is write some kind of jail support number. A lot of urban centers have like, you know, a committed jail support number where they will get you out. They’re like bail bonds, or not bail bonds. There are like jail support teams in places like Minneapolis because they are committed towards getting people out of jail, right? Having that number handy written down on your arm or ideally is what I recommend, writing it on the seam of your underwear, because a lot of times, like cops will intentionally try to scrub it off of your arm because they’re fucking assholes. But if it’s on the like seam of your underwear, they can’t get it. The other alternative is having comrades or friends or family who like, hey, you know, telling your partner like, hey, I’m going to this protest. I’m going to write your number down on my phone, on my arm because let’s be honest, none of us have our partners phone number’s memorized anymore because we live in 2020.
Nichole [01:41:52] That’s real.
Pearson [01:41:52] For real. And so… I really need to memorize my partner’s now that I’m thinking about it. Regardless, writing your partner’s name down or, right, not their name down but their phone number down. Right, so you can quickly access it. Or if you have a more orchestrated and larger scale action, right, you need to have like a dedicated jail support team who is not at the action, but who is willing to go and bail people out at the event, in the event that people do get arrested, right? Having those resources planned ahead of time is really, really, really important. You know, the fucking Boy Scouts motto is “Be prepared.” Right? And the more prepared you can be as you enter into these types of confrontation and direct action, the better.
Nichole [01:42:42] Yeah, I think also I’ve heard people say things like if you have kids, make sure that there’s some kind of plan in place. That’s part of the support is like what would happen with the kids if you-.
Pearson [01:42:54] Or your pets, or your plants.
Nichole [01:42:57] Well, yeah, animals like companion animals, anything like that you have to think about, okay, I need to have a plan in place in case I don’t come back at the time that I think that I, you know, I’m hoping to. And I also just want to say too, I’ve been really struggling with this as a, you know, chronically ill person with a lot of issues with like my back and my joints and stuff. You know, I’ve been hearing reports of people getting rounded up and being held for like 12, 16 hours at a time, not being fed, not being given water, being handcuffed with their hands behind their backs and being just sat on the ground, not allowed to stand up or even move. Which for me, that literally would like to send my body into like crisis mode. So I think just, again, keeping it in mind that if something does happen, you may not have the ability to even move around or have water or things like that. So you just have that in your head. I think going into these things like well-hydrated and well-fed and have snacks on hand, you know, just whatever you can do to, like if something does go down, at least you have taken care of yourself as much as humanly possible.
Pearson [01:44:08] And you can take care of others.
Nichole [01:44:10] And can take care of others, exactly. But yeah, they’ve been doing, like they’ve had, you know, forced people to, like, wet themselves because they won’t let them go to the bathroom. They won’t let people sleep. They won’t let people eat. There is a woman who had a seizure and they took her and brought her back after literally having a fucking seizure. And like you said, we’re at the ass end of summer, and it’s real. We’re literally having like a historically, like it’s actually extremely dangerous in California and probably other areas. We’re having fire tornadoes now.
Pearson [01:44:43] I saw that shit. That’s absolutely bonkers.
Nichole [01:44:47] Yeah. Yeah. I posted to Twitter and I’m like, welcome to 2020. Now there’s fire tornadoes. Like, of course.
Pearson [01:44:53] As if 2020 couldn’t get any worse.
Nichole [01:44:56] Add it to the murder hornets and the, you know, the comet that barely missed us.
Pearson [01:44:59] Global pandemic. The uprising against police brutality.
Callie [01:45:04] I love all the jokes, though, about the murder hornets being like, what was that plot point? Like why was it introduced if it wasn’t going to go… Like people are so committed to this year being like a movie that they’re like, why would someone introduce that if it’s. Not going to be applicable? But yeah.
Pearson [01:45:20] Right.
Nichole [01:45:21] My favorite joke about murder hornets too was like “Murder hornets, but with the right lawyer, manslaughter bees.” I was like this is so good.
Callie [01:45:31] There was a whole thread where people compared it to like white people being around, like privileged white people, and like what you would call it. It was so fucking good.
Nichole [01:45:42] So yeah, I just wanted to bring that up. I know a lot of disabled folks have been out in the streets, but I think, I’ve also heard from a lot of people who are like, oh, I’m just casually gonna go to this protest. And it’s like, you may end up in this incredibly strenuous situation and you just need to know that that might happen to you and to make like an educated choice about what you’re going to do. If we have time at the end, it might be good to throw out a couple suggestions for, like alternative things that people can do versus like maybe being in the streets. And I think that jail support is one that I’ve heard-
Pearson [01:46:20] It’s huge.
Nichole [01:46:20] It’s really awesome. And it is, it’s huge. And then can you talk, do you know, can you talk to us a little bit about, because this also blew my mind, the ways that cops, and also fascists, are using like social media pictures and images of protest to actually track people down?
Pearson [01:46:40] Yeah. So this is a process called doxing. You use photographs in order to trace people’s whereabouts. Antifascists use it as well in order to document the whereabouts in the workplaces and the movements of fascists. But essentially what it is, is it’s an attempt to figure out identifying information about an individual. And so they’ll use your, they’ll use reverse image search. They’ll look to see, you know, via Facebook, via Twitter, via Instagram. They’ll try and, you know, find the action itself in and kind of work their way back from there. I don’t want to give too much information about this just because there are certain like, there’s certain… Let me think about how to say this in the interest of operational security. There are certain skills of the trade that are best left unsaid in order to try and, you know, leave room for antifascists who are doing really good work, to continue to flex their muscles.
Pearson [01:47:57] But, you know, you want to try and, again, be as inconspicuous as possible. Again, I recommend people wearing a mask. This is, again, the tactic of why the black bloc works so well is because it makes it nigh impossible to be identified. But again, that only really works if you have a shit ton of people who are willing to bloc up. Otherwise, you just end up looking like an awesome, cool, bad ass ninja. But being really fucking hot and really fucking miserable.
Callie [01:48:26] And like, easy to find. I mean, if you’re like in a crowd of a bunch of people like, you know, in shorts and tank, just like waving signs and you’re like this like awkward person, in all black. They’re probably like, oh that fuckin guy.
Nichole [01:48:41] Yeah. Yeah. And I just think for me the thing that emphasizes like wear as generic as possible and like literally cover up anything that could be used to identify you because yeah, I’ve been hearing stories about how the cops have been tracking people and I think one was like from a backpack the person was wearing.
Pearson [01:49:01] Backpacks and shoes are huge.
Nichole [01:49:03] Yeah. So like, get generic shoes, get generic, you know, if you’re gonna order online, order something that’s like, has a bazillion reviews and is like a best seller and is like very basic versus, you know, wearing something that is like unique or has, you know, could be, doesn’t have as many sales so it could be tracked. Because I’ve heard they can even like track down like Amazon sales and like get a list of people who bought that thing in a certain timeframe and like use that. It’s ridiculous. They can track tattoos, like you said, piercings, even your glasses. So it’s scary. But like you really have to think about, like literally everything you’re wearing and everything you’re showing and think like, is this something that could be used to track me down through like social media or receipts.
Pearson [01:49:55] Totally.
Callie [01:49:56] Well and Nichole, I just really like that you talked about like, that there’s a lot of people that are just kind of treating these protests very casually now. And I think people need to really stop and reevaluate. I think for the last few years, it’s become kind of trendy to do a lot of, like, these actions online and to have these protests, and it was like relatively safe for a lot of the people going. But I think we are now in territory where it’s just not that anymore.
Callie [01:50:28] I mean, how many protests have we seen where it really was just like a vigil or a thing where people were just going to show up and have a very short, kind of peaceful protest and the cops show up and they just start beating the fuck out of people and then it gets really dangerous really quickly. And I think this like, you know, casual view that people have of protests where you’re like responding on Facebook, like marking yourself attending as going to a protest and you’re tagging and your friends, and you’re sharing it and you’re taking pictures and video while you’re there and you’re sharing that. And it’s like you could be… I mean, I know with the Trump’s inauguration, like, that’s how they found, and they were actually charging people with felonies.
Pearson [01:51:16] Yeah. I have comrades who were wrapped up in J 20. I mean like it’s really serious, you know, like. Yeah. And like, you know, you need to be, if you’re gonna go out on the streets, no matter what the level of the action is, no matter if it’s just a quote unquote peaceful vigil, right, no matter if it is like the most revolutionary militant direct action or sabotage that you’re doing, you need to go in with a militant mindset. And you need to go in thinking, okay, how do I get home safe tonight? How do I get home safe tonight? How do I make sure my comrades get home safe tonight? How do I make sure that the maximum amount of people who are here tonight are able to go see their loved ones and their friends and their families and their housemates at the end of this demonstration, right?
Pearson [01:52:05] That needs to be the mindset that you go in. Not, oh, I want to get some likes on my fuckin cool ass sign that I did. You know, like if you’re here because, if you’re out here to get likes on fuckin Instagram, then I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re not a comrade of mine. Like, you gotta, you gotta if you’re going into this, you have to understand that there are people out here because they are fucking dying. And because, you know, they can’t take it any longer. And this has to be a serious, militant, revolutionary thing that you engage in. And not to fetishize that, not to turn that into like this weird, hyper masculine, you know, parochial thing, but to, like, recognize that, like, this shit’s dangerous and that we do it because we’re motivated by a profound sense of compassion for other human beings.
Callie [01:52:58] Yeah and I just hope people are seeing, like, that even people with the best of intentions, like, again, the cops, they’ve always been bastards but like, they’re not fucking around anymore. Like, they’re not even trying to pretend. Like, you have, what’s happening in Portland is so just they don’t give a fuck that they are, like they were like shooting rubber bullets directly at reporters faces, like they’re abusing people on camera. They have, you know, in Portland, they had the wall of moms and they’re fucking, you know, tear gassing a wall of moms and vets. Like they, you can’t go into these situations thinking that it’s like, oh, I’m just going to, like, casually march, it’s like that’s, that’s not what these are anymore. They never really were. But if you thought they were, I hope now you’re, you’re reevaluating and knowing that’s like, that’s even if you don’t intend to escalate, like the cops will.
Callie [01:53:57] I mean, they’re trapping people, like cattleing, right, is what it’s called when they like box people in to streets and they teargas them, or they just keep them there for hours and hours. We saw cops dumping out supplies like water and food. We’ve seen cops pour bleach-.
Pearson [01:54:15] Smashing people’s windows, slashing people’s tires.
Nichole [01:54:19] Yeah.
Callie [01:54:19] Yeah, yeah. Like, so it’s, it is real dangerous and we have to take that seriously. I have one, I actually have a tip to share. I know, right?
Nichole [01:54:34] Is it seasonal though?
Callie [01:54:35] It’s not seasonal. Oh my god, can you imagine how funny it would be if we like put out some book and made it seem like it was like a Martha Stewart cookbook, but it was actually like fucking tips for revolutions, and it was like, “Seasonal Tips”.
Pearson [01:54:55] I’d read that book. I’d get that book.
Callie [01:54:57] How fun would that be?!
Nichole [01:54:59] That would be fun. I’ll add it to our project list.
Callie [01:55:02] Please, please do. So as Pearson said, like, don’t bring your phone to the protest. But as we know, sometimes you are caught up in things or you end up interacting with police in a moment you were not planning on it. So if you are around police and you have your phone, I know in particular iPhones, there is a way to actually very quickly disable the biometric security unlock feature. So, and this works for phones where both the fingerprint and the face unlock. But it’s like you press and hold the volume button and the power button, and when it shows you that, like, do you want to power off? You just hit cancel. And then the next time you try to log in, it’s going to force you to actually put your password in. So it’s a lot harder for cops to like… Because I know my phone, it unlocks in like a second. Like, all I have to do is look at it and it would be so easy for a cop to just, like, yank the phone out of my hand and shove it up to my face. And then it’s unlocked, you know. Or like Pearson, you talked about, like, force your finger onto your phone, unlock it, so.
Pearson [01:56:10] Yeah, because if you’re like, if you’re in zip ties, all you have to do is like take your phone out of your pocket and put your finger on it. I mean, like, that’s one the reasons why I recommend, like, it’s not, that’s a great tip. And is it really good if you know like that, like you’re in a surprise situation. But it’s best, especially if you just like take it off like altogether, especially if you know that you’re going to an action and you, like, put it back on afterwards. But like-
Callie [01:56:34] Disable the biometric if you’re going to a protest and you just have to have your phone with you.
Pearson [01:56:39] Yeah.
Callie [01:56:39] Not advisable, but like, if you’re walking down the street and a cop starts like harassing you or talking to you and you don’t have time to look ahead, it’s a thing that I’ve learned recently and it’s so useful because it’s like fast. You don’t have to like, go and change a bunch of settings. And it makes it so your phone can’t be kind of manipulated as easily. So, yeah, I don’t know if there’s a similar tip for Androids, but it’d be something to look into for people.
Pearson [01:57:08] For sure. Hell yeah. Do the listeners have any other questions or concerns or anything like that, or should we close with maybe a quick discussion of things that people can do if they’re not able to be at an actual action but want to be engaged nonetheless?
Nichole [01:57:28] Yeah, let’s talk about that. And then, people on the livestream, if you have any questions, put them in, because there’s a little bit of a delay. Put them in the box and then we’ll answer them before we close it out. So, yeah, what are some ways that comrades can support their fellow comrades if they don’t want to go out into the street themselves, but still want to contribute and make sure that people get help that they need?
Pearson [01:57:59] Totally, yeah, I mean, like, make no mistake, a lot of times people do want to go out into the streets like, you know? I think and I’ve been guilty of this as well, of this kind of like ableist mindset. It’s like, well, if you’re not in the streets then what are you even doing? Right?
Nichole [01:58:12] Yeah.
Pearson [01:58:12] It’s not especially helpful. You know, like there are a lot of people who want to be there who can’t. Either because they have dependents or they have chronic illness or what have you. And so I think that we should do everything in our power to make our movement as robust and as resilient as possible, which means that everybody has a role to play and everybody has somebody they can contribute. And so we’ve talked about jail support a lot. That’s one big way. Another big thing is to listen to police scanners, depending on the area that you’re in, having an open police, like police oftentimes have open police scanners. Sometimes they’re encrypted. There are ways to get around encrypted police scanners dot dot dot… But, you know, that’s, that’s a conversation for another time.
Pearson [01:59:01] You know, you can continue to, you know, repost and share videos of those actions. You can retweet live streams of people that are there, like of journalists that are there. You can make sure to, like, go if you’re, if you have like a car, be able to drive there and like, drop, if there’s like a central hub, drop off snacks or water or supplies. You can take first aid stuff. A lot of times people really want to help. And I think that impulse is beautiful and really important. But the best way to do it is like ask people who are already there. You know, like what is needed? Because sometimes having 20, you know, a gallon or like eight pallets of like water is maybe not the most effective thing when people are struggling with like low blood sugar or people need sunscreen. Right, so if you’re able to bring the things that people need it, it’s more effective.
Pearson [01:59:59] And then last but certainly not least, I think the biggest thing and I think perhaps the most important thing is simply like, not become discouraged or get down on yourself if you can’t be at a thing. Because I think a lot of times that leads to you becoming disengaged or disinterested. If you don’t think that you have a part to play, then you might quickly become less inclined to actually participate. And I think that, you know, now more than ever, we need to possess a really robust and radical sense of hope and of solidarity and understanding that no matter what role we have to play in the struggle, it is a vital role nonetheless, and that the success of the struggle absolutely hinges on it.
Nichole [02:00:59] I love that.
Callie [02:01:00] I love that. I’m not good at it, but I love that.
Nichole [02:01:03] Working on it! But love it. Yeah, I’ve heard too, there’s I think a lot of support around… Actually, can you, can you give some details around what jail support would mean, like and how someone, because I think for a lot of this, I think one of the keys is to hook up with some kind of organization or group who’s doing activism. Another big point I wanted to make is that often just going out by yourself isn’t really a great idea.
Pearson [02:01:38] No, definitely not.
Nichole [02:01:38] You should have at least a friend and be partnered up. But really, it’s better to plug into something larger that’s being organized. So I feel like jail support is probably similar where you probably don’t want to just be trying to jail support all on your own. So what are some activities that fall under jail support and maybe what are some ways people can find out how they can help, like what is actually needed?
Pearson [02:02:02] Yeah. So the first thing that I would say is that the Channel Zero Network, which both of our podcasts are part of, has a really great PSA about jail support that I would highly recommend folks listen to. You can find it in the Coffee with Comrades thread somewhere. It’s one of our like mini bonus episodes, a little like two or three minutes long. It’s really short. I highly recommend that. The other thing that I would say is that jail support works most effectively when you have like a small affinity group. So a group of like half a dozen, you know, people who are willing to do the work and who are willing to, like, actually show up and go to the jail, who can bail people out. Have snacks, have food, stay there all night, be there when people get out. Celebrate with them. Mourn with them. Find catharsis with them. These are all really important things that you can do.
Pearson [02:03:01] You know, just being a being a body, being a presence and being there to celebrate people for being in the struggle and being willing to put their bodies on the line is super good. You know, figure out what people’s favorite snacks are or like their favorite meal and bring that to them. You know, have water because a lot of times people, contrary to popular belief, actually don’t get water when they’re sitting in county jails, which sucks ass.
Nichole [02:03:30] I literally drink water nonstop. Like I can’t… It honestly gives me like palpitations to think about not having water all night.
Pearson [02:03:37] Yeah.
Callie [02:03:37] Well and again how something like that, like you have fuckin Kamala Harris bragging about locking up mothers for truancy and how like that’s criminal behavior and that, but it’s not criminal to not be giving people water when you’re violently like jailing them.
Pearson [02:03:55] Right. It’s like, you know, what do human beings actually need? Like if we look at like a Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which again, you know, isn’t maybe the perfect, like standard, but it’s still like useful. Do people need education or water more, you know? You know.
Callie [02:04:15] Well the state’s got the monopoly on violence so anything they do is fine. Anything we do is criminal and violent.
Nichole [02:04:21] Yeah.
Pearson [02:04:23] Precisely.
Nichole [02:04:24] In the podcast replay we’ll play that PSA to give that information as well. And yeah, I’ve heard, you know, being there to give people rides is really helpful because some people can’t afford or don’t have access to public transportation or may not have someone to come pick them up. So I think that can be really helpful. I’ve also heard, like, bringing cigarettes, which I know is controversh.
Pearson [02:04:48] Yeah, that’s huge.
Nichole [02:04:50] But like, you know, for people who smoke, that’s like extremely helpful. Just like you said, just being there with not just things that people need, but also like things that people want and creating this sense of like real solidarity and support and care around that whole situation.
Pearson [02:05:12] Yeah, it’s not your job to police what other people put in their bodies. Just have it there handy for them.
Nichole [02:05:17] Right. And they will be so grateful. As a former smoker, I will say that would be huge for me to get out and have access to that without any judgment. So if you disagree with it, don’t, you know, but that is something to think about. Just things like that can be really, really helpful for someone who’s gone through a stressful situation.
Callie [02:05:36] Also, fucking analyze why you think you can judge someone else’s like-
Nichole [02:05:40] Well, I mean, it’s okay. I get where you’re going, but also if someone who had parents, like a parent who died of lung cancer, I can get why they would be like, not for me. And that’s fine. There’s other things you can do. But yeah, I was just thinking of and stuff like that, like if I’ve had a hard night, what are the kinds of things that would be really cool to walk out of that hard night and have someone be like here, comrade, like I brought this for you.
Callie [02:06:06] Well especially because people at that point could be going through withdrawals.
Nichole [02:06:09] Yeah, well, exactly. Yeah. So I think there’s so much more we could talk about.
Pearson [02:06:18] I mean, we could easily talk for like at least another three, four hours about this topic.
Nichole [02:06:26] But hopefully that gives you all at least like a base understanding of, I think, if nothing else, to echo a lot of what Pearson said, just how fucking serious this all is and how to not underestimate no matter what low a level you’re coming in at, how innocent it might seem, this kind of stuff is being targeted by our government. And that is only going to increase as we go further. So do not underestimate. Like you may think you’re organizing a really peaceful, low key protest, but still do that over Signal or still do that over somewhere that can’t be tracked. And understand that like-
Pearson [02:07:05] It doesn’t fucking matter.
Nichole [02:07:07] It doesn’t matter. Right.
Pearson [02:07:08] Like it doesn’t matter how peaceful you are, right? The rhetoric of peaceful is a tool that liberals use to justify and separate and divide and segregate the, quote unquote, good protesters from the bad protesters. Guess what? Family. There are no bad protesters. There are only us and there are them. And we gotta fucking struggle together and we have to be in solidarity with one another. Period.
Nichole [02:07:30] Absolutely.
Callie [02:07:31] Yes.
Nichole [02:07:32] Yeah. So thank you, Pearson, for coming on.
Pearson [02:07:35] Of course. Thank you for having me. Glad we could make it happen.
Nichole [02:07:39] Where can people find more of your amazing work?
Pearson [02:07:39] So you can find Coffee with Comrades, the podcast I host wherever you get your podcasts. Like Bitchy Shit Show, we are members of the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts, so definitely check out Channel Zero Network. You can find us on patreon.com/coffeewithcomrades. If you are interested in what I have to say and the cool, awesome guests that we have come on air. We talk with musicians, community organizers, artists, academics. So if that’s something that piques your interest then please feel free to come listen. We’d love to have you. But yeah, that’s it.
Callie [02:08:26] This was so great.
Nichole [02:08:28] Yeah, it was good. You’re always wonderful. We know that.
Callie [02:08:35] Yeah.
Pearson [02:08:36] You’re always wonderful!
Nichole [02:08:36] Aw, stop. Yeah, thank you for coming on, and I’m sure we’ll be collaborating much more in the future.
Pearson [02:08:41] Reach out.
Nichole [02:08:41] Yeah, thanks for that little intro to operational security.
Pearson [02:08:45] Yeah, for sure.
Nichole [02:08:46] All right. So for everyone on the livestream, this is when we hang out for our after party. And if you’re listening at home through the podcast, then thank you for being here. We appreciate you. Our download numbers are still very low. So, you know, everyone who is actually listening to this…
Callie [02:09:06] Stop it.
Nichole [02:09:07] We really appreciate it. Every little listen we can get. Yeah, but you can join us every Sunday for a livestream of our podcast on YouTube. At 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time. So we will talk to you all next week.
Callie [02:09:24] Bye bye.
Comrade 1 [02:09:27] With protests continuing in cities all over the world, the Channel Zero Network has some reminders on how to support those who have been arrested and those who may be arrested in the coming days and weeks.
Comrade 2 [02:09:38] Arrests are one tool cops use to repress mass movements. Arrests keep protesters off the streets during demonstrations. They scare people with the threat of court cases and potential prison sentences. Alone, we feel defenseless against the police and the courts. By providing jail and court support, we can push back against this repression, from the moment our comrades are taken in, to the end of their court case.
Pearson [02:10:02] Before heading out into the streets, make sure you and everyone you’re with has a contact number written on their body. You’ll need to get in touch with someone if you’re arrested and you most likely won’t have your personal belongings with you. This number could be the National Lawyers Guild, a group you’re currently involved with, or just a friend who’s not at the protest.
Comrade 1 [02:10:20] If you see someone getting arrested, call your legal support number with the arrestees legal name and birthday. If you are in a large city, you may have to determine where they will be taken. Try to find the arresting officers precinct or unit. This may determine where your comrade ends up. In smaller cities, everyone may go to the same place.
Comrade 2 [02:10:39] If you expect more arrests, try to stay and observe. If not, you should head to the precinct and wait for the arrestee.
Pearson [02:10:47] Once at the precinct, use the legal name and birthday of the arrestee to ask the cops for the arrest number, charges, and where the arrestee will be taken or held. Keep anyone supporting you in the loop.
Comrade 1 [02:10:58] Be prepared to wait many hours. Keep in touch with others and take turns waiting outside the precinct. In some cases, it may take the whole night, especially if there’s been a mass arrest.
Comrade 2 [02:11:08] From here. Each city and state has different processes and different jargon. Connect with local organizers and read about local laws to learn what the process will be in your area. Here are some things you might encounter.
Comrade 1 [02:11:21] Sometimes arrestees are released quickly with a notice that they’ll need to show up in court at a later date. If this happens, take the contact info of the arrestees. You’ll want to be ready to offer them court support in the future.
Pearson [02:11:33] Sometimes arrestees are charged before release. This is a longer process, usually called arraignment, which is a procedural court hearing to file charges and set bail. The court will assign a public defender for arraignments. Try to have a couple of friends attend the arraignment for support. Due to COVID-19, you may only be able to observe via video.
Comrade 2 [02:11:52] Sometimes arrestees will have to post bail to be released. If bail is set, let the court officer know you’re arranging payment and will be coordinating with the arrestees lawyer. If you need support making bail, connect with local organizers. There may be a bail fund for protesters in your area.
Comrade 1 [02:12:08] No matter what happens, always relay what’s happening to other people offering support.
Pearson [02:12:12] Regardless of the legal situation the arrestee ends up in, you’ll need to bring some things with you. People who are getting out may be exhausted or have trouble getting home. So bring snacks, water, aspirin, bus fare, transit cards and cigarettes. If you have a friend being held, you can bring their favorite snacks. If you know the arrestee requires specific medication, make sure to bring that too.
Comrade 2 [02:12:33] You’ll also need water and snacks to sustain yourself. Bring external batteries for charging phones as you may be waiting many hours.
Pearson [02:12:40] If you can’t stay and help with jail support, dropping off materials to those waiting can be a big help.
Comrade 1 [02:12:46] Unfortunately, there is a high risk of exposure to COVID-19 while in an enclosed jail cell. Arrestees should consider self quarantining and getting tested.
Comrade 2 [02:12:55] For every street action and every viral video of arrests, there are dozens of people outside the spotlight supporting the movement. It’s not over till everyone’s safely gotten out of prison and everyone’s beaten their charges.
Pearson [02:13:08] Check out Rebel Steps’ Jail Support episode at rebelsteps.com/jailsupport for more tips and resources.
Comrade 1 [02:13:15] And follow Unicorn Riot and Channel Zero Network member, It’s Going Down for more updates.
Pearson [02:13:21] The Channel Zero Network sends you all solidarity.
Comrade 2 [02:13:23] Stay safe out there and never stop fighting for a better world.