There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.
Sat, 15 Apr 2023 04:00
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Robert Evans here and I wanted to let you know this is a compilation episode. So every episode of the week that just happened is here in one convenient and with somewhat less ads package for you to listen to in a long stretch. If you want, if you've been listening to the episodes every day this week, there's going to be nothing new here for you but you can make your own decisions. It could happen here. It's it's it's it's it could happen here. A podcast that it is. It's happening to you here right now. Bad things. Good things. It's a things because today we are talking about the ultimate in bad good things. Donald Trump's indictment and very brief arrest. Garrison Davis, James Stout. How are we all doing today? How are we all feeling this week? We did it Joe. We miss you. Yeah. We're going to have to pack up. Yeah. Yeah. Trump finally, so I figured we would wait until you know a few days had gone by. There were a lot of when the initial indictment was announced. We didn't even actually know what all the charges were. There was a pretty long period of time that we didn't know like what the actual crime at the center of this was. But most of that has now is now relatively clear as our kind of the earliest stages of the fallout to the Trump indictment. So I feel like now is a reasonably good time to talk about it. More may have occurred since we occurred since we recorded this. But broadly speaking, the thing that Trump got indicted by as according to the 13 page court filing outlining the case against him by Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg was what's called a catch and kill scheme in which Trump and his trumpets would basically bribe people to not write bad stories about him. You know, it's a hush money thing. My assumption is that basically everybody at that level of wealth and prominence does versions of the same thing. And these in fact are not crimes on their own. You can bribe somebody not to say a bad talk about a bad thing you did to the press. Other things get illegal is that Trump made a series of payments, primarily these 130 or $1,000 in payments to stormy Daniels to buy her quiet. And then he had to falsify company records or his people falsified company records to disguise the payments as legal fees. Bragg is arguing that not only is this a crime, but it's a felony crime because he did this. He falsified these records to disguise these payments in order to further additional violations of the laws. And those additional violations of the laws, the actual like core crime here is that disguising under New York law, disguising these kind of payments and corporate records is a crime. It's typically a misdemeanor, but it's a felony if the business records were intended to obscure a second crime. And in this case, the second crime appears to be the use of funds to advance his like presidential campaign, which was in violation of campaign finance laws. So the core crime that makes the misdemeanor a felony is the fact that he was doing this in order to advance his presidential campaign and thus like the payments that he was making were basically counted as part of like the limited amount of money you can spend, you know, financing your campaign and he violated that, right? That's the gist of it as I understand like what's actually being argued here. Yeah, that seems to be about the size of it. Just for people who are familiar, Bragg is Alvin Bragg with the, yeah, Manhattan, D.A. Manhattan, D.A. Okay. Yeah. What's really concerning about this is that if they can arrest Trump, that means they can arrest any one of us. That's right. All the money that I've paid for people to hush up stories about me, including Stormy Daniels, you know? Yeah. No, it's like people, there's a lot of talk about like, is this a weak case or a strong case? None of us are lawyers. My, I go kind of both ways about this. One of them is that Alvin Bragg is a guy who, you know, whatever he believes about this case is also a prosecutor that is a political position prosecuting someone and failing to get your man is bad for your career. And if that man is the president who you indict for the first time in living memory, that would be really bad for your career. So my assumption is that Bragg at least believes he's got a really strong case. Otherwise he, because this is a tremendous risk for him, right? Now, obviously, can Trump wriggle his way out of it? Well, Trump is extremely good at wriggling his way out of things and he has all of the money in the world for lawyers. So I, I think it would be foolish to say it's a slam dunk either way. People who are saying that like this is a weird thing to prosecute him for, I guess, but, you know, it does, I, I, I can see the logic that this guy that Bragg is kind of going with. And it's, do I think this should be a felony? I guess I, I don't care as long as it, it does some damage to the man and causes him some like consternation, which is like the question, right? Is this actually going to harm him? But yeah, like the more debatable question, right? Like it's just going to harm him or help him. There's, there's a lot of talk about, is this a political prosecution? And my general response to that is, well, like, nearly all prosecutions are political, right? Like, even something that wouldn't seem like, like a decision to go after a rapist, well, most rapists are not actually ever like charged or brought through the justice system. So if you're a prosecutor choosing to do that in a specific case, there's a degree of politics factoring into your decision, even if it's just as simple as like, if I take on this case and I lose it, it could harm my ability to like move forward in the ways that I want to in my career. So I, the fact that now this is political in perhaps a grander sense, I have no doubt that the fact that this is Donald fucking Trump and everything that's happened since 2020 has happened that he has, he has been a party. And I have no doubt that that all factors into this. But I just don't see that as being like the fact that finally a prosecutor is, is making sort of a political prosecution of a man at the top of the hierarchy is not something that concerns me terribly. Yeah, I didn't think like, I'm more concerned that this seems to have repelled him to the front of the Republican race and that he's getting a bunch of donations off it than I am about any, any potential consequences like of actual indictment. It is certainly an interesting political move for Decentis to back Trump on this and not come, not like comply with extradition, not that it would ever get to that point, but that is still a move that Decentis made on purpose, which is an interesting political move considering a place of future candidacy. And it is, let's talk about that a second because obviously 34 felony counts sounds like a lot. That is in fact quite a few felonies, but the, at least the coverage I'm reading is like, it's basically unheard of for someone to actually do jail time for this as a first defense, which I don't know whatever like, does that mean no? Yes, it's absolutely breathtaking that he doesn't have a single crime on him given that he's essentially a career criminal. Well, there are continuing like there's pro, like the potential for prosecution still from like that call he had with the Secretary of State of Georgia, which we'll talk about a little bit. Yeah, I think there are a few sort of more serious number of things that he, yeah, this may not be the last Trump criminal indictment that we see. Oh, God, we can, we can only hope. We can only hope because it only gets more funny from here. And that's the only reason to hope. Well, unless it doesn't, I'm seeing a lot of like panic from some people, certain, certain folks in the progressive and kind of center left media sphere who are like, this is just handed Trump the nomination. This might have just handed Trump the election. From what I'm looking at and from the polling I'm looking at, I mean, I think there's a good chance this helps. I mean, I think the polling certainly supports the argument that this will help him cinch the nomination. I don't really think that was super in doubt before. Although he has definitely gained on DeSantis since all of this, this whole process started. There is evidence I'm looking at a 538 article right now. Trump's indictment might be making him more popular among Republicans. But kind of the point that's actually made is that the group that's, that's getting more likely to back him is his base. Yeah. People who were softer on him because he didn't back, you know, the J6 people, maybe some of them are just folks who kind of drifted away because, you know, it's the years in between a presidential election and that's a natural thing. So it may have galvanized his base. He's certainly, he's raised four or five million dollars. He's seven now. He's claiming seven. I mean, that seems real possible. He is saying that a significant chunk of it, I think like 20% might be more than that now were like first time donations. That is what his people are claiming that is not, I have no way of knowing if those numbers are legitimate. What we can say is that the polling that we're seeing nationally does not back the idea that this is causing a sea change in the likelihood of Americans to support Donald Trump. About 69% of Americans according to a very nice, according to an economist, you go of poll, say that in general failing to report, having spent campaign money on payments in order to keep someone silent about an issue and affect the outcome of an election is a crime. About 90% Biden voters back this while about 54% of those who voted for Trump in 2020 said the same, which is interesting. Now that doesn't mean they also think that this is what Trump did. They're just saying they think that that is a crime. About 57% of Republicans, according to that same or according to a Yahoo news, you go of poll, about 57% of Republicans and Republican leaders said they would support Trump in a head to head against Ron DeSantis, who received 31%. That's an increase in support for the president by about 10%. But DeSantis has only gone down by like 8%. So you can see like he basically what's happening is that this is causing people to flock from DeSantis to him, which is not kind of evidence that we're seeing like a broader national sweep. A Quinnipiac University in PR, PBS NewsHour, Marist poll, kind of broadly supported the idea that investigations into Trump are popular among Americans, more popular than not at least. About 56% of Americans say the investigations into Trump are fair. About 41% say they're a witch hunt. Independence are pretty split on the issue, but obviously like Democrats wildly supportive Republicans very much against. Most college educated adults come down on this being fair as do most Gen Z and Millennial people. Adults without a college education, white evangelicals and those in small towns are most likely to call it a witch hunt. An NPR, PBS NewsHour, Marist poll shows a plurality of Americans, 46%. Believe Trump has done something illegal related to those investigations. Another 29% say Trump has done something unethical, but not illegal. While only 23% say he's done nothing wrong. Overall 57% of Americans say that criminal charges filed against Trump should disqualify him from a presidential bid. 38% say it should not. That would be an area where I actually agree with the Republicans. I don't think that having charges against you should disqualify you from running for president. Look, man, I think if you are a fucking murderer, you should be able to run for president. People have the right to run for and vote for whoever the fuck they want. And I think that is a strong core belief of mine. Not going to vote for Trump, but I think the fact that he's getting charged with a bunch of felonies should not, if he was in jail, he should be able to run as people have in the past, in my opinion. Yeah, Eugene Debs, famous Trump president. I'm kind of more interested actually in, I think the Republican response is fairly predictable. Like all of this, we could have called that, you know, the moment they said they were inditing him. The Democrats, like I'm, like I don't think the Democrats are ever going to do anything useful that will really change material conditions or make things much better for working people in this country. The fact that it gives them the option to pivot back to like orange man bad as their only campaign, as their only promise, as their only sort of principle, which like they put forward as a reason to vote for them, it is still bad. I think like it prevents even the modicum of accountability that we have for all the shit that the Democrats have done and all the shit that they haven't done in the past, like three, two, two and a half years since the election. I think that's so much broader of a problem than just dealing with this set of charges. I am sympathetic to the idea, if you just kind of look at history, that you can't let people do the kind of shit Trump did and not try to fucking go after them and not hammer the Sunsabitches, right? And this is not, you know, they went after after the Beer Hall putt Hitler was jailed for like a year. So it doesn't mean that like slaps on the wrist don't necessarily have much of a protective effect. But I don't know. Like, I am so torn on this. No, I mean, obviously it's really funny. I think it, if this is kind of the start of a series of prosecutions that's going to make this guy's life hell and that might actually even force some consequences for him, then I think that's broadly speaking a good thing as long as it doesn't like disqualify him from the presidency, which I think would be a bad precedent. But I don't know. I'm broadly on on team. Yeah, man, fuck him up. Like we know this guy would have and in fact has promised to, if he gets into power again, use the state, use the justice department, remake it in his own image and destroy his enemies. So I'm not against the idea that like, well, the DIMS, I tend to agree with you on most things, James, like I don't believe the DIM Democratic Party deserves to have an easy election right now because they've failed. I mean, we're, this is the week where we're getting the announcement from Biden that he's essentially taking kind of the soft answer to the GOP attack on trans people participating in sporting events. We were also about a week out from his most recent announcement on, or maybe actually it's been more like a couple of weeks on the boarder's shit. We just had that horrible fire over in Juarez like a week or so ago. Like the Biden administration has let a lot of people down in a number of ways. There's some of the drilling shit that's about to start up again. Alaska is really unsettling to me. I agree with you. I don't like the idea that can make this be an orange man bad election again. I'm hopeful that some of what we've seen, particularly like the most recent election in Chicago, maybe there's kind of at least room at the state level for a lot more progressive to edge out kind of centrist DIMS and force some consequences that way. I also am worried about this authoritarian who threatened to jail and murder a bunch of people I care about. I want him to spend the rest of his life tangled up in that shit. I don't know that that's what this is going to be. Maybe they'll fail miserably here. I do think the kind of panic that you're getting from some people like this handed them the election. I'm seeing evidence that that's the case. I think that maybe if this had happened in like 2016 or even 2020, sure, you might get something like that. But at the point where at now, I just don't think new people are coming to Trump in numbers. Yeah. Yeah. And it very much makes sense for the liberal state apparatus to try to defend itself from what it sees as like an insurgent reactionary factor, right? Like that is that is how they view Trump and Trump's political power. So it makes sense they will use their own powers to try to resist that from gaining control again. Whether or not you believe the state apparatus should exist at all or how valid you view its existence, it makes sense what they're doing. Yeah. I'm not. I am. Obviously, I am surprised they committed to it because there is in part because this is a tremendous risk for brag and the people around him, right? If this if this fails, which it very well might, you know, obviously that would have consequences could have consequences for everybody. But you know, it could have really serious career consequences for this guy. And I am surprised that you've you've got someone willing to kind of throw the dice here. And I'm hopeful that maybe that inspires, especially since this case, by the way, since I'm sure people are curious, no one I've looked at who knows more about the law than me expects this to hit trial quickly. Again, Trump has all of the money in the world. And this is like probably going to be a pretty winding process outside of just the normal problems of like a rich man is being accused of a series of crimes and has many lawyers. The secret service has a lot to say and win and how the actual trial part of this commences. And that has a chance of extending it. So my hope is that as this kind of winds on, maybe the fact that brag was willing to kind of take a shot in the dark here. So to speak inspires some of these other prosecutors who have been, you know, poking at Trump to take a swing. And maybe with enough swings, you know, it'll be like that guy we had on Troy Herdibis and his bare armor suit. You know, you get a bunch of bikers to surround him with two by fours and just swing until they're all broken and he's on the ground. It'll be like, it'll be like that scene from Avengers Endgame and all of the George Soros DAs are going to come in through the court of the Harrison. Absolutely not. Led by George Saras and Joe. I've never been angrier at you right now than bringing up that fucking Avenger scene. Yeah. So did y'all watch Trump's video response? Oh, the one that played on all of the new stations except for MSNBC. Yeah. Yeah. We should talk about it. I actually did not watch it. No, I attempted to avoid that as well. Actually, I watched it yourself to that forest from it. I sure did. And I have a summary of the most salient parts. First off, I think that MSNBC made the right call. They kind of summarized what was going on, but like didn't just let him speak, you know, uninterrupted for. It was like 15 minutes, something like 20 minutes. Talk about interrupted, Robert. Would you like to be interrupted by some plugs for goods and services? Absolutely. Yeah. Do you know it, buddy? Donald Trump is a master spokesman and these are master products. Get your gold. We're back. It's been such a glorious, glorious time. Because everybody's really feeling powerful today, mighty. Anyway, Trump. So I don't know. I watched this fucking thing. I guess my overall sentiment would be kind of boring, right? This is not the level of energy or the degree of kind of like manic, violent undercurrents that like his American carnage speech had. Or even that like some of his more recent speeches in front of crowds have had. I don't see. I there's so many people I've watched have takes on this who are like, and that one of the joys of Twitter is you'll see some guy who's, I don't know, an analyst at some newspaper be like, wow, Trump was really low energy. He seems frightened. You know, I'm telling you this is a scared man. He's worried about these charges. And then like someone else with almost the same CV at a different place will be like, wow, Trump seems angry. You know, he's about to, he's about to lash back. Everybody better be ready for his counter strike. And honestly, I just thought it was like kind of perfunctory. He didn't, he certainly didn't seem low energy, but he didn't seem like he had, he didn't seem like he had much to say other than kind of meander over some of his, some, some talking points that are at this point, mostly pretty lukewarm. He kind of runs through at the start of this a laundry list of right wing talking points that like the Democrat spied on his campaign in 2016. Then he was subjected to fraudulent investigations from the Russia and Ukraine stuff to the impeachments to the raid on Mar-a-Lago. And then he broadens it by talking about how the FBI and the DOJ relentlessly pursue Republicans. And I was kind of expecting him to lean more into the I am your vengeance shit that he's been doing lately. He doesn't really as much as I had expected him to in this. He kind of like dips his toes into it, but I think he's so focused on what's happening to him that he doesn't, he doesn't like push that as much as I was kind of expecting. So this is what comes after him like ranting about the DOJ and the FBI relentlessly pursuing Republicans. He then kind of like goes into the election fraud claim stuff again. He gives a bunch of lies there about the election and about there being like ballots stuffed in all that kind of shit. Then he like pivot straight from that to talking about how Twitter purportedly worked with the Biden family to hide information about Hunter Biden. This is like debunked Twitter file. I just yeah update on Twitter files Matt to be he has just left Twitter because it were lame post. Substab. Substack. We do know obviously like they did stuff like say, hey, please remove this video that shows Hunter Biden's penis. But also like that's not number one is not supposed to be stuff that's on Twitter. That's kind of like crossing the revenge porn line. And you know, both sides made requests that things be removed. Trump claims and I'm not sure where he says that there's like a like somebody calculated this, but I haven't been able to find who made this calculation that if Twitter had an intervened against him, he would have won the national election by 17 points. And then he's like, and that's I didn't even need that many. You know, you could have dropped that by 16.8 and I still would have won, which is not true really. Again, it's all just lies. It goes on. He compares the United States to a third world country because of the 2020 election. He calls Alvin Bragg a Soar O's backed prosecutor, which he does a lot. It's not true. But Bragg, you know, people are using Soar O's backed is like, at least a lot of the Nazis are really leaping on that one. Yeah, they've gone back to Soar O's. Like, yeah, they did the three parentheses for a while. Like to Santis mentioned, sorry, at least twice in his place. Yeah. Yeah, it's a big, big one for them. I mean, I think it is, it is, it is a good move on their part to frame this prosecution as election interference. Like that is, it is a smart move for them to to get to funnel all of this via that narrative. Yeah, it helps keep the election fraud lies, lies going. It also helps because there's been a number of like, you know, Chesa booting it, who got booted in San Francisco recently as one example. But we've seen a number of like progressive prosecutors get elected by kind of dim and you know, center left coalitions and that's allows them to kind of connect this to one of the more successful talking points was is the purported like horrible violence in the streets of cities like San Francisco and whatnot, the like surgeon crime and liberal, you know, cities with liberal prosecutors. Again, it's all bullshit, but it's not a bad tactic for tying into like, well, let's make a link between this thing Trump is claiming that's hurting him and this thing that people see every night on like Fox news that has been a pretty durable talking point for the right for several years now. Trump makes it there's a weird line in here where he says that like even the rhinos and the Democrats agree that the case against him is bad. I'm not sure. I mean, you know, I suspect he's just kind of like looking at at Twitter chaff there. He then kind of derails a bit by talking about Afghanistan and all of the military equipment and lives lost in the same breath. And then from that, he kind of one of the things that comes up over and over in this is him talking about how embarrassing this time is for our country, how all of our enemies are laughing at us, etc. Like that is a, I mean, he's been making that point for a long time, but it definitely, it's one of those things I think is a little bit of a window into the man's thought process because he clearly thinks and perhaps. I mean, it must have a degree of resonance with his base, but the idea that like America has been embarrassed because he's facing charges and because of, you know, Biden's failures as he sees it over in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Like embarrassment is a big thing he tries to get across in this that like, you know, lady liberties been caught with their fucking skirt up or something like that. It's a, I don't know, it's interesting to me that that's such a focus for him. There's a couple of fun lines in the part about the military. He talks about how it's woke at the top, but under him, who was able to defeat ISIS in four weeks, which man, it took years, like we know it took years. I was there for some of it. Lodge part of that was not Americans at all, but like no, no, it was not Americans at all. There's a weird moment where he talks about the investigation over his call with Solinsky and then that call where he tried to force Georgia Secretary of State to discard votes that he's being investigated for where he's like, this is what of like the most beautiful Trump moments of the whole speech because he's like, you know, that perfect call I had with Zalinsky, tojoal was a perfect call. Where my call with with Georgia Secretary of State was even more perfect. It was, it was the best call anybody's ever had. Nobody had a problem with it. Lots of guys were listening in and they all thought it was great. It's just he can be such a funny man. It's not even insane. It's just like, I don't know, nobody, nobody else talks like that. Nobody else describes a phone call is perfect, right? Like a normal, and this is maybe there's a degree of Trump's success you can see in this, but like no normal person being accused of like having attempted to interfere with an election during a phone call would describe the call is perfect. You know, a normal politician would refute the claims against them would say, you know, I never did this. I never did that. So this is taken out of context or whatever. Trump's just like it was perfect. You don't remember the last perfect call I told you about that people thought might have been a crime, even more perfect. This is the most perfect phone call anyone's ever had. Yeah. Then we get a long derailment about the Biden, you know, the classified document shit that got him rated. He talks about how Biden's possession of classified documents was like the worst that anyone's ever done and was criminal because he was just the vice president, but the president's allowed to do it. But everybody does it. But the way Biden did is the worst that anybody did it. Yeah. It's like, I don't know. It's not like it's not an interesting Trump speech. I don't think he's like panic or anything. I just kind of, I don't know, it maybe he's just sort of like checking off a thing on the to-do box, but it's not one of the, it's not one for the speech books, right? Or for the history books. I don't know, the speech books. That's not a, that's not a term. That's not a thing at all. There is a really fun moment where he's like kind of late in the speech in between him complaining about Latisha James. He like points to his sons and he's like, I got two great sons sons both doing really great. And then he's like, and bear, and then as an afterthought, he's like, bear is going to do a great job to someday. He's tall. He's like, what an amazing father. Looking at tall, did you see that they'd also, they faked a mug shot of him and made him six foot five. Who faked the mug shot? The Trump campaign faked a mug shot of him to sell much. Yeah. And then just added like several inches to his, a man with no insecurities. Benship here are moments. Trump a legalist arc. I'm not saying there's nothing to be concerned about in the right wing reaction here. It is worth kind of looking at the response that has occurred has largely been fucking nonsense circus shit, right? At most of the big rallies, particularly in New York that have happened as a result of this, there have been more press on the ground than anyone on either side of things. Yeah. It's not, it's just so far not pulling people out. Do I think there's a chance of isolated terrorist attacks as, you know, by people who I see themselves as defending Trump or democracy or whatever? Certainly not a zero percent chance, but in terms of like things that I think are likely to have a mass destabilizing effect. I'm not seeing it yet. And I think a lot of that's due just to the fact that the Trump supporters who are kind of have the highest potential of being convinced to do that shit are all scared as hell, both of the feds and of each other. The sheer number of them that have like turned on each other during the J6 investigations like has it means that whenever there's talk about doing another big series of rallies, it devolves in a lot of these online places into like, well, you know, this is probably being set up by the feds. This is probably a honey pot to trap us. Which is, I don't know, it's not a situation. I would say you should rely on lasting forever, but that does kind of seem to be where we are right now. One other aspect of the right wing response, I think is worth mentioning is they have, is some of some of their like propagandaists and political people have made the promise that since, since now, since that now there has been a precedent set for inditing former presidents. Now, now they finally are able to go after democratic politicians whenever they want. And I just, I just, I'm worried that they're going to threaten us with a good time. Yeah. Yeah. And it's, it's also like, it's not just threatening us with a good time because we have seen in Tennessee right now, they're forcing two democratic legislators out for their support of gun control and like, you know, specifically to direct democratic, yeah, to black, not the white, just like shit. I'm not, you know, in line with most of the democratic party on gun control, but what is happening here is anti-democratic bullshit. Like, that is, it is authoritarian. It is completely fucking unacceptable. And people ought to be out in this like, a lot more ought to be done. And I think probably a lot more like, I don't, this, that's one of the thorny questions that actually does concern me. Like, what do you do in a situation like this? What kind of leverage do the, the feds even potentially have? It certainly doesn't look like they're in the mood to do anything now because I think that's the kind of, that's the kind of thing we're going to see a lot more of in red states in order to a little resistance at least. That's really concerning. They're not going to like go after someone like Obama, which frankly somebody, somebody should be the amount of that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. There's just a bunch of, you know, the dubs. There should be some charges against Clinton. Fuck it. Go after them all, right? Yeah. Yeah. You were funny. Dig up George HW Bush. Put them on trial as a corpse like that one Pope. Like I'm on board. But no, they're going to, they're going to end up going after it. There's like small, like minority politicians who are like, fighting for like, reasonable things, you know? And who are doing things to actually jam up the works of kind of the march of far right? Yeah. The authoritarian laws and the red states. Exactly. Right. And, you know, I am sure that as that picks up pace, they will point out what's being done to Trump as a justification. But like people should be aware that's not why they're doing it. They're doing it because it looks like it's going to work for them in Tennessee. And they didn't in Tennessee for that reasons that had nothing to do with fucking Trump. Yeah. Right. Yeah. If you want to talk about like what fascism is a big part of it, is that weaponizing of the state apparatus against opposition, against your, whatever your escape, go group. And like, that does concern me for people living in red states. Absolutely. Absolutely. I'm not saying there's nothing to be worried about from the right. I'm just saying. Yeah. Yeah. At the moment when I'm looking at like the way I kind of conceive of a threat matrix, I don't see us in a more dangerous position as a result of Trump getting charged. And I think an argument could be made that it's a positive move. I really hope we get another nail gun guy. Oh, man. Yeah. That fucking dude who tried to, who tried to solo the FBI with a nail gun. Maybe in that coming with like a gig sore or a, yeah. No, no, no, no. I think, I think ladders. I think it's, it's, it's time for like a ladder mob. Um, that's, that's what I'm excited to see. Ladders and like simple pulleys. It's getting pinned to a building with someone 20 feet away with a lad. Make a, make a trebuchet, judge. It's it's it's the, the gone has been thrown down. Yeah. Let's, let's, let's have a continuing series of competitions to see who can build like the most effective medieval siege equipment. I want to see some fucking scorpions up on the hill. You know, yeah. I'm going to do, is it Greek fire, Turkish fire when you pull? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's a, that's like the hummest debate, James. You know, when, you know when I land on what's that in there? Let's just call it cypress fire and we can be fine. Um, I don't know where, where, where you guys get any other thoughts on the Trump arrangement, indictment, arrest, etc. Uh, no, it is very funny. It did enjoy seeing that guy fall off his tall bike. That was a highlight of the week for me. Yeah, there was a good video from the, uh, the New York protest of a guy falling off a tall bike. Yeah, shout out to the skateboard. Yeah. I will, I will, um, let's see, I will send, send a few things to the chat, the, the signal chat that I feel like our people are worth seeing. I can't wait. This is what I spent, this is what I spent most of my day, uh, doing, um, is, is sending people these memes. I think it's important that is that, is that, is that Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a big geek crown saying, tell Donald, I want him to know it was me, Garrison. Yes, it is. Oh, no, you're joking. I, if I actually see Ruth Bader Ginsburg for fuck's sake. Now, that would be a, an Urukhai with a pussy hat. Oh, God. Looks like brunch is back on the mint you boys. That one I do appreciate. Yeah. Uh, Garrison, there was, there was a good one that was like, um, uh, it was like the Jailer dropping off Trump in Epstein's cell, all, all of, all of, all of the lights go off. And then from the corner, a man in dark cloak says Brandon sends his regards. Uh, what a, what a wonderful time for memes. Well, everybody, that's our, that's our episode on the Trump arrest. We figured we should, we should talk about that, uh, to answer the question that so many people ask me, are we closer to having a civil war? I don't know, man, it doesn't, it doesn't feel like this, this has moved the needle on that at all. Um, the national divorce is happening any day now, any day now I swear. Like I, I, I think the thing that's worrying right now is, you know, not just kind of the low level series of exchanges of, uh, of terror attacks and shootings and murders and stuff and just street violence that I, I do think is going to kind of continue to be a problem up through 2024, but also just like what we've been talking about in terms of red states pushing for these increasingly really violent laws aimed at doing direct physical harm to small groups of people that they consider to be their enemies for whatever reason of identity. Um, that is like the increasing criminalization of groups of people in red states, the, the flight of folks from those states, the, the, like the, the fact that you are kind of seeing the country settle into two blocks that have wildly different legal systems that are often opposed to each other. That's a conflict that is, is absolutely happening. There's no denying that it's occurring. This is not a debatable thing. And I don't see the feds having any idea of how to fix this at the moment. Um, we'll see where the elections go in 2024. The fact that Wisconsin, um, that their, their Supreme Court election went well means a lot. It means that that's one state where the, the process that we're seeing happening in places like Florida and Tennessee, um, that is a significant amount of people protected from that. And it also means a lot for the 2024 election. But it's, it's, we, we, we are in a really rough place still. Um, I'm not like thinking we're in at the edge of 1776.2 or whatever the fuck the right calls it these days, yeah, 1865 or whatever. Robert Evans is going to personally be the next John Brownish. Yeah, I, I, I, hopefully not. Um, but, uh, I am, I am, I think I'd be really good at, uh, uh, being a terrible farmer. Um, I, I was already. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You're ready for a comeback. And with Purdue Global, you can do more than take classes. You can take charge of your story, of your career, of your life. Earn a degree you can be proud of and get an education employers respect. It's time, your time, not just to go back to school, but to come back and move forward with Purdue Global. Purdue's online university for working adults. Start your comeback at Purdue Global.edu. And now the best man! I was going to play in this speech while I got my oil change, but I went to take five and it was a lot faster than I thought, so here goes. Okay. Tim, you were my first friend. Angela, you were my first. I never thought the two of you would make it, but I guess love really is blind. No, no, no, I mean in a good way. I'd take five. Your oil change is faster than you think. Take five. 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Great. We should just use that as a renter. Okay. I mean, I'm fine with that, whatever. Okay, let's do it. That's our intro. That's your intro. Sureens cat is grooming herself, and that means that this is, it could happen here. I am James Stout, and I'm joined by Shereen Unis, and not her cat. She's just rowdy, and I have to really sometimes plan recording times around her schedule. Okay, that's good. Just the way my life is now, and that's all. That's the engine she deserves. No, none of this is important, that's your cat. But it's a bit of a serious one, sadly. So I want to talk more again about the border, something we spoke about a little bit, and something I kind of want to keep coming back to, because things haven't really got any better. In fact, they've potentially got worse. So where I want to start is last month, and we're recording this, and what the fourth of April, so, just over a week ago, I think, a fire in a detention. The 28th with it. Okay, yeah, what was that? Three. Yeah, a week ago, a week ago today, a fire in a detention center in Sioux, Dad Huatas killed 41 migrants being detained there. More than two dozen other people were seriously injured, and every single one of the about 100 people detained in the migrant detention center was hurt in the fire. The reason that every single person was hurt became clear and a video obtained by Texas public radio, and later confirmed by the government in Mexico. It shows two people dressed as guards rushing to the camera frame. You can see people in the cells just really pulling and kicking and beating on the bars. The guards sort of run up to the doors, but they don't really appear to make any effort to open them or to let the people out of the cells. Instead, they hurry away. It's clouds of smoke begin to fill the corners of the cells. Gradually, the smoke fills up the whole screen until you can't see anything else, and the men in the cells are left to die. It's horrifying. Yeah, it's one of the worst deaths that's available to a human being, and the fact that people who are already incredibly desperate and have taken huge risks to get there and died literally yards from the United States border is almost unfathomably cruel. What is in a way, Kruehler is the statement made by the US ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar. He said the tragedy illustrated the dangerous grifts in traveling north, and he cited the loss of life in two recent smuggling incidents in San Antonio and in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. These cases, he said, are a reminder of the risks of a regular migration. But what we're talking about here is in a consequence of a regular migration, really, right? Because these people weren't in the hands of criminals or coiertes or cartels. They were in the hands of the Mexican government when they died. For him to blame this on a regular migration, I think, is very indicative of the way that a by-demonstration has approached migration policy, which is to try and always obfuscate and shirk the responsibility for the cruel things that it's doing, for the consequences of its policies and its actions, which I want to get into more. I don't want to linger on this fire too much because, hey, it's unfathomably awful. I don't think we need to spend hours and hours going over something for people to know that there is no situation in which the government should burn fucking 40 people alive. It's inexcusable. We know that the shelter was set up in 2019. I want to get into why this shelter, which seems to have been a pretty terrible condition to begin with, was set up in 2019. Why? People who claim to the United States to try and have a better life, a safer life, ended up in a shelter in Mexico and how we've created a system where people keep dying at a certain border. Some of this will be stuff we've covered before. People have listened to the other stuff I've done on the border. People have listened to the butterfly sanctuary episodes. They'll be familiar with some of Biden's border policies, but I wanted to address these. Did you see that they lowered the death toll from 40 to 38, I guess, after hospital visits? That's the one part that I've read that is nice so far. That's nice. That's a lot. That's good. I was 39 and 41. It wasn't sure what being exact. It's a 38. It's a new as well. Right now, I'm reading 38 after it was 40 and it was lowered to 38. Okay. Wow. Two people were reanimated. Yeah. I mean, it's, I mean, it's just like, they're probably in terrible condition. Yeah. They're probably going, they're having like a life changing if not like old, like it's just terrible. No. Yeah. And like access to care for those people. I mean, those people may have access to care, right? Because what happened was high profile and it was in the news, but like generally, access to care for people like I have seen, I have seen a person die because they don't have access to their medicines that are very cheap, very easily available. Like again, like we're talking feet, like I could throw a tennis ball into the United States and where I was daily. And that's because this system treats people like numbers, not people. Yeah. My brain center is like a big jail. You know what I mean? It doesn't even, I don't know. Yeah. It's like an old timey fucking Western jail with people crammed it to cells with, you know, like legit bars on the walls. So shelter conditions in Mexican detention are often very poor. And those conditions have been exacerbated by something called Title 42. People have probably heard about Title 42 a lot. There's a lot to say about Title 42, but very briefly, it's a Trumpier Republic health policy that invokes a public health rule to push asylum seekers out of the US and into Mexico. Regardless of whether or not they might legally qualify for asylum, this shelter was stood up as a consequence of something called the migrant protection protocol. People call it the migrant persecution protocol because that's more accurate. I was going to say like, well, doing a great job with that. Yeah. Like people enjoy being wrong about Georgia well, but this shit is perfectly or well brilliant, to call a policy which kills little fucking children and migrant protection policy is dark. They call it, it's often called remain in Mexico as well, which is what it does. It requires people to remain in Mexico while their asylum claim is processed. Despite the fact that this might not be a safe country for them, and that this might violate various international laws and conventions on asylum, but the US doesn't subscribe to all of those as we're going to find out. Now, Title 42 has been through some legal ping pong recently, right? With Biden sort of trying to get rid of it, also to fend again court, a bunch of conservative states suing to keep it. So it's explained a little bit of where we're at with Title 42 right now. It's actually set to expire on May the 11th. The Biden administration is rolling out plans that will continue to restrict migrant access after May the 11th because they're concerned about the large influx of migrants, which I just want to point out was always going to fucking happen when you like pushed people just the other side of your fictional line in the sand. And then at some point you're going to have to stop because at some point Mexico is already the third most popular country in the world for asylum and you can't force this all on them. So since it was first implemented in 2020, the government has used Title 42 to expel migrants from the US Mexico border nearly 2.7 million times. That doesn't mean you will see these statistics quoted constantly, credulously, like people who don't understand what the fuck they're talking about and it really makes me angry. That doesn't mean 2.7 million people, right? Because Title 42 makes people cross more than once. It creates this kind of loop where DHS, right normally CBP or bought a patrol, sorry, picks people up and dumps them back in Mexico without processing them. And those people are now in a place they don't know. They don't have any family, they don't have any hope, they don't have any money. And all they do is kick their heels until they can find a way to cross again or someone to cross them again. Sometimes people who are facilitating those crossings will offer them unlimited crossings so they'll pay someone to smuggle them across, right? And that person will say, well, you get unlimited crossings, like... I didn't even realize, I didn't know so, like, standard. They're like, okay, this is going to happen, you're going to get unlimited crossings. You know what I mean? They're expecting it to be this like perpetual loop. Yeah, I mean, a few years ago, maybe they wouldn't have done, but another way that this is sometimes termed as catch and release, which they're not fucking fish, it shouldn't have to fish, I don't know, it's not really nice to fish, but... It's extremely fucking dehumanizing, right? And what it does and what I've seen, what it is, it's not like a unique insight of mine, is that it forces people to cross in more and more dangerous areas. Like, you combine that with a wall and the fact that like, it's very well documented that the Trump administration wanted to maximize the amount of miles of wall that built. If you remember, in one of the presidential debates, he made a claim about a certain number of miles of new wall he built. Yeah, he was just speaking out of his ass. I foiled it like the next day and they were like, they provide a number of different numbers or many of which relied heavily on repairing existing board offence. But they just went like Hammer and Tongue was trying to build new sections of wall to include skipping areas where it was harder to build, valleys, mountains and kind of thing, right? So what this wall does is it forces people through the areas where it's hardest to cross. Those are the areas where it's easiest to die. So these people are now forced to make riskier and riskier crossings to try and avoid getting caught or to wait in Mexico where they're at a very high risk of abduction or sexual assault, extortion or violence, right? And we'll come on to maybe a couple of those stories later, just from people I've talked to. The result of this policy is that border cities in Mexico are flooded with migrants and often with soldiers to send there to supposedly keep the peace. Last month, the Mexican National Guard and the immigration authorities raided a hotel full of Venezuelan migrants in Juales. Local news outlets reported that the migrants, mostly young men, through stones at the officials and their brawlers, you'd, and eventually they called off the raid. In another incident, authorities raided a church and dragged off a number of Venezuelan migrants who have been given sanctuary there. Some were beaten and one advocate said they were essentially tortured. This prompted, yeah, it's, this is horrific, right? Like a lot of, so a lot of the young men in the, it was all men in the detention center that caught fire, most of them were from Venezuela, right? And place like I've lived in Venezuela. I have a lot of sympathy for those people. Yeah, actually, I found a, like a breakdown, I guess, of, there was 13 Hondurians, 12 Salvadorians, 12 in his waylands, a Colombian and an Ecuadorian. So even that's crazy. Like there's so many people from all those countries. It's, I don't know. Yeah, we'll see a bit later that there are certain pathways, like for Venezuela and people, there are some pathways that don't exist throughout the people. They're then insufficient and they're there, how do I say this unfair, but sort of they exist. But yeah, those people from, from those countries, we see a lot of Haitian people at the border here too. But yeah, that's a pretty common kind of like border mix up of folks. Unfortunately, often you won't see Haitian folks that there are sort of segregation even within the migrant community and often Haitian folks is kind of segregated out, which is, which is unfortunate. Like, I thought the horror is when it's kind of that the population breakdown. Like when the Haitian border crossing be like somewhere else. I don't think to say. No, no, no. There's a tomato. I don't know what the breakdown, I know there are Haitian people in Huades. I know there are a Cuban folks in Huades too and they've kind of, some of them have stayed in Huades and established kind of their own communities. That's had some sort of, some negative results for anti migrant feeling in Huades from what I've heard. I know there are a lot of Haitian folks in Tijuana. A lot of the Haitian people come via Brazil where they've spent time preparing for the Olympics that we're there and building stadium stuff. A lot of them tell me they've come up from Brazil and then obviously with increased violence and Haiti now, you'll see more Haitian people again. There's a decent Haitian community that also is established in Tijuana and has, is, that it's their home now, right? I had no idea to be honest. So now I know, I'll accept being a little bit dumb. So everyone has to be. Not at all, not at all about it. It's not very well reported on and I think it's, honestly people have stopped reporting on it since 2020 as well, since like Orange Man Bad stopped being like prevailing, like mass media message. No one gives a fuck about migrants anymore. Like there's a pronounced drop off on a cross of people and I don't know. But there are some very good reporters, of course, you know, we spoken to some of them in Tijuana and in San Diego. But yeah, you just, there was a lot of parachute reporting on migration in the Trump era. Some of it very bad. Some of it by people who didn't have the language skills to be working there and didn't understand what was respectful or what wasn't and things like that. So I have strong feelings about how the migrant caravan in 2018 was reported on, for instance. Yeah. But yeah, you'll definitely see a ton of Haitian people and that Biden has gone exceptionally hard. I'll include a link at the bottom of like a piece I wrote for NBC about Biden's anti-hation bullshit, but like exceptionally hard specifically against a Haitian. So you can find a tweet from the Haitian, the United States Embassy in Haiti, where it's just got a picture of Biden. I think it says don't come. I'm paraphrasing that it is. I got the official account. Yeah, yeah. So it's wild, like you don't see this in other countries either. Even, you know, they've made, like they've made a ton of special exemptions for people from Ukraine, right? It's hard not to see that. Of course. Of course. Yeah. Of course, as you create. Yeah. Yeah, right. Because the only country is great. It's also great, but also you have to look at the, like why that happened. Right. And if we can't, like express, like, like Russian bombs kill kids in Myanmar too, right? Russian bombs kill kids all over fucking Africa. And if we can't have solidarity with them or we can with Ukrainian people, then I'd like, it's hard for me not to see that as to do with their skin color. Yeah. And then that is bullshit. So your title 42 were ended May when the COVID public health emergency order expires. Biden said earlier on that he would end title 42. He then faced these lawsuits from conservative states. But at the same time, the Biden administration fiercely defended title 42 in litigation brought by the ACLU and other groups challenging the policy. Even the CDC, right? The CDC center for the disease control was like, now the shit isn't necessary and it's cool. We should stop. And the government has argued that public health concerns letting migrants into the country due to continued threat of COVID-19 outweighed the possible harms done to migrants who are returned to cities like Nogales, Udo Kwaras or Tijuana. And yeah, like it's, you don't even need a COVID test to fly into this country now. I don't think. Right. Yeah. So the end of the emergency kind of makes that a moot point, right? Like you can't have a public health order to protect us from medities, which is saying isn't a problem anymore. But the damage that this has done will take years to rectify. And the backlog that it's created is already being used as an excuse to do more cruel and humane things to people who are just looking for a fair crack at life. And Shreen, do you know what won't build a wall around itself and force people to risk their life to get here? Can you tell me James? Well, what is it? It is these silver coins that have Ronald Reagan on them who probably outflanks our current immigration policy to work. That's our guy. Yep. Uncle Ron. Okay, we're back. Thank you, Ronald Reagan. Or maybe it was a gold advert. I hope it was a gold advert because I know that everyone enjoys so much. Please don't message Sophie about the fucking gold things. We know. Yeah, we know. We know. We know. So it's just funny. It's funny to me that someone is buying gold adverts and presumably none of our listeners are buying gold and get, I have healthcare now. I mean, it must be working somewhere. Like, you know what I mean? Like, how else would they afford to keep advertising? I don't know. Yeah, I don't know. Someone's doing something. Yeah, someone's buying gold. It's like one guy doing all. If you are that steadfast listener who buys everything we advertise, like, you get so much for our projects. We salute your dedication. So Biden hasn't really come up with a distinctive immigration policy of his own yet. Mostly he's just kind of failed to undo the damage Trump has done. Created a tutus system in which white Ukrainians get to slip the line, well back, and brown migrants wait in terrible conditions. And for some reason, he's gone as hard as fuck as he can to stop patients coming here, which the reason might be pretty obvious to some of you. And we're still building the wall, but we're calling it a barrier now. Of course. Yeah, it's totally different. We ran. It's very branded. Yeah, it doesn't have a little plate on the top. It's a slightly different shape. You can like, if you scroll back for enough on my Twitter, you can find comparison pictures of the Biden barrier in the Trump wall. It's like literally just like a glow up. Like a terrible horrifying glow up. Yes. Yeah, the wall's having its little, it's a freedom wall now or something. But if you don't follow the butterfly sanctuary, well, high value Twitter account, sometimes stealing automatic rifles, not stealing, I should say, but National Guard leaving automatic rifles on her property that she takes care of. But yeah, you can listen to our butterfly sanctuary episodes for more on like the Biden barrier. But we're more than halfway through Biden's term now. And we're beginning to see him take aim at something resembling a border policy on his own. And he's been hit by the Republicans on immigration. And it's worth pointing out that he's been hit pretty hard on largely on just shit that's made up or misunderstandings of this, the number of interactions that border patrol has or will for or unwoolful, I don't know. But many of the critiques are in pretty bad faith. But nonetheless, like it's been an area where they've criticized him, right? And so he's trying to move towards the quote unquote center on that with these new policies. So he's proposed that his administration has proposed something called a transit ban. So transit ban people might remember and the initial kind of proposal of this was made by Stephen Miller. Due to looks like a lollipop and also like a white nationalist. That's a great. That's great. His head is too big for his neck. He's shiny. Yeah. Yeah. That's not the only thing that's wrong with him. So this proposal would render migrants ineligible for U.S. asylum if they cross a sudden border illegally after failing to ask for humanitarian refuge in another country. They're traveled through such as Mexico. Right. So unless you somehow come straight to the U.S., which you can't do because you can't get on a flight to the U.S. without the correct travel documents, then you'd have to travel through another country, right? And they're saying that you should apply for asylum there. In practice, this would bar most northern Mexican asylum seekers. Unless you took advantage of one of the programs that Biden has proposed to allow people in Nicaragua, Cuba, Haiti, and Venezuela, with a U.S. sponsor under a humanitarian parole program where they apply from their home country and then get credentials to travel. So they'd stay in Cuba or whatever. Now, this might not be safe for some people to do in those countries. But they have a means to get here. It's metered, I think, at 30,000 a month. Those people from those same countries, enjoying the same conditions, if they came here on their own and then applied to asylum as is their right under U.S. law once they entered the country, right? And it's worth noting that most people coming in that want to apply for asylum. So they wanted to turn up, that might have changed a little with title 42, but previously people were seeking to turn themselves in, right? And say, hey, I'm here to apply for asylum. They can now be expelled under this legislation, right? So if they don't use this or they don't have a U.S. sponsor, which kind of creates, you shouldn't have to know someone in America to come here and avail yourself of basic human rights. It's purposely like getting people out of the group that can go in. You know what I mean? Like, it's excluding people, but just like, right? Right. Right. Thousands of people. Yeah. And this legislation now allows them for them to be expedited processing and expulsion. If people do want to apply for asylum at the southern border, they need to use an app, which is called CBP1. That's just the craziest thing I've heard in a while. Sorry. I'm on another planet. Like what? I don't know. It is incredibly powerful, like, LibBrain. Yeah. To be like, don't worry, we've made an app. We've got you. Like, it assumes that people have the app. It's not available in all the languages. The people speak it like, of course not. Yeah. Like last time I was at the border, like, I had, I worked with a colleague who spoke a Roma, I speak French, he spoke Haitian Creole, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, right? Like, like, those are people I interviewed in in an afternoon. You know, there are dozens of languages. So the app isn't available in those languages. The app is a giant clusterfuck. It doesn't work. It crashes all the time. Like, you can find like, like, little kids, little kids who come up from Tijuana to go to school who, like, can tell you 10 things that are wrong about this app. But you can also find people who make six-figure salaries in Washington who think it's great. Right. Regardless, it's a fucking app on a fucking device that is such like, like, I don't know. I think it's just so lazy. It's lazy and stupid. I don't like it. Yes, it is both of those things. It assumes people have a cell phone, which is not- Yes, very elitist, yes, exactly. Yeah. Like, it may be your phone could get stolen, be it fucking someone could book all these and try and gain. Like, there's a million ways it assumes you got fucking broadband connectivity, Wi-Fi, all these things. It's, yeah, it's just insane. Like, it's amazing how detached one can be from reality and still be the person in charge. Yeah. Yeah. What if no people in charge? So migrants crossing the border without documents can be subjected to expedited removal, as I said. And the proposed regulations indicate the migrants from Cuba, Nicaragua and Venice, and the other way, who generally cannot be deported due to strain relations with the governments there, would face deportation to Mexico instead, which fucking just again makes us someone else's problem. Yeah. Right. A dozen Senate Democrats called the Proposed to Silent Restrictions unlawful and counterproductive. They joined thousands of migrant advocates and organizations, including the United Nations refugee agency in imploring the administration to immediately withdraw the regulation. So there's a period of public comment, which is what's happened in the moment, right? So, and he's found a policy which no one likes, both from the right end, from, you know, people are allowed to live with dignity. That's hard to do. That's hard to do. Well, you're never, he's never going to have fucking, like, I don't know what they're like, trampolicans one, but like, it's some version of machine guns on top of a wall, killing little children. Yeah. And you could just be a decent person or you could try and placate fucking psychopathic fox news at people. So Mexico is already the third most popular destination for people seeking asylum in the world after United States and Germany. In Mexico, asylum seekers have to stay in a state where they apply. And that's resulted in large numbers of people being concentrated in, uh, Facebook, Tapatula on the southern border with Guatemala. And that creates, like, an infrastructure issue there, right? Which, uh, it's also worth, like, I'm sure people are well aware that, like, I wonder while these countries have been fucking destabilized, right? I wonder if there was a country which helped do that for decades. Why are they leaving their, their home? Like, why can't they go back home? Like, yeah, yeah, yeah. What I mean, they're, yeah. Um, yeah, if only the clash had written a song about it for us to understand better. And so Mexico granted 61% of asylum requests from January through November last year compared to 46% in the US. A for fiscal year 2022. But is an increase of a low of 27% under Trump, uh, but it, but it's still suggested more than half the people get sent back, right? And where the fuck do they get sent back to if they can't reliably go back to the home country safely? Um, Mexico abides by something called the Cata Haina Declaration, which promises a safe haven to anyone threatened by generalized violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts, massive violation of human rights, or other circumstances, which have seriously disturbed public order. The US currently observes a narrow definition that requires a person to have been individually targeted. That's a distinct thing, right? For limited reasons, a spell down in the UN refugee convention. But it appears that the Biden administration has plans to retrain DHS agents and they're currently telling them, or they seem to be proposing to tell them, I should say, to let migrants enter the US to pursue protection only if they qualify under the international convention against torture, which is an absurdly high bar. Like, yeah, like, like, it gets torture. Wow. Yeah. I think that's what I thought we were going to say after all. No, yeah. It's a, it's a, it's a ridiculously high bar. Like, there are very real things you could be afraid of. Like, I've spoken to people who's have escaped, like forced sex work, right? Who've had members of their family killed, threats made to their own lives. None of the folks, maybe the forced sex work is tortured, but maybe some of those things wouldn't meet that bar. But I think any reasonable human being, right? If you met someone in the street and they said, hey, so, you know, so I'm so killed, my daughter and my father and my uncle and they said, they're going to kill me. You'd say, like, come into my house. I'll look after you, but there's a country we're saying, fuck you, you're on your own. And yeah, that's, that's not how you be a good neighbor. And I saw us on the inside of the administration recently has reported that the Biden administration is considering reviving the practice of detaining migrant families, court crossing the US Mexico border illegally. And so this is this is the thing that that all the people were very upset about it. They're no more kids in cages thing. But we can do that again as well, I guess. We won't they likely won't do like separation of minors, which is what they did before, where they do take the kids away from their parents, they've changed them separately, which is just fucking like I cannot imagine. They can still. It's just yeah, it's just unspeakable trauma and like just like for both for everybody involved. I mean, like same with the wall though, like it's just the same thing. We're doing the same thing is happening. It's just like marketed differently. It's just like packaged in a different way and it's still fucking terrible. Yeah, like I just I don't know what you expect these fucking people to do. And I don't know how you how you expect someone like even if you're purely self interested and you're just concerned about like US security and like, you know, making America great again or whatever. And like if you lock little children up, like they're going to fucking hate you and you can't blame them. Yeah, like it's it's in the humane. It's what dictators do. It's it's fucking unfathomable. It also like drives me like just insane to think about people that are actually there in the flesh. Like that see people like like children crying or something and like just there's so much terrible things going on. And no one does. There's not enough. I don't know. I just I can't imagine doing that. It would just be like, okay, my job is this and I'm going to continue. I don't know. I don't like it. No, I don't like it either. Of all of the things I've reported on and like I reported on some dark shit and then like being to some dangerous places, etc. Like nothing has been harder for me to get over than little kids at the border. Like I have hundreds of stories about it. But I can remember one little girl, this is what makes me want to cry. I remember there's one little girl who she'd left her teddy bear behind. She wanted a teddy bear. And like this little girl's a living in a fucking tent. This is in 2018 when when the midterms are happening. So they were holding a large group of people right next to the border right there. Staying in a baseball stadium. And myself and some friends had gone to help. And this little girl was just like the sweetest little kid. She came up, she was holding my hand. And then I asked if she wanted to go on my shoulders. She wanted to go on my shoulders. You know, and at this point, the way that they were getting people to leave that area and go to another area was by cutting off their access to water. Oh my god. So like we were able to get some water and we were able to give them as much water as we could buy on our credit cards. And I asked her like what she wanted and she said she'd had to leave her teddy bear behind. And it just fucking broke my heart. Like without like, you know, going into too much personal trauma details like that shit kept me from sleeping for weeks. And I found it so hard to come back, give us like 2018 around November, I guess. And let go to like a, I remember someone's having some Thanksgiving thing and just, I just wanted to fucking shout at everyone and be like what the fuck is wrong with you. Anyway, so I went and bought her a teddy bear. No, it's devastating. It's especially from a child, you know, like their experience and their perspective is just like, just I don't know. You see how broad it is. Yeah. I know, no, children shouldn't be treated by that first up. Like we shouldn't be standing in the parking lot of a fucking Tommy Hilfiger discount store in San Diego launching tear gas at little children in Mexico. It's one of the like the images of like what America does to people that will stick with me forever. It's yeah. I'm glad you were down there helping though. Like especially getting, getting, according to their access off to waters, like the most, like one of the most inhumane things, but then against all very inhumane. Yeah. And that time was difficult for everyone involved. That was also one of the most impressive. This is one of the times when large NGOs weren't allowed to operate because of various concerns and legal things. So the entirety of the aid effort for those people was done through mutual aid, right? Through completely ad hoc mechanisms that were church people, people from various migrant advocacy groups in San Diego, people from all over the world who we've spoken to on the podcast. That's how I met them for the first time. Number of those people actually were surveilled by Border Patrol as we found out two years later and had warrants on them, etc. But everyone who came came like not because it was a job because it was the right thing to do. Like, there wasn't a day I was down there that there weren't people turning up with trucks full of stuff. This is my friend and I, someone managed to get us a projector from their workplace and how they got a projector from their workplace, I don't care. And a bunch of DVDs. My friend used to be an electrician and they moved everyone to a nightclub. It was a nightclub and another part of Sihwana, an old nightclub. An old and massive thousands of people were in this big kind of open-air nightclub situation. It was very strange. They had the women and the young children in one area that very clearly had been a poll dance room. Anyway, and they had these bars, like a balcony area. So we went up to the balcony area and me and a couple of these older kids who with the migrant group were able to climb across the room, find some wires, connect the projector, and do a little make-able movie theatre for the children. I remember they were watching Beverly Hills, Chihuahua, when I left. Yeah, they were having just- Those little gestures are so important though. Like it's- Yeah, I mean, it doesn't fucking face anything, but if they can have two hours of watching a film about a dog or whatever it may be. Yeah. Like not there for more. But they have that. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, they deserve that. They deserve a lot more than that. But yeah, it was those little nice things that made it bearable, I guess. Yeah, they was- I still have like fairly disturbing recollections and lots of things. That's another border. So let's just do a quote from Joe Biden. Because we do love a bit of Joe Biden. My message is this, if you're trying to leave Cuba, Nicaragua, or Haiti, have agreed to begin a journey to America, do not. Do not. Just shut up at the border. Stay where you are and apply legally. It's starting today, if you don't apply through the legal process, you will not be eligible for this new parole program. Anyway, Joe Biden could go fuck himself, but I think that- I hope that, obviously, lots of by-law anecdotes have helped, but we shouldn't see these people as statistics or numbers, and we should see them as people. So I've got a couple of interviews I've done. These are just ones I've went back to some notes and found, so I'm just going to read them out. So I wouldn't give their names just for their own security. Yeah. But sometimes I've used pseudonyms on the publicsies. Sometimes I have used their names when they're willing to use their names. It's their choice, right? They should always be their choice if you're a fucking reporter and you're filming children without their consent or their parents consent on a resident camp. They're not just a spectacle for your story. Yeah, exactly. You can jog on and I hope someone throws your camera in a river. So here's one. I have three daughters, age 13, 10, and 6. I've always had my own business selling food and I paid what we would call extortion money. But with a pandemic, I couldn't pay well over three or four months. They said if I didn't pay, they would burn down my shop and me and my daughters would be raped and killed. With what little I had left, I left with my daughters. It's hard to get work here. That's an immigrant. There are some jobs, but not the sort that are for me. I have to try and be an example to my kids. One day I was juggling by the traffic lights and some guys tried to pick me up. They said they knew where I lived and they would hurt me and my daughters who I didn't work for them. It made me work in a bar. I escaped, but that's how I broke my hand. I didn't want to go to the US, but I need to leave this country now for the same reason I left my own. Well, then I'll read one more. We came from one daughter's to flee the violence. We have come to this camp in the last few days, but it's scary here. We don't feel safe. There are people coming and taking photos of the children of the women. Man off of the women here money to go with them. They try to get them to sleep with them. There's a woman here filming us as well. We found out she's a big activist for Donald Trump. This was in 2021. Some people came to snatch a child here, between the group we're working to make a security committee to protect the children because there are people who would take the children here. We aren't a caravan. We're just people from all over the world who have come here for a better future. We're asking Biden, we know it's complicated and he has a lot to sort out and we have patients. We know he has to make compromises. But please think of us here. We're in danger. Please give us a solution. It's fucking heartbreaking. Yeah, it is heartbreaking shit. I wish there was like some kind of happy ending. I could put on this or like, I don't know. There were great things you could do with mutual aid groups. There's a group that I'm hoping to introduce next week called Borderlands Relief Collective in San Diego who do kind of to help people crossing the border. There are groups like Alotro Lalo, you can donate to the public comment is still available for the Biden to propose new restrictions. I guess you can come out of that if you think that will help. I guess this is an area sometimes where talking to politicians might help because they make the laws that affect people's rights to kind of live with basic dignity. But yeah, I don't have a great solution to this, especially if people aren't in a place where they, you know, people here are struggling to get by and understand they're not able to afford to donate. Of course, yeah. But yeah, this is pretty bleak and just because it's not like being beamed into your living rooms anymore because the orange man bad doesn't mean that like it's still not impossibly cruel. Yeah, it's, I mean, just because another old guy took over, it doesn't mean like the same things were already there. It's not like they just poofed into thin air like all the terrible things that were already happening. That's what I don't understand is like people just assume, I don't know what they assume. I'm not going to ramble on like that, but it's just heartbreaking and you should donate if you can. Yeah, donate to stuff, shout out to people, do whatever you think will make a difference because it's pretty bad. You're ready for a comeback and with Purdue Global, you can do more than take classes. You can take charge of your story, of your career, of your life. Earn a degree you can be proud of and get an education employers respect. It's time. Your time. Not just to go back to school, but to come back and move forward with Purdue Global, Purdue's online university for working adults. Start your comeback at Purdue Global.edu. And now the best man. I was going to play in this speech out while I got my oil change, but I went to take five and it was a lot faster than I thought, so here he goes. Okay. Tim, you were my first friend. Angela, you were my first. Yeah, I never thought the two of you would make it, but I guess love really is blind. No, no, no, I mean in a good way. And take five, your oil change is faster than you think. Take five, the stay in your car, ten minute oil change. Buying a home can be an anxiety inducing endeavor, but doesn't have to be. Sure, the market is uncertain yet. With a sofa mortgage loan, it doesn't have to matter as much. With a sofa mortgage loan, you can save now and save later, helping to relieve the anxieties of the home buying process. Save now with special home buying pricing and down payment options as little as three to five percent. Then, be eligible to save later when rates drop and you refinance. So-fi was even named the best lender for saving money by CNBC Select. Thanks to sofa mortgage loans, you don't need anxiety to be on your mind when shopping for a home. Just saving. Visit sofa.com slash new home to learn more. That's s-o-f-i.com slash N-E-W-H-O-M-E. Mortgages through sofa bank and a member FDIC, NMLS, 696891, Lone & Offer Terms, Conditions, Restrictions, Apply, Equal Housing Lender. Welcome to Icon Apped here. A podcast coming live, not live. Really, I need to come up with a better bit than coming to you live. But coming to you from now falling apparently on fire, destroyed Chicago. So say the many Oracle's sooth sares and cops who live in the city who are now absolutely convinced that the city is going to descend into crime and chaos, etc. After the cop candidate got absolutely blown the fuck out in the last elections. And yeah, with me to talk about this election and a couple of other elections that happened on the same day that were very funny and where the worst people in the world got absolutely destroyed is Ali, who is one of my friends and is an election analyst. Yeah, welcome to the show. How are you doing? I'm doing well. Thank you for having me, Mia. Nice to be here. Yeah, I'm very excited. Yeah, because this is just very funny. It's extremely funny. I personally was really enjoying getting to read the Twitter T-Leaves, you could tell kind of which aldermen were having meltdowns on election night. Yeah, so I guess we can start with the stuff that happened in Chicago, which is that Paul Vales, the butcher of the public education system, running dog of the cops, the hero of J6 people, I was just kind of blacked in an election by Brandon Johnson, the sort of progressive candidate who I'm very excited. I'd no longer have to pretend that I like particularly much. Yes, now, as Mia says, Paul Vales, resident Dino from Palos Heights, a southwest suburb of Chicago, who conveniently bought an apartment in Chicago exactly a year before the election, which is how long you have to live in Chicago to be the mayor. Lost the runoff to Brandon Johnson, a black progressive who was on the Cook County board, when all the results are done coming in at a couple of weeks, it'll be about 52% for Johnson and 48% for Vales. As Mia says, this lets a lot of people on the left no longer have to keep up the charade of, oh, Johnson's the best thing that has happened to us in sliced bread. For us, if you are more of a democratic party loyal progressive voter, this is a very, very good thing in your eyes. I think there's something very interesting and kind of fitting about this, which is that one of the things you've talked about is that, yeah, like Brandon Johnson is the first like progressive T.M. mayor of Charlottes had since like, I mean, literally since Harold Washington, who was a black mayor in the 80s. And it's very interesting also because a bunch of the reforms that Harold Washington did were specifically overturned by Paul Vales. Yeah. For the case of the guy you did a bunch of educational reforms that fucking sucked that destroyed him, Washington stuff, it's, no, it's, it's really wild how like Chicago politics is analogous to go really out there for a second is analogous to the state of Hawaii in the sense that people never die. Yeah. The same people are going to be on your ballot for 50 years and you just kind of have to suck it up and deal with it. But every so often someone good comes along or at least someone better. And if you get them into office the first time and if you get them to survive their first reelection campaign, then they get to be one of the people who is on the ballot forever and who never dies. And slowly, but surely you can make Chicago politics less shitty. But yeah, as Mia said, this is going to be the first progressive Chicago mayoral administration since Harold Washington. And Johnson won the same way as Harold Washington did. And yeah, the backbone of Johnson's coalition, just as with Harold Washington's was Black voters. Johnson got about 80% of the Black vote because in Chicago elections are usually more about race than anything else. But in addition to the Black vote, Johnson won with progressives in white and non-black communities of color, as well as LGBTQ voters. And finally, fulfilling the dreams of the, here's how Bernie can still win people from 2015. A actual turnout surge of millennial and Gen Z voters. The Chicago board of elections is, I don't think that anyone would call them great, but they do produce some nice live statistics on election day as the votes are tallied. And voters under 45 had a turnout surge of, I think it was about 20%, whereas voters older than 60, the raw number of their votes actually went down. And this likely does almost entirely account for Johnson's margin of victory that he was able to turn out young voters and that old people just stayed home. Yeah, I think it's also, we talked about this in the episode we did about Paul Fallis, but one of the things about the initial election was that the fact that Johnson made it out of the primaries at all with a genuinely nightmarirish age bracket of turnout in the first round is sort of a miracle. But it got a lot better for him in this one and that genuinely seems to have, I don't know, I know a lot of people who spent a lot of time canvassing their asses off and it actually seems to have worked. And I don't know, it remains to be seen the extent to which this was about the fact that Fallis is probably would have been the worst mayor of Chicago in like, we don't have to go, we don't have to go back that far. A daily was mayor of Chicago is recently as 2011. That's true, but I don't know, daily, yeah, I mean, it's not like Chicago has good mayors, but I think he would have been, okay, he was, I think he would have been the most politically far right mayor of Chicago has had in a long time. Oh, yeah. Like he's just a Republican like a pretty like, yeah. And you know, that fucking sucks, but he got clobbered. There's also, there's a really funny result I want to talk about, which is that, okay, so the part of Chicago, the neighborhood of Chicago where the Cubs stadium is right next to Boyz Town, which is the fucking gay district. And if you go in and look at like, well, I say, I say it's the gay district, like a lot, a lot of, it's now the rich gay part of Chicago because I've got to price out. No, it's not. No, it's not. Market Park is the rich gay part of Chicago. That's true. That's true. Okay, it's more of a rich gay part of Chicago than it was like 40 years ago. Like 30 years ago. Yeah, but like literally exactly split, you can like, you can like see in the data exactly and split down the gays voted for Brandon Johnson and all the people and all the Cubs fans voted for Valleys. It's so funny. It is, it is extremely funny. And I will give a quick shout out here to the Chicago Urbanist Twitter account who made what I personally think is the funniest meme to have come out of the election, which is a bunch of like stick figures and just like black and white labeled Valleys voters running from a like steam roller, a pink steam roller with a rainbow like wheel being driven by a bunch of gay people and the steam roller is labeled Boystown. It's really good. Like they, I don't know, like they, they're, there is this sort of a like that. This is sort of like this is the coalition that, well, I mean, again, we talked about this is this is the hair washing coalition. Like this is the coalition that if you, if you're an elect elector, or a list like you need to produce something that looks like this, if you want to have any serious chance of winning. Yes. Yeah. And the fact that it actually worked is sort of, oh, it's a goddamn miracle. Yeah. It's shit never works. People have been trying to do this for like 40 fucking years and it never works. I mean, trying to do this 40 plus years, but it's also like this is really the first election that I can think of anywhere since Barack Obama's reelection in 2012 where like this is the coalition that actually put someone in like an office that got a lot of national attention and that mattered. That's not to say that it like literally hasn't happened anywhere else. I'm just saying I can't think of any off the top of my head. But like in 2012 Barack Obama became the first person to be elected president of the United States with less than 40% of the white vote. A feat that has never since been repeated. Clinton got less than that and lost Trump obviously won and Biden won because white voters swung left in 2020. So like this is a turnout and coalition puzzle that most people fail to put together and that brain Johnson miraculously pulled off. Yeah. And I think on the one hand, okay, this is legitimately kind of because the result is not the thing that normally happens. It is legitimately an interesting question as to why this happened and like a sort of like legitimately kind of difficult like political science question. On the other hand, most of the people attempting to answer it have just oh my fucking god. If I have to read another New York Times article writing about this, that's like just clearly cobbled together from three Wikipedia articles. I'm going to really go insane. I think you and every other person in Chicago, no matter if you were a Johnson voter or a vales voter or someone who stayed home, we can all come together in our hatred of that five thirty eight piece that was strong on the morning of election day. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you're lucky and I'm not going to tell you. If you really want to give you a very brief summary of it, which is that five three eight. No, no, no, no. They did they did they did a racism. They did a racism. That's that's what I'll leave it at. They did a racism and they were very wrong. They basically did the four races, white, black, Latino and leftist. Yeah, which is very funny. But hopefully I hope I'll take a stab at explaining what happened and hopefully it's better than those people's explanation. But I think part of it is that as I mentioned earlier, historically, Chicago elections have been about race and like this was no exception. This was much more of an ideological break. The ideological lines were a lot clearer in this election than previous mayoral races. But the foundation of Brandon Johnson's electoral victory was the 80% of the vote that he got in black majority neighborhoods. Black voters in Chicago selected the black candidate because they looked at the white guy and said, oh, we think you're going to be a massive dipshit. And beyond that, you have a couple of other things working in Johnson's favor. So like one, when it comes to the youth vote, I cannot really believe I'm saying this because I, when this was announced, it's not that I thought it wouldn't help. It's just that I wasn't sure that it would help enough. But Johnson got a lot of national progressive figures to endorse him, including Bernie Sanders and his campaign literally flew Bernie in for a rally on a college campus here in Chicago. And I think that genuinely did actually get a lot of young people to realize that there was an election that they should pay attention to. Which is why this happened. People fly in Bernie a lot and it never matters. But it mattered here. Which is sort of amazing. Absolutely. Like just a lot of this election was wild. I think the other thing that really helped Johnson was that a, like Chicago is a lot less white than it used to be. Which is not something that usually gets said in this day and age because Chicago is becoming white or then it was like 10, 15 years ago. But Chicago is a lot less white than it was in the 80s when Harold Washington was elected. And so like there was more of a ceiling on Paul Vales' vote than Harold Washington's opponents had. Which meant that Vales had to be able to appeal to not just white voters who reflexively were against any black candidate. But he also had to make inroads in Hispanic, Asian, as well as black communities and trying to get the black conservative vote. And he didn't, Vales didn't do a terrible job here. But he just didn't do a job that was good enough. He actually probably won the Latino vote. It wasn't like a huge win, but it was a win. But the problem is that turnout in on the southwest side of Chicago, which is where the majority of Chicago's Mexican American residents live was just super low. Just like really, really atrociously in the tank. To the extent that this is the kind of turnout that inspires the online jokes about how no one ever bothers to vote level bad turnout on the southwest side. So if Hispanic turnout had been on the same level as white and black turnout, the race probably would have been a lot closer. Vales also won Chinatown, which is something that got a fair amount of attention on social media. But Johnson was able to win the two other Asian ethnic enclaves in Chicago, which are the Vietnamese neighborhood in uptown called Asian Argyle, as well as the desi neighborhood on the far north side. And I don't think we can really say how Asian voters overall voted definitively, because Asian voters in Chicago are pretty well diffused through the city. But it's very clear that like Vales did not get the runaway win with Asian voters that Eric Adams, for example, did in New York City. Yeah. And I specifically want to talk about Argyle for a bit, because the fact that Johnson won Argyle is fucking insane. Oh, yeah. These are like, like this is a community of Vietnam War refugees. Like these people are hard-bought and anti-communist. You go into these restaurants and they all have Fox News on. So yeah, Johnson winning these voters is incredible. Yeah, I mean, one of the most famous noodle shops there was a guy who was at January 6th. Like this is a stereotypically unbelievably dodged shit place for Johnson. Yeah. And I'm going to say this about Chinatown. And this is something like, I mean, you can just know this is something like I've been tracking for a while, I mean, just by like walking through it, Chinatown, during the pandemic and kind of after it, it was having a bit before, it's gotten just notably more fascist. Like there's a lot of stuff there. I mean, the anti-homeless stuff is really, really, really intense. They've been going really hard. And that's thing that kind of makes sense, right? Like this is a thing that you would kind of expect out of like, yeah, of course, small business owners are going to like go right. That's like, that's it. You can find marks writing about this phenomenon in like 1848, right? This has been a thing since the beginning of time. But I don't know. It's gotten legitimately kind of scary down there. Yeah. Like a lot of it also, I think, was there's been a divergence between how the Northside Asian enclaves, like the Desi neighborhood and the Vietnamese neighborhood have responded to this kind of stuff versus Chinatown, especially on the other big social change that happened during the pandemic, which was the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. I think from what I saw, like the reaction on the on the Northside among these Asian enclaves was pretty overall supportive of the protests, whereas down in Chinatown, as well as in McKinley Park, which is a Hispanic majority neighborhood, but has a pretty significant Asian population. Those neighborhoods had this really, really big surge of anti-Black racism in response to the protests, like there were quote unquote neighborhood watch groups that got formed. And it was just, it was bad. And you know, the Vietnamese voters on our dial, even though they're very like, you know, they have Fox News on, like I said, and they're really anti-socialist anti-communists, there was a state rep. I am probably going to butcher his name from which I apologize, but I'm pretty sure his name is pronounced Han Wen, who is Vietnamese himself, and he won the seat last year in 2022. And like he's very progressive. So there has been this very sharp divergence in how the Asian neighborhoods in Chicago have responded to some of the social events of the last few years. Once again, by people, they're the great nation of China has fallen into social imperialism. I think the last thing that really should be talked about in the context of Johnson's electoral win, and when we come back, we can talk about the city council, because that's also pretty interesting, is that something that if you want to watch elections, especially if you want to watch Chicago elections, something you should understand is that the the capital M machine in Chicago is pretty much gone now. And Brandon Johnson's win pretty much seals this. And it's not that the people are gone or that like the, you know, logistical operations of the machine are completely dead. But the machine has now lost two elections in a row, because as much as Lori, like foot sucked, and she sucked so much, she also was an anti-machine candidate. Like she was like capital A anti-machine once she ran, and Brandon Johnson is not anti-machine in the way that Lori was, but he definitely was not the candidate of like the machine. So like they lost two elections in a row. Mike Madigan has now been like indicted, and he's probably going to prison for a very long time. You should explain who Mike Madigan is, because if you live in Illinois, like you know who Mike Madigan is, if you don't live in Illinois, Mike Madigan for my entire life, for like the lives of people who are much older than me, has been like the most, the single most powerful political figure in all of Illinois. Like he runs everything. Yeah. Like he has like an iron grip over everything that has happened in this state for like 40 years. Yes. And he finally got indicted on some federal like charges of like, I don't even remember what the charges were, but it was very like al Capone-esque of like, we finally found something to nail you on, so we're going to. And so he got indicted last year and it is actually pretty impressive, like how quickly his machine fell apart. Yeah. Like he just, he didn't have an air ready to take control. And so it's not that like machine politics is gone from Chicago. It's more that instead of a machine, there are now going to be a bunch of smaller machines, which is going to make it easier for like normal everyday people to actually have some saying the political process, which is a good thing. Yeah. And like the Chicago machine fucking sucks ass. I mean, like we talked about sort of val, like I mean, valus was a machine guy, right? Yes. Like absolutely. And you know, and he is like the thing about the, the, the, the, the, the machine has two values and it's corruption and neoliberalism. And obviously like not even neoliberalism is so much anymore. It's mostly just corruption. Yeah. I mean, they've kind of, I think they've gotten less ideological over the last 20 years. Like, well, like, I think like that's like decade and a half. But they, yeah, they, they really, they really fucked it. Like Chicago was like the political machine. And you know, like, I mean, they're in large part responsible for the creation of Obama's career. And they've parlayed that into losing to like the least popular mayor in like a generation. And then losing again, like to somehow to Brandon Johnson. And it's, I don't know, they've, they've, they've failed spectacularly and I fuck them. They're awful. And I, yeah. Yes, absolutely. Yeah. Fuck these guys. They've, they've, they've, they've, they've robbed the working class for two fucking long. Yeah. No, fuck these guys. Good riddance. Um, the world will be better when they're dead. Yeah. Uh, do you know what else the world would be better than if I, you know, okay, that, that was, that was, that was not my, that was not my best effort. I apologize. But the world's question mark, maybe better place if you buy these products and services, question mark. I don't know if I'm legally allowed to say that. We'll see. Anyways, here's some ads. And we are back. Yeah, we should talk about what, what Johnson actually wants to do. Well, do you want to get into that? Would you want to talk about the city council first? I think they actually overlap pretty well. Um, so like we can, let's, let's run through what Johnson says he wants to do and we can then talk about how much of that might happen. Um, so Johnson, like we were talking about is definitely going to be the most progressive mayor in Chicago's history, in terms of what he campaigned on at least. Um, this was a crime election. Like the dominant issue was crime. And Johnson did not say the words defund the police. In fact, he actually explicitly said that he would not cut the police budget. Um, but aside from like those literal words, he very much is in line with the progressive priorities of deemphasizing like using people with guns who go through like six weeks of training or whatever. Um, so he wants to pass, um, a bill called treatment, not trauma, which is replacing cops with mental health responders for 911 calls about mental health crises. He wants to pass another bill called the peace book ordinance, which would expand restorative justice and violence intervention, pro, like projects and programs in the city. Uh, and he also wants to pass an ordinance to put significant restrictions on police department raids and like the police department's just actual ability to do raids altogether. Um, there is a very infamous contract here in Chicago called the shop spotter contract, which is this dumb software that is supposed to be able to like tell police when a gun goes off. Um, and like as far as I can tell, doesn't, and it's just like straight up, doesn't work. So Johnson wants to get rid of that. He also wants to eliminate the gang database, which if you are from Chicago, you probably know what we're talking about is this very infamous list of about 120,000 people, um, 95 percent of whom are either black or Latino. And they are on this list called the gang database more or less because one day some random Chicago police officer decided to put them on the list. Um, it's very dumb. It's very racist. It's very blatantly unconstitutional and hopefully Brandon Johnson is able to get rid of it. Yeah, and these are all think like, you know, as as as much as we can talk about the extent to which like is, you know, as much as we can, we can talk about the sort of the complicity of like mental health responders and the police system, wherever the fuck like these things would all like make a lot of people's lives better and make it to least weaker. And, you know, I mean, one of the things about this election right is that the people who are actually affected by crime vote for Johnson, the people who are not affected by crime at all, all voted for Valleys. Yep. And part of the reason for that is that like, okay, if you're in a place like in Chicago that has a bunch of crime, you were dealing with like, you're dealing with the crime, you are dealing with a lot of people getting shot, which is fucking shit. And then you're also dealing with the CPD who are like function most of the time are functionally a cartel about every like, like, we're kind of do for another set of like prosecutions. Like roughly every like seven or eight years, there's a massive series of arrests by the FBI or like the fence come in and like discover that there's like a giant, there's a giant cartel operating out of the CPD. We've talked about this one. Discover and, discover and air quotes because everyone knows. Oh yeah, everyone knows. And then, you know, the Chicago police in particular are very famous for the code of silence, which is that every single person, if a cop commits a crime, every single other cop will cover for them going right up to the top of the ladder of the police, sheaths and all the way down to like, like, like beat cop. And you know, and so, you know, like if you're a person who has to deal with these people and you know, it sucks. It fucking sucks. And like, there's, the Chicago is kind of in many ways not the ground zero, but like a ground zero for a phenomenon where you have these poor neighborhoods of color who, you know, the people who live in these neighborhoods, they are simultaneously overpoliced and underpoliced because the police don't bother to show up half the time when like they're theoretically needed, right? Like someone could shot you call 911 and the cops don't bother showing up for hours if they bother showing up at all. And at the same time when they do show up, they often cause more problems than they solve. Like, Chicago has really truly horrific clearance rates of violent crime. And this is mostly because CPD just insists on maintaining this really awful balance. You know, if you do believe in police, you want there to be a pretty healthy balance between beat cops and detectives, right? Well, with Chicago police department, there almost are no detectives left. Like, it's almost all beat cops. And so there's not many resources that go into actually investigating crimes that can't be solved by someone just walking around or driving around in a patrol car. So these neighborhoods, like, you know, you go down to the south side or the west side. A lot of these, a lot of the residents in these neighborhoods would tell you because they're not leftists, right? So they would tell you that they want more police officers, but they don't want more beat cops necessarily. Like they want more detectives and they want officers who are actually going to care about them as people. Unfortunately, the Chicago police department is made up of fascists. So like, you know, low chances on that front, but it's like, that is the problem these neighborhoods are facing is that like the police don't bother to care. And when they bother to show up, they often make things worse. Yeah. And I think, you know, I think the everything that's sort of important here, right? It's like you get a lot of, you know, like it's very easy for people to be like, Oh, hey, look, actually, these people want more police. But it's like, you know, when you look at what there was a study taken right before the election that was talking about voters, like what their preferences on, like what their sort of opinions on crime are. Oh, yeah, yeah, I know what I'm talking about. I think it was like only 18% of the people who said that crime was important to them, one of more cops and almost everyone, we have a part of it was like, like, they're one of their big concerns was legal guns. And then the other big concern was just like the fact that there's these places are really poor. And there's no opportunity for people is like, there's there aren't economic opportunities. There are so many guns just on, you know, just lying around in these communities. And obviously that's a problem throughout the country, but it's especially bad in low income neighborhoods in Chicago. And the other thing was mental health, like, you know, and that's one of the other things that Johnson wants to do is he wants to reopen the mental health clinics that got closed down by Rob or Rob a manual who is a previous mayor of Chicago who is currently being inflicted upon the people of Japan as the US ambassador. You know, they deserve it. So this is what you get for starting with the CIA, you fucking, fucking dipshit's man. Like, if it's a little different credit party, you didn't want to have to get fucking have to deal with Rob a manual. They shouldn't have taken all that CIA money. But yeah, like Johnson wants to, you know, reopen these mental health clinics. He wants to increase funding for public schools, which have very much not gotten the funding that they need in Chicago for the past several decades at this point. He also wants to expand public transportation in Chicago, like there are a lot of proposals flying around for expanding the train lines and bus lines and bike ride. There are also, as me and I were talking about before we started recording, there are a lot of lead pipes, like water pipes in Chicago. So many document pipes. Yes. And like Chicago is like supposed to be replacing them. It's proceeding very slowly. Johnson wants to speed that up. There's like very genuinely a lot of research on the books, directly linking lead poisoning to a lot of social problems. And so it's very much one of these things where it's like, you know, if you replace the lead pipes, crime will go down. Yeah. And I want to talk a little bit about the infrastructure stuff for a second because like, okay, in the, in the last three years, Chicago's public transit system has just been fucking imploding. Oh, it's so bad. There are, there are reasons for this, some of which I can't talk about some of which I can't, like partially was dependent, partially letters to pandemic. And they, like a bunch of the people who were supposed to be running the system fucking died because, you know, they got forced to work during the pandemic. But like, you know, you'll like trains just won't show up. There are buses that are basically unusable because it's, it's like you're basically sitting there trying to roll double ones as to whether the bus will fucking show up at all. Um, the wait times are enormous, like, it's a real shit show. And like, it's, it's substantively way worse than it was when I was in the city in like 2015, 2019. Yeah. It's really, really bad. And it's, it's, it's atrocious. Yes. The other factor that has to be talked about there is that like so the Chicago public transit system is not free, like most systems, like it is funded by writer fairs. Like it's very, yeah, it costs a lot to get on, oh, comparatively, it costs a lot to get on the train or going on a bus. And one of the kind of, like self reinforcing cycles has been playing out the last few years is that Chicago also has a really bad homelessness problem. And this is directly linked to the fact that the city just does not want to give people housing. Yeah. So what ends up happening is that a lot of Chicago's homeless residents, especially in the colder winter months, they end up on the trains, especially the two lines that run 24 hours a day. And you know, these are people who are really, you know, they're living in really, really terrible conditions. Like they don't have regular access to clean food and water, a lot of loan, like clean access to like regular access to like hygienic facilities. And so ridership really plummeted on the lines where homeless people started to like just go on in order to stay warm. And so you get the hit because writer fairs are now down because people don't want to deal with being on the same train line as homeless people who, you know, frankly, just don't smell that good or have mental health problems. And the city doesn't want to give these homeless people housing, let alone like even like smaller things like like access to bathing facilities or healthcare or anything like that. And so it becomes a self-reinforcing cycle of now fairs are down to there's less investment so more people abandon the system. And it is this thing where like this will, this would get solved if Chicago committed to giving homeless people housing. But that's just not where the city has unfortunately been. Yeah. And I mean, you know, and what's happening instead is like, you know, increasing at the homeless architecture, like Chicago train stations, fucking suck ass because they're all designed so that's impossible to sit on anything. Oh, like, I got only two benches in each station. It sucks. So many stations like it's so bad. Like it's just awful. Like one of the things that Chicago has is they have these like, you know, it gets really, really cultured. They have these like warming stations so that when it's like fucking negative 20 out, you can be in the warming things. But there's no, they intentionally make it so there's no benches in them. So you can't sit in them. Yeah, it sucks. It like it's, you know, it's, they have this really just like the hatred of homeless people is turned basically into a war against all society waged by the city. Yes. A trucious. The good news is that Brendan Johnson wants to pass an ordinance called bring Chicago home, which would put a tax on property transfers for like, I think it's like homes that are worth over a million dollars. That and the money from that tax would go entirely to funding programs for the city's homeless residents all the way up to and including permanent shelter or like permanent housing solutions. So, you know, you know, fingers crossed on that one because that I think along with the public safety measures is really the thing that the city needs the most. And Johnson also on the housing front, he wants to liberalize zoning laws, which I know is a very big debate on the left at the moment about, you know, how we go about approaching building more housing. Johnson very much is on like the pro development end of things he wants to liberalize zoning laws and make it so that it's easier to build wealthy family housing and previously like single family housing zone areas. He does also want to pass just cause for eviction. So like your landlord would not be able to throw you out just because. Yeah, which is a good thing. Yeah, Chicago's landlords are really shit. They're terrible. I have crossed the board in terrible. Yeah, like I God, like I have seen shit doing tenet organizing that is like like like like think things that make me like have to control my reflex to vomit just remembering them. Yes. Yes. Truly cautious. But yeah, the other thing and that something that will matter to you if you are living in Chicago very much is that Johnson wants to cap property taxes. So one of the things has been driving a lot of reactionary politics in Chicago is that property taxes here are linked to inflation, which means that if you are a property owner in Chicago in the last couple of years, your property taxes went up by like 15 plus percent, which understandably made a lot of people mad. Because you know, if you if your taxes go up by that much that fast, you at least want to be going to do something good and under our previous, well soon to be previous may or Lordy Lightfoot, that absolutely was not happening. Yeah, I was going to like cop over time or some shit like. Yes. So Johnson is, he campaigned on decoupling property taxes from inflation. So they would no longer just automatically go up, which would bring a lot of financial relief to a lot of Chicago families and also he would basically like wants to pass a lot of taxes focused on wealthier residents as well as big businesses to help fund some of the programs, which brings us to the city council and how much of a chance he has to be needing this past, which is better than you might think if you are familiar with Chicago politics. Something that surprises people who don't live in the city is that Chicago is not run by progressives. There has actually pretty much never been a progressive majority on the city council. And there isn't. There will not be a progressive majority on the new one that comes in with Johnson. He is going to be presiding over a minority government in parliamentary terms, which I think we should use more often because I'm a nerd and I find it fun. But basically there are 50 members of the Chicago city council. They are called alderman because we insist on having a city council that is the size of a state legislature here. And about 22 of them are going to be aligned with Johnson more or less. So he's going to be three votes short on a lot of things, at least from the beginning. He is going to be negotiating with the black political establishment here in Chicago, which is one of the smaller machines that is left in the aftermath of Madagans indictment. And we are going to see how this goes. Some of those black alderman are friendly or two Johnson from the get go partially because of ideology and partially because a lot of them just like personally know him and like him. Some of them are very against him for similar reasons. Like they either ideologically don't line up or they just dislike him on a personal basis. Yeah, we should talk we should say a little bit about Johnson's not like a some kind of like political like political outsider. No, he's not around. He's kind of kind of he has like interesting relations with the old sort of like prep winkle like labor machine. Yeah, he's definitely like Johnson is definitely part of a machine. His relationship with like the old machine was very bad, but he is definitely part of a machine that is tied up in like the institutional labor unions that have a lot of sway and democratic politics here, including the Chicago teachers union, which like you know, vales is whole stick during the right office that Johnson would be a stooge for the teachers union. And the teachers union really just like the teacher. This is actually kind of funny because like the teachers union really just swept the board here, not just with Johnson, but with like a lot of the city council races of where they were weighed in. So if you are a member of the Chicago teachers union who does not approve of their leadership buckle up because the next several years they are going they're almost certainly going balls to the wall of like well, if we can get a mayor, we can get a lot of other people too. Yeah, and we should mention here, Vetch. So a lot of the other unions in Chicago like are kind of a yeah, they range of add to shit. The Chicago teachers union got taken over by this group called core who are like a sort of rank and file like left. E like I think I think a good way to understand core is that like with the caveat that like teachers in Chicago really don't make that much money in the grand scheme of things. So like income wise, this is not line up, but these people are very much like kind of resistance liberals on steroids. Like they're not going to be like frontliners and a socialist revolution anytime soon, but like they are definitely on the far left of the Democratic party coalition. Yeah, well, we should like they're not like. Like they are like, I don't know. I have complicated feelings on them from the sort of anarchist perspective. They're like they're as good of a thing of like union people as like you currently have. Again, we've talked about this. This could change within end you very quickly, but yeah, they've been responsible for pushing a lot of things that are very good. And they've turned the union into like, I mean, well, it's okay. So like one thing to talk about like they actually do go on strike, which is the thing that a lot of unions fucked out like they go on strike. They do they do political things that are usually pretty good. And they are an actual sort of like they're an actual class space for things getting better. Yeah, they are the Chicago teacher is definitely like a net good force in city politics. And something that also like CTO gets a lot of negative attention even on a national level. And so something that surprises people who don't live in Chicago if they know about the teachers union at all is that the CTO is actually very popular among the cities residents. Like most like people love the Chicago teacher union. Like when the teachers last went on strike, the public was over, overwhelmingly on their side, which is why they won. And CTO also like their 2019 strike against glory life, but was very much like the inspiration that touched off a lot of the teacher strikes that happened in red states over the next several months. Like they very much kind of led the way in some in some areas. So they are like like me. Yeah, I have complicated feelings about the CTO, but overall they're a good thing for city politics and like they make Chicago a more progressive place. Yeah. And this is a truth for like a while to like to the extent that when like I think in like back in 2012, the core was like, like, I was like, what is it? Like back when core sort of first taking off when this first doing their strikes, like even the CTO people were surprised about the extent to which like when they went out, like the streets turned into a party. Like people actually really do like them. Like I mean, the cops don't, but like, fuck them. Like, I don't like this people. So the cops don't like them. And to CTO's credit, most Chicago teachers dislike the cops. Yeah. They've been they've been trying to get cops at a schools, which is good because yes, cops in schools are especially in Chicago. It's really bad. Yes. The last thing I think we should mention about the city council before we move on to some of the other elections we need to talk about is one of the things that gets criticized about the left as an electoral force in places like New York or Los Angeles, especially those two places is that's very dominated by white people. And I do want to provide the context for those of you who are not from the Chicago area. Like that's not true in Chicago. The progressive movement and the left, like the leftist movement on the electoral level in Chicago is very much driven by people of color. And you saw this in the city council election results. Almost every single seat that progressive flipped on the city council was in a black or brown ward. And even the two wards, like the two white majority wards where they flip seats, the new aldermen or alder women in both cases are people of color. So like this is just like context for those of you who are not from Chicago. This is not a case of like white leftist gone wild. Like this very much is a rainbow coalition, not just in the sense that Brandon Johnson won the election off of rainbow coalition, but in the sense of the electoral left in Chicago is very, very much a rainbow coalition and has been very effective because of that. Yeah. And it's very funny too because you see people like the sort of right way. And when there's in Chicago, like constantly screaming about like like front liberals and you look at like the actual base of like the policy ship. It's like, okay, this is this is simply not was actually happening here. Yes. The the honest like the thing about like race and its relationship with progressive politics of Chicago is that the most progressive neighborhoods in Chicago based on their voting patterns are almost always the most racially integrated. And it's not the say that like all of the racially integrated neighborhoods are progressive because that's not true. There are some pretty integrated neighborhoods on the southwest side that are like very conservative because a bunch of cops live there. But most of the racially integrated neighborhoods of Chicago are also the most progressive neighborhoods. And that like really just flies in the face of the whole like white like front liberal narrative. And is something to pay more attention to. Okay. Again, it cannot be emphasized enough. Brandon Johnson, the progressive candidate is black. He's running against a white guy. There was a very large attempt to paint like Brandon Johnson as like an out of touch like white liberal. It was like like that. Yeah. That was very weird. Yeah. I think they just have, I don't know. I mean, it was just the sort of like ideological bankruptcy of like the sort of like capitalist establishment is like they have nothing. Right? Yeah. Like the only thing they have left is like calling a black guy white. It's just like shut the fuck up. Like, we believe the shun you want. Like, and on that note, it might be time for some ads. Yeah. We are, we are back from our ads. I hope you have enjoyed the destruction of the entire world. Yeah. Okay. So we have talked about Chicago for a long time because we're both from Chicago. It's very funny and it's very interesting. But, oh, actually, okay. I'm realizing this. There's one more thing I do. The two more things I do specifically want to mention about Brandon Johnson that I forgot earlier. One is that he, you know, it's genuinely unclear to me whether this is a real ideological belief he has or whether this is the thing that you said to Naka Kaldin, he's not right because it was a literally expedient, but he released a really, really shitty statement on like what got to have been sanctions of Israel. Oh, yeah. Like I personally, it was terrible. It was really terrible. Like, based on what I saw from the aftermath of that, I'm inclined to believe that this was more something he was told to say. And the reason for that is because the reaction it got with the crowd he was in front of was like he was speaking with a Jewish organization. Like the reaction was very like, okay, dude, but that's not what we asked you about. Like it was a response to a question about like, oh, you know, how do you handle anti-semitism? And I think there are just unfortunately a lot of really dipshit consultants in the Democratic Party who hear the words anti-semitism and think you have to talk about Israel, which is really truly and ironically anti-semitic of them to think. Like yeah, I think he was probably told to say that I'm not going to go out on a lemon. I guess what his actual beliefs on Israel and Palestine are, but I'm pretty confident that that was his consultants being done. Yeah, but like the actual consequences is he was equating, like he was equating BDS and anti-semitism, he like, you should try to go find the clip somewhere because it's genuinely bizarre and shit. And this is the part of the episode where I want to remind people that like, when these kinds of people get into power, it is not as good as people think it's going to be. Like another thing he very, like he almost immediately, like right after he got elected, I want to try and to convince Biden to have the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, which would be a fucking shit show. Yeah. This is me from the future here. Two days after we recorded this, the Democratic Party announced that the 2024 Democratic National Convention will indeed be held in Chicago. So yeah, it's going to suck. That effort predates him. Like that's what he's been in the worst. Like he definitely immediately came out and said like yes, I'm in support of this. Yeah, which is like some people don't understand why. Okay, so like the thing that happens when a national convention comes to your city is that your city is occupied by the cops and then like wherever the convention is happening basically turned into a war zone because anyone who comes out and try to protest them just gets like the shit beaten out of them. Yes. And there's also usually a lot of anti homeless policies that get rolled out in advance. We actually, we would this is it's it's it's not as bad as so if we talked about with Lula in terms of the World Cup, but it's a similar kind of thing that you get with these kinds of candidates where they do these sort of like giant they do these sort of like mega project development, talisman shit because they want the status that comes from it and the result is stuff that sucks and that you know, nominally like like at least in theory like contradicts the rest of his platform, right? Like this is going to be a thing that brings a lot of cops into the fucking city. These in theory supposed to be trying to have policing done by like people who are cops. That's going to suck if it works. Yeah. And that is that is your reminder for if you do live in Chicago like me and I that just because Brandon Johnson got elected does not mean that you get to sit home. Like if you are involved or invested in Chicago progressive politics, just because you have a progressive mayor doesn't mean you get to sit back and relax. You have to do a lot of work to hold these people's feet to the fire. Yeah, like you're like you're going to end up fighting these people and it's going to suck and you're going to have to do it. Like if you believe in the things that you think that you claim to believe to when are not sort of just acting out of like you know, either you're not just purely acting out of sort of candidate loyalty. You were going to have to fight people that you helped get elected and you're going to have to do that. Start the five stages of grief now. Okay, moving moving moving on from that shit. Moving on. We need to talk about Wisconsin. The other big election that happened on Tuesday night was an election that flipped the Supreme Court of the state of Wisconsin from a conservative majority and not just like lower KC conservative but like batch it insane Christian nationalist conservative from a majority of those people to a liberal majority that is hopefully going to make life better for the people of Wisconsin. So for those of you who are not paying attention to this, which is likely even more than the people who were not paying attention to Chicago because state supreme court races. Most people if you tell them about those react with that's a thing. Yeah, I mean to be fair to be fair. This is probably the most nationally prominent like states for election by lifetime. That means that maybe four people know about it instead of one. Yes. So on Tuesday night, Janet Proto-Sewitz, who was the Democratic Align candidate beat the Republican Align candidate Daniel Kelly, who was himself a former member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court by 11 points, which is a really big deal because Wisconsin voted for Joe Biden by 0.6 points. So this is very much like landslide level territory for Wisconsin for Wisconsin Democrats. It was very much a perfect storm like the areas of the state that have been trending towards Republicans experienced massive reversion back towards Proto-Sewitz and the areas of the state that have historically been Republican also really shifted left. And the reason this happened, the single reason it happened is because of the DOBS ruling that overturned Roe v Wade and brought American gender dynamics back by a solid 75 years. Proto-Sewitz successfully turned the campaign into a referendum on abortion rights, which is why she won by the margin she did. There was huge turnout in Madison, Milwaukee, and college campuses. There were multiple college campuses, I think, where there were more votes cast in this state Supreme Court election than there were in the midterms last November. So this really was like every single thing that possibly could have gone right electorally for the Democrats and Wisconsin did, obviously with very, very like grim background context of the overturning of Roe, but a good sign for the future of the abortion rights movement that voters did not forget about DOBS after the midterms, like this is still an active force in national politics that is pushing people to the left. Yeah, and I want to specifically talk about this for a little bit too, because like, I think the media has really fallen down on the fucking job here, which is that enormously. Because all the people in the fucking media class are either themselves are hardline anti-abortion ghouls or they're people who this doesn't affect. And so they just stop giving a shit after a couple of months, because it's like, whatever who cares, but like, this is a, if you are living under this, like, this is, this is, like, you can't fucking ignore this. No. Like, it is, it is an immense engine of death and human suffering that, you know, it's, it's, it's, I mean, this is the US, right? We live under, like, we live under a lot of immense sort of engines of death and human suffering, but this is, this is a kind of engine that just sweeps through, I mean, it sweeps across the sort of, what you would think of as like the quote unquote, like, like traditional sort of, I like, I don't know, like, class wise is the right thing, but like, you know, it's, it's this thing that like kind of sweeps across the urban world divide in a lot of ways. Like, it sweeps across a lot of the sort of normal political divisions, because there are Republicans have been like, there, there, there, there, there line on abortion has been hijacked by, I was saying hijacked, right? This is what, this is what these people always wanted, but it's, it's been, it's being set by a bunch of just deranged Christian nationalists whose opinion reflects maybe to like 30% of the country backs. Not even that, like, like, the ruling of the judge down in Texas on, uh, uh, I'm going to mess up how to pronounce this and I apologize, but, uh, myth of Prestone, which is an abort, like a pill that among other things can induce abortions, uh, there was like a Republican judge down in northern Texas who attempted to overturn the FDA's approval of the drug, but the FDA proved this drug in the 90s. And his ruling very much was insane, like, on top of just like the superficial insanity of trying to do this, his reasoning was that, you know, this man wrote a ruling saying that the Constitution guarantees fetal personhood, um, which is a, which, you know, would have resolved in a complete and total ban on abortion, um, nationwide under all circumstances, and that's a viewpoint that is shared by less than 10% of American. So like it's just, you know, the Republican party has gone off the cliff after they went off the cliff here. Yeah. And, you know, I don't know. I, I, I think this whole, I think there's a lot of ways in which this entire sort of election, the election dynamics of this are really grim because the Democrats and the people who let the shit fucking happen, right? Like for years and years and years and years, they just, they, you know, they, they, they used abortion as an electoral thing and then did fucking nothing to actually make sure that abortion would be, that, you know, would be safe. And they finally lost it. And now it's like, you know, it's the thing that's like, like, it's, it's, it's, it's the electoral issue that's coming to bail them out of their like electoral woes. And that fucking sucks in a lot of ways, but it also means, I don't know, like, it's, it's, it's beating some of the worst people in the fucking world. If we want to actually make sure that people have the ability to have safe abortions on demand, we are going to have to do a lot of fighting that is not just showing up to these elections. Yes, absolutely. But it is, yeah, no, like, like I said, it is really just like heinous that so many of the Democratic Party bigwigs who presided over the 50 years of Republican saying they were going to do this and not taking the Republican seriously. Yeah, and never going to be accountable for this. Yeah. And I don't think I need to, like, you need to be put it out with this too, it was like, the Republican is the entire time we're in every single way they possibly could like outlawing abortion without literally outlawing it. And people just stood there like, they were probably just like, we don't give a shit. Like we're not, we're not going to like actually like fight this except for occasionally to run a losing candidate, right? Like, I don't know. Yeah, no, it's insane. And like there are, there are people in the Democratic Party who were trying to raise the alarm. Those people were generally ignored. But the, you know, now that abortion rights are gone on a national level, we are seeing this electoral backlash and it is having the impact of like, you know, Republicans have been unable to effectively make the national conversation about inflation or about crime or about trans athletes, which is also a losing issue for them, but God knows they keep trying. But they have been unable to make the national conversation about those topics because voters are now looking at them like, but you're the freaks that took our abortion rights away. What's wrong with you? And in terms of Wisconsin, um, pro to say which being on the Wisconsin Supreme Court is almost certainly, uh, she doesn't take office until August, which is a really weird amount of time for her to have to wait. Like, I don't know why Wisconsin is like that, but it is. But once she is in office, um, Wisconsin should have restored abortion access. I would say almost immediately, um, basically like as soon as someone can file a lawsuit over it because right now abortion is currently illegal in Wisconsin under a law from 1849, um, that the only exception to the law is to save the life of the mother, which like, I think people who are not personally impacted by the possibility of pregnancy or the possibility of childbirth, um, I think really don't emotionally internalize what the language around some of these exceptions means. And it's like, if you are hearing the words like the only exception is life of the mother, that's really terrifying because it means like if you're going to be permanently injured as someone who's pregnant, but you're not literally going to die, abortion is not an option for you if the, uh, fetus that you are carrying, you know, whether you wanted an abortion or not, if that fetus has some kind of fatal defect that is going to mean that your baby dies within hours or days after being born, uh, and is going to be in pain the whole time, abortion is not an option for you. If you are pregnant because of sexual violence or because of incest, abortion is not an option for you and it's, it's like, you know, I am a cisgender man. So like, I can't personally understand, but like, I can only guess how terrifying of a reality that is, um, and the, you know, the only good news out of this is that once predisposed which is in office, that law is probably going to go away as quickly as possible, um, which is a much needed victory for the people of Wisconsin and hopefully is, you know, carries the momentum forward for like post 2024. Hopefully we have, uh, democratic trifecta again that can legislate abortion rights nationally and take it out of the ability, take away the ability for courts to strike it down. There are some other, um, ramifications for the state of Wisconsin that should also be mentioned. Um, for those of you who live in Wisconsin, um, if I say the words public sector union law, you know what I'm talking about. The very infamous law that was passed by Scott Walker back in 2010, 2011, I think, uh, that really restricted the collective bargaining rights of public sector unions and like this sparked a recall campaign against Walker, which failed, um, and pro to say what has, uh, said on record, she said it in a campaign appearance, um, because this race really just discarded all pretensions of like judicial impartiality. Yeah. Um, but she said in a campaign appearance that she wanted to get rid of that law. Um, so that law is probably going away or hopefully will be going away. Um, Wisconsin also has very gerrymandered, uh, state legislative maps that are almost certainly going to be struck down. Um, same thing with its congressional maps, which means that Democrats can probably count on two more seats in the House, uh, post 2024. Um, and also on a basic like do we live in a democracy or not level? Um, in 2020, when the Trump campaign was filing all of its really idiotic lawsuits, alleging voter fraud, um, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin was the court that came the closest to taking those allegations seriously. Um, they voted by one vote to dismiss the case because one of the conservative broke ranks and he has been hounded by the far right in Wisconsin ever since. Um, Wisconsin was one vote away from just throwing out the popular election results. I like the popular vote results. So they're, you know, pro-state would's winning is literally an insurance policy for continuing to have the state of Wisconsin be a democracy. Yeah, we're just good. Like, I don't know that having, having a state that is effectively ruled by dictatorship that was about to attempt to install like a decaduous president, um, is good. Like, I don't know, this is my, my, my live take on this is, is in fact not good when, a bunch of people are ruled by just an open-to-cater ship. Which is essentially what Wisconsin, you know, has been, um, barring Tony Evers' wins, uh, as a governor in 2018 and 2022, like until he was in office, like, Scott Walker presided over a single party dictatorship in Wisconsin. Um, and so like, you know, which is part of also why I pray to say which was able to win by the margins that she did because, you know, Wisconsin is a swing state. It is reliably going to be close to 50-50, but especially on social issues, it has a liberal majority and a lot of people paid attention to this race and they saw correctly the opportunity to dismantle the dictatorship that effectively has had control of Wisconsin for the last decade plus. Yeah, and I mean, you know, the other thing like part of what we're having what's happening here is that if, if conservatives are actually allowed to do uncontested rule in a place that's even like kind of not just like a 100 percent like conservative district, the results that they, like, the actual policies they put in place are fucking horrifying. Yeah, it's bad. It's like obviously bad, but like you get, I mean, you get, you get stuff like what happened in Tennessee in the last week where they, the state legislature expelled Democratic lawmakers for like engaging in the mildest of protests against like an open carry bill. Um, and, you know, just in a real cherry on top moment, the Tennessee state legislature only expelled the black allegedly hers who protested and the white legislator who joined them survived her expulsion vote because, you know, we don't want to be, you know, like the days of the Republican Party not wanting to be too on the nose about the racism are long gone. Yeah. But yes, so, but overall good things happened in Wisconsin on Tuesday, and some of the really terrible things that were put into law in that state in the last decade are hopefully about to go away. Yeah. There were some other places mostly in the Midwest because once again, the coastal regions of the country let us down. But there were some other places where liberals or progressives did well on Tuesday. St. Louis, Missouri has had a progressive city council and there was a very strong kind of law and order challenge to that progressive majority based in the city's white majority wards. And after Tuesday night, it's pretty clear that progressives will continue to have a majority on the city council in Kansas City on the other end of the state of Missouri. We are probably going to get the most progressive city council that the city has ever had. There, the main left wing group got all of its candidates through to the general election, which is on June 20th. And the main like right wing tough on crime group seems like it's going to be capped at winning two seats. So, you know, once again, the Midwest is the engine of American progressivism and the West Coast can suck it. Yeah. There is one more piece of good news, which is that in Illinois, there was a set of far right groups that ran a bunch of school board candidates on the like anti critical race theory, anti queer anti-trans platforms. And actually, I'll just say the names of the groups because people should know. These groups are awake Illinois moms for Liberty and the 1776 project. Basically, these groups are, you know, if you went to the south in the 1970s, you had the clan and then you had the white citizens council, which was the supposedly more respectable face of white nationalism in the south in the 60s and 70s. And groups like moms for Liberty and awake Illinois are kind of the equivalent to groups like the proud boys. And very, you know, fittingly with the analogy here, these groups are primarily run and staffed by conservative women, just like white citizens councils were down south about 50 years ago. And thankfully, these candidates almost all went down in flames. I think there is a school board election in me and I's hometown, which is very notoriously conservative for people in the area. And even in that, you know, hometown, they lost. And like these losses extended into downstate Illinois too. And like, there's a small city called Quincy in Western Illinois where it's like, this is a place that votes for Republican routinely by like 30 points, like a 65% majority and these far right school board candidates lost in Quincy, Illinois. So thankfully, people saw through the bullshit and were like, actually, you people are weirdos and we're not going to hand you power. Yeah, another thing that was very funny is carbon Dale, which is like a very like this is like, this is this is a carbon Dale, a southern Illinois-ass town is like not quite as far south technically speaking as you can go in Illinois, but like it's close. Yeah, I'm like, did their first trans person to serve in a city council anywhere in Illinois? So like they're they're getting clobbed and fucking carbon Dale. Like they they had a really like, I'm just destroyed. And I'm very happy about this because I, you know, a lot of kids are going to grow up in schools that are way less shitty than they were like even when I was there were like, God help the generation before us. Just like survived shit that like would have killed like me most of the people I know like yeah. Yeah, no, the schools that me and I grew up in were not a great place to be queer trans. Yeah. Many variety. But I mean, this is also going to help because of I have I still don't know what the Biden administration was thinking about this, but like the new like rule that they're rolling out around transportation in K-12 sports through the Department of Education. This got a lot of attention on Twitter in the last couple of days because I'm going to be as charitable as I can here to all of the people involved. But there was a panic on in progressive circles on social media, especially queer and trans circles because the Washington Post decided to frame this rule in like the most like hyperbolic way possible. And this is not me saying that the rule is good because the rule could definitely still be bad. But the Biden administration is essentially from what I can tell trying to include trans kids in title nine protections. The proposed wording of their rule is not great and definitely needs to be improved. But the outcome here can be good in the sense that it would ban blanket prohibitions on trans kids in K-12 sports. And it would require exceptions to like it would require like any exceptions to pretty much be like, you know, you have to prove that there is a danger to like fair competition here, which is the standard that title nine uses for sports for cisgender men and cisgender boys and cisgender girls. So like can be good. We'll, you know, if you are investing this the public comment period on that rule is about to open and it's definitely a place where you should speak up and say like, hey, the wording of this is a little shit. Like, let's be clearer here that the presumption should be that trans kids should be allowed to participate in on teams that align with the gender they identify as. And thankfully, because a lot of these dipshit school board candidates lost, hopefully some of these school boards will be taking the right side of history here. Yeah, go, go, go, go. Okay. So I'm slightly more angry about this than than you are because I I I I I don't know. I think there's a pre glaring whole in this that lets transphobes just be like, well, obviously, like, yeah, I think I think the wording is vague. Yeah, it should be made a lot less vague. I think it's bad. I don't know. I think I think the the backlash to the backlash about that went too far of now. There's a bunch of people insisting that this is in fact a really good rule and like, no, like if if it's if it's if it's executed as is it is going to let a lot of people do a lot of transphobic shit. Yes, um, as is it is bad if they change the word, you know, they can be better. Yeah, so I'd go yell at Biden until he makes it less shit. Absolutely. Whenever you have to do this. Yeah. If you see him, if you see him walking down the street, yell at him, you see him in a restaurant yell at him. Yes. Yeah. Very very genuinely like a, it's always a good idea to yell at the Biden administration about anything. Um, but be especially go yell at them about this. Uh, this can be done in multiple ways. You can reach out to your congressional representatives and tell them that you want the rule wording made better. Uh, you can go there should be soon a direct like form you can fill out on the Department of Education website where you can, uh, provide your own personal opinion on the rule. But basically go yell at the Biden administration and tell them to insert language into the rule that makes it very clear that the legal presumption, uh, that must be overcome should be that trans kids get to compete on the teams of the gender they identify with. Yeah. So, uh, yeah. Having now yelled about that for a bit, uh, yeah, we should I think start wrapping up the last sort of bits of electoral news. Yes. Okay. So the last thing I think we should talk about is probably Denver. Um, Denver, uh, for, uh, those of you who do not know me and I, which is probably almost, I would hope almost everyone who listens to this. Um, I will die on the hill that Denver is a West Coast city is it is not physically on the ocean, but the vibes rancid. Um, and like the rest of the West Coast Denver let us down on Tuesday night. Um, the mayor's election is going to run off between two candidates who both have pretty awful platforms on homelessness. And there is one that is worse. So if you are looking for the candidate to hold your nose and vote for, uh, right now, you know, see how it goes, but right now I would say that is Mike Johnson, not because he has anything good to say he's, he doesn't, but because his opponent, uh, Kelly Bro says that she would have homeless people arrested if they refuse to leave camps in public parks. Um, so see just fucking blows and she shouldn't be, you know, never be allowed anywhere in your power. Um, the other bit of Denver news, I think we should talk about is there was a housing referendum where the proposal was to turn an old golf course is not currently being used into a housing development that would have, um, I think 25% affordable units. Uh, and it would, part of it would also be turned into a park. Um, and then truly what I thought was the dumbest thing that happened on Tuesday night. Um, the proposal lost. Um, and the Denver branch of DSA was campaigning against this housing development on the premise that building more housing is bad if someone profits off of it. And I definitely understand that profit and listen, like, profiting off of housing is bad. We also need more housing. And Denver, especially desperately needs more housing. Um, and somehow we got this incredibly stupid coalition of nimbis and like green space environmentalists and the Denver DSA that all came together to stop of the housing development. And Mia, I'm, I'm sure you probably think a little differently about this than I do, but I saw this and I was like, what the hell man? I mean, okay, so here's my, I know very little about this. My, my take is if you have the opportunity to destroy a golf course and you vote no, you are like, as long as you're not literally building a prison camp like, reactionary dogs, the bourgeoisie destroy every golf course. Always a good, you know, that's actually, that's pretty good. That's, that's a pretty good line. I should start saying it to more people destroy every golf course you can. Um, but yeah, now this, it was, I think the most frustrating thing that I saw happen on Tuesday night. And I think it is one of those questions that the left is going to have to deal with in the next couple of years is like, all right, we have a lot of cities that desperately need a lot more housing. So how do we get it done? If you, you know, without just turning it over to the real estate lobby, because obviously that would also be really shitty. Um, but the answer cannot be, don't build more housing. Yeah, I mean, the thing I will say about this also is that another answer is, I like, you know, I, we've covered this on the show to like the other part of this. If you don't want a city that's just like, absolutely horrific, you need to have a strong tennis movement. And you need to, you need to have tennis movement that's willing to move beyond things like rank control and move towards like actively like fighting disease buildings from like, from developers. And that's a, that's the thing that's happening. Like there are places where people are doing this. It can be done. Uh, yeah. So yeah, like that, I don't know, like I feel like, I don't know, I'm not going to go into my entire thing on the sort of nubian B2B other than saying that like, you, increasing the power of tenets will give you a bet, we'll, we'll give you the best options. Yes, very, very much. Uh, tenant unions are good. Um, yelling at the Biden administration is good. It's destroying golf courses is good. And abortion rights are good. Yeah. And go fight for these things and things that aren't elections because every once in a while, an election will give you a result, which is the worst person on earth has been replaced by a slightly better person. And you know, I, I do like to not be ruled by the worst person on earth. But the, you got the, the, the ideal political situation is the one where we're not, we're like, people cease to rule over us. So yes, no, you gotta, you gotta do the non electoral work alongside the electoral work. Um, you can't just be relying on elections to make things better. You gotta be pushing for it all the time. Yeah. Well, I say, yeah, I, I am much softer on electoral. Oh, yeah. No, no, no, no, Mia, Mia would rather, Mia would rather than everyone doing electoral work, start doing, uh, better things with their time and her eyes. Yeah. But if, if, if you are going to be a person who does electoral stuff, like, it doesn't, it doesn't matter what electoral victories, you win if you are just not doing anything that isn't electoral because the actual sort of political, the actual composition of political power in the city and the sort of the, the city's class composition, the balance of forces between sort of like, you know, I mean, it seems like between unions and employers, right? Like directly between workers and between employers. There, there are lots and lots and lots of things that are very, very important. Even if you are in a like, pluralist that are mostly decided outside of almost almost entirely decided outside the ballot box. And if you don't take that into account and you try to just run like the most well engineered political campaign, uh, you're going to end up like the 2000 you're going to get 16 democrats democrats. Yeah. Yeah. Now, everything that Mia just said. And yeah. Yeah, I hope you've enjoyed the longest amount of time I will ever be caught talking about an election that doesn't involve a coup. Yeah, this has been going to get up in here. Uh, yeah. Thanks, thanks again for having me. Yeah, thanks for coming on and all of you go happen to someone. You're ready for a comeback. And with Purdue Global, you can do more than take classes. You can take charge of your story, of your career, of your life. Earn a degree you can be proud of and get an education employers respect. It's time, your time, not just to go back to school, but to come back and move forward with Purdue Global, Purdue's online university for working adults. Start your comeback at Purdue Global dot E.D.U. And now the best man. I was going to play in this speech out while I got my oil change, but I went to take five and it was a lot faster than I thought. So here he goes. Okay. Tim, you were my first friend. Angela, you were my first. Yeah, I never thought the two of you would make it, but I guess love really is blind. No, no, no, no, I mean in a good way. I'd take five. Your oil change is faster than you think. Take five. The stay in your car. Ten-minute oil change. Buying a home can be an anxiety inducing endeavor, but doesn't have to be. Sure, the market is uncertain yet. With a sofa mortgage loan, it doesn't have to matter as much. With a sofa mortgage loan, you can save now and save later, helping to relieve the anxieties of the home buying process. Save now with special home buying pricing and down payment options as little as 3 to 5 percent. Then, be eligible to save later when rates drop and you refinance. Sofie was even named the best lender for saving money by CNBC Select. Thanks to Sofie mortgage loans, you don't need anxiety to be on your mind when shopping for a home. Just saving. Visit Sofie.com slash new home to learn more. That's s-o-f-i dot com slash N-E-W-H-O-M-E mortgages through Sofie bank and a member FDIC, NMLS, 696891, loan and offer terms, conditions, restrictions apply, equal housing lender. My chicken has just come to me. You don't catch a m-you just have to- Fokes them. Yeah. It's love, not co-ursion. That is how you catch a chicken. Which is not what this podcast is about. Is it Robert? No, it's not. No, unfortunate. We're doing the catching chickens episode next week. But today we are joined by three guests. We have Eva, Mo and Wode. They're going to be talking to us about solidarity with anarchist prisoners and how you can do that and why you should do that and why people have been doing that for a long time. Would you guys like to introduce yourselves and just tell us your names and any relevant affiliations and your pronouns? I'm Eva. She heard. I've been working with June 11th for about a handful of years now and been doing prisoner support for almost 10 years now. I'm Moira Meltzer-Coin. Everyone calls me Mo. My pronouns are they or Mo and I'm an attorney and I do a lot of work with political prisoners, people facing politically motivated prosecutions and incarcerated people who need gender affirming care. Excellent. Yeah. Same point, Chef. Hey, my name is Wode. I you see him pronoun. I've been involved in prisoner support for 25 plus years and enjoying anarchist related activities for longer than that. So I think if we start off with perhaps explaining like what June 11th is and sort of the history of it why this is a day that people can show us solidarity with anarchist prisoners. That would be great. And just what if you want to talk about that? Yeah. So June 11th started as a day of solidarity with Jeff Wars when he was serving like a 20, 22 year sentence for torching some SUVs. But eventually he was able to get his sentence shortened and he got out. And at that point, Marius Mason and Eric McDavid were in prison with 20 year sentences for eco sabotage activity or in Eric's case being entrapped for such. And so it eventually changed to be about Marius and Eric after Jeff was released. And then Eric McDavid also got out of prison and since then it expanded to all long term anarchist prisoners. I wonder like obviously we're in like eight point hours. People have a few months before June 11th and they might be like interested in doing this. They might not know any people directly they're incarcerated or they might not have had any experience with that sort of in their close circles. So like if we start with like how people can show solidarity like to incarcerated people, I think that would be great. And so they're like things that people can do. How can they do that? Like so that people I guess people who are incarcerated can hear them or hear from them. Yeah. I mean writing letters is kind of the classic to go to. There's also ways to communicate digitally over the phone with people locked up. You know putting money on someone's books goes a long way. Everything is extremely overpriced in prison and and applies by the corporations that provide that those services. But I mean if if you're looking for people you have stuff in common where they're particularly political things kind of carrying on the struggle and including their name in those activities. It's part of that and and if you are in communication with them talking to them about those things getting their input and helping them feel included in those struggles goes possibly the longest way. Yeah. I think that's such an important point because like when you're talking about someone for example who's been like entrapped by by the feds or whatever law enforcement agency was responsible for it. Like you're you're talking about a strategic pattern that the state uses to clamp down on resistance and the efficacy of that strategy is entirely determined by their ability to kind of break people and to break movements by both making people suspicious of each other and by you know locking up and and damaging the the people who are kind of most prone to action. And I think doing stuff like this like not only helps kind of heal those the distrust that is inherently planted by the state when they do stuff like this but also helps the the people who are kind of most targeted and who have suffered the most for the cause not feel like they're swinging in the wind you know. Yeah I think it helps mitigate the fear of repression and arrests and especially things like terrorism enhancements. Yeah. When people know that like they're not they're not going to be alone when they're in prison even if it is for decades like there's going to be people supporting them and writing them and fundraising for them and like including them in their projects like the entire time. Yeah I would say too that may be a bad time a movement or something becomes more effective they become the focus of the state tends to sharpen on them and and the a lot of the prisoners that have been supported around the June 11th day of solidarity were involved in environmental and oil activities that were particularly effective and particularly destructive in a positive sense particularly like the ALF and ELF actions of the 90s but on this very intense repression in the early 2000s that came to be called the green scare. Yeah kind of our theme for this year is that that repression like doesn't work all these like movements and struggles and activities continue even despite that kind of repression like there's still you know activity in defense of the earth and animals and land defense and they're still like really militant clear self-defense and there's still a lot of like a ton of activity against police and against racist police violence and murder and like as much of those as much as those things are repressed like it doesn't stop them and they just keep getting stronger. I think the only thing I would add to that is one of the most important things about doing political prisoner support or prisoner support in general is that the state really does work to criminalize politically motivated behavior and politically motivated beliefs which functions pretty effectively to distract from the central message of social movements whatever social movement it may be and providing prisoner support and continuing to keep people who are in prison apprised of those struggles continuing to engage in those struggles can really function to refocus on that central message even despite the fact that state repression is a very effective drain on movement resources and a very effective distraction from movement messaging. That is super important like if we look at like the movement for Black Lives or George Floyd uprising we want to kind of phrase it like the speed and like severity with which the state kind of cracks down on that and attempts to infiltrate it attempted to create suspicion and attempted to create fear was like I think most people listening might be familiar with that even if they're not familiar with the green scare or like previous incidents and it's not and just like I know we have people listening in other countries this is not just a America thing right like British cops literally fucking married people in the like in the early 2000s it's part of their undercover situation and one of them also went to clown school which is funny that is a charming story. Yeah it's one of the- I don't think you're not to refer to the police academy that way. Yeah I guess they all went to clown school in a sense yeah so yeah we'll do we'll do our long promised clown block episode one day. Mo I know you have some insight into Mario's case as his lawyer right so could you explain a little bit about about that case if people can understand like how a politically motivated prosecution works in the- Sure. It's supposed a justice system that we have. So just to clarify I represent Mario's now and I do advocacy for him well he is confined. I was not his criminal defense attorney. So Mario's was active in the very late 90s and early 2000s and the investigations that were going on at that time in the state repression that was focused on the movements against environmental degradation was deep and concerted and went on for many many years and that's sort of what we refer to as the green scare right the criminalizing of environmental movements and I talk about criminalized behavior and criminalized identity a lot so I'm actually just going to take a second and explain what I mean by that. Yes please. So the criminalization of identity refers to where law enforcement in the state are policing monitoring targeting identity rather than unlawful conduct and the criminalization of belief similarly it refers to the state targeting people on the basis of their beliefs rather than on the basis of unlawful conduct. So movements social movements there's a very long and well-documented history of social movements being criminalized by the state even in the absence of any unlawful behavior. So the movements against environmental degradation were heavily pleased, targeted, infiltrated and many federal grand juries and setups and entrapments and successful prosecutions stemmed from that criminalizing of environmental movements and Mario's case was among those. Basically the state managed to turn Mario's former partner into an asset and effectively charged him prosecuted him for several acts of politically motivated destruction of property all of which were calculated not to harm human beings. He pled guilty and was sentenced in 2009. Had his had the offenses to which he pled guilty not been perceived as politically motivated he would have probably gotten about seven years. Because the prosecution argued that his behavior was politically motivated which I mean I think is true. He was hit with a terrorism enhancement which increased the severity of his punishment on the basis of how serious an offender he was then deemed to be. The prosecution asked for 20 years the judge imposed 22. So here's an example of how beliefs are criminalized. At his sentencing the judge and the prosecution both invoked and referred to what I think most of us would view as really unremarkable political behavior in ways that really cast it as very sinister. And so Marius' contact with people who were on his support committee who were engaged in various kinds of civil disobedience about which Marius likely knew nothing was cast as Marius being in continued contact with people engaged in crimes which was a violation or would have been a violation of his bond conditions. And on the basis of that claim that Marius was violating his bond conditions by being in touch with these people who again were engaged in what I think most of us would see as completely unremarkable civil disobedience constitutionally protected political behavior. This was one of the bases on which the judge imposed this sentence that was even longer than the prosecution had asked for. And there's a number of other examples of this kind of criminalization of routine political behavior, one of which is very significant which is that when Marius finally went to prison he started a reading group and based on the content of the books that they were reading he was transferred from a lower security facility pretty close to his family to a facility and not just a facility but a particular wing of a facility which was the administrative segregation unit at FMC Carzwell in Texas which was much much farther from his family and was involved all kinds of extremely stringent conditions that I would argue were First Amendment violations. So you know we see not only the really intense surveillance and targeting of social movements but the really disproportionate punishments and sort of retaliatory behaviors all the way down, all the way from investigation to through to incarceration and conditions of confinement. That's a treacherous issue. So I wonder like when he received those like maybe perhaps we should first explain what a terrorism enhancement is in case people aren't familiar. It is what's called a sentencing enhancement and it allows it authorizes or in some cases requires a judge to impose a harsher sentence for behavior that's intended to I don't remember what the exact language is but it it imposes a harsher sentence for unlawful acts that are intended to intimidate or coerce the public or public institutions. Okay so that's what increased like nitty-triple that sentence in that case yeah and was that specifically like because he'd expressed like anarchist ideas or just because it was like his actions were in sort of furtherance of that liberation front kind of goals. I think it was explicitly because it was an ELF associated action. Yeah right yeah it was part of this crackdown on environmental movements. It's similar to what we're seeing in Atlanta right now like right down to the terrorism enhancements. What we're seeing in Atlanta right now is actually a little bit more astonishing just in terms of first of all we're not really seeing it necessarily a terrorism enhancement. There is a statute that criminalizes what they are calling domestic terrorism. It operates similarly right there's a predicate act and then if it's politically motivated you know so you could for example potentially have something like politically motivated trespass right or politically motivated graffiti and they could charge it as domestic terrorism. The enhancement is a is a sentencing mechanism. Okay but it certainly is not new what we're seeing in Atlanta I would say is it is remarkable but it is a continuation of the same kind of targeted policing efforts to chill social movements, efforts to disrupt social movements, to isolate people, to fractionate movements. It's the same kind of thing that we have seen really since the beginning of policing in this country. And that makes a lot of sense when you consider like the the role of the police within the state and the goals of some of these social movements, right, which we're probably to have to explain that in detail, people to understand what's going on. So like with these people facing you mentioned a couple of the other people who had faced political prosecutions and were incarcerated and then had their sentences reduced and maybe we could explain like how that was able to happen right because that's obviously like a desirable outcome. I don't know the like the legal things that happened for that but it was like a it was like in the courtroom kind of a solution. Okay yeah. I'm curious just kind of in general since you've all had more contact with these folks who are incarcerated and have been kind of the victims of this this state violence. When they talk about like what is kind of meaningful to them in terms of outside connections in terms of like you know what we're talking about here. What kind of stuff do they bring up as like having a positive impact on on their mental health on their kind of ability to endure what they're what they're going through. First I would say that communication is a big thing like being able to talk to people to write with people and you know a long term like regular correspondences great but even just like little messages of solidarity can be really meaningful. Material support is always huge like that's going to make somebody's time a little bit better if they can get stuff off a commissary you know by enough stamps all those things. But a thing that I hear a lot is like people want to see the the projects and the struggles that they're involved in continue. So if that's like defensive the earth if that's against the police or or whatever it is like people like to see that because it's you know it's not just about their own case but yeah about those movements that they come from and or if somebody's you know radicalized inside these things that they have committed to and been from participating in a huge way not entirely but you know people like to see to see that continue and see see victories see like creative attempts and things like that. That makes a lot of sense I think. So for people like I know like I'll sometimes write to incarcerated people for like various things and it can be quite difficult to like to work out the process of doing that and it can be especially difficult and it was especially difficult during during like the worst of the COVID kind of lockdowns and such and like you couldn't I was trying to write to a guy in one federal and in Teahot and they wouldn't let the person email me because they claimed that the keyboard was like a high touch surface and this yeah right like and which people were getting COVID in this facility all the time. But how would folks go about like let's say they wanted to write tomorrow it said just say like you know we wanted to express a solidarity and say sucks if this is happening to you or whatever how would they go about doing that. There's a couple of things that are specific with Marias that I will want to tell you but you can go to if you google inmate locator BOP you can search Marias's name or the name of any other prisoner and you'll basically end up with it'll show you their information including where they are confined and you can usually click on the name of the facility and it will take you to the website for that facility and show you how to send mail to the prisoner. There's also if you go to nycabc.wordpress.com or any of the other anarchist black cross websites NYC ABC is my home chapter so that's the one I'm familiar with but if you go to the anarchist black cross websites there are zines and I think a whole list that is pretty well updated of all of the anarchist political prisoners and instructions on how to write to them. One of the things that is on those websites that I would highly encourage you to take seriously are instructions about how to responsibly write to people who are under increased monitoring and surveillance while they are being confined because retaliation against prisoners even for things that the prisoners themselves have not done is very commonplace and so if somebody while we very much want to make sure we keep in touch with people and give them news of the outside world including news about their social movements one thing that can happen is that those letters simply will not be delivered and another thing that might happen is that the prisoner themselves may face disciplinary consequences formally or informally just as a result of having been the intended recipient of that news so you know I would say as I often say discretion is the better part of valor in this instance. I think you have to have a kind of a first do no harm attitude about this where like at the end of the day regardless of like your anger or your desire to talk about certain things your primary concern here has to be not making things worse for somebody who's already in a terrible situation. Yes and I would also like to point out that prisoner male is monitored. Oh yeah. And so among other things you might be making things worse for yourself. So I would be cautious and circumspect about what you write to people whose male is being read. The other thing is with respect to Marys in particular unfortunately in order to get male to him you still have to dead name him. And if you want to hear more about that particular set of struggles I'm happy to talk about it but suffice it to say for now that if you go to support mariasmason.org there should be some instructions about how to write to him and I'll make sure that the support group puts up clear instructions but unfortunately you do have to put his dead name on that envelope or it will not get to him. It's extremely frustrating but yeah it could be really annoying especially if you're trying to look for somebody using the locator and it has a gender notifier and it's not the correct gender notifier and yeah that can be difficult but like yeah it's an effort worth making right and it really can help someone who's going through a difficult time. Yeah and people do have really specific interests apart from movement work as well and you know Marius paints he sent me this incredible he sent me a number of paintings over the years I have one actually that I think I shared with you earlier of Sackling Dan Zetti that he made he sent me a really great portrait of Jimmy Page once. He also recently sent me a beautiful scarf that he had knitted or crocheted I guess. People have hobbies people have interests and they're happy to talk about those things as well. Yeah that's what makes us like a whole person right and I think having a little bit of that helps you to keep that little part of yourself in it you know but it could be a difficult place so yeah I think I can send crochet letters. Sure we have some keen crochet listeners. This is probably the part of the podcast where we stop and make ourselves amenable to capitalism by doing an ad break. I wonder like what can people do on June 11th right right obviously like people should keep on this ongoing correspondence I think that's really important and I was speaking to someone from their Leonard Peltier free Leonard Peltier group the other day and I know a lot of people write to Leonard Peltier and like I know that that's a great source of like strength for him especially as he's like aging in prison. I was wondering what people could do on June 11th like to sort of further this course spread the word take action to solidarity kind of things to people do. June 11th activities you know actions and solidarity really run the gambit you know it's been very popular to have like a barbecue or a benefit show things raise money and then there's actions that more have more in common with why some of these people were incarcerated and like if you check the website June 11th.org is a list of previous actions that people have taken and the whole gambit of activities that you know people have participated in. I know with the revitalization of as it like an international Bay of Solidarity there was an interest in trying to think outside the box more you know it's it's difficult to like no one's going to reinvent the wheel or you know maybe that that's as much as they're doing but there's a variety of different activities. The last year theme was sort of like doing something different than you might normally do to just diversify what is happening. One of my dreams for June 11th is for it to be an opportunity for you know our movement prisoners to be integrated into other things so it's you know it doesn't have to just be oh this is like the prisoner support activity or like we're just going to write letters but you know people do things like art shows like momenton like a lot of people paint a lot of people write poetry and to integrate that into like maybe already have like you know a community around poetry readings or something like that and just to bring that into into whatever like little corner of the world or whatever kind of activities that were already involved in for these things to like reference each other right like we reference our prisoners and they can reference these things that are happening outside that are like integrating them. One of the things that since I've been involved a lot of times we try to elicit or solicit statements from the people we represent. I have been to a number of really wonderful June 11th activities that have included an art show, a number of punk shows in various people's basements and I think as just an individual I mean first of all I think it's a great opportunity to do community building to do letter writing but I think it's also something that even if you are you know relatively isolated you know you can just make a commitment today I'm going to send five bucks to somebody's commissary. Yeah I think I was looking back at one of Marius's previous June 11th statements and one of the things he referred to was a civil rights attorney that he'd worked with was asked you know what does the movement need most and he responded everything is everything meaning you know anything any advocacy that you do in one area will redound to the benefit of all of the rest of us and all of the other areas and I have found that to be true and I have found that specifically to be true even in terms of the legal effects of doing advocacy for Marius has had really huge benefits for other trans folks who are in prison who I've represented and then doing advocacy for those folks has had really incredible benefits for Marius so I mean I think it is materially the case that you know you struggle where you are you do what you can on June 11th or any other day and you know you move the needle yeah I think that's very it's well yeah absolutely you know June 11th is specifically for people who have long sentences and that's really about like the increased risk of just kind of like falling to the back burner as there's new like waves of struggle and you know new emergencies and crises all the time this is an opportunity to like really take a moment to really focus on that memory and so I hope with June 11th we can like kind of build bridges like generationally you know like I wasn't really around with Marius you know during the green scare and Marius got arrested and it's something that I learned about and got involved in later and I hope that you know with new people that we meet to new people who like we share projects with we can tell them about our prisoners and also you know where where I happen to live there's occasionally I meet somebody who used to know Marius from you know 20 years ago and so kind of in both directions like into the past and into into the future like yeah just trying to spread awareness about these people yeah I think it's yeah I think it's it's so important to look at this as part of a long struggle and that's you know what would you and Moira both talking about in terms of its building connections it's it's kind of this like the sedimentary layer uh uh uh that creates the actual foundation for for positive change and you know we have there's this kind of Hollywood brain thing I think we all have where we get bent out of shape when when change doesn't kind of come and in the the form of these kind of calamitous moments and and uh kind of culminations of struggles and stuff but it's it's you know the the process of winning is the process of like part of it is the process of showing up for the people who are uh uh casualties you know who are being who are being who are suffering the most for it and part of it is kind of the the the the the way in which that allows you to kind of build networks of solidarity that are the necessary foundation for continuing the struggle absolutely I I would say that in the years that I've been doing this work one of the most important parts of it is being really consistent uh in showing up for the people who are uh who are being horrendously punished because that's the only way that everybody understands that they will be taken care of um right um but speaking of winning I do have um an update if you have a second on another June 11th prisoner Eric King um yeah from my beloved colleague Sandy Freeman who represented him successfully uh recently and got a not guilty verdict uh for him after he was charged with assaulting a corrections officer which is um I mean if you know anything about federal indictments a a magnificent coup um so Eric currently has a clan act conspiracy and bivin's lawsuit pending against more than 40 state defendants uh his team is trying to achieve release from the ADX via a writ of habeas corpus he's not currently getting access to communications visits or programming uh but he is still strong and resilient and um his recent victories are an object lesson in the fact that we really can fight back and win um please donate to his support fund and please uplift what is happening because this is the future for anti-fascists in the Bureau of Prisons um nevertheless we do continue to struggle and sometimes even to win and I think our stories of triumph um are not frequently enough told and so one thing that we could do this June 11th is try to gather all of those stories and make sure that those stories do get told I think it's really important like you said to see these little victories and like not to see it as distinct from a broader struggle like if we want to do anarchism and build ways of taking care of each other outside of the state then we need to take care of people who are victimized by the state and like this is part of doing that we're proving we could do it by doing it right um and like rubber said like we're not going to storm the winter palace necessarily yeah like we can build our power in different ways and this is a way of doing that I'm thinking of like more international like cases I know for instance that um where I come from the British government lucky loves to put people who volunteered to fight for the YPG in prison or their parents if they send the money for food which yeah great country but I know that like all over the world I can in Spain and Catalonia where I believe like this is a thing too so um are there any other like international cases that you want to sort of draw attention to? There um currently right now Alfredo Caspito in Italy is uh has been on hunger strikes since October against the particularly isolating and particularly repressive 41 beast prison uh what he calls a non-life in there it's a prison that was primarily used against mafia bosses but um you know in the classic state misinterpreting uh anarchism has considered Alfredo a leader and and particularly and so locked him away um without access to almost any means of communication and uh and so he's he's had a lot of health problems as a result of this you know he was originally locked in um for shooting a nuclear executive in the meat uh after some particular callus remarks from him following the Fukushima disaster and um that nuclear uh company has ties with um like the you know the larger war machine the uh manufacturing of weapons for war um and uh you know he's he's caught other charges while being in prison for previous the alleged activities including just being an anarchist essentially kind of what you talked about um the state criminalizing uh political sensibilities um you know Italy has been doing that Chile has been doing that um previously against people like uh Monaco Caballero and Francisco Solar who have um been in and out of prison for years now and are currently facing more charges for uh allegedly um sending bombs to uh police training facilities and such um down in Chile and uh in your own England uh Toby Shone is someone who got out um recently um after being receiving terrorist charges uh for allegedly being involved in uh an anarchist website called 325 um and and financing terrorism through like accepting donations for their work and and things like that um but he did not get convicted of that he only got convicted of uh some minor drug charges and so he's been released to kind of a half-layhouse now but they um continue to try to mess with his terms of release uh because of his politics because he's an anarchist and unrepentant um they continue to try to mess with him essentially on the website june 11.org there's um a page with information about um a lot of prisoners both in the US and internationally um you know a little bit about them um most of them it has their address if there's a support site with more information that's linked to it as well okay this is a good place for people to look anything else you guys wanted to get to to discuss like issues uh for incarcerated anarchist people or i guess other ways to support incarcerated people i guess i would like to remind your listeners that all prosecutions are political uh and that people who are locked away in you know the cages that are the federal facilities and the state and local and county facilities are all um dealing with the same kinds of isolation and deprivations and um a lot of them have even less support than um some of our long term anarchist political prisoners and so um um you know i i understand this is a uh program about june 11th and of course i want to uplift june 11th but i would also like to suggest that to whatever extent you can get involved in just prisoner support uh yeah i think that more support for more prisoners is always a good thing yeah yeah it could be in the streets in whatever by whatever means um fighting the society that makes prison and necessity is is the longer game right yeah you know related to what moa was saying i wanted to mention another long term anarchist prisoner michael mcgold Kimball um who is in alabama and just thinking about like how how supporting him has resonated to like so many other people in prison in in alabama um like the way that he has been able um through the support of you know some of his friends on the outside then support like so many other queer people that he's with um in alabama and been able to like collectively organize and like share radical history like you know they have a have a role in it too and and our support for them can like resonate far beyond just an individual yeah i think that's a great point yeah and other things to mention um we are we have a fundraising goal for marius this year twenty five hundred dollars um we're trying to get some bookstores on board to you know have some june 11 stickers donate a little bit of money um so go to your local bookstore and photoshop red space etc nice is there any any other like resources you guys wanted to plug social medias anything that people can follow to find out um you can follow marius's support on twitter at at support marius um there's also an instagram that i think is at support marius mason uh i would also like to plug the concept of not talking to cops smart june 11 also has some social media presence there's really only uh regularly active on on the mastodon account and it's just uh at june 11 at june 11 yeah that was fantastic thank you very much guys really appreciate your time thank you all you're ready for a comeback and with pertune global you can do more than take classes you can take charge of 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Hello podcast fans it's just me today it's just James and we're doing another episode about the border I'm joined today by Emmett and David from the Borderlands Relief Collective and we're going to talk a little bit about people doing mutual aid on the border the situation on the border and for those who live a long way away from it and a sort of pretty shitty thing that border patrol did to some supplies which were left out on the border earlier this month and so yeah Emmett David if you'd like to sort of introduce yourself and expand a little bit about the roles you play that would be great either um happy to be here my name is Emmett I am putting my time between being a geochemist at scripture such an oceanography um being a PhD student and trying to reconcile what it means to be uh living in this borderlands and being a part of a community that is partially criminalized depending on who you were or where you come from and also what it means for you to seek a safety and freedom in your life so I work in several organizing spaces uh trying to shut town uh different detention centers um as well as supporting folks just mickens meet in San Diego and also supporting um people uh keeping their lives and and staying alive um in this extreme border borderlands that we live on. Yeah hey my name is David um my job I work as a surgeon I've been living in San Diego for about 10 years and I've been doing humanitarian volunteer work in the borderlands which we call doing water drops for something like uh six years uh got started with border angels and also did volunteer work with border kindness um highly recommend that organization and um more recently have been doing water drops in a mountainous area between San Diego and TJ with friends and we just recently uh founded name for our our group and uh its borderlands uh relief collective. Great yeah and I think maybe I think if people think of San Diego they think of like the zoo and maybe uh sea world uh and at the beach you know that kind of shit so like can you explain what it's like I've spent a lot of time in in the area where you guys do water drops can you explain what it's like and why it's such a difficult area to pass through for people who are trying to move north. Well yeah San Diego as you said people think of the beach but actually I think someone told me that San Diego County has some of the most diverse uh kind of ecosystems of any county in the uh in the so-called USA we have uh high mountains where it snows when it gets cold out we have low deserts where routinely exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summertime I mean 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the summertime and as far as the geography of migration it really goes back to you know it's a direct consequence of federal border policy I think many people will be familiar with the term prevention through deterrence which is sometimes elaborated as a prevention of migration through environmental deterrence and the whole concept is going way back to Clinton administration the areas of the border near cities like San Diego were increasingly militarized with high border fence intense patrol by armed officers and increasingly recently electronic surveillance uh with the idea of relying on the extremely harsh terrain of the deserts and mountains to form a kind of a natural defense but they quickly found out within within you know basically the first year or so of that federal policy that uh numbers of people crossing the border did not decrease however deaths skyrocketed uh that's something we understood um you know of people in Washington DC understood many many years ago uh but the policy persists so the bottom line is people who are crossing the border from Mexico to the USA often uh resort to crossing in the most remote and dangerous areas of the border so the area that we're going to be talking about this uh mountainous region between San Diego and Tejana literally uh folks are going up and over the tallest mountain in the area literally up and over the mountain of extremely arduous walk and when we do these water drops we're well rested we hike all day and we come home exhausted and we look at our our gaya apps and find that we've only hiked a very small portion of the actual total journey and we're always humbled by just the resilience and determination of people who do this crossing yeah it's another thing i think people don't realize is that the the amount of like physical uh just difficulty the people have to endure coming here is immense and of course the reason that people are willing to take those risks because that it's not like they come from a place of safety right and it's not it's not uh it's not like they you know the reason they're willing to take risks is because it's a risk you know being where they were is a risk i think a lot of people will maybe have become more engaged with border policy during the Trump era certainly like the like legacy media narrative focused on the border very briefly like maybe it peaked around the midterms in 2018 i think and then people have lost a lot of interest since then so for those of us who live on the border it's remarkable how little has changed i think maybe it's not particularly remarkable because i don't think we really expected it to but uh like can you explain what if anything has changed since 2021 and how things uh have sort of remained the same in many ways yeah i think it's a really good uh question and it brings up a lot of the the political nature um or kind of skewed identity based uh conversations that exist in migration um and obviously there's a lot of rhetoric that is quite hyperbolic around uh the so-called morality of people who are uh migrants in general um and then kind of categorizing certain people as worthy or not worthy of um entrance into the so-called nation um and kind of further and more what does it mean for people to believe any of those narratives and then support them at a federal political level and as you're saying um during uh Trump era there was a lot of conversation in response to very very hateful rhetoric uh from Trump and administration um targeted at certain people but not from a deep place of really understanding or characterizing the conversation in general or speaking by the fact that in San Diego or in California large more than half of the farm workers who kind of create this this this city that we are or this the state that we are and support the very backbone of the fact they're all still having our hearts beat uh our migrants and that our economy at large as well as just the fabric of our nation is is based on migrants uh in immigration so for us to pick and choose what that looks like is not only missing the majority of the point but is using as a talking piece is really as a talking piece for uh certain identities to feel vindicated uh to spend money and support certain for-profit corporations um um like for example uh coercive when a large just prison corporations uh kind of prison corporations in the in the country uh got one point nine billion dollars um the previous year uh from the federal government and therefore like you think about the connection between these enterprises uh and stories about immigration are quite linked um so i don't have all the statistics in front of me about how the specific number of of crossings has changed or the population has changed but um on the whole nothing has really changed as far as the need uh goes so thinking about four years ago uh what were the specific crises that were occurring um that were causing people to seek seek safety in the United States um maybe some specific situation have changed and others are risen um and as more and more people are coming to the United States fleeing from climate-related disasters as well as ongoing stability it it's not as if the US has engaged in any real project to to support people to begin with or understand the underlying causes so from that standpoint nothing meaningfully has happened from either administration to really understand or create policies that would support uh anyone seeking safety or from making decisions that are quote unquote aligned with US best interests um it's never been a part of the conversation um it's more to basically uh capitalize off of people in their suffering um with it would that be to the uh you know to be a storyline that US is is helping people or is is a savior of others or is trying to crack down on armed bandits or or uh criminals who are crossing crossing this borderland i think it is worth like there's the cost of examples really interesting because Biden made a big thing of like talking about shutting down like quote unquote private prisons but it's still very much like funding the same things when they're not for people who are citizens of this country or yeah and for those of those who aren't fully versed in in kind of the the basic relationship between private prisons and immigration there are is a relationship that uh between uh customs and border protection um and uh different prison corporations uh to basically um put people who are apprehended who are not initially deported under title 42 uh in in detention uh well their uh their cases are ongoing and investigated for asylum or refugee status um and so these prisons uh make a profit and can basically demand a certain money in the amount of money from the government per person who uh is in in one of their their facilities uh and there's also a minimum that they will continually get money from the government regardless of whether the beds are filled but they have incentive to keep beds filled so there is an economic relationship between these corporations uh and the government to basically put more people in detention so that's a huge underpinning of this of this whole conversation is who is getting money and how does that kind of further the certain aims of corporations but also um agencies that basically get a larger amount of federal funding uh through apprehension of people right yeah like Biden has funded DHS more than Trump did um like DHS's budget this department of home and security of which customs and border protection is a part um a border patrol is a part of customs and border protection it's a giant pyramid of of yeah people putting people in prison uh and it's also worth like reinforcing i think for people that like these people have done nothing wrong at the point in which they are incarcerated right like they have a a bade all relevant laws and are yank in conditions which we've decided uh not befitting prisoners in the United States but are okay for these people not that anyone should be incarcerated uh but yeah there's still a two tier system so can you explain a little bit about your efforts to do mutilate and to like do a little bit of kindness on the border and make things a little bit better out there for people who are coming north yeah what we do again um just um is in collaboration with other organizations that have been around a long time a lot longer than we have a border angels border kindness in california uh no more deaths in arizona many other organizations um and it really you know boils down to we don't want people to die on you know the trails crossing through the borderlands and that actually informs um where we drop um unfortunately you know all of our our recent new routes that we supply they're directly uh because we know that people have died uh in those locations or required uh rescue uh we work in very close relationship with other volunteer organizations that focus on search and rescue and search and recovery search and recovery meaning recovering human remains of people who have died so there's a number about standing organizations uh that operate in uh california arizona texas these include eagles of the desert uh armadillos um many other organizations most of these are actually uh made up of volunteers who are first generation immigrants mostly from mexico um and so when people um die or require rescue we do find out for from our our friends and comrades in these uh SAR organizations and we build um water drop routes directly around that knowledge um so yeah really boils down to yeah we don't want more people to die uh making making this uh this journey and so as far as what kind of supplies we leave it's what we think may make a difference we leave bottles of water um energy drinks like electrolyte, gatorade and so on uh cans of food with pop tops, all kinds of cans of fruit, beans um you know uh chili what what you know whatever we think people may need um of course sweet tailor it based on the time of year um in the mountains in the winter gets freezing cold lots and lots of rain so we've been leaving waterproof ponchos warm clothing and the summer of course it gets scorching hot in the desert people die of hyperthermia they literally cook to death that's where electrolytes come in handy um sun hats of bandana, space ball hats um first aid kits we we leave um kits full of medical supplies uh and more recently you know um just observing the kind of uh used items that we find on the trail um kids stuff diapers um pacifiers uh you know uh we leave you know tampons um you know that kind of stuff um containers of infant formula so it's uh it's a it's kind of an iterative process um just leaving what we think people need and um yeah that's that's kind of what we do and just so folks are super clear this is all like an initiative among you and your comrades right right then you're not supported by any like government entity that's the government entity is kind of doing quite the opposite of what you're doing yeah correct we are all volunteers in the sense that yeah nobody is uh paid we don't have any formal affiliations with any other NGOs much less governmental organizations right so maybe people are wondering uh they might have been familiar with the the court case in Arizona or they might not be like uh if if what you're doing is considered to be like legal humanitarian aid or not you comfortable talking about that yeah so I think that's that's definitely a gray area that we find ourselves really occupying um and I think that's a bit of this kind of propaganda machine is is is what does it mean to engage with somebody uh who is uh seeking safety and fleeing for the lives there's a certain place where that's uh touted to touted to be a wonderful thing uh if you're the Catholic charities and are providing beds um and for example I wanted to make that distinction between several kind of uh charity organizations who do receive uh federal money to to be engaged in this conversation versus versus grassroots mutual aid uh networks and communities who are doing this because it feels like this is part of their communities mission their families mission or it means it's part of them being true to themselves and true to what feels uh just in the way in this in this very confusing world so what we're doing is very explicitly leaving humanitarian aids supplies that are potentially life-saving in areas where we know people need them we are not having any specific or hands-on or person to person engagement with with anybody uh so they're in in Arizona no most of this became a part of a conversation about providing uh critical medical support um and that was a court case that really tested the limits of what it means to be in this great area um and what was uh really important from the nuances in that conversation were what constitutes aiding in a bedding or so called aiding in a bedding um a legal immigration which is basically again a very large great area uh between are you uh you enticing people to cross are you being paid as a smuggler to cross are you doing something which is encouraging people to cross um none of which was uh activity that was engaged with Numa Smorte's or us um but uh in their case specifically providing medical aid uh cross the boundary and they were rated they're they're camp and they're impromptu field uh tense where they were providing life-saving medical support uh was was rated um and the the kind of the finer points of that were that the outset being that the first amendment protects humans in the religious freedom to practice um whatever be that furthers their religious beliefs in a faith and a very large point of of their work was their affiliation and dedication to preserving human life which as we can imagine for many folks uh listening to this or in in general that is very core to their belief system um and so there are very clear protections um in the first amendment uh of preserving people's uh right to practice their religion so that was a case that that kind of that established a lot of what we're working under is these basic protections to be humanitarian aid workers um following basic belief systems what we're doing specifically is leaving supplies so leaving supplies the the the most agreed-just thing you can you can basically uh say about that is that we're littering or that we're a big engineering property uh and so again Numa Smorte's and in this in this in this larger conversation uh it was established in the court that leaving humanitarian aid supplies that were with the intent of saving lives is not litter so that was also a very big point which is saying no we are not just kind of going walking down the street and throwing out your bottle the uh the back of your truck this is specifically with the intent of saving lives and the third place is that we are abandoning something in this in this area that would be constituted abandoned property um and as we'll speak about any one in the future uh our supplies are consumed quite rapidly um and there is a a statute in this in the state of if it is it a ban of property has to be left from more than 10 days if you consider the ban of property so even if we are leaving things in in these regions it is not considered a ban of property this it's been less than 10 days so basically I guess just to just say that nothing we're doing is illegal from any standpoint and also um the the case in Arizona kind of helped make a distinguishing mixing distinctions between whether our activity is is also frowned upon in public land which it is not because it is constituting humanitarian aid in a place that is desperately needed right and I think if folks go out to like I mean most people aren't going out to like Valley of Immun or what have you but like if you want to look for abandoned stuff there it's not hard to find and uh it's not you guys doing that like shooting barrels or whatever that you know like that someone was shooting a barrel last time I was out there let's talk about how quickly those supplies are consumed because I think again that will be like news to some people right like you guys are out there every week and like how much stuff you're dropping and how quick do you go yeah to tell you the truth we're still we're still finding out ourselves because every time we think we know the answer we're surprised by how fast it's being consumed the bottom line is it's being consumed as fast as we can leave this supply so uh Emmett and I and many other of the members of our organization borderlands relief collective we also are active in border kindness and in the past with border angels and so we're used to a certain rhythm of doing a water drop circling back usually a month later and we're happy if maybe half of the supplies have been consumed so that's a good day when we started doing water drops in this mountainous region uh first of all we were just blown away by the evidence of heavy uh foot travel I mean these are even though you'll never find a hiker a recreational hiker on these trails they look like like established trails they're worn in trails and when we started doing these water drops there's a there's just a river of discarded water bottles uh clothing uh food uh rappers um and just things that we have never seen before that that amount of um human activity uh literally on the top of a mountain where you never would think why would someone cross over a top of a mountain to get from point A to point B so like I said we're still learning what the the proper interval is some of these uh locations that we drop um we come back a week later and they're pretty much a hundred percent consumed um so yeah we really it's become apparent we have been having a lot of discussions that we're very eager in trying to expand our number of volunteers because the more we do this in this mountainous region the more we learn uh how pressing the need is um so we're having a hard time just supplying essentially one path that goes up and over the mountain and we know that this is just one of many paths that are used by by people in this this region so really uh uh we're finding a hundred percent consumption every week or two at most of our our drop spots yeah so if people did want to we could just get out in here now if people did want to help you and they're in the region um it's would they be able to deserve where they could reach out yeah sure we just uh like I said we just came up with a our name after a fun uh communal decision making process and we just a couple days ago uh did our first post on social media so if anybody's on Instagram just search for borderlands relief collective and click on you know the email and send us a DM get in touch if you're anywhere near the San Diego we'd love to talk to you um and definitely would like to expand the number of volunteers so you speak a little bit about like we spoke about the Sarasona case right where people got rated I know you guys have also had some uh less than stellar interactions with uh CBP border patrol specifically um and I get really mad if I call it customs of border patrol because it's custom border protection uh so you guys had a thing uh I've been with it last month now in March um do you want to explain a little bit about what what happened in the incident first of all yeah so I've it's part of our so I think as we already talked about we go out every weekend and that's again we're all busy lives davis literally a surgeon and um we're basically trying to find a time that we can get people together to go out there so we picked the weekends and we have a you know changing number of people who are able to be out there with us so as one of our uh normal water drop uh weekends um a route that starts basically at a road um that that is along the ridge of otai uh mountain we start hiking down the south side towards towards the towards the border um and uh I've established uh multiple routes along that path and this one particularly is so slow going um you only go a couple miles and it takes you uh most of your Saturday um because of how steep it is um the how thick though the the brush is um and also kind of as they was saying earlier uh even in the middle of day day time with hiking boots uh it's really treacherous and um we've it's been a lot of time making sure that we're safe in the process of uh going there ourselves um so as we we left our first drop and then a second and it went down to our final drop and turned back uh sorry going back up the mountain and we came to our second drop site and as we arrived uh we found um something that was kind of really hard to process uh at first for us which was that every single item that we had uh purposefully put inside of a crate um and we had uh counted and we had uh left as we do um was scattered and littered across the ground um we had left uh more than 20 liters of water and every single bottle of water was opened and dumped out and thrown and discriminately uh around this site we had left uh again something like 20 hands of food uh beans tuna uh condensed milk fruit and every single can had been opened and had been this content thrown uh around the area we have left bags of socks and hats and those were covered in beans and fruit and again thrown into bushes like not be used we had handwimmers um because it's very cold um and handwimmers are essential uh it's you kind of keep mobility um and every single one was diligently opened as if someone had really enjoyed taking time opening it and the thrusting into the dirt and that was something that was like so painful and just confusing very demoralizing as you can imagine after just hiking that far but more so it it felt so deliberate and and hurtful um and initially we're of course wondering what had happened um we've done this for several years many years and never had we seen something like this before um and it became very apparent uh that um someone had deliberately destroyed our our our crate even the crate itself this milk carton was smashed in half the bottom of it was uh torn out and that is something that's very hard to achieve milk cartons are not very light uh then plastic this was someone had had actively put a lot of force into smashing a milk cart so that nothing was left behind um we on the way to down one thing that i didn't say a second ago was that we had seen an agent on the trail which was unique for us because normally they're just in their cars uh with binoculars looking from the road um so we had seen someone near the trail uh but lost track of them uh earlier and we kind of put it out of our minds uh so after this had happened we had kind of put two and two two together and we're uh wondering if this agent had followed us down the trail to this site and then while we had left stayed behind and destroyed the goods it seemed like the beans were still drying and the fruit was still drying in the sunlight so it hadn't had been too uh too far from the time that we had dropped initially um and this is at a moment there there was five of us and trying to figure out uh what it meant for us to deal with this uh several two of us including myself um raised a head to try to see if we can interact with uh with whoever has up the trail knowing that they couldn't have been too far away um not with any specific plan other than just ask them what what did they do and why did they do that um just in the sense of outrage that the the the sense of just like moral corruption that someone would destroy this uh in a time that that the CBP as well as we know that people are are losing their lives um because of lack of access to these very goods that were destroyed yeah so we raised raised back as fast as we could it was about a 45 minute hike back up um and we were really breathless and almost like kind of when we're feeling sick to our stomachs because we were both outraged and also uh hike faster than we should have um and just as we got back to our cars kind of giving up hope that we'd interact with them we saw two agents in their cars kind of pull away uh and we flagged them down and gotten in front of them uh uh kind of motion for them to come back so we could speak to them um and i'm not saying we're the most savvy people but we basically ramped them and said did you destroy these are our supplies which they acknowledge that they did um and only afterwards were we able to uh get our wits together to start recording them and as you'll hear in the audio um they acknowledge the fact that they knew where our site was and they acknowledged the fact that they regularly destroy goods um and for us the entire action was just so sickening um first of it after a while there was five of them with their guns um and their their large guns out uh as well as their basic um intention to use intimidation their sheer numbers as well as this kind of reverse authority they have as the sole of agents in charge of this public land this is wilderness and BLM land which they have no authority over us yet use this this sense of just power and ability to cause harm to minimize anybody else being able to to advocate for themselves so we tried to stop them from from doing that and and i kept asking them did you destroy our water and why did you do that and is that within your job description because there was something very clear to them to us that they didn't even know what their legality was they kept trying to deflect it the conversation saying oh uh migrants are leaving trash all the time and referring to people as illegal aliens with this kind of larger rhetoric is saying that like they're they're they're trashing the mountainside like it's it's their fault um and as we repeatedly asked them did you destroy our water and they repeatedly said well have you seen have you seen what they do um and then kind of also saying well yeah we we try to clean things up we try to pick them up but but but that specific site was too far so we just left it we just destroyed it and left it which as on the on the piggybacking on their conversation about the this trash and that we're littering and they're accusing us of eating in a bedding illegal immigration they basically have nothing left to say about what their actions meant and without within their the purview their mandate of their jobs um and it was an act you could tell they are uncomfortable with because they was at not within their job description and we asked for their supervisor they said they're going on the phone supervisor the buzzer never materialize and we can only assume that they had a conversation with somebody uh in a superior saying back down what you're doing is is is is not correct and don't engage further um and since then we've had conversation with uh with their superiors and with with CP offices to the effect of saying that this was not within their job description and this they had not condoned this activity so um kind of looking into that further they were very much acting as individuals but individuals within a culture of abuse and within a culture of of sabotaging humans access to life saving supplies and that was nothing new to them that there's that they had nothing they had never encountered somebody trying to oppose them for doing that people while we are on our way to the last one we are going to go around the park is it your Indian job description to slash water and open cans and damp food all over the traffic land and wood in this area? to bend the property but then you put the kid up and carry it to your heart no, it's a long hike, how I would have done that no, I'm like, you're just okay for your recovery well, I'm there for this what are the restrictions and patrols in 25 miles of order? yeah, 100 miles and look for a park public property? no, we fight property only in legal every way and what do you do with it? what do you do with it? we try to clean it off, but they do clean it off that's cleaning it up? that's one of the things we try to do that was not cleaning it up we're doing that clean it off, we're trying to clean it up that one was too far for us to bring it out do you decide just to just trash the whole area? like when they funded and equipped and transported and armed by the state, then like it's that's not the same as individuals just because we've seen that in Arizona like people who are militias or what have you going out and sabotaging life saving supplies as well but it's still a little different when you know we have to pay taxes for them to go destroy water cashews and these are people who regularly as we've seen in multiple occasions use helicopters to try to flush people out of under a tree that they fly within 30 feet of the ground and use the force of the roaders to force people out and up a hillside to waiting cars so their use of money and their use of force is definitely central to the tactics yeah yeah or he's helicopter to fire tear gas into Mexico and it did a few years ago and that intimidation is like if I think people again who don't live here might not be familiar with it I've been out down by the border with kumiya people doing religious ceremony and had bought out guys dressed like navy seals hanging out with air 15's and play carriers while people like burn sage and prey it's yeah I mean the militarization if you somehow can't conceive to care of people dying in the desert the militarization of the border still affects everyone here and it makes our lives less safe there's a crime thinks slogan that I always like to use in these things which is the border doesn't protect you it controls you which I think is kind of apt for this so now that they've trashed your supplies and you found out they weren't supposed to I'm interested like how going forward does that mean that you can't use that route you can't drop stuff there anymore because you're worried about it happening again or because you're worried about them hanging out there like supply cash on the contrary we've learned from the examples of other people who have been doing this work Emmett already mentioned Nomas Mertes Nomer Dez and Arizona Dr. Scott Warren we've learned so much from their example where you know they were hauled into federal court and won and so we've learned from from their examples of how to how to do this as well as within hearing California the history of border angels so back a few years ago Border Patrol was slashing gallons of water in the deserts of Eastern San Diego County as well as Imperial County on one particular day the border angels volunteers found about 50 gallons of water slashed in the most violent way and they knew it was border patrol and so the way border angels responded was number one to change their tactics to start dropping supplies deeper in the back country where the border patrol agents you know it's rare to find a BP agent that's motivated enough to really hike hike for too far away from their air condition vehicles in the summertime so number one they were going farther away from the roads and highways to the actual routes that people are walking number two they punched back hard in public using social media back then it was Facebook you know this is going to be right when Instagram was getting popular but just you know getting the word and border angels is an organization that's been around for decades they have a big following the word spread and just like many bullies you know they kind of back down if you get in their face sometimes so that was our experience with this practice of border patrol slashing gallons in the desert border angels so when this crime occurred on March 18th in the mountains we knew we could not back down so we went back a few days later that's when as Emmett mentioned we witnessed border patrol helicopter for about an hour flying about you know this seemed like 10-15 feet off the ground really really low the rotor wash to a flush of flush human beings out of the brush as if they were hunting animals and then we were back you know the next seven days later after they destroyed the supplies we went back with a good group number one to clean up this shameful mess these two border patrol goons left we cleaned up all of all of that stuff and we left probably what three times the amount of original supplies and on our milk rates we actually left laminated signs that addressed one by one all of the accusations that these border patrol agents tried to make against us so the signs say do not destroy do not remove this is not garbage we are not littering and in property these are humanitarian aid supplies protected by federal case law the 1994 protection of religious freedom act and so on and so forth so we put those signs just prominently on the milk rates you know just a send a message that no we're not going to back down we are going to leave supplies there is a lot more general principle it is within our rights in support of human rights to do this so of course we have to be strategic about this there is the danger we are always going back to the same place we are kind of blowing up the spot we are bringing heat to a route that is needed by people making a crossing and not try to bring too much attention to these paths. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I wonder if people are, I was thinking for people to visualize the area, if they're a place they could look up on like Google Earth so they could see where this kind of stuff is happening, is you comfortable, you don't have to give like an exact location obviously. But yeah, actually, I mean, speaking of Google Earth, you mentioned a Valley of the Moon, I mean, Google Earth is impressive enough. Anybody can just use Google Earth and zoom in all the way and just follow along the border and you'll find thousands of footpaths. So yeah, it doesn't take much detective work to actually visually see these footpaths. But yeah, it's real steep terrain as Emmett mentioned. The last couple times we've gone back to this spot where the two agents destroyed the supplies. Emmett has actually brought a mountain climbing rope just to make certain sections easier where we're kind of repelling down this dry waterfall. So really, really steep, very loose trails, very easy to break an ankle. And it just, in that context, it really, it really hits you. We see so many shoes and boots along the path and just have to kind of just pause and think, well, this person lost their shoe if the soul of their boot melted off and their hours away from the nearest road. What does it mean? How did they complete the journey? Did they complete their journey? So yeah, a little bit hard to describe, but I guess anybody who's, I guess kind of familiar with the Southern California, steep mountains, loose terrain, kind of get the picture. Yeah, yeah, they can make up value the meanest plenty of pictures of the very intimidating board offense that they have there. It's like three-foot-eye and rusty. Is there anything else that you guys wanted to address that you feel like maybe people don't, the people should know about the board that they don't, about the work you do that maybe is misunderstood? Yeah, I guess I wanna maybe bring up some of what I think is hard to convey to people who aren't there and I never aren't connected to a community who is suffering because of this or who aren't maybe thinking along the lines of what it means to be a human in this space and actually be risking your life and coming up against helicopters and a federally-backed militia who is actively seeking to harm you. None of us in our group are claiming anything more than just witnessing what it means to be out there. But I guess what's been true for me and in kind of my conversations with my community as a last couple of years is trying to share this. There is so much pain that is being inflicted upon this landscape and there is so much harm that is actively supported by our nation. While people are in some of the most intimate and painful moments of their lives, leaving your home whether it be in another continent where you need to take a flight over to make this crossing or whether it be hiking through Central America, starting in South America for months before reaching this moment or leaving your family and your community closer to the border. These are moments that anyone who is alive could feel the pain of and the misery of having to abandon all that you know and put yourself at the mercy of the desert and CBPs are really aggressive and harmful tactics. So beyond all of the cases and the politics, I just, I oftentimes as we're walking just try to put myself in the position of someone who is making these decisions. And as Dave was saying, we're coming across people's clothing, food, underwear, places they've slept and the amount of, the point and see of human desire to be safe, to come to a place where they feel like their lives can be protected or that choice is worthwhile. It's something that is so lost in the numbers and the amount of people who die or what happens after it. And so for us, I think making it not about your political beliefs or the asylum process but just the actual choices people are having to make very human decisions. That is something that is kind of a haunt us and the feeling that all we can do is leave water in a place that it might make the difference between someone in that position surviving or not. And for them who are just living in a community where from the top of the mountain we can see downtown San Diego and all of the luxury of this military town, all of the universities and all of this opportunity that we enjoy and just a couple of miles away, the lack of access to just water. Feeling how similar human humans are to each other in our basic needs and how that's being taken from people is really harmful and particularly as you were saying, these are areas held sacred by the Kumiai people and have been places of migration for at least 10,000 years. These are places that were difficult to travel and that people did for similar reasons to survive, to be safe. And there is a legacy of Oyas of clay pots buried in the sand for travelers that has been ongoing for thousands of years and for our current administration and government to create this wall in this place of so much pain is just testament to just the insanity of our desire to protect border against something else, protecting the borders against something that we feel is harmful to us. Meanwhile, this migration is fundamentally how we survive and how we respond to these moments of change in humanity and criminalizing that and causing heart of that is just barbaric. I'll let you collect your thoughts and you can come back and make that statement because I think you do it very eloquently but I want to jump on there and just kind of echo and elaborate on what you said. Yeah, we find lots and lots of physical items but we also meet people on the trails and that's a new thing. I've been doing these water drops for some time now but when you say what has changed under Biden, not much there's more people crossing the border than ever. There are more people dying than ever. As far as as a volunteer who spends most weekends out in the borderlands, the only thing I notice is they stopped building Trump's 30 foot high fence and they started pouring all that money into electronic surveillance where every single month we see more towers popping up all along the border with all kinds of very, very fancy military grade surveillance equipment and as well as aerial surveillance. Lots of airplanes, helicopters, not sure if they're using drones but we certainly there's a lot of aerial surveillance but what we see as far as the human dimension is in the old days, we see footprints, we see shoe covers which people wear on their feet to hide their footprints from border patrol, we see the empty water bottles and discarded clothing but now we're encountering people pretty much every time we do a water drop because the number of people crossing is so high, people are crossing in the daytime whereas in the past, usually they would cross at night. So wouldn't you say Emmett, like pretty much, it's pretty much every time we go out at least one of our volunteers, if not the whole group, sees or even interacts with a migrant on the paths and of course we respect their autonomy, their privacy, we don't engage with them if they don't want to engage with us but the thing that I'll never forget is about a month ago about a month ago, we were out in this exact same area supplying the same path and it was a rainy day cold we were wearing our Gore-Tex insulated clothing, we'd done a water drop while we were doing the water drop we can see on the next mountain peak border patrol helicopter landing to pick up somebody who required rescue and this is a case that we had been getting updates all night with Armadillos, one of the search groups and thankfully this person was found alive and border patrol was so called rescuing him, another word for arresting him and after we witnessed that, we hiked back to our vehicles and just as we were getting to the trailhead, the exact same location where on March 18th, Emmett and other volunteers had this interaction with the two border patrol agents who destroyed the humanitarian aid supplies, the exact same parking spot, we pop out and start walking toward our vehicles and it starts snowing and two individuals come out of the mist and you know, approach us and start talking to us in Spanish and talking to these two people, these two men, one young, one middle aged in the course of the conversation, you know, sorry, I kind of choke up when I talk about this stuff. Yeah, it's okay. Yeah, so this is the younger of the two was 16 years old and the older dude was his father. We encountered them as it was snowing so of course, first thing we did is got them in our vehicles, one of our volunteers, Avid Heiker, had his backpacking stove with him and cooked up some tea and some gave them food and let them warm up. We gave them literally the Gore-Tex winter coat software backs to warm up and once the dad was shivering violently really showing signs of clinical hypothermia and talking to the younger man who was in better physical shape, he was explaining that the two of them were hiking through the mountains because his mother was already living in the USA, they were trying to reunite with her and they had been in this mountainous region for the past two days and looking at them, they're wearing hoodies, like sweatshirts, sweatpants and sneakers in this, and anybody who lives down here in Southern California, we've had a very unusual winter, lots and lots of rain so we had been raining heavily over the past two days and nighttime temperatures in the 30s and these two men had been out there for two days, soaked to the bone and that's why they approached us because they were in trouble and they were asking for help. So after they warmed up, we discussed the options, of course, we respect their autonomy. They have the option to try to continue going on their way with supplies or if they felt it was unsafe to do so, we were ready to help them. The heartbreaking thing is, they did ask us, could we let them ride in our vehicles off the mountain and we had to explain that we were pretty much guaranteed to encounter Border Patrol agents on that road in that really it's not something that we could do because we could be arrested and charged for federal felony crimes, but we said, look, if you really feel you can't continue, we will help you contact call 911, but we explained that's 100% gonna result in Border Patrol coming because as folks may know, you know, in the USA along the border, you know, emergency medical response, search and rescue is unfortunately considered in the domain of law enforcement. So if you are a US citizen or if you are someone from another country that happened to come here and have a visa or just be considered the good type of foreigner, you know, you have a very impressive response with Sheriff's Department search and rescue, volunteer organizations. If there's any hint that you may be a so-called undocumented person, it immediately gets sent to Border Patrol and you have, you know, Borsestar respond the Border Patrol search and rescue group, which is a far cry from the civilian search and rescue folks. So we explained to them, we call 911, you're gonna be apprehended, you're gonna be arrested by Border Patrol and after thinking about it and discussing, they said, yeah, we cannot continue, we're, you know, this is too dangerous. So we did call 911 and Border Patrol did come and frisked them and cuffed them and did arrest them and yeah, that's not the only time that too often we have witnessed human beings being arrested by Border Patrol. Yeah, thank you for sharing that. I think it's really important to give like, put like faces and names to these things rather than the Border Patrol will constantly talk about the million, whatever encounters, right? They like to fucking inflate the numbers, it's often the same people, but it's each one of those is a tragedy every time someone has to make a choice between risking their life in one place or risking their life coming to another place just so their kids can have a crack at growing up safely or also they can be safe or so they can experience like one tenth of the things that we take for granted every day. Like that's an incredible human tragedy and yeah, they happen every single day, every hour of every day at our border because of the things that our government does there. And yeah, it's important to feel that stuff because it should provoke in all of us a very strong reaction. It's pretty messed up that it's almost universal bipartisan agreement that it's fine and okay by people who have never been here and don't understand. One other thing I want to add, and Emma, you may have other things. One thing I wanted to really center is something we've referenced several times, Cumier, you know, this is Cumier land. These are the indigenous people who have lived here since the beginning of time. The archaeological record goes back 10,000 years but we know people have been here since the beginning of human time really. And look at the map, the so-called border cuts and half traditional Cumier territory. When we do these water drops out in the desert or in the mountains, you know, these paths that people are using to migrate are often or in many, many cases, traditional Cumier paths and we see evidence of that every time we do a water drop, especially out in the desert area as it's a rare water drop that we will not find pottery shards lying in the sand or come across rock shelters, some with pictographs. And you know, it's just a very poignant juxtaposition of Cumier cultural artifacts with modern day, you know, shoe covers, discarded water bottles and of course many people who do migrate are indigenous themselves. So yeah, personally, you know, I view all of these border issues through the lens of history, culture with the core truth that this is indigenous land, this is Cumier land and it has always been and the modern so-called border is a very recent a political creation, you know, that mid 19th century before that, this was Mexico. And now where we call it the USA, but this is all recent and from my perspective, unless you are a Cumier, I really don't know how anybody could can really get on their high horse and really speak with any authority about who belongs here, who belongs here, who doesn't belong here because the rest of us, we are all guests on Cumier land. And that includes every single border patrol agent and that's something I always like to remember. Yeah, the border is very much like colonialism in action. And it's even, we're gonna have some Cumier folks, hopefully in the next couple of weeks to talk about the desecration of Cumier Iberial sites by the border wall, which is an ongoing thing. Like I haven't stopped when the, just I can't tell stories about it like I could in 2020 because, you know, Orange Man Bad isn't a thing anymore. But yeah, they call across the border right now, just here, the Yaki, the Tahornod, all across the border is native now the whole of the so-called United States is native land and it's not indigenous folks out there trying to kill people in the desert. Is there anything Emmett that you wanted to add? Yeah, I just wanna say this well, I don't know, we'll start, we can be able forever, so we'll stop rambling in a second. But I guess I really wanna say, and this is coming from a very skewed, weight-males perspective, but I just feel like so much of these power structures that we're engaged with and us as a nation trying to find our identity, it's so hypocritical, particularly in this moment where climate and social instability is at its height, I mean, in my lifetime, and I think in many real life times, we see this as a really precarious moment. It just feels so hypocritical to police, people, sovereignty, people's sovereignty's to find safety and to be in safety. We have all of these ideals in our country around respecting each other's freedoms. And also as we are importing and exporting so many goods and also so much culture and so fundamentally intertwined with the lives of people from all over the world for us to say what is wrong and what is right in this moment and for us to have this moral authority to put people in prison just for seeking safety. For many years, and of course I have many people who I know and live with who have been in who went, we're in attention for several years for seeking that the amount of just how twisted it is that we are comfortable spending in our lives as Americans never considering or never really critically engaging with this active pursuit, this action to limit people's ability to survive. It feels like it really needs to be centered in this conversation. And again, this is coming from my skewed perspective, but I really wanna make the point clear that this is not about these lofty ideals of what a country could be or who and who is not justified or useful in our country. We make these arbitrary assessments of what's justified or what's legal and not legal. And very often those are just continuing the legacy of exploitation of black and brown people, the exploitation of landscapes, the exploitation of labor, the exploitation of people whose voices are not heard and politically, economically. And continuing a conversation of in O-time Aston Center, people who are detained are cleaning their own cells and their labor is actually being exploited as well. You can't distinguish the fact that there is, that the history of policing in our country and the history of prisons is specifically a project to continue white supremacy. And you can see particularly the differential policing of immigration currently and the differential way that certain people from certain countries are or are not valid to enter this country. And at the very least, be treated with respect and dignity in their process. And that's what we see CBP every single day violating people's basic access to human dignity and access to life which are protected by all nations in writing and very often not in practice. Yeah, I think this was said, like it's a very basic human thing. It doesn't need to be like shrouded in constitutional law. And like you also said, the capital flows very freely across the border that people aren't allowed to and yeah, it's pretty messed up. Guys, where can people, if they wanna support, if they wanna just send a kind word, where can people find you on the internet? I know the best way probably is on Instagram. We have an account, borderlands, relief, collective. Reach out to us and I do wanna give a shout out to our sister organizations, Border Kindness, their Water Drop program led by Jacqueline and James has been doing tremendous work for years. Border Angels, which is kind of the parent organization of Water Drop volunteer groups in California. Our comrades who do search and rescue as well as recovery of those who have died, including Armadillos and Aguilas, Eagles of the Desert, very, very proud to be in this community of people who are trying to help people in the Borderlands. Yeah, thank you very much, guys. It's really great. Hey, we'll be back Monday with more episodes every week from now until the heat death of the universe. It could happen here as a production of Cool Zone Media. For more podcasts from Cool Zone Media, visit our website, coolzonemedia.com, or check us out on the I Heart radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can find sources for it could happen here, updated monthly at coolzonemedia.com slash sources. Thanks for listening. Wait, the lucky land sluts, you can get lucky just about anywhere. This is your captain speaking. We've got clear runway and the weather's fine, but we're just going to circle up here a while and get lucky. No, no, nothing like that. It's just these cash prizes add up quick. So I suggest you sit back, keep your tray table up right, and start getting lucky. Fight for free at luckylandsluts.com. Are you feeling lucky? No purchase necessary, voidware prohibited by law. 18 plus terms and conditions apply. See website for details. We need out here, co-host with Eric Alexander, of reparations the Big Payback Podcast. In our podcast, we explore the arguments for and against reparations for black Americans. All episodes are available now on the iHeartRadio app, BlackEffat Podcast Network, or wherever you get your podcasts. 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