This week, we are sharing a piece created for Montreal community radio station CKUT, on the show Other Worlds on Earth. The piece provides an excellent analysis of the case against Krystal and Peppy, two organizers in Pittsburgh targeted by the FBI and who are alleged to have acted in solidarity with trans people. After their analysis and introduction, Other Worlds on Earth interview one of Krystal and Peppy’s supporters. This support work has been both vital and difficult, since Peppy has now been held in jail for more than a year, due entirely to alleged conduct at a demonstration.

The escalated repression aimed at Krystal and Peppy is part of a society-wide crackdown that affects far more than just political activists. The shredding of environmental regulation due to the Supreme Court’s Chevron reversal goes hand-in-hand with the brutal shutdown of refugee claims at the US-Mexico border, throwing the balance of state action decisively away from any claim that it is protecting us, by reducing toxicity or slowing the climate crisis, and orienting it towards police violence. The massive police funding increase since 2020 leads not only towards the construction of big, useless megaprojects like Cop City, but also to the escalation of racial violence as emboldened police attack Black children. On the 4th of July, Pittsburgh police attacked a 14-year old child. Tanisha Long described the incident this way:

“Tonight the Pittsburgh police handcuffed and detained a 14 year old child claiming that he was a missing child. They picked a Black child off the street, decided he was the missing child, handcuffed him, and ignored the fact that his mom was on the phone telling them it wasn’t him. They put their hands on advocates, an attorney, and other minors.They pulled a taser on me for asking questions and recording. They told the crowd they weren’t allowed to be near.”

This experience presents disturbing echoes of the police attack on three Black children in Bloomington earlier this week. Police are emboldened but also understand that significant portions of the population have grown to distrust and hate them, leading them to take aggressive measures to stop bystanders from filming them and to prevent crowds from gathering in response to their violence. Before the feature on Krystal and Peppy, we will share a press release from Bloomington abolitionist group Care Not Cages regarding the police violence here earlier this week.