Live Video Panel Discussion: The RNC 8, Standing Rock, and J20 Cases

J20 police repression

This is our second live video presentation about how to respond to the wave of repression sweeping the United States, with outrageous charges being brought against arrestees from Standing Rock, Trump’s inauguration, and more. This panel includes a defendant from the conspiracy case that followed the protests against the 2008 Republican National Convention and legal support workers responding to the repression of Standing Rock and J20 defendants. They discuss how to survive a politically motivated court case, how to organize a collective strategy against outrageous charges, how to engage with the criminal legal system as radicals, and other important questions facing current and future defendants. View the video here on this page or via facebook.com/CrimethIncDotCom.

Over 200 defendants arrested during Trump’s inauguration are now facing more than 70 years in prison apiece. In the months since their arrests, the prosecution has continued piling blanket felony charges on the defendants. This is punitive charging: the intention is clearly to terrorize the defendants into taking plea deals so that these inflated charges never come to trial.

This is not the first time that conspiracy charges have been used to harass and intimidate dissidents. In 2008, for example, the RNC Welcoming Committee helped to organize massive demonstrations during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. In retaliation, police raided several homes and arrested eight organizers, charging them with “Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism.” After two years of widely publicized struggle, all charges were dropped against three of the defendants, while the others plead to misdemeanors.

Likewise, prosecutors are using the same strategy to terrorize people arrested defending Standing Rock last year, in hopes of bullying them into accepting guilty pleas. Several hundred defendants are facing these charges.

If you would like to pose a question or suggest a topic for discussion, email rollingthunder@crimethinc.com.

Speakers

Garrett Fitzgerald is an anarchist who got deep into anti-repression work fighting his own case in 2008 as one of the RNC 8 defendants. Since then, he has been on several support crews for people facing repression, alternating this with prisoner support work. Recently, he has been doing mass defense and arrestee support work around the NoDAPL struggle.

Tova is an anarchist who has done prisoner support, non-attorney legal work, and anti-repression organizing since 2008. They recently finished a grand jury resistance tour with comrades from the Freshet Collective, a Legal Collective that provides support to arrestees from Standing Rock. They currently are working on J20 support.

Jude Ortiz has been involved in anarchist legal support organizing and prisoner support since he joined a legal collective in Minneapolis prior to the 2008 RNC. He helped form the Tilted Scales Collective after an Anarchist Black Cross conference in 2012. In 2016, he took on the position of chair of the Mass Defense Committee with the National Lawyers Guild.

Supporting Prisoners

As described in the panel discussion, Red Fawn Fallis and Michael “Little Feather” Giron are two Indigenous Water Protectors facing federal charges. Both are still being held in custody as they await trial. You can write them at:

Red Fawn Fallis, HACTC, 110 Industrial Rd., Rugby, ND 58368

Michael Giron, 205 6th SE #2, Suite 201, Jamestown, ND 58401

Krow is being held in Wisconsin on a probation violation following her work as an ally on the frontlines at Standing Rock. She can receive letters at:

Katie Kloth, Iron County Jail, 300 Taconite St., Hurley, WI 54534

FRR Audibooks: ITS Communiques 5+6+7

By: Dirtroll

Free Radical Radio Audiobooks continues with the Individualists Tending Toward The Wild recording series with ITS communiques 5, 6, and 7.

Some interesting nuggets, of which there are many:

  • In #5, they take responsibility for a Greenpeace bombing and warn all leftists they’re targets too.
  • In #6, they change their stance on things like using the genderless letter ‘x’, and bombing Greenpeace.
  • In #7 they reflect on their relationship to anarchism and where they differ, as well as respond to technology apologia.

And since you’re probably too lazy/skeptical to actually click through to the audio or read the text, here are two juicy quotes out of context for you internet slaves to feed off in the comments:

But ITS thinks that authority is not always bad–it is bad when it restricts Freedom, when it limits your capacities to be able to reach your ends. But it is not bad when an authority figure teaches you not to falter, to pick yourself up from some emotional or physical decline, when he gives you wise counsel and when he leads you by good paths.

An example: The tree grows, the rain gives it strength, the moon makes it so there is humidity in the environment and new plants may germinate; the tree drops fruits that in turn are eaten by the herbivorous animals and their young so they grow in a future, these herbivorous animals are hunted by carnivorous and omnivorous (human) animals, the meat is for them and their young, the surplus is devoured by scavenging animals and brought to their young, the earth is nourished with what is finally left. A bird comes to the aforementioned tree and brings what it needs for its nest, while the bird flies, a seed falls where the earth is fertile and everything begins again.

From this idea that everything in Wild Nature has an order, and because we say that we obey this order and these natural laws, those who disobey these natural statutes are confined to obeying the system and denying their human nature.

Finding ways to resist: learning from anti-gentrification actions in Montreal

From The Cannon Street Bellows

As rising housing prices push more of us into difficult situations here in Hamilton, it can be hard to find inspiration for how to fight back against gentrification. But just down the 401, anarchists in Montreal have been developing a practice of direct action against businesses involved in gentrifying their neighbourhoods over the past several years. Focused on Hochelaga in the east and Saint-Henri in the south-west, a variety of strategies have emerged that share a common goal of making the territory inhospitable for businesses that try to attract a rich clientele to working-class areas.

Starting in 2010, there have been a steady stream of attacks against surveillance camerasBy destroying the cameras, anarchists challenge the logic of surveillance – who does it actually make safer – and also make it easier to attack other targets in the neighbourhood. The early attacks in Montreal used a fire extinguisher filled with paint and a communique that circulated in December 2016 showed a masked up person wearing a string of destroyed cameras as a necklace.

In Saint-Henri in May 2015, the grand opening of a juice bar was interrupted by a masked crowd that threw a smoke bomb into the venue and then attacked the owner with pepper spray when he attempted to intervene. This tactic of mass, open attacks against prominent gentrifiers shows clearly that the rich are vulnerable and the police can’t stop a determined group from attacking them. Still in Saint-Henri, in May 2016, a de-gentrification action collectively pillaged a fancy food store in the area and redistributed the food to local residents. Back in Hochelaga, a march on Halloween 2016 distributed candy to people in the neighbourhood, while also painting dozens of tags against gentrification and the police, who, when they arrived, were driven back with rocks. Mass resistance breaks the spell of peaceful acceptance of development and gentrification, and helps us shake off the fatalism and despair that they inflict on us.

There have been some attempts at similar actions in Hamilton: last June, a group of about thirty people confronted a tour of real estate investors called Try Hamilton. Using chants and a barrage of gross stuff, they showed that there will always be resistance to those who try to get rich by pushing people from their homes. Their commitment to self-defense against the police meant that, like in the Montreal actions above, no one was arrested.

There have also been a large number of clandestine attacks against high-end and pro-gentrification businesses in Saint-Henri and Hochelaga. These actions have featured many broken windows and much graffiti, with a preferred tactic being the use of paint-filled fire extinguishers. In November 2016, a communique circulated calling to go beyond attacking the exterior of these shops: the windows of three stores in Hochelaga were broken and then a fire extinguisher was used to coat the interior with paint. The communique read, “By destroying these windows and ruining this merchandise with paint, we engage in an act of war. We will not let these boutiques install themselves here peacefully. This facade of peace is nothing more than an attempt to make invisible the war in progress against poor and marginalized people.” A similar action against a clothing store in Saint-Henri in 2015 was claimed as part of Black December, a call by international anarchist prisoners to attack symbols of domination that was also answered in Hamilton by graffiti on the Barton Jail.

Throughout, there has also been a consistent effort to publicize anti-gentrification actions and circulate counter-narratives about development. Following a June 2015 attack on a restaurant in Hochelaga that is themed around macho imagery, a poster circulated queering and parodying the restaurant’s logo and explaining why expensive restaurants are not welcome in the area. In December 2016, a poster went up in Saint-Henri about local historical figure Louis Cyr, whose image has been commercialized by an expensive restaurant in the neighbourhood that had been attacked several times in the preceding two years. Parasitic entrepreneurs will try to commodify aspects of local culture and history in advertising campaigns to sell the neighbourhood to outsiders. What does this look like? Think all the discourse about steel or industry by gentrifiers in Hamilton, like the Cotton Factory or Seed Works. These redeveloped industrial spaces brand themselves using elements of local labour and popular culture to attract yuppy offices and events.

This is only a small sample of the actions that have occurred, but they show that with determination, we can find the means to resist. Although it can seem hopeless,, in an interview with Submedia in December 2016, two anarchists who participated in some of the above Montreal actions said: “[Gentrification] can seem inevitable, and maybe it is, but it’s still worth the effort to struggle against it and not just roll over. In the unbearable world we live in, I feel that my life can find a sort of meaning if I fight back.

For more information about actions in Montreal: Montreal Counter-information

SAFTU: The tragedy and (hopefully not) the farce

Credits: eNCA / Xoli Mngambi

By: Mandy Moussouris (ILRIG)

The labour movement has been unable to de-link itself from its archenemy: capital. As its structures bureaucratise, as its leaders become career unionists, as it opens investment companies and pays staff increasingly inequitable salaries, it increasingly mirrors the very thing it is fighting. If the South African Federation of Trade Unions is to meet its promise, it must be fundamentally different from the organisation it was born out of.

“History repeats itself first as tragedy, second as farce” – Karl Marx

The tragedy of the disintegration of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) happened slowly. As tragedies go, COSATU’s has been far less dramatic than most; it has rather been a sad slow and painful unravelling of a once vibrant and powerful organisation over 20 odd years. The unravelling of an organisation that forgot that the whole is made up of the sum of its parts; that continuously made the mistake of allowing personalities to undermine democracy, ambition to undermine equity and bureaucracy to undermine equality and democratic participation.

COSATU’s decay has had a significant impact on the South African working class. The impact has reverberated across the country in a myriad of ways and has been the result, both directly and indirectly, of COSATU’s failure to effectively and democratically represent the working class. This has been the case partly because of its alliance with the ANC and partly because of its (and the trade union movement in general’s) inherently defective organisational structure and patriarchal culture.

From the same ashes comes the rising of a new phoenix – a new hope for the South African working class – the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU). But the labour movement, broadly, has never been good at learning from its mistakes and this time around appears to be no exception. We can no longer make the mistake of thinking that changing the world is as simple as changing the colours of a flag. If we are to learn anything from history, it’s that the flag IS the problem. If we truly want to change our society we have to change everything about it right down to the very structure upon which it is based. Flag poles need to be pulled down. Globally, the labour movement has not been able to de-link its organisational structure from that of its arch-enemy – capital. As a result, after time, as its structures bureaucratise, as its leaders become career unionists/stewards, as it opens investment companies and pays staff increasingly inequitable salaries, it increasingly mirrors the very thing it is fighting.

SAFTU is claiming to be different. It has picked up the banner of socialism and is asking us to follow it into a different, better, more equitable and just future. If we need anything right now, we need it is a new hope. But if SAFTU is to meet its promise it has to be fundamentally different to the organisation it was born out of. Is it our new hope or is it the inevitable farce that follows tragedy? In looking at the founding principles SAFTU has put forward, there are a number of indicators that suggest it is going to repeat the mistakes of the old federation. Whilst the rhetoric harkens back to the great days of the Trade Union Movement the flagpole remains pretty much the same.

“We are building a fundamentally different type of workers’ organization – independent of political parties and employers but not apolitical – democratic, worker-controlled, militant, socialist-orientated, internationalist, pan-Africanist from a Marxist perspective and inspired by the principles of Marxism-Leninism.” – SAFTU

All genuine workers organisations started off independent of political parties but not apolitical. Any union worth their salt has started out being democratic and worker controlled. None of this is new, not in South Africa and not in the rest of the world. More importantly, no such union has managed to effectively challenge, let alone change capitalist society since the early part of the 20th Century and as we sit in the second decade of the 21st Century we find that most gains made by such unions have been successfully pushed back if not lost completely. Whilst SAFTU acknowledges a number of very important reasons why unions have failed, they have not asked the hardest question. Instead of asking what should a union do, the question SAFTU should be asking is: what have we been doing wrong? What is wrong with the nature of unions themselves?

“The new federation can show how different it is from other formations by showing that its principles are not just slogans, but guide our programmes in all that we do.” – SAFTU

Absolutely! This statement in particular sums up a great deal of what has been wrong with unions in the past and lies at the core of the argument this article is making. COSATU and many other unions globally have failed dismally at implementing working class principles, on many levels, in many ways. Let’s start with gender equity, shall we? In an important piece on the emergence of the new federation, Dr Asanda Benya asks: “How different will its gender politics be from Cosatu’s? Will it resemble and reproduce Cosatu’s gender stance, or reject it and take female workers seriously and appreciate the ways in which workplace struggles are gendered? After all, many of the same people who once led the unapologetically macho COSATU are now leading SAFTU.”

This question lies at the very heart of the sentiment of practising what you preach. However, from representation at the launching congress to the same limited rhetoric and even less imaginative policy approach to the inclusion of women in the new federation, there is no indication that the new federation will prioritise women’s issues or their rights. As things stand at present there is no reason at all to believe that the federation is any less “macho” than its predecessor. Rather, there is every reason to believe that the tradition of crying foul and claiming that you have been set up by an enemy cabal when either the president of the country or general secretary is accused of rape and sexual harassment will continue.

What exactly is the new federation going to do to ensure that women do not continue to be used as political tools in a battle of men over power? Will this be yet another federation controlled by working men that blames the victim in order to maintain control of its patriarchal power? If SAFTU is going to truly represent the working class, it has to recognise that work is gendered, that old style unionism is not; that if the union is going to ensure women and their issues are taken seriously this must be a primary focus of all policy. So far there is little evidence of this.

“Financial self-sufficiency and accountability and opposition, in word and deed, to business unionism, corruption, fraud and maladministration within its own ranks and in a capitalist society which is inherently corrupt” – SAFTU

During the 1990s there were huge debates in COSATU and its affiliates around the appropriateness of union investment companies. To the right there were strong arguments for using workers money to support unions and union principles. From the left there was strong resistance to what was seen as endorsing, if not becoming part of, the capitalist system.

Very few unions have effectively used money from these ‘investments’ to the benefit of the working class. SAFTU’s statement regarding the inherent corruption of capitalism sounds great but it is important to note that the call for channeling retirement funds into productive investment is not the same as the new federation using its own or its affiliate’s investment funds to lead productive investment. It is a demand for capital to do so.

What is unclear is what SAFTU’s position on union investment companies is. Is the federation and its affiliates planning on actually taking the money from its investment companies and using it to set up a housing cooperative or building societies like the unions of old? Or will these investment companies’ money continue to be used to buy more and bigger buildings and offices for the unions themselves?

In the launching congress a clause on union official’s salaries was included in SAFTU’s constitution saying that the leadership will not earn more than the average skilled worker. There has already been internal debate about what exactly the wage for an average skilled worker is. This lack of clarity is being used to argue that official salaries should not be set by the constitution and the broader congress, rather it should be an internal policy issue to be decided on by the leadership, including the very leadership that will earn these salaries.

Putting the argument against paying officials at all aside for a moment, the warning signs of impending bureaucratisation and elitism are already going off. Not only within SAFTU but within its affiliates, this question must be asked and must be addressed – if your principles are anti-capitalist and socialist, surely your structures should reflect these principles. All union workers should be paid the same.

By the same token, there is already a call to work towards negotiating for paid shop stewards. This development within the trade union movement has had one of the biggest negative impacts on the unity and solidarity of workers. It has been used by management as a highly effective tool to co-opt union shop stewards and to divide the shop floor. It has played a significant role in one of the main problems SAFTU has identified as one that needs to be corrected: the distance created between the union/officials and workers. A union is not a business and can never be driven by motives of personal or organisational gain; gain must always be for the union members and not an elite few. Unions of the past, unions that have been of and for its members, have done so due to the principled dedication of their ordinary membership and elected representatives without pay.

Overall, in relation to the issues of union finances and financial policies, despite all the noise to the contrary, for SAFTU it’s business as usual.

“We shall convene a bargaining conference to fight the attempts by the Free Market Foundation and employers to liquidate collective and centralized bargaining, and shall mobilize mass action to stop this attempt.” – SAFTU

A key function/business of unions is bargaining better wages and working conditions for its members. The greatest unions have been the ones where mass mobilisation of members around bread and butter issues have succeeded in making significant shifts in this regard. The real shifts, however, tend to be made when the general membership is actively involved through mobilisation, protest and strike.

Whilst centralised collective bargaining makes the bargaining process easier for unions and sets industry minimums, the notion of centralisation is ultimately counter-intuitive to a participatory, worker-led organisation. It is my contention that centralised collective bargaining centralises not only the negotiation process but the participatory, learning process of bargaining and workplace organisation; it also removes the power of workers to raise their voices collectively within a physically defined workplace, build workplace solidarity and share learnings from the process. Many union organisers and shop stewards of the past cut their teeth in shop floor bargaining processes. Centralisation of bargaining centralises power and decision-making and, whilst unintentional, it removes agency from workers on the shop floor.

The new federation needs to re-look its overall strategy in terms of how it takes capital on. It needs to assess where and when the greatest gains are made for the working class. From experience over the last 20 years, this is not at the negotiating table, not in the bargaining councils and not in NEDLAC. Workers and the working class have had to re-learn the lesson apartheid taught us: that real gains are made in the streets, in collective action not compromised negotiation.

“We shall discuss with all unions about how best to deliver quality service – working toward the development of a service charter.”

As with the practice of working within the financial systems of the capitalist class, the appropriation of business terms and capitalist language needs to be strongly guarded against. Language and words play a significant role in the culture of societies and organisations. Using words that reinforce a system and culture that you are fighting, that reinforce an unequal society with unequal roles, reinforce the current system and do not lay a solid foundation for a new society.

Yes “service” in COSATU unions over the past two decades has gone from bad to worse, but it could be argued that unions are not meant to service members. The idea of “service delivery” is in its very nature a neo-liberal word and attempting to fix what cannot be a capitalist endeavour by viewing a workers movement as an exchange of money for service is counter-intuitive. A real democratic worker controlled union is the WORKERS, nothing more nothing less.

Ideologically unions cannot be a business providing a service; they must be an organisation or movement of people that builds and develops a counter-power, counter-culture and a membership or cadre that struggle against the system by collectively negotiating better wages, by enabling and giving agency to its members to challenge and change their own realities. It must be about meeting members’ needs through organisation, education and learning, from participation, practice and direct democracy.

“Within the federation affiliates must have autonomy but not independence, but differences of opinion must be tolerated”.

Rightly, SAFTU identifies democracy as a key problem that needs to be addressed but it does so within the same hierarchical structure as the system it is fighting and the federation it left. Once again doing things differently and implementing the principles it espouses throw up a number of contradictions that SAFTU has not addressed. SAFTU has not identified how the power relations in a neo-colonial, patriarchal, capitalist system are replicated by their own structures. There have been way too many union congresses where “representatives” have dropped their mandates after conversation with “leadership” and voted against democratic decisions taken at the base.

A federation will not liberate the class, nor will its affiliates; only the working class can liberate itself and it will never be able to do that as long as there is an implicit belief in a Great Leader/s; as long as the union is seen as a legal service and as long as power and money are centralised. A truly participatory, democratic trade union would be one where the locals/branches of each affiliate control the membership dues collected, where they would use their dues to do work on the ground and put some aside for provincial and national work; where the workers have direct ownership of the means of trade union production (negotiation, representation, mobilisation) and where the extremely loosely used term, democracy, translates into individual worker agency and empowerment to ensure that the base, the majority, the working class, is where true power lies, and that it uses its power to change the world for the benefit of the many.

by Pampazuka News

London: Benefit Event in Solidarity with Tasos Theofilou – This Friday

“I am an anarchist communist. I love life and freedom​.​

Let’s fight to tear down the prisons which bury inside them thousands of living people.

Let’s fight for the vision of social liberation.

Let’s fight for the liberation of our class from the authority of the capital”

– Tasos Theofilou

Join us this Friday 23rd of June for a benefit event in solidarity with the anarchist communist Tasos Theofilou, who is currently in prison, after being sentenced on the basis of forged and non existent evidence. He was convicted just because he is an anarchist. He was convicted because he didn’t lose his smile even when the court announced his sentence.

Case updates, projections and phone call interventions from Athens.
​For more info about the case here​.

Starting at 19:00 at L.A.R.C. (62 Fieldgate Street E1 1ES London)
Live music will follow…
Bar will run throughout the evening.
Entry on free donation.

Feel free to spread the word!!!

See you all there!

Glastonbury Artists Show Solidarity With #teamGlasto4Tibet

As the Glastonbury Festival launches in England more excellent news from #teamGlasto4TIBET who have announced that this year their activism for Tibet, which they organize at the event annually , is being partnered by three hugely creative and significant artists who are performing at the festival. Critically acclaimed UK band ‘British Sea Power’ have expressed […]

via Glastonbury Artists Show Solidarity With #teamGlasto4Tibet — Tibet, Activism And Information

Olympia, WA: Evergreen Gives a Warm Welcome to Patriot Prayer

On Thursday, June 15th, Patriot Prayer came to evergreen to hold a “free speech” rally in response to protests against white supremacy on campus. For more background information on the situation at Evergreen, go here.

A Few Words About Patriot Prayer

Patriot Prayer is a violent, ultra-nationalist, fanatical protestant group that while not explicitly fascist or white supremacist themselves, have no problem sharing space and a platform with out and out neo-Nazis, alt-righters, and various stripes of white nationalists. Of course, barring all of that, we think just on the basis of their active hostility and calling for violence against anyone perceived as left as well as their ultra-nationalism is enough to warrant a militant anti-fascist response. Nationalism is the natural breeding ground for fascism and white supremacy.

One interesting thing about Patriot Prayer is that many of their members are people of color, and they try to capitalize off this to deflect accusations of racism and supporting white supremacy. We think it’s absolutely crucial to remind people that people of color absolutely can and will internalize and side with white supremacy. From the black neo-nazi cab driver who tried to infiltrate Philly Antifa to fascists like Sheriff David Clarke (and every black cop). This is a phenomenon that exists in all oppressed and colonized peoples and can be seen as far back as slavery with the house saves that sided with their masters and sold out those struggling for freedom.

The Action

Patriot Prayer was expected to be at red square at 5:30 PM, most people started gathering at 4 PM. The contingent of students and faculty of Evergreen held space in the covered area in front of the libraries with signs saying ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Community Love’ which was a slogan of the student protests. The militant anti-fascist bloc mingled in the same area, there was a re-enforced banner that read ‘America Was Never Great’ and another banner which read ‘No Platform for Fascists.’ People were handing out noise makers and snacks as we waited for Patriot Prayer to arrive.

 

Across the way the police were getting in formation. There was around 50 Washington State Patrol officers in full riot gear in between 2 lines of metal barriers. There were at least 20 other fully geared up WSP hanging around the back of the Police Services building, and around 20 Thurston County Sheriffs. A small group of alt-right kids stood off to the side filming the crowd and they were confronted by a small crowd. They were mocked (one of them had a really stupid haircut that was greasy as fuck), silly stringed, and peopled used the re-enforced banners to push them away. The police didn’t seem to care.

It wasn’t till 6:30ish that patriot prayer and their fashy fans arrived waving the usual arrangement of american flags, don’t tread on me flags, and a pepe flag. A confrontation pretty immediately ensued between the two groups. Patriot Prayer and the fash got plenty of silly string and air horns blown in their ears, Joey Gibson got glittered pretty bad, having something thrown at him slicing open his face, and allegedly getting pepper sprayed. Talk shit, get hit, Jojo.

One of their particularly violent members, Tiny, who likes to rant online about how much he wants and loves to attack people, took down a comrade for allegedly brandishing a knife. There is video of the whole take down but no knife to be seen, not that we care if someone had a knife or not. After taking this person down they delivered them to the police to be the only arrestee of the day. Far-right collusion with the state, who’da thunk?

After all the commotion the police separated the two groups and the rest of the day was just a shouting match, though we had a loud ass sound system on our side which drowned them out. We spent the rest of the time mocking them, one person in particular was singled out, a biker who some of us knew from a previous action in Vancouver, Washington who cried like a baby when someone touched his bike. We told him about how we were gonna put our grubby hands all over his bike and he looked a little upset. Boo hoo.

After their rally ended with a whimper we later learned that some comrades had snuck off and slashed some of their tires. Much love to the Autonomous Cell of Vehicular Disrepair!

Cops, Pigs, Murderers!

One thing that we think is absolutely crucial to bring up, and this applies to many recent anti-fascist actions all over, is the ignoring of the police in favor of the out and out fascists and white nationalists. There’s something to be said for choosing our battles wisely, no doubt, but we must never lose sight of our bigger goals, or bigger enemies. The truth of the matter is that every confrontation with fascists is also a confrontation with the police, they will protect them every time and we need to prepare accordingly.

More than that, however, is that the police are the pillars of white supremacy. The insurgent far-right could only in it’s wildest dreams exert the same levels of white supremacist violence on us that the police exert every day. To fight fascism, to fight white supremacy, we must fight the police. There is no way around it, only through it. We’d like to bring back the words from the reflections on the Smash the Hammerskins action in Seattle from back in 2015, as we feel the analysis holds up:

Hostility toward the police took a backseat to the Nazi threat. There was a bottle or insult thrown here and there but largely the crowd would not confront them. This was a dilemma. We had assembled this huge force of potentially liberatory violence and yet these enemies were hardly threatened at all. Was this restraint necessary?

Having attention detracted from attacking our enemies at hand, seems like a way that the far-right (sanctioned or not) acts in the interest of reinforcing the status-quo. They redirect revolutionary momentum into defensive activities. By representing the worst possible outcome of what a destabilization of the present order could result in (fascism), they terrify potential insurgents into resigned acceptance of the comparative security of the democratic state.

We should aim to be militantly anti-fascist while not allowing that to imply that we are pro-democracy. Anti-fascism is the lowest common denominator that brought us together that night but we should work to show that the racist authoritarianism Nazis represent is not only a fascist phenomenon but also a pillar of our capitalist democracy.

Final Thoughts

We think going the route of mockery was a good call for this action, many of us were skeptical at first but it was fun as fuck and they definitely didn’t enjoy it. As it turned out, this was also a lot of people’s first action like this, there were a lot of beautiful, new faces (that we couldn’t see because they were masked up) and we think that is fantastic! We welcome you all with open arms and hope to see you in the streets again!

There were many times we noticed area where the police thinned out and our crowed could have easily broken their line. When we approached people with this idea many were hesitant and it didn’t end up happening. That’s understandable, but if we are going to fight the fascists, we must also fight the police. Especially now when the insurgent far-Right is making such a strong push for the west coast and we are frankly behind. Just in Olympia the far-Right has been able to hold space in ways they weren’t able to before. It’s time we get our game face on and prepare for the coming battles.

And remember, anti-fascism is useless when not approached as part of a greater revolutionary project.

LONG LIVE ANARCHY

DEATH TO THE FASCIST INSECT

-Black Autonomy Action Faction (///)