Statement Re: John Venezia Park

It’s come to our attention that a bunch of blatantly leftist graffiti has shown up in John Venezia Park in Briargate, featuring Hammer and Sickle iconography, the Anarchist circle A, and slogans like “Left Solida” and “Antifa.” As far as we have been able to determine, no one affiliated with our group was responsible for […]

via Statement Re: John Venezia Park — Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists

What’s Up With That Wild Yard on Shelburne Road?

The yard at 431 Shelburne Road - JORDAN ADAMS

By 

Most of Burlington’s residential lawns are well kept. On any given weekend afternoon, the city’s neighborhoods are abuzz with the sounds of gas-powered mowers and weed whackers, even the signature rattle of the odd push reel. But, while most homeowners are busy keeping their grass at bay, one prominently located home in Burlington’s South End district exhibits the opposite.

Perhaps you’ve seen it — the magenta Craftsman at 431 Shelburne Road, just north of Lyman Avenue on the west side of the street. While the house itself is vividly painted and finely detailed, what lies before it is, well, kind of a mess. A mix of grass, wildflowers and weeds grows upwards of five feet tall. And it’s not just the front yard. The building’s green belt — the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street — and the sides of the property are completely overgrown, as well.

Yet some of the flora seem deliberately planted — specifically, pink daisies, cornflower and echinacea. Furthermore, the presence of two large metal sculptures hints at a deliberately subversive bent. WTF?

For Linus Owens, the homeowner, the rationale isn’t terribly complicated.

“I hate mowing grass,” he tells Seven Days while sitting in his living room. Owens cites his disinterest in investing the time and energy it takes to maintain a yard and makes passing, disdainful mention of “the politics of manicured lawns” and “hegemonic aesthetics.” These complaints are understandable, given his line of work.

Owens, 47, is a professor of sociology at Middlebury College who formerly taught at Wesleyan University. He’s offered courses titled “The City and Its People” and “Social Movements and Collective Action.” He’s also an active participant in the North American Anarchist Studies Network. It seems he’s familiar with the concept of disrupting the status quo.

Owens purchased the house in 2007 and decided to let nature take its course out front. It wasn’t long before Burlington’s housing code enforcement officers came a-knockin’.

“They said they were going to fine us every two weeks until we dealt with the yard,” says Jessica Evans, Owens’ housemate. Evans, 37, is also a college professor — she teaches classics at the University of Vermont.

“[The city officials] said, ‘It just has to look nice,'” she says. “I said, ‘What does that mean?’ And they said, ‘Mowed.’ I said, ‘How high?’ And they said, ‘It just has to look like the house is lived in.'”

That’s when Owens and Evans decided to scatter some wildflower seeds in the towering grass.

But to which section of Burlington’s code of ordinances were the officials allegedly referring? Patti Wehman, a code enforcement case manager for the City of Burlington, is unsure.

“There’s no requirement that a house appear lived in,” says Wehman over the phone. But she and director of code enforcement Bill Ward do point out a few relevant sections of the code.

Chapter 18, article III, section 106, subsection B states, “Every owner or his agent of a dwelling unit or units shall maintain the shared or public areas of the dwelling unit or units or yard in a clean and sanitary condition.”

“It has a lot to do with the specific circumstance,” Ward tells Seven Days over the phone. “Windblown things — [such as] recycling or trash — tend to get stuck in [tall grass]. It’s acting as a net.”

There’s nothing in Owens’ yard except vegetation and his metallic abstract sculptures, which he purchased a few years ago from sculptor Gerald Stoner at the South End Art Hop. So it probably doesn’t qualify as unsanitary.

Appendix 3-212 of the city charter states, “The city council shall have the power and authority to declare weeds, underbrush or any unsightly or detrimental growth on any lot of land adjacent to any park or street in said city a nuisance.”

“Generally, [the overgrowth] has to have an impact on the public,” Ward explains. “And where it has the most impact on the public is where it blocks the sidewalk or if it impedes the view of a person coming in or out of a side road.”

An unusual detail about the block in question is that none of the houses between Lyman and Ferguson avenues have driveways that open onto Shelburne Road — so impeding drivers’ view is not an issue in Owens’ front yard.

An abundance of common chicory and other weeds do slightly encroach onto the sidewalk. We ask Owens whether that growth may need to be beaten back, especially in light of the risk of Lyme disease this year.

“She was concerned about it,” says Owens, pointing at Evans. “[But] we don’t cut through [the yard]. I guess ticks may jump on you as you walk on the sidewalk, but I don’t think that’s how ticks operate.”

That’s true. The little bloodsuckers don’t jump. But they do live on low-lying plants and cling to things that brush against them.

Concerned about a neighbor’s yard? Ward notes that SeeClickFix.com is a useful tool for alerting city officials to nonemergency concerns.

As for Owens and Evans, they say they’ve gotten only positive feedback from neighbors and passersby. “It seems like the negative stuff is directed toward the city,” says Owens.

For now, he’s set on keeping his yard an “urban meadow.” “I think it looks better,” says Owens. “It makes me happy.”

Edited for mb3-org.com

What You Need to Know About the Nazi Rally in Charlottesville, VA

By

It’s Going Down

On August 12th in Charlottesville, VA, hundreds of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, Alt-Right trolls, and KKK members will reconverge at Emancipation Park in order to hold a protest to “Unite the Right” and in support of a statue of Confederate general, Robert E Lee, which is slated to be removed. While the protest is advertised as a broad mobilization across the right-wing and advertised as a “free speech” rally, the only groups organizing for the event and the only people speaking at it are all connected to the racist Alt-Right and various neo-Nazi and neo-Confederate groups.

Jeff Schoep of the National Socialist Movement (NSM), one of the largest neo-Nazi groups in the US promotes the Unite the Right protest. “88” in the website URL stands for the 8th letter in the alphabet, and short for “Heil Hitler.”

These groups do not hide their politics, but they do cloak it in irony and memes while openly using racial slursclaiming that Jews control the worldcalling for genocide and ethnic cleansing, and promoting and endorsing violence. The rally will mark the third white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville in the past four months; as Richard Spencer led a series of rallies in May and the Ku-Klux-Klan gathered in July, all around the same statue.

As the Unite the Right protest draws closer, Alt-Right trolls and neo-Nazis have increased their calls from the safe space of the internet, for violence and openly are talking about bringing weapons and concealed firearms. Moreover, on various Alt-Right and neo-Nazi websites which are promoting Unite the Right, attendees have even made a “hit list” of local political leaders and police, referring to them as “n*ggers” and “Jews,” while in the media the Alt-Right has worked hard to portray itselves as nonviolent and ‘not racist.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. 

Neo-Nazi podcast with Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler describes counter-demonstration as a “chimp out,” a racist reference to black people.

Despite their giddy excitement about using violence, the Unite the Right protest is being promoted from a place of victimization. Regardless of the fact that members of the Alt-Right have carried out numerous murders, arson attacks, and racist acts of intimidation – they claim that they are the real victims. 

Their Facebook event page even hilariously reads:

[T]he City of Charlottesville and roving mobs of Antifa have cracked down on the First Amendment rights of conservatives and right wing activists…This is an event which seeks to unify the right-wing against a totalitarian Communist crackdown, to speak out against displacement level immigration policies in the United States and Europe.

If anyone has their head so far up Alex Jones’ ass that they need a reality check, the truth is that the State has not cracked down on conservatives or the Right. In Charlottesville, despite massive outcry from the local population, the City Council and police have kept the permit for the neo-Nazi rally in place, bowing to pressure from Alt-Right lawyers. While the Alt-Right might like to think there is a “totalitarian Communist crackdown,” in reality the State has targeted poor communities of color, immigrants, refugees, and protesters while giving the far-Right free reign.

Even several of the leaders who are speaking at Unite the Right will attest to this reality. In a recent podcast on Fash the Nation, Richard Spencer and Mike Peinovich, two prominent neo-Nazi organizers who are speaking at the protest, discussed how both the Trump administration and Steve Bannon in particular are holding back both police and the FBI from harassing them, giving them the “space to destroy.”

From Salon.com:

“He’s going to give us space to operate, and frankly, it is space to destroy,” Peinovich continued.

“Now is the time that we have to make hay while the sun shines . . . while these investigations of ‘domestic terrorist groups’ are not being funded by the government, they’re not being pushed by the Department of Homeland Security” argued one of the co-hosts of the program, an anonymous former Republican political staffer who calls himself Jazzhands McFeels.

“We’d probably be facing fucking [racketeering] charges or some shit like that,” Peinovich said, discussing what he believed might have happened if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 presidential election.

“We have to use these four years to grow into something that can’t be defeated by that kind of thing,” Peinovich said, referring to possible future investigations of neo-fascist groups.

“They kind of expect us to be doing this. I’m not saying he’s our guy, but they want — at least Bannon, I would think — wants us to be able to operate in that space. So we should and we are,” [Jazzhands] said.

Alt-Right and neo-Nazi groups feel emboldened, empowered, and protected by police and the Trump administration – not attacked by it. With this in mind, they are attempting to play on fears of ‘antifa’ and Black Lives Matter promoted by Trump aligned media outlets like Breitbart and Fox News, in order to turn out rank and file people on the Right.

There’s just one problem: the Alt-Right has been picking fights and laughing at militia members and groups like the Oath Keepers over “muh freeze peach” and fighting with the various Alt-Lite organizations and leaders for months. Because of this, it seems many of them won’t be showing up for Unite the Right, and instead are leaving the door open for the most hardcore neo-Nazi elements of the Alt-Right to come in and fly their colors.

KKK member and III%er arguing about Unite the Right, while KKK member attacks militia member’s mixed racial child. So much for uniting the Right!

At a time when openly racist and fascist groups feel the most emboldened and protected by the government, the President, and the police – it’s important that we as everyday working and poor people arm ourselves with knowledge of what is really going on, so we can better organize ourselves and our communities in defense against these groups who are bent on using violence and intimidation to further their politics, either from behind a keyboard or carrying an assault rifle.

At the end of the day, what the Alt-Right wants most of all is to unite the various white supremacist and Neo-Nazi factions together, under a strong leadership. They are also hoping to bring in and indoctrinate a variety of Alt-Lite individuals and groups, such as the Proud Boys and people like Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman, and ultimately make them move from “civic nationalism” to “white nationalism.”

Lastly, the Alt-Right hopes to distance itself from its image of being a ‘rent a troll’ army that helped get Trump elected and lined the pockets of hucksters from Milo Yiannopoulos to Steve Bannon. But moreover, as stated in online forms and in social media, the Alt-Right hopes to “demoralize” community members who come out to demonstrate against them by crushing anyone that stands in their way.

But despite everything that the police, local city government, and the white supremacists would throw at us, thousands of people are coming to Charlottesville and will mobilize and converge to defend their city and region against the growing neo-Nazi threat of the Alt-Right. Across a broad range of organizations, movements, lines of race and gender, beliefs of faith, and communities, people are holding meetings, teach-ins, and talking with their neighbors about the need to drive out the white supremacists.

Here’s what you need to know. 

The Protest is Being Spearheaded by Jason Kessler, Who was Fired from Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller for Being a White Supremacist

Jason Kessler is the principal organizer of the Unite the Right protest, and is a long time organizer in Charlottesville around Alt-Right and white supremacist causes. Throughout his career, Kessler has campaigned long and hard to keep the Charlottesville statue of Robert E. Lee from being taken down and done everything to further his cause from petition drives, rallies, getting arrested for fighting, and now: working with neo-Nazis.

Over the past few months, Kessler’s descent into full blown neo-Nazism and white supremacist politics has only intensified, leading some of his former associates to distance themselves from Kessler, claiming that they want nothing to do with him or the Unite the Right protest.

Kessler speaks to media at a press conference with protection from the 1% biker gang ‘The Warlocks’ behind him for intimidation. The Warlocks have a long and violent history of crime, but they’re some of the only allies that Kessler can buy.

Moreover, locally Kessler has attempted to align himself with a violent biker gang for protection. At a recent press conference about the Unite the Right rally, Kessler was flanked by the outlaw 1% biker club the Warlocks for protection. A quick look at the history of the Warlocksreveals a group connected to violent crime, carrying out many of the same acts that Kessler states people of color are genetically predestined to commit:

In 1991, 12 members of the Warlocks MC — including former national president John “Spike” Ingrao — were indicted by a federal grand jury in Orlando, FL on drug, explosives, and weapons violations. That November Ingrao was sentenced to 9 years in federal prison for attempting to sell 525 lbs of marijuana, transferring 21 machine guns, and selling 84 homemade bombs to undercover ATF agents.

Ingrao had also told ATF agents about the Warlocks MC “wrecking crew,”an elite group of members whose job was, as he put it, “taking care of business.” In the words of one federal agent, this meant killing rival gang members by “using explosives and also using Colombian hit men.”

In 2011 Warlocks member James Madison Bedsole was sentenced to life in prison for the 2009 murder of a man who accidentally knocked over a motorcycle outside of a central Florida bar. And in 2014, a Warlock named Victor Amaro was found guilty on two counts of second degree murder in connection with a deadly shootout at a Winter Springs VFW.

Kessler’s links with the Alt-Right and neo-Nazis have also caused him to be fired from his position at the The Daily Caller (run by none other than Tucker Carlson), after he wrote an article about a white nationalist rally headed by Richard Spencer which he attended and spoke atearlier this summer.

Kessler has also been a regular contributor to a wide variety of white supremacist websites, shares a wide variety of neo-Nazi articles and memes, appears on various white supremacist podcasts, and has also been a regular poster on online forums favorited by the Alt-Right.

But while Kessler may be the public face of Unite the Right, those that he is bringing to town are much, much more frightening.

Despite Claiming to Bring Together Different Sections of the Right, Most of the Groups Organizing the Protest Are Part of White Supremacist and Neo-Nazi Groups

The original idea behind the Unite the Right protest was that it would bridge the gap between Trump supporters, ‘Alt-Lite’ groups such as the Proud Boys, and the hardcore white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the Alt-Right. This would essentially take the hodge podge of people who have been attending the various “Free Speech” and pro-Trump rallies across the US since March, and bring them out to a demonstration under Alt-Right leadership. By and large this effort has been a total failure, and instead the protest has sought to draw more and more from outright neo-Nazi elements with long and violent histories in order to bring in more shock troops.

Here’s a look at some of the groups attending:

Identity Evropa: Formed by ex-Marine Nathan Damigo who after attacking a cab driver, became ‘racialized’ in prison from reading the works of KKK leader David Duke. Once out, Damigo transitioned the neo-Nazi group the Nationalist Youth Front (NYF) into Identity Evropa in order to appeal to a more upper-middle class and college educated demographic, largely borrowing from ‘white identity’ groups in Europe that took the language of identity politics and used it as a way to obscure neo-Nazi ideology.

Identity Evropa member giving Nazi salute at protest in Minneapolis, 2016.

Since Identity Evropa began in 2016, the group has been linked to racist harassment and threats of violence against a college dean with biracial children, numerous violent clashes at protests, and white supremacist vandalism across the US.

In May of 2017, a neo-Nazi associated with Identity Evropa was outed as a known pedophile. IE members have also been documented giving Nazi salutes at demonstrations and using white supremacist symbols. Damigo has referred to IE as the “SS” of the Alt-Right and claims that they have 450 members operating across the US, primarily based out of colleges. IE’s goal is to transition their members into leaders in positions of authority in order to further their white supremacist goals.

From the Facebook page of the band, Negro Terror

In recent months in Florida, Identity Evropa members have disrupted several liberal events and racial justice trainings, and according to the African-American punk band, Negro Terror, in late July IE leader Nathan Damigo threatened to violently turn one of their shows into a “boot party.”

Vanguard America: After accusations of snitching and pedophila destroyed the group American Vanguard, which itself was a split from the “IronMarch” neo-Nazi web forum, Vanguard America (VA) was born. VA is much like Identity Evropa in that it tailors to a younger and internet based Alt-Right audience and spends much of it’s time putting up posters and stickers. However unlike IE, much of VA’s aesthetics borrow more from classical neo-Nazism and make more open reference to it. For instance, it’s website “Blood and Soil” is borrowed from the slogan of the Nazi Party, and their logo shows an eagle carrying the fasces, a weapon most associated with fascism.

Anews podcast – episode 22

https://podcast.anarchistnews.org/index.php/2017/07/30/anews-podcast-epi…

Welcome to the anews podcast. This is episode 22 for July 28. This podcast covers anarchist activity, ideas, and conversations from the previous week.

Editorial: On Heroes
TOTW – Sign of the Times
A101 question: Marx and Marxism

This podcast is the effort of many people. This week this podcast was
* sound edited by Linn O’Mable
* written by jackie and a thecollective member
* narrated by chisel and a friend
* Thanks to A! and ariel for their help with the topic of the week
* Contact us at podcast@anarchistnews.org
To learn more

Introduction to anarchism: http://anarchy101.org
Books and other anarchist material: http://littleblackcart.com

Edited for mb3-org.com

Report Back – Co Springs Trans Rights Rally

We had been wondering what the local Nazi’s had been up to ever since their main man William Planer had been arrested on violent felony charges a couple weeks ago. As it turns out, they’ve been up to their same old shit. For two groups that claim no affiliation with each other, The Proud Boys and […]

via Report Back – Co Springs Trans Rights Rally — Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists

Illustrated Guide Version 12.5 Uploaded!

We’ve finished the latest version of the NYC ABC “Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War” and it’s available for viewing (and download) by clicking on the tab at the top of this page. This update includes updated mini-bios, photos, and address changes for several prisoners, as well as the removal of Krow […]

via Illustrated Guide Version 12.5 Uploaded! — NYC Anarchist Black Cross