On December 9 in Austin, Texas, right-wing white nationalists and other fascists used the verdict in the Kate Steinle case as a call to “ban sanctuary cities,” latching on to a murder case only to whip up anti-immigrant and xenophobic hysteria in a Hitlerite fashion. They managed to gather 12 to 15 decrepit reactionaries, one self-hating black man, an InfoWars hack, and a dog. They came prepared for a fight, not a “vigil.” The very notion that this was a vigil was a thin lie that anyone could see through—sticks, shields, megaphones, and Confederate flags are not common items at a vigil.
Antifascists in Austin, however, drastically outnumbered the fascists and their supporters. Whenever this is the case, due to fear of the reactionaries getting hurt, the police come out in full force. There were as many or more police than there were antifascists, all to protect a small handful of belligerent racists. The reactionaries were seen trembling with fear in Wooldridge Park for about an hour and a half before they attempted their “march,” a “march” that was stopped every 50 feet and blockaded by Austin’s committed antifascist fighters. The police used bicycles, sticks, and tasers to form a protective pig wall around the scared fascist scum. The city of Austin felt it necessary to spend thousands of dollars to protect the hate speech of a few hardcore racists: this is your tax money at work. In spite of the heavy presence of pigs scrambling to protect the fascists, they could not prevent stiff resistance and ensure the march continued without confrontation. Fascists were pepper-sprayed, and any attempt at attack on or intimidation of the people of our city was met with a swift response. The very fascists who claim to have been only peace-loving vigil-goers were heard (and recorded) yelling, “Charlottesville 2,” celebrating the death of Heather Heyer and encouraging white-supremacist terror attacks like those committed by James Alex Fields.
The threat of white-supremacist terror was almost made good as the police were forced to arrest one of the fascists for drawing a handgun on counter-demonstrators, Robert Patrick Hewitt, 29, one of the men who was heard chanting “Charlottesville 2,” which in the context should be understood as a death threat. Our partisans were ready and focused on the handful of fascists. As the police instigated a small riot, the nearest pig had no choice but to cuff Hewitt and remove him from the crowd. Some news reports claim Hewitt pointed his handgun at the police, but the truth is that the police simply crossed his line of fire, and Hewitt was taking aim at a protester who had fallen to the ground. Since the riot was in fact a police riot, we hold them accountable for anything that might happen should fascists continue escalation. In the state of Texas, drawing on a gun on someone or on a crowd of people is legal grounds to use lethal force in self-defense; this is a reality that partisans remain ready to face.
We have zero doubts that had Hewitt been one of the antifascists that the police themselves would have used lethal force, as the Austin Police Department is known for gunning down unarmed black people. If you wonder how a fascist can get off with $40,000 bail and taken in without incident while black Austin residents Byron Carter, Larry Jackson Jr., and David Joseph were all murdered by the same police department despite the fact that they had no guns and committed no crimes, look no further than the same white supremacy that has fascists coming to Austin to oppose sanctuary cities.
The police will only protect and serve white supremacy. It is up to all of us to get involved any way we can in opposition to them and what they represent.
Humiliating and stopping fascists from marching in our city never comes without a price. After the police started a riot by assaulting counter-protesters, the pigs reportedly received injuries and charged 4 people at random with assault and interference. Two of the four comrades now in the clutches of the pig system are facing trumped-up first-degree felony charges. We will help fight these charges, and we will win, but we need your help. The first line of defense against fascists is people taking the streets, resisting them, and using self-defense. The second line of defense is in the courts, and for that we need lawyers and donations. The state consistently protects white supremacists that are unstable and dangerous, like James Alex Fields and Robert Patrick Hewitt, while it simultaneously trumps up charges against antifascists. Unlike the right-wing with its deep pockets and support from the bourgeoisie, the antifascist movement only has working-class folks to support it. Please dig deep, support our antifascist troops, and share the link to the online fundraiser or organize a fundraiser locally.
Link to online fundraiser here: Defend comrades fighting anti-immigrant fascism
Free our comrades now!
-Red Guards Austin, December 2017