A report from recent rebellious acts in Austin Texas
The heart of every colonized person burns with a single need: liberation. This reality contains a secondary but equally intense aspect—revenge. As we watch the barrios overrun with economically stable, white creative-types and out-of-touch businesses, art galleries, and high end eateries, we feel the coldness inside of our neighborhoods, the degradation of culture as it is stolen and then marketed by-and-for the inheritors of colonialism. The people become disoriented, momentarily stifled, and recessed. This is only one small part of a larger struggle and just under the surface a rebellion germinates and as the people feel it, we wake up. The role of the communist in these struggles is first to support and then to guide the masses. Our position must lack compromise with the enemy if we are ever going to embody the ambitions of the people. On two sides of our stolen city this weekend we saw acts of rebellion play out in brutal sequence.
Months back the right-wing fascists and their support base mobilized to protect a racist cat café owner from the anger of the community and revolutionary organizations. They threatened organizers and spread slander and racism, evoking the terrors of Nazi Germany. This is not an exaggeration or a turn of phrase—literally they promised pogroms for Mexican American and Chicano people. Emboldened by Trump, those who have exchanged their Klan robes for dockers shorts and pastel polos have maliciously pursued antifascists and local activists. The brave comrades of Defend Our Hoodz do not give into such threats and do not scare easy. For them as well as for us, the realty of the fascist threat sits over us daily. This is nothing new, especially for the colonized people who have suffered since the day this prison house was founded on their land and who have lived under a nascent terrorist dictatorship since the first white man landed on these shores. The pain and anger of the people are the complementary opposites of the joy of rebellion and the songs of the people unleashed from speakers in the trunk of lowered cars.
On Saturday (2-11-17) afternoon the people of East Austin gathered for an unpermitted march against gentrification to mark the two-year anniversary of the racist demolition of the Jumpolin piñata shop—a community treasure which was torn down in the early morning to make way for a cat café. This march was high energy and many people came together—the vast majority dawned red face masks to show their commitment to a future where social well-being becomes the measure and purpose of human production. The leaders inspired the crowd with honest slogans that did not mince words or beg those in power. As the march went through community streets it took on a celebratory air, people joined in from their houses or showed support through opened doors. On the other hand, when the march proceeded past the condos and avant-garde housing of the hipsters and yuppies, celebration had room for confrontation and indignation. When we speak of gentrification we speak of violence, removal, and eradication, so we must never let this injustice lose its face. That face is the grinning, dumbfounded, and usually white gawkers who in their privilege feel safe mocking the people. Their vacant grins break into fear as the people begin in small ways show these scum their true power.
The march continued past housing projects where the most militant masses showed support or joined in the activity to stop briefly at Martin Middle School, a local school which is underfunded and under direct threat of demolition. The confrontation-celebration escalated to the front doors of Blue Cat Café, where Neo-Nazi financed owner Rebecca Gray collaborates with Christopher Kinlaw (Austin’s most wanted arson fugitive in 2015!) and racist developers F&F Ventures. Reactionary camera men from Infowars were already stationed at Blue Cat hoping to doxx activists and organizers. These soulless creatures writhed in anger when comrades called to attention the farcical claim that there is anything supreme at all about their whiteness, that their “master race” amounts to a whole lot of garbage. The Cat Café was not protected by these white knights or their pig friends, from wall to wall the peoples voices rang out, trash cans were overturned, and the décor was converted to match the reality of the establishment—filth, trash, and loss. Blue Cat got off easy though and we are committed to the kind of future where it and every establishment like it is eradicated and replaced with venues that actually serve the people.
The march continued up the street when the pigs began to itch for some state-sanctioned violence. They attempted to pick people out of the crowd like vultures in waiting. The crowd was alerted to this activity and quickly consolidated. Frustrated by this act of solidarity, the pigs rode mountain bikes full speed into the crowd of demonstrators, hitting anyone in their path (including those with disabilities). This is the behavior not of a human being but a shameless pig. We know full well from past confrontations that these same pigs will hit you maliciously and then charge you with assault if they so much as stub a toe. The pigs used the bicycles to split the crowd at the same moment they rushed in on foot, swinging batons and spraying pepper spray into the crowd. This whole maneuver was an effort to isolate a black woman organizer who is cherished by the movement. The people themselves, with the support of revolutionaries, began to fight back and found themselves in direct and physical contradiction with the pigs. During this assault the pigs shot pepper pellets into the faces of unarmed pre-teen youth. They responded with brave confrontations, fought back, and escaped the clutches of the pig. These young men are our heroes and they will be the inheritors of the revolution. Our medics responded immediately and treated half a dozen or more people, offering relief from the wounds inflicted by the police. The revolutionaries and the people fought but were unable to save our comrade from the clutches of the pigs.
There are those in our movement who take a centrist or rightist position and become opportunists in their attempt to stride the line between radical and liberal methods of organization. It was one such centrists who attempted, at this moment, to split the march and abandon the confrontation with the pigs, continuing on business as she regurgitated pig lies to the crowd which only further criminalized our comrade. To criminalize a black woman comrade who has been targeted by the pigs is nothing short of racism that encourages state violence and repression to snuff out black leaders. This will not be tolerated. The revolutionaries and students wasted no time rushing to block the street from the pig paddy wagon which contained our comrade. They faced off the pigs with sticks and attempted to block the vehicle from passing through; this would have been successful had it not been for the splitting efforts of the centrist organizer. The numbers were too small to prevent the paddy wagon from leaving, but to asses our successes and failures we must keep in mind that anything which strengthens the fighting spirit of the people is in one aspect a success. There was fear in the eyes of police as our fighters squared up with theirs and comrades pounded furiously on the side of the vehicle. Our comrade inside could hear our cries and know that she is not alone.
As the fragmented march consolidated again to proceed, the pigs tried to target another comrade who was immediately surrounded by the people forming a human wall which the cops could not break through. The centrist cried out to allow this comrade to fall into the clutches of the pigs but rebels have no faith in liberalism and refused the order. No more arrests were made and the pig’s efforts were thwarted. All things are about power and the pigs will exercise every bit of their power to protect gentrification and white supremacy unless they are forced back by the power of the people. This holds true on both the large scale and the small scale, whether we are protecting a targeted comrade or taking state power, it is the masses and not the pigs that will make history. The APD took off their liberal, tolerant mask and showed the fangs of old-fashioned southern white racism that day.
As the sun fell on the East Side and the confrontation-celebration mobilized at the jail to support our kidnapped comrade, the masses of North Austin in the East Rundberg neighborhood erupted in a second night of militant demonstrations, with Maoists and members of revolutionary mass organizations among them. The liberal and legal-left is always in the dust of the masses; while careerist sellouts like One Resistance hide behind the idea that rebellion places the undocumented at risk, it is the undocumented masses themselves who are the most willing to fight back. The first night of demonstrations was sparked by a small number of protesters assembled at the intersection of Rundberg and Lamar, and from there it snowballed organically into one of the larger and more militant actions the city has seen in many years. This was all in response to a couple being targeted by ICE and APD in a very public location earlier in the day the day before. The protests continued into the second night. Unlike the travesty that One Resistance fluffs up and calls protest, the masses wasted no time in illegally shutting down streets and making noise, people took to the roofs of cars and blasted music from speakers. The police eventually moved in to drive the crowd onto a sidewalk which was far too small to contain them. The pigs then drove cars straight for the crowd of people to force them back, confronting them with riot cops armed with shotguns. Against the pig’s cars, a line of people’s cars took to the front and blocked off the police. Water bottles and flaming trash were lobbed at the riot police and the people refused to back down or budge another inch. This goes to show that with repression comes resistance and that there is not greater force than the masses. Our small organizations are targeted and beaten while liberals use false concern to manipulate and distort the situation and the people themselves confront, confront, and confront.
At the writing of this report our comrade remains in the dungeons of the pig state [UPDATE: she has been released now, but is still facing charges] and she is in urgent need of support. The arrest was made specifically to target her on trumped up charges in order to isolate her from the movement. During this isolation she received a visit from FBI agents who attempted to question her without her attorney being present. The pigs on the local and federal level should know well by now that true revolutionaries don’t talk to pigs and we never will. This whole arrest was most likely a ploy to be able to conduct this vile method of questioning. At the same time comrades in Serve The People-Austin were harassed by a uniformed pig during their weekly free grocery and food distribution. We ask for your support for the Austin revolutionary left now more than ever, we need the enemy to know that when they attempt to snuff out one prairie fire others will rise up in other cities. We also are in dire needs of material support in the form of donations so that we can continue providing legal defense and on the ground support for the peoples’ struggles and our captured comrades. The state and local police will continue to target organizers, revolutionaries, and servants of the people in order to isolate them and prevent them from their work. This must not go down without a struggle and we intend to struggle to the best of our ability, with the masses we are invincible and will only grow and we are stronger with your support behind us. The days of this system are numbered and communists must fulfill their goal of building the revolutionary party, the people’s army, and the united front.
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-Red Guards Austin February 13th 2017