Vandals strike Christopher Columbus statues across NJ

from Mainstream Media
CAMDEN – Two Christopher Columbus statues  in Camden County were among several targeted in a statewide vandalism spree, officials say.
Vandals daubed paint on monuments to the Italian explorer in Cooper River Park, Pennsauken, and Farnham Park in Camden, said Dan Keashen, spokesman for the Camden County Police Department.
“My understanding is that this was a statewide event,” he said.
The vandalism was discovered Monday, and crews cleaned the Camden County statues Tuesday morning.
Statues also were struck in Atlantic and Bergen counties, said Dominick Burzichelli, president of New Jersey Order Sons of Italy in America.In Bergen County, red paint was smeared on a pair of Christopher Columbus statues in two parks in the city of Garfield on Sunday, authorities said.
from Mainstream Media

A Christopher Columbus statue in Trenton’s Chambersburg neighborhood has become at least the fourth of the explorer’s likeness to be vandalized in New Jersey this week.

Lawmakers, officials and residents discussed the colonizer’s place in American history on Columbus Day in October.

Many lumped Columbus and his statues in with other historical figures that were being defaced across the country because of their ties to slavery and marginalization of certain racial groups.

A letter left at the statue in Trenton’s Columbus Park titled “F–k your new world” explains that the writers feel communities can be hurt by “progress that is quickly swallowing neighborhoods across the country.”

The note also says the group will be acting on Columbus statues throughout the state. It was signed, “Lovingly, NJ Anti-Facists.”

A statue in Dahnert’s Lake County Park in Garfield and two in Camden County were also splattered with red paint at some point in the last four days.

Atlantic City Skinheads Associate Arrested On the Same Day ACS Gets Smashed in Philly!

from Philly Antifa

Thomas J. Turner, ACS associate arrested with LOTS of guns and drugs.

 

Our friends over at Idavox, the One People’s Project News Service, broke this story today:

Next on the White Power Chopping Block: Thomas “Q-Ball” Turner

The Atlantic City “Skinheads” associate was busted just mulling about the neighborhood in New Jersey with guns and drugs. Lots of drugs. And the cops found more in his storage space. Much more.

GALLOWAY, TWP., NJ – An associate of the Atlantic City ”Skinheads” (ACS) who was friends with another associate currently in prison for carjacking and killing a Black woman over a decade ago has been arrested on weapons and drug charges after police responded to calls about a suspicious man carrying a firearm.

According to a Dec. 30 statement on the Galloway Police Department Facebook page, when they found Thomas J. Turner, Jr., 42, on East White Horse Pike, he was wearing a black tactical vest and carrying a backpack, along with a .45 caliber Encom MP-45 assault pistol along with a 30-round magazine with 17 bullets. The statement also notes Turner also had 15 grams of methamphetamine, which is considered a quantity consistent with distribution, drug paraphernalia and other suspicious items. Upon obtaining a search warrant for a storage space leased to Turner, police found police located additional drugs, reportedly heroin, as well as a more weapons, ammunition and two additional extended magazines. Turner was charged with Possession of an Assault Firearm, Possession of an Assault Firearm While in the Course of Committing a CDS Offense, Unlawful Possession of an Extended Ammunition Magazine, Possession of Schedule I Drugs and Possession with Intent to Distribute CDS. He is currently being held at the Atlantic County Jail.

Turner, also known as “Q-Ball” is known as a member of the Atlantic City “Skinheads” one of the first neo-Nazi bonehead crews in the state, and at one time the largest and most violent. Court records indicate that Turner was interviewed in regards to the carjacking and murder of a Black woman, Cindy Cade as she went to buy tickets at a May’s Landing, NJ movie theater by Turner’s friend and fellow ACS associate Walter Dille, who is currently serving life for the crime.

No further information regarding Turner’s case is available.


Turns out Dec 30th was a bad day for the Atlantic City Boneheads all around.  That evening, at least 4 Nazi Boneheads, including several ACS members, were confronted by Anti-Racists at a Murphy’s Law show in Philly.

ACS members have (unfortunately) been sporadically spotted at shows in Philly for years.  Sometimes they are confrontational and other times they fly under the radar. Depending on the venue, bands and crowd that night, they will get bounced/confronted or ignored.  One associate of ACS, Martin “Shlak” Schacteer (of Rape-Rock band Call the Paramedics and Eat the Turnbuckle) books shows around town as “Uselessdrunk Productions” and, predictably, welcomes ACS to attend.

Shlak (r) with Vincent De Felice of Atlantic City Skinheads
Shlak with Ryan “Cody” Hoebel of ACS. People don’t forget, Martin.

Every so often, though, ACS will overstep and attend the wrong show.

While we would love to be able to claim some credit for what happened on the night of the 30th, none of us were involved so descriptions of what exactly happened should be taken with a grain of salt but word around town is that several boneheads including Vincent De Felice of Atlantic City Boneheads, KSS founding member Joseph Hoesch, ACS member “Whitey Sick” and at least one other Nazi were given the proper greeting by Anti-Racist punx and real skinheads.  The confrontation escalated to violence. Allegedly 3 of the bones were put in the hospital, one with a broken arm, and “Whitey” was last seen fleeing, leaving his “brothers” behind.

“Whitey ‘Braveheart’ Sick”
Pic from Whitey’s FB. That’s true… it COULD happen to you, Whitey

What we do know to be true, is that several of aforementioned Nazis were talking about attending the show on social media and had RSVP’d on Facebook as going.

One post in particular, which was later deleted from De Felice’s facebook, supports the story we heard.

 

Let’s rock, indeed…

Local Fascists and KSS Affiliates

from Twitter

Person who put up racist fliers around Temple may be known white nationalist Mark Daniel Reardon

from Instagram

There is reason to believe the person who put up racist fliers around Temple campus earlier this week is known white nationalist Mark Daniel Reardon. The images caught on temple cameras of the person responsible for the fliers bear striking resemblances to photos taken of Reardon earlier this fall at a white nationalist demonstration for Leif Erikson day. The bicycle is the same color and has the same rear guard well as the same, handlebars, the person is wearing the same helmet and has the same body type.

The Insurrectionary Campus: A Strategy Proposal

from It’s Going Down

Someone stands on a table and yells, “This is now occupied.” And that’s how it begins.

– Q. Libet, Pre-Occupied: The Logic of Occupation.

Introduction

We know by now that fascists are targeting universities as recruiting sites and as places to make ideologies of racial, gender, and economic domination respectable (see this and this). Both liberals and conservatives are rushing to ensure that universities give fascists protected, well-funded platforms. What is the task of Antifa on college campuses? How can we be effective in combating the “fascist creep?

Antifa’s powerful disruptions of fascist speakers help point the way. But that essential tactic has limits. It is often defensive, which leaves the university waiting for its next fascist cooption. What if the university could be more than a site to be defended? Can the struggle for campuses be not just reactive but transformative – wrenching universities out of the hands of fascists and liberals to make them sites of revolutionary power? We’ve seen glimpses of this possibility in the insurrections at the New School in 2008, at NYU in 2009, and throughout the wave of campus occupations in California in 2009 and 2010 -themselves reminders of the earthquake of student and worker struggle in May 68.

As a member of the Radical Education Department, part of the on-campus Antifa struggle, I offer the following: a strategy proposal for the experimental, insurrectionary seizing of campuses away from fascists and liberals. This insurrectionary approach could not only help create campuses entirely hostile to resurgent fascism; they could also help put powerful tools in the hands of radical left movements as they coordinate, expand, and develop, especially during key moments of social upheaval.

To make this proposal, I first frame it in the context of current American antiauthoritarian organizing.  Then I analyze the crises shaking the university system, which reveal powerful possibilities and resources for radical action in and against that system.  Finally, I chart some potential tactics by which to seize the means of intellectual production.

1. The University Struggle in Context

The horizontal, directly democratic struggles that surged after 2007 achieved important gains like reviving large-scale radical politics and producing a new generation of militant, antiauthoritarian organizers. The collapse of Occupy in the US, 15-M in Spain, and beyond in 2011 and 2012, however, reveals an important limit within the radical left today.

The kind of prefigurative organizing that stood at the heart of Occupy and related uprisings has been a crucial way of coping with the collapse of the revolutionary social movements of the 1960s and 1970s. In the absence of those larger, more powerful, and more coordinated struggles, prefigurative politics played an experimental role. Occupy’s emphasis on consensus, for example, made it possible to tentatively construct mass movements by not forcing any group to commit itself to a particular program, thus bringing together a wide range of groups and interests.

Despite its important role, larger prefigurative struggles are often unstable. Within Occupy’s coalitions, revolution-minded anarchists were constantly hounded by pious liberals wringing their hands in terror over the possibility of a broken window. After the state swept Occupy clear of the squares they were squatting, it was no surprise that the coalitions often scattered.

Movements like Occupy, then, highlight a central question for the antiauthoritarian left.  How are we to create revolutionary, mass, and durable movements capable of eventually overthrowing capitalism and social domination?

In this context, the question of the university becomes: how can campus struggles add to the construction of those kinds of movements? In particular, how can we help lay the infrastructure for mass, federated action during the next wave of revolutionary struggle?

2. Crisis and Possibility in the University

The university is undergoing a series of fundamental crises within which we can spot possibilities for revolutionary struggle. What follows is only a brief sketch of those crises and possibilities.

A. Crisis of “Expert Knowledge”

Because it is the place where society’s experts and managers are trained, the university plays an important role in determining what counts as “real” knowledge – which is why the media often turn to professors to comment on current events. Strangely, the university is rejecting this role. Professors and administrators are not only refusing to judge the fascist ideology of racial and gender inferiority as right or wrong; they are also asserting that fascists have a right to free university endorsement, massive funds for protection and promotion, and highly publicized platforms to spread their ideologies.

But Antifa’s challenge to fascists on campus reveals an important opportunity. The struggle over university platforms suggests that they could increasingly become the conscious target of seizure and control by radicals. Those platforms are ready-made bullhorns by which to cultivate revolutionary theory and culture able to reach far greater numbers than many other outlets. One can imagine, for example, anarchists increasingly and actively (rather than reactively) seizing podiums at high-profile university events – hijacking and subverting media coverage with minimal effort.

B. Crisis of the Disillusioned Student

Traditionally, the university has been seen as a basic tool for social mobility – and so a justification for capital’s brutal inequalities. But the possibility of social climbing now looks increasingly ridiculous in light of ballooning of student debt and an economy geared towards “flexible,” part-time labor.

We have already seen some of the effects of this disillusionment: the underemployed recent graduate is often the engine driving movements like the Global Justice Movement, 15-M, and Occupy.  The question was already asked by Research and Destroy in 2009: what is the point of college, other than disciplining us to manage a failing society?

The university, then, contains a highly disillusioned group – precisely what lures fascists on campus – and yet one that clearly can be radicalized for antiauthoritarian struggle. In this university crisis, the left could accelerate disillusionment and radicalization.

C. Crisis of the Disillusioned Worker

The vast majority of classes are now taught by contingent faculty – teachers without job security who often also lack benefits and receive poverty wages. Drives to unionize contingent faculty have begun, but a more radical possibility can be found here.

The precarious teacher is facing plummeting job prospects; the hope for tenure is now almost completely gone for most. But their precarity organically connects these teachers to the other disillusioned workers at the heart of so many recent uprisings, positioning it to bridge on-campus and off-campus struggles.

The college campus, then, is home to extremely volatile ingredients – disillusioned teachers students, alongside also exploited cooks, servers, and janitors. And those ingredients are combined in a place that also offers the potential for a platform through which to spread radical political organizations and ideas. If these could be properly combined, they could make the campus a thoroughly radical, even explosive, center.

3. Further Possibilities

But a college campus also has particular kinds of resources that, even beyond its volatile elements, make it an important target for radical seizure.

Communication

If a central job for radicals is assembling mass, revolutionary struggles, then one key element will be access to technological hubs for coordination and federation. We saw the importance of these kinds of hubs in N30. The radical overtaking of Seattle in 1999 was coordinated via Independent Media Centers – websites that communicated tactics and ideas. But in Seattle, activists managed those sites through physical IMCs – rooms full of computers and other resources (food, water, shelter) that made coordination and communication much easier and faster and that strengthened the sense of community and solidarity. We saw the importance of these centers in Seattle from the fact that police targeted them to choke off the uprising.

College campuses offer massive, free access to computers and the internet that could be communication hubs for radical struggles on and off campus. One valid ID and password could given an entire movement that access. More than this, some grad students and faculty are given unlimited free printing privileges – and again, only one person with that privilege could print an entire movement’s flyers, posters, zines, and papers for distribution.

But colleges also have libraries – and within them, mountains of information on past movements’ tactics, strategies, and ideas. College libraries are waiting to become part of a radical research center for ideas and histories that could feed directly into movements.

Spatial infrastructure

At the same time, radicals need centralized, reliable spaces for meeting, relaxing, sharing ideas, planning actions, and so on. This often means renting or squatting spaces across an entire city-scape, and those spaces are often available only on a temporary or unpredictable basis.

A college campus has a glut of unoccupied spaces ready to be used: halls, dorm lounges, library rooms or floors, theaters, and so on. On urban campuses, those spaces are not only relatively concentrated within one (often fairly central) part of a city, but also can be available more predictably.

4. Seize the Means: A Tactical Sketch

So what does it mean to seize the university through insurrection – to take hold of these possibilities and resources?

First, seizing the university means building radical, antiauthoritarian campus “cultures.” On the one hand, this entails what RED calls “guerilla education” – radical forms of education outside, beyond, and against the classroom that spread militancy and push a campus’s “common sense” far left.  On the other hand, this means creating, multiplying, and federating radical groups on campus that are intolerant to fascism and willing to act in solidarity with radical struggles on and off campus.  The Filler Collective, the Radical Education Department, anti-racist organizing, the Campus Antifascist Network, and radical struggles in solidarity with Palestine are examples of this work.  The aim is to become a kind of disease, infecting other groups with leftist ideas while recruiting their most radical members.  This is to “solidify” the radical left, as a pamphlet from the 2008 New School occupation puts it, creating zones of radical antiauthoritarianism on campus that spread and connect.

But it is not enough to aim for a radical leftist culture. Those cultures can become simply alternative spaces that leave the college basically untouched. What’s needed, I suggest, is an emphasis on direct, radical action. The Filler Collective, discussing a Pitt occupation, writes:

I sure as hell wasn’t radicalized after hitting up some student group’s meeting. I’m here because I’m still chasing the high from that first punk show in a squat house basement, that first queer potluck, that first renegade warehouse party, that first unpermitted protest, that first smashed Starbucks window. […]

Last November, a student-led march ended with a brief occupation of the Litchfield Towers dormitory lobby […]  That night ended with radical questions circulating beyond our countercultural bubble for the first time in recent memory: Do the Pitt Police really have the right to beat the students they’re supposed to protect? Wait, don’t we pay to use that building? Well shit, do the police even have the right to dictate how students use our campus in the first place?

Insurrectionary actions reveal undreamt-of revolutionary possibilities. Without them, potential radicals remain stuck in a world with no alternatives.

In this way, overt tactics should be rooted in central, covert, insurrectionary tactics that take Antifa as a model.  What I have in mind here, however, is not defensive but offensive, essentially devoid of protest: experimental seizures of resources and of symbolic spaces that show that the university can–and must–be in the autonomous control of radical leftist movements.

Occupations are a key example. In 2008 New School students overtook the cafeteria and study center; in 2013, students seized the president’s office at Cooper Union; at the National Autonomous University in Mexico, a building has been occupied by radicals for 17 years; and in the recent past, in hundreds of universities across central and eastern Europe–students gather in the auditoriums of occupied buildings, holding general assemblies, discussing modalities of self-determination.”  Such occupations are often reactions–to tuition hikes, e.g. – but they could become powerful offensive weapons.

Occupations should not be the limit of our imagination. Reclaim the Streets was genius in its guerilla actions, temporarily but radically overtaking and transforming roads, highways, and intersections. The same tactic could apply in a president’s office or at a campus event–perhaps making them unpredictable places to issue revolutionary communiques.

By creating offensive, radical campuses, we could create schools where no one would dream of inviting a fascist ideologue. More than this, campus insurrections are practice for the next revolutionary moments, when we’ll be ready to take hold of the university’s and society’s resources in order to put them at the service of broader struggles. In the words of Research and Destroy, “We seek to push the university struggle to its limits. […] [W]e seek to channel the anger of the dispossessed students and workers into a declaration of war.”

The insurrectionary campus: not just defending against fascism, but making the university a tool of social revolution.

Antifa Ruin Leif Erikson Day for Keystone State Boneheads

from Philly Antifa

Acting on an anonymous tip sent by an infiltrator within Neo-Nazi circles, Antifa Philadelphia, Love City Antifa, local Anarchists and several other organizations/individuals arrived at Fairmount Park Saturday morning to confirm that Keystone State Skinheads were indeed holding their Leif Erikson Day event.
Even before the Nazis had arrived, there were indicators that the tip was true. Civil affairs and Uniform PD were on the scene around the Gazebo, and a small detachment of Antifa were being shadowed by bike cops.
Eventually though, Antifa made visual confirmation of Mark Daniel “Illegal Aryan” Reardon heading towards the Gazebo on Lemon Hill on his red bike.
Reardon met up with Bryan Christopher Sawyer, the model who was fired from his job at the PA Academy of Fine Arts after posting a video of himself harassing a black woman with racist and sexist insults and abuse. Sawyer was repping Red Ice, a Neo-Nazi media company based in Sweden.
Bryan Sawyer (l) and Mark Reardon
Bryan Christopher Sawyer

Antifa attempted to approach Reardon and Sawyer to discuss some of their activities, but unsurprisingly they elected to run to the safety of Philly Police Department who had begun to congregate up around the Gazebo to undertake their traditional role as protectors for Fascists and Nazis.

By now, KSS began to arrive in carloads. We blasted the info out on social media in hopes of gathering some more opposition on short notice. Surprisingly, this appears to have been a new low in terms of attendance for KSS for this event. They managed to muster only about 25 Nazis to rally despite having opened up the event to strangers like Reardon and Sawyer and having gathered 40+ for the last 3 years since moving the event underground following a disastrous 2013 event.

Anthony James Olsen of Philly KSS holding pole. Wearing a mask (if they believe in what they’re saying why are they wearing a mask huh?) is Mikey Marcink, Indiana Blood and Honour.

Their original plan was to march all the way to the art museum to give speeches in front of the Washington Monument in Eakins Oval which were to be broadcast on Red Ice. Once Antifa began to form up, though, that plan was quickly abandoned in favor of their time honored tradition of saying some dumb shit in a megaphone at the Thorfin Karlsefni Statue while Antifa chanted, shouted at and heckled them. After maybe 20 minutes at the statue, police pushed Antifa down the sidewalk and street to escort the Nazis back up Lemon Hill and to their cars.

As the Nazis left, Anti-Fascists blocked Lemon Hill Road to get pictures of the vehicles for future identification of any Fascists yet unknown to us.

The leaked info also gave Anti-Fascists the details on the KSS after party in FDR park, which was to be held in the stone pavilion behind the Swedish History Museum. Anti-Fascists also blasted this info out and small groups began arriving in the area.
This proved to be the one major mis-step Antifa made that day. By just releasing the info and not giving a point for opposition to converge, a roving band of about 15 KSS bones were able to target small groups of Anti-Fascists. One car with 2 Anti-Racist Punx was surrounded by KSS, some of whom were armed with pistols. Fortunately, they were able to de-escalate the situation and were uninjured.  Less fortunately, 3 Anti-Fascists who had arrived on the scene to try and help evacuate the Punx were recognized from the earlier demo and attacked by KSS. The Antifa fought bravely, using mace and fists to defend themselves against the bones who were armed with various weapons. Two of the Antifa sustained minor injuries.
It could have been even worse, but a wedding was being held at the Swedish History Museum.Bystanders began recording the incident on their phones which prompted the KSS bones to run (well, one was limping) for their cars and leave the area. As a result, the KSS after-party ended before it could even begin.
While the Nazis’ event was totally ruined and shut down prematurely both at Fairmount and FDR, we cannot claim full victory when any of our comrades are injured. We also recognize that the situation in FDR park could have gone much worse. This op was planned on almost no notice and questionable intel which presented a real challenge for us. That all said, it’s safe to say that Leif Erikson Day 2017 was a disaster for KSS thanks to the bravery and hard work of local and regional Anti-Fascists.
Below are some pics of the Fascists who showed up Saturday.  Our goal is to identify every single participant and expose them as the Nazis they are to their neighbors and co-workers. If you have any information on any of the Fascists who were there this weekend, e-mail us. When you come to Philly to rep KSS, Blood and Honour or any other Neo-Nazi organizations, and attack Anti-Racists, we will make you regret it.

 

Front row from left to right: Ian McCorts, Ryan Wojitowicz, Bob Gaus, masked nazi, Tim Wylie. Behind Wylie holding Norweigan flag is Liam Schaff, a longtime KSS associate that hasn’t been seen in many years. In the far back with the Anti-Antifa shirt is Joey Phy of Philly KSS. In front of Phy with the goatee is Bryan Vanagaitis. Next to Vanagaitis with the sunglasses and Anti-Antifa shirt is Pat Rodgers. Behind Wojitowicz with his sunglasses on his forehead is Travis Cornell.

10 years on and smaller than ever… Keep it up, yall.

Antifa on a Conservative Campus: Possibilities

from Radical Education Department

Recently, we’ve seen powerful Antifa actions on college campuses like Berkeley and the University of Virginia striking back against emboldened white supremacists and fascists. We’ve also seen how crucial Antifa is on college campuses after neo-Nazis like Richard Spencer proclaimed they are targeting colleges as recruiting-grounds.

But what if you’re on a conservative or even reactionary campus?  This situation poses special challenges for Antifa.  It may be difficult to find anything beyond a small group willing to mobilize against fascism and its roots in the white supremacy, misogyny, and imperialism central to capitalist society.  And activists confront not only widespread apathy,  but also the real possibility of backlash from both administrators and many other students and faculty. The threat to contingent faculty is especially great. The situation can seem hopeless.

Still, there is great value in cultivating a radical Antifa presence on conservative campuses.  In this post, I point out that importance by drawing on my own experiences as part of a small Antifa group on a conservative campus.  And I start to assemble a list of other, further radical possibilities beyond those we explored.  I hope, then, this reflection could be helpful to people in similar situations.

1. Some background: Villanova and the Charles Murray Action

Villanova University is a notoriously conservative school.  Many students in its overwhelmingly white and upper-class student body vocally support the Trump administration (with “Make America Great Again” signs and parties, for example; check out this endorsement of Trump in the college paper).  It was in this context that white supremacist physical violence erupted on campus.  Two of my own students of color mentioned to me the fear they felt for their safety on campus.

Villanova has also been openly hostile to progressive activism.  For instance, one contingent faculty-person in our group–Nova Resistance–was explicitly threatened with being fired for another, very benign and non-disruptive, organizing project on campus.  In recent years, Villanova administrators rescinded a speaking invitation to a queer activist.

We formed Nova Resistance to disrupt an invited talk by the white supremacist, anti-worker, and misogynist pseudo-intellectual Charles Murray in March 2017.  In the lead-up to the event, two of us had tried to create a large faculty and student action; they were either ignored or met with anemic, sanctimonious arguments for “free speech” or “boycotting.”

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In the days prior, one of us hung very simple posters across campus to call for resistance.  We distributed it by slipping it secretly inside the student newspaper and taping it across many campus buildings.  Nova Resistance officially met for the first time only hours before the event began.  Members made signs, and made a plan for the action.  Some of us were very new to more disruptive, small-group tactics.

By the day of the talk, we were only a handful of activists, with at least one person coming from off-campus.  The event was heavily guarded many hours before.  A police helicopter circled overhead; campus swarmed with armed police carrying many thousands of dollars of military-style equipment; there were numerous conspicuous undercover cops; and so on.  The talk was to be held in a secure basement location on campus with very limited seating–obviously chosen because it is the building that houses campus security.  Moreover, we discovered that, in addition to campus police, the university paid some $15,000 to hire the police force from Radnor township.  Clearly, administrators were spooked by the ghost of Middlebury.

Four made it into the crowded event, while a few others remained outside to prepare for a protest and teach-in after our eventual ejection.  As soon as Murray took the stage, two from Nova Resistance stormed the front of the event, blocking the projector screen with a banner. The plan was for the two to stage a silent action during the event while a banner and signs were held to under-cut the talk.  Others were to create an increasing disruption of ridiculous noises, cheers, heckling, etc., all as a way of interrupting and hopefully halting the talk.

Almost immediately, the two of us who were standing at the front were accosted by belligerent audience-members.  One person in the reserved seats in the front row–neither security nor a talk organizer–grabbed the shirt of one of us and seemed nearly on the verge of punching him. The talk’s faculty organizer, as well as an unaffiliated, liberal  professor, approached the two Nova Resistance members at the front, trying to convince them to cease the disruption.  Another member of our direct action team went to the front of the room with the other two.

Fairly quickly amid these confrontations, one of the three activists at the front began more disruptively yelling about Murray’s fascistic ideology, the school’s implication in it, and so on (departing from the group’s plan of silence).  However, the activists refused to engage directly with the attempts at heckling or negotiation and instead resolutely stated that they refused to have their university provide a podium for a reactionary eugenicist, racist, misogynist hack. After around 15-20 minutes of this, campus security threatened to arrest the activists if they did not allow themselves to be escorted out of the event.  They chose the latter option in order to re-consolidate outside. One member filmed the encounters and eventually posted them on our social media outlets.

Outside we rapidly escalated.  One of us brought a megaphone.  Using this, we organized an impromptu, direct-action “teach-in” immediately outside of the windows of the Murray talk.  The crowd that formed around us was perhaps 40-50 strong and fairly receptive–unusual for Villanova’s campus–though the crowd was largely passive.  We screamed and chanted (“No Murray!  No KKK!  No fascist USA!” etc.) into the open windows of the event with the megaphone, creating additional disruptions, although the windows were rather quickly closed.  The police then confronted us, telling us we had to cut the megaphone (on threat, apparently, of arrest).  We continued without amplification for a while, and then left. Members of Nova Resistance were approached by local news outlets for interviews and quotes.

We were not ready for the next steps.  We had no statement prepared and hadn’t set up any social media outlets to post videos or analysis or to garner more support and visibility.  Later that day we whipped up a Facebook page and began posting media, and within a few days we submitted an article for the school newspaper and created a manifesto-style statement, posting them as well.  But our lag left us without a voice at a time when our actions were being interpreted and either supported or condemned without our own voice helping to shape the narrative.

(It should also be noted that the school newspaper, The Villanovan, warped the statement they ran without consulting us, toning down and pacifying our language.)

Nova Resistance then began to meet regularly, renaming itself the Radical Education Department (RED).  We reframed our task beyond Villanova as the creation of a radical left think-tank developing Antifa practices across college campuses.  We used the visibility and experience from the event to inform a number of articles in left popular media (for example, this, this, and this).

‘Leif Erickson Day Celebration 2017’: Slim Pickings for the Boneheads

from Idavox

It didn’t take long for antifa to mobilize against the latest outing by the Keystone State ‘Skinheads’ (KSS) and friends and even less time to send them packing. Props go to Philly!

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Oct. 14, 2017 – Alerted by a tip off, antifa from Philadelphia and other areas of the state were able to rout a significantly small group of neo-Nazis who came out for the “Leif Erickson Day Celebration” on Boathouse Row. Antifa were also able to for the first time converge on their after rally event at a park in South Philadelphia, which ended in an altercation that had the neo-Nazis cut their event short.

Each year for the past decade, KSS, which prefers to go by the name Keystone United, would attempt to hold a rally at the statue of the Icelandic explorer Thorfinn Karlsefni, but after 2013, when there was a massive number that turned out to oppose them, they have attempted to conceal the event from the public to avoid such opposition, even holding the rally at night. This year, they attempted to hold an afternoon event once again and were set upon by antifa before they even left their usual staging area at the gazebo in nearby Fairmont Park that overlooks the statue. This marked the first time in four years the neo-Nazis were opposed.

10/14/2017: Tim Wylie, holding the stick and wearing glasses, is followed by Mark Daniel Reardon, checking his phone, and Anthony James (AJ) Olsen, trying to take pics on the far right.

A paltry 24 persons came out to rally this year, but even with the short notice antifa managed to bring out 30 to counter protest. At a nearby pavilion in Fairmont Park, there was a memorial service for a bike messenger that recently passed away, and while no one attending the service participated in the counter demonstration, some speakers shouted out their contempt for the assembled neo-Nazis to cheers.

Those among the neo-Nazis, who came from as far as Albany, NY and Indiana with just a few of them currently living in Philadelphia, were many that have been seen in past years, but new faces included Mark Daniel Reardon, who according to Philly Antifa fled his apartment when community members learned that he had posted fliers around West Philadelphia, looking to recruit for a violent neo-Nazi group called Atomwaffen and model Bryan Christopher Sawyer, who does work for the White Supremacist podcast Red Ice and once lost his job at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts when he videotaped himself harassing a Black woman with racial slurs, posting the video on his Facebook page. KSS associate and convicted felon Tim Wylie also participated in the rally, and on Thursday, he is scheduled to appear in court on weapons charges, including one for providing false information on an application while attempting to purchase a firearm in July 2016. He has participated in a number of rallies and events with KSS in the past, including an anti-refugee rally in the Pennsylvania State House in 2015.

Anthony James (AJ) Olsen

After some time at the gazebo, the rally participants then march down to the statue with antifa in front of them chanting “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA!” and antifa then blocked them from getting near the statue and began either shouting back and forth with the neo-Nazis, or loudly debated them, KSS associate Bob Gaus, who appeared to lead the rally denying that neither he nor anyone he was with was a Nazi, but instead a White Nationalist.

Although according to some information, the plan was supposed to have been to march to the Washington Monument in front of the nearby Philadelphia Art Museum, the presence of antifa might have thwarted those plans, and the assembled retreated back into Fairmont Park to return to their vehicles. It was learned however that they ended up in South Philadelphia at Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park for an after party, and antifa followed them there. At some point there was an altercation, at which time the neo-Nazis ended their event and left the park.

One week earlier three times as many antifascists came out to the same statue to claim it and the day from the neo-Nazis that annually hold their event in that location. No neo-Nazis came to oppose or attempt an event last week, although police fortified the statue, which was vandalized with red paint, with barricades and officers guarding it.

Films Against Fascism

from Facebook

Come watch antifascist films at the Wooden Shoe!
Free food! Vegan options available.

Recommended donation: $10.
All proceeds go to J20 defendants.

[October 22 from 5:00 PM – 9:30 PM at 704 South St]

Some Tips on Recent Things

Submission
George Ellsworth Lewis III had his neighborhood flyered and was visited by antifascists at his local favorite bar.

The Thorfinn Karlsefni statue got tarred, glittered, and spray painted before Lief Erikson day.

A banner for Scout Shultz in solidarity with those who’re fighting cops went up.