Alt-Right Tries and Fails – Again – In Philly

from Philly Antifa

“Lol only half of us are actually Nazis and the others are being ironic. We’re so funny.”

On Saturday July 15th Refuse Fascism (an anti-Trump/Pence coalition with no affiliation to our crew) held several “Drive our the Trump/Pence Regime” demonstrations around the country.

Having been thoroughly embarrassed over and over in the past few months, one might think that the racist right might have taken the hint and left these nice communists alone. And for the most part, you would be right. Gone were the throngs of suburban MAGAts, Bikers for Trump, and crews of White Nationalists we saw back in May during the failed “Make America Great Again” march. Even the pathetic turnout on July 2nd could not be repeated. (See links if you are not a regular reader)

No, what turned out this past Saturday with some vague notion of disrupting or trolling the Refuse Fascism march represented the dregs of the Pennsylvania Alt-Right. Less than a dozen individuals brought together through social media and shared stories of catching beat downs for having bad situational awareness and worse politics, “rallied” on the corner of 15th and JFK.

We say “rallied” because they were basically silent the entire time, preferring to talk among themselves or occasionally argue with the Anti-Racists and Anti-Fascists that walked by on their way to the Refuse rally, which went off without a hitch across the plaza. They handed out two different fliers. The first was as vague as it was pathetic, listing a bunch of “posi” slogans about how “We can be great again” though refraining from using Trump’s name, and a bunch of masked pleading about how the alt-right are poor victims of Leftist violence. The 2nd flyer was largely a cut and paste job of that idiotic article put out by the NJ DHS claiming the Antifa are an “extremist group.” The article, riddled with inaccuracies and bias, was followed by an article detailing the far right’s acts of violence, including ACTUAL murders, but these lovers of informed discourse declined to distribute any information about THAT article. Instead, they preferred to (incorrectly) assert that an article online means that all Antifa are now “classified as terrorists,” when in reality none are.

After the Refuse march departed from their rally, barely even noting the MAGAts, they (along with their police escort and a handful of Anti-Fascists and media) walked over the the Fox and Hound on 15th street. The right wingers ordered food and drank for several hours.

Undercover police and surveillance made for a calm scene, but Antifa did inform the management of the identities of the alt-rightists, including the fact that one of them was non other than Mark Daniel Reardon, aka “Illegal Aryan,” the Neo-Nazi troll who has been putting up Neo-Nazi flyers in West Philly (more on that below). Reardon hopped into an Uber not long after. A few more of them would make similar exits until a core group headed back towards city hall to distribute more of their Anti-Antifa fliers. It did not take long for them to realize their folly and they were soon calling the cops for protection again.

So who were this patchwork crew of Alt-Knights, “Classical (racist) Liberals,” MAGAts and outright Neo-Nazis who struggled to even exist in Philadelphia while under constant police protection? Here’s some of what we know about them:

Jeff Thomas

Jeff Thomas

Jeff Thomas is a member of Greater Philadelphia Alt-Knights. He is “not a Nazi or White Supremacist.” He tries (repeatedly) to make that clear to Anti-Racists that object to his organizing events for Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists to attend. Thomas claims that he is an anarcho-capitalist or right libertarian, both nonsense terms invented to hijack leftist language about individual liberty to serve the rich. When confronted with the fact that everything he organizes (including this past Saturday) is at least 50% comprised of Neo-Nazis, Fascists or other White Supremacists, Thomas only shrugs his shoulders and mutters some absolution of responsibility based on his inability to control others. When you’re full of shit you’re gonna attract flies, Jeff.

Jeff claims on social media to be living in Collegeville but has a partner who lives in Philly and he’s still listed at his parents’ house on S. Mountain Drive in Reading. He loves to debate, which we caution against as a waste of time, but if the mood strikes you he can be reached at 610-207-2223.

Thomas is working on a book on right and left politics. We imagine that when he wants to call it quits, he will claim this was all just research. Anyone remember Jacques Pluss? Anyway, time will tell. It’s irrelevant because when you help organize and protect Neo-Nazis, your own personal politics are moot.

There’s no shortage of con-men or short-sighted demagogues on the right who may not consider themselves racist (again, completely irrelevant and laughable considering the circumstances). This is true for Jeff Thomas, and this is true for Gaving McInness, Donald Trump, or any other not-textbook-fascist who associates with, enables and emboldens Neo-Nazis and other racists and/or Fascists.

Mark Reardon

Mark Daniel Reardon, aka “Illegal Aryan”

Regular readers of this site will remember Mark Daniel Reardon, aka “Illegal Aryan,” a The Daily Stormer poster who we exposed after he anonymously claimed responsibility for putting up Neo-Nazi flyers along Locust Walk a few months ago. According to a man who was at the rally Saturday and lives in West Philly, Reardon has been spotted putting up more flyers, including one at 36th and Chestnut. Reardon is a Neo-Nazi who attended the Traditionalist Worker’s Party rally in Pikevilly, KY in May and returned to find out he was no longer anonymous.

Reardon attending the private conference portion of the Traditionalist Workers Party’s event in Kentucky.

Since then he was kicked out of his apartment but is still staying somewhere in Philadelphia and recently stopped by a Food Not Bombs serving at an anarchist space then took to twitter to gloat about how he had visited our “headquarters” (lol) and escaped detection.

However this past Saturday he was just a shook one who feebly refused to answer an elder’s question as to whether the Holocaust happened (though he stuck out his tongue and smiled when Jeff Thomas and others acknowledged the Holocaust happened).

Reardon pretty much refrained from talking with anyone other than the other Alt-Rightists, and was generally about as craven as we all expected. He did post a boasting report back afterwards about his ability to survive a day out in Philadelphia with police and sympathizer protection, in which Reardon also speaks highly of just how sympathetic the others there were to his politics and activities.

Ellsworth Lewis

Ellsworth George Lewis III

Ellsworth George Lewis III is a far-right wing racist troll who is a member of Greater Philadelphia Alt-Knights. He is 31 and lives on Lincoln Ave in Prospect Park, PA. He works at Taylor Hospital in Ridley Park PA.

Here is a screengrab of Lewis discussing the “Unite the Right” rally being held in Charlottesville in August with the explicit aim of merging the outright racist elements of the right such as National Socialists and White Nationalists and the so-called “non-racist right” like Ancaps and various so-called “sovereign citizens.”

Deborah Nemeth

Deborah Nemeth

Deborah Nemeth lives in center city. She works as a paralegal and business manager for Piscitello Law as well as Project Manager for Diamond Contractors. Her bigotry of choice seems to be Islamophobia. This is only her second appearance with this crowd by our count, and is another one of this crew that claimed to not be a Nazi or White Supremacist. For our feelings on that argument, see Jeff Thomas.

Howard Caplan

Howard Caplan, aka “Pizzagate Howie”

Howard Caplan, also known as “Pizzagate Howie” or by his (now suspended) twitter handle @pghowie1, is a local wingnut and the seemingly the last man on earth (or at least in Philadelphia) willing to publicly claim that the endlessly debunked Pizzagate conspiracy is a real thing. Caplan also burst into Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul during midnight mass on Christmas eve to deliver a tirade alleging a link between Pizzagate and The Catholic Church’s (very real) scandals regarding sexual abuse. Before he was on Pizzagate, Caplan was the “Hillary 4 Prison sign guy” for flying said sign along Roosevelt Boulevard near where he lives in NE Philly.

Kevin Nally

Kevin Nally, JR

Kevin Nally Jr. is fucking gross. He is otherwise known as “pill eater” and he runs a website asianaryanism(dot)com (NSFW. Disgusting misogynist and racist content), the crux of which is advocate for a home for racist alt-right white men who fetishize east Asian women as submissive sex objects. When we say home we are being literal; the site claims to advocate for “a new ideology called ‘Asian Aryanism’ where a new white male-asian female ethnostate is established right next to the white ethnostate that Richard Spencer proposes…” Nally’s website features his writings and music, including an album called “Rape is Love” with a disgusting cover featuring battered women.

Nally lives at 606 Nantucket Court in King of Prussia. He was with a woman, who people were calling “Molly”.

So so far we got an Ancap who is either playing dumb or is just really dumb, a far-right LARPer, an Islamophobic nazi sympathizer, an actual Neo-Nazi, a racist misogynist, and fucking “Pizzagate Howie.” This is a wonderfully diverse collection of unique fashy snowflakes.

Also spotted with the Alt-Right contingent included:

This douche had stars and stripes socks.
This guy was with them. He seemed to be trying to blend into the Refuse Fascism rally but after Antifa started filming him he bounced.

There was also a 15 year old boy who expressed sympathy for the Traditionalist Worker’s Party and claimed “Hitler did nothing wrong,” though they quickly backtracked and said “some things.” His (hopefully ashamed) mother was literally waiting a few yards away behind a row of police. Daniel Reardon beamed about the little Nazi in his report back, claiming he had a “bright future.” Sounds like wishful thinking coming from a guy with a lot of hard times on the horizon .

And that was pretty much all of them, except for one or two who kept more or less silent.

Oh and there were some total P.O.S. Anti-Gay preachers there with their kids. Something about everyone going to hell. It was stupid. Later they went to Clark Park during a Dead Milkmen show and some of the attendees confronted them. Maybe there’s room for them with Jeff and Howie and Deb’s crew of people who are safe nowhere in Philadelphia.

Takeaways from this rather uneventful event are some classics (cops protect Fashies/the alt right is a bunch of rich kids and wingnuts getting duped by White Supremacists) as well as some disturbing new ones (Reardons report back, which we won’t link for obvious reasons, makes it very clear there is no limit to who this crowd associates with) as well as the always worthwhile goal of taking some time to let racists, sexists, homophobes and other assorted fascists know they are (still) not welcome in Philadelphia.

Eternal War on the Hitler Youth,

Anti- and Pro-Trump Rallies in Philly End With Fights, Blood, Arrests

from Unicorn Riot

Philadelphia, PA – A rally calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump took place Sunday morning at Liberty Bell Plaza. A variety of liberal and progressive organizations generally denounced the Trump administration, calling for Medicaid for all, and drawing attention to the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation.

Area antifascists were also in attendance. An announcement was published days before the event calling on people to come oppose various white supremacist, so-called ‘alt-right’ elements who threatened to disrupt the impeachment rally.

The permitted march got underway shortly before noon, as planned.

The heavily policed march eventually ended without incident at a plaza downtown. However, a group of neo-nazis, white nationalists, and Trump supporters was also holding an event nearby.

The white nationalist pro-Trump march eventually ended at Logan Square, where the small crowd of a few dozen listened to speakers. One of the speakers presented his own version of Richard Spencer’s call for a “white ethnostate”, which was met with applause.

Several individuals at the white nationalist event were carrying ‘Kekistan’ flags, a visual reference to online harassment culture based on 4chan and other image boards. The ‘Kekistan’ flag is a variation on the original German Nazi flag.

The ‘Kekistan’ flag is based on the German Nazi flag

The pro-Trump rally then ended, but many of the group walked directly from their rally point to Tir na nOg, a nearby Irish pub where many of the white nationalists had planned to meet. In the alley outside the pub, several fights broke out between anti-fascists and white supremacists.

Philadelphia police officers arrested four antifascist demonstrators, while not arresting any of the several Trump supporters who were also involved in the fights. (The Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Donald Trump during his presidential campaign.)

When asked about white supremacists using their pub as a venue to meet, the manager at Tir na nOg declined to comment. The pub’s twitter account later tweeted a statement in response to comments made on social media.

In a separate incident from the fights outside the pub, a man who had been carrying a ‘Trump 2020’ sign at the white nationalist event appeared to have been involved in a fight by Suburban Station in downtown Philadelphia. He was visibly covered in blood as he was removed by paramedics on a stretcher. SEPTA transit police arrested three individuals.

We will provide updates as more information becomes available.

No Pasarán in Philadelphia: They Shall Not Pass!

From It’s Going Down

Social Media Event Here

On July 19, 1936, Spanish anti-fascist organizer Dolores Ibárruri gave a speech calling her people to stand in solidarity against fascism during the Spanish Civil War. The speech concluded on a passionate call to arms: “Long live the Popular Front! Long live the union of all anti-fascists! Long live the Republic of the people! The Fascists shall not pass! THEY SHALL NOT PASS!”

On Sunday, July 2, 2017, members of fascist “alt-right” groups will attempt to disrupt a Philadelphia liberal-organized march calling for Trump’s impeachment. We are calling for groups and individuals to mask up, crew up, and show up to send a strong message to the far-right that they are not welcome in our city. We will smash the growth of fascism by any and all means necessary.

First, let’s be clear. We aren’t there to support the liberal strategy of impeachment. The focus on impeachment is strategically ineffective from a Left standpoint, as the media frenzy will mask discussion of fundamental policy changes desperately needed by working people.

It is also tactically idiotic. If the impeachment succeeds at removing Trump from office, there will be one more imperialist, bigoted, misogynist prick to pick up where he left off.

Philadelphia anti-fascists do not endorse wasting time while neo-Nazi, white nationalist groups grow in strength and number. Liberals twiddle their thumbs while the country fractures and its most detestable ideological elements bubble to the surface. We are the future that we need to see, and no one’s fighting but us.

This is our city, and we have home turf advantage. But they know we’re coming this time, so we need to up our game even further beyond our victory at the Disrupt MAGA march. Alt-right groups including the Alt-Knights are looking to make their first splash in the streets of an east-coast Left stronghold. We need the numbers to humiliate them and send them scrambling back to their pathetic holes. Let’s show them how organized we can be.

There come times in history when we have to decide where we stand. The future of America is in flux, being fought on battlegrounds across the country. The growth of the neo-fascist Right must be countered by a united, active front from the Left. Make no mistake, July 2 will be another battleground moment.

We are calling on everyone to come together and fight against white supremacy and all the unconscionable ideologies held by the far right. We must deny them a platform to promote hate and let them know they are not welcome in our communities. Come masked, come with comrades, come ready to fight, come ready to win.

We meet at 10am at the Liberty Bell on Sunday, July 2.

NOTE: The purpose of the mask is to protect your identity and your freedom of expression. It’s hard to be as courageous as we need to be on the streets if we’re worried about alt-right doxxers uncovering our identities and harassing our families. It also allows us to identify at a glance who’s militantly anti-fascist and willing to put their bodies on the line for their values and beliefs.

From Philly Antifa

We fully support this call to defend our city. The ranks of those coming to Philly to try and disrupt the liberal Impeachment march will be filled with avowed Neo-Nazis, racist Libertarian Capitalists and Anarcho-Capitalists, and other assorted Far-Right wannabe storm troopers. Philadelphia is an Anti-Fascist city now and forever.

They shall not pass!

#JUSTICEFORDJ

Submission

Enough is enough….
We need police officer Ryan Pownall of the 15th police district…charged with the murder of David Jones…

DAVID Jones was a soulmate and best friend and the father of a son! On Friday we are marching for him demanding justice! I won’t rest until Pownall goes down! Please come march with us!

[June 30 at 5pm at District Attorney’s Office, 3 S Penn Square]

No Pasaran: Shut Down Nazi Rally

from Facebook

Members of “Altright” groups took to Twitter calling for the disruption of a mainly liberal trump impeachment march on July 2nd in 12 cities including philadelphia, These groups don’t deserve to be called by names other than fascists so we will leave it at that.

We are calling for direct action against the disruption and asking the community to stand togther against hate and bigotry. Fascists should never be given a platform to spread hate, let’s these fascist know Philadelphia is a hate free zone.

[July 2 10AM at 6th and Market]

Taking Back Pride: Philly Report Back

from It’s Going Down

While LGBTQ Pride began as a riot lead by black and brown trans women, today’s Pride celebrations do nothing to address the unjust system that oppresses queer people of varying intersectional identities, namely Queer Trans People of Color (QTPOC). As of mid-June 2017, thirteen black and brown trans women have been murdered this year. Queer youths are kicked out of their homes and make up almost half of the homeless youth population across the country. Transphobia and transmisogyny run rampant in all aspects of culture. Instead of throwing bricks, burning police cars, or taking it to the streets in protest, Pride has lost its revolutionary roots and instead become an agent of the very thing that oppresses us.

On Sunday June 18th, Philadelphia Pride proved problematic as ever, starting with the sponsorship by multiple alcohol brands, big banks, and investment companies. These corporate interests do not at all represent the struggles of QTPOC, and often systemically oppress these populations further. After the corporate Pride parade, instead of an accessible community-based event, attendees were expected to pay fifteen dollars to get in to a post-celebration at Penn’s Landing, just to pay even more money for everything inside. Pride should be an inclusive celebration, but instead, if you are one of the hundreds of homeless LGBTQ youth in Philadelphia, you likely wouldn’t even be able to afford to attend.

More than ever we need a Pride that isn’t cissexist, racist, and transphobic – but Pride has been co-opted. Philadelphia’s queer community is not short of racism: the senior adviser for Philadelphia corporate Pride is a huge Trump supporter, the owner of the gay club ICandy throws around the “n-word,” and there was huge backlash when the City of Philadelphia included a black and brown stripe on the rainbow flag this year.

Realizing that something had to be done, Philly’s Equity Coalition organized an event called QTPOC Take Pride Back that aimed to start with a rally at City Hall, protest along certain areas of the corporate Pride parade, and end in a protest at Penn’s Landing. Through community organization, the event was able to draw in people from different backgrounds and give voices to the black, brown, and trans members of our community who too often are ignored during Pride. QTPOC Take Pride Back shed light on the sick injustice that Pride itself has become in exploiting queer people for money while serving the interests of the cis white gay men.

IMG_5689.JPG

QTPOC Take Pride Back started off at City Hall with a group of about 65 who gathered to listen to speakers that galvanized the crowd with their personal experiences as queer people of color. As the event progressed, police presence began to grow. First, a group of about ten bike cops were stationed on the corner, two undercover police stood on the sidewalk behind the crowd, then a police van parked nearby, and finally a counter terrorism vehicle parked behind that van. As the speakers began to conclude, a black bloc of about 20, donning militant queer branded shields and flags, descended upon the event creating a protective barrier behind the QTPOC Take Pride Back attendees. Dozens of matching flags and trans colored bandanas were passed out in solidarity with the bloc.

Shortly after the speakers finished, organizers roused the crowd to begin the march. The march from City Hall was lead by QTPOC and the bloc was in a “U” formation around the back to protect the vulnerable sections. Shields and flags were used as noise makers as several chant leaders shouting “take Pride back!” As QTPOC Take Pride Back and the bloc marched, they were immediately followed by a wave of bike cops flanking both sides attempting to disrupt the march and discourage marching. They were unsuccessful and the march cut down the middle of Broad Street. At this point, the police began their aggression towards the bloc and plain clothes protestors by riding in the streets and attempting to hit protesters with bikes.

The front of the QTPOC Take Pride Back march began to make it’s way down a side street, in order to gain access to the corporate Pride march, but was blocked by bike cops once again. After some maneuvering, the march was able to go down another side street to gain access to a section of the corporate Pride parade. Then police quickly formed a line of separation between corporate attendees and the march. On megaphones, the QTPOC Take Pride Back marshals encouraged the crowd of corporate parade attendees to realize the damage being done to the LGBTQ community and to join them in the streets in solidarity.

IMG_5727_sRGB.JPG

As the QTPOC Take Pride Back march continued on each street continued to be blocked by police. At one point a police line on a particularly isolated street began physically assaulting plain clothed QTPOC Take Pride Back marchers, using their bikes as weapons to slam people to the ground and hit people, even openly punching and grabbing trans people. Luckily, the bloc and marchers jumped to action defending targeted folks and actively resisting the police violence through the use of shields and flag poles. It should be noted that any and ALL comrades who were grabbed were successfully de-arrested and no arrests were made.

“some corporate Pride attendees were high-fiving and fist-bumping with police, the same police who 20 minutes before were smashing their bikes…”

After several kettling attempts and increased violence by police, the QTPOC Take Pride Back marchers and black bloc were separated into three sections: two were caught on cross streets and the other, representing a large number of the bloc, escaped into the corporate Pride parade, quickly followed by a line of police. Even with a guard of police, the bloc was immediately met with intense cries of support by corporate Pride attendees and many even joined in anti-cop and anti-corporate chants. However, some corporate Pride attendees dissented and were high-fiving and fist-bumping with police, the same police who 20 minutes before were smashing their bikes in to QTPOC. Once the corporate Pride parade route had finished, the black bloc to exited the march without issue.

Even though protesting outside of Penn’s Landing was no longer possible due to the amount of police violence shown toward QTPOC Take Pride Back marchers and the bloc, the goal had been fulfilled through infiltration of the corporate Pride parade, protection provided to marchers by the bloc, and bringing awareness to corporate Pride parade attendees. Afterward, a free queer picnic for the community was provided by a local Food Not Bombs chapter and other accomplices. The picnic itself embodied another portion of what LGBTQ Pride should be about: community building, support, compassion, and free access for everyone no matter income or background.

Reflecting back on June 18th, it’s apparent that only through militant resistance of the state and its corporate entities will progress be reached. Queer people must ask themselves: What would Marsha do? What would Sylvia do? What would our other Queer siblings who started the Stonewall Riots do? For every brick we grab, every body we put on the line, every pig we face, every window that gets smashed, we do so with them.

Special notation: in the days following June 18th, it became clear that the level of resistance for QTPOC Take Pride Back from the police came directly from a 9-1-1 call by a cis white gay male organizer who sought to attack the Equity Coalition. This is a stark reminder of the history that liberals have had condemning revolutionary movements across the years.

Rally and March for Police Abolition

from Facebook

Over the last two months, the pigs have exceuted and brutalized several black people. In Philadelphia, David Jones was murdered by Ryan Pownall. Pownall shot David in the back, and claimed that David had a gun. An off-duty pig brutalized a young man named Naji Tribble. The cop slammed his head into the groud leaving him with a severe skull facture. Naji has suffered from seizures and other health problems as a result of the incident.

In Seattle, Charleena Lyles, was murdered by pigs in front of her three children. She’d contacted police to report a burglary and the cops shot her for having a knife in her hands.

In St. Paul, Jeronmio Yanez, the pig who killed Philando Castile in front of his girlfriend and daughter was found not-guilty of his murder.

The list of black and brown people murdered by cops is growing every day. We know we can NEVER reform a system created from the enslavement on African people. In order to proect our communities, we must completely dismantle the current system. We must fight for police abolition.

Please join us for a rally and march on June 28th at 5:30pm. We will gather in front of the Municipal Services building. Please join us!

[1401 JFK Blvd]

Harrisburg, PA: Reportback and Analysis of June 10th Counter-Demo

from It’s Going Down

On June 10th, ACT for America held anti-Muslim rallies across the country. They were assisted by American Vanguard, a white-supremacist fascist group, and the Oathkeepers, a hyper-masculine organization of former military and police officers. One of the rallies was held in Harrisburg, PA, where they were joined by the ultra-racist Keystone Skins. In an effort to create a strong counter-presence a call was put out to activists in the region to join Harrisburg comrades in shutting them down. We were among many who answered.

As anarchists, we firmly believe in self-criticism and learning lessons from every action. This is our attempt to do so.

Leading up to the day of the action, we had concerns about what we perceived as some organizers’ peace-policing discussions of militant tactics. We did not gain a complete understanding of their concerns, and felt that ours were not fully heard. Arranging a spokes council well in advance would have prevented much of the resulting tension in both preparation and execution, and provided clarity in terms of goals, contingency plans, support for autonomous actions, diversity of tactics, etc.

A spokes council, when properly implemented, is distinguishable from representative councils: the spokes (individuals comprising the spokes council) constantly rotate, must closely follow the affinity groups’ mandates, can be immediately recalled, and any decisions are non-binding. This provides a method for organizing the decision-making process of a large group while preserving the autonomy of all involved. A spokes council can help level the field of communication, so that everyone’s voice is heard, most importantly those of folks who are too often silenced, i.e.: women, people of color, lgbtqia+.

Decisions can be made using consensus, and agreements and understandings can be efficiently communicated from each crew to the spokes council and vice versa. Groups voluntarily opt in or out, and have time to speak amongst themselves to determine the nature of their relationship to the spokes council. Moreover, a spokes council provides the opportunity for people from different crews to establish personal connections, and potentially boost confidence in the strangers they will stand with as comrades on the day of the action.

For the action in Harrisburg, the spokes council would have been talking on a regular basis, met the night before and morning of, and been ready to meet quickly when necessary during the action itself. Instead, there was an attempt to make critical decisions among 40-60 people. While full participation in decision-making can function on the ground, with the lack of clarity between groups leading up to the action and with cops and fash looking to pick a fight, it proved ineffective.

The Action

Our crew plus one person from Harrisburg arrived at the meet-up spot at the designated time already bloced up. It took the rest of the day’s main organizers and crews over an hour to arrive, during which time we were scouted by both fash and cops. This put us at a severe disadvantage and deflated the morale of those who had waited around for so long.

Once more people arrived, a decision was made to move the group to a location that was not clearly communicated and to which several individuals and crews had severe misgivings, leading to further lack of confidence in some of the local organizers. A few crews even de-bloced and considered leaving town, and then re-bloced once we decided to take to the streets. That said, at least one of the local organizers was attentive and responsive to outside concerns, and did their best to relay messages to the other local organizers. We had established a rapport with them weeks prior, vibed well, and felt comfortable looking to them in times of critical decision-making, which speaks to the need for good inter-regional communication before an action. Unfortunately, other organizers appeared to drown them out and dismiss them, which not only hampered confidence but, in our eyes, actually led to harmful chaos.

Upon arrival at the capitol, it was clear we had arrived well after the fash and pigs, whose occupation of the capitol steps was reinforced by armed paramilitary, police barricades and mounties (pigs on horseback). For our movement to succeed we must constantly evaluate the situation on the ground and ensure we dictate the terms of success. The goal was immediately changed from stopping the march (which was clearly not going to happen) to preventing fash from approaching the rallying point and drowning out their chants. Crews continued to arrive, bringing noisemakers and other supplies. Fash continued to arrive, too, albeit in meager numbers, and when some people within the bloc attempted to hold the line as they approached, others did not, and they were able to break through easily, assisted by the pigs, who came armed with rubber bullets, smoke grenades launchers, and zip-ties.

Around this point, some crews left and de-bloced. While some returned, others did not. Organizers had continuously called for the bloc to “tighten up” so we could somehow reach consensus as a full bloc. This was clearly not working, and some of us recommended the creation of a spokes. An ad-hoc spokes was assembled, in which not all crews were represented, some individuals attempted to function as an actual spokes, a few attempted to dominate the conversation, and others seemed unsure of how to operate within that environment.

Amidst this spokes reevaluation, a peace-police antagonizer came into the bloc and began yelling incoherent nonsense. Rather than removing him, pigs arrested a person of color who was standing close by, and the bloc did nothing to stop it. We attribute this arrest to disorganization and miscommunication, and need to figure out how to avoid situations like this in the future: how to neutralize rogue antagonizers while protecting and maintaining the bloc.

Eventually, the spokes decided we should leave the location and begin a march as a way of coopting the fash’s plan and create an anti-racist march.

The march was immediately pursued by mounties, police on foot, and several police vehicles. In an attempt to outpace the pigs, the “leaders” of the march kept a fast pace, which was dangerous for several reasons. First and foremost, it was ableist—some who may have wanted to participate couldn’t. Second, it risked spreading the bloc thin. Luckily several individuals ensured this did not happen. We began to feel much more confident, forming lines in the street and pushing through aggressive mounties who tried to penetrate, reroute, and divide the bloc. We dictated the terms of the march and cut off police interference. A local civilian joined the march and suggested a densely populated public destination, and we marched there effectively.

Once we’d passed this location, the mounties became much more aggressive, charging the bloc in an effort to remove us from the street. Shit was going south. As we weighed separating from the bloc and some of us even began to so do, pigs started to make arrests and we were cut off.

After de-blocing, regrouping, and meeting up with others, we observed several roaming bands of Proud Boys (who appeared young and weak) walking the streets looking for members of Antifa to fight. Groups of pigs did the same, clearly in coordination with fash and also in pursuit of Antifa, stashed gear or perhaps even cars that looked out of place. Nonetheless, several members of different Antifa crews beat the shit out of a few Proud Boys with their own weapons (they later complained about their wounds, using social media to request safe spaces to spout their hatred).

Lessons

1) There should always be a secure and comprehensive scouting plan before any action, but especially a large-scale action. This includes leading up to and day of. We need to ensure that we have a complete understanding of the terrain: potential locations where we can demonstrate our power, choke points, escape routes, etc. This must be done carefully and thoroughly.

2) The host crew and folks coming from abroad must be clear about where they stand, what they are willing to do, goals, and contingency plans. Clear communication is key always, and every effort must be made to listen to anyone who expresses concerns during planning. This is crucial when working with others as it ensures that people know they are being heard, and helps everyone to work as a more cohesive unit.

3) As a movement, we need to be more creative with our tactics. The fash and pigs have become accustomed to bloc strategies in these types of scenarios. In order to win we need to think about other ways to take them on.

Conclusion

We were able to enact an effective noise-making counter-demonstration, drowning out the fash’s pathetic chants and renditions of “God Bless America,” or whatever. We were then able to take the streets, creating decent optics by staying tight, chanting in unison, and maintaining the bloc through an extensive route in downtown Harrisburg. And, after the bloc dissipated, folks were able to de-bloc and make some fash regret leaving their keyboards. All of these elements of the action could’ve been improved with better communication and planning, and in the future, as we make a more concerted effort to do so, we must take into consideration lessons from the June 10th action in Harrisburg.

P.S.: Remember, horses are our friends, and even though they can be scary they don’t want to be involved in our oppression any more than we do. They are frightened in those moments, and will often defy their masters when the heat is on.

Harrisburg June 10th Action Roundup

from It’s Going Down

Shut Down Anti-Muslim March Harrisburg

from Facebook

On June 10th, all over the United States, Act for America has called for marches against “Sharia Law”, which is clearly a thinly veiled stab at the Muslim community, given that Donald Trump is in office with GOP House and Senate majorities.

The United States is not at risk for Sharia Law.

However, our Muslim brothers and sisters throughout the world are at risk from racist and violent policies as well as rhetoric. In word and in deed, the growing alt-right movement continues to merge with neo-Nazis, Klan, Southern Confederate groups and others who advocate “free speech” to support policies that threaten Muslims worldwide.

East Shore Antifa of Harrisburg, PA therefore calls for the entirety of our community to stand together against the rising threat of fascism in our state.

This is not a protest or a rally, although those actions can be found elsewhere on this day and we fully stand in solidarity and in support with those who choose to rally or protest instead.

This event is a shut-down. We will be gathering in number, beginning at 9:30 am, and if possible, we will move as a defensive formation to physically blockade their march route and we will not allow them to pass through our city.

Bring signs, banners, medics, drummers, scouts and anything else you feel can contribute to our success and safety.

Harrisburg is not a protest playground, so if you do come, come prepared to observe and respect the autonomy of those who live in this community. Any person or group who does not respect diversity of tactics as well as group consensus and revolutionary discipline during actions should not attend this event, and will not be supported by our bloc.

No Pasaran!

[June 10 at 500 N Front St, Harrisburg PA]