Philly Turns Up the Heat for Mumia Abu-Jamal

from It’s Going Down

The following press release about continued action in support of Black Liberation prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal was sent to It’s Going Down, which we reprint below.

A community delegation delivered thousands of petitions to Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner on January 7th, asking him to not stand in the way of justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal and to not appeal a December 27, 2018 court decision by Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker.

Wayne Alexander Cook (nephew of Mumia Abu-Jamal) handed the 4,227 signed petitions to Krasner’s assistant as they entered the DA’s lobby. The thick manila envelope also contained letters from Tadashi Seto (Doro-Chiba, Japanese rail workers’ union), Edwin R Ferris (International Secretary-Treasurer of International Longshore & Warehouse Union) and other labor statements in support of Abu-Jamal’s quest for freedom after 37 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

The DA refused to talk with the group that included Michael Africa, Jr (MOVE Organization), Sandy Joy (Rowen University professor) and other members of the umbrella group Mobilization4Mumia. The DA’s Director of Communications Ben Waxman did meet soon after, but revealed no new information when asked whether or not Krasner will appeal. “That’s above my paygrade,” he said.

The online petitions were gathered in ten days from thousands of people in the US and from around the world by Roots Action and Mobilization4Mumia.

The petitions are part of an effort to persuade Philadelphia DA Krasner to refuse an appeal of Tucker’s ruling. Such an appeal would lead to years of court proceedings and further postpone Abu-Jamal’s chance to prove his innocence. After almost four decades in prison and suffering from cirrhosis of the liver and related ailments, years of court delays will be nothing less than a death sentence and a denial of justice.

On January 5th, 2019 almost 200 people marched in the rain with signs and banners in front of the DA’s office with demands of: “Justice Now! Krasner: Don’t Appeal! Free Mumia! ”

Mumia Abu-Jamal won the significant victory before Judge Leon Tucker in a decision granting Abu-Jamal new rights to re-open appeals. The ruling could impact other prisoners whose appeals were similarly denied by biased judges.

Tucker ruled that former PA Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille denied Abu-Jamal fair and impartial hearings by not recusing himself from the defendant’s appeals between 1998 and 2012.  The ruling referenced Castille’s public statements of being a “law and order” prosecutor, responsible for 45 men on death row, the support of the Fraternal Order of Police, and new evidence supporting the claim that Castille singled out men convicted as “police killers.” Tucker cited all the above because they created the appearance of bias and impropriety in the appeal process.

Abu-Jamal has always maintained his innocence in the fatal shooting of police officer Daniel Faulkner. Judge Tucker’s ruling means that Abu-Jamal’s appeals of his 1982 convictions are restored. Abu-Jamal has argued through his past appeals that he was framed by police and that the prosecution manufactured evidence of guilt and suppressed the proof of his innocence, in addition to other violations of his due process rights.

After decades in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, Abu-Jamal’s supporters are demanding that the charges should be dismissed and he should be freed.

On Flexing and Cyberspace: Brief Thoughts on the NYE Noise Demo

Submission

Happy Twenty-Nine Guillotine! As many huddle around the television, all dressed up in their most glitzy and glamorous attire in anticipation of the clock tick tocking to midnight, those rowdy neighborhood anarchists have taken to their own NYE ritual. Instead of popping bottles of champagne, we pop bottle rockets at prisons. This year was no different. A rowdy noise demonstration took place in center city on NYE, full of noisemakers, fireworks and spraypaint. It was quick, well executed, and everyone got away ok! I sincerely hope that those inside were able to hear/see a bit of the show before Philly’s Swinest had to show up and ruin our fun :(. It was a well executed demonstration from rushed start to the final dumpster dive. Some cute tags went up, the demo at the FDC started with a very large fireworks display, followed by many bottle rockets, and once too many cops showed up we made a timely exit. I would like to touch on two observations though and pose some questions pertaining to them.

Firstly, I’m not one to try and tell people what to chant. In my personal opinion, however, the amount of flexing that goes on in Philly’s chant game is pretty corny. There were many “aggressive” chants pertaining to cops. They reminded me of middle school and listening to Leftover Crack. Love the sentiment and if people feel empowered by these chants that’s fantastic, but the degree of flexing in these statements is so extreme. Out in the streets we are most certainly not in a place to be performing these actions, nor are we even armed. Empty threats and talking too much potentially puts you and others around you in danger. Security culture is important, even in our chants. Essentially don’t talk about shit you are gunna do in public and don’t talk about shit you’re not gunna do in public. Sure these chant’s are cute and fun, but are they entirely realistic both in expressing ones desires and current possibilities? Furthermore, are they smart chants to be saying, or could these messages be conveyed in a more secure fashion?

Secondly, I would like to touch on the ever present monster in our modern lives that is the smartphone. Scouring the interwebs I saw photos that were taken at the demonstration last night. None of them were of people doing anything, however, does insta really have to know about this tonight? One can’t come back tomorrow or another time to catch a shot of the tags? Taking your smart phone to the demo and taking photographs at the thing poses a risk for yourself and other individuals. It can definitively place you at the demo via location data and track the march route. If police were to get a hold of someones phone, they could find cameras on the march route and the footage on those may potentially catch people a case. Furthermore, your microphone is always on, recording everything that you say and that is said around you…see the previous paragraph. Another thing with taking photographs, the image files have data encoded into them when you take them. This data includes the time, date, and location the photograph was taken and data pertaining to what phone took the image. These images can then potentially be synced with icloud or google photos where these companies now presumably have some sort of record of the photographs. I guess what I am trying to say is that a lot can go wrong with bringing your phone to the demo and using it. It’s typically a better idea to leave it at home, or if you must bring it, password protect everything, encrypt your SD card, uninstall any apps that have a profile linked to you, turn off location data, and turn it off. Your friends don’t need to know what you’re up to for social media clout, it’s actually better if they don’t.

None of these ideas are meant to be proposed in a fashion asserting that anyone did anything “wrong”. These are just a few points that I think could be beneficial for people to think about and talk with their respective affinity groups about. Stay safe and stay smart so we can continue to be dangerous in the streets together.

Love and Solidarity to those locked up for daring to take on law and order!
Till all prisoners are free and all prisons are ash!
Go Birds!
Be Crime Do Gay (Come up with a fresh catch phrase 2k19)

Report from New Year’s Eve Noise Demo

Submission

A call was made for an anti-prison solidarity noise demo on NYE. When we arrived to the meetup there were scattered crews huddled in the rain, around 20 or 30 people in all. A short announcement was made explaining the route and dispersal for the march, supplies to share, and the legal number.
The march began by taking the street. There was a banner that read “Total Freedom Against All Authority”, drums, black flags, fireworks, leaflets, shakers, graffiti, and rowdy voices showing disdain for prison and police.
Once at the prison more fireworks were shot and we made a bunch of noise. Cops showed up surprisingly fast compared to other years. But the march left the prison as the plan was to leave once police presence was significant. We marched against traffic until we turned into an alley, where a dumpster was thrown to block the way. Everyone dispersed.

What we liked
We liked keeping this New Year’s Eve anti-prison tradition alive. We were happy with the turnout despite the weather. People came prepared with their own objectives and the tools to carry them out. We liked that the bloc stayed together and kept it tight once the cops arrived. We liked that we didn’t wait around to get fucked up by the police. We’re glad that the planning and promotion were kept offline. We thought overall that the demo went smooth. This demo opened our eyes to the potential of short flash mob type actions and left us wondering what something like this would look like with a different intensity.

What we didn’t like
Because of its shortness we regret not seeing the prisoners. That was our biggest disappointment because the intention behind the demo was to have an interaction with the prisoners. It’s difficult to navigate how long to stick around while maintaining an intensity that feels honest and defiant without making it easier for the cops to arrest us. Two more take aways were: we could have done more to make our banner less flimsy, and that we wonder if this particular demo is becoming predictable to the police. Lastly the unfortunate timing of a park ranger meant we couldn’t have more time for discussion before the march began.

We hope that other people at the march share their reports, thoughts, criticisms, and feelings and we can create an open dialogue around actions.

For the blackest December
No prisons
No borders
Fuck law and order
Happy New Year!

Report from End of the Year Critical Mass Ride on December 14.

Submission

I want to go over how the ride went and open a dialogue on the possibilities of bike demonstrations. Even though the demonstration was publicly called for, the location was not immediately posted online, police did not come to the starting location. The starting time of ride at 5PM was an excellent choice because the bikes could easily move through rush hour traffic and avoided a police tail for the entire ride. Police arrived at the end when people were gathered in the street blocking traffic for around 45 minutes. Some of the riders carried black and red flags, flares, or music. The colorful, loud, crowd drew attention in a way that wasn’t seen as threatening by most people on the street, which allowed for paint and flare throwing to take place in a setting without a hostile crowd. The ride went through multiple neighborhoods, disrupting traffic without sacrificing mobility. Chants against capital, and in memory of Pablo, an anarchist killed by a car while making food deliveries were shouted during the ride. During the ride I attempted to thrown paint balls at two symbols of capital. One against a Bank of America failed, the other was against a new luxury housing building. The former failed because I tried to thrown the paint ball from a moving bicycle, while the latter succeeded, that time I stopped and then threw. Throwing accurately from a moving bicycle is a lot harder than stopping for a moment and throwing. I don’t want to make the ride seem more confrontational than it was, most people in attendance were focused on making noise, slowing traffic, and bringing the memory of people killed by cars to the street.

Demonstrations on bikes seem underused among Philly anarchists and have potential for festive and offensive uses. An advantage of the bicycle demonstration is speed, it’s likely that police will not catch up with a demonstration moving through congested traffic faster than a car can. This can allow for offensive actions to be carried out across a large area without as much risk as a demonstration that marches. Using bikes brings up questions that aren’t addressing when marching on foot. The practice of anonymity is complicated when bicycles enter the picture, not everyone has extra anonymous bikes ready to use and potentially abandon. How can a bike be made nondescript?

Carrying the memory of the dead as a weapon
Furthering anarchist dialogue and action

Anti-Racist Crowd Overwhelms Small Far-Right Rally in Philly

from Unicorn Riot

Philadelphia, PA – Over a thousand anti-racist protesters gathered on Independence Mall on Saturday to oppose a “We The People” rally organized by right-wing groups tied to groups like the Proud Boys and the Three Percenter militia network.

The rally was organized by a Facebook page called ‘Sports Beer and Politics’, associated with Philly-area far-right organizers Zachary Rehl and Holly Delcampo. Social media postings leading up to the event showed organizers coordinating with members of the violent “western chauvinist” Proud Boys, a group which has been called a “gang” by its founder Gavin McInnes. Members of the neo-Nazi group, Keystone United (formerly called Keystone State Skinheads), had also indicated that they would be attending.

Around 10:30 AM, as both the far-right rally and the counter-protest began, Philadelphia police made their first arrest as officers with bikes pushed anti-racists and journalists across the street to create a wider perimeter. After police forcibly created a control zone, the event largely consisted of two opposing rallies on either side of the street. The far-right group had between 12-50 attendees throughout the day, with the anti-racist counter-protest opposing them made up of roughly 1,000 people.

See our livestream coverage from the event below:

(Correction: At times in our livestream Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Melvin Singleton is misidentified as Police Commissioner Richard Ross. Any reference to Ross in our stream narration actually refers to Singleton. Unicorn Riot regrets the error.)

Many different Philadelphia groups came out for the event, including several unions, the Philly Coalition for Real Justice, and a coven of witches.

Witches hex Proud Boys in Philadelphia. Photo by Unicorn Riot.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ new mascot, ‘Gritty’, who has become an international antifascist symbol, made several appearances, along with internet sensation ‘Grumpy Cat’:

‘Grumpy Cat’ puppet operated by two people at the anti-racist counter-protest. Photo by Unicorn Riot.

After about an hour of speakers with a sound system and a marching band drowning out the right-wing rally from across the street, two Proud Boys were spotted in the counter-protest crowd. The two men, David Kuriakose and Simon Greenwood, had previously been identified as present at the Proud Boys’ gang beating attacks in New York City outside the Metropolitan Republican Club last month. Kuriakose was charged and arrested for his alleged role in the Proud Boys attack, according to the New York Post. The two men were escorted across the street, after some counter-protesters pushed them and threw items like water bottles.

Proud Boys David Kuriakose and Simon Greenwood ushered out of the counter-protest in Philadelphia by police, as hundreds of people chanted “assholes” at them. Photo at left by Unicorn Riot; New York photos by Shay Horse in upper right & Sandi Bachom in lower right.

Another altercation occurred down the street a few minutes later, in which a man seen hiding his face from cameras appeared to have been headbutted. Police who were already present at the scene quickly made two arrests. An unconfirmed report claims this scuffle was the result of a case of a man being mistakenly identified as part of the far-right rally.

Shortly after that incident, 48-year-old Proud Boy Alan Swinney, wearing body armor and holding a large flagpole, left the right-wing rally area in an apparent attempt to provoke a confrontation with counter-protesters. Quickly surrounded by anti-racists and reporters, Swinney was quickly escorted back into the fenced-off “We The People” rally area by Philadelphia Police as well as federal park rangers (the Independence Visitor Center where the rally took place is under federal jurisdiction).

48-year-old “Proud Boy” Alan Swinney in Philadelphia. Photo by Unicorn Riot.

A few minutes later, a group of the “We The People” rally attendees walked away from their rally location on Independence Mall. The group then walked a few blocks, escorted by dozens of police and about as many counter-protesters, to the old Philadelphia police headquarters. After presenting an award to police inside the building, the group waited around behind their police escort waiting to get picked up. However, the group had a hard time getting a ride, as an Uber driver, and later a taxi driver, both declined to pick up the passengers once counter-protesters told them they were affiliated with the Proud Boys.

Around this same time, Philadelphia police made a major show of force by Independence Mall in order to prevent counter-protesters from approaching far-right rally attendees who were leaving. Video by local reporter Joshua Scott Albert shows officers pushing a man into a tree before hitting him on the head with overhand baton strikes. At around the same time, officers were ushering Alan Swinney, the Proud Boy who had shown up wearing riot armor, into his Uber.

Red liquid that seemed to be blood was seen on the ground shortly after the police beatings. Philadelphia Police did not directly respond to an inquiry about whether overhand baton strikes to the head are consistent with policy, instead directing us to visit a webpage that includes PPD use-of-force directives.

According to Philadelphia Police Public Affairs, a total of four people were detained or arrested on Saturday, November 17: two for failure to disperse, one for disorderly conduct, and another for allegedly assaulting a police captain. No attendees from the far-right rally were cited, detained, or arrested.

The day after the rally, The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a story incorrectly claiming there was “no indication” that Proud Boys or Three Percenters were present at the rally. The story was eventually corrected two days later, but not before a headline on the front page told readers there had been “no sign of hate groups“.

The Inquirer’s curious claim was easily disproven by the documented presence of Proud Boys Alan Swinney, David Kuriakose, and Simon Greenwood. Numerous rally attendees were also photographed with clothes bearing the insignia of the Three Percenter militia movement, which provided security for neo-Nazis at Unite The Right in Charlottesville.

The event’s official organizers, Zachary Rehl and Holly Delcampo, also have their own unique and checkered backgrounds. Zach Rehl is the son and grandson of Philadelphia police officers, a fact he often uses when explaining the pro-police messaging of his events. However, Rehl himself has a criminal record, including a 2015 incident that resulted in him facing charges of aggravated assault, criminal mischief, terroristic threats, assault, reckless endangerment, and drunk driving.

Comments made by Holly Delcampo on Facebook have claimed that anti-racist protester Heather Heyer died in Charlottesville from a “heart attack” and “was not hit by a car“, echoing debunked conspiracy theories spread by the alt-right about the car attack at Unite The Right.

Notably, events organized in 2017 by ‘Sports Beer and Politics’ under a pro-Trump, pro-police banner, were attended by white supremacist extremists who were seen at Unite The Right in Charlottesville.

Unicorn Riot has previously reported on the involvement of “Three Percenters” in attacks and right-wing activity at demonstrations: Three Percenters attacked a Democratic Socialists of America gathering in Kentucky in September 2018; Three Percenter social media amplified false stories that Georgia police used to craft crowd management in April 2018; Three Percenters participated in an August 2018 rally in Portland; and through data requests Unicorn Riot recently determined that in St. Paul, armed Three Percenters were improperly released from police custody after detainment in the summer of 2016.

Live reporting, photo editing and research contributed by Dan Feidt, Unicorn Riot. 

Editors note: An earlier version of this story had mistaken Holly Delcampo for another person. Unicorn Riot regrets the error. 


How Gritty Saved Philadelphia

from It’s Going Down

Report from Philadelphia, where a broad antifascist mobilization pushed the far-Right off the streets.

by Sam Bishop

In times of turmoil you often hear of certain individuals rising to the occasion and doing what must be done when others aren’t strong enough to do so.

In the city of brotherly love where many across the state are still reeling from the aftermath of last month’s deadly synagogue shooting, when faced with the prospect of far right marchers invading their city one individual did step up to the call. One individual did do what must be done when others weren’t strong enough to do it.

His name was Gritty and he was the one who scared the fascists out of Philly.

Only a few short weeks ago The Keystone State Skinheads, group whose members have been charged with hate crimes ranging from random attacks on minorities, to indiscriminately murdering the homeless had pledged to attend the rally. So had the now infamous Proud Boys who had been planning to attend the rally since its announcement just before many of their members were charged with assaulting protesters in New York.

Despite pledging to ban hate groups from attending the rally and despite the Proud Boys classification as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and despite the groups own founder describing the Proud Boys as a “gang” who “commits violence for fun.” Many of the organizers of the rally defended the group as tensions escalated.

The defense of the Proud Boys by the organizers of the rally only seemed to embolden those opposed to the rally who began organizing a counter protest named the “Push Back Campaign” and began monitoring some of the attendees of the rally. Going as far as to getting one man who was apparently invited as security for the rally fired from his job at Comcast after publicly revealing him as a member of the Proud Boys.

As more and more news came out about the rally, more members of the community became opposed to it. A local petition received over 1,000 signatures asking that the permit for the rally be pulled and fliers were put up around the city with pictures of far-Right leaders who vowed to attend warning citizens to be on the lookout for them.

Tensions escalated more as leaked chat logs revealed that right wing rally goers were planning to bring any weapons they legally could.

But as the day finally came the far-Right rally attendees were outnumbered within minutes. Police made quick work with their bicycles to push counter-demonstrators away from the sidewalk and across the street, allegedly injuring a protester in the process.

IMG_0029.jpg

As the rally got underway the number of right wing attendees expanded into tens of people while the number of counter-demonstrators swelled into the hundreds.

People from all walks of life showed up to oppose the Proud Boys they believed to be invading their city. Some at the event included Antifa and other local left wing political groups, while others were made up of ordinary people. Such as Priests, Rabbis and Veterans who came armed with signs that promoted peace and ‘civility.’

Chants were made and the crowd continued to swell until the number of attendees at the Pushback Rally passed 1,000 and the number of attendees at the, We the People Rally totaled at 34.

None of the promised Neo-Nazis or skinheads were spotted in the tiny crowd and though those who were involved in organizing the event had histories of clear bigotry most of those who were there resembled something closer to members of the Tea-Party as opposed to members of the Aryan Brotherhood. Trump and NRA hats covered the heads of those in attendance and heated conversations between self-described Libertarians and Republicans included arguments over whether or not Patriot Act became evil under Obama but Trump somehow is using it for good again or if it was always bad.

Speakers at the event included Tye Smith a black Trump supporter who is president of a police foundation that hosts its event dinners at the Church of Scientology and whose primary source of income appears to be through a company he owns which organizes erotic sex parties. [1]

Others who took charge of speaking during the rally includes a man self-identified as a Delaware small business owner who runs a Conservative Facebook page and who rallied against taxation being theft.

Just as he had begun to invite counter-demonstrators to send someone to cross the police barricade in order to debate him was when the first skirmish occurred.

Police began to mobilize and press was apparently pushed from the scene. Many of the right wing organizers assumed that the commotion was caused by Antifa attempting to force past the police barricade but it only took a few minutes before an officer explained how a member of the rally had snuck into the counter-demonstrator area and began attacking the counter-demonstrators. At that point they were instructed to wrap up the rally, which they soon did an hour before they had scheduled to end it.

After being followed by press and counter-demonstrators to a nearby a police station, officers formed a barricade around the exit to protect the right wing demonstrators until their Ubers could arrive. After two Ubers and a cab driver refused to pick up any of the right wing attendees upon learning who they were, many of the attendees at the rally were forced to simply walk home in shame.

Despite having three chapters and dozens of members in the state of Philadelphia I was told by rally security that only two members of the Proud Boys actually showed up.

What happened to scare away the dozens if not hundreds of far-Right members who planned to march besides the Liberty Bell leaving only the few moderate conservatives left to actually attend?

The answer of course is Gritty. More than a sports mascot or a grotesque assemblage or fur and felt, Gritty is someone that resides within us all. Gritty is an idea. Gritty is a drive within the people of Philadelphia that drove over 1,000 of them to spend their day making signs and preparing to march against injustice.

Perhaps it was the Gritty inside a twitter user who promised to ID anyone that showed up to the rally. Which scared them away. Perhaps it was the Gritty inside Reddit users who hinted that the Socialist Rifle Club would be armed and ready to defend themselves. That made them stay home. It could have even been the Gritty inside the people who posted flyers that identified likely rally attendees and warned citizens to be on the lookout for them. Perhaps it was the Gritty inside every single one of the people who showed up at the Pushback rally, and the Gritty that made them let the world know they would be coming that made the Proud Boys and the Nazis realize this isn’t a game and that the people of Philadelphia won’t let them be welcomed into their city.

All that matters now though is the few who came to the rally ran home hiding behind the police and regretting having come to it in the first place. While members of the resistance made history as Gritty today became the face of the revolution.

Call to Action to Oppose Proud Boys, Militias, and Neo-Nazi Skinhead Gang Holding Nationalist Rally

from It’s Going Down

Call for a mass mobilization against far-Right groups rallying in Philadelphia on November 17th.

On Saturday, November 17, a coalition of far-Right groups spearheaded by The Proud Boys and various militia groups, along with Keystone United/Keystone State Skinheads, one of the most violent white supremacist gangs in Pennsylvania, will be gathering in Philadelphia for a “We the People Rally.”

We’ve seen nationwide the violence and bigoted terror that happens when the far-Right organizes under the guise of “Patriotism” or “Nationalism,” and we’ve seen the deadly consequences of an emboldened insurgent fascist movement that’s been allowed a platform upon which to fester and spread their toxic and evil ideology.

We urge all people who can make it to show up and oppose them, to not concede a single inch and to not allow them any chance to recruit or grow in power. There will be a mass action coordinated by the Pushback Campaign to oppose them at the Independence Hall Visitor Center at 10:00 AM.

We also strongly encourage people to autonomously organize themselves and trusted friends into action and to be creative with how to oppose these fascists and ensure that they do not feel welcome in our city. We must ensure that Philadelphia does not become a hub of their organizing and that they are impeded every step of the way, and we must inspire a broader base of support for opposing them in the future!

In solidarity with the Pushback Campaign and all Autonomous groups and collectives involved in organizing this stalwart opposition, and those doing similar around the world! More info can be found here as well.

¡No pasarán!

-Some folks in Philly who are against Fascism

The Philadelphia Fash Rally – a Primer

from Idavox

About two weeks ago a Philly.com article gave a little #pushback to the so-called “We the People” rally happening Nov. 17 in Philadelphia being organized by representatives of the milita movement and Proud Boys, but the treatment didn’t go far enough in uncovering the ugly realities of their organizers.  Here are some important parts of the organizers’ actual backgrounds, the rally supporters and extreme statements.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – When the so-called “We the People” rally takes place next Saturday, opposition will be coming from well beyond the city limits because many are concerned about the element that is coming to Independence Hall is one that has been connected to the string of right wing violence seen in the country over the past few weeks and months.

Zach Rehl, left wearing Marines shirt poses with Ellsworth George Lewis III of the Pennsylvania Alt-Knights.

Zach Rehl, an insurance agent for Winchester Financial Services in Philadelphia, is noted in the article as the person who runs the Sports Beer and Politics blog and Facebook page, which he is using to organize the rally. While he tells the Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the publications covered by Philly.com, that his rally is about supporting conservative causes, the issue has been what kind of conservative causes might he mean. The Southern Poverty Law Center has noted his work as that of a “local right-wing organizer” known for organizing rallies that has attracted alt-right figures who sport imagery such as Kekistan flags which while is supposed to be part of a running joke among neo-Fascists today used to promote not-so-funny political positions, perfectly mimics Nazi World War II battle flags. Rehl like others, have been observed and photographed in a “seemingly…cozy relationship” with the Philadelphia chapter of the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights (FOAK), the self-styled “tactical defense arm” of the Proud Boys, according to the article.

The organizers’ networking demonstrate more problems. They recently worked with the Anti-Muslim ACT for America (ACT) which had nationwide “March Against Sharia” events in 2017, many of them attracting representatives of not only the Proud Boys but the White supremacist Identity Evropa. One person who spoke at a recent ACT event was Sonny Sullivan, a former Marine employed as a real estate agent for Keller-Williams in neighboring Bensalem, PA.

The organizers are seeking to connect with the “Three Percenters” paramilitary organization, along with others, for “security” and more. Planned participant and announced speaker statements are also unsurprising. Social media comments call for a “strong showing”; bringing knives, guns, and “whip[ping] some ass”; “NO MORE STANDING DOWN” (a military inactivity reference); and, that attendees “come… to crush.”

This mindset must not be dismissed since Holly Delcampo, another lead rally organizer has indicated that she is not above the irrational thinkings of this element. She is one who has attempted to absolve James Fields, the alleged driver of the car that drove into Heather Heyer at 2017’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA of her death by furthering the long dismissed idea that she died of a heart attack and similarly dismisses the political inclinations of Robert Gregory Bowers, the accused shooter at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, because he was an “anti-Trumper.”

Ironically, the Pennsylvania-based militia groups that were actually in Charlottesville that day are warning others to stay away from this rally, saying on a Three Percenter-friendly podcast that having such a rally “in a leftist part of the state” is problematic. “I was one of the first people contacted by the event organizer when the rally was starting to be planned, and I told her at that time this is a bad idea,” Christian Yingling of the Latrobe, PA-based Pennsylvania Light Foot Militia Laurel Highlands Ghost Company, said on the Big Sarge program last week. “I said, ‘You guys have tried to do this before,’ I said, ‘You got run out of there.’ I said…’When you’re in a war, you don’t attack your enemy when he’s the strongest, you attack him where he is the weakest.’”

While some militia groups might be keeping their distance, neo-Nazis have been promoting the rally on their social networks. A post on the Neo-Nazi website Stormfront announces the event, with at least two persons expressing interest. In a post on the Facebook page for the rally, Delcampo posted that any violence, racism, or display of hate by any group or individual is prohibited and any group or party violating those conditions will be removed. The involvement of the Proud Boys alone had been enough for those opposing the rally to be cynical at such a declaration, but Bob Gaus of the neo-Nazi Keystone United, which itself has militia ties in the state, posted on the page asking for information. It is not known if Delcampo addressed him and his intentions specifically.

The “We the People” rally will be held Saturday at the Independence Mall Visitor’s Center.

Keystone State Skinheads Plan to Attend “We The People” Rally

from Facebook

ALERT: Keystone State Skinheads co-founder and de-facto leader Bob Gaus plans to bring a crew of KSS boneheads to the “We The People” rally being organized in Philly on Nov 17th by the Proud Boys and Three Percenter militia members. Fellow KSS member Bryan Vanagaitis has also been on the event page “liking” various comments.

The rally organizers have refused to bar them from attending, instead making vague statements about “displays of hate” not being allowed. What does that mean? It means nazis welcome, as long as you act in a media-friendly way.

Several KSS members are currently under indictment for a bias attack in Avalon, PA in which they attacked a black man at a bar. The last time an organized group of KSS came to Philly, they brutally attacked 2 Anti-Racists who were on the way to protest them.

We need EVERYONE in the streets to #pushback against this alliance of Nazis, Proud Boys and Threepers on the 17th! The rally organizers have their plausible deniability and that’s all that matters to them. KSS has a group of nazi-sympathizing rubes to use as cover and to swell their numbers. Stay safe, bring lots of friends, and don’t be intimidated by these bigots!

https://www.facebook.com/events/171281213803986/

UPDATE: A few of the organizers of “We The People” are claiming that they’ve told KSS they “are not wanted.” We are skeptical considering it took them hours to acknowledge that KSS intended to attend (while posting other updates on the event page) despite it being brought to their attention almost immediately by some of their own supporters. They then made the statement we refer to above about “displays of hate” not being allowed but made no comment about nazis THEMSELVES attending until, again, people called them on it. It seems at least possible, if not likely, that WTP organizers are being dishonest. Sports Beer and Politics, in particular, has a history of denying nazis will attend their rallies, rallying and marching with nazis, and then denying it after the fact or claiming ignorance. It is also very possible that KSS will show up regardless knowing that WTP organizers won’t do anything and that the cops will protect them, and then try and target Anti-Racists out to protest. For the sake of safety, we are assuming KSS will be out and about in Philly on November 17th and others should plan accordingly.

Stand Against the Proud Boys on November 17th

from Philly IWW

The Philadelphia General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World voted unanimously at our October meeting to endorse Operation Pushback’s protest against the “We The People” rally hosted and endorsed by regional members of the Proud Boys and their paramilitary wing, the Alt Knights.

The Proud Boys seek to reinforce gendered, racial, and national divides among the working class, terminate financial aid for the poor, eliminate workers’ right to move to other countries, and deprive working-class women of employment and income so as to force them to become housewives. They openly glorify bosses and the rich (“entrepreneurs”) while misleading male workers into thinking they have common interests with wealthy men. They encourage chauvinist attitudes towards workers in other countries, inhibiting our ability to unify against multi-national corporations across borders by pitting workers in different countries against each other. For too long reactionaries have hidden behind “Free Speech” and “preserving the constitution,” but they do not sincerely want these freedoms and protections for the entirety of the population; they simply want to return to the days of white male supremacy and to maintain the rule of the wealthy.

The IWW, a pioneer of free speech advocacy, has long stood firmly against far-right hate groups, from the second Klu Klux Klan and the American Legion in the early twentieth-century to Vanguard America and the Proud Boys today. We call on all of our fellow union workers to join us on November 17th to let the Proud Boys know their semi-fascist rhetoric of hatred and militant sexism is not welcome in Philadelphia. If allowed to rampage around Philadelphia unchallenged the Proud Boys will commit hate crimes again. Please read the call from Operation Pushback, inform yourselves about the open hatred that the Proud Boys / Alt Knights espouse, and join us in the streets to celebrate a free and united Philadelphia.