Not only are they complicit…
They seem to especially enjoy their job detail when it’s protecting nazis from anti-fascist protesters. It doesn’t seem far-fetched to think that Charlottesville was an experiment. Let Antifa go toe to toe with the right in combat and see just how far we’ll take it. Anti-fascists won the battle of Charlottsville. But in the post-Cville world of anti-racist activism , nazis are given police escorts, state resources, and in many cases the collaborative protection of anywhere from 4 to 10 law enforcement agencies at their rallies and conferences. Protesters are corralled into “free speech” pens where they are first searched and emptied of any items deemed “restricted”. On the flip side of that, in places like Newnan, GA, people were allowed to carry loaded weapons but not water bottles. We’ve seen people be denied entry because of asthma inhalers and blood sugar medicine, food and drink. Guns are ok though.
Protest pens keep anti-racists at an agonizingly safe distance from nazi organizers. Standing between protesters and nazis are usually between 50 to several hundred cops dressed in riot gear. Two of the most frequently heard questions asked of law enforcement by anti-racist activists are “Why are you protecting nazis?” and “We don’t see no riot here, why you dressed in riot gear?” Though to be fair, the police have always protected and upheld white supremacy. Once plantation overseers tasked with hunting down and returning runaway slaves, today’s cops serve and protect only white supremacy and the state’s capitalist interests (and property).
Not to mention the fact that law enforcement have been controlled (or infiltrated) by the KKK and other white supremacist groups, especially in the South, since the beginning. If you understand the history and dynamic of law enforcement, it should come as no surprise that almost every single time there is a clash between white supremacist and anti-racist groups, the cops are facing us, not the nazis.
For the past six years,
The American Renaissance Conference (AmRen) has been held inside Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns, TN. At every pre-Cville AmRen action to date, law enforcement presence was minimal. After Anti-fascists went to confront the NSM in Newnan, Georgia a week prior and were met by 400 cops who were protecting 25 nazis and brutally arresting people for nothing at all in some cases, we expected to see more cops than usual at AmRen 2018. We didn’t expect the park to be occupied by over 100 officers from at least 4 different Tennessee LEO agencies. We didn’t expect snipers on the roof aiming at 60 or so protesters. Masks were never prohibited. This year however, local dicks brought in prison guards from TDOC, TBI agents, TN State Troopers, Park Rangers and local cops. An anti-fascist was chased and arrested within seconds of pulling a mask half way up over their face when a conference attendee entered the protest pen and began taking pictures of people’s faces. This is another tactic used by the state to incite aggression and make protesters vulnerable to arrest. They won’t let us cross their line, but they let them into ours all day.
Women of Faith Confront The State
Beth is a freedom fighter and anti-racist activist from Cleveland, TN. She and others from Mercy Junction and the Women of Faith Collective have put their bodies and freedom on the line many times. They have a fierce dedication to non-violence, a fearless approach to civil disobedience, and tremendous respect and solidarity with diversity of tactics. Beth and the Clergy stood with arms linked, face to face with violent white supremacists in Charlottesville when the streets turned bloody. The work they do for their community is reflected in their persistence and solidarity with comrades who fight racism and state oppression.
“The aggressive police responses, the barricades, the caging of demonstrators, the snipers and helicopters, the shutting down of public spaces — the denial of access to food, water, shelter, personal possessions — the invasive searches, in order to be “allowed” to “protest” Nazis … let’s be very clear about what this is. This is official punishment for the political ideology of antifascists and anti-racists during a time when a white supremacist regime is in control of the federal and Tennessee state governments.
White Supremacists and Nazis and their allies have killed millions … notably, 10 in mass shootings (one in nearby Nashville) in the last few weeks.
Antifascists have killed 0.
The media, the peace activists, the liberals, the police and prison guards and park rangers, and anyone else who spouts the untrue rhetoric of violent antifascists and whips up and participates in the violent and dangerous state response — history will see you as a Nazi collaborator.”
After a protester was arrested, removed and released from the demonstration for wearing a mask inside the pen, an opportunity for civil disobedience became an act of solidarity. Foster along with 7 others masked up and taunted the cops on the other side of the fence for almost an hour. They were hardly given a response, because the no mask law is bullshit. But 6 cops can jump on one anti-fascist when they feel like it. They started seated and quiet then moved up to the fence directly in front of 30 police. No arrests were made, no orders to remove the masks.
One People’s Project
— Eliz@beth King (@ekingc) April 28, 2018
“Don’t be discouraged by what you see here today. Be invigorated! Because that means we gotta keep pressing!”
-Daryle Lamont Jenkins on the fortification of a state park by law enforcement in defense of white supremacy
The whole idea of confronting genocidal hate mongers like Jared Taylor is to, by any means necessary, make them feel unsafe and unwelcome. That means holding supporting venues accountable. It means holding the state accountable. It also means looking closer at our own privileges that still create buffers between a group of mostly white protesters and police. Buffers that people of color, especially Black people, do not have when they protest police brutality and white supremacy. The fact is we’re treated differently. White people riot when sports teams win, often with no consequences. Black people are attacked by militarized cops when they stand up against police brutality.
While we are definitely seeing an escalation of force and control being used by police against anti-fascist/anti-racist protesters, the majority of these groups are mostly white. Discrimination, police brutality, racial profiling, mass incarceration, oppression and repression, targeting and murder; these are everyday lived experiences of Black people in Amerikkka.
“Edward Crawford was found shot to death Thursday night in his car, just like activist Darren Seals in 2016 and protester DeAndre Joshua the night of the Ferguson verdict in 2014. The latter two had gunshot wounds to the head and their cars were lit on fire. Crawford, it is believed by police, shot himself in the back seat of his car either in an attempted suicide or by accident.”
The fascists and the state are adapting their tactics and strategies. We need to change the way we play the game. They’re prepared and in control of unlimited resources. Resistance to AmRen doesn’t have to be only once a year. Resistance to white supremacy is a lifelong commitment. Doxx your local fascists. Punch nazis. Get them fired. Expose them and confront them at every opportunity. Make businesses and establishments afraid and unwilling to host and support racists.
“On Wednesday, a Nashville-area protester affiliated with local anti-racist groups was arrested at Montgomery Bell Inn after confronting office staff at the state park about white nationalists being allowed to demonstrate.
After shoving a state-owned computer during the encounter, the man was charged with disorderly conduct. Representatives from Mercy Junction Justice and Peace Center, a Chattanooga-based interfaith organization, raised the fee for a bondsman, confirmed Beth Foster, co-director of Mercy Junction.
Foster has attended a number of white supremacist rallies around the state with the Women of Faith Collective and has demonstrated at AmRen’s Montgomery Bell conference for several years.”
“We’ve been from Memphis to Knoxville protesting these Nazi gatherings, and what we see at every single place is that the police and the resources of the state are being used to protect Nazis and white supremacists, and our public spaces are being turned over to them,” Foster said.
All things considered, this year at AmRen had some wins for us with a few losses. Our movement was restricted, which limited the effectiveness of tactics. But the message was communicated and hopefully encouraged others to get involved. We couldn’t get close enough to make any real disturbance on Saturday but dedicated people showed up again to resist white supremacy and the abuse of state sanctioned violence and power. We have a precedent of police presence to observe and find new ways to beat them (and the nazis) at their own game. Happy hunting, see you in June.