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September 18

Antifascist Joy in Portland: Reflections from the Summer of 2019

A positive reflection on mass antifascist actions in Portland over the summer of 2019.

Antifascist groups in Portland now have so much legitimacy that several distinct but linked fascist groups have taken to insisting that the PNW-YLF, a youth activist group based largely out of Portland, is working with them.

Joey Gibson insisted that “antifa” was “nice” to him:

Haley Adams went so far as to poorly Photoshop her group’s name onto the black flag carried by the PNW-YLF at one event where the group counter-protested her and her lackeys.

This came at the end of yet another summer of clashes between those who would harm Portland and those who would defend it — a summer that had what could only be called a string of losses for the fascists.

The summer, at least for me, started with a pathetic showing from the scattered and feuding groups of fascists, who were in the end easily picked off in battles where they were easily outnumbered — the event, at least from the antifascist side, consistently overwhelmingly of dodging the police. The fash were barely in evidence.

The summer ended after only the second rally from the far-Right, which saw the Proud Boys fly in hundreds of members, only for them to lose more and more of the waterfront to the city’s defenders, before they panicked and ran from the overwhelming numbers of antifascists.

During these clashes, I personally had random civilians come up to me and thank me for what I was doing. We directed traffic when we took the streets, de-legitimizing the State by showing an alternative and stigmergic source of order.

The fash have been reduced to tiny rallies with secret locations, so that they can at least pretend to still have a street presence, so that they can grift donations out of their internet fans.

This summer isn’t some final victory. It might not even be the beginning of a trend – I’ve seen fash numbers in Portland trend downwards for years, from hundreds to dozens… but things can change. Still, this summer felt a lot like winning. It felt like it might point to a day when the fash wouldn’t show up anymore, and we could all go back to less exciting projects. The State is massive, the ocean is rising, the planet is dying, people are starving – but this summer was a little taste of victory. A little thing. But a good one.

Regardless of what happens, no one can ever take the thankful words of those civilians from me.

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Written By:

Black Cat

Insurrectionary mutualist and writer. Support at patreon.com/blackcatsociety

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