Against the Charges. Against the Cops. Against the Nazis: Update from the struggle in Olympia, WA
Filed under: Action, Anti-fascist, Northwest, Police, White Supremacy
Filed under: Action, Anti-fascist, Northwest, Police, White Supremacy
Submitted to It’s Going Down
Sunday, August 30th:
In anticipation of the coming week, the city is covered in anti-police graffiti and posters, most prevalent is the statement: No Cops, No Charges.
Wednesday, September 2nd:
At a 2pm press conference, Thurston County Prosecutor/Pig Fucker Jon Tunheim announces that the state will stand behind their little piglet Officer Ryan Donald, who in the early morning of May 21st shot two unarmed black men. The men, Andre and Bryson Chaplin allegedly tried to defend themselves with skateboards after fleeing from an attempted shoplifting. The pigs, their masters and their cheerleaders decry these young men as “criminal thugs” in a thinly veiled racism. To add insult to injury (multiple gunshot wounds to be specific) not only is the state NOT charging the cop, but prosecutors announced they in fact will be charging Andre and Bryson for assaulting the Officer. At the end of the news conference protesters chant “Fire Officer Donald!”
The reason for this outrageous yet predictable decision is clear to us. The state is more interested in protecting property than it is in our very lives and in the lives of black people in particular.
In this light, we believe it becomes easier to understand why a lone pig would have plenty of incentive to attempt to murder two young black men to protect a case of beer. That case of beer can be interpreted as a representation of the property relations upon which this entire society is built. The shooting is just an extension of the racist violence which is integral to its maintenance. And in the words of scumbag Tunheim, “A police officer really can not afford to lose that fight, to just put it bluntly.”
Whether these men are guilty or not is irrelevant to us because we don’t accept the law. The law upholds structural white supremacy and capitalist exploitation. Therefore the police, who are so willing to murder us in the interest of defending this social order and enforcing this law, must be fought. The racist system which values a case of beer more than two young lives needs to be destroyed, by any means necessary. Fuck the law.
Thursday, September 3rd:
Hundreds rally at a speak out to protest the state’s decision and demand justice for Andre and Bryson. During rush hour a small group barricades a main intersection with caution tape and chain link fencing, taken from a new condo development being built downtown. The group then marches chanting “Black Lives Matter/Blue Lives Murder” and proceeds to block off another major intersection downtown for several hours while, nearby, black participants speak to the larger rally, sharing experiences of racism and police violence at the speak out.
Later in the evening, an old Ford truck recognized as a vehicle used by Neo-Nazis (often flying a Confederate flag), is sighted as it slowly and menacingly drives past a group of anti-racists gathering downtown. The group reacts quickly to the truck’s presence, and a rowdy, mostly masked group takes to the streets, pursuing the vehicle with pipes and bats in hand, chasing the truck off. As the group is pursuing the vehicle into the industrial areas near downtown, an OPD SUV speeds up to drive between the group and the fascists. The chant, “OPD, ON THE ATTACK, WHILE THE NAZIS HAVE THEIR BACK” cuts both ways, clearly. The group then continues marching through downtown Olympia, blocking traffic with debris, lighting off fireworks and tagging a cop car and the police station with “ACAB” (all cops are bastards) as well as writing “No Cops No Charges ACAB” on a statue in front of City Hall.
It is believed that the Nazis identified in the Ford truck, later smash the windshield of a comrades car. Support funds are being gathered here.
Throughout the day, flyers are distributed promoting a Saturday march demanding “No charges against Andre and Bryson. No cops on our streets.”
Friday, September 4th:
Word circulates that Neo-Nazis are planning another rally in defense of the police the following evening. Either as a response to Saturday’s planned anti-police march or by coincidence, they proclaim their racist and paranoid intentions to “DEFEND THE NORTHWEST AGAINST THE LEFTIST SCUM AND THEIR JEWISH MANAGMENT”. Online they tellingly claim the states decision to not prosecute Donald as a “small victory” for white-supremacists. The call is posted on a fascist internet forum by known bonehead Jascha Manny. This is the same Nazi who led the rally on May 30th, when he and about ten of his racist friends were beaten down and chased out of town by a mob of armed anti-fascists.
This time Jascha promises he’s “EXPECTING A TURNOUT OF AT LEAST 100!!!” but after their prior humiliating defeat it is doubtful that anyone will heed the call. Still anti-fascists rally to once again defend Olympia from the threat of a Nazi convergence.
Saturday, September 5th:
By nightfall 50-60 anarchists and antifascists are assembled to drive the fascists out of our city once again. The group takes the street chanting “Nazis out of Oly/Fuck the police” and shoots off fire crackers. Rounds are made through downtown but if any Nazis showed up, they are careful to stay hidden. One man in a white truck tries to drive through the crowd and when asked if he likes the Nazis, responds “Yeah, I love Nazis!” and has his window broken.
— Amelia Dickson (@Amelia_Oly) September 6, 2015
A man on a motorcycle with a confederate flag is stopped as people try to remove the flag from the bike. He pulls out a baton and a fight ensues. At the end of the scuffle the flag is burned in the street and the man is taken away in an ambulance. If the June 17th mass-shooting in Charleston, SC didn’t make it clear once and for all, the confederate flag is a symbol of hate and should not be tolerated. Although white entitlement may not want to give up this emblem of “The good ol’ days” (which most associate with the pain of segregation, slavery and white terrorism), anyone who flies the confederate flag should expect to be confronted as a racist. This particular “rebel” learns this the hard way. Two American flags hanging from light posts are also taken down and destroyed.
As some suspected, the fascists don’t show for their promised rematch. Their call to arms ended with a desperate attempt to guilt other white supremacists in the region to show. It whimpered “Because if you’re not there this time, you might as well hang up your boots now…” Well, time to hang up those boots. Your hateful ideology has no place on these streets.
As the night progresses it seems that the lines between the anti-fascist rally and the scheduled anti-police march are blurry if they exist at all. One seems to meld into the other. Perhaps it is common knowledge among participants that white supremacy must be fought on all fronts. The group is heard chanting “Cops and Klan/Hand in hand” and “We want revenge” before attacking City Hall and the Police Station with bats, rocks and paint bombs, leaving its plate-glass windows splattered with red paint and spider-webbed with broken glass.
The police use pepper spray and shoot pepper balls in an attempt to disperse the crowd. The march stays together for another few blocks, where people disperse safely. No arrests are made.
Olympia Police later report on social media “We try to stay pretty positive with our Instagram posts however we wanted to share with you what OPD is dealing with regarding the protests. Last night approximately 50 protesters marched the streets of downtown Olympia masked up and dressed in all black carrying weapons ranging from baseball bats to sticks to socks with rocks in them… At one point the protesters turned towards a patrol vehicle that was blocking traffic and started swinging bats while approaching it. Later, we received word that the protesters assaulted a man on a motorcycle and was (sic) beating him with a bat. While we responded to the victim the protesters continued on to City Hall and proceeded to use their weapons to break multiple windows and vandalize the building and patrol vehicles.”
Sunday, September 6th:
A hundred people march through Olympia in what is called a “March for Mothers” to show solidarity with the many families that have suffered at the hands of police violence and racism. They leave flowers behind the caution tape outside of the recently trashed city hall and place a sign reading “Justice must be served” in front of the boarded up entrance.
Tuesday, September 8th:
15-20 people occupy Thurston County Prosecutor Jon Tunheim’s office, disrupting the mornings proceedings of business as usual. Protesters tape signs up in the office declaring “Black lives matter” and “Drop the charges” and chant “Justice for Andre and Bryson”. The office employees and police are hands off in handling the disruption, perhaps in recognition of the volatility surrounding its recent decision and in an effort to avoiding escalation.
There has been a powerful community reaction to this shooting and a broad diversity of tactics in how we have responded together. We see all of these gestures of support and solidarity as valuable in the fight against systemic racism and brutality. We seek to foster the mutual respect and collaboration necessary to become a real threat to those in power. We embrace all those who are active in this movement, not to advance their careers, and not to power monger for political legitimacy and control, but to do whatever is necessary to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.
A flyer distributed this week titled “Freedom Everywhere! Police Nowhere!” articulates our feelings well when it says “It must be made politically impossible for the city to prosecute Andre and Bryson.” This is a goal we can only achieve together. It continues “Our rage and rebellion is our weapon against this hellworld. Fuck the police, here and everywhere. The city council will never make this a safe place for any of us to live. There is no safety in a world with police.
As the state continues to prove it was never there for us, we seek to recover ways of supporting each other. The economy continues to keep us chained to varying levels of misery. The city does nothing to protect any of us from white supremacists, and in fact often hires them to its police force. Events of the last few months in Olympia have shown us that we can care for one another better than the state ever could. Who has supported the Chaplin family? Who ran Nazi bigots out of town? Who continues to keep our spirits up while every day new names of those killed by cops cross our Facebook and Twitter feeds? No candidate or institution will ever provide for us what we provide for each other.”
You can send financial support to Andre and Bryson here.
Fuck the Police forever.
-Some Olympia anarchists
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