Filed under: Action, Anti-fascist, Featured, Southwest, White Supremacy
Report from antifascists in Lakeside, CA, about an anti-racist mobilization in the wake of a brutal racist attack. Far-Right counter-protesters attempted to attack the rally, but were repelled by community members.
Saturday, April 23rd 2022, a coalition of over 50 local antifascists, anti-racist activists, and outraged community members gathered in Lakeside, California, for a spirited anti-racism rally and march. The action was organized following a brutal racist attack against a 16 year-old Black girl, who survived multiple stab wounds to her torso by her attacker, a white 16 year-old male assailant, whom is known to Lakeside students and community members as a white supremacist. According to KPBS:
A 16-year-old white boy is accused of stabbing the girl and hurling racial epithets at the girl and her family. Williamson said the family is in hiding because they believe those involved have ties to a white supremacist gang.
“Lakeside Gangsters is a well-known heinous gang that has committed atrocities in Lakeside and around Lakeside,” she said. “(The family) fear for their lives.”
Williamson and others say they are still in disbelief that in 2022 a Black girl could be verbally assaulted with racial slurs and stabbed by a white teenager, who investigators say was accompanied by adults including his father. Only the boy is facing charges, including attempted murder and committing a hate crime.
“We think that this is appalling, that this district attorney would call (the boy’s father) a bystander when they walked out of their home with these weapons, when they walked down the path, the walkway with these weapons with these adults,” Williamson said. “They are not bystanders. They are complicit.”
The rally started promptly at 6pm, with speakers warming up participants wielding signs with chants denouncing white supremacy, racist violence, and the police for their handling of this case, while praising community, solidarity, and Black power. As the crowd slowly grew in size, large pickup trucks and other vehicles drove by, as their drivers screamed out racist slurs, flipping off protestors, and at one point, a truck with a giant thin blue line flag drove by while mocking protestors and blowing repeatedly on their horn, in an attempt to drown out the crowd. Families decked out in cowboy hats passed by, typically in silence, headed towards the annual Lakeside Rodeo taking place a block down the road.
#Lakeside community in SoCal took to the streets Saturday, after "a 16-year-old Black teenager was stabbed in her back" repeatedly after being called racial slurs, the latest in a string of racist harassment. Protesters were also threatened + attacked by drivers of large trucks. pic.twitter.com/kxzUjmFzNt
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) April 25, 2022
Once the crowd had reached its fullest size, the rally goers then marched down Mapleview towards their destination. During the march, vehicles passed by and continued to harass the protestors, who seemed unphased and only got louder. One driver can be heard on a video recording yelling the n-word in a livestream by local activist Tasha Williamson as she followed the march in a vehicle. She later recalled during her closing speech, “We heard the n-word at least 20 times while marching over here, let that sink in.”
As the march neared it’s destination at the Lakeside Community Center, a balding white male ran up behind the marching protesters, chucked a full can of Squirt, and took off running in the opposite direction. Some of the protesters and security team at the tail end started to chase the assailant while the march continued on. Two vehicles suspected to belong to members of far-Right militia Defend East County (DEC) pulled up, blocked the road and began yelling slurs and obscenities. The trucks lunged at the protesters multiple times before one of trucks started burning rubber, blanketing the area in a thick smoke. Seemingly annoyed with the altercation, a white vehicle attempted to swerve around it almost striking protesters when the driver stopped, got out and chucked a bottle, then ran at a protester threateningly before cowering away. During the altercation, mace was deployed in self-defense and rocks were hurled at the trucks that threatened protesters, before they finally drove off.
These vehicles attempted to run over people rallying in the Anti-Hate rally! The almost struck two Black women! They are not victims, they are negligent parents and people attempting to use their vehicles as deadly weapons. We wait to see if they will be charged. pic.twitter.com/HFwkGUITlY
— Tasha Williamson (@LoveForgivPeace) April 24, 2022
The march came to a close with the organizers Danielle Wilkerson of East County BIPOC, Yussef Miller of Racial Justice Coalition, Tasha Williamson and Dr. Matsemela Odom of InPDUM delivering powerful speeches about the history of racism in Lakeside, the complacency of local law enforcement with whites supremacist violence, the poor handling of the case thus far, the demands of the family, the effects of colonialism on our communities, and the importance of standing up against racist violence and white supremacy. The SD chapter of the Black Panther Party provided security for the entire rally and successfully ensured no one was hurt.
Brad Braley of Defend East County (DEC)
SD antifascists and activists are currently working on identifying the local Lakeside far-Right thugs from the march who started doxxing themselves on Facebook and in their DEC Facebook group by praising their actions, stressing concern for their children who were in one of the vehicles which had rocks thrown at it and calling for violence on Black organizers and community members. The driver of the black SUV with a DEC sticker on the back has been identified as Brad Braley. As a member of San Diego’s BPP said at the town hall regarding the hate crime, “We’re gonna go out and start identifying these racist people, that are actually your brothers and cousins, and we’re going to flood your offices identifying that hate is actually taking place.”
Braley standing next to Robert Wheldon, neo-Nazi leader of “White Lives Matter” in California and a Proud Boy. Read more here.
Antifascists reached out to the family who stated they, “Just want to be safe to be Black in America! We want everyone involved held accountable for this heinous crime against our family. Our 16 year-old daughter will be scarred for life…[and will] never forget this racist trauma” and that “since the protest [our daughter’s] grandfather has [been the victim of an] attempted assault [by a man wearing an] American flag mask [and armed] with a machete and a knife.” Tasha added that “freedom is not free and justice is not blind! White supremacists would rather run us over with trucks than see us as fellow human beings. The image is the same as their ancestors who hunted our ancestors down and hanged them from a tree as strange fruit!”
A GoFundMe for the 16 year-old stabbing victim has been set-up here.