This submitted report from the Fort Collins Mutual Aid Network details a week of organizing and activity the group carried out on #J20 during the #BuildtheBase week of outreach and solidarity.
Our week of solidarity and outreach began with a screening of Unicorn Riot’s Black Snake Killaz: A #NoDAPL Story, on January 20th. We hosted around 40 people; a few of whom participated to varying degrees in the occupation camps last year. We hosted a group discussion following the showing and spread awareness with each other of different actions taking place locally and across Turtle Island. We distributed flyers, zines, and other media. This event was the first we’d hosted under the Ft. Collins Mutual Aid Network name and officially kicked off our exploration into this type of “official” organization.
On Sunday, January 21st 2018, we cooked and geared up for our weekly Sunday Food Not Bombs community picnic. We set up meals on the sidewalk nearby one of the religious non-profit shelters (and at other events) in an act to reclaim the food and the sidewalk! In the midst of around a dozen anti homeless ordinances in Fort Collins, we hope to solidify the ideology of everyone belonging downtown despite their background or financial income.
Our chapter of Food not Bombs aims to send a general statement of solidarity for the human right to exist and eat by autonomously gathering and sharing food. We also hope to highlight the discriminatory, dehumanizing agenda held by our city and federal government. The city of Fort Collins frivolously spends and continues to uphold discriminatory and gentrifying ordinances. Every grocery store in town has a dumpster filled with perfectly edible food. Many of them are locked. All of this is going on while countless humans in this city struggle to live and be fortified with nutritious food. We also made food for the majority of the events/rallies that took place around the week of J20.
On Thursday, January 25th, hosted a fundraiser for the resisting grandmothers and their families of Dine’tah aka Black Mesa, Navajo Nation. These graceful, resilient women and kin have been resisting the agenda of massive coal corporations and the feds for over 50 years. They have endured harassment, manipulation, sheep impoundment, and abuse. They live in harsh conditions while trying to maintain their traditional heritage on their ancestral land. A dominating portion of their aquifer has been pumped out by a decade-long coal slurry operation owned by Peabody Coal. They now haul their water from miles and miles away. This fundraiser was to raise money for the people of the resistance; it will go towards their organizing efforts (ie. gatherings, occupations) their gas money, wood gathering/hauling, water hauling, and other facets of the resistance. For more information go to http://sheepdognationrocks.blogspot.com/ and http://supportblackmesa.org/background/.
Eight of us who currently live in occupied Arapaho/Lakota/Ute territory (aka Fort Collins) recently went on a month long mutual aid caravan to Black Mesa. We joined supporters from across the country during the first week for a fall caravan. During this week long gathering, we showed solidarity to the resisting elders by going on wood runs led by Dine youth. We distributed wood and food for the winter, assisted our host who was having a community feast for residence of the rez, and participated in other projects.
For the next several weeks, we dispersed to different home sites to build relationships, be human rights observers and assist the elders with herding their sheep and other projects. At the January 25th event, pictures and stories from our trip were shared, there were music performances, a silent auction, Food Not Bombs catered the event and our friend who grew up close to Dine’tah shared a presentation he made. It ended with a dance party and baskets full of cash for the inspirational grandmothers.
On Saturday January 27th, we hosted an anti-Trump noise rally in downtown Ft. Collins which attracted a crowd of around 40 people. The event also brought out a group of Traditionalist Worker Party advocates, thought to be in town for the upcoming Turning Point USA event at Colorado State University. They quickly turned the event from positive to sketchy, and some of our participants left immediately. However, due to the noise-rally nature of the event, their chants of “Jews will not replace us” were easily drowned out by our instruments and voices and only served to bolster our presence on the street, encouraging more positive reactions from the public. The same men were photographed earlier that evening posting anti-immigrant propaganda on the CSU campus and were positively identified as organizers of the TWP.
On Friday, February 2nd, we showed up to the Turning Point USA event on the CSU campus and were pleased to find nearly 200 other anti-fascist protesters. We enjoyed sharing space, food, hot cocoa, and sage with our comrades outside of the Lory Student Center until about 8:45 PM. After tables were broken down and people began slowly clearing the plaza after an evening of discussion and comradery among leftists, the night began to take a turn. Police slowly and silently began blocking off the north exit of the plaza and formed a half-circle around the remaining demonstrators. As Kirk’s speech came to a close, police cars rolled up and flashing red and blue lights illuminated the Lory Student Center walls. A representative from CSU PD declared the gathering to be an “unlawful assembly,” telling those present to disperse or be subject to arrest and pain compliance. Demonstrators moved to the south near cement barricades, only to be met by Nazis who were simultaneously rounding the corner. Nazis arrived dressed in helmets and Atomwaffen skeleton face masks, and were seen carrying shields, high beam tactical flashlights, and bats. They began chanting “anti-White,” “14,” and “Jews Will Not Replace Us” while saluting Hitler and taking attack stances. A group of 30 or more anti-fascists and demonstrators proceeded to remove the Nazis from the plaza, pushing them west along the sidewalk.
Anti-fascists cleared the way, moving students to the north and south of the path. As the Nazis were being removed from campus, several fights broke out. A Nazi clubbed an anti-fascist over the head with a flashlight, deeply indenting their scalp and drawing a substantial amount of blood. Two other leftists incurred hand and head injuries as a result of countering Nazi attacks. The tallest of the Nazis had his knee shattered by a blunt object, and he was forced to limp for the remainder of his retreat. He was also hit in the chest by a rock as he was mid-fight with an anti-fascist. Other Nazis were mocked, kicked, pelted by snowballs, and had their abandoned flashlights thrown back at them as they increased their pace. At one point during their removal from campus, one of the Nazis brandished a knife. The knife was quickly removed from his hand by an anti-fascist. Nazis and demonstrators both scattered as K9 units and patrol cars neared, and the evening came to a close.