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Oct 3, 16

Houston: Report From White Lives Matter Protest

Submitted to It’s Going Down

A noticeable trend is spreading in the far right, with attempts to rebrand and draw more mainstream elements into their movement. Electioneering for the Trump campaign, Blue Lives Matter, White Lives Matter and defense of Confederate symbol under the guise of southern heritage are a few examples. A branch of the WLM movement has been active in Houston, holding an armed protest in front of the NAACP office in August coupled with online organizing efforts. The bought-off press would like to portray this as an issue of Black Lives Matter vs White Lives Matter in a move to add legitimacy to an organizing push by the fash. They’ve glossed over the fact that all of organizers of the event come from various neo-fascist groups, The Aryan Renaissance Society, Traditionalist Workers Party, and the National Socialist Movement, to name a few.

The occupied indigenous land so-called Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas is no less than 200 miles from the other major cities in the region. This vast distance alienates us from the struggles of other urban centers, but we feel that the proliferation of the right must be confronted even outside of one’s locale. In this spirit, a contingent was mobilized to lend support to comrades in Houston.

The scene was confrontational, lacking the typical “liberal anti-fascism” and “peace policing.” Chants of “Follow your leader! Kill yourself!” and “Nazi Scum has got to go!” excited the crowd. An American Flag was destroyed which enraged the fash and brought raucous cheering from everyone. The crowd was diverse with a large section of people of color. Local militants set up a PA system and drowned out every attempt by the Nazis to speak. Despite a united distaste for fascists, some contradictions were visible amongst the people. While a large portion had a basic understanding of the role the pigs play in upholding white supremacy, some still spoke positively of the armed wing of the State.

The State worked in conjunction with the Nazis and were obviously hostile to all counter demonstrators.  At one point the crowd was notified that vehicles parked in private parking lots were to be towed, effectively thinning out the crowd. While this was not a surprise to us or those around us, it further reinforced the fact that white supremacy and the state are inextricably linked. Although the Nazis paraded around armed with long guns and knifes, the pigs always faced the counter demo with their backs to the white supremacist scum in an equally satisfying and disgusting reminder of who the pigs consider friend and enemy.

To limit our exposure to repression and ensure our protection we arrived masked up, tightly grouped, carrying our banners and flags. We were immediately surrounded by the state who confiscated our flags which they deemed to be “dangerous weapons” Obviously an attempt at political repression and limiting our tactical flexibility. A local involved in Cop Watch arrived and immediately began filming and the pigs switched to a tone more aligned with soft policing tactics.

The flip side of this was the large staging of the event with the entire block cordoned off; metal barricades, an estimated 50+ pigs on hoof, dozens on bikes, patrol cars constantly circling the block and horse mounted pork as well. We also noticed a large HPD box truck and a few personnel among the pigs dressed in military style digicam with no identifying insignia. A man without press credentials but with professional equipment mingled around the counter demo snapping pictures of people’s faces. The importance of masking up cannot be over emphasized. He was confronted by part of our group when he continued to take pictures after being asked not to. He denied his actions and became aggressive but left quickly.

We were enthusiastically greeted by other masked comrades but also immediately recognized the limitations of our tactical possibilities due to our lack of preparation for the state’s staging efforts. In the future more planning and familiarizing ourselves with the area beforehand is paramount. For instance, taking to the street that was only partially blocked instead of traveling through back alleys and parking lots might have gained us more flexibility in this context. Through conversations and what we experienced we see the possibilities of a broader anti-fascist network.

For more info read:

Crackers in the Concrete by Unity and Struggle

Houston: Whites Lives Matter Exposed as Neo-Nazi Front from It’s Going Down

Neo-Nazi members of ‘White Lives Matter,’ a front for the Aryan Renaissance Society (ARS). 

AYN/WLM members.

Traditionalist Worker Party members (TWP) were also in attendance. 

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