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May 16, 18

Hundreds in Georgia Shut Down “Deportation Bus”

Michael Williams, a wealthy former businessman, current State Senator, and one of the first politicians to champion Donald Trump in Georgia, embarked on a tour today of the state in a bid for governorship. The tour, which includes a large bus with the lettering “Deportation Bus” on the back, “Fill the Bus with Illegals” on the side, along with Williams’ campaign website information and claims that undocumented people are “rapists” and “child molestors” [sic]. According to posts on William’s website, the bus tour will continue until May 21st, hitting as many as 6 cities a day. Currently the lowest ranking Republican in the polls, Williams seems to have opted for a gimmick to energize the MAGA/Deplorable base that includes militia groups, members of the Alt-Right, and open neo-Nazis and white nationalists.

This is an element that Williams has courted for support before. In 2017, at an ‘Act of America’ rally that was attended by members of the 3%ers militia and the Proud Boys, Williams posed in a photograph that included well known Georgia 3%er militia leader Chris Hill, who gained media attention for opposing the construction of a mosque on the grounds that it was an “ISIS training ground.” Local antifascists also state that Hill is connected to another group of three percenters which attempted to murder an apartment complex full of Somali refugees, although Hill disputes these claims. Notably in the photo is also Alex Ramos, who not only attended the neo-Nazi ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, but also was recently sentenced for the savage beating of an African-American Charlottesville resident, DeAndre Harris.

Alex Ramos, (far right) who attended Unite the Right in Charlottesville and was recently found guilty of beating DeAndre Harris. Williams can be seen standing in the middle in a white shirt. Chris Hill, local 3%er militia leader, stands to William’s left.

According to two Georgia based residents that talked to It’s Going Down, the resistance to Williams’ tour was fast to mobilize and very successful. Williams promoted the tour both on television (through adds that were quickly removed) and on YouTube (where adds were removed as well) and claimed that he would physically load undocumented people onto the bus for deportation.

His campaign website stated:

The Michael Williams Deportation Bus Tour kicks off Wednesday, May 16 by visiting each of Georgia’s dangerous sanctuary cities: Clarkston, Decatur, and Athens. Throughout his bus tour of sanctuary cities, Williams will expose how dangerous illegal aliens ruin local economies, cost American jobs, increase healthcare costs, and lower education standards.

All of these tropes have widely been debunked. Hardly “ruining” local economies, undocumented labor, as are economic engines such as prison labor which is legalized slavery under the 13 Amendment, is a central cornerstone of the US economy. Even Trump, who created headlines today by calling migrant children “animals” and not “people,” has also stated at campaign rallies the need to keep migrant workers in their current positions within the economy. It is these positions which generate massive profits for a variety of industries, including those that benefit Trump and his billionaire family, and keeps the prices on consumer goods low.

Being that undocumented workers also aren’t citizens and can’t legally access American “benefits,” they also can’t sign up for entitlement programs, although they do pay income and sales tax. Also, if you think that migrants and refugees are destroying the US education system, perhaps you need a reminder exactly which politicians have been pushing for massive education cuts and austerity measures which leaves schools defunded, teachers impoverished, and classrooms over flowing.

Lastly, currently more immigrants are leaving the United States than they are entering it, to say nothing of the fact that automation and outsourcing is taking more American jobs than immigration and wages are lining up with those of countries like China because of ‘market forces,’ and not a flood of immigrants. In short, despite the smoke that property and business owning rich people like Williams try and blow up our asses, the fact is that what they really want to do is to keep poor and working-class people divided, with white people feeling like they are on top, and a friend in politics calling the shots on their behalf.

Seems Georgia residents have other ideas. The Williams for Governor kick-off rally started in Gainesville, where only 5 supporters showed up, as did over 30 protesters. Williams then headed to Clarkston, where he faced over 200 counter protesters, and managed to bring out only 2-3 supporters. Surrounded by protesters, media had to be invited into the bus in order to do interviews. Next up was Decatur, where over 80 protesters surrounded the bus on all sides, preventing it from leaving.

According to Georgia residents that spoke to It’s Going Down, at the stop in Decatur, Williams threatened to have protesters arrested and run over with his bus, while one of his supporters hit a protester with an umbrella, while an associate of the tour destroyed protesters signs.

Williams was then forced to cancel his next stop in Athens, Georgia, but not before blaming Atlanta Antifascists for “violence” against his tour bus. Claiming that “ANTIFA” and “radical liberals” had “on its website” organized the demonstrations. In reality, Atlanta Antifascists had only tweeted out the same information from Williams website and wrote:

We are not bottom-lining any activity, but for those interested in the stops tomorrow in Clarkston, Decaur and Athens — as well as the rest of the tour — here you go…

The gutter level racism promoted by Williams is disgusting, and Georgia residents who spoke with IGD noted that the stops seemed to be designed to ‘troll,’ as the stops took place in towns where there were well established communities of color, refugees, and migrant workers. As Williams’ tour continues, it is expected that protests and demonstrations will also follow.

Despite claiming on his website to be “fearless,” after the heavy protests that he faced today, his campaign website took down the upcoming dates where the bus would visit next. Not to be outdone, Atlanta Antifascists reposted screen shots that showed the dates, times, and locations where the “Deportation Bus” was scheduled to appear.

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It’s Going Down is a digital community center from anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements. Our mission is to provide a resilient platform to publicize and promote revolutionary theory and action.

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