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Jun 16, 20

Pittsburgh, PA: Anti-Fascists Confront Armed Nazis in Bloomfield

Report from the Filler Collective about community defense of neighborhood and bookstore after neo-Nazi skinheads held and “Anti-Antifa” rally.

Around 6:30, the fascists split into smaller groups and put up propaganda flyers around the neighborhood. Local anti-fascists monitored the situation, following the fascists from a distance and filming their activities. 

Around 6:45, one fascist reportedly assaulted someone who was documenting his activities outside of Silky’s Bar on Liberty Ave. 

Around 6:45, police arrived at the scene outside of Silky’s Bar. The police and several others separated the fascists from the locals, and two officers briefly spoke to two of the Neo-Nazis. A few minutes later the police and the Nazis shook hands and went their separate ways.

A few blocks up the street, another splinter group of four Nazis began taunting ~10 local anti-fascists and other residents outside of Lou’s Corner Bar. As the video shows, the Nazis went to their parked vehicle. One of them pulled a handgun out of the backseat, chambered a round, and threatened the people filming him. The Neo-Nazis drove off shortly after. 

The gunman may be Keystone United member Josh Martin, although this is unconfirmed.

Pittsburgh is no stranger to the fascist movement’s violence. The tragic attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in October 2018 is still fresh in our memories. In 2009, a white supremacist named Richard Poplawski made the front page for murdering three Pittsburgh police officers (it is worth noting that the police killings of Paul Palmer and Lamar W. Smith earlier that same year went largely ignored by the media).

In July 2018, the last time Keystone United gathered in Pittsburgh, six members of the gang were arrested for their racially-motivated attack on Paul Morris in Avalon.

Keystone United is not welcome in Pittsburgh; East Enders proved that on Saturday. Fascist groups like KU have become emboldened by growing national unrest. Pittsburgh antifa has returned that boldness in kind. Even though many local anti-racists were attending Black Lives Matter protests in other parts of the city, Pittsburghers stayed vigilant and communicative. Many different anti-racist organizations and individuals came together and helped mobilize the neighborhood to successfully disrupt the Neo-Nazi picket.

We will continue to confront them by any means necessary, and our neighborhoods will continue to turn the fuck out. Hate has no home here.

Keystone United may have retreated for now, but it is likely that they are staying with their local contacts and will remain in town for the weekend. So please, please be safe yinz. Roll with a crew if you plan on hitting the bars. 

If you think you’ve spotted a group of Nazis and want to alert the community, remember the acronym SALUTE.

salute

Make sure you come prepared if you intend to document their activities or to intervene in racist / sexist / homophobic / transphobic attacks. Always protect your identity: bring a mask, cover your tattoos, bring a change of clothes. When leaving an encounter, remember to take three turns to check for tail; you don’t want them to know where you live or what kind of car you drive. If you cannot risk a confrontation, then perhaps you can assist with coordinating communications, transportation, provide safe houses, child/pet care, alert your neighbors… anti-fascism is a community effort!

Remember: Antifa is not an organization you can join. Anti-fascism is a position of community self-defense; it is something that you do. Let’s take action to protect ourselves, our friends, and our neighbors.

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Filler Collective

Filler is a radical zine & distro affiliated with Pittsburgh’s autonomous student network.

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