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Jul 23, 22

Santa Monica, CA: Antifascists Mobilize to Defend Clinic from Threats of Far-Right Violence

Action report on recent antifascist mobilization in Santa Monica, California against far-Right threats to a Planned Parenthood clinic.

On July 1st, Chris Reyes and other forced birth activists posted a flier for a “Babies Lives Matter” event on Saturday, July 9th. About one hundred responded to the call, gathering at the Santa Monica pier, harassing and threatening passersby, and then marching on Planned Parenthood. Those in attendance included Proud Boys and known J6 rioter and violent fascist Tony “Rooftop Korean” Moon. Moon gained prominence after assaulting several women, including a journalist, unprovoked, at a Proud Boys rally in Southern California. He later made stickers of the attack, changing the image of a female journalist to that of an antifascist to bolster his violent image.

When the second event on July 16th was announced by the far-Right, antifascists immediately began planning and spreading fliers to defend the clinic that same day. Antifascists communicated with the clinic to ensure they were aware of what was happening and to get their consent in defending the space and making sure it remained open. Several dozen antifascist activists, many wearing black bloc, as well as members of groups like BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) were present early before the fascists arrived, and set up in front of the clinic playing music, handing out zines, snacks, and water, while keeping watch for Proud Boys and far-Right chuds.

Around 11:30 am, RiseUp For Abortion Rights, the front group for the RevComs arrived, causing light tension between the clinic defenders and themselves, who had specifically asked the RevComs not to stay at the clinic as their presence brought more police, and potentially made the area less safe for those seeking healthcare at the clinic. Despite having agreed to these terms, the RevComs not only refused to honor the agreement, but actively ignored the clinic defense organizers trying to explain the issue to them.

Regardless, antifascists remained focused on the primary goal of the action: keeping the clinic open. By 12 pm it was clear that the forced birth activists were late and deeply disorganized, with many militants and activists not showing up, or leaving early due to the disorganization. Many were likely scared off by the number of antifascists prepared to defend the clinic.

Around 2:30-2:40 pm, one of the forced birth activists was detained and cited after a small altercation, but for the most part things remained peaceful. Santa Monica PD’s response was fairly light handed, though still favoring the forced birthers, protecting their small rally and even fist-bumping the far-Right activist cited for violence.

At around 3:20 pm, a group of antifascists split off from the rally at the clinic to check out the pier and investigate word that Proud Boys and other fascists were attacking people. They remained there until the forced birthers left, keeping watch, and then returned to the clinic. There were no arrests and the clinic was able to remain open the entire day.

The antifascists focus on defending the clinic and de-escalation to avoid violence that would force the clinic to close, won the day and thanks to decent numbers the forced birthers were largely unable to confront clinic defenders in any meaningful way. If these actions are going to be successful in the future, greater community participation will be needed, more people will have to be willing to be present. The more the community shows out, the less likely it is that violence will occur. If you allow your local antifascists to be outnumbered, you’ll allow us to be targeted.

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