The following is a call to oppose an upcoming rally organized by Patriot Prayer and the local chapter of the UW College Republicans, which have long been tied to neo-Nazi organizer, podcaster, and attendee of Unite the Right, James Allsup. Local organizers expect like all Patriot Prayer events, that this one will be attended by local Alt-Right and neo-Nazi groups. To see more information about how Patriot Prayer and its leader Joey Gibson is creating a big, far-Right tent that includes fascists and neo-Nazis, go to Rose City Antifa.
This Saturday, February 10th, Patriot Prayer and the UW College Republicans are holding a “Freedom Rally” and march on Red Square at the University of Washington from 1pm-4pm.
The UW College Republicans are the student group that brought alt-right tool Milo Yiannopoulos to campus last winter on January 20th. Antifascists and anti-racists rallied outside and in an ensuing scuffle one of Milo’s supporters pulled a gun and shot an IWW and GDC comrade. Milo’s stated intention for this speaking tour was to expose undocumented students at campus in hopes of having them deported. The UW College Republicans are complicit in the far-right’s witch hunt against undocumented communities living in the United States.
One year later on January 20th, the GDC held a commemorative rally at the site of the shooting. Members of the UW College Republicans were seen documenting the event and socializing with members of Cascade Legion, a local neo-fascist group that provided security for last summer’s deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, where white men with tiki torches chanted “the Jews will not replace us,” and a far-right attendee drove his car into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters, killing Heather Heyer.
Patriot Prayer has been protesting abortion rights at Planned Parenthood in Olympia the last few weeks. Their public events are breeding grounds and networking opportunities for local nazi’s and white supremacists. While Joey Gibson claims to disavow white supremacy and the alt-right, he has in fact worked closely with white supremacists as documented by Rose City Antifa. Jeremy Christian was welcomed at Patriot Prayer rallies just weeks before he attacked two women of color on a train in Portland, leaving two bystanders dead and one gravely injured. Robert Zurfing, a Patriot Prayer supporter who attends the Olympia Planned Parenthood protests, continues to defend Jeremy’s actions saying that, “he was acting in self defense.”
This weekend will bring together Patriot Prayer, the UW College Republicans, Cascade Legion, and potentially more. We don’t want to wait to see the outcome. A local socialist party has called for a rally to register ideological opposition to these assholes, but they have not acknowledged the very real danger of modern day fascists. We fear that this attitude will carry over into their street action, as has been done in the past. We do not trust the socialists; they are a political party above all else and this is another underhanded move of theirs to garner publicity and attention. We believe that fighting fascism requires not just ideological opposition, but giving no platform at all for them to organize, network, or recruit.
This is a call for anarchists and anti-fascists alike to show up in an act of Community Self-Defense against Patriot Prayer, UW College Republicans, and their cohorts. In the past, local fascists have been opposed with black blocs to varying degrees of success. The socialists will attempt to muster a large group to symbolically chant at the fascists. A black bloc would make us stand out from other anti-fascists, making us easier targets for police and fascists alike. Red Square is not a tactically advantageous location for us, so let’s change up our tactics.
It’s time to get creative. Figure out a plan with your crew ahead of time if you don’t want to just spend the day in a shouting match with far-right trolls. What are other ways to frustrate their efforts to recruit, network, travel, and work? How might you and your friends pick different terrain on which to engage, rather than just at the time and place of Patriot Prayer’s choosing? When the far-right does choose the terrain like this, how might we use the situation to our advantage rather than devolving into a face-to-face shouting match with the cops on their side?
Come with your friends, come prepared, but come concealed. Mask your identity, but don’t wear all black. It is likely that Patriot Prayer etc won’t want to start a physical confrontation, and the police will be on their side. We can mingle within the larger crowds with our crews, not standing out like a sore thumb for the socialists or police to pick us out as “agitators.” If we can’t physically keep these fascists from rallying, we must not let them go unopposed. It’s time to get creative.