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Fri Sep 8 2017
We Are All Antifa
The National Lawyers Guild has supported free speech and assembly for all progressive and radical movements for 80 years. Recently, NLG volunteer attorneys, legal workers and clients received death threats and had their personal information publicized in retaliation for defending antifa activists. One attorney was stalked in a courthouse by a man with a swastika tattoo and a shaved head, wearing quasi-military-type attire. He then left, and shortly thereafter she received threatening messages and had to seek protection at a safe house. A group of men wearing military-like attire, and one with a swastika tattoo, was seen waiting outside Santa Rita Jail for arrestees to be released.
The Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair is an annual event that brings together people interested in radical work to connect, learn, and discuss through books and information tables, workshops, panel discussions, skillshares, films, and more. The free event will take place on Saturday, September 16 in Oakland. Workshops include Surveillance Self Defense, Rad Families, Palestine to Chowchilla, Women’s DIY Health, and Knowing the Enemy. Organizers state, "We seek to create an inclusive space to introduce new folks to anarchism, foster a productive dialogue between various political traditions as well as anarchists from different milieus, and create an opportunity to dissect our movements’ strengths, weaknesses, strategies, and tactics."
Linksunten.indymedia.org, the main independent media website in Germany, was banned by the German government's Ministry of Interior on August 25. Maintaining the website and using its logo are now considered criminal offenses in the country. Linksunten volunteers are also being prosecuted as a "club," which means that administrators are considered responsible for everything that has been published. Administrators are also being accused of being members of a terrorist association. This represents a new step in the repression in Europe. The last time something of this significance occurred was in 1995, when the German central power banned the newspaper "Radikal", which sparked demonstrations all over the country.
Tens of thousands of people hit the streets of San Francisco and Berkeley against a series of far-right rallies. Antifascist groups, labor, faith-based organizations, and a multitude of sectors mobilized to confront the far-right, showing that the autonomous power and energy that was unleashed after Charlottesville is still very much alive and is growing among the broader population. But, in the face of growing mass popular opposition not controlled or contained by the Democratic Party, through building a coalition that includes anarchists and antifascists, both the Right, Center, and liberal Left began to launch a series of attacks in the media against "antifa."
On August 25, the German government raided and shut down Linksunten Indymedia, an integral part of the global Independent Media Center network, and the most widely used German-language platform for radical politics and organizing. In Freiburg, riot police seized computers and harassed those they accuse of maintaining the site, justifying their actions on the grounds that the alleged administrators constitute an illegal organization intent on destroying the German Constitution. This represents a massive escalation in state repression against what the authorities call “left-wing extremism,” disingenuously suggesting an equivalence between those who seek to build communities beyond the reach of state violence and Neo-Nazis organizing to carry out attacks and murders.
White-supremacist and other fascist groups have repeatedly targeted the Bay Area in recent months, most recently announcing a weekend of provocations for August 26 in San Francisco and August 27 in Berkeley. As in Boston regarding a planned fascist rally on August 20, anti-racist organizers in the Bay Area responded with a call for massive counter-demonstrations in the streets. The planned weekend of anti-fascist resistance included Charlottesville benefit events in SF and Oakland. In the end, white nationalist organizers cancelled their own events at the last minute and the smattering of racists who did show up in both cities were promptly run off by anti-fascists.
Called by prisoners to give voice to their demand to remove the prison slavery clause from the 13th Amendment, thousands turned out in as many as 16 cities on August 19 to abolish slavery and end mass incarceration. At the main march in Washington, D.C., a speaker from Leonard Pelitier's support committee read Leonard's statement of solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal. In San José, about 200 people marched to the county jail for a rally with speakers who saluted the prisoners and inspired the crowd. Every year for decades Black radical prisoners and liberationists have identified August as a month for organized resistance and commemoration.