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Note to the anti-fascist protesters on today's 8-5-18 event
by markpxxxxx (markpxxxxx [at] yahoo.com)
Sunday Aug 5th, 2018 3:45 PM
My take on events, culminating in my assault by protestors and the smashing and stealing of my camera.
In case anybody witnessed what had happened, I will introduce myself as the guy with the Fuji XT2 camera who was filming the anti-fascist protest for about 30 minutes before I was assaulted by some of the protestors and had my camera smashed and stolen from me.

First off, being anti-camera on a public street is ridiculous. There's no way to avoid being filmed in such a context. If you don't want to be identified, cover yourself up, it's that simple. Assaulting people and stealing their property is what fascists do, not anti-fascists. For the record, I totally support the anti-fascist cause 100%, have been a leftist all my life, and have videotaped numerous political protests without the slightest incident. Sadly, I have never encountered such violence against a mere bystander as I saw inflicted against me today. I didn't see political expression here, merely anger, intimidation, paranoia and bloodshed (mine). Surely there must be a better way to fight fascism than what I saw on display today.

If you want the anti-Fascist movement to grow into a genuine political organization that gets taken seriously, then you will have to expose yourself and speak freely, not simply commit senseless feel-good actions like cursing the police and breaking storefront windows and ATM machines. Telling me not to touch you (which I mistakenly did a few times when a few of you got in my face, for which I am sorry) and then gang-assaulting me, throwing me to the ground and smashing my camera and stealing it, all the which falsely claiming "we're not touching you" and "it's for your own good" is an act of pure hypocrisy. I tried to discuss the issue with some of you before this happened, but nobody would even debate the matter. Again, the foreclosure of debate is what a fascist society does, not a free society. Let us not allow paranoia - however fueled by police and fascist infiltration - to turn us into the enemy.

I videotaped the protest because i supported it, was inspired by it, and saw beauty in what i was witnessing. I believe that truth comes from exposure, not concealment. When you seek to cover up the truth of an event you are playing into the hands of power, which benefits when the truth is not made available to all and it can control the message. What invigorates a movement is unbiased documentation of past accomplishments. May '68, for instance, or the Intifada, which resulted in iconic images of protest that inspire anti-Fascist movements to this day.

Anyway, I suspect many of you will disagree with my position, and maybe I did push too far in insisting on having my way. I must confess that I do not take kindly to intimidation, and maybe I instinctively pushed back as I am won't to do without being sensitive to the issues people had with being exposed. (By the way, I was perfectly fine with being exposed myself, and didn't say a word to anybody who took my picture. I even passed out my email address to anybody who would accept it.) It seems to me that concealment to protect your identity from being mistreated by your political enemies is a legitimate concern, but it also encourages you to commit acts of violence under the cover of anonymity, which is a thug-mentality that seems almost destined to arise in emotionally-charged crowd situations such as this. What is the happy medium here? I'm not sure, quite frankly, but it certainly isn't what happened to me.

If anybody wants to return my camera and recorder, I would appreciate it. I don't care who you are and won't press charges. Or, if you feel I have a point and would like to donate some money to help me buy a new camera, I would really appreciate it. (PayPal name: mpalmer at lmi dot net) Photography is my main livelihood, and I am not rich so that losing it was a huge financial hit to me. Again, I won't make any attempt to find out who you are or go to the police. If you'd like to discuss this further with me in an email or PM, feel free to get in touch. As I said, I believe in openness and free speech, and am happy to discuss whatever it is that is on your mind, as long as we can do so without resorting to insults, threats and intimidation. I am not optimistic that I have changed anybody's mind with these words, but at least I am glad that there are still places like Indybay where I can express myself on these issues freely, openly and honestly. Despite my setback I will continue to fight fascism however I can, through the media, through verbal persuasion, and with whatever other means are at my disposal. Having said that, I will never resort to violence, threats, or intimidation, no matter what happens to me in response, and I would encourage others to do likewise, as I would not wish what happened to me today on my worst enemies, even if they fully deserve to be verbally challenged, stripped of power, and hopefully one day defeated and swept into the dustbin of history, where all forms of Fascism and other similarly vile political expressions belong.