On Sunday, I attended the Houston Anarchist Bookfair with my educational collective, Oh Shit! What Now? We offered a selection of zines and I taught my class on antifascism, called “Punching Nazis.”
Actual nazis from “Vanguard America” (recently rebranded as “Patriot Front), the same nazi party responsible for the death of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, attacked the bookfair during my class. Only the quick work of the volunteer security team, who blocked all the doors to keep them from entering, kept the people at the fair safe from their attacks. Zach Despart, editor of the Houston Press, interviewed me about the incident:
O’Connell said some of the men tried to enter the building, but attendees of the book fair held the door shut. O’Connell added that the white supremacists cajoled him to go outside and fight them, but he declined.
“Our first priority was to defend the community center,” O’Connell said … there was a Houston Police Department cruiser nearby, but officers did not intervene.
The protesters chanted and lit flares. No physical confrontations occurred, and after about 20 minutes, the white supremacists left the scene and drove away, O’Connell said.
“This was an unpleasant and frankly terrifying event, but we didn’t let it interfere with the book fair,” O’Connell said.
After the nazis had finished their temper tantrum, the fair continued, including my class, where our discussion was quite lively and in depth after the unexpected interruption.
The bookfair organizers wrote up a detailed reportback of the Bookfair and the nazi attack for It’s Going Down. You can also check out the slides and other notes from my “Punching Nazis” class on the Oh Shit! What Now? website.
White Supremacists Protest Anarchist Event in Houston
A group of white supremacists – many of them masked – protested an event held by Houston anarchists on Sunday at the MECA community center. The confrontation took place at the Houston Anarchist Book Fair, a gathering of local anarchists billed as a chance to network and discuss anti-authoritarian projects…