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Category: Austin

Fighting Back At The Texas Legislature: A Conversation With Katie Klabusich

Posted in Audio, Austin, and Journalism

I just made my second appearance on the Katie Speak Show, where I talked about activism at the Texas Legislature:

The show’s host, Katie Klabusich, and I discussed the special session of the Legislature, which began last week, and the strategies Governor Greg Abbott is using to try to force through a raft of unpopular, inhumane laws. On the agenda during the next month are abortion access, transgender rights, the ability of unions to collect dues, even cities’ ability to protect historic trees from development.

At the same time, about three dozen nonprofits and activist groups have combined to form the One Texas Resistance coalition, in an effort to pool their efforts at resistance together and highlight the intersectionality of their diverse issues, from climate change to the rights of Latinx Texans. Last week’s highly publicized quinceañera protest was organized by Jolt, a member of the coalition. These tactics, and their successes or failures, can likely serve as a model for the rest of the country which is also controlled by the power hungry and bigoted GOP.

Kit Talks Texas Legislature Activism Saturday On The Katie Speak Show

Posted in Archive, Austin, and Journalism

On Saturday, I’m back on the Katie Speak Show, chatting with Katie Klabusich about the special session of the Texas Legislature and how progressives, leftists and radicals can push back against the inhumane agenda of the GOP.

You can hear me on Saturday at 7pm EST / 6pm Central on Netroots Radio. The Katie Speak Show is also available on iTunes and other popular podcast apps. And Katie’s patrons get a sneak preview of upcoming shows.

Of course, I’ll also share my appearance on the show next week here on my website.

A Brief Timeline Of Fascist Activity In Austin, Texas Since The 2016 Election

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, and Journalism

Summer 2016 – present: Emboldened by the increasing success of Donald Trump and the “alt-right” fascist agenda, white supremacist groups step up recruiting and propaganda efforts on college campuses. Racist posters & graffiti tied to white supremacist groups like Vanguard America and Identity Evropa routinely appear on and around UT Austin.

November 19, 2016: The hate group “White Lives Matter” stages a protest outside the Texas Capitol to coincide with the unveiling of the African American History Memorial. The white supremacists are met by an overwhelming force of counter protesters, but are defended by Austin Police Department horse cops and Texas DPS State Troopers in armored riot gear. A handful of arrests are made but the fascist event is effectively surrounded and shut down.

March 4, 2017: The far right rallies at Woolridge Square park as part of a national “March 4 Trump” day of action on “Confederate Flag Day.” Local organizers include known fascist Jennifer Drabbant. Trump supporters happily march and rally side by side with neo-nazis and fascist 4chan trolls. A small counter-protest is surrounded by violent fascists, including Gregorio Rendon who assaults activist and gonzo journalist Kit O’Connell by slamming him head-first into a lamp post. Kit is arrested by Austin Police Department and charged with misdemeanor assault, while Gregorio is briefly held in cuffs than released without charges. Kit is admitted to the hospital with injuries to his head, arm and leg.

No Platform For Islamophobia: How Austin Shut Down ‘March Against Sharia’ White Supremacist Rally

Posted in Austin, and Journalism

It was called the “March Against Sharia,” but thanks to a lot of very loud Austin activists this white supremacist gathering could barely speak, much less march through the city.

The openly Islamophobic gathering was part of a June 10 national day of action organized by ACT For America, a hate group that uses fearmongering about the mythological spread of “Sharia law” in America as a way to foment hatred and violence against Muslim people.

As with every similar gathering in Texas since the election, from the March 4 Trump to May Day, the event attracted a range of fascists, neo-nazis and far-right nationalists that makes these events virtually indistinguishable from one another. Whatever the ostensible reason for gathering, whether it’s expressing loyalty to the president or opposing immigrants, these events essentially promote the same white supremacist agenda.

Audio: Reportback from June 10 Anti-Muslim Rally Shutdown In Austin, Texas

Posted in Audio, Austin, and Journalism

In this audio reportback, It’s Going Down speaks with Kit O’Connell, of the OSWN Collective in Austin, Texas. In the interview, we discuss what happened on June 10th, and how a group of anarchists and antifascists were able to shut down a anti-Muslim rally attended by neo-Nazis and Alt-Right ‘Stickmen.’

Kit explains the context of what is happening in Austin, going back several months to talk about numerous armed demonstrations that the far-Right and Alt-Right have organized, and how people in Austin and Texas moreover have responded. We also talk about the recent debacle in Houston, where Alt-Right trolls created the threat of a fake antifascist rally to fleece far-Right supporters of thousands of dollars through crowdfunding. Popcorn time!

We end by talking about the nuts and bolts of the demonstration, how and why it was a success, and what went into making it so.

Why Austin (& The US) Must Resist Fascism & The March Against Sharia On June 10 (AUDIO)

Posted in Audio, Austin, and Journalism

On Tuesday, I appeared on the Smooth and Demented Show to discuss the March Against Sharia, an upcoming nationwide mobilization of the Islamophobic group ACT For America.

Islamophobia Monitor describes ACT For America as “an anti-Islam hate group.” According to its founder Brigitte] Gabriel, “‘every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim,’ a Muslim ‘cannot be a loyal citizen of the United States,’ and that Arabs ‘have no soul.’ She also argues that, ‘America is at stage two Islamic Cancer.'”

ACT has called for a nationwide “March Against Sharia” in cities all over the United States on Saturday, June 10. In addition to local supporters of ACT, we expect numerous neo-nazis, alt-right fascists, and dangerous 4chan trolls to mobilize for the event. It’s crucial that communities come out to support and protect their Muslim neighbors from this bigoted event which occurs during their holy month of Ramadan.

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