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Tag: Austin

Masked Up For Your Protection: In Praise Of Black Bloc Heroes (#GonzoNotes)

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, Gonzo Notes, and Journalism

What do you feel when you see the black bloc?

I feel pride, solidarity, and hope.

Though their faces are masked, I see a group of beautiful humans willing to get injured or imprisoned in order to keep all of us safer.

What the mainstream media wants you to feel is fear. Strangely, they want you to feel the opposite around the police, who come out to the protest dressed for war, driving military vehicles and with a sniper team ready on the roof tops. In addition to bullets, they’ve got bean bag guns, pepper bombs, noise cannons, the whole array of nightmarish “less lethal” weaponry that late stage capitalism can bring to bear.

Meanwhile, the black bloc have just their bare hands and their bodies, or if they’re lucky, a handful of flags on sticks and some homemade shields.

Security Culture And Punching Nazis In Texas (Kit O’Connell On Radical Underground Podcast)

Posted in Act Out!, Audio, Austin, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Occupy Wall Street

I really enjoyed talking with the Radical Underground podcast and the episode turned out great, full of lively conversation and fab music.

In our conversation, we talked about security culture and the ways our smartphones turn us into snitches against ourselves — but also touched on the human element, which is just as vital as technology when it comes to staying secure.

We also talked at length about the Oh Shit What Now collective, the recent incident at my “Punching Nazis” class in Houston, and other fascist and antifascist activity in Austin, Texas (including copwatching).

Jose Garza Of Workers Defense Project: Immigrants Rights Movement A ‘Powder Keg’ With A Burning Fuse (VIDEO)

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Video

On July 28, 2017, activists rallied at the Texas Capitol in opposition to SB4, the “Show Us Your Papers” / anti-sanctuary cities bill passed during the recently completed legislative session, and currently facing a lawsuit backed by the majority of Texas’ major municipalities. The event was organized by Local Progress, a nonprofit representing progressive elected officials from around the United States, and over 150 elected officials have now signed off on a letter opposing the anti-immigrant law. Many of these officials were present during the rally.

In this video, Jose P. Garza, executive director at Workers’ Defense Project, explains how his organization encouraged Austin City Council members and other local officials to come out in opposition to the law, and he issues a warning to Gov. Greg Abbott:

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.

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