Houston Antifascists Organize Home Demonstration

By Ed Dalton

On Saturday, approximately twenty-five antifascists from three Texas cities descended on the home of known fascist Paul Joseph Preston. The activists taped flyers to the door of the fascist, who was not home at this point.

Houston Police Department responded to the scene shortly before Preston returned home. Upon returning, Preston tried to egress without being recognized but was followed by antifascists. Having failed to get away, he then darted inside under police escort. Police and protesters taunted one another for the remainder of the demonstration.

Preston’s girlfriend, known fascist Ariel Gherman, invited the police inside. Gherman has been the target of more militant direct actions in the past. In April 2018, Gherman’s employer Harris Media, was spray-painted with a message identifying Gherman as a Nazi and denouncing the reactionary Internet marketing agency that has worked on political campaigns for Donald Trump, Marie Le Pen, and the German AfD party. She was fired soon after.

Graffiti found on Harris Media office, April 2018

Those involved reported the home demonstration as a success, and cited increased antifascist activity in Texas. A lack of unity and recognized leadership still exists in the Texas-wide movement, and this was reflected in the low turnout, which required importing activists from both Austin and Dallas.  What affects turnout more than the lack of unity is the lack of localized and specific mass work conducted by the mainly anarchist organizers.

Antifascism must take on a paramilitary character, where militants and militia members conduct patient and painstaking work among the masses of their cities and do not have to resort to road trips to carry out small but commendable actions but instead can assemble sizable crowds based in their own communities. Inability to do so is a strategic weakness.

Antifascists in Texas will recall rather easily that the fascists themselves have to resort to importing outside forces to bulk up their numbers, while for instance Maoist forces maintain their presence in a given city like Austin and prove that with a people-oriented approach antifascism can be self-reliant and sustainable. Moreover, it can conduct both offensive and defensive operations on its own. The lack of mass work from anarchists and revisionists necessarily limits, if not destroys, their abilities to combat and resist fascism.

In spite of the strategic weaknesses and the lack of patient work among the masses, the antifascists of Houston struck a positive win in a rising antifascist offensive, which must find unity under communist leadership to rid the state of fascists.