Photo: Colin Whites after skirmish on May 1, 2019
By Ed Dalton
On May 1, at the annual unpermitted International Workers’ Day march, known fascist Colin Whites was assaulted with what the Austin Police Department reported was a heavy wooden stick. Bleeding profusely from the head, Whites was rushed to the emergency room and one of the red antifascist demonstrators was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. On Wednesday, the charge was dropped.
While APD arrested three May Day demonstrators at random, they only charged one comrade with aggravated assault, a second degree felony. A campaign to support the arrested comrades was initiated immediately upon the arrest; fundraising events took place which helped spread awareness about the case.
The defendant in question was prepared to bring her case before a jury, which would have exposed the vile fascist ideology and activity of the complaining witness. Rather than go forward with proceedings, the State chose to throw out the case. The key witnesses, all fascists and police, cannot be considered credible.
The city of Austin has charged activists on more than six different occasions with assaulting fascists or the police with deadly weapons, none of these charges to date have resulted in convictions.
“There are two aspects to these arrests,” one local activist said, “it is to intimidate others out of taking combative action, and there is also the other aspect which is to give pretext to the criminalization of the antifascist movement.”
Even when these charges do not stick, their existence is mentioned in other hearings to criminalize activists. The police deploy a strategy of low intensity warfare against the local revolutionary movements. This takes place through the simultaneous collaboration between liberal/reformist elements in the activist movement and the police, deployment of infiltrators and snitches, as well as placing false charges against whoever they can grab from the revolutionary movement, which they use to feed to the bourgeois media and bring up in unrelated court cases.
At times, the state drops its low intensity campaign in favor of direct assault and attempted murder. In any case, revolutionaries have learned to navigate false charges and fight legal battles as part of the day to day class struggle.
The revolutionaries in Austin celebrate this as a small victory along with the dropping of the charges against the UT Antifa 3 last year. In the UT case, the state was unable to make graffiti charges stick against three arbitrarily arrested antifascists after students covered up white supremacist symbols on campus. US imperialism and the city of Austin, like the fascist themselves, only appear fierce and undefeatable; their vicious campaigns will be met with ruin, in the short term as well as the long.
The revolutionaries have long insisted that every time one of them is arrested three more rise up, and that it is always right to rebel and to resist the enemy’s best efforts to arrest and convict them. The revolutionary principles of non-cooperation with the state and of fighting back against all charges have resulted in a string of legal victories.