Uncategorized 11 Mrz 2018 07:52 pm

GLA Attacks Antifascists at Anti-Spencer Action

March 10th, 2018

I was at the protest against richard spencer in East Lansing on March 5th. Much of the day was inspiring but several incidents happened that were not. I feel like I have to lay out what I saw, due to the lies and misinformation being spread by Great Lakes Antifa (GLA). A lot of what they are doing and saying is dangerous and untrue. I’ve been to anti-fascist actions for years but this is the first time I’ve seen one group, the GLA, pick a physical fight with other anti- fascists.

The way for people to make real decisions about what happened is by hearing several accounts from as many people as possible. We need to have discussion and disagreements in private, but GLA is talking shit publicly on Facebook so we have a responsibility to respond. Every false accusation I see GLA put up on Facebook as well as every video they post to their Facebook that could in turn get people in trouble, only makes talking about what really happened much more important if not necessary. Their behaviour is both idiotic and dangerous.

The GLA attacked ARA Nashville on two separate occasions on march 5th. Any attempt to spin it as the other way around is untrue. I know because I was there.

There were at least three situations from the Stop Richard Spencer demonstration that worried me about GLA. I was a first hand witness to two of them.

1st GLA Attack

I saw three GLA members (or at least folks who run with GLA) attack another antifascist, lets call her Yellow Bandana. Yellow Bandana, a woman of color was attacked by the GLA members. They attacked three against one. For clarity, I’ll call the three GLA members Flower Bandana, Blue bandana and Facemask. Here is exactly what I saw:

Around 5:30 pm, there was a big grouping of people trying to prevent the police from escorting a nazi into the event. Yellow Bandana was standing in the back of this grouping. This is near the Southeastern end of the parking lot where many of the nazis and fascists were trying to be escorted through, along the white fence. The three GLA members ( Flower, Blue & Facemask) approached Yellow Bandana, who is a woman of color, while she was alone. Flower Bandana called Yellow Bandana a bitch and swung on them. From where I was at in the crowd, I started to move towards the attack. Before I got there, Blue and Facemask had both swung on Yellow Bandana, who then defended themselves.

Flower Bandana, the initiator of the attack, then started screaming that they had been attacked. They did this extremely loud and often. Too loudly and often in fact to where it came off as being both forced and exaggerated. This was bullshit, I saw it start. Flower Bandana had attacked first, it was not the other way around.

While that was happening in the background, Facemask continued calling Yellow Bandana “a fucking bitch“ and making threatening comments like „i’ll slap the shit out of you, i don’t give a fuck“. I know others around me heard Facemask yelling this because another person in the crowd yelled at them for this behavior. The person in the crowd said roughly, „If you are gonna call a woman a bitch, then you aren’t anti-fascist“. This then sent Facemask into a screaming tirade against the person from the crowd. The person in the crowd was right, there is no place for that kind of misogyny in anti-fascist circles.

By this time Blue Bandana had disappeared, but people had to stand in between Yellow Bandana and Facemask to prevent Facemask from attacking, while Flower Bandana fake screamed about being punched. Eventually Facemask was pulled away by other people with them. GLA eventually removed their people, in my opinion because too many people near the incident saw them as the attackers & aggressors.

2nd GLA Attack

About 15 minutes later, Near the Northeastern corner of the main lot, I saw the second attack. Much of the protest had moved from the southeastern corner to the northeastern corner. Things were starting to wind down until I heard a commotion and turned around to see Yellow Bandana with two of their people being attacked. From where I was at, they were being attacked by 6-7 GLA members or people associated with GLA. I know this because I saw Blue Bandana & Facemask from the earlier attack. It was a fight that was going both ways but the attack earlier had clearly lead to this. GLA had started shit only 15 minutes earlier, however when the second attack started, it happened because of the 3 on 1 attack from earlier. Blue Bandana’s bandana & hat came off and I will remember that face. It was the same person that swung for the second time on Yellow Bandana during this second attack. Additionally, Facemask was out of control and at one point swung on other GLA members. GLA is now posting publicly that they were attacked. This is bullshit.

From GLA’s smear campaign on the internet, this is supposed to be when a GLA member was called the N word by a white person. I was at the majority of this fight and never heard the N word. I also never heard anyone reference this incident. It would be fucked up if that happened, but I heard no one reference it at any point during the fight. It would have been a point of outrage and would certainly have come up. This is why I do not believe anyone was called the N word by a white person. If it had happened, people on both sides of the dispute would have been pissed.

Myself along with 5 or more people stepped in between the group of three and the GLA group of 6-7. The crowd started yelling for the group of 6-7 to leave. Enough other anti-fascists were yelling this that the GLA instigators restrained Facemask enough to leave the protest. There were enough people pissed at the GLA folks that they left the action.

I’ve heard from several people that the the GLA crew attacked a single person near the parking lot. This does not surprise me but I’d be very interested to hear from whoever was attacked.

I’ve spent years doing antifascist work in the Midwest. I have never seen behavior as consistently bad and suspect as GLA. This includes every interaction I’ve had with them in person (at least 5 times) and every online interaction. GLA puts all of us at risk and were a big factor in having to end the action early on March 5th. Many folks wanted to stop while we had so many victories and before GLA attacked others another time.

That is what I saw and was part of. GLA is dangerous. This write up is aimed at anyone that has any contact with GLA. Listen to what they say and then compare it to your experiences. Think for yourself. To the newer members of GLA who want to fight fascism, I understand this is the first crew you are part of, but this is not how you do this work. I don’t think GLA can be trusted. While many were doing jail support and follow up on this weekend’s successful confrontations of nazis & fascists, GLA was bus cranking out facebook posts, bizarre propaganda videos & lies. Don’t believe the hype & think for yourselves.

signed,
KD 
A Michigan Anti-fascist since 2005

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For background on the ever growing list of criticisms of Great Lakes Antifa (GLA)

http://facebook.com/nashvilleara/posts/1937197919851735?pnref=story

https://itsgoingdown.org/statement-great-lakes-antifa-clev…/

http://solidarityndefense.net/…/solidarity-defense-stateme…/

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