Tuesday, August 17, 2010

South Side Chicago ARA Reportback on July 31st Day of Action

Chicago-area anti-racist organizations came together for the July 31st Day of Action Against Racism and Fascism, organizing a variety of actions and events.

During the day, South Side Chicago ARA hosted a meet-and-greet barbecue event with like-minded anti-racists. We ate awesome vegan food, played games, and distributed literature. In attendance were members from Bring The Ruckus, North Side ARA, Four Star Anarchist Organization, Iowa City’s Wild Rose Collective, and a handful of other anti-racists and antifas. After the barbecue, folks supported a local punk show benefitting Anarchist People of Color (APOC) and tabled with literature and an updated “Know Your Illinois Nazis” posters.

Additionally, we released detailed personal information on several Illinois area nazis including members of the National Socialist Movement(NSM) and “White Boy Society”, reminding them that they will no longer be able to organize and spread their hate in secrecy. In the week prior to the 31st, we also flyered the neighborhoods of several nazi scum to inform their neighbors of their involvement in hate groups.

On July 29th, members of ARA participated in a national day of action against SB1070 and rallied at Cook County Jail, where hundreds gathered to demand a moratorium on deportations. Cook County Jail has frequently been found violating prisoner’s human and civil rights resulting in numerous lawsuits and criminal investigations, and is also the major place in Chicago where ICE and local police collaborate to deport immigrants using “immigrant holds“.

Other Chicago revolutionary groups participated in the July 31st Day of Action by organizing several actions throughout the day. In the morning, members of Four Star Anarchist Organization distributed flyers and spoke with community members near the CVS at 26th and Pulaski where Anthony Kyser, an unemployed person of color and father, was murdered by the hands of a CVS manager for stealing crayons and toothpaste while a Cook County Jail Correctional Officer (CO) pointed a gun at Kyser. In the evening, members from Bring The Ruckus flyered Rogers Park informing neighbors about Soren Renner, a white supremacist who lives in the area and actually spotted and confronted the creep while he was slinking around the Heartland Cafe.

Finally, we also released a zine documenting much of the work we’ve done over past year. We hope that this publication will start a larger discussion in strategizing ways we can more effectively combat all forms of oppression in our city. (View the zine online or download the printable PDF version).

We are satisfied about how folks came together in Chicago for the Day of Action – both taking the offensive against known white supremacists while also organizing against broader forms of racist injustice in society. We are also excited to hear reports coming in from other ARA chapters about how their actions went . We expect great things throughout the year.

Fascists beware, we are here to stay. Always on the prowl, South Side ARA!

ADDENDUM: Four Star Anarchist Organization has posted their July 31st reportback:
July 31st, “Action Against Fascism and Racism” report by Daniel C

In response to the July 31 Call to Action Against Fascism and Racism, members of Four Star Anarchist Organization brought attention to the murder of Anthony Kyser, an unemployed African-American barber, outside of a CVS Pharmacy in the Little Village Neighborhood of Chicago in May. Kyser was choked to death by the manager of the CVS in an alley for stealing toothpaste and crayons. Four Star Anarchist Organization was appalled not only by this senseless act of violence against a working-class person of color, but also by the fact that the manager that murdered Kyser was not held accountable for his actions.

Four Star Anarchist Organization chose to respond by hanging a banner with a painted picture of Anthony Kyser at the CVS location and talking to people on the street outside of the store. We arrived at the location at noon, and were joined by members of the Iowa City-based anarchist group Wild Rose Collective that came to Chicago to participate in our efforts. When we asked people walking by the CVS about their thoughts on the murder, reactions ranged from shock at just having heard about it for the first time to people who remembered when Kyser was murdered and knew him personally. We also listened to people talk about racism, capitalism, unemployment, imperialism, and other issues that affect working-class people today. After spending a little over an hour at this location, we moved to the nearby North Lawndale neighborhood (where Kyser lived) and continued to talk to people about his murder. By the end of our action, we made contact with a number of people who wished to be informed about any further organizing efforts.

Afterwards, some members of Four Star moved on to a barbecue hosted by South Side Chicago Anti-Racist Action in the Lakeview neighborhood, where we mingled with members of Wild Rose Collective, North Side Chicago Anti-Racist Action, and Bring The Ruckus. While eating lunch, we talked about upcoming anti-racist and anti-fascist events and received recently published literature on local anti-fascist work from ARA and anti-fascist music compilations from Bring The Ruckus.

Overall, our participation in the July 31 Day of Action Against Fascism and Racism saw members of Four Star out in the streets talking (and listening) to people about how racism and capitlism affect our lives and making contact with other local groups working towards radical change.

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