Sunday, March 20, 2011

Stop Indiana from becoming the "Arizona of the Midwest"

In Indiana, the Republican-controlled house and senate are waging a full-on attack by attempting to pass anti-immigrant, anti-worker and homophobic bills, revitalizing Indiana's fascist history and putting Indiana back on the map as the "Arizona of the Midwest". Although proceedings are currently stalled (several democrats have boycotted and fled to Illinois to avoid quorum), the Indiana Republicans are not backing off. Recently, they proposed another anti-immigrant law: HB-1402, which eliminates resident tuition to the undocumented. Indiana republicans are also attempting to pass a constitutional amendment banning civil unions and gay marriages - a step backwards considering many states (including Illinois) are beginning to recognize gay marriage as legal.
Bloomington residents take
to the streets against SB590
In response to the rising tide of fascism in the Midwest, more and more people are taking to the streets. On February 21st, hundreds marched in Bloomington demanding  that IU President Michael McRobbie take a stand against SB590.  An occupation staged at IU, with an info-point distributing handouts educating people about the bill, was eventually shut down by IU administrators and police. Bloomington citizens are also organizing know-your-rights trainings and discussions on the current status of the bill and how to effectively fight it. On March 10 in Chicago, hundreds took to the streets to "come out of the shadows" as undocumented and unafraid.  The march culminated at "Liberation Square" with speeches, food, and music. Also on March 10, hundreds of immigrant rights activists rallied in Indianapolis and La Porte, marching in opposition to SB590 (in addition to the massive workers-rights demonstrations). In Wisconsin, Voces de la Frontera Action organized twenty buses to Madison for the colossal March 12 demonstration to show solidarity with the general strike and opposition to the Arizona-style anti-immigrant bill. On March 15, hundreds more rallied yet again in Indianapolis against SB590
Matt Parrott
1145 Golfview Dr Apt F
Carmel, IN 46032
(317) 324-8282
During the Indianapolis March 10 action, a handful of racists gathered to counter-protest the immigrant rights march, holding signs showing their support of SB590 and demanding people to "go back to Mexico". Attendees include Jaenelle Antas and Matt Parrott from the hate groups Hoosier Nation and Council of Conservative Citizens, and members of the neo-nazi skinhead crew Vinlander Social Club (including leader Brien James from Indianapolis who inanely attempted to provoke the crowd by shouting, "Who wants to make some anarchy? You wanna go in the alley and make some anarchy one on one? I’ll take on any of you"). We want people to be aware of active racists in their neighborhoods (and we have previously posted address info for Jaenelle Antas and Brien James) but if you have any choice words for Matt Parrott his address is listed on an application when he applied for a permit when he and his white supremacist friends rallied in support of Jerry Piland and several other white Indianapolis police officers who savagely beat a young person of color in June 2010.

Nick "NordicHeathenVinlander"
"Hjalmar Hellstrom"
Another Vinlander affiliate actively promoted the counter-protest on racist websites, and Nick (who goes by the aliases NordicHeathenVinlander and Hjalmar Hellstrom), also created a Facebook account friending many groups and individuals associated with the immigrant rights movement around Indianapolis in the weeks before the event.  While posting several comments and links pretending to be against SB590, he was simultaneously posting on, encouraging people to "call Immigration Customs and Enforcement" because he "heard there are going to be illegals tomorrow" (even providing lists of phone numbers for different ICE offices). Nick eventually revealed his true colors as a Hoosier Nation and VSC supporter after word was put out warning people of his futile attempts to gather personal information in order to report people.

Massively outnumbered, all they could do was attempt to engage in "debate" with a few anti-SB590 protesters, by spouting their tired xenophobic arguments. As ARA, we do not believe in giving any platform for fascism to spout their hate and find it disgusting that such individuals walked around in broad daylight openly affiliating with known nazis. Freedom of speech is a concept that both the right and certain factions of the left, argue for-- ultimately minimizing our ability to actually act and creating a society where you can say whatever you want so long as you don't do anything about it. Unfortunately for them, not only we do see this as deceptive but we believe that if Nazis want to preach oppression and genocide, then those who they wish to oppress, and who oppose this, should fight them by any means necessary. We also do not believe that an attack on them can even be considered a violation of freedom of speech, as opposed to say an imprisonment for such rhetoric, but rather an act of free will based out of a necessity to eliminate apparatuses of oppression. Furthermore, we do not believe in appealing to politicians to seek petty reforms and willingly give up power. Whether through militant confrontation, occupations, or general strikes, the only way forward is direct action.

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