Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chicago July 31st Reportback: Taking the Struggle to the Fascists' Doorsteps

Nearly 30 Chicago-area individuals, including members of South Side Chicago Anti-Racist Action and Four Star Anarchist Organization, got together for the July 31st Day of Action Against Fascism and Racism to protest at the home of Lyons Illinois neo-nazi Arthur J Jones, as well as local restaurant and nazi sympathizer P.J. Klem's. Art Jones's recent activities include having organized both the 2009 and failed 2011 Hitler Birthday celebrations at PJ Klems and repeated failures at local electoral campaigns (receiving less than 5% of the primaries in 2008). His past activities include membership in George Lincoln Rockwell's National Socialist White People's Party, America First Committee and Bill White's American National Socialist Worker's Party, as well as an appearance on the Jerry Springer Show.

First stop was Art Jones' apartment (7744 Ogden Ave, Apt 3Lyons, IL 60534, 708-442 6334). Under heavy police surveillance that included just under a dozen uniformed officers and several undercover cars that filmed the afternoon's events, antifascists held banners, called attention to Art's property and shouted slogans such as "death, death, death to the nazis, power, power, power to the people", "resistance, defiance! no nazis in lyons!" and "antifa". It seemed that Art was either hiding in his house or was not home, but it can be said for sure that he will know we were there due to the mass spectacle we created in the neighborhood. Also be aware that Art Jones runs a business in Lyons called "Family Biz Insurance": why anyone would want to trust their future with a self-proclaimed white racialist is beyond us, but we can bet that Art Jones's future in political organizing in his town is over.

From there, we marched a few blocks away to P.J. Klem's, a local restaurant and banquet hall that specializes in shitty food and hosting white supremacist events like the 2009 and 2011 Hitler Birthday celebrations (where we saw another of our old friends, Soren Renner). Although we were accompanied with several supporters (including Art's neighbors and other bystanders who joined up with us), several others were apparently offended by our anti-racist slogans and chants, infuriated by the fact that we were protesting a neo-nazi and a fascist-sympathizing restaurant. On the way over to Klem's, several racist sympathizers drunkenly shouted at us and even attempted to challenge us with physical confrontations (laughable due to them being greatly outnumbered and the fact that there were loads of pigs surrounding us). Before one assumes that the entirety of Lyons, Illinois is a den of white supremacists, we would like to give a big shout out to those locals that saw what we were doing and gave us their verbal support or joined in with our march.

We see this action in a different context than that of your average protest as it was itself a direct action and not merely symbolic protest. The purpose was to let Art Jones know, as our blog itself already has, that he is being watched, that we are on to him and that we are unafraid to take the struggle against fascists straight to his front door. It strikes a fear within him, the knowledge that antifascist militants were standing on the very property that he has to pass every day coming to and from wherever he goes. That not only do we know where he lives, where he works and what he's been up to, but we also have the capability to mobilize people to action against fascist scum. The long term goal is to either deter him from organizing by putting fear and paranoia in his head, or to eventually drive him out of Illinois altogether, for he is a facet of fascist potential and fascism is best destroyed before it gains momentum.

As for the State, the pigs themselves tried to play as if they were our friends while monitoring our every move, sending in undercover cars to take pictures, and to keep us out of "trouble". A reminder to all revolutionary antifascists who may not realize: we are in a three-way fight, which means fighting against the capitalist State as well as the authoritarian alternatives that would keep us exploited and oppressed.

And don't worry, Art.  We'll be in touch.

Stay safe and play rough... see you again next year, and every day in between. -South Side Chicago ARA

(To other endorsing organizations around the country: send us your reportbacks and we will try to put together a national July 31st 2011 recap)

1 comment:

  1. This is a well written article! Good job!