From the Revolution Club, Chicago

Going Up Against Trumpite Fascists and Pigs in Kenosha



Editor’s note: Almost two weeks ago Jacob Blake, Jr. was shot in the back by police seven times while his three children watched. People went into the streets that night to protest and were met with tremendous brutality, including a very toxic type of tear gas. Two nights later, as the protests grew to over a thousand, armed fascists came to the city and two people, Joseph “Jojo” Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, were murdered. In the days since, Trump has released statements justifying the murder of Rosenbaum and Huber as self-defense and then, on Sunday announced that he was going to Kenosha.

Beginning on the Monday after the shooting of Jacob Blake, Jr., members of the Revolution Club went to Kenosha. On Tuesday, Club members answered a call from Refuse Fascism to turn out en masse against Trump’s visit. The following correspondence details some of their experience.

September 1—Refuse Fascism organized a car caravan to Kenosha. New young members of Refuse Fascism traveled together with veterans of the struggle to drive out Trump and Pence. Many of us stopped off first to show our solidarity at a community gathering organized by the family of Jacob Blake, where we were welcomed, before heading to the gathering site for the protest. We spoke with a mix of people and many took photos of a poster we had made with a photo of Jacob Blake with his kids.

Going Up Against Trumpite Fascists and Pigs

We did not know what to expect at the protest site. A series of heavy repressive tactics has been employed during the past week, including arresting protesters in the wake of the Tuesday night killings just one week ago. The city had set up barricades around the area. A giant fence that has been up since Tuesday had uniformed people with rifles posted behind it.

As we and others began to gather, we were met by a crowd of flag-waving fascist Trump supporters. Initially, the two groups faced off with each other exchanging chants, but as our side began to grow and outnumber the fascists, a joyous crowd, by that point approaching 200, took off marching. We quickly hit a roadblock—concrete barricades and a line of police and crime scene tape (!!?) blocking our path. A rowdy group, including people carrying Refuse Fascism’s “Trump/Pence Out Now Banner,” jumped on the cement barricade and began chanting loudly just as Trump’s motorcade drove by in front of us.

For the next several hours the crowd roamed around the area outside the Kenosha Court House, marching, chanting and at times more quietly engaging with each other. Spokespeople from the Club and Refuse Fascism rallied the crowd with powerful agitation and others, too, stepped out to speak. There continued to be verbal confrontation with the Trump supporters and a Christian fascist speaker who had a sound system. At one point three younger youth blocked these fascists, positioning themselves in front of them holding up signs including from Refuse Fascism. One of them, who was there with her mom, and running around barefoot, was super charged about the need to take on Trump, constantly coming to get resupplied with leaflets for September 5th.

A Cross-Section of People…

The crowd was a fascinating mix of people. There were a lot of people from Kenosha. Groups of young white people who has been protesting for Black Lives Matter for some time. A group of white guys, some with signs saying they were vets, dressed in black had homemade signs denouncing Trump. Parents with their kids. Well-dressed middle-aged white people with home-made signs. Black youth were in the mix too, as well as Asian and Latino people. Truly a mixed crowd with local and “outside agitators” alike. One young Black man, wearing a yacht club shirt, offered to carry the Refuse Fascism banner announcing the September 5 protests. One older white man (who a number of us initially took for a Trump supporter) who told us he has lived in Kenosha all his life and expressed so much outrage about the police shooting of Jacob Blake helped carry the club's “This System Can't Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown” banner for a quite a while along with a young white woman who was also from Kenosha.

We ran into a number of people who were friends of Anthony Huber, the 26-year-old skateboard champion, who was shot and killed when he tried to stop the white supremacist shooter after the shooter killed Joseph Rosenbaum. One young man said he has known Huber all his life. A young woman told us she was a close friend. Toward the end of the protest we met Hannah, Huber's partner, who last week organized a rally of skateboarders to honor Anthony. She told us she wants to plan some sort of “rave-like” outside memorial service for him soon and talked with us about joining in this. A Refuse Fascism member who is a musician said he would love to play as part of this. We had a sign with Anthony Huber's photo on it along with the poster from, “2 Killed in Kenosha, Trump/Pence Out Now,” which they were excited to carry in the protest.

We had learned from our comrades who has been in Kenosha all week that many of the local people didn't grasp the full significance of what they had been part of, including the impact around the country and even around the world. A multinational group of three 20-somethings, who wanted to know more what we were about, watched the shout out from Los Angeles to the fighter in Kenosha and really loved it. The young Black man in the yacht club shirt had a similar response as did 2 young white millennials, one in a Kurt Cobain shirt, who took posters of Joseph Rosenbaum and Jacob Blake that we had brought to carry.

Kenosha: Occupied Territory

A member of Refuse Fascism reported that he talked with people from Kenosha who gave a sense of what it is like living there right now. They said it is like “living in occupied territory.” There are all kinds of roadblocks. There are a lot of different pigs—the locals, the National Guard and the Feds. They described the locals as the ones who fucked with people the most as opposed to the National Guard which is mostly guarding buildings. One person who took up Sept 5 on the spot said “We can't come to Chicago on Saturday because we don't know if we can get back into Kenosha later that night.”

“Outside Agitators”

There were also lots of people from out of town in the crowd. A Native American youth from Grand Rapids, Michigan told us he was celebrating his 20th birthday by being there. He and a friend had traveled to the Kenosha specially to join this protest. They were carrying two big flags, one saying Black Lives Matter and the other with an anarchist symbol. They were excited to meet Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club and gave a way to stay in touch. There were people Minneapolis, from Milwaukee and other parts of Wisconsin and quite a few people from Chicago. A Latino youth, who talked at length with the Club member, said he was from New Mexico and would have driven 20 hours to be there if he had to. He was able to come via plane. He helped carry the 20-foot Refuse Fascism banner the whole time.

There were also people from “Riot Kitchen” a group of people who give out free food at protests—BBQ ribs and brats, who have been caravanning around the country from the Pacific Northwest. They were initially heading to the DC demo on Friday, but when they learned of the events in Kenosha came there. Some actually went to DC and others stayed in Kenosha, some involuntarily because they were locked up. They were arrested last week by the feds in unmarked vehicles, like in Portland, an event that drew media coverage from around the country. There was a group of about eight street medics some of whom traveled there from Chicago, only a small portion of those there earlier in the week.

People coming from the outside, attracted by the resistance, is a great strength. But this drives the fascists crazy. At one point during the agitation, a person screamed, "Hey, if you are not from Kenosha, you have nothing to say. What are you doing here?" The Club member responded in the agitation, "Look, if people like Harriet Tubman had backed down when people called her an outsider, thousands of slaves never would have been freed."

We got out copies of the pamphlet with BA’s statement on the current situation and his new piece, “Trump—Genocidal Racist Part 1.” We had a few deep engagements with people over the BA pamphlet, including a young Latinx person who was taken aback by our proud proclamation of being communists and wanted to know how we get people to engage with us.

Club members and people from the Refuse Fascism are trying to follow up with people we met and win them to take up the call for protests on September 5th either by coming to Chicago or organizing a protest in Kenosha. Some people say, “We are staying in the streets,” with the focus on Black Lives Matter. Sending people the Both/And video could be very important in helping people make the connection between what they have been doing and “Trump/Pence Out Now.” We also plan to get out the video from the National Revolution Tour, which was so well received by the small number of people we showed it to.



Kenosha, September 1. Photo: twitter/therevcoms


Kenosha, September 1. Photo: twitter/therevcoms





Kenosha, September 1. Photo: twitter/therevcoms



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