On the evening of Friday, January 20th, a comrade of ours was shot in the stomach in the most public place on the University of Washington’s campus in Seattle – a place called “Red Square” for the color of its bricks rather than its politics.
This Fellow Worker (what members of the IWW call ourselves) and Defender (for GDC members) is a longtime anti-fascist and dedicated activist, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the General Defense Committee of the IWW. He’s currently in critical condition at Harborview Hospital in Seattle. They have a Level One Trauma center, so it’s likely he is receiving the best quality care available, for which we are deeply grateful.
Edit: A Fascist group is attempting to gather information on the victim and those who donate. As a precaution the fund is advising people to donate anonymously. A statement by the GDC treasurer on the issue is here.
How do we respond? We are building an expanded anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist, anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-fascist presence in Seattle, and this person was spearheading that effort. Are others willing step up and replace his effort while he heals? Our response will help determine that.
There is a limited amount of time for us to make clear to the world what is clear to us: we are under armed attack. The fascist right knows where to find us – protests such as anti-Donald Trump events, or actions against police brutality. In the Twin Cities, the trial has just begun of Allen Scarsella, one of the white supremacists who came to the Fourth Precinct in Minneapolis in November, 2015 and opened fire, shooting multiple people.
We don’t have confirmation that the person who shot our comrade was a counter-protester angry at those protesting Milo’s hateful white nationalist misogyny. We do know that he turned himself into the police several hours later, claiming ‘self-defense.’ This, of course, is exactly what Scarsella did as well.
Our friend will have enormous hospital bills and undoubtedly some legal costs as well. There will be a significant loss of income. Let’s raise him so much that he won’t have to worry about that angle of things. Please give. All money will be controlled directly by them and their partner; none will go to any other cause, excepting any fees associated with the fundraising service used.
Click here to go to the official IWW General Defense Committee fundraiser for this fellow worker.
Please don’t just give; please tell your friends and families and organizations to give. That may sound daunting, but here’s why they should:
This isn’t just about one guy. Your friends and families know that the situation has changed dramatically. They know that things are changing fast, and have heard the word fascism a lot since Trump was elected. They may even suspect that the breakneck pace of media revelations and executive decisions is intended to distract them and make them feel helpless.
This is about protecting those who have already been putting themselves on the line protecting us. Who have been organizing for us and got there even before Donald Trump was elected. This is about protecting them. This is about emboldening OUR side to organized to protect ourselves, rather than simply beg for protection from fascists and racists. Some of whom are now in political power.
We need to ensure widespread support for them, and we need to do it in the name of organized anti-fascism. We must demonstrate that no matter our own political analysis or identity – progressive, liberal, leftist, radical, etc. – we support anti-fascism, and we support antifascists. We will not leave our own behind. We will support antifascist efforts, most of all because they are needed more than ever, and not supporting them at this crucial point would be a disaster.
Thank you for reading all the way to the end. It’s hard to hear that a comrade has been shot. We may not have expressed everything in the most organized or best way above, and if that is the case, please accept our apologies.
We hope you will consider making a contribution, and perhaps writing letters or calling to the President of the University of Washington and expressing support for the victim of the shooting and the protesters, and criticism of the UW administration for permitting an event they knew was going to promote violence against minority groups. Now they’ve gotten what they should have known was coming. Call or write the County Attorney and demand aggressive prosecution. Call Seattle City Councilors and ask them to issue a public statement of condemnation of violent attacks on anti-racist and antifascist protesters, and support of our Fellow Worker.
Tell your neighbors the truth. Change the narrative that they will try to spin on the media.