At CVLT Nation, we hold very passionate anti-racist beliefs, and we are not afraid to share these beliefs with our community. What has been happening in the United States over the past several years – the continuation, and maybe even escalation, of a 300-year campaign of violence and suppression against people of color by the authorities of this country – has made us feel mentally and physically sick. Watching the rampant police brutality unfold in front of the cameras, with little or no actual recourse taken by the authorities and the public juries who have the power to see justice done for murder after murder, makes us angry and sad. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, however ignorant, but that’s not going to stop us from sharing ours, which is that if you can’t see the racial motivation behind these killings of black men by white cops, then you must have your head up your ass. The American police forces rose up from the slave patrols of the 1700s and 1800s, taking over their duties during the Reconstruction period. The American police force is infected by racism and has been since its inception, and the only way to kill the infection is by standing up for the rights of the people who find themselves targeted by the police bacteria.
One of our readers, Connor Royce Lee, sent in a story on a recent confrontation between anti-racist, anti-facist groups and the Traditionalist Workers Party, a white supremacist nationalist group supported by skinhead organizations. According to their website, the TWP supports segregation and the supremacy of European-Americans, albeit with different words and with a much more flowery and cowardly vocabulary. Just as white supremacist groups have shown a historical penchant for using violence to intimidate and get their point across, so have the ANTIFA shown that they, too, can use physical means to intimidate the intimidators. And honestly, I can’t blame them. The oppressed are always told that “violence is not the answer” in response to a culture that continually violates their body and safety. There comes a time when you start to wonder if this old adage was something written in fear of backlash, in fear that one day people of color and anti-racists of all colors will say enough is enough and bring the battle to the racists’ doorstep.
Here’s one such battle, and judging by the state of American politics today, it’s only one of many to come…
Text and Photos: Connor Royce Lee
The Traditionalist Workers Party (TWP) was set to rally at the capital building in Sacramento, California. The TWP is a far right nationalist organization. They deal with many issues, their most unpopular being their ‘preservation of European American rights’ ideals. Their white supremacist attitude has gained them the support of many skinhead groups throughout California, all of which were set to attend the rally in Sacramento. It didn’t long for ANTIFA to catch wind of the upcoming event, and members from around the state came in protest.
Starting at around 9am, ANTIFA members started to arrive – TWP members weren’t set to arrive until noon at the earliest. ANTIFA members surrounded the perimeter to the main entrance of the Sacramento capital building; at this point, there were around 300 ANTIFA protesters. As the morning progressed, it got hotter and a lot of protesters were restless and starting singling out onlookers that appeared to them to be Nazis. Some poor guy in a Cro-Mags shirt was surrounded and sneered at – apparently he looked too much like a skinhead and they assumed he was on the other side.
Riot cops started pushing protesters away from the main entrance to the capital around noon, with the anticipation of the TWP’s arrival. The police were met with extreme resistance by the protesters and several people were maced at this point. It was rumored that the TWP members were waiting in a parking garage, trying to figure out how to get up the capital steps. As the riot cops pushed the protesters to the other side of the capital, TWP members started filtering in behind where the protesters were being pushed to. The police were not expecting the TWP members to approach from this side of the capital. As ANTIFA realized what was going on, they turned and ran full sprint towards the TWP members. The TWP members were uniform, walking in a line, equipped with face masks and shields. They obviously knew they were to be met with violence and resistance by ANTIFA. ANTIFA approached brandishing clubs, mace, knives, fists and other sorts of homemade weapons.
ANTIFA broke the ranks of the TWP march, which is when the brawl started. Basically, every TWP member had a knife. The park surrounding the capital exploded into a battlefield; TWP and ANTIFA alike were taken to the ground in injury. The air was quickly shrouded in ANTIFA mace. An initial scene I can remember is watching an African-American man and a white woman being surrounded by several TWP members and being repeatedly stabbed in the abdomen. Another woman was pushed up against a bush while a TWP member repeatedly stabbed her. Most TWP members fled from ANTIFA mace; I personally was maced by ANTIFA in my attempt to document the scene. As some TWP members retreated, they were chased back by ANTIFA for several blocks. Most TWP members had cars waiting for them, some of which were surrounded and literally pulled to pieces by ANTIFA members. It was a this point that the police stepped in (why they waited this long has yet to be determined). They created a mobile perimeter with their bikes around the capital, keeping ANTIFA in and the TWP out. Stab wound victims were tended to, medics were brought in. The commotion of establishing perimeters to help the injured caused more commotion with ANTIFA, leading to more macing.
As ANTIFA reassembled, it was discovered that two TWP members who appeared to be somewhat in charge had made it into the Capital building. The capital steps were surrounded and the two TWP members emerged, brandishing Nazi salutes and obscene and antagonistic gestures. The steps were rushed and the two TWP members were repeatedly beaten in the head with clubs and had rocks thrown at them, which were created through smashing a pillar standing in front of the capital. They were escorted by the police off of the steps and into a side entrance of the capital, which was destroyed by protesters. In this process, many people were injured and maced by police. Police attempted a barrier with their horses which resulted in protesters punching and beating the horses, attempting to rush the TWP members. ANTIFA began a chant questioning which side the police were on; the police remained silent.
After about 30 minutes, the remaining ANTIFA members gathered on the steps to shout chants of victory and equality. It is believed the two TWP members were escorted out of the capital through one of the underground tunnels. Over the course of the next few hours, ANTIFA members grew hot and tired and slowly filtered out of the capital. Throughout the entire day, nobody was detained for their actions. Investigations into the stabbings are ongoing, with assistance from capital CCTV, myself and other media. TWP was never allowed or given the chance to speak during their time at the capital, which was supposed to be from 12-3:00 PM, I believe. Through my neutral and unbiased reporting of the scene, I believe both sides to be in the wrong. Both sides came equipped for violence, while ANTIFA performed in a rather ironic way – resorting to violence to suppress the universal right to assembly and free speech.