Saturday, June 26, 2010

Open Letter to the "Gacy Hole"

The following statement is being circulated amongst Chicago-area punk scenes encouraging bands to boycott the venue known as the "Gacy Hole":
Open Letter to the "Gacy Hole"
For the past six months the Gacy Hole has been throwing shows in Pilsen and at nearly every show people have been harassed with acts of racism and sexism. When the people who live there were confronted, they made it clear they have no interest in keeping their space safe for women, LGBTQ folks or people of color. People at the Gacy Hole made all kinds of familiar liberal privileged arguments defending "freedom of expression" with no content or context for what this freedom is. At a time when the people of Pilsen are targets of gentrification, being displaced by white artists and hipsters who move in neighborhood and raise property values; the Gacy Hole is not only gentrifying but helping create unsafe spaces by not addressing oppressive behavior in their space.

In the most recent incident a belligerent crew of skinheads spent the night badgering women and making homophobic comments while brandishing white power tattoos, a "Skrewdriver" shirt, an S.S. pin and a Swastika patch. Below is a testimony from a witness:

"June 19th, 2010, there was a show at the gacy hole ... non-racist skins showed up along with some older scum punks. What i mean by scum punks is: they were womanizing and and instigating fights. Both "groups" I mentioned were violently instigating people and saying sexually oppressing words towards females. numerous reports and complaints were exchanged to the attendance but few action was taken within attendance. this is what i am talking about. this apathetic attitude of "who cares, they didn't say anything to me" needs to be changed...

here are some reports on what i heard: "i'd like to go wherever that drunk girl is going." "you're fucking hot" "how much?"

some actions included: over friendly help with intoxicated females. what i mean by this is they were acting as if they were helping an intoxicated female get around but they were really just "copping a feel". talking to intoxicated girls that clearly weren't interested and wouldn't stop harassing... yes, i spoke up, along with the help of very few. i expected more help from but no one seemed to care. most didn't seem bothered by all of this. there was a report of a skin head getting beaten towards the end of the show. you may say "no one deserves to get beaten." try to talk in a civil manner to someone with this mentality and see what happens."

The testimony above is not merely an isolated occurrence; it is the general atmosphere of every show thrown at the Gacy Hole. The all too familiar liberal take on "freedom of speech" creates a powder keg, creating an unsafe space that fosters sexual assault, queerbashing and other forms of oppressive violence. They are willing to stand against those confronting bigotry yet they refuse to ever question those actively engaging in chauvinistic, racist and sexist behavior. Their ambivalence shows that the the Gacy Hole is more concerned with making sure that Nazis, racists, homophobes, misogynists and other bigots are safe in expressing or acting on their fucked up politics than they are in making sure that people of color, women, LGBTQ people and any of the other people targeted by many Gacy Hole regulars feel safe even being in the venue.

Attempts at discussion have been made and never met by the tenants of the Gacy Hole. The show must not go on. Because of this We hereby DEMAND that the shows at the Gacy Hole end and that the people who live there move out of Pilsen. White, middle class, suburban bros have no place in Pilsen or the Chicago punk community, especially when they show their lack of principles by putting people in danger. Additionally we demand that all Chicago area punk bands and venues refuse to support the Gacy Hole in any way. Do not play at the Gacy Hole and do not play with any of the bands that play with "Sex Bunker" or the "Shitheads" whose members live at the Gacy Hole until they stop throwing shows and move out.

Friday, June 25, 2010

July 31st, 2010: Call to Action Against Racism and Fascism

South Side Chicago ARA is endorsing the following call to action:
July 31st, 2010: Call to Action Against Racism and Fascism

During the early morning hours of March 27th, a Portland, Oregon anti-racist activist was shot in what appears to be a well orchestrated attack. It is suspected that the attackers were members of the neo- Nazi movement. The victim is a member of the anti-racist skinhead movement, a son, a friend and has dedicated the past ten years of his life to fighting white supremacist organizing.

The Portland Police Department has suggested that the shooting is “gang related.” Already facing mass protests over numerous recent cases of police brutality and murder, the police treatment of this case is not surprising, and fits into a pattern of downplaying racist violence while targeting anti-racist activists.

Although police and politicians attempt to portray cities like Portland as welcoming safe places, Portland and the Pacific Northwest has a violent and dangerous history. For 30 years Portland and the surrounding region has been targeted by white supremacist and neo-Nazi movements. Groups like White Aryan Resistance (WAR) and Aryan Nations waged an ongoing and underground campaign to both recruit young whites and to terrorize people of color, GLBTQ people, and others who were seen as enemies of their racist order. The 1980’s were an especially violent period in which neo-Nazi skinheads with ties to WAR beat Ethiopian immigrant Mulugeta Seraw to death.

But this racist terror has not gone unopposed. Coalitions of anti-racist youths, militants from the GLBTQ communities, and individuals fighting for justice and dignity organized to beat back the racists and neo-Nazis. This organizing was often opposed and criminalized by the authorities who sought to disrupt independent anti-fascist organizing. This situation led organizers to rely on themselves and their own communities.

The organizing by anti-fascists in Portland was a positive example and has been part of a broader, long-term campaign across the country. From NYC to LA, from Minneapolis to New Orleans, there is a history of peoples organizing to both defend themselves against racist terror, as well as come together to build multi-racial coalitions to discuss and plan forms of action to address conflicts and crisis in our various communities.

The shooting in the context of growing reaction
The March 27th shooting occurred within a backdrop of growing Right wing, racist, and emerging fascist organizing and activity. There has been a dramatic escalation of rhetoric and action from the broad Right. While all sectors of the working classes and poor face economic and social uncertainty, the racists, the Right wing, and the smaller but significant sections of the neo-Nazi and fascist movements are looking to divide our class and peoples. Where there should be united class anger against a system that is continually grinding people down, the Right openly demonstrates its contempt and hatred for our people. Fascists and neo-Nazis are looking for these moments of division in which they can move in, recruit, and carry out their own organizing.

Call to Action
We propose Saturday July 31, 2010 as a Call to Action Against Racism and Fascism. We want to use the CA to both engage the broad, independent, and radical anti-racist/anti-fascist movements.

We want mass and varied forms of protest and action. These actions can range from: music and DJ shows; educational events; outings of known Right and fascist organizers; street protest; immigrant solidarity and anti-minuteman action; and so on. While we want collaboration and coordination when possible, we also want to maximize the impact of this CA and thus argue for the greatest degree of creativity and initiative.

We encourage individuals and organizations to determine what best works in their localities.

We support the incorporation of any existing and ongoing anti-racist/anti-fascist action into this CA and imagine the CA as a way to bolster already active organizing.

We propose a poster/graphic to be used to announce the CA with endorsers.

To reiterate, we argue for a maximum of creative and independent initiative and ask only that a) individuals and organizations endorse the call b) any public actions and events be promoted. We would not necessarily seek to publish details of planned actions unless requested to do so.

We want to use the CA as a means to increase collaboration between our forces and work in a popular manner to highlight the need for a mass, radical response to racist and fascist organizing.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Confront Racist “Illinois Minutemen” and “Naperville Tea Patriots”

On June 12th the Naperville Tea Patriots and the Illinois Minutemen Project are demonstrating against "illegal immigration" and in support of Arizona's racist legislation SB1070:
City Hall/Municipal Center (400 S. Eagle, Naperville, IL)

Rally begins at 3 PM with speakers and "reading of the bill"
Special Scheduled speaker: Rosanna Pulido, Illinois Minutemen Project

Following the rally, those who are interested in supporting an AZ business are invited to walk to Cold Stone Creamery and purchase a "scoop in support" of AZ (Cold Stone is headquartered in Scottsdale).

Immigrant Solidarity DuPage is calling for a counter-demonstration against the right-wing bigots:
In Dupage we are Arizona! Counter-protest the Minutemen! Justice for Immigrant Workers and their Families! 
Elements of the anti-immigrant Naperville "Tea Patriots" and Illinois Minutemen Project will be hosting a rally in Naperville on June 12. The purpose of the rally is to express solidarity with the far right-wing 'buycott' Arizona campaign, that is, to support SB 1070 and other racist proposals that are coming out of that state.

Keynote speaker Rosanna Pulido is chair of the Illinois Minutemen Project and supports a "war of attrition" against undocumented immigrants . After the rally the tea-baggers and minutemensos will march to Stone Cold Creamery in Downtown Naperville (23 W Jefferson Ave) to purchase a "scoop in support" of the Scottsdale-based corporation.

Join Immigrant Solidarity Dupage along with allies and special guests from Aurora and Chicago as we energetically counter-protest this action en masse in downtown Naperville. We stand for the suspension of Arizona's SB 1070 and the ethnic studies targeting HB 2281 initiatives and call on the City of Naperville to immediately boycott the state of Arizona for their racist, Latino-targeting policy.

The "special scheduled speaker" at this rally, Rosanna Pulido, has a history of anti-immigrant activism and was publicly disgraced last year for making a number of racist comments on right-wing extremist website But she still hasn't called it quits, holding a June 3rd "Pro-SB1070" rally at Chicago City Hall, giving a Fox News TV interview, and organizing people to come see her speak on June 12. So here's her profile complete with phone and address from the white pages:
Rosanna Pulido - 773-250-3399
2525 W Foster Ave / Chicago, IL 60625-2514

Exposing Rogers Park White Nationalist Soren Renner

Soren Renner, known for speaking at the 2009 Hitler Birthday celebration in Chicago and recently chased out of the 2010 tax day tea party, has once again crossed our radar. Soren Renner, who supposedly used to be an anarchist, is a third postion White Nationalist living in Rogers park. He is currently hoping to organize under a variety of names including "Chicago Area National Anarchists" and/or "Rogers Park National Front", attempting to mimic the California-based Bay Area National Anarchists (BANA), which has nothing to do with Anarchism and much more to do with white supremacy. So Soren, you were paranoid before, but things are only getting worse:
  • Home Address: 1409 W Greenleaf Ave, Chicago, IL 60626-2883
  • Phone: 1 773 508 0562
  • Email:
  • 46 years old, married to Judith Renner, attended University of Chicago
  • Eats at Carmen's Pizzeria (6568 N. Sheridan Road, 773 465-1700) and the Heartland Cafe, a popular liberal cafe (7000 N. Glenwood, 773 465 8005)
  • Posts racist blog posts at and Vanguard News Network forum
  • Frequently attends public demonstrations with video equipment in an attempt to document the Left
Some of his greatest quotes: "War starts in the mind", "I've been intimidating people since I was five", "I'm gonna pop your white nationalist Cherry", "Rise against the enemies of god", "I'm pretty important", "Im kind of a big deal", "You have a lot to learn from me".
Soren is trying hard to recruit (brainwash) young people to do his dirty work for him, but all his attempts have seemed to be a failure. He has no real followers, except for maybe his tea party buddy Scott Irving, and we don't see that changing any time soon. What we do see changing is that now that folks in Rogers Park know who he is, he will no longer be welcome in public places like the Heartland Cafe.

White Supremacist “Nordic Fest” Event Held in Mokena, IL

"Nordic Fest" is a white supremacist gathering held every year in Dawson Springs, KY at the Imperial Klans of America headquarters drawing neo-nazis, skinheads and Klan from around the country to see white power bands and burn crosses. We were surprised and angered to hear that this year's gathering was moved to Chicago suburb Mokena, IL. But this year was significantly more pathetic than usual: only 1-2 dozen people came and the event was crawling with feds. Why? Because a week before the fest, the IKA headquarters was raided by federal authorities who arrested IKA "Imperial Wizard" Ron Edwards, his girlfriend Christine Gillette, and Jeremy Katro for dealing methamphetamines, marijuana, and hydrocodone. So much for "family values"! Plans for Nordic Fest was not looking good and started looking even worse after Blood & Honour / Combat 18 publicly withdrew all support from the IKA :

Unfortunately, two days ago now, Ron Edwards of the International Klans of America, a group that has been long and staunch supporters of Blood and Honour; was arrested and charged with manufacturing and distribution of methampethamine as well as other pharmaceutical drugs. The article may be found here.

After discussions among the various crew heads in the US that make up Blood and Honour USA, we have collectively decided that at this time, given the amount of evidence- not only that which led to his being charged- but also that of individuals that have witnessed behaviours of this type- that Blood and Honour USA is pulling any and all support from the Nordicfest music festival and also any and all support of the IKA. We are planning to reschedule the event on the following weekend to be held in Chicago, Il.- the details of which will be announced shortly.

Drugs, drug users, and those that market them cannot and will not be tolerated- regardless of who the persons are that are involved. Indeed it is even worse when someone that has held themselves up as a standard of white nationalism becomes caught up in this ****** nonsense.

Further, we would request that any persons that may have planned to attend the event that are not associated directly with Blood and Honour also respect our decision and avoid supporting the IKA and this event.

As a friend said to me last evening, "You just have to keep moving forward". Solid advice from a solid individual. This will not stop us. This will not deter us from working towards a final victory. It is simply one more loss along the way.
Blood and Honour USA / Combat 18 secured a place in Mokena IL to host the festival but when police and the media approached the property owner about the gathering, he claimed he had no knowledge of the organizer's racist affiliations and told numerous newspaper articles that the event had been cancelled. We were not convinced and soon reports were coming in from Mokena residents who spotted skinheads, confederate flags and 'event parking' signs suggesting the event was taking place after all. Eventually newspapers confirmed the rally actually happened :
May 30, 2010   BY TONY GRAF, Sun-Times Media

After reports that a "white pride" rally had been canceled, an informal gathering still was held Saturday at a property in Frankfort Township near Mokena, police said.

The property owner was denied a camping permit for the event, Will County sheriff's police spokesman Pat Barry said. But that denial isn't enough to prohibit an informal gathering on private property.

Nordic Fest, a white supremacist rally described by organizers as a three-day "annual white pride and music festival," had been planned for this weekend. Deputies reportedly met with the property owner Thursday and urged him to cancel the event. He had been unaware of the group's plans before that time, the Herald-News of Joliet reported.

On Friday, Barry said the owner told police "he had made calls to the organizers that their event would not be welcome here." But Barry later said a dozen to two dozen people attended the informal gathering on the property, near Wolf and Cleveland roads. He said extra patrols were added for the area Saturday.

"Our main concern is that we keep the peace and that no laws are violated," Barry said.

Barry said there had been no calls or problems related to the gathering as of Saturday afternoon. He said people were at the site Friday night, when a giant Confederate flag was hung on a tree. Attendees declined Saturday to comment.

Without permits, people at the informal gathering could not install restroom facilities or charge admission, Barry said. But because the property is private, a gathering can be held, provided no laws are broken.
A video called "major disappointment in Mokena" posted to YouTube on May 31st, 2010 shows a very small and pathetic looking show taking place (the caption claims it was the 2009 gathering but evidence suggests it was this year's gathering):

During the weekend numerous calls were made to Mokena residents and businesses nearly Wolf and Cleveland Road to try to ascertain information on what Klan-affiliated bonehead would have the nerve to hold such a gathering on his property. Many people in the town said they knew about the gathering, had "no problems with it one way or the other", and would not reveal the name of the property owner even though they claimed they knew who and where it was hosted. If you are a resident of Mokena and have information or opinions about the gathering, please contact us at