Sunday, August 21, 2011

Several Arrested in Direct Action Against ICE "Secure Communities Act" Forum

Hundreds disrupted and walked out of a "public forum" organized by U.S. Immigration Customs & Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security to demonstrate opposition to the "Secure Communities Act". Instead of participating in ICE's attempt to gain public support through their phony forum, protesters chose direct action and civil disobedience instead and took to the streets resulting in several arrests. More from the Immigrant Youth Justice League:

Six Undocumented Youth Arrested in Chicago Action Against Secure Communities

UPDATE, 3:50 AM: All of the undocumented youth who were part of the action have been released, along with 3 supporters who were also detained by police. We are committed to supporting the undocumented youth in raising fund for their $1,500 bail. Please consider making a donation to support them and our organizing. Donate here.

Today Chicago responded to the hearing on Secure Communities by walking out of the hearing, and staging a civil disobedience where 6 undocumented youth were arrested. The action and protest took place after over 300 people walked out of the hearing, following a call from IYJL organizer Alaa Mukahhal. She said, “You would not tolerate this for you or your neighbors, why do you expect me to tolerate it for me and mine. I cannot accept the program or this task force.” The youth who were arrested, currently being held by the Chicago Police Department are: IYJL organizers Carla Novoa, Miguel Martinez, Jorge Mena and Ireri Unzueta Carrasco; Arianna Salgado from Nuestra Voz, and Fanny Martinez, from the Latin@ Youth Action League. 

Read the youth’s bio and statements here

Below is the testimony / call for a walk out by Alaa Mukahhal, given at the public hearing on Secure Communities in Chicago, August 17th, 2011. After this call, over 300 people walked out of the meeting to join a civil disobedience by undocumented students outside. 

"My name is Alaa and I’m undocumented. Today, I am here for my mother and father who spent the last 18 years living in anxiety and fear, afraid that our family is next. I’m here for my mother who when I told her about Secure Communities becoming mandatory, she put her head in her hands and asked me “When are they going to leave us alone?” I sat there and I listened to her tell me all the friends and family she knew who were caught and deported. They weren’t criminals; they were fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters. You would never accept this life for yourselves or for your families, so why would you accept it for your neighbors and communities?

Enough! Enough with the lies to us and to yourselves that somehow you will fix something that is designed to deport our families.

I can’t in good conscience stay at a hearing that’s a front for something so irreparable and insecure. Sometimes words are not enough, hearings are not enough, press conferences and speeches are not enough. I am here today with my undocumented friends, because there comes time when we need to take greater action. We are tired of fear, and today, today we will break that fear from Secure Communities. I and five others are going to walk outside of this building right now.

We are going to intentionally block traffic and put ourselves under arrest, knowing full well that under Secure Communities, this act of protest, this minor offence, will mean that that we could get placed in deportation. This is the risk that immigrants all across the country take every day.

We ask the community to follow us outside, and we ask the people on the task force to have courage for your communities and do the right thing. We resign from this hearing, we think you should resign too and join us outside. We have letter demanding the resignation of the task force signed by over 150 organizations nationwide. We will walk out because we are undocumented unafraid unapologetic. Join us!"

(mainstream news video report) 

Friday, August 19, 2011

From Denver to Worcester, Antifas Go Hard For July 31st

After a somewhat eventful July 31st day of action in 2010 we decided to continue the call in 2011. Although international calls for a single day of action can seem pretty sad and pointless, we hoped that it would help inspire new and old anti-fascists to continue this war day in and day out, and give an extra boost to the anti-fascist excitement that the attacks on the NSM in Pemberton and on NEWP in Boston  have already helped create.

After mobilizing close to thirty people for a demonstration at the front doors of both Art Jones and PJ Klems for our day of action, we were interested in hearing what other anti-fascists and anti-racists did for the July 31st day of action. Although we are sure there were plenty more actions on this day here is what we have heard so far.


Taken from

On July 18th, Denver Police took human life once again. The victim in this case was Alonzo Ashley, a 29 year old man visiting the Denver Zoo during one of the summer's hottest days. As the visit went on, he suffered increasingly from heat exhaustion and decided to cool off by sticking his head in a water fountain, after which Zoo Security tried forcefully to remove him. What followed is still debated, though the police story continues to be debunked detail by detail, but the event resulted in 18 police cars being called, 5 tasings of Ashley and ultimately the death of an innocent man. 

A couple weeks later, on July 31st, the International Day of Action Against Fascism and Racism, 160 city parking meters were sabotaged in retaliation for the murder. This action was chosen for numerous reasons - it being a clear attack on the same city government responsible for the Ashley murder, that also benefits the general populace in the form of a free parking spot, to draw a connection between the racism of the far right and that of the police forces; and above all to deliver a significant financial blow to the city responsible for this death in an extremely easy, simple way. 

The exact damage is unknown, but repairs on one defaulting meter alone averages out at a little more than $200, not to mention the money missed out on over the course of it being down or the fact that many of these meters were brand new, high tech ones. Each meter filled, bonded, jammed, sealed, welded, or otherwise destroyed can cause the government the same amount as say, a broken window, but with the advantage of being able to be repeatedly carried out one after another after another without detection. In other words, over the course of a minute the damage adds up real quick in a way that nosier attacks make nearly impossible. 

This action far from evens the scales. The government of Denver lost some parking meters and thousands of dollars, somebody suffering from heat stroke lost his life for it, and no action could possible make up for it, particularly one as modest as this one could ever correct that tragic imbalance. However, this city and its police clearly care more for money than for human life, so count this then as a small strike intended to hurt them financially for their actions, past or present. The state has many unguarded weak spots. And to any claims that may come up that actions of this sort take money from schools, the fact remains that this was a clear response to the acts of the police. For the government to cut uninvolved services for the consequences of the murders committed by its police forces shows their true priorities in sickening detail. Most disgusting? Protesters against the police have done more time in cages than any of the officers from the most brutal department in the country. 

Fuck the cops. Solidarity with all who fight them.
Rest in peace, Alonzo Ashley.


From an email:

 Worcester youth handed out dozens of fliers and had
conversations with many people in the city center in participation with the
International Day of Action Against Racism and Fascism this weekend. The fliers
showed support for Luke Querner, the injured Portland anti-racist, and had
information about the local neo-Nazi group North East White Pride. Everyone who
was approached had only kind words to say, thus proving that NEWP can expect no
support from residents of our city. We are going to continue actions such as
this and ensure that oppression is not welcome.

 Still accepting submissions so send em to

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)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Local Tea Partier Rep. Joe Walsh Talks Fiscal Responsibility, Sued For $100,000 in Child Support

With all the excitement of organizing for the July 31st day of action home demo this past Sunday(full report coming up tonight), we were a little behind on reporting on other local news. As anyone who has been following the news about the congressional debate over the debt ceiling can attest, McHenry, Illinois Tea Partier Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) has gotten his fifteen minutes of fame by posting You tube videos of his temper tantrums and verbally sparring on cable new programs, claiming “I won’t place one more dollar of debt upon the backs of my kids and grand kids unless we structurally reform the way this town spends money!”

According to a Chicago Sun-Times article that first ran on July 27th, Joe Walsh has some fiscal responsibility and family values issues of his own to deal with: his ex-wife is suing him for over $100,000 in late child support payments. While Walsh's campaign back story makes him out to be an unfortunate out-of-work lawyer that lost his Evanston, Ill. condo, and the Sun-Times describes him as “sometimes-employed financial consultant/venture capitalist/Republican activist”, something doesn't quite add up:

 From the sun times:
"Before getting elected, he had told Laura Walsh that because he was out of work or between jobs, he could not make child support payments. So she was surprised to read in his congressional campaign disclosures that he was earning enough money to loan his campaign $35,000.
Joe personally loaned his campaign $35,000, which, given that he failed to make any child support payments to Laura because he ‘had no money’ is surprising,” Laura Walsh’s attorneys wrote in a motion filed in December seeking $117,437 in back child support and interest. “Joe has paid himself back at least $14,200 for the loans he gave himself.”
While we in South Side Chicago Anti-Racist Action are no fans of the Democratic Party, we don't particularly like to see uppity Tea Baggers give lectures on how to be responsible with money when they can't even pay child support. Our advice to Rep. Walsh would be to take some of that $175,000 in taxpayer money that he collects as a salary for being a member of congress and ensure that his children go to college so that they don't end up being as ill-educated and hypocritical as their father.

For more on the Tea Party movement, check out and this useful review of the report.

Read full report here from the Chicago Sun Times