Resisting White Supremacy, Fascism, and Imperialism; Fighting for Self Determination
August 25, 2017
Third World Resistance condemns the recent white supremacist antics and violence displayed in Charlottesville on August 11 and 12. We extend solidarity to those who stood strong in the face of that violence on those days in Charlottesville and in opposition to white supremacy in the days since. Donald Trump’s divisive and incendiary racist rhetoric in response to Charlottesville and his repetition of his most vile sentiments in subsequent public statements have fueled support from his base of white supremacists, neo-nazis, and fascists, and further emboldened these forces. We are keenly aware, however, that the foundations of white supremacy and authoritarianism fueling recent displays of white supremacist violence are as old as the occupation of this land by European colonists.
The foundations of settler-colonialism, genocide, imperialism, and white supremacist violence on which the United States was built have been reinvigorated and escalated in recent weeks with threats and acts of racist violence, the death of Heather Heyer, and the continued consolidation of racist forces that has been on the rise during the past few years. These US-based trends reflect and intersect with the rise of white supremacist violence and authoritarianism in Europe during the same time period as well as the persistence of Israeli colonialism and genocidal programs.
Closer to home in the Bay Area, we have seen endorsement of racist speech through alt-right “retweets” from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office—the same office responsible for the militarized policing war games and weapons expo known as Urban Shield. We do not see the repetition of hate speech from this office as a coincidence, but rather as an illustration of the logic that drives the promotion of militarized policing despite overwhelming opposition from local residents. Alameda County Sheriff, Gregory Ahern, for instance, co-signed a letter on behalf of the California State Sheriff's Association endorsing Jeff Sessions' nomination for US Attorney General. Sessions has a long history of efforts to undermine civil and voting rights, as an advocate of anti-immigration policies and of making racist statements. The Alameda County Sheriff is also the same office that contracted with Strategic Operations, Inc. for its Urban Shield exercises, only to see the Alameda County Board of Supervisors cancel the contract for fear that the products the company provides encourage racial stereotyping. Further, amidst calls for white supremacist rallies, local government leaders have called on communities not to confront racism, and have even went as far as implying that those who do choose to protest the rallies will be targeted by the police.
The hostile, dangerous environment caused by encouragement of white supremacist forces has material consequences for our communities. It fuels policy proposals from the Muslim Ban to the border wall, to occupation and war making in our home countries. It floods the media and culture that surrounds on a daily basis from mainstream media, to the flags and statues that dot our landscapes. It fuels terror within our communities, making some afraid to walk the streets of their own neighborhoods for fear of being beaten or killed. Racist violence, whether by state actors or white supremacist organizations, has long been used to intimidate, repress, harm, and kill communities of color and all who resist oppression; and yet, the events in Charlottesville shook many.
The stakes of allowing the rising tide of white supremacy to go unchallenged are clear.
Our histories have shown us that we are stronger when we stand together in united struggle and we apply those historical lessons today. We join forces with our comrades and neighbors including those in ILWU Local 10, in raising their voices, taking to the streets, practicing self-defense, and demanding an end to white supremacist violence. Our commitment to fighting for self-determination and liberation means that we oppose fascism in all its forms. We stand with all who are taking action to defend our communities from the perils of white supremacist violence here in the Bay Area and everywhere it emerges.