Anarchists in so-called Phoenix, Arizona report on confronting both neo-Nazis organizing under the banner of ‘White Lives Matter’ and far-Right militias harassing pro-choice demonstrations.
Every month since April 2021, the WLM “White Lives Matter” group which is active nationwide calls for a national day of action on specific dates. The group claims to promote only anonymous types of “activism” and typically has members posting stickers, flyers, and occasionally taking photo-ops holding banners at various locations. Their op-sec in so-called Arizona has somewhat improved since October 2021. In October, in their Telegram channel, one of their members posted the location they were going to do their action. In that case it was the Wesley Bolin Plaza across from the State Capitol. Anti-fascists got wind of their plans, came and confronted them, fucked-up their little gathering of 3 people, and made off with their banner which was later burned.
WLM propaganda spotted in Mesa on May 14th, 2022 over US-60
Since then, the WLM group has been relatively quiet locally but the last couple of months has been going out and putting up hate propaganda in various places as well as taking photos while masked and holding banners. The group claims they are “pro-white” and trying to unite “pro-whites.” They promote much more blatant Nazi and white supremacist propaganda such as citing the 14 words, pasting flyers saying “White People First,” anti-Semitic propaganda, and more.
The WLM group having gotten active again in Akimel O’otham territory aka the so-called Phoenix area still consists of a very small number of people. Last month they posted up on Val Vista Rd. and the U.S. 60 in Mesa. This time they got active on 32nd St. just a couple blocks west of Val Vista Rd. Unlike their former location, this spot has a bridge over the US-60 with no exits or entrances, low traffic, and consequently less opportunity for confrontation from the public. They have not been active at the State Capitol since October. Interestingly, while a number of folx immediately started to head out to confront these racist fucks last Saturday, they were already packing up when the first anti-fascists arrived. This has been a pattern of theirs to show up just long enough to get a photo-op and then leave. In any case, they admitted on their Telegram page to having a grand total of only 4 people coming out. White supremacist organizing in the Phoenix area continues to be an ongoing problem and reaches far beyond this group, however. For instance, a recent Phoenix New Times article came out discussing Glendale as being the new headquarters of a joint neo-Nazi and KKK group.
WLM flyer announcing their national dates of racist action
Later in the day was a pro-choice abortion rally at the State Capitol. Several anarchists decided to attend to challenge the crowd of mostly white liberals as well as counter an expected fascist presence. At the 6 pm rally, it is estimated there were over 1,000 people and sure enough a good 90% or more of the crowd was white and liberal. Police presence was low and distant which is unsurprising considering that police don’t typically get aggressive toward white liberal rallies. About 10-15 fascists were present. They were mostly white men and most were carrying long guns and wearing body armor. An anarchist contingent carried signs with the following messages: “Dear Liberals, is it time to riot?,” “This crowd is unbearably white,” “This crowd is unbearably cis-het,” “This crowd is unbearably liberal,” and “If voting works, why the fuck are we here?”
Anarchist confronts fascists at Arizona State Capitol
Voices here and there were talking about voting as supposed solutions. Some of the crowd was in the street but more for convenience rather than any sort of direct action. Anarchists came and confronted the fascists which mostly resulted in yelling back and forth. Liberal movement police carrying rainbow and other brightly colored umbrellas repeatedly interfered with those confronting the fash telling them to “ignore them” and step away. Anarchists did not listen to these “non-violent” movement cops and at one point one with an umbrella started to physically grab an anarchist until another anarchist intervened to stop them. There were also a couple of incidents where a fascist put their hands on an anarchist. After a couple of hours, these liberal movement police told everyone the event was over and to go home. While anarchists and other radicals made repeated efforts to get the crowd into the street for a worthwhile direct action, those attempts failed. As usual, this abortion rally like all other rallies dominated by liberals was highly performative and lacked any real substance let alone teeth at actually changing anything.
Fascist protesting against pro-choice abortion rallies is rooted in white supremacy. White supremacist beliefs routinely reference “the great replacement” and “white genocide” and they believe that stopping abortion will ensure that more white babies are born. Liberals repeatedly complained about anarchists carrying guns at this rally and in some cases confused anarchists with fascists, not understanding the role of firearms in community defense against white supremacy and state violence. Yet earlier in the same day a white supremacist murdered 10 people – mostly Black folx – at a grocery store in Buffalo, NY.
— AZ Right Wing Watch (@az_rww) May 15, 2022
Rainbow-colored umbrellas obviously will not stop fascists, Nazis, or any other white supremacists intent on violence. Effective community defense will. Proud Boys have also shown up to target local abortion rallies which can be seen here. It is critical that radicals continue to mobilize against fascist organizing whether it takes place at a liberal rally, a freeway bridge, or anywhere else, and to be prepared at all times.