Action report from antifascists and anarchists in so-called Phoenix, Arizona.
At around 2 am on August 29th, an antifascist spotted a very large Patriot Front banner on the Longmore Rd. bridge of the US-60 in Mesa, AZ. It was facing eastbound and read “Strong Families Strong Nation.” Patriot Front is a white nationalist group that broke off from Vanguard America, a neo-Nazi group, shortly after Heather Heyer was murdered in the Charlottesville attack on August 12th, 2017. After it was spotted, antifascists removed PF’s banner in less than an hour. It is believed that the banner had not been up long when it was first seen.
Patriot Front banner on fire
More recently Folksfront Resistance, a neo-Nazi group, planned to have a march in Phoenix on October 16th as well as planned to leave copies of their hateful and fascist propaganda around. While the location of their meetup was left unknown initially, antifascists looked in common parts of the valley to see if they could find anything. Suddenly, FR announced that members were to meet at Wesley Bolin Plaza near the State Capitol and this information was leaked to antifascists who then mobilized quickly. Antifascists spotted a white man carrying a banner in the park. When the white supremacist was questioned as to what the banner was or what flyers he was carrying, he handed over a copy of a flyer which read “White Lives Matter.” An altercation then immediately began, ending with the neo-Nazi attempting to jump a fence in an effort to retreat.
The conflict dragged on a bit with this Nazi refusing to get the message to get the fuck out of there. Meanwhile, two other Folksfront Resistance members showed up and stood at a distance, appearing too scared to step in to defend their fellow Nazi-scum while another antifascist stood by holding a shotgun. Eventually they stepped in and one of them was punched as well. As their banner was left behind during the fight, antifascists quickly grabbed it and took off with it. The three Nazis managed to leave a few stickers on poles at the park that basically no one would see and were already taken down by Monday. Folksfront Resistance plans to return for an action of theirs on November 13th.
On October 17th, anarchists and anti-authoritarians, many of whom were from the prior year’s 10/17 arrests, gathered in solidarity. On 10/17/20, 18 people were violently arrested by Phoenix Police while participating in an anti-police street action. A grand jury indicted 15 of them on charges of 1) conspiracy to commit aggravated assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, a class 2 felony, 2) assisting a criminal street gang, a class 3 felony, 3) riot, a class 5 felony, 4) unlawful assembly, a class 1 misdemeanor, and 5) obstructing a public thoroughfare, a class 3 misdemeanor. As a result each person was facing decades in prison. The street gang charges were intended to criminalize black bloc tactics and anarchists more generally as the gang charge was based on the fact that the group was A) wearing black (as is normal for black bloc formations), B) carried umbrellas (a common defensive tool to protect each other from police), and C) chanted “A.C.A.B. All Cops Are Bastards.” Police stated ACAB was the name of the street gang. Charges against all defendants were dropped in February 2021. Many of the pigs and prosecutors involved have since been placed on administrative leave.
In celebration of the 1 year anniversary of that night, many gathered with the banners seized from fascists and lit them up with a fire that lasted over an hour. The Patriot Front and Folksfront Resistance banners were burned as well as a Trump flag taken off of a chud’s truck. Since everyone gathered at University Park on 10/17 last year, a little bit of redecorating in solidarity with the “ACAB Gang” was done at the park’s entrance this year.
Fuck Nazis, fuck cops, fuck fascists, and let’s keep those fires of resistance burning!