Having seen what large groups of working-class people can do when they’ve been pushed too far, those in power are on high alert, ready to beat back radical action wherever they see it. As police repression mounts, we must think critically about our goals and tactics, be mindful of how we marshal the crowd, and accept criticism that helps us build better actions in the future.
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the resulting Uprising in the summer of 2020, neighborhoods in South Minneapolis were thrust into a world without state imposed policing. While this in some respects was a welcome change of life with less fear of police violence, it did, however, come with its own challenges.
The most clear lesson I learned (or re-learned) this summer is that if we wait for policy change or permission from capitalists and politicians we will never end houselessness. On the other hand, If we continue to assert our human right to housing through occupations and direct actions we can make sure every person in our region has a warm home.
The backlash from white Minneapolis progressives to radical demands/actions like the encampments, the George Floyd Autonomous Zone, and abolishing the police has taught me a lot about how a lack of real solidarity makes it easy to abandon radical ideas when comfort, control, and security are threatened.
This past moment revealed the true face of America – mask off – and has brought many of our friends, family, and communities into the struggle. Building this core understanding is important to keeping them with us and protecting them from harm. It's no secret that often we have better insight and active intelligence than the state does. With the state’s arms wide open, our new comrades might be tempted to collaborate or try to use law enforcement against the fascists in retreat. Not only does this strengthen our enemy, a confidential informant is one of the very worst positions you could ever be in. This goes double for a state obsessed with destroying anti-fascist and revolutionary movements.
In order to combat them effectively, those opposed to fascist paramilitaries running around in their streets need to understand the Proud Boys' inception and unique development. We need to know what they are selling, and who they are selling it to. Because as economic conditions worsen, and political gridlock continues, the Proud Boys will only grow in number and resolve. We need to match and exceed their organizational efforts. We need to expand popular support for ANTIFA, or antifascist political activism. Breaking down the stigmas and myths that revolve around antifascism is crucial.