Fascist Assault at Seattle Protest Against Milo Yiannopoulos
February 1, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
On the day of Trump’s inauguration, January 20, a serious fascist assault occurred at the University of Washington (UW), where more than 1,000 people attempted to shut down the appearance of fascist Trump mouthpiece Milo Yiannopoulos. Despite attacks by police trying to break up the lines of people locking arms to stop his talk, protesters held firm and most of those who wanted to hear this fascist hatemonger were prevented from getting in.
But one of the people at the protest was shot by a supporter of Yiannopoulos and Trump. This became known only about a week later. The shot person is a member of the Industrial Workers of the World and has been working locally with the Neighborhood Action Coalition, which organizes defense of people that Trump-Pence forces are targeting.
In the middle of a tense scene and scuffles between protesters and pro-fascists, this fucker pulled out a gun and shot the man in the chest, critically injuring him. He is going to recover, although he easily may have died. After the shooting, the UW police did nothing to warn people or target the fascists. Later the same evening, the shooter turned himself in to police after his description was circulated through the press. He claimed that he shot in self-defense and that he thought he was being attacked by a “white supremacist.” Outrageously, he was almost immediately released by the police after telling his story, portraying himself as the victim.
His justification for shooting someone is simply unbelievable and just a lie. The person he shot is an anti-fascist, and according to friends was trying to separate people in the scuffles. An eyewitness account is consistent with this, saying he had been trying to stop someone, apparently from the Yiannopoulos side, who was trying to pepper spray people. On top of this, there is absolutely no justification for pulling out a gun and then shooting someone, in a situation where no one was in danger of serious injury until he pulled his gun, and which he was carrying against university rules about carrying weapons on campus. Still, the police let him go.
For days the press basically repeated the shooter’s story. Then it finally came out that the shooter is a Yiannopoulos and Trump supporter, according to his Facebook page. He even texted Yiannopoulos during the protest asking Yiannopoulos to get him another “make America great again” hat because someone had “jacked it” during the protest. While Yiannopoulos didn’t respond, it was reported he heartlessly refused to cancel the speech after hearing about the shooting because if he did, “they [the protesters] will have won.”
Police claim they are still investigating the incident, but now, almost two weeks later, the shooter has not been arrested or charged, and is still running around free. This shooting is a very serious escalation of fascist violence against the millions who hate Trump and Pence and everything they stand for, many of whom have bravely stood up to resist in many ways.
Further, blood is on the hands of the university’s president, Ana Mari Cauce, who refused to cancel Yiannopoulos’ speech on the grounds of “free speech,” then cynically and hypocritically released a statement decrying the violence that occurred after the shooting. What did she expect? Cauce allowed the event to go on despite Yiannopoulos’ history of racist and misogynist hate speech and all the brutality he is part of advocating, so completely evident now after Trump’s first 10 days in office. Thousands had signed a petition demanding Cauce cancel the speech, but she refused. Instead, Cauce allowed hateful, vicious fascists to come together and coalesce, and then one of these fuckers shot someone. Cauce should be ashamed and condemned for her part in allowing all of this to go on.
It is very important that this assault be exposed in its real terms and that people demand the shooter be charged and jailed, while continuing to struggle to resist Trump-Pence and build to the point they are driven out.
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