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Texas Governor Makes Good on His Pledge to Free Racist Killer—Giving Green Light to Fascists to Fire on Protesters


Update, May 20, 2024:

In large parts of America, fascists receive “Get Out of Jail Free” cards when they murder protesters. First there was Kyle Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse murdered two unarmed people who were protesting police brutality in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as he stalked the protest with a high-powered assault rifle. Rittenhouse not only got off totally free, but he now tours and gives speeches to MAGA-fascists for big bucks and visited Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago. And now there is the racist Daniel Perry who not only drove his car into a crowd of protesters but shot and killed one of them and then was found guilty of a murder by a jury.

On May 16, the Christian fascist governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, pardoned this racist murderer. Perry had been convicted of killing Garrett Foster at a 2020 Black Lives Matter protest in Austin. Foster was one of the significant numbers of white people who joined the righteous uprising that rocked the whole country after the police murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. On July 25 of that year, Perry drove his car into a crowd of protesters and, in the confrontation that followed, shot and killed Garrett Foster. Leading up to this, Perry had made many anti-Black and anti-Muslim comments and posted social media messages saying that he wanted to kill protesters. A jury convicted Perry of murder and sentenced him to a 25-year prison term.

Not even 24 hours had passed after the verdict before Abbott publicly declared his intention to free Perry! And now, Abbott has followed through on his pledge to pardon this fanatical racist murderer who, like Rittenhouse, has become a “hero” to the fascists. This outrage has devastated Garrett Foster’s family and loved ones. And it is a declaration from one of the top MAGA officials in this country of “open season” for heavily armed fascists across the U.S. to kill protesters and anyone they target to be the “enemy.”

As Whitney Mitchell, Garrett Foster’s girlfriend who was with him when he was killed, said about Abbott’s pardon, “He has declared that Texans who hold political views that are different from his—and different from those in power—can be killed in this State with impunity.” Read the article below, originally posted in April 2023, for more on the murder of Garrett Foster, the system behind it, and the revolution that is needed—and possible—to bring about a fundamentally different system and a whole new way to live.

And by the way, for any Black people who are talking about Trump as if he is NOT a genocidal maniac—think about what things will be like if this lynch-mob “right to kill protesters” mentality is openly the law of the land. The answer is NOT to vote for Biden, who for all his posturing was a chief architect of racist mass incarceration and today demands that people bow down to the police. The answer is to take advantage of the sharp divides among the enemy, over how to enforce this madness, to make revolution and bring in an entirely NEW system, aimed at uprooting the horror.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott Vows to Pardon Fascist Killer of BLM Protester. Garrett Foster

April 17, 2023

In the summer of 2020, following the police murder of George Floyd, millions of people around this country, from different races and backgrounds, rose up to fight the plague of white supremacist police brutality and murder of Black people. Throughout that summer, a white man named Garrett Foster joined protests in Austin, Texas—standing up for Black lives in a state founded as a refuge for slaveholders.

This was righteous and beautiful. But in the middle of one of these protests, on July 25, a fanatically racist rideshare driver and Army sergeant, Daniel Perry, drove his car into the crowd; in the ensuing confrontation, he shot and killed Garrett Foster. In the weeks leading up to the murder, Perry had been sending Facebook messages about killing protesters. On May 31, he wrote, "I might have to kill a few people on my way to work, they are rioting outside my apartment complex." He also discussed how he might get away with killing a protester if it could be claimed as self-defense. 

Whitney Mitchell, the fiancee of Garrett Foster murdered by U.S. Army Sergeant


Whitney Mitchell, the fiancée of Garrett Foster, who was murdered by U.S. Army sergeant Daniel Perry at a Black Lives Matter protest, July 25, 2020.    Photo: AP

“Legitimizing” Murder of Protesters

Last week, on April 7, a jury found Daniel Perry guilty of murder. But less than 24 hours after this guilty verdict was announced, the Christian-fascist governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, announced his intention to pardon Perry. He did this despite the facts that he hadn’t attended the trial or reviewed a transcript. Think about that. He did not attend the trialhad not reviewed the transcript, and yet immediately went into action to wipe out the verdict the jury came to after seriously considering the facts and the law. He announced that he intends to pardon Perry before he had even been sentenced by the judge! Abbott tweeted: “I look forward to approving the Board’s pardon recommendation as soon as it hits my desk.” He publicly pressured the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to hand him a pardon recommendation. 

Abbott cited Texas’s Stand Your Ground laws, which in theory protect the right of self-defense without fear of criminal prosecution. It should go without saying that driving your car into protesters, inciting a confrontation, and then shooting down a protester is not self-defense. Perry and other fascists back up their lie of self-defense with the fact that Garrett Foster was carrying an AK-47, which is legal in Texas. By multiple eyewitness accounts, Foster did not point his weapon at Perry, and Perry himself kept changing his story. In an initial statement to the police, he said, “I didn’t want to give him a chance to aim at me, you know?”

In this country founded on slavery and genocide, with its deeply rooted white supremacy, Stand Your Ground has been a sick joke used to justify vigilante violence against Black people, and now is being used to threaten protesters. It’s also clear that in this situation, only one person’s Second Amendment rights matter to Abbott and his fellow fascists: the same Second Amendment they invoke in their calls for civil war has never applied to Black people or on behalf of Black people. 

Additional racist messages from Perry have surfaced since the verdict, which were not presented in trial but revealed by unsealed court records: messages like “Black Lives Matter is racist to white people… it is official I am racist because I do not agree with people acting like monkeys.” Perry was sending these messages at a time when vehicle attacks on protesters were becoming a common form of fascist violence and intimidation. Between May 27 and July 7, 2020, there had been 72 reported incidents of drivers speeding into crowds of protesters. 

The beautiful rising of 2020 presented a political crisis of legitimacy for this whole system, which relies on police terror. It was especially a nightmare for the fascist movement that had risen to the highest levels of power with Donald Trump. Encouraged by Trump, fascists in and out of uniform unleashed extralegal violence to crush these protests. Now this pig Abbott, spurred on by fascists from all over the country, is eager to break long-standing rules of the system in order to override a jury verdict against a fascist shock trooper. 

If this pardon goes through, it will have a further chilling effect on righteous protests at a time when all the decent people need to be speaking out, standing up, and putting something on the line to resist these fascist assaults. The possible pardon of the sadistic hate-filled racist who murdered Garrett Foster should be protested by anyone who believes in justice!

Abbott: A Rabid Fascist in a Country Full of Fascists

Abbott has been running Texas as a fascist laboratory for eight years—enslaving women and girls with a six-week and now a total ban on abortion; waging a genocidal war on immigrants at the border; terrorizing trans youth and their families; disenfranchising Black and Brown people, and so much more. 

But even this rabid fascist was not moving fast enough for an ever-hardening, violent, lunatic fascist movement. Outraged that this verdict didn’t go the way of Kyle Rittenhouse (the fascist youth who gunned down three protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and was acquitted), Tucker Carlson of Fox Fascist News dedicated one of his nightly rants to this case: “It means that in the state of Texas, if you have the wrong politics, you’re not allowed to defend yourself…. So that is Greg Abbott’s position: there is no right of self-defense in Texas.” This broadcast took place before Abbott’s promise, and was clearly designed to both pressure him and ease the way for him to carry out that pardon.

Among a fascist base that is armed to the teeth and preparing for civil war, there can be no greater accusation against one of their own. Kyle Rittenhouse himself weighed in on Twitter, and the fascist mob started spreading calls for Abbott to “Do something!,” with unsubstantiated claims of jury and witness tampering, and the now common anti-Semitic slur of “Soros prosecutor” against the Travis County DA José Garza.1

The very next day, Abbott fell in line. Then he went further, announcing that state lawmakers were working on legislation to undermine the power of Democrats in their own jurisdictions, where what he calls “rogue District Attorneys” won’t enforce Draconian fascist laws or stand in the way of their full implementation. He specifically has in mind Travis County, where Austin is located, and Harris County, home to most of Houston.

A System That Requires Racist Police Violence, a Revolution That Is Needed

For all their talk, the Democratic Party contends with the fascists for control of a system that requires police violence and brutality in order to function. (See Revolution’s The Oppression of Black People & the Revolutionary Struggle to End All Oppression for a fuller examination of this, including several important articles and speeches by Bob Avakian.) The Democrats rely on this police violence as a foundation of their rule just as much as the Republi-fascists do, and they are every bit as pro-pig as them. Like Joe Biden says, their plan is to “fund the police, fund the police, fund the police.” But while the Republi-fascists whip up racist, ignorant mobs, and encourage fascist foot soldiers to drive into protests and shoot protesters, the Democrats want to leave responsibility for all the violence and suppression of protest to the police. They also don’t want to take on these fascists and their guns, and they don’t want anyone else to, either. They live in fear that the fascist base will get even more unleashed, more violent, more “out of the basement and off their chains.”

The righteous rebellion of 2020, which Garrett Foster gave his life for, showed both the potential power and determination of the people when they DO rise. But at the same time, the fact is that so long as things remain within the confines of what this system will allow, the outrage of police murder will continue and even grow worse—as it has in the very years that followed this uprising. Most profoundly, the rebellion of 2020 shows the potential and need for revolution—a real revolution to truly emancipate the masses of Black people, and bring an end to oppression everywhere.

This revolution is even more possible now, when the rulers are at each other’s throats and the world as we know it is being torn asunder. Every week there are new shocks and jolts, from the actions of fascists and the major problems facing humanity because of the workings of this system, which can cause people to question why things are the way they are and if there is a way out. This rare time must not be squandered. People’s sights must be lifted, and their heads turned to revolution and the truly emancipating roadmap laid out by Bob Avakian. 

As Bob Avakian says in his talk Something Terrible, OR Something Truly Emancipating, 

Everything depends on bringing forward a revolutionary people, from among the most bitterly oppressed, and all parts of society, first in the thousands and then in the millions, as a powerful revolutionary force, organized from the start and consistently with a country-wide perspective, impacting all of society and changing the terms of how masses of people see things and how every institution has to respond. Everything must be focused now on actually bringing forward and organizing this revolutionary force.

Something Terrible or Something Truly Emancipating - Square, wo "NEW"




Garrett Foster, Presente  

Garrett Foster was 28 years old when he was murdered by a racist eager to shoot a Black Lives Matter protester, in a 2020 protest against police brutality in Austin, Texas. Garrett was pushing his fiancée, Whitney Mitchell, in her wheelchair when he was killed.

Garrett and Whitney met as teenagers when they attended different high schools in the Dallas area. A website run by Garrett’s family and friends describes him as being “not afraid of speaking out against racism, police brutality, and imperialism,” even in his high school days in a conservative suburb. Garrett’s mother, Sheila Joyce Foster, described her son as “one of the best men you would ever know.”

Within the first year of their relationship, Whitney developed a bacterial infection that led to the amputation of all four of her limbs. She told a reporter, “It was a really rough time. I was in a coma and Garrett stayed through the whole thing… every day, every night. There wasn’t a point where he wasn’t there.”

After high school, Garrett enlisted in the Air Force to earn money to support the two of them, while Whitney went through therapy following her surgeries. After leaving the military, the two moved to Austin, and Garrett became Whitney’s caregiver. Whitney told a reporter that as an “inter-racial” couple, they had always faced insults and abuse. She said Garrett “was always fighting for me and fighting for this relationship. We just kept living our lives and not really caring what other people are saying.”

When nightly protests began in Austin following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, they immediately joined and became a recognizable presence. Whitney Mitchell said, “He was always gonna go out there. I can’t think of a time that we wouldn’t have done that. Seeing this go on for years, me and Garrett had had multiple conversations about it. We decided to go out and be out there and voice our concerns.”

In the words of the website dedicated to him, Garrett Foster was “a compassionate friend, a loyal partner, and a vehement advocate for justice and equality.”



1. “Soros prosecutor” is a claim by fascist forces that the prosecutor is tied to global financial capitalist George Soros, who is Jewish. This is a blatantly anti-Semitic rant that is also being used against Alvin Bragg, the Black Manhattan DA who recently indicted Donald Trump on felony charges. [back]

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