2020 was a year of insurgent milestones in Austin–an explosion of autonomous initiatives, a proliferation of insurrectionary tactics and revolt, and the weaving together of new connections between fragmented worlds inhabiting this territory.
We’ve decided to forefront some of the highlights of this year, to celebrate the high points of this year and look forward to the next one. This is not a claim to a comprehensive review of the activity of this past year, an attempt at in-depth analysis and critique, nor a claim to what projects/initiatives/actions “mattered” or not–it’s merely a reflection of things that we have found on our radar, find inspiring, and wish to highlight and remember. We encourage any fellow insurgents reading this to put out their own analysis and perspectives about the event of this year, whether through our page, your own platforms, or wheatpasted on the walls of the city.
On the evening of June 27th, a group of protestors who had assembled to counter a “Blue Lives Matter” demonstration was attack by a white man in a car who aggressively drove into the crowd. Witnesses reported the man pointing a gun at protestors as well. While no shots were fired and nobody was injured, APD briefly took the man into custody and then let him go (while, shortly afterwards, arresting a Black protestor). Here’s a collection of information about the man believed to be responsible, selected from a handful of tweets and information collected by Bat City Antifascist Front.
This website and the parent organization it was born from, the Autonomous Student Network, were products of and participants in the wave of anti-fascist/anti-racist struggles that grew in the aftermath of the 2016 election. Some of us got an early start and caught glimpses of the preceding cycle of struggle in Austin–defined largely by the post-Ferguson moment with anti-police & Black Lives Matter movements, but we have little direct context for the depth and complexity of that moment. There is also a disconnect in historical memory between those more recently activated who see white nationalism as a product of the post-Trump moment and those who know the longer history of anti-racist struggles in Austin.
On January 27th, UT will host its town hall on its sexual misconduct policies after months of protests and agitation against the University. This is the first time that the University has hosted a town hall in 3 years, in large part due to what happened the last time the administration tried to use the forum to quell and dispel student anger. This video and the following recap of those events will illustrate why.
Austin Autonomedia: Strategic Interventions in the Heart of Texas
A couple days ago, the comrades with the Screwston Antifascist Committee published a report from Central Texas Anti-Racist Action exposing Dustin Ray Hamby as a prominent leader in the Neo-Nazi group Patriot Front. We had previously published an article about Hamby, when he worked at UT as a cook. While he no longer works at UT, we wanted to fill in some details about his time at UT that became clear after this new article. Follow the link above to get the full story about Dustin’s activities, read below for the context for how UT actively ignored his racism.
Background: On May 1st, Texas State students prepared for a confrontation with members of violent fascist group Texas Nomads, who planned to travel down from Austin and stage a rally in support of “free speech.” Members of Texas Nomads have repeatedly harassed liberal & leftist events in Austin, sometimes stalking people leaving these events. Members have assaulted anti-Trump protestors. Nomads member Christopher Ritchie was at the Charlottesville Nazi rally and has repeatedly gone to Portland to fight alongside Patriot Prayer. Their presence came as a response to a campaign & student government vote to ban Turning Point USA from campus.
Texas State University Police Department Brutally Arrests 4 Students of Color During Peaceful Protest
SAN MARCOS. TX – On Wed. May 1, four students were brutally arrest. by Texas State University Police Department while peacefully protesting threats of organized white supremacist presence on campus. Two of the students arrested are vocal, queer students of color that have been previously targeted by the university administration
Autonomous Student Media: Gestures Towards the Ungovernable
There’s a Neo-Nazi student at UT who works with a national Neo-Nazi organization named Identity Evropa. How’s that for a hook? Although if you’ve been following along with events on campus the past few years, this probably isn’t that surprising. We believe his name is Clayton Ray Leonard, and will explain why & what we have found about him below.
On April 8th the Texas State Student Senate convened to vote on legislation calling for the removal and banning of Turning Point USA from campus.
This came about not simply from clashing viewpoints, but due to the chapter’s history in illegally influencing student government elections, wrongly placing TXST professors on their infamous watchlist, procuring the firing of faculty and adjuncts, carrying metal batons on campus to harass and intimidate, propagandizing to students at the quad via billionaire-funded paid tablers, and use of their many connections to squeeze any who challenge them. Continue reading “Texas State vs. Turning Point USA”
Autonomous Student Media: Gestures Towards the Ungovernable
Over a month ago, UT students and Austin anti-racists showed out to take action against the presence of white nationalist speaker Katie Hopkins on campus. Since the counter-protest, a team of antifascists has dedicated itself to digging up information on the students who attended thise event, where the Daily Texan reported the audience applauding the grotesque xenophobia Hopkins was spewing.
This crew now gladly presents the fruits of this research, as well as a call to help identify some yet unrecognized faces. The research below includes people who were at the Katie Hopkins event, as well as newly identified members of Turning Point USA or the Young Conservatives of Texas.
By Rudy Martinez. Republished from Sybil. Read the original polemic against whiteness publication here.
Six months ago, I graduated with a philosophy degree from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. What was promised to be a day of jubilation for my family, as I am a first-generation Colombian and the first in my family to ever attend an American institute of higher education, was instead welcomed with a reluctant sigh of relief. My parents both escaped a decades-long civil war in Colombia and met in Miami in the early-90s. They would marry in September 1991 and I would be born March 21st, 1992. We grew up in a predominately Latinx working-class neighborhood in Miami called Hialeah. The only thing my mother ever asked of my younger sister and I is that we go to college. Hialeah wasn’t exactly a place that nurtured my intellectual potential, but I managed to attend community college right after high school. Within two years, I had dropped out and decided to hitchhike around the country. After returning from the road, I made new friends and we all moved to Texas: This is how I found Texas State. After waiting a year to qualify for in-state tuition, I became a “Bobcat” in the fall of 2015. As a philosophy student at a “Hispanic Serving” institution, I was excited to synthesize my cultural past with an intellectual future.