In response to the death of thirty-two-year-old Heather Heyer and the injuring of nineteen other non-violent counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, the outspoken organization known as Refuse Fascism organized a march August 13th in Downtown Chicago, Illinois’ Millennium Park with over five-hundred plus citizens. The protest took statements from concerned and angered Chicagoans that came out to condemn the violence of the Charlottesville riots, murder of an innocent woman and the Trump administration’s indifferent response to the uproar, going so far as to label the administration as the Trump/Pence Regime! Like all too many Americans, the Trump Presidency has continuously chosen not to condemn the actions of the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Confederate and Neo-Nazi rallies spewing unethical racism and bigotry then try to disguise it as nationalism. The Refuse Fascism march had garnered media attention and support in the past, I myself have participated in many of their rallies in response to police killings, support of building a Civilian Police Accountability Council and especially now demanding the impeachment of the 45th president, Donald Trump.
The march was successful, and no one was harmed or arrested. Though there were concerned individuals whom spoke aloud how they were almost too frightened to come out to march in response to Heath Heyer’s murder. Many of them were either transgender, children of immigrants, and people of color whom, I will not name to protect their identities, have been living in fear since the 2016 election results; however, this march was their time to be brave. Organizers marched onto Trump tower as the final destination and leaders of the march made it explicit that protesting was not enough and required people become more involved in their community. Contact your school board, city council, governor, run for office-getting involved as always been Refuse Fascism’s goal.
The uproar that led to the death of Heather Heyer, whose killer has been arrested, began when the Virginia governor discussed possibly taking down a monument of Gen. Robert E. Lee which did not sit very well with Confederate sympathizers. A constant excuse by white supremacists and Confederate sympathizers is that Confederate memorabilia is history, and thus their state’s heritage must be honored as any American monument would. Yet these are the same individuals that take offense when people condemn these monuments as idols of hate and racial injustice. I believe one cannot be a patriot and honor a flag that belonged to the CSA; traitors and rebels that fought to dismantle the United States are illustrated by their iconography. An army of rebels that were not actually recognized by a foreign power of any kind and thus did not classify as a true sovereign nation. It should also be noted that out of all American wars, no enemy military general has been responsible for more American (not counting Confederate) deaths than at the hands of Robert E. Lee! Is this what today’s Americans have chosen to idolize and call a hero? A high ranking former Union commander who turned against his countrymen to fight for his state above the well-being of an entire country? The very first American terrorist organization was the Ku Klux Klan, and America has already made it clear during WWII on where we stand against Nazism. There is no place in this nation for those that believe there is nothing wrong with honoring monuments that encourage racial injustice. If the United States continues to coddle and enable white supremacy groups like these, more of these atrocities could continue throughout Trump’s presidency.
The Illinois State Senate has recently passed a resolution Sunday calling for law enforcement to label all White Supremacy and Neo-Nazis as Terrorists in response to the violence in Charlottesville. Refuse Fascism will be holding a Conference August 19th 11am to 5pm in preparation of a nation-wide protest scheduled November 4th, 2017. If you are in the Chicago area you can attend the conference located at 125 E. 26th St. at Trinity Episcopal Church. If you are in the New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Austin area you can find more information at [email protected], or call 312.933.9586.
About the Creator
I'm an artist who paints, write, draws comics and make jokes at just how messed up things really are. I believe if you can face the horrible truth in life then you can find happiness much easier.