University of Texas, Austin: Frat Vandals Issue Statement

The following was originally posted to It’s Going Down

Editor’s Note: A wave of vandalism has broken out at the University of Texas in Austin. Various frats have been vandalized with the words “racist” and “rapist” among other slogans. One of the frats targeted held a controversial “border patrol” party in 2015 which garnished some media attention. A study published in March of 2017 found that 15% of undergraduate women on UT campus reported being raped. Actual statistics are believed to be much higher. 

The following anonymous transmission was sent to IGD from a group of people claiming to take credit for the vandalism and in this essay they explain the reasons behind their actions. We republish this transmission below.

Continue reading “University of Texas, Austin: Frat Vandals Issue Statement”

Berkeley Behind the Bandana

Originally posted to It’s Going Down

In the glare of the fire and in the throngs of protestors I see a friend and former professor of mine I haven’t seen in a while. I jump from the ledge I’m standing on and run up to him, excited to say hi. He turns around and quickly recoils, looking terrified.

For a split second, I’m confused. Then I remember and pull the black bandana down off the bridge of my nose.

His grimace stretches into a smile and we embrace, sharing the joy of the moment we just created together. I, dressed in black and with my face covered up and he, with his sign and his friends surrounding him, are ecstatic at the news that Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart editor and white supremacist has just been evacuated from the building. Together we have made the campus a little bit safer.

Continue reading “Berkeley Behind the Bandana”

Beating Milo: How Berkeley Defeated the Alt-Right’s Biggest Troll

Originally posted to It’s Going Down

“If you were involved last night, thank you. I’ve never felt safer on campus than I did when you walked in! It felt so affirming for someone to stand up against misogyny on a campus that blames rape victims not perpetrators, and protects sexual harassers. If the antifas hadn’t come, Milo would have endangered my undocumented students, so I am so grateful!”
– PhD candidate / Graduate Instructor at UC Berkeley (name withheld)

On February 1, Milo Yiannopoulos was invited by the Berkeley College Republicans (BCR) to perform in UC Berkeley’s Pauley Ballroom at 8pm. Since December 2016, hundreds of people participated in a campaign to call and email the UC Berkeley administration urging them to cancel and block this event. They declined to do so, and as a result thousands of people, including myself, gathered on the campus that night with the common intention of protesting and shutting it down, ourselves. I’m sure people had a lot of different motivations for doing so. I can only speak to my own. I showed up not because I am scared of words or ideas, but because I want to create conditions that make it hard for far-Right and fascist groups in the area to organize as they often do at Milo’s tour stops.

This is an account of what I saw and experienced that night as well as a few thoughts regarding the responses to what happened. I’m not affiliated with any group or organization. Continue reading “Beating Milo: How Berkeley Defeated the Alt-Right’s Biggest Troll”

Your Student ID is an Apparatus

Written by A.S.
Autonomous Student Network – University of Texas at Austin (ASN-UTA)



On August 2nd, the University administration released new aspects of its plans to modernize the University for “security” purposes. These plans include restricted hours for building access and new surveillance systems with proximity card readers and video cameras. To raise awareness, the administration has adopted the cutesy slogan “Your ID is Your Key,” to encourage students to have their UT IDs on them at all times, in order to have access to buildings during restricted hours. Continue reading “Your Student ID is an Apparatus”

Behind Every Fascist, A Liberal: Report From Students At UC Berkeley

Originally posted to It’s Going Down

The so-called United States of America’s roots are planted firmly in white supremacy. Incepted through genocide of indigenous communities, enslavement of African people, and multigenerational exploitation of the poor and working class, academic institutions offer preferential treatment to people and groups that reinforce existing racial and economic hierarchy. UC Berkeley has become a case study that exemplifies that whiteness itself is the ultimate form of “affirmative action” on college campuses. The university has allocated disproportionate resources to students and events that put others at risk and promote white nationalism. The safety and dignity of marginalized folx is not guaranteed by the university and will not be given through negotiation; they will only be demanded and taken through collective direct action.

A self proclaimed sanctuary, Cal has become the front line of a right wing campaign to subvert the standard of permissible self expression. Evoking the falsehood of “free speech”, a concept that has never truly protected meaningful dissent, a small number of right-wing students have put the community at large in danger. They have repeatedly invited inflammatory speakers, catalyzing a series of events which have targeted communities of color, as well as trans/queer communities, and empowered overly militarized police.

The Berkeley College Republicans, a student group desperately scrambling to rebrand themselves in the wake of antifascist Heather Heyer’s murder in Charlottesville, claim to have hosted Milo Yiannopoulos in February in order to “broaden discourse” on campus. Milo’s intention to expose undocumented students and humiliate trans students was explicit and well known, and they hosted him nonetheless. Undocumented and trans folx survive each day despite being targeted openly by a racist and patriarchal federal government. In response to this heightened threat, the Bay Area pushed back with a militant display of solidarity that was as much about shutting Milo down as it was about keeping our communities safe from further structural harm.

 

Berkeley College Republicans’ Troy Worden poses with violent white nationalist Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman

Milo’s words may not have the power to harm people on their own, but they stoke the coals of bigotry that manifest into both laws and white supremacist vigilante terror. Instead of leveraging their power to create solutions that keep people targeted by such rhetoric safe, local government, police, and the school’s administration seized the opportunity to clamp down on resistance- targeting anarchists and other autonomous demonstrators who cast aside respectability politics. Enforcing unreasonable bans and snatching anyone who falls into their reductionist understanding of what is now being labeled as “antifa,” the collusion between the state and the Alt-Right has cleared a path for dangerously out of touch white nationalists like Kyle Chapman to perpetuate delusional myths of white genocide to justify racist attacks and harassment.

The twisted irony of the right wing co-optation of “free speech” is that it is costing UC Berkeley millions, funds which come from the very students and community members that are put at risk when these events are allowed to take place. As the UC system files a symbolic lawsuit they claim is meant to support Dreamers, Berkeley College Republicans harass tables that offer support to DACA students, filming and photographing students they perceive as undocumented. Meanwhile, the school has dissolved two head coordinator positions for the Bridges student group, an organization that helps enroll, support and retain students of color. One of the best funded public universities in the country, UC Berkeley can’t seem to afford to staff such on campus resources. Nor does it fund spaces for queer student groups, but it was ready to shell out almost a million dollars to provide security for an event explicitly designed to undermine feminism and diversity.

“The attempt of an autonomous group of students unaffiliated with campus organizations to occupy Wheeler Hall on Monday was a way to reclaim our agency and our education.”

The attempt of an autonomous group of students unaffiliated with campus organizations to occupy Wheeler Hall on Monday was a way to reclaim our agency and our education. Understanding that the university will never be able to grant our demand for liberation, we sought to facilitate a space that was free of fascism in all its forms; from swastika wielding neo-Nazis to the legitimized fascist gang known as the Berkeley Police who protect them, as well as the toxic academics whose eurocentric ideas exclude the rich and diverse histories of nonwhite and non cismale people.

Leading up to the crash and burn disaster that Free Speech Week became, the same right-wing students who claim that these events are about “inclusivity” were seen chalking racist statements onto the ground and hanging sexist posters on campus, baiting students in order to film and doxx them. Occupying space is our way to reclaim our community on campus and it gives us the freedom to express solidarity with other antifascists like Scout Schultz, who was murdered by campus police in Georgia. The power of the university hinges on our participation, though we have been taught to conform in such a way that forfeits the leverage we have in the interest of the capitalist state. The university is always in crisis, budget or otherwise. Crises are a consequence of capitalism, which as individuals we have no part in creating. With such an emphasis on individualistic success, it’s easy to forget the depth of resources and knowledge available to us from our communities. We believe in an education that blurs the line between the university and the community in which it resides, and in using the resources available to us to create the kind of world we wish to see.

Although the occupation failed, (the day’s narrative almost immediately hijacked by socialist groups that claimed to support the students while refusing to allow us to speak with our identities concealed), we believe that disruption is a necessary mechanism by which we can halt the daily routine of indoctrination. We will meet the militarized policing of the campus and our communities with our own collective militancy and mutual aid. If they’re expecting a black bloc, we will work to remain unpredictable and use whatever innovative tactics we see as necessary.

The Berkeley College Republicans, Berkeley Patriot and Young Americans Foundation have the material advantage of the elite they will one day replace. Protesting their events does not infringe on their rights regardless of the ways in which they are shut down since the events that they organize are designed to uphold the existing hierarchy. To our insurrectionary comrades, some lessons we learned are to establish trust and strong bonds before undertaking an action, guard the action from groups and individuals who don’t respect autonomy, and move fast and without hesitation. Whether an action is successful or incomplete, it can strengthen skills, capacity and the formation of friendships needed for the long fight ahead.  As anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist and autonomous individuals, we are all we got, and we will continue to fight the fascist creep in all its forms, on and off campus, through protest, disruption and community support and self defense.

Students at UC Berkeley drop a banner in solidarity with Scout Schultz. Cops off Campus!

Holding Their Feet to the Fire: For a Student Movement Against the Berkeley College Republicans

Originally posted to It’s Going Down

On February 1, 2017, crews of anti-fascists and anti-racists defeated Milo Yiannopoulos and the Berkeley College Republicans (BCR) at UC Berkeley, disrupting the alt-right and fighting back against the fascist creep under Trump. True to their bankrupt selves, liberals held hands with both mainstream conservatives and the far-right alike as they joined in condemning the antifa’s militant and direct action. Soon after, the same right-wing that had vilified antifascists and the no platform principle found themselves doing the same thing to the same person. Conservatives dropped Yiannopoulos from the lineup of speakers at CPAC 2017 and his book deal was cancelled after widespread outrage over his past anti-consent and pro-pedophilia comments. Milo eventually resigned from Breitbart and his career has been severely set back, if not finished for good. But what about BCR, which plans to host Ann Coulter to speak at UC Berkeley on April 27th?

Continue reading “Holding Their Feet to the Fire: For a Student Movement Against the Berkeley College Republicans”

Connect

Possible questions & prompts (feel free to add more or skip some!):

1. Introduce your crew: what projects are some you working on, how long have you been around, where are you based, etc etc.

2. What are some challenges you’ve faced (internal or external)?

3. What do you think some of the major limits, and major, untapped possibilities for radical campus organizing are today? How can we address those limits and realize those possibilities?

4. How does your project connect with/support radical movements in your city and beyond? Are there good relationships worth mentioning? Bad ones?

5. What are some short and long-term objectives your crew has been working towards?

6. What is your relationship to the rest of the campus left?