Speaker at Anti-Fascist Rally: “They Will Not Be Safe”

On Friday, March 31, the General Defense Committee held protests outside of Coffman Union against people they labeled “Fascists” and “Alt Right.”

The crowd of about 60 people, including a handful of grade-school aged children, was spread out on the Coffman lawn beginning at 5:30 in the evening.  The event began with the main host, Dyke checking the microphone by saying “F- – – The police!” He then talked about the importance of holding such events: “Students, workers, thank you for coming out…We defend against the fascist threats coming up…Instead of crying into the wind, we will fight in a lot of these issues. We’ll spread a message to the fascists at this university.”

The theme of the event was elaborated upon and put in the context of the University of Minnesota campus: “The president [Kaler] has emboldend fascists and racists to come out…they [fascists] employ terrorism, we don’t stand for that.”

Eric, representing the union called Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), was the first guest speaker. He had some comments to make about protests during the inauguration of Donald Trump: “On January 20th, a lot of people were in the streets protesting the inauguration of our ‘sacred holy leader,’ Donald Trump, it brought new people into the streets, but many were already there for years.” He then talked about the riots during the Milo Yiannopoulos event at the University of California, Berkeley, referring to the protestors as “The Anti-Fascists at Berkeley” and that “The comments online about the stories in the press, that are all applauding us.” Eric also said he knew the man who was shot and wounded at a Yiannopoulos event, referring to him as “Hex,” saying that he had a hard time breathing due to the injuries he sustained from the gunshot, and that “He put himself in the way of someone who was doing harm”

“We are stronger in our diversity than these fascists, defending free speech rights of Fascists, Islamophobes, eugenicists above the safety of their own students.”

Austin, the speaker who represented the Anti War Committee, talked about his mission which involves “fighting back agains imperialism and war.” “We fight against the Israel military, out tax money goes to apartheid and ethnic cleansing.” In reference to the other conflicts we are involved in, he said: “18 billion is spent each year to drop bombs on people. We destabilize nations and promote a false narrative against freedom.” He ended his speech by rallying the crowd around his cause: “We are here against one common enemy to fight agains Racism, Islamaphobia, Xenophobes.” The Crowd was lead by Austin in a call and response chant. that ended in them yelling “Revolution, Yeah!”

The crowd was then reminded that they were fighting against the rest of society for their cause: “Mainstream media is not here to tell our story.”

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) also had a speaker at the rally. Alia compared the situation of the Palestinian People to the Native Americans: “We [Americans] are on the stolen land, it belong to Dakota. This country is built on blood of the indigenous, this country is a racist colonial settler state.” Alia also linked Fascism to Zionism: “These fascist groups are pro zionism, you must be zionist if you are fascist.”

The speaker representing Students for a Democratic Society (one of the event’s host groups) ended the main speeches by saying “Fascists target young minds, and groups like the College Republican get to say their anti immigrant [rhetoric].”

After the speeches, Dyke talked about using no-platforming as a strategy to censor who they perceive to be fascists. “When they show up, we let them know that are not welcome. We take the fight to them, We won’t provide a single platform. They will not be safe.”



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