Protesting Deplorable Pride August 19th, 2018
Deplorable Pride (DP) planned an event to protest Charlotte Pride who, though we oppose on the basis of their being capitalists, made the correct call in refusing to answer DP’s request to have a Gay Trump float at this year’s parade. The confrontation between DP and antifascists occurred on August 19th, 2018. The Proud Boys were not there, and there were no fascist flags waving. Antifascists opposed DP and their MAGA (Make America Great Again) Patriots and outnumbered them 3 to 1. Their demonstration had 4 people at its height during the time antifascists were there. This was a success for the antifascists in terms of continuing the struggle against the right. Though antifascists dispersed rather quickly, they effectively outran police on foot, who were in pursuit of them on bicycles and by helicopter. This was no easy feat and would have resulted in arrests had the antifascists given up to the chase and surrendered.
Brian Talbert, leader of Deplorable Pride, represents the attempt to bring the right together in our city. Deplorable Pride are ultra-conservatives who come out to the corner of Trade and Tryon downtown every few weeks to hold various tiny actions. They first received mainstream media attention when in 2017 they applied for their first Trump float at the Pride parade. They continue to work the “LGBT for Trump” angle, using identity politics to excuse ultra-nationalism, racism, and misogyny. They held a “Back the Blue” rally back in June. While it would be incorrect to label Brian Talbert an outright and confirmed fascist, he represents an enemy nonetheless, worthy of fighting. He hit a woman antifascist in the face on May 12 of this year, walking all the way across the street to do so, effectively taking the offensive. He is a protofascist, as him and his very small number of supporters represent a movement that is trending towards fascism.
The Proud Boys, on the other hand, represent a movement that is already full-blown fascist. They are proud Western chauvinists. Their leader Gavin McInnes was quoted saying, “I don’t want our culture diluted. We need to close the borders now and let everyone assimilate to a Western, white, English-speaking way of life.” If there were any doubts on their fascism this should dispel those. The Proud Boys must be opposed in any attempt of theirs to organize and gain supporters.
Due to Brian Talbert’s invitation, Proud Boys were present in the streets of Charlotte on June 9th during the Taste of Charlotte festival. President of the chapter (according to their Facebook account) Willie Ray Ammons was there at that time. His address is 3315 Shore Launch Dr. Sherrills Ford, 28673. This is public information. If you don’t want to be doxed, don’t be a fascist.
Not a single antifascist was arrested, which in these surrounded conditions, is a victory as well as a learning experience in tactics. However, avoiding arrest is never the top priority of Communists. Putting this at the top of your priority list results in rightism, refusing confrontation, and therefore the disintegration of the movement. Red Guards Charlotte cadre understand that we are condemned to win and must be prepared to sacrifice everything, including our lives, for the sake of the struggle on the long road towards communism. The threat of prison cannot scare cadre out of action. A small misdemeanor arrest here or there is nothing. A large felony arrest, while it will affect the person experiencing it, is a propaganda victory proving that repression is earned only through hard struggle. In either case, the struggle for communism should not cease based on protest-related arrests.
This needs to be understood thoroughly by lower levels of the movement: we must be arrestable. While there are legitimate exceptions to this, they are not nearly as many as the excuses some people make now. Without being willing to get arrested no real resistance will ever take place. For people who call themselves revolutionaries to live peacefully under capitalism is to vote for impending fascism without casting a ballot. We mention this here because there is a rightist line in Charlotte, propagated by other organizations, who only hold actions they are sure they will not suffer arrests at. We cannot have a movement built on comfort. Only when we dare to struggle can we dare to win!
Even the enemy who was present at yesterday’s action has multiple open cases against him for his attacks on the left, and it has not stopped him from holding his flag rallies. These charges were for hitting the antifascist as well as for cyberstalking someone else. He is aligned with the police and speaks openly with them, and so the case of his arrests versus those we may take are much different. Still, we cannot let the enemy out-organize us! We cannot be more scared than they are! The right—even actual fascists further right than this guy—will always have the system on their side. We must be twice as organized and two times braver than they are in order to beat them.
Deplorable Pride has made it quite clear that they mostly come out when large events are being held in downtown Charlotte. AIDS march, Taste of Charlotte, Pride parade–their strategy is to show up when they have heavy police cover, effectively quadrupling their forces if not more. We understand this alliance may result in actions which are meant only to bait and arrest antifascists, and we will not take the bait every time. But we will resist the alliance of fascists and police, and strengthen our own forces in the process.
Tactically, Sunday’s antifascist resistance had its shortcomings. The antifascists had too much ground between themselves and the reactionaries. Had these been Proud Boys that would have been unacceptable. Objectively speaking, the bike-cop line was successful in its quest to isolate the antifascists as they advanced towards the MAGA patriots. This must be overcome.
There were other lessons to take from this event such as the necessity to be in bloc formation, to account for height differences in the holding of the banner for propaganda, and to always agitate and resist. There are more lessons which will not be listed here because enemy eyes are watching. Above all we reaffirmed our belief that in the contradiction between democracy and centralism, centralism is principal.
In the hours leading up to the event, the leader of Deplorable Pride posted that he had openly informed Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) of North Carolina’s anti-mask law (punishable with a misdemeanor charge) and intended to make sure they enforced it. The antifascists arriving on site were aware of this new development, but it did not change their use of the tactic.
The CMPD pigs had no idea of the mask law until a civilian, Brian Talbert, informed them of it. Their lack of knowledge of their own law shows a deep flaw in their organization. As CMPD is an enemy of the proletariat, the whole people, and therefore organized Communists, we seek to find every hole their organization presents and make that hole larger. Until Sunday August 19th, there were no threats to arrest for masking coming from CMPD to protestors in the revolutionary movement. Supporters of Red Guards Charlotte have been demonstrating while masked in this city for eight months now, and other organizations as well as individual protestors have since taken up this tactic. Before Red Guards Charlotte everyone on the so-called “left” here was too scared to mask. This rightism in being too scared to mask was also apparent in various revisionist organizations across the state including in Durham. We must not engage in legalism– playing by the rules of the bourgeoisie.
Let this lapse in CMPD’s organization be a lesson in the ability of the people to navigate around bourgeois laws and truly outsmart the enemy. It is not their first battle lost and it is far from their last. While the police have the power, the Communists have the people on our side! The police are mindless robots. They punch a clock, do the work of the bourgeoisie, then go home. Though there is a rising Blue Lives Matter movement that must be taken seriously as escalating towards fascism in a decaying imperialist country, the police overall are not as internally motivated as the Communists in the revolutionary movement. Their motivation comes principally from external sources, from the system of capitalism that is built up around them, and from the pigs they take orders from. Aside from their leadership they are largely unmotivated and burned out. We can and must use this to our advantage. They are here to pay the bills, but we are here to change the world.
The revolutionary movement in Charlotte will continue to mask at actions. The universal need for antifascists to mask up is not negated by a bourgeois law in one state. We will not give Brian Talbert nor his fascist buddies the opportunity to dox those opposed to racism. The masking law in NC and its recent threat of enforcement shows even more reason for the revolutionary movement to grow in principled unity. The more red-masked militants present, the more indistinguishable each militant becomes. The more in attendance overall, the easier militants can swim through the crowd unnoticed.
The US is currently experiencing a lull in the organization of fascism, with successes such as the vast outnumbering of fascists at the “Unite the Right 2” event a week ago. Even with these victories we hold that the contradictions of capitalism-imperialism inevitably produce fascist movements. While it may be dying down right now, it will start to grow again. Therefore, we cannot use this lull as an excuse to get lax on the antifascist front. We cannot use it as an excuse to make antifascist protests “social” spaces or picnics. To the contrary we must continue to develop the organization and fighting capacity of the antifascist units in a forward motion.
Mask up to outsmart the enemy!
Fight the right to the very end!
-Red Guards Charlotte, August 20th, 2018