AUSTIN: Anarchist Bookstore Windows Smashed, Again

By Ed Dalton

On November 10, MonkeyWrench Books (MWB) of Austin, Texas had its windows smashed out, a rerun of when its storefront was battered by local reactionaries in the early 2000s.

In a statement published on Facebook today, the bookstore insinuated that Nazis were responsible for the action, but no fascist organization has yet taken credit.

“This morning we discovered that our window had been smashed with an iron cylinder during the night,” the statement read. “We would be remiss if we did not acknowledge that this happened on the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht. Whether or not these events are related, we will temporarily have a second entrance for you to test and funky tunes for you to make your grand second entrance.”

Over 1,700 dollars were raised by supporters of the space, more than enough to replace the damage, making the action mainly symbolic. Texas fascist group Patriot Front held an unannounced demonstration outside of the bookstore last year on November 4th while anarchists took cover inside, failing to defend the space from attack. With unchecked attacks like these, fascists become emboldened and will seek to escalate their activity.

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While the bookstore staff and its official Facebook page blame Nazis for the attack, local Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) members rushed to accuse local Maoists, hoping to create rumor and gossip, objectively serving the repressive state.

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Maoists in Austin, as well as many community organizations which support them, have a longstanding organizational boycott of MWB, due to the financial backers of the bookstore issuing a ban on group study of Communist materials including V.I. Lenin’s masterpiece The State and Revolution.

According to bookstore backers, there were fears that the Maoists were using such texts to rapidly convert anarchists into revolutionaries.

“While MWB can invoke ‘anarchism’ when convenient, what they mean is petty-bourgeois liberalism and an aversion to principled struggle,” said Red Guards Austin (RGA) in a July 2016 post. “They can agree neither on what anarchism is nor on what the space should exist to promote. In this mess they maintain that their positions on banning us are different from person to person, yet they have reached consensus on our collective, and exercised their power over the space to censor us and in this way have treated friends like enemies.”

“Maoist actions are politically clear and distinct,” said a local supporter of the Maoist movement. “Anyone in Austin can verify this, the use of red paint, the hammer and sickle, etc. are the symbols of Maoism. While we uphold the boycott called for by RGA, no one supports a fascist attack against the bookstore.”

“MWB’s vulnerability is what is tragic,” the source continued. “By alienating the only local forces who could physically defend them, they become easy prey to boost the confidence of fascists which objectively harms the city and its people.”

Incendiary resolutely condemns all fascist activity as well as all attempts from DSA members to carry out pig work against local revolutionaries to the benefit of the fascist perpetrators. MonkeyWrench staff, while correcting the slander of the DSA members, failed to take any action to remove the comments of those who would criminalize the local revolutionary movement.