By Gabriel Roshan
On January 2, 2019, Brian Talbert, founder of self-described “conservative” LGBT group Deplorable Pride (DP) was acquitted of assaulting a woman at a protest on May 12, 2018.
The Proud Boys, a North American fascist organization, had called for a protest on the corner of Trade and Tryon streets to oust Charlotte council member Lawana Mayfield, who had posted on Facebook, “I am still waiting for someone to produce pieces of the alleged plane that opened the doors for US citizens to lose all privacy rights.”
The Proud Boys and their allies were angered by this conspiracy because according to them Mayfield was denying the sacrifices made by New York City area first responders and firefighters on September 11, 2001.
As soon as Antifascists Charlotte called for a counter demonstration, the Proud Boys event page disappeared online, and a new event page hosted by DP was published, with the propaganda for the new event being almost identical to the old one. DP acts as a conservative front for fascists like Talbert, the Proud Boys, and others.
The corner of Trade and Tryon is the center of Downtown Charlotte, among the busiest intersections in the city. Many organizations hold rallies there for maximum visibility. On the day in question the Talbert-led forces were greatly outnumbered by the antifascists.
The DP-led group had been stationed on one side of Trade Street with the antifascists on the other. The moment that led to two antifascists and Talbert being detained began when Talbert stumbled, Trump and American flags in hand, over the crosswalk towards a head on collision with the antifascists.
After his flag waving and spouting of racist diatribes on the antifascist side of the street, he then swung on the woman who proceeded to hold her ground along with a male antifascist. Shortly thereafter the police detained all three people, with the woman being released. Talbert and the male antifascist were arrested and charged.
Talbert was charged with the misdemeanor of “assault on a female.” After going to court on November 7, his hearing was scheduled for January 2.
Talbert repeatedly harassed the woman he had assaulted while waiting for his hearing. The brave militant, who is a mother, was immediately doxed by the conservative website Big League Politics and by the DP Facebook page.
Talbert and his followers incessantly went after her whole livelihood, calling her job, her previous landlords, and even places she had sold merchandise to in the past. He even galvanized his followers to harass the antifascist’s mother.
According to public sources, this woman was the third person in recent history to face targeted harassment for her role in Charlotte’s struggle against Talbert. Two other antifascists were doxed, and their employers were frequently called as well. Talbert has a limited arsenal of tactics but employs them with high amounts of energy and vitriol, principally against those he deems Communists and antifascists.
On January 2, Talbert and his supporters (mainly family members) appeared at the Mecklenburg county courthouse for his court date. The woman who Talbert attacked was subpoenaed to testify in the State’s case against Talbert, and women revolutionaries were there to show solidarity with her. Despite her eyewitness account and substantial evidence, Talbert was found not guilty.
One of the women told Incendiary, “We didn’t expect to win in court today since there is no justice under capitalism. The state, through the police, prisons and courts, acts to repress revolutionaries and give support to those who are content with the rise of fascism.”
“Court solidarity for comrades having to deal with the ‘justice’ system is only scratching the surface of what needs to be done to fight the onslaught of fascism that is brewing,” she said.
In an earlier article, Talbert was referred to as a “proto-fascist,” however objectively this is no longer accurate. Talbert is a fascist. His ideology is eclectic, but one aspect is clear: his political line is guided by the revocation of bourgeois democratic rights. Materially, he represents a force that is vehemently anti-Communist, racist and hyper-nationalist.
Fascists like Talbert are dangerous, but their power should not be overstated. They are paper tigers—they look and act scary but are easily crushed by the force of those who resolutely oppose their backwards ideology.
Antifascists, militants, and revolutionaries must stay keenly aware of the security risks surrounding fighting fascists. Comrades should shatter all petit-bourgeois illusions about the state. It only has one purpose: protecting the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.
Therefore, it is imperative that security protocols be enforced through respective organizations. Simple things can be done to ensure the safety of militants as well as their friends and families, such as locking down social media to the highest privacy setting, not interacting with fascists through personal accounts and being mindful about what information is put on social media.
Legal names, workplaces, pictures of faces, and other information can be taken by fascists and used as ammunition in their war against antifascists.
The fight against fascism is not a safe one, but careless mistakes can add unnecessary danger to the antifascist movement as a whole.
January 2 was an important moment for the fight against fascism as Talbert was exposed as a clear fascist and enemy of the people, and the State proved yet again that it provides no justice for antifascists. Moving forward in 2019, the masses must be organized to confront scum like Talbert and end his continued attacks for good.