By Ed Dalton. Version en español.
The 5th consecutive May 1st International Workers Day march was carried out successfully in Austin this year, but it was not without struggle, sacrifice, and spilled blood. Three marchers were arrested by the reactionary police and one member of the fascist group Texas Nomads SAR was seriously injured.
The Austin Police Department mobilized an unprecedented high number of police vehicles, foot police, and bicycle cops this year, all with a singular purpose: to prevent workers, militants, and revolutionaries from carrying out their unpermitted march. The police failed in spite of having even numbers with the marchers at times. Even as the march was routed by police back onto the sidewalks repeatedly, the masses were undeterred and joined in the procession anyway, swelling the ranks of the march as it went along against the tide of police. At one point the police commandeered a city bus in a failed attempt to blockade the Maoist-led march. Incendiary witnessed the police facing stiff resistance from the marchers when they tried to use their bicycles as weapons and road blocks.
Each street taken and each mile traversed was due to the fortitude and combativeness of the marchers; the police would not let them move forward without a struggle. Chants could be heard for blocks ringing out: “Dare to struggle! Dare to win!” This was also the central slogan of this year’s international joint statement of Maoist Parties and organizations, calling for a Unified International Maoist Conference.
The slogans on the banners and placards celebrated 100 years of Communism in the US and called for the reconstitution of the Communist Party. Large images of the six great teachers of Marxism—Karl Marx, Frederic Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Chairman Gonzalo—made a strong second line in the march behind a leading banner which was adorned with the image of Chairman Mao and displayed the slogans “Long live 100 years of Communism in the US”, “Long live Red May 1st”, and “Combat and resist!”
The march zig zagged throughout the proletarian East Riverside area, including several sites of tenants’ struggles which Maoists and revolutionaries have helped organize against gentrification and the slum lords who profit from it. Many people came out on their porches and balconies to cheer the march on and cars honked their horns in support.
Confident due to the excessive use of police and hundreds of thousands of dollars that the city delegated to prevent and impede the relatively small Maoist demonstration, a pair of fascists from the Texas Nomads SAR arrived to taunt and heckle the march. Most of the time these fascists kept a safe distance. Already having been scared into backing down from their original plans to march at Texas State University in neighboring San Marcos, where 100 students stood prepared to confront them and suffered 4 arrests fighting against unorganized Trump supporters, the Texas Nomads decided to attempt to harass the marchers at the Red May 1 march in Austin.
Outnumbered and in a hostile working-class neighborhood the fascists attempted to keep their distance and hide behind the police. This all came crashing down when the police’s plans to once again rout the march forced a crowd of marchers into close contact with the fascist duo and a fight broke out.
One fascist, former ACC tutor Colin Whites met the hard end of a flag pole and suffered serious head trauma. The police quickly moved in to protect the fearful Nomads, making arrests indiscriminately and protecting the fascist provocateurs. Whites, along with his companion Christopher Ritchie, were unable to finish the day as Whites had to depart for the Emergency Room to treat a large gash and damaged eye which bled all over his Nomads t-shirt. This International Workers’ Day was christened in the blood of the fascist enemy and this alone is a cause worthy of celebration for Communists, workers, and antifascists.
Unbroken and unhampered by the arrests, the marchers pushed on, traveling through the working district back to a major intersection where a speech was given against US imperialism and in solidarity with the prisoners of war and political prisoners of the International Communist Movement, chief among these was Chairman Gonzalo of Communist Party of Peru, followed by Igor Mendez in Brazil, comrade Ajith in India, Comrade Dr. Sernas Garcia, disappeared by the Mexican state, and Comrade Dallas in the US, who faces over a decade in prison. Comandante Gato, recently murdered in Mexico was also given honors.
“What is our duty as Communists, as the sons and daughters of the proletariat?” the speaker cried out, “Our most sacred duty, that which we can never neglect, is to reconstitute our Party—the Communist Party of the United States of America, which will be the most eager knife in the hands of our class carving a new future for all of us with the initiation of People’s War!” At this, the crowed amassed at the intersection let out a loud cheer.
The police force, exhausted from bad diets and warm weather, eventually fell back and the Communists, militants, and workers once again took to the streets marching down Pleasant Valley—a main artery of the neighborhood.
Incendiary extends the utmost honors to our arrested comrades, especially the comrade who faces the most serious charge of assault with a deadly weapon, accused of defending herself against fascist attack. We call on all of our readers, every antifascist, and every genuine revolutionary to dig deep into their hard-earned wages and support the antifascist troops! Every blow struck against the fascist enemy is a service to the people. In the words of Mao, “Everything reactionary is the same; if you do not hit it, it will not fall.” You can donate at the following link; Incendiary encourages promoting the fundraiser and calls for the utmost support of these comrades.