AUSTIN: Bourgeois Media Misreports May Day, Serves as Police Press Agents

By Ed Dalton

KXAN, a local bourgeois media outlet in Austin, has covered this year’s Red May 1st march with typical ruling class bias, inaccuracy, and lack of investigation several days after the march took place. Reporter Matthew Prendergast totally failed to investigate beyond taking the word of Austin Police Department (APD) at face value.

Prendergast writes, “Police report that a group known as The Red Guard was marching through southeast Austin in protest against gentrification. Police say many members of the group were carrying large three-to-four-foot long sticks disguised as flag poles.” By just reporting what the police say, and failing to even attempt to verify his sources as factual, the reporter does not even get the name of the now inactive and concluded Red Guards Austin correct.

On December 17th of last year the official page of RGA posted “This project has reached its conclusion, we are no more,” and the site has remained inactive for the past five months. APD seeks to criminalize anyone in a red mask as a member of the now nonexistent organization, and bourgeois journalists are eager to lend a hand. KXAN fails to accurately report the nature of the march itself, which was not “a protest against gentrification,” but an International Workers Day march, evidenced by the banners displayed in several photos and videos which they had access to.

KXAN withholds the name of the white nationalist who was assaulted, “One officer saw a member of the Texas Nomads on the ground bleeding profusely from his head. The wounded man pointed to a member of The Red Guard in a green jacket. The officer says he was able to grab the suspect and pull them from the crowd.” The man in question is Colin Whites, present at several fascist demonstrations in Austin provoking counter protesters over the past several years.

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*Editor’s note: Whites has been known to sometimes spell his first name “Collin”

Whites was arrested in March of last year for assaulting a counter protester, his arrest gained media attention, yet KXAN is eager to protect his identity in the interest of treating this belligerent as an innocent victim, again in accordance with the police and fascist narrative.

At the confrontation on May 1st police arrested one woman comrade at random, Prendergast reports that she was identified by a green jacket, but fails to mention that there were dozens of militants in identical uniforms, the police offer no evidence to prove that these militants are or were members of the now defunct RGA.

“According to the victim [Whites], he was 100 percent sure [the suspect] was the one who hit him on the head with a large stick.”

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A precursory glance at the live stream posted on YouTube by the fascists Texas Nomads SAR clearly shows Whites being asked to identify the person who hit him, which he fails to do. After being asked by APD, “which one of them hit you?” Whites responds with “it was like, a white male,” the police then turn the suspect around and ask “that one?” to which Whites replies “honestly I can’t tell.” The police then respond, “can you tell who hit you?” Whites then confirms that he cannot by stating, “I do not think it was that guy.”

The police, and by extension KXAN, are eager to make a conviction in the media, no matter how much it contradicts reality. Incendiary stands by all the arrested protestors. We reiterate that it is right to rebel against reactionaries and that financial support must be given to those arrested so that they can overcome the pathetic smear campaigns of APD and the bourgeois media. We are gladdened to report that all those arrested have been bonded out of jail. For those who support antifascism and our arrested comrades you can donate here to support the ongoing legal battles.

Read our full report and watch video from Austin’s International Workers Day rally.