By Mike Talavera
This morning, Texas Nomad Christopher Ritchie, a participant in the infamous 2017 Charlottesville white supremacist violence, posted a live video of his apartment which had been covered in red paint. On the sidewalk in front of his window, the words “Get the Fuck Out” were written in red with a hammer and sickle. “[Antifascists] are getting more radical in this town,” Ritchie said in the video.
According to Ritchie, flyers with a picture of him at Charlottesville were posted all over the apartment complex as well as the surrounding neighborhood, which detailed his involvement in Charlottesville as well as the routes he takes to and from his job at Arbor Car Wash at 10401 Jollyville Rd. “Any radical person that’s seen this kind of poster could come after me,” Ritchie said.
Ritchie was one of many fascists and racists that attended the “Unite the Right” rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, where dozens of people were attacked and injured and Neo-Nazi James Alex Fields Jr. drove into a crowd of anti-racist protesters, permanently disabling several and killing antifascist Heather Heyer.
Along with fellow Texas Nomads Jon Colgin and Colin Whites (who sometimes spells his first name “Collin”), Ritchie is frequently seen at progressive and revolutionary marches and protests in Central Texas filming and harassing participants. Having done so for a long time without suffering any consequences, this year has been different for the fascist group, and the tagging of Ritchie’s residence was not the first time a Texas Nomad’s home has been vandalized.
Last month, flyers and red paint were found at Whites’s front door of his Riverside residence as well as his car, which had its front windshield cracked. In addition to his car’s windshield, Whites’s head had also been cracked earlier in May at an International Workers’ Day march in the East Riverside area of southeast Austin when he came into conflict with marchers. Since then, Ritchie and others have been spotted wearing helmets when harassing Austin protest, rallies, and marches.
In this morning’s live video, Ritchie comments on how he suspects that the same antifascists who “attacked” his home were the same ones behind the vandalizing of the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, employer of Proud Boy fascist Dustin Casler.
“They’ve crossed the line here,” said Colgin, who was with Ritchie as he filmed this morning’s video. Ritchie said that he is going to invest in more weapons and cameras. Unable to part with his fascist and racist views, Ritchie has instead chosen to further entrench his reactionary stance. The heroic actions of the antifascists have forced Ritchie to isolate himself from society even more than he already has.
The militants who have taken serious risks to carry out this powerful warning and public education campaign should be applauded for combating fascism in a concrete way. Those who consider themselves antifascists around the country should take note. Feeble tactics like posting antifascist memes online or hollow performative protests for the sake of photo ops pale in comparison to the material confrontations against fascists that have taken place in Austin this year. It has been made clear by the militants—fascists are not safe in Austin, even at home.