Photo: The 2020 Women’s March in downtown St. Louis, Missouri
Editor’s Note: The fundraising link originally published was not working properly, please donate to the arrested activist’s legal fund here: http://gf.me/u/xhkb4s
By Olivia Klein
On January 18, revolutionary activists attended the Women’s March in Saint Louis, Missouri to combat its electoral agenda and promote the campaign to boycott the 2020 US elections. During the march, one revolutionary activist was arrested while confronting a reactionary attempting to disrupt the event, who was being protected by both police and the organizers of the event.
Before the march began, a man with a megaphone approached the crowd and began spouting anti-woman and anti-abortion rhetoric, along with religious sermonizing. Women in attendance booed, and a revolutionary activist confronted the man by putting a megaphone in his face and using its siren to drown him out.
Police, with the aid of the event organizers, protected the reactionary by forming a physical barrier between the two. The activist gave a speech pointing out how the police protect reactionaries while lacking any concern for working women. This was met with cheers by the crowd. As the religious zealot continued his tirade, the activist snatched the book he was reading from.
Police pulled the activist away from the reactionary, citing bourgeois ‘freedom of speech’ as an excuse for his defense. The activist was pushed against a nearby vehicle and handcuffed while officers pushed back the crowd that had swelled around the altercation.
As the activist was being detained, he agitated against the police and for revolution as women in the crowd demanded to know why he was being arrested, saying that he was in fact defending women. Their cries were ultimately ignored as police hauled the activist away. One officer involved was a woman wearing a pink ‘pussy hat’ popular with Women’s March attendees beneath her police cap.
The arrested activist was held in detention for 36 hours, and while the initial charge of “disturbing the peace” was eventually dropped, the state charged him with a felony for allegedly taking part in an anti-police action nearly two years ago.
The remaining revolutionary activists continued to agitate for working women’s liberation and against electoralism, challenging members of the revisionist Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) and successfully running off the Trotskyite canvassers from the International Marxist Tendency (IMT). They also confronted reactionaries displaying anti-abortion signs meant to sow fear against abortion and the women who have had them.
Revolutionaries were later approached by STL Women’s March Director Dana Kelly, who owns a financial consulting agency named The Firm. Kelly proclaimed that she had police escort the right-wing disruptor away, but activists responded that Kelly’s collaboration with the police was in fact the cause of the activist’s arrest who had bravely confronted the reactionary. Kelly was also confronted about her role in supporting US imperialism by blindly encouraging voting and measuring success by women’s ability to ascend into bourgeois positions of power, where they are able to exploit working class women.
The efforts of the police to protect the anti-woman reactionary combined with the march organizers’ open arms to the police presence, illustrated the roles that bourgeois feminism and reformism play in preserving US imperialism.
Incendiary encourages readers to donate to the legal support fund for the arrested activist here: http://gf.me/u/xhkb4s