Austin’s first revolutionary-led International Working Women’s Day march in 2019 prevailed against police harassment.
By David Martinez
Nearly one year after the arrests, charges have been dropped against two marchers who participated in the Popular Women’s Movement’s combative 2019 International Working Women’s Day march in East Austin, in another failure of the bourgeois state to pursue arbitrary charges to target the revolutionary movement.
One marcher had a charge dropped for “unlawful carrying of a weapon,” with police claiming flags carried by some marchers qualified as ‘clubs.’ They continued to press this charge even when the state itself legalized the carrying of clubs in law only a few months after the arrest and despite the flags not meeting the legal definition of a club. During his arrest last year, police also tried to charge the marcher with ‘inciting a riot’ which even the local magistrate found absurd and dropped immediately.
“The way the police jumped from charge to charge, showed that the law isn’t made for us,” the comrade told Incendiary. Emphasizing it was his revolutionary beliefs and solidarity from the larger revolutionary movement that kept him strong, he said, “We have to count on the support of the people and not narrow legalism.”
The other dropped charge was for “obstructing a roadway,” against a supportive photographer who was walking alongside the march to document it. Witnesses attest the photographer was walking calmly when a police officer approached from behind and detained him without warning.
Austin police go to great lengths to intimidate and counter any attempts by revolutionaries to take the streets. Random arrests coupled with bogus charges are but one tactic.
The 2019 march was also harassed by local fascists from the Texas Nomads, who took multiple blows from revolutionary militants and had to be pulled back by police for their own protection.
In November last year, the state also dropped a charge of ‘aggravated assault with a deadly weapon’ against an antifascist who they allege attacked one of the Nomads at the International Workers Day march on May 1, 2019. More dropped charges against revolutionary activists in this recent case, along with several other cases over the past three years, demonstrate the state’s failures to justify their own trumped-up charges.
Although the state has run into some difficulty in successfully prosecuting revolutionaries, local law enforcement continue to arrest activists whenever possible in the hopes of scaring them away from organizing. These arrests have had the opposite effect, as the revolutionary movement has only continued to grow in Austin despite the state’s desperate attempts to stamp it out.
The arrests also carry a secondary function of creating prohibitive legal costs for the movement, however this has been overcome with the solidarity of the masses and donations from supporters of the revolutionary movement around the country.
Incendiary congratulates the comrades who have had their charges dropped and the legal team who fought for them, knowing that no matter the outcome of state repression, the proletariat is prepared to fight for every step taken until it reaches the final victory of communism!