The Solidarity Center in New York City was standing room only as impassioned anti-racist activists gathered Aug. 17 to hear reportbacks from the Aug. 12 anti-racist mobilization in Charlottesville, Va.
Members of Workers World Party and other groups — including Black Lives Matter Greater New York, GABRIELA-NYC, People’s Power Assembly and the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council — spoke about their experiences traveling south to shut down one of the largest gatherings of white supremacists in recent history.
While a shadow was cast on this victory when a white supremacist terrorist drove a car into counterprotesters, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 20 others, this cowardly act only emboldened anti-racist forces in the U.S., as could be seen in the center that day.
These brave freedom fighters, who put their lives on the line that weekend, shared their fears going into the struggle, the determination and strength they felt on the ground, and the care they received from their comrades.
All the activists who were part of the Workers World Party contingent — led by members from Durham, N.C., Baltimore and New York — spoke of the party’s discipline, precautions and the sense of safety they felt fighting the Klan alongside our cadre. This discipline comes from years of experience in the anti-fascist and anti-racist struggle.
In 1962, in fact, the first action of Youth Against War & Fascism, the youth arm of Workers World Party at the time, was a huge counterprotest against George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party. Scheduled to speak in New York, Rockwell was a no-show. His motorcade turned around at the George Washington Bridge.
At the meeting on Charlottesville, a special telephone presentation was given by Workers World member and North Carolina Central University student Takiyah “Take Em Down” Thompson. Her action that facilitated the pulling down of a Confederate statue in Durham has helped to ignite a nationwide people’s movement to destroy, deface and topple these altars to white supremacy. Some public officials, notably in Baltimore, Austin, Texas, and Los Angeles, have even begun removing Confederate statues quietly in the night in fear of this wave of popular, direct action.
A livestream of the New York event attracted almost 3,000 views that evening and, as of this writing, has reached over 5,000 views. A recording of this stream can be found on Workers World Party Facebook.