Mobilize Labor: Fascists Out of Portland
It’s A Matter of Life and Death
Take a Stand: Come Out on June 4
Statement by Portland Labor Against the Fascists
Less than a month after a race-hate rally was held in East Portland, and nine days before they plan to stage a fascist provocation downtown, murderous racist terror has struck in Portland. The murderer was prominently present at the April 29 racist rally. Now two brave men who stood up to him are dead, and a third was seriously wounded. Muslims and Jews, African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, along with defenders of women’s, gay and lesbian rights: all are targeted by the murderous bigots. As we have emphasized: fascist rallies are a staging ground for hideous racist terror. It’s up to us, the working people, to stop the fascists now.
On Friday afternoon, May 26, Jeremy Joseph Christian, a 35-year-old white man, began screaming racist insults and death threats at two young women he encountered on an MAX light rail train eastbound out of downtown Portland. One of the women is black and the other is a Muslim who was wearing a head scarf (hijab).
When three fellow passengers heroically sought to protect them, Christian drew a knife, slashed their throats, and escaped at the Hollywood transit stop. Two of the men died of their wounds, while a third required surgery for serious injuries. The attacker was taken into custody by police shortly after, and is charged with aggravated murder.
Christian is a well-known local fascist. Multiple videos show him menacing counter-demonstrators at a racist hate-fest in Montavilla Park in East Portland on April 29. Now the same outfit he was with then says it intends to stage a provocative rally in the center of downtown Portland at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 4. They’re even bringing in a notoriously violent fascist provocateur to make the threat clear.
Earlier this week, before the latest attack, Portland-area union activists issued an urgent call to “Mobilize to Stop the Fascists: Their Racist Provocation Is a Danger to Us All!” Organizers emphasized: “They pretend to defend ‘free speech.’ This is a lie… The poisonous race-hatred they spew out spawns lynchings. They must be stopped.”
In the coming days much will be made of the killer’s apparently deranged mental state. But what possessed him to lash out against African American and Muslim young women, yelling “Get off the bus and get out of the country because you don’t pay taxes here”? This is clearly a reflection of the deadly racism coming out of Washington and escalating across the country.
A month ago, the police shepherded fascist Christian around the park as he gave Nazi salutes and threatened protesters. The Portland Mercury (27 May) reports: “A few Portland police officers on April 29 appeared to be familiar with Christian, but not threatened by him.” At the end of the racists’ march, the city provided a bus to take them back.
The same Portland police attacked the annual May Day immigrants’ rights march with tear gas and flash-bang grenades, blaming “anarchists” when it was the police who were terrorizing the marchers, arresting 25. Despite the talk of “diversity” and “unity” from the mayor and politicians of the bosses’ parties, the fact is they and their police are protecting the fascists.
The Portland area is home to a powerful labor movement built on the principle that “An injury to one is an injury to all.” The fascists are shock troops in the drive to divide, conquer and defeat the working class and destroy the rights of us all. To stop the deadly racist and fascist terror it is necessary – now, not at some indefinite future time – to mobilize the power of the working class.
The day before the Portland killings, ILWU longshoremen at the Port of Oakland, California walked off the job, paralyzing the docks to protest nooses, a threat of lynching, that were found at one of the largest terminals. On May Day 2015, ILWU Local 10 shut down the port and marched on Oakland city hall to demand an end to police terror. That same day Portland-area unionists marched behind a banner saying “Labor Against Racist Police Murder.”
This is the power we must bring out to stop the fascists in Portland. We urge one and all to take a stand and join the labor/black/immigrant mobilization at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 4 in Terry Schrunk Plaza (SW 3rd Ave. & SW Madison St.) to stop the would-be Hitlers from organizing more deadly terror. All out on June 4! Fascists out of Portland!
–May 27, 2017
Portland Labor Against the Fascists
email@example.com (503) 683-1894