The Bridgetown community center, which offers services such as donation based yoga classes and cost-free access to art tools, has been made the target of an online harassment campaign conducted by neo-nazis and the ‘alt-right’. That campaign has now escalated to include physical harassment in the form of vaguely threatening mail.
On Christmas day, members of the collective that operate the center unlocked the door to discover that the following note had been slipped through their mail slot.
The note, which was delivered in an envelope adorned with a swastika, reads as follows: “HAIL TRUMP. WE ARE COMING FOR YOU ANTI-FA [abbreviation for anti-fascist] ASSHOLES! PREPARE YOURSELF”
The community center is one of numerous spaces that have received similar threats in the wake of the Ghost Ship Fire in Oakland, which claimed the lives of 36 concertgoers in early December. Fascists, neo-nazis and the ‘alt-right’ have seized upon the atmosphere of heightened fire safety sensitivity in order to make erroneous and fabricated complaints to local fire authorities, hoping to have spaces that they perceive as bastions for community organizing shut down.
This event follows a disturbing trend of far-right organizing in the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump. ‘White Nationalism’ has been given renewed legitimacy and platform through media outlets willing to cover its fascist, neo-nazi and ‘alt-right’ adherents without a critical lens.
Though Southern California has a long history of fascist and racist organizing, it has just as strong a history of anti-fascists winning in the streets. Despite an upsurge in fascist activity, it remains clear that these groups in So. California do not currently possess the strength or organizational coherence to engage in a physical confrontation. Instead they resort to cowardly (and ineffective) attempts at intimidating community organizations that they perceive as vulnerable.
As anti-fascists in the San Gabriel Valley, we are committed to learning as much about fascist activity in our area as possible – so that we can then effectively confront and prevent those fascists from gaining a foothold.
If you aware of fascist, ‘alt-right’, neo-nazi or racist organizing in your area of the S.G.V. (this includes anything from graffiti and stickers, to individuals seen sporting white supremacist clothing or tattoos) – please report it to us immediately. We can be contacted through our email address at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you live in the S.G.V. and would like to become involved in anti-fascist organizing here in the valley, please also send us an email stating that interest.
We also ask that you join us in the streets here in the S.G.V. on the day of Trump’s inauguration for an anti-fascist dance party and march. More information here.
If you would like to support Bridgetown and the work that their collective is doing, they currently have an online fundraiser here.