Fuck fascism, basically
LAST Week saw sickening violence by Nazis and white supremacists in the city of Charlottesville,virginia, usa.the result was vile destruction and death, when a car was driven into the crowd of counter protesters, resulting in the murder of 32-year-old Heather Heyer. It was one of America’s darkest days, with many in our scene – and beyond – traumatised by what happened.we at Kerrang! felt like we had to write about what happened in this issue. No music story seemed more important. Kerrang!’s friend, the esteemed writer Kim Kelly, was there in Charlottesville as events unfolded. Here, she tells us what went down.and why it’s so important that we galvanise against the far-right threat now… “Ifyou’ve seen that gut-wrenching video by now, you know what happened.the charcoal black car.the domino effect it had on the two cars ahead of it.the black car’s rapid reverse back down the street, and the sea of people he’d purposefully ploughed into.their bodies. “It’s difficult to describe the horror of it all, and I’m sure that video leaves a lot of questions unanswered.the one important thing that I’ve seen left out of all the media coverage around Charlottesville, though, is the reason why we were marching. It wasn’t just a victory lap, though we were feeling rather triumphant about the Nazis’ humiliating defeat and eviction from emancipation Park; it wasn’t a protest, though we chanted our demands for liberation as we walked.we were headed to a local housing project, friendship Court, after getting word that a group of armed Nazis were going there to terrorise its inhabitants, who are predominantly working class people of colour.we were going to help protect people whose town had been invaded by white supremacists, Ku Klux Klan members, alt-right white nationalists, far-right militias, and honest-to-god Nazis.
“‘Alerta, alerta, antifascista!’ came the rallying cry, rolling down our ranks like thunder as several hundred of us – anarchists, anti-fascists, communists, IWW union activists, socialists, and various other left-wing, Nazi-hating folk – began to march.the sun beat down upon our shoulders and Charlottesville locals cheered us from the sidewalks; despite what our country’s disgusting fascist-in-chief seems to believe about the erroneously-called ‘alt-left’ people seemed awfully happy to see us.we were joined by another group of marchers along the way, and there must have been 700 of us there; it was a truly lovely moment of leftist unity.
“And then, suddenly, it was over.and there was nothing left but screams.
“It seemed to happen in slow motion; I saw the car ramming through the crowd, their bodies bouncing off its charcoal sides or – in an image I’ll never forget – a woman in a turquoise blouse flying vertically up its windshield, and lying still.as I heard his tyres screech and saw the car begin
to reverse, my only thought was,‘he’s going to hit us again. I have to tell people. People need to come help us.’ I dashed a few metres away, frantically firing off a few tweets about the carnage before my phone died. I’m sure it sounds like an absurd move; why wouldn’t my first move be to call the cops? I’ll tell you why: the cowards in their riot gear hadn’t lifted a finger to protect anyone but the Nazis all day. I wouldn’t trust them to help me change a tyre.
“At that point, it hit me – I was alone. I ran back out, scanning the road for familiar faces until I spotted my friend M, sitting on a curb across from the carnage. She’d been struck by the car, but sustained only minor injuries.at least two of my other friends had been hit, too; one ended up in the hospital.twenty people in total were injured by that monster, and though we heard rumours of fatalities, Heather Heyer’s death wasn’t confirmed until an hour or so after the attack.
“Painfully slowly, we found everyone else from our crew, and made our way to a nearby sanctuary church. once inside, mental health workers did their best to help us process what we’d survived. In the midst of those first moments of healing, the calm was broken by the sound of stampeding feet and shouts of,‘nazis! outside! They’re trying to get in!’ All hell broke loose as the church slammed its doors shut and most of us inside succumbed to panic; a Nazi with a gun was outside, trying to get in.the church’s security set him packing after only a few moments, but it felt like hours – time had stopped again. one of the church workers told me sadly that they’d been getting harassed by violent white supremacists all weekend.
“I thought I was going to die there in that church; the fact that we didn’t, that we got out and got back home and have lived to fight another day is the greatest hope that is sustaining me during these darkest of days. Love is its own protection.
“I must be clear: though these abhorrent scum murdered an innocent woman and rained terror down upon a small Southern city. Charlottesville was an unequivocal disaster for the alt-right.they brought their guns, their flags, their swastikas and tiki torches, and still, they failed.these bastards will never defeat us, and the scourges of white supremacy and fascism will be eradicated from these shores.
“What they forgot to kill will go on to organise.”