Sunday, 22 January 2017

Fellow Worker and GDC Member Shot at anti-fascist protest in Seattle

Edit: 24/1/2017 added additional information and corrections at the bottom of the article.

Reposted from the Industrial Workers of the World

On the evening of Friday, January 20th, a comrade of ours was shot in the stomach in the most public place on the University of Washington’s campus in Seattle – a place called “Red Square” for the color of its bricks rather than its politics.
This Fellow Worker (what members of the IWW call ourselves) and Defender (for GDC members) is a longtime anti-fascist and dedicated activist, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the General Defense Committee of the IWW. He’s currently in critical condition at Harborview Hospital in Seattle. They have a Level One Trauma center, so it’s likely he is receiving the best quality care available, for which we are deeply grateful.
Click here to go to the official IWW General Defense Committee fundraiser for this fellow worker.

How do we respond? We are building an expanded anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist, anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-fascist presence in Seattle, and this person was spearheading that effort. Are others willing step up and replace his effort while he heals? Our response will help determine that.
There is a limited amount of time for us to make clear to the world what is clear to us: we are under armed attack. The fascist right knows where to find us – protests such as anti-Donald Trump events, or actions against police brutality. In the Twin Cities, the trial has just begun of Allen Scarsella, one of the white supremacists who came to the Fourth Precinct in Minneapolis in November, 2015 and opened fire, shooting multiple people.
We don’t have confirmation that the person who shot our comrade was a counter-protester angry at those protesting Milo’s hateful white nationalist misogyny. We do know that he turned himself into the police several hours later, claiming ‘self-defense.’ This, of course, is exactly what Scarsella did as well.
Our friend will have enormous hospital bills and undoubtedly some legal costs as well. There will be a significant loss of income. Let’s raise him so much that he won’t have to worry about that angle of things. Please give. All money will be controlled directly by them and their partner; none will go to any other cause, excepting any fees associated with the fundraising service used.
Click here to go to the official IWW General Defense Committee fundraiser for this fellow worker.
Please don’t just give; please tell your friends and families and organizations to give. That may sound daunting, but here’s why they should:
  • This isn’t just about one guy. Your friends and families know that the situation has changed dramatically. They know that things are changing fast, and have heard the word fascism a lot since Trump was elected. They may even suspect that the breakneck pace of media revelations and executive decisions is intended to distract them and make them feel helpless.
  • This is about protecting those who have already been putting themselves on the line protecting us. Who have been organizing for us and got there even before Donald Trump was elected. This is about protecting them. This is about emboldening OUR side to organized to protect ourselves, rather than simply beg for protection from fascists and racists. Some of whom are now in political power.
  • We need to ensure widespread support for them, and we need to do it in the name of organized anti-fascism. We must demonstrate that no matter our own political analysis or identity – progressive, liberal, leftist, radical, etc. – we support anti-fascism, and we support antifascists. We will not leave our own behind. We will support antifascist efforts, most of all because they are needed more than ever, and not supporting them at this crucial point would be a disaster.
Thank you for reading all the way to the end. It’s hard to hear that a comrade has been shot. We may not have expressed everything in the most organized or best way above, and if that is the case, please accept our apologies.
We hope you will consider making a contribution, and perhaps writing letters or calling to the President of the University of Washington and expressing support for the victim of the shooting and the protesters, and criticism of the UW administration for permitting an event they knew was going to promote violence against minority groups. Now they’ve gotten what they should have known was coming. Call or write the County Attorney and demand aggressive prosecution. Call Seattle City Councilors and ask them to issue a public statement of condemnation of violent attacks on anti-racist and antifascist protesters, and support of our Fellow Worker.
Tell your neighbors the truth. Change the narrative that they will try to spin on the media.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Sam Wagner, IWW General Defense Committee

PO Box 15573

Pittsburgh, PA 15244

Phone: (763) 439 3886


Date: January 23, 2017 - UPDATE

UW-Seattle Shooting Victim Was Anti-Racist Organizer
Victim was de-escalating conflict at protest when shot.

SEATTLE, WA, January 22, 2017 – The victim of the shooting at University of Washington’s Seattle

Campus (UW-Seattle) on Friday, January 20, 2017, is a member of the Industrial Workers of

the World (IWW) and the IWW’s General Defense Committee (GDC), an anti-racist and anti-fascist

organization. He was present at the protests against Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos on

Friday night to oppose Milo’s hateful speech, which encourages violence towards marginalized

groups, and has resulted in actual violence in the past. The victim spent the period prior to being

shot de-escalating conflicts between protesters and counter-protesters.

The shooter is unknown to the public at this point. Despite using a firearm against another unarmed

citizen in a place where firearms are against university policy, the University of Washington Police

Department (UWPD) Seattle Police Department (SPD) released the shooter shortly after he turned

himself in. It is unclear to us that this is standard UWPD SPD practice. We do not yet know

the real motivations behind the actions of the shooter at Friday’s protest. We do know that he

brought a loaded weapon on the UW’s campus, into a protest situation. We understand that this is

already a violation of law University of Washington Policy. We do know that he claimed self-defense

against a person who was explicitly there to de-escalate violence, and that the shooter appears to

have a considerable amount of confusion as to whom he shot, since he claims to have thought the

victim was himself a white supremacist. The shooter displayed a serious lack of responsibility by

possessing a loaded firearm on UW’s campus in a protest situation, and even more when he used

it. We do not understand the rationale for releasing this man.

The victim is a 34-year-old man from Seattle who has been a long-time anti-racist and anti-fascist

activist. The shooter has apparently claimed that he shot the victim in ’self-defense.’ The victim was

unarmed and attempting to de-escalate conflict at the protest. We request that the press not identify

the victim by name. The so-called ’alt-right’ is notorious for creating virtual mobs to harass those

with whom they disagree. The press should resist unintentional collaboration with these tactics.

We recognize the pressure for the media to get stories out early and first. We request that the

media engage with the victim directly, when he is recovered sufficiently to do so. In the meantime,

please refrain from repeating the shooter’s claim that the victim was a white supremacist, without

qualifying it with our statement.

The greatest needs for our member are of course personal, physical, and emotional. But the financial

needs will be great. Supportive members of the public can donate to the shooting victim’s

recovery fund at the internet address below.

We are deeply saddened by the attack on our friend. We are saddened but not surprised that the

police released the attacker so swiftly.

For more information or to receive contact information for our press representative, please send an

email to the press contact for this issue, Sam Wagner (

To donate to the victims medical funds, please visit:
This release has been updated and corrected on January 23, 2017. Corrections: The SPD has been

replaced with the UWPD, and the incorrect statement that firearms are forbidden by law has been

replaced with reference to the campus policy banning firearms. Strikeouts are used to preserve transparency.

We apologize for the errors and thank the public for their interest.

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