On Sept. 29, far right militias and white supremacist orgs attempted to stage an open-carry march on the Kent State University campus. However, they were met by committed resistance from the student body and a variety of activists and organizers. Well over 200 counter-protesters not only stopped the march from happening but resoundingly drowned out the vitriolic rhetoric of the white supremacists.
This should be made very clear: the organizer of the march (Kaitlin Bennett) knowingly recruited white nationalist orgs such as American Vanguard, Patriot Prayer, III% militia members, and the Proud Boys to bolster her numbers. While trying to frame themselves as the victims of leftist persecution, they clearly demonstrated the underlying motivation of their rally was to threaten and intimidate people on campus into accepting their presence there. They were met with a resounding and stunning rebuke.
Counter protesters met at Risman Plaza in the center of campus near the Student Center (which had been completely shut down to be a base of operations for police). Likewise, police on the roof of the building repeatedly took pictures of the counter-protesters as we assembled to coordinate. Initially, the fascists intended to march directly through the Plaza. However, when they realized how many protesters rejected their presence, they had police move a vehicle to obscure their exit from the parking lot opposite the Plaza. The counter-protesters quickly mobilized and in a determined procession blocked the fascists from continuing their march.
At this point, police in riot gear stood between the fascists and the anti-fascist forces on the main thoroughfare in front of the student center. It should be said that police had their backs to the fascists. The counter-protesters formed multiple lines and linked arms. Shouts of “Hold the line!” and “Don’t let them through!” sounded. When police began to shout “Move! Move!” and tried to push the counter-protesters back, the crowd steeled themselves and refused. The line held. The line not only held, it advanced.
The fascists retreated to the parking lot they emerged from. Cops quickly blocked all entrances by forming lines and moving vehicles and refusing any entry to anyone who wasn’t with the fascists. It was here the fascists held their little rally. Let there be no mistake, the police coordinated with and protected the fascists the whole time.
“No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!”