Republicans back fascist militias threatening school board members, teachers and students


Last Tuesday, October 26, members of two fascist militia groups, the Proud Boys and People’s Rights, stormed a Portland Public School board meeting and refused to wear masks, which resulted in the in-person meeting being canceled. The topic of the meeting was whether or not to make vaccinations compulsory for students aged 12 and over.

After the meeting went live, members and supporters of the fascist militias, around 30 people, held their own unmasked meeting in the vacant school board room, which they occupied for just over an hour. Despite the refusal to wear masks inside the building, in violation of a statewide mask requirement, none of the intruders were arrested.

Michelle DePass, Portland Public School board chair, told KOIN 6 News that the members of Proud Boys and People’s Rights “are organized and they’re ready to drive, you know, about 20 miles. to get here “.

A “call to action” was sent to Portland members of People’s Rights, a reactionary militia group founded Ammon Bundy, son of anti-government Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, the day before the meeting. Mimicking the storming of the United States Capitol on January 6, the statement called on members to arrive early so they “can be physically in the building.”

This is not the first time that Bundy’s group has threatened officials with public health measures. Last December, the Idaho Central District Health Board had to end a meeting to discuss COVID-19 mitigation measures because Bundy’s group had massed outside the building, threatening health officials, including in their homes.

Before the Portland reunion could begin, members and supporters of fascist militia groups, the majority of whom did not live in Portland or did not have children enrolled in the district, removed their masks. After board members announced the meeting would be suspended due to failure to meet the mask’s mandate, a fascist, wearing a hat that said “Shoot your local pedophile,” erupted in rage, shouting “Fucking cowards!

The adhesion to the mandate among the students was clearly manifested on the morning of the meeting. More than 200 students came out of class at Grant High School in Portland to support the measure, which will be voted on by the board next month.

“This student body has come together to demonstrate our support for the student immunization mandates,” student Jordan Gollaway told the crowd, who clapped loudly in agreement, according to KGW8. “As students, we know we see crowds every day in queues, in hallways and in crowded stairwells. These crowds are our reality, which is precisely why we need a COVID-19 vaccine warrant, ”Galloway said.

Speaking in favor of the mandate, second student Tesla Chin said, “I believe that you are free to do things that only harm you. But refusing to be vaccinated can harm not only yourself, but everyone around and especially vulnerable people such as the elderly or people with compromised immune systems. “

In the wake of the far-right provocation in Portland on Friday, Kari Lake, aspiring Republican candidate for governor of Arizona and a staunch supporter of Trump and the Stop the Steal movement, as well as the fascist senator of the Arizona State Kelly Townsend and Trump-approved Arizona State Senate candidate Anthony Kern attempted to hold an anti-mask and anti-vaccine rally in the parking lot of an elementary school.

The school district refused to allow the meeting on the school grounds, but that did not stop Republican politicians from holding their rally nearby, in which they falsely claimed the school board was using police. to “target parents” who opposed public health. measures.

The use of so-called concerned “parents” to oppose any public health measure is, and will continue to be, a major talking point for Republican politicians, acting on behalf of American business. They have “finished” adopting mitigation measures to stop the virus, which continues to kill more than 1,500 people in the United States daily and recently exceeded 5 million official deaths worldwide.

Defending “parents” at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday featuring Attorney General Merrick Garland, Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas attacked Garland for “drying the federal government off parents across America “.

Ignoring and downplaying the thousands of threats made against school boards and teachers, Cotton denounced a memorandum published by Garland on October 4, ordering the Federal Bureau of Investigation to hold “meetings” with federal, state, local and tribal authorities. to discuss “strategies” “for” dealing with threats against school administrators, board members, teachers and staff “.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, one of seven Republican senators who voted to overthrow President Joe Biden’s election following the attack on Capitol Hill, joined Cotton in spreading the fiction that fascist militias and Republican politicians threatening school boards are simply “concerned parents.” Cruz attacked Garland for creating an “abusive memo targeting parents” who are simply “upset with critical race theory, masks in schools”.

While students and a majority of the population, especially workers and youth, support masks and vaccination warrants, fascist militias like the Proud Boys are encouraged and incited by Republican politicians, themselves bought and paid. by right-wing billionaires to agitate against any public health measures, including threatening, intimidating and harassing school board members, teachers and students.

Propagators of these anti-science and murderous campaigns include organizations such as Turning Point USA (TPUSA) whose founder Charlie Kirk has started a “school board watch list” that publishes the names and photographs of school board members. who have been accused of anything teaching “critical race theory” to promote mask-wearing or “cultural literacy and sensitivity”.

Kirk founded TPUSA in 2012, the same year he started writing for the far right. Breitbart News, whose former editor, Steven Bannon, was found in contempt of Congress for refusing to appear before the Jan.6 select committee.

Steve Bannon at the “Take Back Virginia” rally in Richmond, Virginia on October 13, 2021 [Credit: AP Photo/Steve Helber]

From 2014 to 2016, the Ed Uihlein Foundation donated $ 275,000 to Turning Point USA. The Ed Uihlein Foundation is named after billionaire Richard Uihlein’s father, a Republican mega-donor. Recent donations from Richard and his wife Liz included a donation of $ 4.3 million last year to the Tea Party Patriots Political Action Committee. The Tea Party Patriots were listed on the website as one of 11 “March to Save America” groups, as part of the “#StopTheSteal Coalition”.

On the same day the Senate court hearing took place, Bannon, who has yet to be criminally charged for his leading role in facilitating Trump’s coup attempt, called for the arrest of school board members on his fascist “War Room Podcast”.

“It’s time to start locking these people up in these school boards,” Bannon said before adding, “if they are going to watch this and let the kids be raped and sodomized,” a reference to the Loundon County School Board. in Virginia, which was the target of a right-wing campaign following an alleged sexual assault on a student.

Whipping backward and reactionary elements against public education is part of a political strategy defined by the Republican Party. On his podcast in May, Bannon, Trump’s former White House adviser, said, “The way to save the nation is very simple, it’s going to be through school boards.

In October, the WashingtonPost revealed that billionaire Charles Koch, as well as Dick DeVos, heir to the Amway fortune and husband of former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and the Walton Family Foundation, founded by the family that controls Wal-Mart, all had provided “financial and institutional support” to the Independent Women’s Forum. The Independent Women’s Forum, the To post revealed, was responsible for writing a document that claimed to be from “concerned parents,” but was in fact a model created for use by Republican-aligned groups across the country to harass school boards against the masking requirements work.

The promotion of the anti-vaccine and anti-mask outlook by the ruling class, especially the Republican Party, demonstrates that the fight to end the pandemic on a scientific basis cannot be carried out by the current social order. While Republicans openly address fascists, religious fanatics and fanatics, the Democratic Party pursues the same policy of homicidal “herd immunity” as Trump while preaching “unity” with his fascist party.

As the capitalist ruling elite, which has seen its equity portfolios rise in concert with the death toll from the pandemic, pollutes the working class with anti-scientific conceptions in order to justify their policies of reopening homicide and criminals in the In the interests of profit, the Socialist Equality Party seeks to bring scientific understanding not only of the pandemic, but of social reality to the working class. The highest expression of this was seen during the October 24 international webinar, “How to End the Pandemic”.


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