Anti-fascist gunned down in the US protesting against far-right speaker

Supporters raising money to help anti-fascist wounded protesting against ‘alt-right’

A TRADE UNIONIST and activist is recovering in hospital after being shot at a protest against a far right speech in Seattle.

The 34 year old activist was initially in a critical condition following a gunshot to the abdomen he received when trying to break-up a scuffle with rightwing activists on Friday night (20 January). The shooting occurred outside a speech by far-right Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of Washington’s Seattle campus.

Whilst the police have not confirmed the identity of a man arrested and then released over the shooting, the incident was blamed by the wounded man’s union, the Industrial Workers of the World, on the far right.

In a statement the union said that anti-fascists were “under armed attack” from fascists in the US.

Fundraiser page for Seattle activist injured in shooting

A union spokesperson said: “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.”

The shooting comes amid an escalation in far right attacks in the wake of the election of US President Donald Trump and the international growth of so called ‘lone wolf’ fascist terrorism. The trial of Allen Scarsella, a man accused of opening fire at a Black Lives Matter protest in 2015 in the US is currently under way.

In 2016, Labour MP Jo Cox was shot and stabbed to death by a British fascist.

Various far right and neo-nazi tendencies have grown significantly in influence in the US since the beginning of Donald Trump’s campaign for the US Presidency in 2016. These include to the so-called alt-right, who espouse violent racist, anti-Semitic and misogynist rhetoric and abuse online.

On the day of Trump’s inauguration Richard Spencer, an obsessive racist and founding figure of the alt-right movement was punched in the face, an incident which was roundly condemned by political figures and media pundits.

Under the spotlight: Britain's big problem with homegrown nazi terrorists

The shooting of the Seattle activist has received minimal national and international coverage.

Yiannopoulos is one of the most popular figureheads of the movement. He was concluding a speaking tour during which he trained his attacks on the feminist movement and the LGBT+ community in particular. In one campus rant at Milwaukee University in December 2016 , he publicly ‘outed’ a member of the LGBT community, who then dropped out of the institution.

The IWW has organised a fundraiser to help its member during his recovery and resulting unemployment. At time of publication it had raised around $45,000.

Police are continuing their investigation into the shooting.

Picture courtesy of Johhny Silvercloud

Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is. Pledge your support today.

CommonSpace journalism is completely free from the influence of advertisers and is only possible with your continued support. Please contribute a monthly amount towards our costs. Build the Scotland you want to live in - support our new media.