Local Journalism Happens With YouSupport

Our City Must Not Tolerate Fascism

How Los Angeles must respond to a potential takeover.

Credit: Doug Brown, ACLU of Oregon

The men in fatigues are not agents of some far off authoritarian state. They are not stationed in Hong Kong, or Moscow, or Baghdad. They are, according to the Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, agents of the United States Federal Government and they are stationed in the American city of Portland, Oregon.

The events of the past few days in Portland have been shocking to the liberal establishment; so shocking that reports of unidentified men wearing fatigues and carrying firearms, kidnapping — sorry, detaining — protestors on the grounds that they are wearing black clothing near an ongoing protest have generated several strongly worded letters and disapproving press releases.

Despite the relative lack of attention that the corporate mainstream media is giving to the ongoing state suppression of residents of Portland, my goal today is not to detail the events in Portland, nor is it to draw parallels between those events and the events that have historically been seen in nations succumbing to the evils of fascism. No, today my focus is on what actions the Los Angeles City Council is morally obligated to take in the likely event that violent federal suppression makes its way to Los Angeles.

With complete disregard for the global pandemic that is ravaging our world, our nation, and especially our city, the City Council is on recess until July 28th. However, on July 29th, when the council returns, they must face intense public pressure to pass laws and policies that work to prohibit an authoritarian takeover of our city.

For creative purposes, I have coined a name for the ordinance: The “Federal Agents Suspected of Creating and Inciting State-sponsored Terrorism Act” or the FASCIST Act. The FASCIST Act must have three main components:

  1. If federal agents are deployed to the City of Los Angeles by the Department of Homeland Security, the Council directs the City Attorney to file a federal complaint against DHS requesting an injunction that requires federal officers to identify themselves and their agency before detaining anyone in the City of Los Angeles, and prohibits them from arresting anyone without probable cause or a warrant.
  2. The Los Angeles City Council must request that the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California refuse to prosecute any case related to recent or future Black Lives Matter uprisings, excluding cases involving death or severe physical injury, on the grounds that such cases do not serve a substantial federal interest.
  3. All businesses that engage in the sale or rental of vehicles in the City of Los Angeles are required to refuse sale or rental of such vehicles to any Federal Agent without clearly marking the vehicle as belonging to or being rented to the agency for which the federal agent works.

This legislation is not the upper limit of legislation opposing a fascist takeover of our city, and make no mistake: legislation cannot, and can never be the be-all end-all of fighting back against fascism. This is a cautious start that must be supplemented by radical direct action. Ordinary citizens must form tactical squads opposing these fascist agitators using the wildly successful tactics that protestors in Hong Kong discovered in 2019 and in 2020.

But this is a start, nonetheless. For those who are unable to march in the streets, use hockey sticks to return tear gas canisters to Border Patrol agents, or perform radical revolutionary actions, I call on you to contact your City Councilmember and demand that the City Council adopt the three principles of the FASCIST Act outlined above. Furthermore, I call on you to spread these principles and the principles of the frontline protestors far and wide, write a letter to the editor, take to social media, flyer public places with radical revolutionary graphics and calls to action.

Only through action can we stand up to fascism, and only by making the change we wish to see in the world can we dare to dream of revolution.

We’re always looking for new LA stories. To share yours, reach out to us at: email hidden; JavaScript is required