Avenge Michael Reinoehl: The Context of Struggle
Three months ago, on September 3rd, antifascist Michael Reinoehl was assassinated by US federal forces, according to the president, with his direct approval and endorsement. While we have now reached a point where racially and politically motivated killings by the far right are common place, this particular murder must be highlighted. We have seen extrajudicial killings in the US before, like the murders of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, but the claim of responsibility from the sitting head of state is a new, pernicious development, that cannot be ignored.
The last decade, has turned, blood soaked page after page, with one atrocity after the next. The death of Oscar Grant, to Trayvon Martin, to Mike Brown, to Akai Gurley, to Sandra Bland, and on. These names become figures, but in reality they are integral members of families, and communities that have been devastated by white supremacist savagery. We have the Dylann Roof massacre, to the suspicious murders of Deandre Joshua, Darren Seals and other black liberation Ferguson activists. Every one who rose up, or who was killed for just living their life must be remembered and honored.
But the one question on everyone’s mind is, when will this one-sided slaughter stop. We have risen up collectively all around the country to put an end to this nightmare, people fought valiantly and have made a mark in history on the path to liberation. It is in this context, this larger context of struggle, that Michael Reinoehl, in an act of community defense, shot and killed a fascist aggressor.
As we know that whiteness is not real, but a racist construct, an alliance and allegiance with power; its a living monster that must be destroyed. When Michael acted against this fascist he took part in an action that brought him closer to being truly human; he took the revolutionary step of renouncing whiteness by joining in total struggle.
We saw that some on the left immediately began to distance themselves from him, and his action, and as that distance was made the president organized his murder. These two actions have a similar effect on the larger revolutionary movement. Trump wanted white radicals to know that if you step up to the fight, you will be treated like black and brown people normally in the US. No trial, no court judgement, no arrest. The facade is gone. The left, in denouncing him, has retreated, and refused a militant alliance with black and brown populations who have received this treatment for hundreds of years. Trump’s threat will have worked. And the constraining structure of whiteness is held in place.
We must whole-heartedly reject the allegiance on the left to whiteness and the power structure it enforces, just as we passionately fight against the extra-judicial killings and incarceration of black and brown populations. We stand by this pledge now by honoring the sacrifice Michael Reinoehl made with his actions, and carrying this legacy forward in the struggle.
This week we celebrate Michael’s actions and condemn the state for gunning him down. In remembering him this week, we are highlighting the fact that the executive branch of this government is publicly issuing extrajudicial killings against comrades, and that cannot be swept under the rug. The civil war in Colombia, Chile, or Nicaragua all have strikingly similar parallels. The beginning of the death squad regime has appeared. Secondly, black life in America is engulfed in perpetual violence. When a white revolutionary takes one step into that maze – a place very unfamiliar for most whites in America – our movement will applaud and honor that individual and nothing less.
For this week of action, to avenge Michael, we are suggesting a series of actions people could take. But as should be clear, the best way to avenge him, is to continue building a formidable revolutionary movement that is capable of permanently destroying white supremacy, misogyny, capitalism, the state and imperialism.
Organize a demonstration or a rally.
Wheatpaste posters around your city/neighborhood
Drop a banner
Support local revolutionary campaigns
Support fallen fighters from your city
Support the families of those killed by pig or white supremacist violence
“Whenever you hear a man saying he wants freedom, but in the next breath he is going to tell you what he won’t do to get it, or what he doesn’t believe in doing in order to get it, he doesn’t believe in freedom. A man who believes in freedom will do anything under the sun to acquire…or preserve his freedom.” - Malcolm X