Pro-police Trump supporters attack anti-racist activists

On the left: Connor Hicks, Bash Back NYC. Middle: Colin Ashley, People’s Power Assemblies. Right: Petter Soeller, NYC Shut it Down. Photos: Patti Cruz.

On their way to a restaurant after a party, New York City activists were physically and verbally assaulted Saturday night by Donald Trump supporters wearing ‘Blue Lives Matter’ wristbands, according witnesses.

Initially 9 activists attending a party marking the end of their three-month organizing campaign space, ‘Decolonize This Place’, saw what was supposed to be a night of celebration and comradery interrupted by an unprovoked and politically violent hate crime. Four men approached the group leaving the party shouting “Trump Trump Trump!” and “Blue lives matter!” witness Patti Cruz wrote in a public Facebook post.

Journalist Max Blumenthal on the Blue Lives Matter movement

Activist Peter Soeller tells me that their group was leaving the party reciting chants used in political demonstrations — behavior protected by the first amendment to the US constitution — when the group of Trump supporters approached them and attacked. Soeller suffered a minor fracture to his nose.

Per Cruz’s description, “we had no time to film this racist and disgusting attack because some of us were too busy trying to pull Trump supporters off of Colin and the rest of the comrades.”

Soeller and Cruz both describe being called “communists” and “faggots” before being hit.

“It got violent really quickly because they had the intention to fight. They were not there to troll. Either way, they were going to hit us at some point. I ran to Decolonize This Space and asked for a medic. Then the police came and separated the fight. It was probably in the window of 10 minutes,” witness Michael Basillas told me, later adding “this is what we’re going to be doing for the next four years.”

“My jaw is a little swollen on the left side of my face and I have a couple of welts on my forehead from them punching me. These guys from across the street at the bar were watching us and following us. The got in our way and blocked us from moving. One or two of them took their shirts off after the scuffle,” activist Connor Hicks told me.

Caribou of the group Bash Back NYC, who experienced the tail-end of the “brawl,” told me that three medics treated some of the injured back inside.

Asked about the attackers, Caribou told me “I don’t even want to say they are alt-right because it politicizes the narrative when it’s really just queer bashing. The media is going to look at it like it’s the radical left versus the alt-right, but people can ostensibly see that the people that were targeted were queer, black and non-cisgender.”

Activist Christian Velencia also suffered a minor injury to the knee. Colin Ashley can be seen below covered with blood from the attack.

Top left: Christian Valencia being treated for an injury to his knee. Right: Colin Ashley covered in blood following the attack. Bottom: Ashley’s eye the following day.

Ashley wrote to me the following: “I grappled with one of them after he had sucker punched one of the members of our group He ended up on top of me and landed several hits to my face. My face is extremely swollen and eye bruised. What’s important to remember is that these guys specifically targeted us as a mixed group of gay men and women of color. They yelled ‘faggot,’ told others ‘go back’ to where they’re from and specifically pointed to me and yelled: ‘He’s a fucking faggot.’”

Activists with NYC Shut It Down have set up a press conference and rally asking people to “come and stand up” against “white supremacy and hate” at 55 Walker St, New York, New York 10013 outside of Decolonize This Space at 8pm.