More than sixty anarchists, antifascists, catholic workers, communists, and everyday people from Iowa City, IA; Des Moines, IA; Omaha, NE; and elsewhere converged in Des Moines on Saturday, November 20 to protest a scheduled ¨White Pride Day¨ rally organized by the American National Socialist Party based in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Although a few suspected white nationalists were seen driving around the perimeter of the Iowa state capitol, where the fascist rally was supposed to be held, none apparently had the guts to get out of their cars and risk a confrontation with the large mob of antifascists.
The Des Moines Police Department, Polk County Sherriff´s Department, and unknown federal law enforcement were all monitoring the scene, and some anarchists suspect that at least three men who attended the counter-protest were probably undercover law enforcement officers, due to their appearance and behavior.
The counterprotest was organized on less than two weeks notice, and was generally considered a victory for the loosely-affiiliated anarchist movement in Iowa.
¨Sixty-three people attended the counter-protest which means there were sixty--three different social movements represented here today,¨ said one local anarchist. ¨We not only successfully shut-down the neo-nazi rally, we also successfully demonstrated our strength in numbers and the effectiveness of the decentralized affinity group model of organizing.¨
Word of the ¨White Pride Day¨ rally and the proposed counter-protest were disseminated through Facebook, email, and other online social media, and half a dozen or more affinity groups, representing a wide variety of ideologies and personal styles, and ranging anywhere between four and fourteen people each answered the call.
¨Nazi punks fuck off!¨ yelled one SkinHead Against Racial Prejudice.
Another woman from Des Moines carried a sign that read, ¨Hamsters are taking our jobs.¨
¨I used to have a really great job, running around in a cage and rolling in a ball around the living room,¨ she said. ¨Then a hamster came along and took that job from me, and that´s not right. I don´t think hamsters should be allowed to take our jobs. I´m sick of unicorns, as well, coming around with all their rainbows.¨