Posted on It’s Going Down:
Longtime Sacramento activist and indigenous elder Mike Williams is one of three people of color who face charges stemming from the antifascist mobilization which shut down a neo-Nazi rally in June of 2016. Only one neo-Nazi, William Planer, is facing charges, and he was only arrested after vandalizing a synagogue in Colorado Springs, CO. Mike is currently facing massive charges and a high bail. Please support him here and share the fundraising link far and wide along with this article to raise awareness of his case.
On June 26th, hundreds of people from across Northern California and beyond mobilized and converged to protest against a rally called for by the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) and the Golden State Skinheads (GSS).
Both organizations are open neo-Nazi groups and on that day proudly displayed shields carrying the “SS” logos along with swastika tattoos. In the ensuing clashes, several people were stabbed and some almost lost their lives, as the fascists yelled out racial slurs during their attack. As the neo-Nazis fled, they also dropped a handgun and another was seen in the waistband of one of the attackers. Clearly, these people came ready to injure, attack, and potentially kill. Those that had the courage to stand up to them deserve our complete support, especially in the face of such harsh and cruel charges from the State.
The TWP and GSS is linked to neo-Nazi and KKK groups across the US and is connected to a string of vandalism, assault, and violent crime. For instance, William Planer, the only person from the neo-Nazi side that has been taken into custody on charges stemming from the protest, was actually arrested in Denver after he vandalized a synagogue. In the past few months, Planer has also attended a variety of pro-Trump and Alt-Right rallies, wearing a shirt which reads, “Proud to Be Fascist.” Planer is no stranger to arrest and has a long and violent history. While TWP leaders have attempted to portray Planer as a “blue-collar Patriot,” like the other members of GSS and the TWP Planer is clearly a violent threat to whatever community he comes into contact with.
Shortly after Planer was arrested, Nathan Lowry, aka “Leeroy Jenkins,” one of the leaders of GSS, was picked up by police on weapons charges, however received no charges springing from the Sacramento stabbings. Another violent member of the GSS who has long been identified by local activists, Derik Ryan Punneo, the neo-Nazi skinhead who was photographed in numerous instances stabbing people and also holding a bloody knife, still has yet to face any charges.
Several months after the rally, Punneo, who has a long history of arrest, violent attacks, and attempted rape, was sent back to prison after assaulting his then girlfriend, also involved in neo-Nazi activism. Both Lowry and Punneo are a clear example of neo-Nazi groups like the TWP being filled with violent and sadistic people who are a danger to the community and those around them.
Those who stood up to the TWP and the GSS did so because they saw the clear threat that these people represent to our community. Unlike many of those within the Alt-Right, the Golden State Skinheads cannot hide behind their fancy haircuts and memes. We see these people for what they are: a violent and dangerous cancer that produces violence, assault, and racist intimidation. Drawing a line in the sand against them is not an attack on free speech, but instead a defensive act to preserve basic freedoms for all and keep our cities and towns free of their Hitler worshiping garbage.
- Update: Fortunately Mike Williams is now out on bail, but please continue to circulate the fundraiser up above as funds are still needed. Thanks so much for the support!