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(en) US, Philadelphia, The Defenstrator - Interview with local anarchist and anti-fascist activist Tim Fasnacht, currently doing 3 months in - By Jack Diddley

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Fri, 30 Apr 2004 08:46:13 +0200 (CEST)


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I recently sat down and spoke with Tim Fasnacht, who's being
held at the York County Prison on charges stemming from a January
12, 2002 visit by various neo-nazi groups. He's serving a 90 day
bid for disorderly conduct. Tim's a member of the Anarchist Black
Cross Federation (ABCF) and Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).
He was the only antifascist to do any real time from this incident.
J: Why were you in York on 1/12/02 and why do you feel its important
to oppose public fascist rallies like this one?
TIM: I was in York on 1/12/02 to oppose Matt Hale and the World
Church of the Creator, who was speaking at York Public Library.
Having grown up in nearby Lancaster I felt it important to be there
to support the people in York in their opposition to
racism/fascism. I feel its crucial for antifascists to go wherever
white supremacists hold public rallies, whether to physically shut
them down or at least to cause as much disruption or harassment
as possible. Fascists should never have a moment's peace or an
inch of free space to spread their filth. If they go unopposed, it
increases their sense of security and gives them more
opportunities to organize and recruit.

J: Tim, from what I've read
and learned from speaking with you and others, the charges
against you are completely bogus. The cops basically snatched
you out of a group of people during the fighting, and pinned a case
on you. They initially had tried to nail you with assaulting a police
officer. Relate some of your experiences that day.

TIM: I wouldn't say my charges were completely bogus. There
was a lot of confusion that day. The pigs accused me of
perpetrating an assault on an officer at a location where I
wasn't present. I had no knowledge that the assault even
occurred until days later. I was arrested after a nazi skin from
Baltimore, Rick Desper, in an attempt to escape from the
antifascists, drove his truck into a crowd and struck a comrade
from ARA, a cop, and a 12 year old african-american girl. In the
ensuing chaos, the girl's aunt got into a verbal, then physical,
confrontation with a state pig. I saw the cop assaulting the
woman, choking her from behind. I tried to pull the pig off of her.
I was immediately tackled to the ground and cuffed. Afterwards, I
learned that other militants had tried to intervene and unarrest me.
While at the prison, the police approached me several times,
asking why I was arrested. Obviously I said that I didn't know.
They released me on a disorderly conduct/refusal to disperse
citation. When we went to trial, they brought out a cop who
claimed that I jumped onto his back and beat him about the head
and neck while he was arresting a comrade in a location where I
never was. Ironically, at my hearing and following appeals, the
pigs could never find this person I supposedly "assaulted" to
testify. I appealed to the Superior Court in Harrisburg, but lost. So
after two years of fighting it, I finally had to do the 90 days and pay
$300 in fines.

J: I know that you had a lot of problems with your case
and your lawyers, and that it eventually, through a series of
appeals, made its way to the Pa. Superior court.

TIM: There was some hassle with my lawyers in the fact that
when we lost the appeal last November, I didn't learn of the
decision until mid-January of this year. My York lawyer received
notice, but assumed my primary lawyer would tell me. For some
unknown reason, the court never notified him. I basically only had
a couple of weeks to prepare before I reported to York County
Prison.

J: Do you feel like the state was trying to make an example out of you?

TIM: I definitely think that the state, York DA and courts wanted
to make an example out of us, hitting us with the maximum jail
time and fines. They made it clear from the start that us
"outside agitators" would pay for coming to York and
kicking the fascists' asses. To them it was an embarrassment,
but to the people of York and anti-fascist, it was a smashing
success. Over the last few years, we've been seeing the state
making examples by imposing stiffer sentences for anti-capitalist
and antifascist militants. Look at the cases of Sherman Austin and
Rob "Ruckus" Middaugh in California; Robert Thaxton,
Free and Critter in the Northwest. As the resistance on the streets
grows and intensifies, they want to make sure we know the
consequences if we step beyond the "business as usual"
passive protests.

J: Have you received a lot of support from your comrades and
others?

TIM:Yeah, I've received some excellent support from
comrades, both financially and morally. My long time comrades in
the IWW, ABCF, NEFAC, and ARA have really shown what
solidarity is all about. This support has really made this time in
prison a lot easier!

J: How has this whole experience been so far at
the prison? Has it been better or worse than what you expected? It
must be strange, going from doing prisoner support to being on
the other side of the bars.

TIM: So far my time here in prison has been relatively
"easy". After a brief stint in processing, and then the
maximum security block, I got sent to minimum security/work
release housing. One of the perks of county jails is that you can
get work release. I got hooked up with a job in nearby Lancaster,
which gets me outside during the week, and makes the time
definitely easier and go a lot faster. As to the second part of the
question, having been involved in PP/POW support for the last 10
years through my involvement with ABCF, it is somewhat ironic
that I'm on the other side now, although being an anarchist, it
should never be a surprise when one lands in prison for resistance
to the state and their fascist cohorts. As Ojore Lutalo has always
said: "at some point, you have to honor your commitment to
the struggle with a prison term."

J: What do you feel is the state
of antifascism in the U.S. today? How has it changed since York
1, and what do you feel we should focus on in 2004?

TIM: The state of antifascism today in the US, from what I can
see and read, seems to be in somewhat of a down period. I think
after the victory at the Battle of York, its been hard to keep the
momentum going. People come and go, which is typical for US
activists, so as long as the core militants maintain a presence and
tighten up on their skills, especially in the self defense area,
we'll be OK for the future. In this post-911 repressive
environment, we need to step up our work around defense of
immigrants, specifically those being detained indefinitely. York
County Prison houses about 800 ICE detainees right now and is
making a lot of money as a result of this repression. Also,
revolutionaries need to expand on organizing around the state and
its security apparatus. Cops and prison guards are killing and
brutalizing more people of color than any of the WP scum ever
will. We need to be more proactive in addressing these atrocities
that go on every single day.

J: Anyone you want to shout out to?

TIM: My sincere Revolutionary Greetings to all those who stepped
up and extended solidarity to me over the last couple of months.
Also, solidarity to all Political Prisoners/POW's in the US and
worldwide!

J: Tim, thanks for talking with us, and we'll see you on the other
side in April! TIM:: Venceremos!! [Victory!!]




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