On October 17, 2020, a group consisting of mostly out-of-town Trump supporters decided to descend upon our beautiful Carbondale in an attempt to terrorize our community. On October 17, 2020; we said no.
“All reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance, the reactionaries are terrifying, but in reality, they are not so powerful. From a long-term point of view, it is not the reactionaries but the people who are powerful.” – Mao Tse-Tung
The “Trump Parade”, a massive car caravan consisting of upwards of 300 cars drove from Marion to Murphysboro, intentionally taking this route because of Carbondale’s location between the two towns along route 13, the fact that Carbondale is among the most highly populated cities by colonized peoples in Southern Illinois, as well as being a bastion of “liberalism”. Priding themselves on their devotion to their glorious, eternal leader, with scores of “Keep America Great!”, “Trump 2020” flags, etc., they thought that their parade would be untouchable, unstoppable. They were wrong.
Though the Trump Caravan managed numbers well above 300 individual cars and trucks, and the people’s counter to that was only maybe at 50 at its highest number, we fought back. Not only did we stand up and say no, we did what we set out to do. While these fascists thought that their little parade would terrify the people of Carbondale, or “trigger the libs”, all it truly accomplished was a bringing together of a community to stand against them, and a waste of time and gas money for themselves.
Carbondale is small, it’s bigger than any other town in Southern Illinois, but it’s a town that should take no longer than 10-20 minutes to drive through from end-to-end; yet the fascists took nearly 3 hours to navigate through our beautiful city thanks to the efforts of community members in making their parade the most unorganized, disappointing affair that many of them have ever been a part of. They planned to simply drive through town, unopposed, wave their flags and play their music and perform the most pathetic act of auto-fellatio just to prove how tough and intimidating they are. But, when Mao says that “reactionaries are paper tigers”, this is exactly what he means. Though they had the numbers, and the unsurprising support of state and local pigs, they didn’t win. They didn’t accomplish what they wanted to do. As the last of their trucks drove west on route 13, leaving Carbondale behind, the energy among the crowd was one of joy, not fear.
Though the fascists and pigs tried their best to inflict injury on those of us who stood our ground, we left today with only minor scrapes and bruises, and no arrests. We left proud, knowing that our community is willing to stand up and fight back; we left inspired by the masses to continue our work and do everything we can to support and develop revolutionary struggle; we left today feeling victorious. Today is just one day though, there will be countless other days with countless other Trump Parades, or even more escalatory actions from fascists, and we won’t win every time. But today, we did. Today, we were an ever-shifting tide of thorns in the sides of both the fascists and pigs, turning their proud and patriotic parade into a hilariously chaotic and pathetic show of force, tomorrow we must be even better. We must apply Maoist military theory to counterprotests, beating larger numbers with a diversity of tactics, tactical unity with others who are counterprotesting, Communist contingents that are disciplined and bold, and applying the principle “be water”. Dare to struggle, dare to win.