US and World Politics

Socialists in Stamford Attacked

By Erwin Freed

On Friday, Aug. 28, Socialist Resurgence’s weekly “Pop Up Revolutionary Bookstore” in Stamford, Connecticut, was attacked by a man shouting, “Not in my country!”

The man flipped over the book table and began tearing down banners and flags. Fortunately, no one was hurt. For several weeks prior to the attack, members of Socialist Resurgence have been selling books, buttons, and pamphlets in Stamford, and have had a great response from the community. Kim, walking with her grandchild, donated $20 and pinned a trans liberation Socialist Resurgence button on her grandson. David, a veteran of the struggle for Black liberation, bought a book on Malcolm X and Leon Trotsky’s Fascism: What it is and how to fight it.

Lupe Agrado, a furloughed hotel banquet server and member of Local 217 Unite Here, said after hearing news of the attack, “I’m really angry that this person fears the truth and felt the need to try and silence it by destroying a book table.” She continued, “I’ll be there at the bookstore next week standing in solidarity. I hope others join me.”

The attack in Stamford is a reflection of the broader violence done to Black, Latinx, immigrant, and women workers and youth in the city by police, big business, and vigilantes. Recently, on August 8, police brutally assaulted activists who were marching for justice for Steven Barrier, a 23-year-old who died at the hands of police in October 2019. The police attack took place in the same location as the Socialist Resurgence pop-up bookstore.

This reflects a nationwide wave of attacks on activists by far-right vigilantes. The latest incidents include the actions of an armed militia group in Kenosha, Wisconsin, which included in its ranks Kyle Rittenhouse, who murdered two activists and severely wounded another. Armed groups of vigilantes have harassed, and sometimes violently attacked, Black Lives Matter demonstrators in Portland, Philadelphia, New York City, and many other cities and towns. At least 60 incidents have taken place in which people have used cars to slam into protesters at Black Lives Matter rallies.

Overall, this is a reflection of the violence perpetrated by the federal government, in actions ranging from bombing workers in foreign countries to sending in federal agents to U.S. cities to repress and kidnap protesters. In some areas, local police have given support and expressed their “thanks” to the armed rightists, and elected politicians have sometimes appeared at their events. Representatives of both major capitalist parties have unleashed the police on protesters standing for racial justice. The attack on Socialist Resurgence is part of a national attack on all workers’ rights to organize.

We call for an end to police terror, vigilante violence, and state repression. We refuse to give an inch to right-wing vigilantism; we immediately set up a new book table. The August 28 incident shows that the workers’ movement needs to defend itself, through large solidarity contingents and by making sure to spread the message of workers’ power.

Donating to Socialist Resurgence will help send a message, and will help recover the costs of damaged materials. See:

Socialist Resurgence, August 29, 2020