On Wednesday, November 14, a series of Islamophobic ads appeared on CTA buses. These ads, paid for by Pamela Geller's anti-Islam group American Freedom Defense Initiative, are similar to those that have sparked controversy in several other major U.S. cities.
How should this situation be dealt with?
As anti-authoritarians, and as folks who, to put it lightly, disregard law in the struggle against oppression, we do not seek for these ads to be removed via any legalistic means. Does this mean we think racism should be tolerated? Hell no. We wouldn't be angered in the least if the CTA refused to run these ads, however, we wish to see a different approach to challenging this Islamophobic propaganda. We would like to see a situation in which people were outraged enough that they would take it upon themselves to deface racist advertisements and silence organized
The racists, by law, can say whatever they want… but they should not be surprised if the people who wish not to live in a racist world do something about it. Folks like those who shut down a gathering of white supremacists in Tinley Park, IL, earlier this year understand this, and should be praised for engaging with the racists directly and not appealing to the state to intervene in their affairs. Reliance on the state weakens the ability of autonomous social movements to bring about the changes necessary to overthrow the rotten systems of white supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism that we live under.
We see any attack by the state against any political faction, even ones we disagree with, as an attack that can be and has been already used against us. We see the state as our enemy just as we do the racists. It's up to us, anti-authoritarians, anti-capitalists, and anti-fascists, to defeat all forms of opposition to a class, free society and an end to white supremacy and patriarchy.