Jan. 10 — Early on this chilly morning, hundreds of people gathered at the statue of Cuban national hero José Martí in Central Park to say, “Proud Boys/Far Right Out of New York!” They had responded to a call from the United Against Racism and Fascism coalition to confront a planned event by white supremacist, misogynist groups.
In December, the Proud Boys attacked Black churches in Washington, D.C., while rallying for Donald Trump’s plot to steal the election. And on Jan. 6, they participated in the fascist coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol. In the aftermath, the Proud Boys quietly cancelled plans for their New York event.
But New Yorkers, mostly young people, came out anyway to make sure the racists would be challenged if they tried to rally. United Against Racism and Fascism was well prepared to confront attacks from fascists and cops alike. As the march stepped off, dozens of activists wearing helmets and carrying shields led the way, while others on bicycles rode along either side of the route to protect the march.
Banging drums and chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!” “Black lives matter!” and “No cops! No KKK! No fascist USA!” the anti-fascists marched down Manhattan’s Seventh Avenue, through Times Square and Herald Square, to cheers from onlookers and street vendors.