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August 11, 2022 - 1:15am

Democratic Socialists to host 'anti-fascists' teach-in at Austin Park during ReAwaken America Tour

Press release:

The Genesee County Branch of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is organizing an antifascist teach-in on Saturday, August 13, from 1 to 4 p.m., at Austin Park to stand against the local stop of the “ReAwaken America Tour” (RAT).

The tour is “an opportunity for fascists to spread hate and recruit,” said Gina Schelemanow, a member of the ROC DSA Genesee County Branch Organizing Committee. “It is important to understand why they are doing this and actively stand against it.”

The August 12 and 13 stop was originally planned for the Main Street Armory in Rochester. A grassroots effort led by Rochester DSA (ROC DSA) [https://rocdsa.org/] and the Rochester Mutual Aid Network (RMAN) [https://rocmutualaid.com/] successfully pressured the owner of the venue to cancel the stop. The stop was then moved to the Cornerstone Church in Batavia.

During the teach-in speakers will argue that “demagogues like the RAT speakers take people’s justified anxiety and anger about the state of the country and the world and blame the weak for the decisions of powerful elites,” said Logan Wyatt Cole, a member of the ROC DSA Genesee County Branch Organizing Committee. “These people are desperate to stop working people from banding together to make the government work for us. They spread hate to turn us violently against each other—while they laugh all the way to the bank,” Cole added.

Schelemanow put the teach-in in context: “This is also a moment to come together as a larger Western New York community that has resisted the RAT for months and reflect on victories, as well as how to fight fascism locally in the future.”

The teach-in organizers have worked closely with organizers from the ROC DSA and RMAN. Several other organizations have urged supporters to attend the teach-in, including, locally, GLOW Women Rise.

Gina Schelemanow of Genesee County DSA urged opponents of fascism, opponents of Christian nationalism, and opponents of white supremacy to attend the teach-in. “While we will be three miles away from the hatefest, people who attend far-right events do have a history of aggressive behavior.” Schelemanow, therefore, suggested that parents exercise caution when deciding whether to bring children along. 

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