[Ppnews] Local Anti-Racist Shot in Downtown Portland

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Apr 2 11:40:44 EDT 2010

Local Anti-Racist Shot in Downtown Portland

Please spread the word on this yall. Luke is a 
strong ally and a good friend. He needs immediate 
support for his medical costs, and we need to 
push for news coverage that shows this frames 
this as a possible neo-nazi attack instead of 
possibly being gang related, and lastly we need 
to organize to push back the growing neo-nazi and 
fascists movements that are multiplying here in 
the northwest, which is exactly what Luke was doing and why he was targeted.


Local Anti-Racist Shot in Downtown Portland

Thursday, April 01 2010 @ 04:46 PM UTC

Anti-Racist Action

Shortly after midnight on Saturday, March 27, a 
man was brutally attacked in the heart of 
downtown Portland. His attacker shot him and left 
him lying in the street. He is currently in the 
Intensive Care Unit in an area hospital, fighting 
to overcome extensive injuries.

It is no secret that this man, Luke Querner, is a 
long-time anti-fascist activist. He has devoted 
over a decade of his life to opposing the most 
vicious elements of our city’s white supremacist 
movement. Rose City Antifascists, the Portland 
chapter of the Anti-Racist Action Network, 
believe that the local neo-Nazis whom Luke has 
opposed for years attempted to murder him on Saturday morning.

Luke is proud to be an anti-racist skinhead. The 
true skinhead movement has always been 
anti-racist, tracing its origins to the cultural 
intersection of Jamaican immigrants and working 
class whites in England during the 1960s. After 
racists and the far-Right attempted to hijack the 
skinhead movement in the late 1970s and ‘80s, a 
movement known as SkinHeads Against Racial 
Prejudice (SHARP) emerged in 1987 to reaffirm the 
anti-racist roots of the subculture. As with many 
other anti-racist skins, Luke is deeply committed 
to racial equality and social justice. This 
commitment has caused Luke to be targeted in the past.

Rose City Antifa believes that the most recent 
attack was planned and committed by an element 
within Portland’s neo-Nazi underground. This is 
the most logical explanation for such a vicious act, for several reasons:

1. Local neo-Nazi organizations and cliques have 
the capability to carry out such an act. Several 
organizations, including the Portland-centered 
Volksfront International, are tightly-organized, 
disciplined, and command significant loyalty from 
adherents and sympathizers. Their members have 
experience committing violent acts, including murder.

2. Luke was a prime enemy of organized racists. 
Luke and his community have been violently 
targeted by Volksfront in the past. The recent 
shooting echoes the sentiments expressed in the 
song “SHARP Shooter” by the old Volksfront-affiliated rock band, Jew Slaughter.

3. Local fascist groups have spent recent months 
uniting despite organizational differences. 
Volksfront as well as National Socialist Movement 
affiliates hosted a series of social events that 
have likely emboldened individual fascists. One 
recent point of unity between local neo-Nazi 
cliques and groups­whether they be Volksfront, 
the Northwest Front, the National Socialist 
Movement or Hammerskins­has been common targeting of anti-racists and the Left.

4. Given the overall resurgence of the radical 
Right in recent years (see Southern Poverty Law 
Center report), neo-Nazis have expressed more 
urgency in their propaganda, expecting a race war in the near future.

Luke is an entrenched and beloved figure in the 
anti-racist community and well known by local 
fascists. Saturday’s shooting was an intentional 
message that those standing up for equality are in mortal danger.

Portland has a long, violent history of racist 
organizing that continues to this day. In the 
late 1980s, Portland became notorious as a hotbed 
of white supremacist activity. Many 
organizations, such as the Aryan Nations, 
declared the Pacific Northwest to be a future 
white homeland. The groups that would go on to 
comprise Volksfront and other formations, swelled 
in numbers. The 1988 murder of Ethiopian student 
Mulugeta Seraw and trial of the three neo-Nazi 
culprits represented the high water mark of Nazi 
terror at that point. Concerted community 
efforts, as well as a high-profile civil suit, 
drove many local neo-Nazis underground. 
Unfortunately some of these white supremacists 
are still here, always struggling to re-emerge.

The attempted killing also reminds us of the 1998 
executions of Lin "Spit" Newborn and Dan 
Shersty--who were also anti-racist skinheads--by 
neo-Nazis in the desert outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rose City Antifa believes that this shooting is 
of particular significance, representing a 
neo-Nazi attempt to reclaim the streets and apply 
their white supremacist agenda through force and 
terror. This seems to be tied to the larger 
context of a nationwide mobilization of the radical Right.

We criticize the Portland Police response to this 
tragic attack, which appears to be further 
victimizing the survivor and his community. This 
police approach reflects the Department’s 
institutional biases regarding race and racial 
hate, apparent in the recent police bean-bag 
shotgun assault on a 12-year-old African American 
girl, and their killing of an unarmed African 
American man two months ago. Despite the fact 
that Luke’s shooting was an unprovoked attack 
with a fairly obvious motive, the police appear 
to be treating the victim as the problem. The 
police released Luke’s name to the media on the 
Sunday after the shooting, in total disregard for his safety and security.

We feel it is extremely important to clarify the 
nature of this situation, given that the 
information released so far has generally 
situated this event in the same category as an 
unrelated shooting about 50 minutes earlier in 
Portland, reportedly related to violence between 
rival gangs. Treating Luke’s shooting as a gang 
related event obscures the political implications 
of the attack, and utterly misses the point. The 
racist overtones of much of the online commentary 
on the coverage is particularly appalling given 
that Luke was someone that spent his entire adult 
life fighting white supremacy. Portland 
Anti-Racist Action vigorously challenges any 
assumptions that the ambush was performed by 
people of color, which may have been suggested by 
prior media coverage. This was not a fight that 
got out of hand. There was no fight. It was an assassination attempt.

Luke is currently looking at a mountain of 
medical bills. The Anti-Racist Action Network is 
currently hosting benefits from coast to coast to 
raise funds. In addition, the ARA network has set 
up a PayPal account to send Luke donations.

As always, Rose City Antifa is looking for any 
and all information related to fascist organizing 
in our town. Contact us at 
fight_them_back at riseup.net or leave a voice mail 
message at 971.533.7832. We will not rest until 
we see some measure of justice for Luke.

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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