Thoughts on antifascist action in Cascadia & the media’s white supremacy trap

From Anonaminita.

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For more info on the Washougal standoff story from Grey Coast, CLICK HERE.

From The Oregonian. Dec 8:

Washougal man had ties to white supremacists, once threatened his family in Idaho

Authorities had little information to share this morning about the man who terrorized a Washougal neighborhood for 90 minutes Wednesday by spraying the area with gunfire from a burning house, but he apparently had ties to white supremacists when he lived in Idaho 16 years ago.

Sgt. Kevin Allais of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office major crimes unit said the investigation into the charred ruins of the house in Washougal is “a daunting process that would take days.”

He would not comment on the whereabouts of the occupants of the house — Steve and Leona Stanbary and another woman — who have not been accounted for since the house burned down.

Stanbary is believed to be the same man who threatened to kill himself, his wife and children in 1994 in a standoff in Elmira, Idaho, and later served jail time for domestic violence in the case. An Associated Press story at the time quoted Bonner County Sheriff Chip Ross saying Stanbary “had enough ammunition for World War II” and considered Randy Weaver of Ruby Ridge notoriety a hero. The Columbian quoted Ross, now retired, as saying the Stanbary case was among many white supremacy investigations in northern Idaho at the time.

According to Columbian archives, Stanbary filed for a marriage license to Leona M. Bolton in December 2000, the same year the couple bought the house in Washougal. He was 36 and she was 39 at the time.

Allais said the Washougal fire burned for almost eight hours so there is very little left.

He said it would take a day or two to identify any body found in the house. He said the body of a dog, killed by a gunshot, was recovered from the yard.

Investigators dressed in hazmat suits are going back and forth into the property, which continues to be cordoned off. Someone mounted on an extended ladder from a fire truck was taking aerial photos of the property.

Wednesday’s standoff began about 8 a.m. when 53-year-old Bobby Bean drove past the house and noticed flames coming from the roof. He knocked on the door of 3275 F Place but was met by the sound of gunfire.

A Washougal police officer who was first on the scene parked in front of the home and his car was immediately hit by at least five bullets, authorities said. He was able to drive the car several hundred feet and seek cover.

The officer, with the Washougal department for five years, suffered minor injuries and is on leave. Police did not release his name.

As police set up a containment area around the house Wednesday, officers from Camas and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office evacuated neighbors from nearby homes and put area schools on lockdown. The Southwest Washington Regional SWAT team was also activated.

The house burned for hours as police and firefighters stayed well away. The suspect wasn’t seen again.

Crews were finally able to suppress the flames about 8 p.m. after the house burned down to its foundation.

Bobby Bean, 53, of Washougal, was taking his car to the shop when he spotted flames shooting from a house on near 32nd Street. After calling 9-1-1, he went to the house and tried to rouse residents. A man inside told him to go away and then started firing.

Firefighters will continue to watch for any flare-ups overnight, he said, and investigators from ATF and the regional crimes team will begin searching for victims and evidence in the morning.

Washougal Mayor Sean Guard posted a message on his Facebook page Wednesday evening, reported The Columbian. He thanked responding agencies for their help and asked residents to “give an extra wave or thank you to our police, fire and EMS personnel when you next see them.”

“While we will not know for many days exactly what transpired today, we have public servants who once again put their own lives at risk so that innocent lives would be saved,” he said.

Investigators haven’t released information about possible victims or motives. Clark County property records show Steve and Leona Stanbary bought the house in October 2002. A neighbor said the couple lived there with Leona Stanbary’s sister.

— The Oregonian

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A few things.

The media says Steve Stanbary has ties to white supremacists in Idaho and considered Randy Weaver a hero. Randy Weaver was considered a white supremacist by the federal government, which justified the assassination of his family at the 1992 Ruby Ridge standoff in Northern Idaho. You can read about the Ruby Ridge incident, and if you disagree with my view of the incident I’d like to know what explanation you give. I don’t view Ruby Ridge as a battle over white supremacist ideology or a crackdown on white supremacist movements, or even as a retaliation against violence on people of color. It was nothing of that sort. The media said Randy Weaver had ties to white supremacists as well. At the time this provided justification for the standoff. In reality the government was trying to get Randy Weaver to infiltrate a white supremacist group, and set him up with a weapons deal — the ATF and FBI themselves most likely illegally altered the weapons in order to say that Randy Weaver was in possession of illegal weapons. They then held him in contempt of court for missing a court hearing, but it was the judicial system that changed his hearing date without notifying him, sending a warrant for his arrest, sparking the standoff. During the standoff Randy Weaver’s family was slowly picked off by snipers and hundreds of US Federal Marshals, as Randy and his family hid under blood-soaked blankets.

Steve Stanbary’s house has gone up in flames. We are to presume this happened because Stanbary suffered from schizophrenia, and started a delusional standoff with the cops. Perhaps he did. My point is, we don’t actually know anything about this at all, other than these explosive facts. We don’t know whether Steve Stanbary was a white supremacist. Saying he is a white supremacist makes it easier for people to understand why his house went up in a fireball. It just makes sense… because he’s a white supremacist. It is not enough to say they are white supremacists. We don’t want to defend white supremacy, and neither do most people, in fact, outwardly or in public, that is. Sometimes these are groups of people we either (1) already don’t like because of what they might stand for, or (2) know nothing about. But there is no reason to trust the corporate media. This is also a type of criminalization and fear-mongering over those who are dealing with schizophrenia, not to mention if not also white supremacy. We can find ways to fight white supremacy and especially fascist attacks in the Portland and SW Washington areas, but at the time not ignoring the government’s ability to criminalize people as “white supremacists” and assassinate them. It would be too hypocritical and a fine line to tow if we ignore the government’s ability to take ideological advantage of the white supremacist ideology as a means to scapegoat, or coverup brutality and/or assassinations — because that is government fascism itself.

Recommended reading: check out Rural Radicals by Catherine McNicol Stock – it is not written from an anarchist perspective but it sheds light on the white, rural “militia movement” of the 1990s, and also The Redneck Manifesto: How Hillbillies and White Trash Became America’s Scapegoats by Jim Goad. This is an area of class and racial antagonism that I feel as anarchists in the North American milieu we have not dissected thoroughly enough. For example, how do we understand these white rural movements at the same time as we fight beside people of color? There is a synthesis we might be missing. I also recommend reading up on affinities like Anarchist People Of Color (APOC) and the website Illvox.org (now changed to peopleofcolororganize.org).

Accion AntiFascista (Antifascist Acton in Guatemala)

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