Antifascists Disrupt White Power Gathering in Chicago Suburb

Originally posted on 6/10/2012

On May 19, nearly twenty antifascists attacked white power organizers at the Ashford House Restaurant in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park. Numerous attendees were hospitalized with head wounds and other injuries. The antifascist activists successfully disrupted the racists' efforts to network, recruit, and spread their ideology.

Police arrested two white supremacist attendees. Francis John Gilroy, AKA "Father Francis" and "Copperhead," was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. In 1999, Gilroy was arrested outside his hometown of West Palm Beach, Florida after unsuccessfully evading police, who found multiple handguns and assault rifles as well as literature linking him to militia groups in the Southeast. Steven Eugene Speers, AKA "Steven the Viking," of Grand Forks, North Dakota, was arrested on a Texas warrant for possession of child pornography. As we see time and time again with white supremacists, Speers has a history of domestic violence and intimidation; he was arrested on multiple occasions on battery charges, lost custody of his child, and the child's mother has a restraining order against him.

The organizer of the white power gathering, Shawn Tomas Vachet, AKA "Kayden," was not in attendance at his own event.

Five Indiana antifascists were also arrested after the disruption, and they are now facing charges of felony mob action, felony aggravated battery, and felony criminal damage to property. Each individual's bail is set higher than George Zimmerman's, arrested for murdering black Florida teen Trayvon Martin. The antifascists, their families, and community members are also receiving death threats from neo-Nazis in the aftermath of the action in Tinley Park.

To support the antifascist Tinley Park Five, please consider donating money to their legal defense by following the link below, sharing their story, and opposing white power organizing wherever it takes place.

Legal defense for the Tinley Park Five.