I'm an artist, educator and activist particularly interested in learning from tactics, props and gestures used as protests. I use this blog as a platform to archive and communicate examples of what I call 'gestures of defiance'-exciting, urgent and relevant actions that link protest histories and present radical potentials. On this blog I'm simply compiling and reposting examples I find as they happen. Months may go by with out a post but the blog as an archive is still active.
On the 18th of November, the “suit-and-tie Nazi” National Policy Institute (NPI) attempted to hold a quiet dinner meeting on the subject of white supremacy at an Italian restaurant on Wisconsin Ave called Maggiano’s. Anti-fascist protesters stormed the restaurant and got most of the way up the stairs to the second floor where NPI was meeting. A few got in via the elevator. The Washington Postis reporting that “a foul smelling liquid” was sprayed on NPI President Richard Spencer, notorious for peddling “white nationalism.”
One security guard or NPI member (not sure which) pushed back hard trying to force activists back down the stairs. He did so even though his pushing caused the wooden rail on the staircase to bow and bend under the weight of people being forced against it. Due to the height of the staircase this constituted acting in reckless disregard of human life, though anyone familiar with the history of fascism and Naziism would know this is par for the course.
Eventually activists withdrew to the outside of the restaurant, with many of the orginary, non-Nazi supporting diners on the first floor bursting out in applause for the performance of the protesters in confronting the Nazis upstairs in this tense time of Donald Trump. Outside, anti-fascists kept up a noisy dance party with a sound system,pots and pans, and other noisemakers until NPI slinked out a back exit. One who left early had a police officer summon a cabdriver who was then forced to give the Nazi a ride. Had he refused in front of police he would have risked an expensive ticket under a regulation normally used against cabdrivers who refuse rides to African-Americans.
Originally the Nazis were going to meet at The Hamilton, a hotel downtown but the Hamilton refused to host NPI after finding out who they really are. They then tried to throw off antifascists by claiming they would meet at Trump Hotel at 7PM to walk elsewhere. About 60 people held a protest at Trump Hotel, but they started at 6PM with more than enough time to be redirected when the true meetup point was found:Friendship Heights Metro. From there the Nazis were tracked to Maggiano’s, which one protesters said should be renamed “Mussolini’s” for hosting fascists after being clearly told by the protesters just who they are.