“All art is always already vandalism.”
– Timothy Morton
They call Orlando the City Beautiful. But, recently, our city and the entire Central Florida region—like so many other areas in the United States of AmeriKKKa—have seen a rise in violence and xenophobia. From the murder of Trayvon Martin in Sanford to the Indigenous Peoples of Florida having their lands polluted by the Sabal Trail, to the massacre at Pulse Nightclub, the rise of fascism has never been more pronounced. Make no mistake, we’ve inherited (and propagated through our apathy) a deeply flawed system predicated on the oppression of women, the subjugation of people of color, the continued marginalization and isolation of the poor, and the dehumanization of our LGBTQ+ compatriots. We have allowed an ugly world to flourish, where blatant Islamophobia prompts fools to harass women for wearing a hijab or Antisemitic slurs are tossed at Jewish families for attending a synagogue. We, Orlando Antifa and those that stand with us, do not turn our heads from this grave reality. Those
who would do harm to the people of Orlando have been empowered by Mein Drumpf, a fascist demagogue whose vitriolic rhetoric has contributed to the growing popularity of the puerile alt-reich.
Recently, a group of cowardly man-boys calling themselves the American Vanguard have been flaunting their bigotry. By plastering Nazi propaganda in our city, they are attempting to intimidate and terrorize parts of the Central Florida Population. One of their most recent acts of aggression took place at the University of Central Florida.
American Vanguard specifically targeted spaces where they knew minorities congregate. The theater department, the visual arts building, and the music department were several structures marred by the racism and xenophobia of the AV Club.
Let us be perfectly clear:
American Vanguard is not welcome at the University of Central Florida or anywhere in Orlando. We will tear down your signs. We will disrupt your tepid attempts to frighten and disturb the good people of Orlando. This world does not want you, nor does it have room for your myopic views. You are not unique and special snowflakes. You are the same, decaying, organic matter as everything else; as is your outdated and defeated ideology. Flee, like the trolls you are, back to the dark dregs of the world from whence you came—while you still have legs left to stand on.
Though UCF remains a bastion of liberal bureaucracy and is deeply imperfect, the school does provide invaluable services to the young people of Central Florida. UCF is a haven for students who are learning to question the world. There continue to be educators at UCF deeply committed to equipping students with the tools to think critically about their place on this planet. As such, UCF is a vital space that deserves the protection of antifascists, anti-racists, and anti-authoritarians of all-stripes.
We did not put up posters to terrorize or to intimidate the p
eople that work at, live in, and attend UCF. On the contrary, we put up posters to empower one another and offer hope for us all. Mikhail Bakunin wrote that we are only free when all human beings—both men and women—are truly free. Apathy is deadly. We call on all those who purport to be proponents of freedom to band together and take a stand against these denizens of a dark era that we are desperately trying to leave in our past. We call on similarly incensed individuals, both in and around Orlando, to band together to show American Vanguard and other Nazi scum that we have no tolerance for intolerance.
Respect existence or expect resistance.
The college, the city, and the State will continue to tear down our Orlando Antifa posters. Our art, by its very nature, is ephemeral. But our ideas will remain. Our message will endure so long as there are those of us who trust in the efficacy of equality, the legitimacy of liberty, and the strength of solidarity.
We are your queer coworkers, your Muslim neighbors, your Jewish classmates. So long as hatred plagues this good earth, we will remain to exorcise the specter of jingoistic white supremacy that haunts this community and nation. Attached to this post, you will find copies of some of the posters we put up around UCF. Download them and stick them up in your neighborhoods. Let the world know that we are a strong community in the face of ALL types of adversity.
Join us. Become Orlando Antifa. Together, we can defeat fascism.