Dear Community members,
We condemn the recent attempts of the Centre County GOP to vilify the 3/20 coalition and our group. Since its creation, the 3/20 coalition has endured an onslaught of anti-Black racism from local right-wing politicians and residents. 3/20 members have received threats of violence at public borough meetings, on social media, and at other public events. The Centre County GOP’s letter demonizing the 3/20 Coalition and efforts of GOP followers to intimidate 3/20 coalition members at the recent Community Oversight Board borough meeting are the most recent examples of this ongoing harassment.
We condemn the Centre County GOP’s fear-mongering language in the letter that paints our group as menacing “extremists” seen as threats to the local community. The Centre County GOP also currently has posted on their office door a message about us that suggests our principles of unity make us a sinister group. The letter along with this office door message accuse us of “infiltrating” the 3/20 Coalition in a plot to spread our so-called dangerous agenda.
The GOP’s goal is to turn members of the public not only against us, but also the 3/20 coalition because we organize in solidarity with them. To label us as “infiltrators” is also coded language that characterizes us as “outside agitators” who are seen as imposing a radical agenda that local people don’t really support. It’s important to note that this rhetorical tactic is not new. There is a long history of white supremacists, from antebellum slaveholders to the KKK of the Reconstruction and Civil Rights periods, using this tactic to target Black organizers and their white allies. It’s language that calls for the violent repression of these groups by racist vigilantes, police, and local governments.
In the face of these scare-tactics, we’re not afraid. Instead, we’re energized by the fact that the local exploiter class of landlords, business owners, and wealthy professionals, who fill the ranks of the Centre County GOP, stay up at night fretting over the work we’re doing to free poor and working-class people of the Alleghenies region from capitalism. To be a target of their harassment means we and the 3/20 coalition are doing something right to challenge the power these parasitic wealth accumulators hold over poor and working people in the area. If workers and tenants free themselves from capitalism, these exploiter classes lose their sources of wealth. They demonize us because our goal is the liberation of the very people the GOP and other exploiters want to keep oppressed because their wealth and privilege depends on this.
We’re in the streets and working-class neighborhoods serving the people and organizing ways to defend against these exploiter classes. Each week we take back public space downtown for our unhoused and jobless friends where we offer trainings on how to defend against landlord and police abuse, political education for the community, and distribute vital hygiene items. Each week we provide free groceries to over 50 families in the county. We also have worked diligently to develop strategies for fighting evictions and police violence to ensure that people stay housed and not brutally locked up in cages during a global pandemic. Our work not only has materially helped working-class people, but it also shows that a better, more just world is possible.
If you want to win this better future by ending the exploitation and oppression so many people face here and around the world, we invite you to join us.
To learn how you can get involved, email [email protected].