By David Martinez
On the evening of August 5, activists in San Antonio held a vigil for Garrett Foster, who was murdered by US Army Sergeant Daniel Perry in Austin on July 25. With a crowd of about a hundred in attendance, organizers gave speeches in his memory, including multiple activists visiting from Austin who had marched alongside Garrett.
As people began to gather, candles were lit in Garrett’s honor and a memorial created around the central area of Travis Park in downtown San Antonio. Once the program began, organizers asked local bourgeois media to leave due to their repeated misinformation and distortions of the story surrounding Garrett’s death.
Austin activists, including some with Peace in Austin, spoke of how Garrett took three bullets for the people, bullets that could have been meant for them. Some speakers claimed that Garrett’s death was ‘beyond politics’ but in truth, everything is political, and this cannot be avoided, nor should it be.
One speaker in a Hawaiian shirt claimed that Garrett Foster was a member of the fascist “Boogaloo Boys” group, seeking to smear his legacy. The Boogaloos are no friend of the people. They are working tried and true fascist tactics to slip into the protest movement and should be exposed.
A member of the San Antonio Tribune Support Committee did just that. He ended his speech with a denunciation of the Boogaloo Boy who had besmirched Garrett’s name, which the crowd applauded.
The Tribune supporter’s speech also addressed the commitment of both Garrett and his fiancée, Whitney, “who understood that class struggle is not a game, not a hobby or identity we get to wear, not a social club, not an interest group. This is real, this is serious.” He said Garrett “didn’t believe in asking for power by asking the ruling class politely for it, but understood that we gotta take it for ourselves.”
A common thread across the speeches was Garrett’s selflessness, heroism, and dedication to the people in every aspect of his life. The raw respect and admiration for him by everyone who had the fortune of knowing him was very clear.
Because San Antonio has seen less regular protest, local organizers cited the activity in Austin as something to aspire to and organizers expressed the desire of taking things to a higher level.
But the group who hosted the vigil, Young Ambitious Activists, has a dubious role in this. In protests hosted soon after the May uprisings, they called for anyone acting ‘unruly’ to be pointed out, aiding law enforcement in singling out militants. One of their activists, Antonio Lee, claimed that officers were “here to protect us.”
This type of collaboration must be challenged at all times. Garrett’s own reason for carrying a rifle was after seeing the police allow Logan Bucknam drive into a protesters and draw a gun on them in late June. He understood that revolutionaries must rely on themselves for protection and in order to serve the people.
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