Pictured: Baltimore's Bell Foundry, which shut down in the aftermath of the Oakland fire
"REPORT ALL 'ARTSPACES' AND ILLEGAL VENUES TO CRUSH THE RADICAL LEFT," begins one post. "LGBTQ BBQ," another is titled. The gross bigots at 4Chan's /pol/ board and Reddit's equally vile r/the_donald are using Oakland's Ghost Ship tragedy to shutter DIY venues over building code violations. "These are liberal radicalization factories," one commenter said, "TEAR THEM ALL DOWN."
AUX noticed a post on Reddit's r/indie called "ALT-RIGHT FASCISTS THREATEN INDIE MUSIC VENUES WITH VIOLENCE/SHUTDOWNS," submitted Monday. It's collected a number of archived forum threads detailing a hateful, violent, and fascist campaign to shut down art spaces by calling fire marshals and city councillors and reporting code violations and other safety hazards. They're mobilizing under the heading "Destroy It Yourself" and posting links to resource-sharing documents made to help DIY venues ensure safety at their shows.
The discussions include lists of known DIY spaces, how to locate them, and how best to target them. They're riddled with racist and homophobic hate speech and there are threats of violence.
The owner of DoDIY.org deleted the contents of the site just recently for fear its directories and resources might become a tool used against the community.
"Please stay safe and screenshot all threats of violence you come across," the r/indie post instructs. "Let others in the community know what is going on and set your social media accounts to private."
Places like the Ghost Ship exist because marginalized peoples have few safe spaces in which to gather. While that tragedy has initiated support and discussion municipally — the mayor of Oakland, for example, has pledged $1.7 million to create and sustain affordable, safe spaces — it's also begun tremendous action regarding safe practices from the DIY community itself in cities across North America.
The /pol/ trolls' latest mission is a violent and hateful — and, let's not forget, criminal — campaign against a community that routinely experiences violence and hate.