Friday, April 02, 2010

Anti-racist skinhead shot in Portland OR

from: "Michael Novick" 

I have been off-line for several days out of town
and unable to alert people about this. Make no
mistake, this was an ambush and attempted
political assassination against a committed
anti-racist skinhead. Rose City Anti-Fa (aka
Portland ARA) are raising funds and other forms
of support. We will be raising funds at a
teach-in to build for April 17 at the YJC/Chuco's
Justice Center, Friday night April 2, 7 PM, 1137
E Redondo Blvd. in Inglewood, 3 blocks west of
Crenshaw, 1 block north of Florence.

Here's the story in some detail from the Rose
City Anti-fa website (they are the ARA affiliate in Portland)

Local Anti-Racist Shot in Downtown Portland
Shortly after midnight on Saturday, March 27, a
man was brutally attacked in the heart of
downtown Portland. His attacker shot him and left
him lying in the street. He is currently fighting
to overcome extensive injuries. It is no secret
that this man, Luke Querner, is a long-time
anti-fascist activist. He has devoted over a
decade of his life to opposing the most vicious
elements of our city’s white supremacist
movement. Rose City Antifascists, the Portland
chapter of the Anti-Racist Action Network,
believe that the local neo-Nazis whom Luke has
opposed for years attempted to murder him on
Saturday morning. Luke is proud to be an
anti-racist skinhead. The true skinhead movement
has always been anti-racist, tracing its origins
to the cultural intersection of Jamaican
immigrants and working class whites in England
during the 1960s. After racists and the far-Right
attempted to hijack the skinhead movement in the
late 1970s and ‘80s, a movement known as
SkinHeads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP)
emerged in 1987 to reaffirm the anti-racist roots
of the subculture. As with many other anti-racist
skins, Luke is deeply committed to racial
equality and social justice. This commitment has
caused Luke to be targeted in the past. Rose City
Antifa believes that the most recent attack was
planned and committed by an element within
Portland’s neo-Nazi underground. This is the most
logical explanation for such a vicious act, for
several reasons: 1. Local neo-Nazi organizations
and cliques have the capability to carry out such
an act. Several organizations, including the
Portland-centered Volksfront International, are
tightly-organized, disciplined, and command
significant loyalty from adherents and
sympathizers. Their members have experience
committing violent acts, including murder. 2.
Luke was a prime enemy of organized racists. Luke
and his community have been violently targeted by
Volksfront in the past. The recent shooting
echoes the sentiments expressed in the song
“SHARP Shooter” by the old Volksfront-affiliated
rock band, Jew Slaughter. 3. Local fascist groups
have spent recent months uniting despite
organizational differences. Volksfront as well as
National Socialist Movement affiliates hosted a
series of social events that have likely
emboldened individual fascists. One recent point
of unity between local neo-Nazi cliques and
groups­whether they be Volksfront, the Northwest
Front, the National Socialist Movement or
Hammerskins­has been common targeting of
anti-racists and the Left. 4. Given the overall
resurgence of the radical Right in recent years
(see Southern Poverty Law Center report),
neo-Nazis have expressed more urgency in their
propaganda, expecting a race war in the near
future. Luke is an entrenched and beloved figure
in the anti-racist community and well known by
local fascists. Saturday’s shooting was an
intentional message that those standing up for
equality are in mortal danger. Portland has a
long, violent history of racist organizing that
continues to this day. In the late 1980s,
Portland became notorious as a hotbed of white
supremacist activity. Many organizations, such as
the Aryan Nations, declared the Pacific Northwest
to be a future white homeland. The groups that
would go on to comprise Volksfront and other
formations, swelled in numbers. The 1988 murder
of Ethiopian student Mulugeta Seraw and trial of
the three neo-Nazi culprits represented the high
water mark of Nazi terror at that point.
Concerted community efforts, as well as a
high-profile civil suit, drove many local
neo-Nazis underground. Unfortunately some of
these white supremacists are still here, always
struggling to re-emerge. The attempted killing
also reminds us of the 1998 executions of Lin
"Spit" Newborn and Dan Shersty--who were also
anti-racist skinheads--by neo-Nazis in the desert
outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. Rose City Antifa
believes that this shooting is of particular
significance, representing a neo-Nazi attempt to
reclaim the streets and apply their white
supremacist agenda through force and terror. This
seems to be tied to the larger context of a
nationwide mobilization of the radical Right. We
criticize the Portland Police response to this
tragic attack, which appears to be further
victimizing the survivor and his community. This
police approach reflects the Department’s
institutional biases regarding race and racial
hate, apparent in the recent police bean-bag
shotgun assault on a 12-year-old African American
girl, and their killing of an unarmed African
American man two months ago. Despite the fact
that Luke’s shooting was an unprovoked attack
with a fairly obvious motive, the police appear
to be treating the victim as the problem. The
police released Luke’s name to the media on the
Sunday after the shooting, in total disregard for
his safety and security. We feel it is extremely
important to clarify the nature of this
situation, given that the information released so
far has generally situated this event in the same
category as an unrelated shooting about 50
minutes earlier in Portland, reportedly related
to violence between rival gangs. Treating Luke’s
shooting as a gang related event obscures the
political implications of the attack, and utterly
misses the point. The racist overtones of much of
the online commentary on the coverage is
particularly appalling given that Luke was
someone that spent his entire adult life fighting
white supremacy. Portland Anti-Racist Action
vigorously challenges any assumptions that the
ambush was performed by people of color, which
may have been suggested by prior media coverage.
This was not a fight that got out of hand. There
was no fight. It was an assassination attempt.
Luke is currently looking at a mountain of
medical bills. The Anti-Racist Action Network is
currently hosting benefits from coast to coast to
raise funds. In addition, the ARA Network has set
up a PayPal account to send Luke donations. As
always, Rose City Antifa is looking for any and
all information related to fascist organizing in
our town. Contact us at or leave a voice mail
message at 971.533.7832. We will not rest until
we see some measure of justice for Luke.

Here's their press release:
Portland Anti-Racists: Downtown Shooting was
Likely a Neo-Nazi Ambush (media release)

For immediate release: April 1, 2010
Contact: Portland Anti-Racist Action 971.533.7832 (voicemail)

Portland Anti-Racists: Downtown Shooting was
Likely a Neo-Nazi Ambush Anti-Racist Targeted in
Saturday Morning Attempted Murder Portland,
Oregon – In a city that still remembers the 1988
beating death of Mulugeta Seraw by three racists,
a recent downtown shooting may thrust the issue
of white supremacist violence into the forefront
of public consciousness once again.A local
anti-racist organization claims that the early
morning shooting in downtown Portland on March
27, whose survivor remains in Intensive Care, was
most likely an attempted murder by one or more
neo-Nazis. The victim of the shooting, Luke
Querner, is an entrenched and beloved figure in
the anti-racist community. He has devoted over a
decade of his life to opposing Portland’s white
power movement. Luke Querner was shot at
approximately 12:20AM on Saturday morning, in an
unprovoked attack on SW 5th Avenue, between Stark
and Washington Street. The shooting appears to
have been well-orchestrated; the assailant
concealed his identity, fleeing at least
initially by foot in a closely-surveilled area.
The attempted murder of Querner occurs in the
context of escalating activity from a racist
underground that believes it can operate with
impunity. The past half year has been one of
increasing audacity from local white
supremacists, with organizations such as
Volksfront, the Northwest Front and the National
Socialist Movement drawing closer together.
Members of these and similar organizations--as
well as cliques on their periphery--share
information about anti-racists and the Left, and
have been increasing their actions against such
targets. Portland Anti-Racist Action believes
that the attempted murder of Querner was a
political act, most likely by neo-Nazis. To treat
this violence as "gang-related" obscures its
political context and almost certainly misses its
point. The shooting seems designed to send a
message and to intimidate anti-racists. Portland
ARA criticizes the police’s choice to release
Querner’s name on Sunday, placing him at further
risk. The organization also questions the police
portrayal of the shooting, which frames the
incident as near-random, rather than as an act of
political terror and attempted assassination.
Querner was shot because of his convictions, the
group believes.“The Portland Police aren’t
telling the whole story” states Alicia of
Portland ARA, “They have not mentioned the most
obvious motive for the shooting. We fear that
they are more interested in smearing the victim
than in uncovering the truth. Our thoughts go out
to Luke right now.” An expanded statement with
further details surrounding the shooting is
available on the website:
Information on how to contribute to Querner’s
medical bills and related expenses may also be
found on this site. Portland Anti-Racist Action
continues to be interested in any and all
information related to white supremacist
organizing in Portland and its vicinity. For more
information, please contact Portland Anti-Racist
Action at or 971.533.7832 (voicemail.) ###

Mainstream report:
Anti-racist group argues shooting of Portland man was a neo-Nazi attack
By Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian April 01, 2010, 5:57PM

Police investigating Saturday's shooting of Luke
V. Querner in downtown Portland will review
reports from a group called Portland Anti-Racist
Action, which argues that Querner, a
self-described anti-racist skinhead, was the
victim of an orchestrated attack by neo-Nazis.
Querner suffered a single gunshot wound as he was
leaving Kelly's Olympian in the 400 block of
Southwest Washington Street, about 12:20 a.m. the
morning of his 30th birthday. Querner was listed
in critical condition a day later. He remains
hospitalized and is expected to survive. No
arrests have been made. "Those things may be
true. At this point in our investigation, we
haven't been able to sort through all that," said
Detective Kevin Warren, an assault investigator
who also specializes in bias crimes. "There's
still a lot of people we need to talk to." As
police work to track down witnesses, news of the
brazen shooting quickly spread across the country
to other anti-racist and civil rights groups.
Eric Ward, national field director for the
Chicago-based group Center for New Community,
which monitors social movements that promote
bigotry, said he was familiar with Querner's
grass-roots activism, anti-racist and
anti-fascist politics in Oregon. Ward, who
previously lived in Eugene and Seattle, said
there's been a decades-long struggle between
Neo-Nazi skinheads and what are called
anti-racist skinheads, who trace their origin to
Britain in the late 60s and emulated the culture
of early Jamaican immigrants with heavy
influences from Jamaican ska, rock and reggae
artists. They're also known as Skinheads Against
Racial Prejudice, or SHARPs. "I do remember Luke
when he was very young. He was very active, and
very outspoken, often in the audience when
anti-racist speakers came to town," Ward said.
"Luke was also very much involved in the music,
punk scene in Portland." Portland State
University Professor Randy Blazak, an associate
professor of sociology, said the SHARPS are very
aggressive in their efforts to drive out neo-Nazi
skinheads, by making and distributing fliers that
say where neo-Nazi skinheads work or go to
school. "They are much more aggressive, and are
involved in a full court press to push the racist
skinheads out of town," Blazak said. They feel
they've been co-opted by the white power
skinheads, Blazak said. Querner was at Kelly's
Olympian to watch the bands The Madison Concrete
and Les Etrangers. According to some witness
accounts, the music had just finished playing and
people were exiting the bar when shots rang out.
Some people hit the ground; others ran out. A
suspect with a black hood and black bandana
masking his face was seen firing shots and
running from the scene, Blazak said. Querner was
shot once in the torso, Warren said. "Because of
the history of Portland, it has a lot of us very
concerned," Ward said, noting the 1988 fatal
baseball-bat beating of Ethiopian student
Mulugeta Seraw by a trio of skinheads in
Southeast Portland. "I really hope that law
enforcement seriously pursues this case, and
doesn't try to whittle this down to some incident
of gang violence. I hope they either prove or
disprove what we think was a calculated attack. I
think the implications are very scary if someone
out there who may have been affiliated with a
neo-Nazi group felt they had the political space
to shoot someone because of their political
beliefs." Warren said there was a case reported
last year involving a fight between a neo-Nazi
skinhead and anti-racist skinheads at a bar on
Portland's eastside. Often, the skirmishes aren't
reported. Warren added that he has seen the news
releases widely distributed by the Portland
Anti-Racist Action group regarding Querner's
shooting, but hasn't had any direct contact yet
with its members. Continue article at

Further note from MN: The killings of Lin 'Spit'
Newborn and Dan Shersty, two anti-racist skins in
Las Vegas who were part of ARA in a premeditated
ambush, was also dismissed at the time by police
and mainstream civil rights organizations as
"gang violence" and "internecine conflicts among
skinheads." Nothing could be farther from the
truth. It is vital that anti-fascists of all
political persuasions step up to defend and
support those under attacks, and also understand
how serious this struggle is and act accordingly.--MN

No comments: