Willamette Week Smears Rose City Antifa, Excuses Local Bigots

It's hard to know where to begin responding to an article as unethical and error-ridden as James Pitkin's recent Willamette Week story, "Anti-Fascist Front." As an organization committed to opposing racism and organized bigotry, Rose City Antifa's biggest concern is Pitkin's use of his position in the press to silence and trivialize the struggle of people of color, sexual minorities, Jewish communities, and others who are frequent targets of oppressive ideologies. Pitkin defends white supremacists and militant Jew-haters in his story. This article is a result of Willamette Week's willful ignorance of the far Right, and its inability to recognize fascists and anti-Semites unless they come dressed in swastika armbands or Klan robes.

Pitkin contributes to a culture of silence around issues of oppression and racial intimidation in our city, indicating that anti-racists are the bigger problem. To support this idea, he mischaracterizes our organization from the article's start to its finish, going so far as to claim that we refused to grant an interview. What he neglects to mention is that while in dialogue with Willamette Week editor Mark Zusman, we consented to do an interview on the condition that the Willamette Week correct factual errors on their website relating to Rose City Antifa, which they failed to do before our scheduled interview, therefore forcing us to cancel.

We have never had confidence in Pitkin's journalistic skills or professional ethics. It was clear by his earlier authorship of an opinion piece against Rose City Antifa ("Rogue of the Week" article of July 15) that Pitkin had compromised his ability to report news accurately and without bias. Our organization has talked with ethical journalists in the past, and is willing to do so in the future.

homepage:  http://antiracistaction.org

homepage:: http://portland.indymedia.org/ read more: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2009/09/394351.shtml

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