Statement circulated in Chicago about the “wannabe mt. happy” venue, its host Brandon and friend Rob

The following statement is being circulated amongst Chicago-area punk scenes encouraging bands to boycott the “wannabe Mt. Happy” venue (which “mt. happy” is actually a stolen name in this case and is to NOT be confused with the REAL Mt.Happy which has a strong revolutionary reputation for being anti-oppression and was anti-racist and anti-fascist) as well as any future shows and venues hosted by Brandon.

“Lets get the facts straight. Brandon is the only one hosting and organizing shows at his “wannabe mt. happy” venue prior to the city shutting it down. In the past few months there has been a lot of issues surrounding a guy named Rob who hung out at there and was also seen in the parking lot of the Black and Brown Punk Show. Rob did not live there but Brandon let him chill there. I saw he has even “worked security” even though he has openly said several racist and transphobic things openly in front of Brandon. Rob first made his presence while punching someone in the face at 2040, just before threatening to shoot up the place. At Brandons venue, Rob threw a fit over a zine distro because of Rob being upset over the idea that white privilege exists and that flyers for a “July 31st Day of Action against Fascism and Racism” event were being circulated. He crumpled up anti-racist flyers while stating racism isn’t real. People brought this up to Brandon and attempted a community discussion with Brandon and Rob but Brandon defended him saying “This is my house, he is my friend and I will defend him”. We have heard that Brandon may have kicked rob out, but that had not been confirmed. Rob got beat up by people who were sick of his antics and Brandon did not address the transphobic shit Rob said after his beating about how he was going to “shoot every bitch till he got to that tranny”. Lets move on to who Brandon is letting hang out at the space. Maci (maclovio orozo) has said some said some despicable things at shows. Ive overheard him talk about how black people in the far south side of Chicago are “coons”. I also overheard him trying to buddy up to a white dude and try to sell him some nazi collectibles. Why has nobody checked Maci or Brandon about his friends? I don’t feel safe about making my name public because I live blocks away. Being a Mexican queer I don’t believe these white dudes understand gentrification and oppression. I’m calling for a boycott of any spaces ran by Brandon because any space allowing racist, sexist, transphobic, hang arounds should not be welcomed.”

Incident with zine distro.

On the night of June 27th during “Beneficio para video club en resistencia” event, people who were distributing zines were also flying for an upcoming “July 31st Anti-Racist/Anti-fascist Day of Action” event. When Rob was offered a flyer, he crumpled it up and threw it on the floor. A few other friends of Rob’s also had flyers which Rob took out of their hands, crumpled up and threw on the floor. Confused by this response the person handing out the flyers asked Rob what the problem was with the flyer. Rob began explaining that “racism doesnt exist” and that “its all in your head” and that events that promote fighting white supremacy are “dumb”. The argument escalated as Rob got in the individuals face and picked up a zine from the table about white privilege and called it “stupid”, along with the rest of the material and the individuals sitting at the table, and individuals of color who began getting upset with him. Because this event was organized by poc, a physical confrontation was not immediately taken since the individuals were from out of town and were considerate of the fact that poc event spaces are rare. So instead one individual notified a poc organizer of an escalating situation that could lead to physical confrontation with his consent. The organizer of the event declined consent for physical confrontation and went upstairs to confront Rob. After Rob called him “stupid like all the others”, he asked the tablers to simply pack up and exit as the situation was getting out of hand. A couple days later the event organizer met with the zine distro to discuss options. Since Brandons place was one of a very few available spaces for pocs to organize events, it was decided that an attempt to open dialog with Brandon, the main person behind this venue, and Rob was necessary. This discussion was proposed in hopes of establishing accountability with them and the incident and to assure that people like Rob would not be allowed in the space. To everyones suprise, a phone discussion with Brandon ended up with Brandon hesitant to host an accountability meeting, saying that “people need to get over it” and finding the meeting and accountability “not necessary”. Brandon also stated that “he (Rob) is my friend and I will defend him”. An accountability process never happen and an attempt to meet and peacefully resolve these issues had been declined.

Anti-racists take direct action.

On the night of July 25th during an Appalachian Terror Unit show at Brandons place two different anti-racist groups including Midwest Straight Edge Antifa coordinated an attack on Rob outside. This attack was to demonstrate a response to white denial and racism masquerading as colorblindness with willful ignorance. Racism and white supremacy is real, existing in everyday interactions, manifesting as state violence and as the capitalist institutions of settler-colonial white supremacy. Racism and white supremacy are defended and subsequently perpetuated by those who deny their existence and mock those fighting it. Racism-denying is derived from the privilege of being white and not being a lifelong target of state violence and institutionalized racial discrimination. This boycott is not only directed at Rob from entering punk spaces but also Brandon who remained complicit in defending Rob during and after the incident. Brandons place was not a safe space for people of color and any other future spaces or venues hosted by Brandon might not be either.

Smash settler-colonial white supremacy!
Smash racism!

Midwest Straight Edge Antifa

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