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On March 25th, Phoenix John Brown Gun Club sent an open carry community defense contingent to the Make America Great Again rally at the Arizona State Capitol. We carried in formation with an armed contingent of the Arizona Brown Berets, and in solidarity with Anti-Fascist Action Phoenix.

The Phoenix John Brown Gun Club is a branch of the national Redneck Revolt network. As a gun club, we train together for community defense, and offer firearms and safety education locally. Our membership consists of folks of various identities, from different cultural and political backgrounds, but we work together under common goals of resisting white supremacist recruitment within our communities, building working class unity, and building community defense networks.

On the morning of the MAGA rally, we arrived outside the capitol about 30 minutes early, forming up across the street from the anticipated rally location. We formed an open ranks formation with the Brown Berets and our branch members, while members of Phoenix AFA held ground on our left flank. We were in position before the MAGA march reached the Capitol, and as the 60-70 marchers approached the Capitol lawn, many of them attempted to engage us by yelling from across the street. We held this position for over two hours without incident, respectfully but minimally engaging with people who approached our formation, primarily through our assigned community liaison. Throughout the event we held up a large, visible banner that clearly proclaimed our message: Liberty for ALL working people.

We assembled across the street from the "Make America Great Again" March, not to try to stop their event or block it, but to show that the communities who are under attack by this administration (and those that came before it) will not silently suffer, and that we will organize to defend ourselves and each other. As made clear in the statement we handed out to the MAGA attendees (text included below), we do not view ourselves inherently as the enemies of anyone who voted for Trump. We came open carrying firearms, not to intimidate or scare anyone, but to show that other "deplorable" working folks, even those who supported Trump in the past, would not just stand by and allow continued threats to marginalized people.

The MAGA event had fewer than expected participants, and most started to vacate the Capitol by 1:30pm, earlier than they had advertised. Several media members and journalists arrived after the rally ended, shocked that they had missed the entire event. Consistent with our media procedures throughout the day, our press liaison handed them our statement and encouraged them to email us for direct quotes about the action. Our coalition had decided ahead of time to leave promptly at 2pm. We formed up and left the park in a column formation, taking the sidewalk back to our parking area. This was not intended to be a march or a protest, but an organized extraction of our participants. </