A University of Texas at Austin student group that advocates armed revolution to overthrow “the capitalist state” vandalized a fountain on campus for International Women’s Day.
“The blood of women & all survivors flow from the fountains of UT,” the Revolutionary Student Front (RSF) tweeted Thursday. “On International Working Women’s Day, we must stress the necessity of organizing women for revolutionary violence against the capitalist institutions that uphold the patriarchy & protect abusers like Richard Morrisett.”
Morrisett is a tenured professor at UT Austin who pled guilty to strangling his girlfriend in 2016, but a university spokesman told My Statesman that an internal review “found no relation between how the professor acted in this situation and how he acted on campus, and as a result he was allowed to continue his teaching and lab activities.”
“This is the blood of survivors that UT ignores,” the Revolutionary Student Front (RSF) wrote in large, red letters on Littlefield Fountain, a World War I memorial.
On its Facebook page, which has amassed more than 4,700 likes, the RSF further explains its vandalism, accusing UT President Greg Fenves of “endangering and perpetuating violence against women and all survivors of patriarchy abuse, assault, and harassment,” and claiming that he uses a “significant amount of pig presence and other security measures to keep him safe from students who want to be safe on their campus and force out abusers.”
The group also accuses the administration of not allocating sufficient resources to “combating the epidemic of sexual assault and patriarchal rape culture that affects women and others on a daily basis,” arguing that the programs and educational initiatives that UT provides are “hollow” and claiming that “15% of undergraduate women at [sic]are raped in their time at UT and 28% experience sexual assault.”
Additionally, the RSF alleges that Title IX is “absurdly difficult, inaccessible, and bureaucratic,” going on to state that “the blood of women and survivors flows from the fountains of UT.”
“[W]e know that to truly address patriarchal violence, we must organize the people to attack and destroy capitalism, its institutions, and those who perpetuate this violence,” the post adds, concluding by encouraging women to “reclaim violence” to fight against “patriarchal capitalism”
The RSF describes itself as “a revolutionary anti-capitalist student movement,” defining its beliefs with five “Points of Unity,” including “anti-capitalism,” “revolution,” “anti-oppression,” “anti-imperialism and internationalism,” and “the mass line” (a tactic of using “revolutionary theory” to “sharpen” ideas that come “from the people”).
While the group is not officially recognized by the university, it does claim to hold a weekly “Community Self-Defense Class” on campus, featuring “elements of physical fitness, individual self-defense, anti-fascist defense, and women’s self-defense.”
UPDATE: J.B. Bird, director of media relations at UT-Austin, told Campus Reform that the university is aware of the incident, saying, “university police take this destruction of campus property very seriously, and the university is actively investigating the vandalism that occurred overnight at the Littlefield fountain.”