@WithALittleJazz Currently pic.twitter.com/UCcqX4scOg — tiger lily (@wizardashley) April 17, 2017 Waves of vandalism are being reported at the University of Texas-Austin targeting fraternities with spray-painted messages like “racist” and “rapist.” But after the group claiming responsibility for it released a statement explaining their reasons, it is much more apparent that this isn’t your run of the mill vandalism. Something far more sinister is afoot. The first clue comes in the statement’s title: “Barbarians at the Gates: A Statement from the Vandals.” The group describes themselves as “a collection of friends and co-conspirators belonging to our local communities;” “rogue actors” with “no organizational authority.” Sounds rather harmless until you read, “We believe in the spontaneity of action, in the possibility for direct acts led by small affinity groups to achieve broad effects and inspire other insurgent acts.” In its statement, the group reveals that its mission is to confront white supremacy, campus sexual assault, the patriarchy, and the elite classes which they believe is embedded in the “colonial, bourgeois” fraternity culture from deep inside its “plantation homes.” So far, the vandals are using spray paint, but it appears their message goes far beyond committing random acts of petty vandalism: Let us be bolder in naming our enemies. Let us tell students at orientation the truth about the crimes of these institutions. Let us catalog the violence of the frats and the administration, so that there is never a period where students forget who their enemies are. Let us make it impossible for the administration and frats to simply wait out the occasional uproar, and let us constantly agitate against them and make their lives hell. Let us make racists, frat bros, and the administration afraid again—afraid of students, afraid of the marginalized and harassed, afraid of the exploited and excluded. In the midst of resurgent fascism and ongoing colonial legacies, we must become the unruly, improper, unrespectable “barbarians at the gates.” Our attempts to appeal to the institutions to include us, to show that we can be like them, have and always will fail. It is time to jettison all such illusions and instead construct new communities and ways of living that amplify our power here, as students and collectives, until we can overrun these institutions themselves. We are labelled “vandals”—placing us in a lineage that extends to the “barbarian” Vandal tribes that sacked Rome. We will accept this charge, for we seek the destruction, looting, and emptying out of these halls of power by the force of the unruly masses—the excluded and exploited. And we hope that individuals such as Gregory Fenves can only watch and play the fiddle while Rome burns. The statement comes with clear instructions for other recruits: Our message can perhaps best be summarized as: Every Student Can Tag. Anyone can be The Vandals of West Campus. Buy some spray paint, with cash of course, can’t have a debit card trail. Turn off location services on your phone. Don’t take photos of your handiwork—wait for someone else to do so (quick shout out to the frat bros who got the best photos of the tags out of anyone—thank you so much for that propaganda work!) Have a change of clothes. Mask up and wear unidentifiable clothes so you can’t be tracked through video surveillance. Make sure you have a secluded spot to change in and out of costume. Aim for the darkest, quietest targets. Stay in small groups so you can defend each other in case confronted. Scout out the house before hand and be aware of any police or frat patrols. And ends with this direct threat: To the fraternities and University: Prepare yourselves. We are at your gates. Your walls will fall. And you will be sacked. These people must be found and prosecuted. They are not just vandals, they are terrorists.Their intent is to spread fear and intimidation. It is time for people of good conscience to resist.