Category Archives: Alternative Right

These Are the Colleges Richard Spencer Plans on Visiting Next

Richard Spencer has had his sites on colleges for some time now.  In 2016 he announced what he called the “Danger Zone Tour,” trying to build on his 80s synth-pop aesthetic.  After his speaking event at Texas A&M drew thousands of opponents and a few supporters, and he was able to speak despite mass protests, he thought that this would be a major opportunity for him.  The Alt Right, especially groups like Identity Europa and Vanguard America, had decided to focus on college campuses for recruitment, going after a middle-income white male demographic that was both educated and upwardly mobile(until they are doxxed, that is).

After a series of platform removals and canceled appearances, Spencer and his ilk has found that publicly run facilities were much more friendly to him than private ones.  As white nationalist institutions like American Renaissance(AmRen) had found out, private hotels and venues were especially vulnerable to public pressure, especially when it meant mass community boycotts and pickets.  In 2010 and 2011, AmRen was canceled after the One People’s Project and other anti-fascist organizations created campaigns to have their hotels pulled.  Jared Taylor, the founder of the white nationalist conference, finally rested on Montgomery Bell State Park in Tennessee that was resistant to canceling.  While protests continued, organizers have been since unable to get the management to sever Taylor’s contract.

The same has largely been true for Spencer, who relies on the Ronald Reagan building in Washington D.C. for his National Policy Institute conferences.  Spencer then decided to focus on state funded universities since he believes that they will be more likely to host him.  After his appearance at Auburn University was canceled amid organized pressure, he sued to force his way on campus, essentially proving his point true.

Now he has again won his ability to appear on campus at the University of Florida – Gainesville, even though a coalition of student and community groups created a massive protest that did not allow him free reign to speak as he had wished.

Now Spencer intends on continuing the vision outlined in his “Danger Zone Tour” where he will continue to appear on campuses.  We have collected a list of the intended universities, where students or community members from the areas are trying to bring him there to aid in organizing Alt Right student contingents.

 

Ohio State University

Right now this event has been canceled by the administration after student pressure, yet, as he did at Auburn, he is suing to appear.

University of Cincinnati

As it stands it looks like the Board of Trustees is going to allow Richard Spencer to speak there, saying that the university should be a “marketplace of ideas.”

Penn State University

The university president Eric Barron has officially shut this down citing safety concerns, but a student, Cameron Padgett, has now officially sued the school to allow it.

Michigan State University

This is another state school that has officially declined to allow Spencer onto campus and who he has decided to sue.

 

Spencer’s lawsuits are being done largely by Kyle Bristow, the white nationalist attorney who has spent years in the more vulgar wing of the supremacist movement and who is using far-right money to force campuses to host Spencer.  In many cases, the university itself is left with the bill of hundreds of thousands of dollars of security costs, which come out of the already taxed bank accounts of students.

Each of these schools is a fantastic spot to begin organizing, pressuring the administration to not back down and, if he does come to campus, to shut down the events amid massive organized pressure.  Organizations like No Nazis UF, the Campus Antifascist Network, and various antifa projects are set up to create this model of resistance.

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Knowledge is a Weapon: New Books to Fight Fascism

The rise of the Alt Right, the growth of “free speech” hard right confrontations, the increased militia presence, and the Trumpian populist revolution, have all put the idea of fascism sweeping America and Europe on people’s minds.  At the same time, a massive antifascist wave, both of explicit Antifa organizations and broad-based community groups, has skyrocketed, making the clash between the far-right and antifascists an almost daily occurrence.  As a part of that equation, a number of reporters, scholars, and organizers have begun researching and writing about this, trying to get at the heart of what causes the rise of fascist movement and how counter-organizing can be successful.

We have collected some recent titles below with a look at what they cover and our thoughts on how useful they can be.  This is only a small sample of what is out there, and self-consciously Western-centric given the situation, but these are a good starting point for arming yourself with knowledge to make counter-organizing more fruitful.

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Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It

By Shane Burley, AK Press (Will be released on November 21st)

Pre-Order Here

Journalist Shane Burley digs in deep on the Alt Right, American white nationalism, and how the various fascist movement work, how they evolved, and what their future is.  Since he began researching and writing about the Alt Right early on, he provides deep insights into the nature of the far-right and both their weaknesses and strengths.  The second half of the book looks at the myriad of forms of resistance, looking at Antifa organizations, mass-movement antifascism, rural struggles, inter-religious organizing, community defense, college activism, and a whole range of options.  This is a broad look at understanding how fascism works in America, and the different tools that can be employed in effective resistance.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Fascism Today by Shane Burley

Fascism Today

by Shane Burley

Giveaway ends December 25, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook

By Mark Bray, Melville House

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Historian Mark Bray has put his background in European history to analyze the growth of militant anti-fascism and he chronicles its history back to the interwar growth of European fascism.  He then breaks down the theoretical and tactical lessons, looks at how they have been applied in different countries, and creates a pragmatic guide for how Antifa organizations can effectively confront fascists in the streets.  A guide that is specific to particular types of militant antifascism and is wonderfully written with dense information from antifascists.

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Making Sense of the Alt-Right

By George Hawley, Columbia University Press

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You might find it odd that we are recommending a book by a Republican political science professor, but Hawley’s work since Right-Wing Critics of American Conservatism has been some of the most insightful on the far-right available.  With Making Sense of the Alt-Right, he again digs in deep on the ideological background the Alt Right, how it evolved, and where it is going.  His work is clear and concise, even though his politics may be the inverse of our own.  His work is something that should continue to be put into use for better understanding of these movements, especially from someone who has deeply researched American conservatism.

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Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump

By David Neiwert, Verso Books

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David, a writer for the Southern Poverty Law Center based in the Pacific Northwest, has been covering the hard right for years.  In this book he chronicles the development of the hard right in the 2000s, focusing heavily on the culture of talk radio, patriot militias, the Tea Party, and Fox News.  Part of his analysis of the fascist right is hit and miss, but there is a good narrative and history of the edges of the GOP.

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Against the Fascist Creep

By Alexander Reid Ross, AK Press

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Alexander Reid Ross’s book is one of the best contemporary books on the history and ideologies of fascism.  Focusing heavily on the areas that fascism pulls from the radical left, it looks at dissident strains of Third Positionism, and how the rhetoric and methods of the left are often used for fascist ends.  This is a great precursor volume to Fascism Today, and is incredible for connecting the history in the U.S. to that of Europe and Eurasia.

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Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4Chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt right

By Angela Nagle

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Nagle’s book received a massive amount of media attention, but the slim volume mainly analyzes the culture of online forums like 4Chan and 8Chan and how white nationalists employed its iconoclastic behavior for fascist politics.  Her own politics are dubious in some places, especially the blame she places on the left and queer activists, but her observations and research about the nature of right-wing web forums has been invaluable.  In reality, this analyzes only a small piece of the puzzle, but is a great look at how the trolling culture evolved to dominate the far-right.

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Fighting Fascism: How to Struggle and How to Win

Edited by Mike Taber, Haymarket Books

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Looking at Clara Zetkin’s presentation to the 1923 International Workingmans Association meeting on fascism, it uses that Marxist analysis to argue for a “united front” approach to fascism.  While some of this orthodox Marxist approach to understanding fascism, especially describing it as the “reactionary wing of finance capital,” is not something we agree with (Fascism Today and Against the Fascist Creep especially take issue with this approach), this is a volume to be excited about as it is a useful piece of the history of antifascism.

Ctrl-Alt-Delete: An Antifascist Report on the Alternative Right

By Matt Lyons, It’s Going Down, Bromma, and Kay Kersblebedeb

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Long-time scholar of the far-right Matt Lyons, known for co-authoring Right Wing Populism in America with Chip Berlet and for blogging at Three-Way Fight, leads this volume with a long essay outlining the details of the Alt Right’s rise and ideology.  His main essay is followed by several others that also analyze the Alt Right, including the incredible anti-fascist website It’s Going Down and the editor of the anti-fascist publisher Kerblebedeb.  A real must-have right now for dealing with the Alt Right specifically.

We are also looking forward to several other books that, while we know little about the titles themselves, we are expecting something great.  Matt Lyons (who provides the forward to Fascism Today) will have a new book on the far-right coming out from Kersblebedeb next year, and Harrison Fluss and Sam Miller from Jacobin will also have a book on the Alt Right.  There is likely to be a slew of other volumes to be released, and we will add to this list as time goes on.  Check out an older list of interesting volumes that all deserve a read as well.

How the Alt Right Was Decimated After Charlottesville

The convergence in Charlottesville was planned weeks in advance, with organizations from the crisp collars of the National Policy Institute to the blackshirts of the National Socialist Movement joining forces.  After their more mainstream counterparts in the Alt Light, the sphere of Trumpist conservatives that overlap with the Alt Right, betrayed them, the Alt Right wanted a chance to stand on their own.  The Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12th was their chance to bring together everyone to the right of the Alt Light.  This was finally an event to see how well white nationalists could fair on their own without the allyship of more mainstream conservatives.  Though the Alt Right used the issue of Confederate statue removal as the impetus, the rally was instead a show of strength.

Their “coming out party” turned out to be the moment where they pulled the trigger of collective suicide, letting their own implicit violence become explicit and self-destructive.  In the end there were dozens injured and a protester murdered by an associate of Vanguard America, a participating organization in their demonstration.  In the weeks that followed, the Alt Right began one of the quickest implosions in the history of political movements, as the country, and their own organizing tools, turned on them, ripping at their foundations and leaving them vulnerable to expulsion.

The Shuttening

The Alt Right could not be possible in the earlier era of print publications and physical distribution, it just would not be able to respond to issues quickly and refine talking points through perpetual message revisioning.  The world of the Alt Right is founded on social media and web publishing: blogs, podcasts, and Tweets.  The fact that the Alt Right uses the same web hosting platforms that major media outlets do is how they gain equal cultural access, and their increased profile has still not impeded their access.

That is, of course, until their behavior, and the opposition, hit a point of critical rupture.  In the days after Charlottesville, the Daily Stormer, the ironic-themed neo-Nazi website run by Alt Right blogger Andrew Anglin, was the first to lose their platform.  While most of the Alt Right was, at least publically, sympathizing with the family of the murdered protester Heather Heyer, Anglin refused to take the high road.  Instead, he published an article celebrating her death, calling her a “fat slut” and saying that the real travesty was the damaged Dodge Challenger that took her life.  This rhetoric is standard for Anglin, who labels the Daily Stormer as “pro-Genocide” and gained popularity through his density of racial slurs and commemoration of racist violence.  First, the “hacktivist” group Anonymous took over the website, though he wrestled back control quickly.  The domain name server company Cloudflare decided to pull the Daily Stormer from its platform, citing a violation to the Terms of Service.  “The tipping point for us making this decision was that the team behind the Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology,” said Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince in a statement.

While Anglin was working with other companies to re-establish hosting, GoDaddy, who had been running their domain name, canceled Anglin’s account.  Google Domains and Tucows refused to help, leaving Anglin with few options.  Anglin eventually placed it on a foreign server and to have it only available on the “Darkweb,” meaning it can only be viewed through the controversial Tor browser. The site has re-emerged in various places but is now isolated and marginalized.

The Right Stuff, the popular Alt Right blog that hosts the podcasts The Daily Shoah and Fash the Nation, also got booted from its hosting.  Since then the site has been touch and go, stuttering on and offline, a serious problem since they recently switched to a pay-subscription system.

Squarespace, which is known for their easy-create web platforms and for handling online purchases, followed suit and began severing white nationalist accounts.  Richard Spencer, one of the prime organizers of the Unite the Right rally, had been relying on Squarespace for his websites.  After a 48 hour notice, Squarespace dropped the National Policy Institute (NPI) and Radix Journal websites, two Alt Right centers.  NPI is the largest Alt Right specific conference holder, and without their web presence their outreach will be hobbled.  At the same times as Unite the Right, Red Ice Media, one of the largest Alt Right media projects in the world, was taken down by hackers, opening up subscriber information and permanently deleting content.

AltRight.com

Despite the incredible shunning faced by the Alt Right in the wake of Charlottesville, some of their leaders continue to live in denial. Amid the backlash, cofounder of AltRight.com and editor-in-Chief of Arktos, Jason Reza Jorjani, claimed that his resignation from the alt-right was unrelated to the “great victory at Charlottesville.” With comrades losing jobs, expelled from the internet, and facing legal reprisals, Jorjani released a cryptic statement about reviewing “exotic technology” that a new Iranian political force called the United Front may use in the near future to create a “coming post-Islamic… archeo-futurist Iran.” Recently, Jorjani released a follow-up statement explaining that he left the Alt Right Corporation because his grand geopolitical schemes, which he alleges had high-level backing in the White House including Steve Bannon, went unsupported by Spencer and others. AltRight.com has since been a hub decrying the “censorship” of the left, with Richard Spencer putting out pleas for financial support.  Jorjani has now faced campaigns to have him removed from his lecturer position at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and has tried to say that he was tricking the Alt Right and did not really believe their ideas.  This came after the Hope Not Hate hidden camera video surfaced that showed him talking about migrants being put into concentration camps and venerating Hitler. (They also doxxed the image of Counter-Currents publishing editor Greg Johnson)

Stormfront

Since the mid-1990s, Stormfront has been the center of white nationalism, linking up the insurrectionary groups like KKK formations and neo-Nazi gangs into a web-forum that was a catch-all for extreme racism.  According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, over the last ten years, Stormfront has been linked to almost 100 acts of white supremacist violence, from bombings to shootings at Jewish community centers.  While Stormfront tends to have a different demographic than the Alt Right, more Blue Collar and Nazi-centric, this was still an organizing center for Unite the Right.

In one of the most pronounced consequences of the events in Charlottesville was that Network Solutions, the hosting company for Stormfront, finally took it offline.  With more than 300,000 members, this was the largest white nationalist forum internationally, this was a major hit to neo-Nazi networking.  Don Black, the founder of Stormfront and former KKK leader, says he is speaking to attorneys to try and get the site back online.  The sudden drop of the hosting came without warning, leaving him with few options to temper the fallout.

Hitting Them in the Wallet

One major tactic for antifascists has been attempting to convince funding sources to scrub white nationalists from their sites. The shocking images of fascists in Charlottesville suddenly brought the rationale for this grueling and often frustrating work into sharp relief. Apple cut off ApplePay for sites that pedal white nationalist merchandise, with CEO Tim Cook insisting, “It’s a moral issue – an affront to America. We must all stand against it.”

GoFundMe cut off a number of white nationalist campaigns. Adding insult to injury, a spokesperson admitted that the campaigns “did not raise any money” anyway. Similarly, Kickstarter re-enforced guidelines against hate speech and PayPal set into place a ban on white nationalists. Further, Discover Financial Corporation terminated merchant agreements with the Alt Right, declaring, “The intolerant and racist views of hate groups are inconsistent with our beliefs and practices.” Some speculate that Discover’s move will put pressure on companies like Visa and MasterCard. This came only a couple of weeks after Patreon pulled the plug on a number of accounts, including Alt Light leader Lauren Southern after she publicly supported the blocking of refugee ships.

Social Media Shutdown

“The events in Charlottesville are yet another disturbing example of the many forms that racism and hatred manifest. Prejudice, however, does not always march in the street.” With these words, Twitter banned a number of far-right accounts last year and earlier this year, including Mike “Enoch” Peinovich, Ricky Vaughan, Pax Dickinson, Richard Spencer, and John Rivers. After Charlottesville, Twitter banned The Daily Stormer.

After the alt-right used the Discord comment service to plan the Charlottesville rally, the company shuttered all alt-right websites. Mail Chimp followed suit by banning AltRight.com and other figures, and SoundCloud dropped a number of alt-right podcasts. Though it is notoriously difficult to prevent the alt-right from creating new sock puppet accounts, the striking of alt-right media platforms shows that companies now connect their speech to the murderous actions of their followers.

Lawsuit

As the family of Heather Heyer was mourning her death, cradled by a nationwide community who joined in revering her sacrifice, two people injured in the attack decided to hold the Alt Right ideologues that had radicalized her killer responsible.  A lawsuit was filed by sisters Micah and Tadrint Washington in the Circuit Court of Charlottesville naming 28 far-right defendants.  This includes former KKK leader David Duke, the Daily Shoah host Mike “Enoch” Peinovich, Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Workers Party, and Richard Spencer.

While figures like Peinovich have declared that this lawsuit is totally baseless, there is a history of these types of suits effectively stifling far-right movements.  In 1981, the SPLC took on the United Klans of America after Nineteen-year-old Michael Donald was kidnapped and murdered by UKA members, eventually winning the suit and taking all the assets of the organization.  Similarly, after the 1988 murder of Ethiopian immigrant Mulugeta Seraw in Portland by members of Eastside White Pride, the SPLC lawsuit identified Tom Metzger and White Aryan Resistance as responsible for radicalizing the gang to violence.  The same model could be used in this case, showing that figures like Peinovich had set up a climate of violence, using revolutionary rhetoric that encouraged James Alex Fields to murder.

While much of the Alt Right treated this as meritless, information continuing to stream into social media shows the case is turning against them.  The anti-fascist media outfit Unicorn Riot has released over 1,000 media images of chat rooms, along with audio recordings, that show the white nationalist contingent openly preparing for violence.  The conversations were hosted on a private server controlled by Jason Kessler and Alt Right activist Eli Mosley, with many participants arguing for placing screws in poles and attacking protesters with shields.  The proposition here is that the organizers prepared the event for terroristic violence, and that’s exactly what happened.

This perception of the Alt Right as the instigators of violence is only exacerbated by the recent video released by a member of the Virginia Civil Liberties union that clearly shows a member of the white nationalist contingent openly shooting at a crowd of black protesters with a handgun.  Police later arrested the man, Richard Wilson Preston, but only after the video was released, and the video itself clearly shows them refusing to intervene on the act of targeted violence.

Alt Right Leaders Fall

No Alt Right figure got more attention out of Charlottesville than Christopher Cantwell, the anarcho-capitalist turned white nationalist who decided to perform in front of Vice New Tonight cameras.  Cantwell runs a blog and podcast, mixing his virulent meritocratic viciousness with a vulgar hatred of non-whites and Jews, as well as a willingness to openly talk about murdering police and opponents.  Shortly after the murders and street fights, Cantwell was told that Charlottesville police were issuing a warrant for his arrest for “illegal use of gases and injury by caustic agent or explosive.”  Cantwell then put out a video where he sobs into the camera, talking about how scared he was and repudiating the violence he loudly celebrated just days before.

In the hours after this, things did not get much better for Cantwell.  The dating website OKCupid, after pressure from anti-fascists, identified and banned his account, and Tindr quickly followed suit.  Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter all did in kind, veritably severing the public persona he has crafted for years.  Between his embarrassing performances and his inability to solicit donations, there is little left for Cantwell to continue his mission of stoking racial revolution.  Cantwell eventually surrendered to the police, and is now being held in Albemarle County Regional Jail awaiting an October 12 court date.

Johnny “Monoxide” Ramondetta, a prime figure at Unite the Right, did not fare much better afterward.  Returning to work in the San Francisco bay area as an IBEW Local 6 electrician at Rosendin Electric, Ramondetta saw that his worksite was covered with flyers identifying him as an active white nationalist and with quotes from his various appearances on The Right Stuff podcasts.  As Ramondetta’s co-workers began to ask him if he was a racist, the foreman pulled him into his office and offered him a “layoff.”  They admitted they had known about his behavior for several weeks and were waiting for it to become public, and passed him a contract that would disallow him to apply for unemployment.  He continues to be a union electrician, however, which means he can be hired onto another union job, a problem that many activists are arguing the union should take a stand on.  At the same time his regular podcast, The Paranormies, was banned on SoundCloud, along with a host of other Alt Right shows.

Nathan Damigo, the founder of Identity Europa, returned to school at California University at Stanislaus in Turlock, California, to find that a campaign to have him removed from campus in effect.  A demonstration took place at the welcoming address of President Ellen Junn intended to usher in freshmen.

The Alt Right’s pan-European attempts to recruit across the pond have also been hit, especially in AltRight.com’s Nordic counterpart.  After this participation in the Unite the Right rally, Christoffer Dulny, the Editor of Nordic.AltRight.com, was notified that his ESTA status was changed to “travel not authorized.”  This means he is “effectively banned from entering the United States,” a fate likewise doled out to AltRight.com and Arktos Media co-founder Daniel Frieberg.

The prime organizer of the Charlottesville rally, Jason Kessler, has disappeared from public view entirely, and his organization, Unity and Security for America, looks to be heading to a lightning end.  The Facebook page, Twitter account, and website have all been taken down; potentially by his own doing after receiving the kind of public backlash he never could have anticipated on the morning of August 12th.  The death threats that Kessler says he received could have been inspired by his own comments, including saying that “[Heather] Heyer was a fat, disgusting Communist.”  Richard Spencer, Baked Alaska, and James Allsup publicly disassociated with Kessler after that, yet they have not made public statements about Andrew Anglin or The Right Stuff who made similar comments.

Although founder of the “western chauvinist” Proud Boys, Gavin McInnes, identifies with the Alt Light, the participation of numerous leading Proud Boys in Unite the Right left the group with an inescapable stigma. Organizer Jason Kessler is a Proud Boy, as are the Unite the Right featured speakers and leaders of the “Order of Alt Knights,” Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman and Augustus Sol Invictus. Since McInnes has found a large audience as a commentator for The Rebel right-wing media site, his attempts to distance himself from the Charlottesville rally fell flat when fellow Rebel contributor Faith Goldy provided favorable on-the-ground coverage of Unite the Right. After conservatives criticized the site, co-founder Brain Lilley resigned and two other commentators followed suit. McInnes’s anti-Semitism had caused contributing conservatives to flee The Rebel before, but after Charlottesville, McInnes, himself, abandoned the site the same day they fired Goldy. As Norwegian Cruise Lines cancelled an upcoming Rebel cruise, editor-in-chief Ezra Levant admitted that he is being blackmailed by a former contributor over accusations of misusing contributions.

The Rest of the Participants

Even more than the Alt Right’s leadership, the fallout from the Charlottesville events showed the Alt Right’s members that inclusion in the movement can lead to major consequences. With the heavy media coverage of the event, participants were widely photographed.  This lead to a huge influx of identifications as anti-racist activists revealed who they were, leading to a string of firings and personal troubles. Named Alt Righters like Cole White and Ryan Roy lost their jobs. Peter Teft, whose angry remarks about so-called “white genocide” went viral, found himself disowned by his family.

In the small town of Honeoye Falls, New York, Unite the Right participant and alleged associate of the Daily Stormer Jarrod Kuhn faced a campaign against him upon his return.  Eastside Antifascists did a flyering around the village, identifying who he was and what he had done.  “There is a long history of white supremacist violence in the US. People have a right to know who their neighbor is and take steps to protect themselves,” said Peter Berkman, organizer with the group.  “You don’t get to be a weekend Nazi. You don’t get to participate in deadly neo-Nazi riots and then quietly return to your community like nothing happened.”  Kuhn has had his family and friends contacted, and with his new notoriety he is likely unable to remain in his home town. “I’m 21 years old and my life is over in this area,” said Kuhn.

The violence itself was incredibly broad and constant during Charlottesville, with the far-right contingent singling out and attacking protesters.  Six white men were photographed beating a black man named DeAndre Harris in a parking garage during the confrontation, flailing metal poles at him as he crawled on the ground.  Three of those men were charged with assaulting the man, including Richard W. Preston, who has been identified as an Imperial Wizard in the Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan out of northern Maryland.

Political Backlash

Despite the ostracizing of Alt Righters throughout the US, Donald Trump’s response to their violent rally has been tepid at best. First blaming “violence from many sides,” Trump came out two days later to denounce the KKK. However, he returned to the podium soon after to again claim that the “Alt Left” shares responsibility for the day’s tragic outcomes. Since then, he has offered impassioned support for the Alt Right’s campaign to keep the Confederate monuments in place, calling the movement to take them down “foolish.” As twice as many US Americans disapprove of Trump’s reaction than approve, key politicians from the GOP like Marco Rubio spoke out against him. Others, such as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio and Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana used the opportunity to voice opposition to white supremacy. Given their marginalization, Trump’s apparent support has been celebrated by the Alt Right, which in turn has further alienated Trump from the GOP. As some 10 percent fewer Republicans “strongly support” Trump than did in July, Steve Bannon’s firing signaled attempts to win back moderates and independents while maintaining Alt Right support.

The mass attack on Alt Right’s online platforms has the ability to render them completely invisible.  As Richard Spencer lamented months back when he was first shut down on Twitter along with another Alt Right figures like Ricky Vaughn, if you can’t find them on Amazon, Google, or social media, do they even exist?  They have acknowledged one complicated truth of the modern communication paradigm: a few companies control the access to speech for the vast majority.  This creates an easy channel for activists hoping to limit the ability of far right groups to organize, but this also provides ominous signals for the left as well.  Nonetheless, the Alt Right’s attempts to create counter-platforms for donations and social media are negligible since what has given them success is that regular people use services like Twitter and Patreon, not Gab and Hatreon.

The weekend after Charlottesville, more rightwing organizers converged on Boston for another “free speech” rally in the model begun by Lauren Southern in Berkeley.  The fifty participants were met by a counter-insurgency of an estimated 40,000 protesters, who forced the early cancellation of the right-wing rally and took to the streets against the rise of insurrectionary white supremacy.  Across the country, rallies, vigils, and demonstrations were raging, all in solidarity with the victims of Charlottesville and showing a united front against the rise of the Alt Right.  After Boston’s response, the anti-Muslim group Act for America canceled their upcoming string of 67 rallies planned across 36 states.  Act for America had been responsible for the recent “March Against Sharia” events where Alt Right groups were heavily represented. Another rally staged by Joey Gibson in the Bay Area attracted even fewer far-right demonstrators and thousands of counter-protesters, followed by dual follow-up rallies in Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, during which the far-right’s numbers were again miniscule in comparison to counter-protesters. To cap it off, following Gibson’s rally in Vancouver, a far-right activist sped his car through a group of protesters once again showing the inevitable murderous violence of their side.

The cultural tide shifted away from the Alt Right, birthed out of their own hubris, the belief that the Trump-voting public was actually ready for open and unashamed white nationalism.  As John Morgan, the former head of the Alt Right friendly publisher Arktos, said on Counter-Currents Radio, a white nationalist publisher who also got booted from funding platforms after Charlottesville, the Alt Right had spent its short life trying to unseat the specters haunting the public’s image of fascism.  “What [The Alt Right] originally stood for when we all started doing this stuff the better part of a decade ago, it was to overcome what we now call ‘Cuckservatism’… and it was also to overcome things like the legacy of the Klan in America and National Socialism,” points out Morgan.  “And basically Unite the Right has put us back in that mode, where everybody associates us with those things.”

Spencer decided to embrace the hatred most of the country now feels for him by returning to Charlottesville for an impromptu torchlight march, even though the maker of Tiki Torches has denounced him.  After his recent appearance at the University of Florida, where a massive organized resistance mocked him and disallowed his speech, his followers opened fire on protesters.  Disqus, the comment conversation plug-in for website, began dropping Alt Right websites like The Right Stuff as well.

The weeks after Unite the Right has shown anything but unity as people like Jason Kessler mock the victims, causing disassociation by figures like Richard Spencer and James Allsup.  The rest of the country is turning even more thoroughly against them, they are losing their platforms, and their organizations are disintegrating.  This provides opportunities for the left that must use this energy and the reality of the right’s violence to further build a mass movement that will overwhelm the right’s meager abilities. As the Alt Right realizes that it will not be able to plan mass rallies, however, they increasingly endorse “lone wolf” violence as the counterpart to their more attempts at respectability. For this reason, antifascist action remains critical on the grassroots level, not only to respond to larger rallies but to prevent fascist groups from gaining momentum toward violent acts that may leave countless people dead.

Fascism Today Lays Out How Fascism Rose in America, and What We Can Do to Stop It

“Shane Burley’s book includes a wealth of information about today’s far right groups, ideologies, strategies, and subcultures…. It also says a lot about the need for a multi-pronged approach to antifascism, and illustrates this argument with numerous and diverse examples of antifascist activism, past and present. It is the kind of book we need to help us understand—and end—fascism today.” Matthew Lyons, from the foreword

We can no longer ignore the fact that fascism is on the rise in the United States. What was once a fringe movement has been gaining cultural acceptance and political power for years. Rebranding itself as “alt-right” and riding the waves of both Donald Trump’s hate-fueled populism and the anxiety of an abandoned working class, they have created a social force that has the ability to win elections and inspire racist street violence in equal measure.

Fascism Today looks at the changing world of the far right in Donald Trump’s America. Examining the modern fascist movement’s various strains, Shane Burley has written an accessible primer about what its adherents believe, how they organize, and what future they have in the United States. The ascension of Trump has introduced a whole new vocabulary into our political lexicon—white nationalism, race realism, Identitarianism, and a slew of others. Burley breaks it all down. From the tech-savvy trolls of the alt-right to esoteric Aryan mystics, from full-fledged Nazis to well-groomed neofascists like Richard Spencer, he shows how these racists and authoritarians have reinvented themselves in order to recruit new members and grow.

Just as importantly, Fascism Today shows how they can be fought and beaten. It highlights groups that have successfully opposed these twisted forces and outlines the elements needed to build powerful mass movements to confront the institutionalization of fascist ideas, protect marginalized communities, and ultimately stop the fascist threat.


Shane Burley is a writer and filmmaker based in Portland, Oregon.  His work has appeared at places like Jacobin, In These Times, Waging Nonviolence, ThinkProgress, Labor Notes, Roar Magazine, Upping the Anti, and Make/Shift.


From the introduction to Fascism Today:

White nationalists have a revolutionary vision, one that opposes the state and dominant white culture as much as it does the left and non-whites. It wants to reimagine this world as one that is exclusively for white interests, where the “strong” rule over the “weak,” where women know their place and gender is firmly enforced. They have reached into the culture and found a firm grasp and are going to use this moment in the sun to grow, to expand their influence, to make themselves a militant threat to the values of democracy and equality. The battle for those on the left, the organized faction interested in great human equality, is now to understand who the Alt Right are and what they want, and they must look past the contradictory phrasings and confusing tactics to do that. The incidents of reactionary violence, the mobilization that figures like Trump and his racial scapegoating has inspired in working-class people, and the mainstreaming of explicit nationalism has made real the threat that was only in the background of many political battles over the last sixty years. Fascism has never been silenced exclusively by its own ineptitude, but instead by the concerted efforts of organizers that risk everything to stop it. Fascism attacks all of our movements: from the labor movement to anti-racist struggle, the growth of the LGBT fight to that over ecological liberation. Fascism makes these battles intersectional since it acts as a orchestrated attack on the core values of all of these movements, making real the idea that all oppression has a common center. Fascism is an attempt to answer the unfinished equation of capitalism and, instead of challenging the inequalities manifested through this economic system, it hardens them. With the election of Donald Trump, this “worst case scenario”, Fascism taking a hold, now seemed possible, which added material impetus for movements on the left to link up and take charge. This changed everything.

Fascism Today is available for excerpt
Shane Burley is available for interview

Contact Colin Beckett, and you can also request an advanced copy: press@akpress.org

Fascism Today can also be pre-ordered at Amazon.

Confront Augustus Invictus’ “White Genocide” Event on September 23rd

Augustus Sol Invictus, the self-named fascist attorney from Florida, has now tried to re-Christen himself as an activist after his Sentatorial bid blew up in flames.  Known for his Thelemic religion, his public goat sacrifice, his hobnobbing with neo-Nazi skinheads, and for shaking things up in the Florida Libertarian Party, Invictus is trying to insert himself as a player in the world of the Alt Right.

Playing on a common white nationalist talking point that “white genocide” is occurring, a claim that has zero factual basis, he has organized a blandly named “Americans Against Genocide” event in Jacksonville, Florida.  The “white genocide” meme is often used as a parable about the role of race in the modern world, where by miscegenation and multicultural society is tantamount to “white genocide” because the “purity” of the white race is compromised by “race mixing.”  It also traces heavily from South Africa, where the idea of “Boer farmer murders” is used to suggest that a genocide against Afrikkaners is taking place in an ANC nation.  They manipulate the numbers of farm murders, which are actually statistically lower than in the rest of the nation, refusing to look at the brutal conditions farm hands are treated with that has led to some acts of violence.

The speakers on the line-up to the event speak to this “white genocide” mythology, which is led off by Robert Engels, Karin Smith, and Vanessa Carlisle, all of which are from either South Africa or the former nation of Rhodesia, all attesting to the white South African perspective of the rally.  The Facebook Event Page has links tot he South African Family Relief Project, an NGO-sounding organization that many say is a front for the white supremacist movements throughout the country.

Vanessa Carlisle has been active posting on the Facebook page for the event, including different quotes suggesting that racism is just a word used to attack white people and was invented by communists.

Events like these cannot be allowed to go on without opposition, especially when they try to exploit liberal sentimentality with falsehoods about genocide.  This is the link to the event page, which people can use to expose the speakers and try to get pulled from Facebook.  The most important response will be to have a concerted antifascist action at the event itself, to confront Augustus and his army of racists.

 

Standing Against Islamophobia: Report Back from San Bernardino Action Against Islamophobic March

By Anonymous

This is a report back from someone on-the-ground in the San Bernardino anti-fascist action against the “March Against Sharia,” an Islamophobic event that happened across the country on June 10th.  Check out our report back from the Lansing, Michigan anti-fascist response as well.

Dealing With the Liberals

During our anti-fascist organizing meetings, people from the liberal group rise up tried to derail us. They disrupted our meetings and tried to get us to stay home saying that they thought we weren’t going to be effective and that we would just play right into the fascists hands. We made it clear that they were not welcome back, but they still tried to sabotage us in other ways.  One of our organizers was the target of a harassment campaign set up by a member of Rise Up. He received dozens of phone calls from members of Rise Up harassing him.

Despite the needless roadblocks presented by liberals, we were still able to organize a force of about 100 people to take the northwest street corner of Waterman and Orange. In Southern California, especially San Bernardino, it is almost impossible to organize any kind of demonstration without the sponsorship of liberals and Democrats. We threw them overboard and actually organized more people than they did at their “counter demo,” which they organized more than a mile away. Given the unfavorable organizing conditions here, triple-digit attendance is a huge win for us.

 

The Fascist Side

We instantly recognized at least 50 of the people in attendance at the “anti-Sharia” rally as Orange County residents. The group that calls themselves the Proud Boys showed up in droves, and are from Orange County (one of our chants was “Proud Boys, Shameful Men!”). We also recognized some Oath Keepers and 3%ers, local violent patriot militia members, although they were not carrying firearms. According to our intelligence gathering, the Oath Keepers and 3%ers were actually driven in from out of state.

This tells us the fash can’t effectively organize without importing other non-local groups, something they have done around the country at these “free speech” rallies. This just goes to show that they have no ties to the community whatsoever.

 

Our United Front

We organized a coalition comprised of a dozen socialist, communist and anarchist groups all local to the Inland Empire. We were supposed to have the support of a lot of Los Angeles based groups, but the majority of them bailed on us at the last minute. Despite the non-locals who did not turn out for us, we still had a big enough crowd to hold that street corner. The fash attacked us on four separate occasions. We were a quarter of their size, so we recognized that any action on our part that could be seen as “violent” would result in us losing the street corner. The reality was, the fash charged us and if we had responded, it would have been self defense.

Our tactic instead was to pack together as densely as possible and lock arms so that we couldn’t be split by the incoming fascists. When the cops saw that we were literally going to turn ourselves into punching bags, they decided to get involved. Every time the fash tried to charge us, we locked arms and the cops blocked their path. We were all expecting the opposite. We thought the cops were going to watch us take a beating. Even though they did the right thing at those moments, the cops still surrounded us with their batons out, acting like they were going to attack us. The cops were a lot rougher on our guys than they were on the fash. If we set one foot on the street the cops were all over us screaming to get back on the sidewalk.

Meanwhile, the fash was doing the exact same thing with very little interference from the cops. At the end of the day, despite being a fraction of the size we were louder, more disciplined and more militant. We weren’t able to shut their rally down, but we held our ground successfully. We frustrated the fash so much that they turned to vandalism to get their anger out. 

 

Final Count

0 fatalities

1 injury on our side

3 arrests on the fash side

-lessons

1. Don’t consider liberal feelings, you don’t need their sponsorship to do anything.

2. Keep going. What we’re doing is absolutely necessary.

3. Be aware of the reality of your situation. Poor choices will result in self-destruction and a clear victory for fash.

A Community United: Reportback and Video from Portland Clash Between the Alt Right and Anti-Fascists

The image across Southwest Madison Street in Downtown Portland, Oregon, was reminiscent of naval warfare, of two opposing camps hurling across a blocked divide.  Inside of the federally-regulated Terry Schrunk Plaza an Alt Right “Free Speech” rally was swelling while the community was descending against it on all sides, amassing its most militant faction in the park directly across the street.  A line of riot police backed by federal officers from the Department of Homeland Security kept the groups apart, at least in principle until individuals decided to bridge the gap to antagonize the other.  Attendees from the “right-wing” side came over to blast protesters, instigating fights that were met immediately by hundreds who had come there to respond to the culture of racist violence that had left the city shuttering over recent weeks.  There was anger, but it made sense for what had transpired and the brazenness of the Alt Right and “patriot” groups who were gloating in their amphitheater.

Free Speech?

The idea of a “Free Speech” event held in a public park with a dais lined with minor far-right celebrities has been a new concept since Lauren Southern led the stage in Berkeley, California on April 15th.  Following the months earlier response to Alt Right provocateur Milo Yiannoupouls at Berkeley and the cancellation of anti-immigrant antagonist Anne Coulter, Southern led commentators from AltRight.com and Kyle Chapman, a man made famous for showing up at a previous Bay Area event to attack anti-fascist protesters.

While their branding is one about open access to speech and their rhetoric is traditional Trumpian fare, their driving element is an opposition to the growing anti-fascist mass movement.  This phenomenon has been labeled “independent Trumpism” by anti-fascist writer Spencer Sunshine, taking the Trumpist cultural space outside of the official bounds of the GOP and creating a tacit coalition of the Alt Right, the militia movement, some areas of evangelicals, hard right rural people, and the anti-PC trolling crowd into a violent opposition to the left.  Labeling all opposition as Antifa, which is a more militant organizational praxis used to confront neo-Nazis and white supremacists directly, they have created unity in their own ranks in opposition to the organized resistance they are seeing in cities around the country.  From open Alt Right white nationalist organizations to patriot militias, their direct repression is not coming from state actors, but instead community organizations across the left spectrum that have seen the threat they present as Trump rose to power.  Now that resistance has given them a targeted enemy to vilify, and these events are designed to draw out that opposition so that they can stage attacks.

In Portland, they knew the opposition would be massive given the palatable community rage about what had recently transpired.  In a racist attack, Jeremy Christian, a local man with white supremacist roots, killed two men and injured one other who were intervening on his treatment of Muslim women on public transportation.  Christian was known to frequent these “Free Speech” events, including the one organized by Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson.  After the attacks, the community banded together, supporting the families of the victims and holding vigils at the attack site, yet an upcoming Alt Right “Free Speech” rally was planned.  While Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler tried to get the federal government to intervene and cancel the rally, he failed to do so, and instead hundreds of community organizations, churches, political projects, and labor unions got ready to stand up to their presence.

On the Ground

What resulted is a window into the multiple minds of a left opposition, both in contradiction with each other and congruent in varied approaches.  To the west was a “Stop Hate” rally organized by various socialist parties looking for an alternative to direct engagement with the right, vying for chants, speakers, and banners in a unified block.  In front of the federal building to the east of the “Free Speech” rally was a block of labor activists, headed by building trade union rank-and-file members including the Carpenters Local 1503, Iron Workers Local 29, AFT-Oregon, IUPAT Local 10, and IATSE Local 28.  This solid block of chants was a rhetorical alternative to the “working class” lingo that the patriot militias, particularly the Oath Keepers and III%ers from rural counties of the state, were attempting to capitalize.  To the North, and closest in to the right-wing convergence, was the more militant action, called for by Rose City Antifa and the Pacific Northwest Anti-Fascist Workers Collective, and amassing the largest group of people.  In unison, the three events compressed Terry Schrunk, creating a horseshoe of vocal opposition.  While the “Free Speech” rally pulled in almost three hundred, the anti-fascist collection brought in more than 3,000.

While their rally did not begin until 2:00pm, many were in the park by 10:00am getting set up.  Coordinating with a security detail calling themselves The Guardians, a group of mostly patriot militia members brandishing well-worn insignia patrolled the area, pushing through bushes in an attempt to reveal hiding protesters.  They were then flooded with an influx of participants, including large out-of-state contingents.  This included Proud Boys, part of the Alt Light configuration formed by Vice co-founder Gavin Mcinnis, who are “Western Civilization chauvinist.”  While most were white, and often dressed as skinheads, there were a few Proud Boys of color, all of which who were open about their Eurocentrism, anti-immigrant anger, and pro-market perspective.  The security teams met with the police and then worked in concert with them, including assisting with arrests in one controversial move.  They were even allowed to bring in a crate of riot helmets; all allowed by Department of Homeland Security Agents.  Members of the white nationalist Traditionalist Workers Party were there with “Diversity = White Genocide” signs.  Members of the National Socialist Movement moved throughout the crowd, though didn’t identify themselves.  They were only singled out by anti-fascist doxxing previously that revealed their affiliations.  This was not surprising given the large collection of racist signs, such as suggesting Black Lives Matter were violent terrorists.

The event was headlined by “Based Stickman,” Kyle Chapman, and Baked Alaska, the Alt Right YouTube phenomenon who livestreamed on his own face the entire time he was there.  In between baiting the counter-protesters, yelling about “throwing communists from helicopters,” and labeling all of the press as “fake news” or “ISIS,” he acted like a scene celebrity, talking down to those who approached him.  Chapman was more open, giving interviews and asserting that he was a firm “American Nationalist.”  They set the tone for the event, where the purpose was to mock and fight the left.  Dozens came in pads and helmets, often with shields, ready to attack the left.  Kek flags were flown or used as capes, as well as Pepe signs held under MAGA hats.  The goal was less a conscious political event and more of a spectacle, an antagonism to the community that has already suffered so much.

Their tokenism was on full display, where a Samoan member of The Guardians was invited to do a “warrior dance” in the beginning and they included a trans-woman as one of their first speakers.  She proceeded to take the Chinese flag, spit and step on it, and then said that all the mayor cares about is “communists and criminal illegals.”  She was celebrated for her past “special forces” training that she used to attack leftist protesters in Berkeley.

As the crowds swelled, the police mobilized to block interaction, making it next to impossible to move between the crowds.  Those that moved into the streets were identified and tackled, mostly being on the side of the opposition.  Based Spartan, a cartoonish buffoon who dresses like a sword-and-sandal warrior got into fights with their own security, demanding that they stop “suppressing his free speech” by asking him not to stand on the sidewalk.

Eventually the police declared the assembly adjacent to the “Free Speech” rally canceled, saying that illegal activity took place.  This included claims that bricks were taken off of bathroom facilities and thrown at the cops, yet this was unseen in photographs or videos and a reporter from KBOO radio went to the facility and found that no bricks were missing.  The police then fired off rubber bullets and concussion grenades into the crowd, topped off by tear-gas canisters.  After blockades were set up by protesters, they eventually headed into the streets of Portland in a large march.  Police responded by violently kettling protesters and reporters, attacking many and arresting almost twenty.  The Alt Right crowd shrunk, but those that remained taunted the leftists as the police engaged.

The police action did not define the day, the community response did.  What the police’s response indicates, more than anything, is that there is an ongoing antagonism between the police and Portland protesters, and that a culture of violence is permeating between the departments in how they handle dissent.  No matter what the police’s response was, the community was united and has built a base that can further feed anti-fascist organizing.

Richard Spencer Gets Banned on SoundCloud

The podcast created the Alt Right.

The conversational nature of the podcasts have allowed them to take the canon of white supremacist philosophy, from the Conservative Revolution to the French New Right to “Race Realism,” and make it easily understood.  Richard Spencer, the founder of the Alt Right and the person behind the National Policy Institute and the Radix Journal, was on the front line of this with his original podcast Vanguard Radio.  He had on guests like Jared Taylor and even Pat Buchanan, and starting at AlternativeRight.com he has churned out hundreds of episodes on everything from immigration scandals to film analysis.  He ported his original Vanguard Radio podcast over to the Radix Journal in the form of the Radix Journal Podcast, then merging with other media projects to form AltRight.com.

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His ability to do this, however, has been halted as his hosting, SoundCloud, has finally booted him.  After a “tweetstorm” from Alternet contributor Alex Kotch, SoundCloud responded and took down his podcast library.  This is an important and useful tactic for antifascists as going after their media communication is critical for severing their ability to recruit and organize.  We have gone after many Alt Right podcasts in the past, helping to get podcasts like The Daily Shoah and Fash the Nation removed from SoundCloud.  Spencer has already had his podcast removed from iTunes due to pressure, and so has most of the Alt Right podcasts (Counter Currents Radio archive is still available on iTunes, however.).

As it stands, the Radix Journal is basically a ghost town.  It has been all but formally abandoned, and now with their podcast feed severed there is even less reason for people to visit there.  This is an incredible turn of events as the most popular Alt Right media outlets are being destroyed.  This method of community pressure needs to be continued for other podcasts held by SoundCloud and distrubited by places like Stitcher.  Right now, Kulture Kampf and others are still on SoundCloud, and the Red Ice Radio feed is still available on Stitcher.  The advantage we have is the Terms of Service of these platforms preclude this type of content, so we can easily push them to remove them through mass community comments.

This is how it can work: First, figure out the podcast in question. Then single it out and promote the SoundCloud or other platform’s customer service lines, whether by phone, email, or social media.  Then do mass contact asking it to be taken down, and give examples of the offensive content (which is incredibly easy to find).  This can take them down one at a time, and will easily sever their most popular platforms.

Spencer will likely find some type of hosting that will be free from pressure and where he will continue to be able to keep his podcasts running.  What that lacks, though, is a mass audience social networking component that he gets by using well known services.  This is what has allowed the Alt Right to gain an audience quickly, because they use the same platforms as some of the biggest media names in the U.S.  Once that is gone they will only be able to reach their core audience, and their ability to recruit will be destroyed.

Let’s keep this trend going.

Letter to the Patriot Militias: The Alt Right Murders Veterans

By Portland Antifascists

The alt-right is closer to power than ever, yet they have never been further from reality. The media portrays them as everywhere at once—from the beleaguered White House to your neighborhood street corner, wheat pasting fascist literature about “European identity.” Yet for all their online presence and in-real-life media attention, their assortment of “Kekistan Flags” and “Pepe” memes expose a dying culture of hatred. Using their memes to maintain an ironic distance from one another, as well as reality, they hope to supplant the modern world with their own jaded vision—one which we are sure you support just as little as we do. We ask that, when you see a Kekistan Flag flying, when you identify the ironic subcultures of Reddit and 4chan that bubble up to the surface of everyday life through the alt-right’s manifestations, that you refuse to look the other way. Oppose them as we do, because they seek your undoing as much as they do yours.

For the newbies who don’t know what the alt-right is, it is a white supremacist movement that came out of different libertarian and far right trends in the 2010s. Its leader, Richard Spencer, advocates violence against political enemies who believe in freedom and equality. The other key alt-right personalities like Mike Enoch, Andrew Anglin, and Matt Heimbach advocate various forms of neo-Nazism.  Their ideas are not new, they have floated up over the years, blaming immigrants for crime, Jews for “subverting Western culture,” and destroying any unity working people have had. Although the alt-right supported the Trump campaign, they have since moved to a more autonomous political position.  While the alt-right hopes to portray themselves just as “not PC” or simple Trump supporters, their rhetoric, friendships, and plans reveal them to be the same white supremacists that have terrorized this country for years.

Because their neo-Nazi ideas remain unpopular in the US, alt-right leaders use the general rejection of their white identity politics as a rallying point to defend their “free speech.” Laden with bitter anti-Semitism, racism, and conspiracy theories, these “free speech” rallies quickly became lightning rods for the revival of neo-Nazism in the US.  Free speech was, itself, a lie, since they have been open about how they would dispose of democracy and the free exchange of ideas if they were to ever take power.  Instead, they saw it as an opportunity to recruit for their ideas, and they could use the banner of free speech to argue for racial separatism without interruption.  The rally in Berkeley held by the alt-right drew a crowd of hundreds with the impetus of attacking left-wing counter-demonstrators, leading to bloody confrontations. Similar rallies in Boston and Portland deliberately antagonized local communities, as outsiders affiliated with Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman and other militant, violent alt-right groups descended on cities looking for a fight.  The communities, in response, turned further against them and their followers.

Such rallies have fostered an atmosphere of hatred against antifascists and Muslims, directly contributing to the double murder on Friday, May 26, of innocent people attempting to defend Muslim teenage girls from hatefully harassment on public transit. The two men were killed for behaving out of heroic bravery. Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche was a peaceful 23 year old who had just graduated from a local college and was trying to get his life started. Rick Best was a 23-year veteran of the US military with a wife and kids—the youngest of whom is a 12 year old daughter.

Disgraceful as ever, supporters of the alt-right descended on the pages of mourning community members to question the attitudes of the culprit, calling him a “Bernie-bro,” a leftist, and a supporter of antifa. From research that we have done, including speaking to former associates in the local metal scene, there is more to the story than that. According to their accounts, before the Trump campaign, Jeremy Christian was a troubled and damaged man but he was not a killer. He did support the Sanders Campaign and spend time reading comic books and going to rock concerts. However, when Sanders lost, his ire against Hillary Clinton developed into support for Donald Trump. Soon, it appears, his anger began to fester and grow into conspiracy theories about Jews and Muslims.

Christian was increasingly obsessed with the same conspiracy theories that the alt-right cultivate in order to expand the gap between reality and fiction.  While many on the alt-right disbelieve conspiracy theories like “Pizzagate,” they continue to promote them to gain followers and manipulate a distrust in the surrounding community and media. When the alt-right began holding “free speech” rallies, Christian’s rhetoric became increasingly violent toward those targeted by the alt-right. Joey Gibson’s local Portland Prayer group, also known as the “Warriors for Freedom,” helped Christian locate a material outlet for his hatred. When he arrived at one of Gibson’s “free speech rallies,” Christian immediately attempted to attack counter-protestors with a baseball bat unprovoked. After police confiscated his bat, Gibson continued to scream at antifascists, even throwing up a Nazi salute and racial slurs, but was welcomed within the rally.

Police had thwarted his desire to engage in physical violence against counter-protestors, and despite finding an outlet for his rage, Christian continued to fume. Amid Gibson’s renewed calls for another “free speech rally”—this time in the heart of Portland—Christian could not control himself. On a well-trafficked light rail MAX line in the relatively docile neighborhood of Hollywood, Christian verbally assaulted Muslim women, one of whom wore a hijab. Three white men stood up for the women, and an enraged Christian stabbed them in the throat, killing two and critically injuring the other. These were not incidental killings due to the kind of indiscriminate collateral damage of a knife fight; they were clear and precise throat strikes with the intention of severing the carotid artery and jugular vein. The surviving victim is alive because, although the knife struck the jugular, it barely nicked the carotid.  He will carry the scars of this attack the rest of his life, a reminder of the time he sacrificed everything to defend someone in need.

Think of the distance between the heroic act of defending a vulnerable teenager from a stranger’s aggressive harassment, on one hand, and the cowardice evidenced by alt-right members on the web following the attacks. Some alt-right members called the murderer “/ourguy/” and others called him “based knifeman.” Harold Covington, the murderous white supremacist who took part in the murder of labor activists by KKK members in the 1970s, claimed Christian as one of his own.  Although Richard Spencer has distanced himself from Christian, his followers have already built up a kind of cult for him as a logical and reasonable representative of their cause—an extension of Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman. And that’s exactly correct.

Jeremy Christian is the alt-right today. He represents the kind of mob violence that happens when you combine the mob violence mobilized by Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman with the lone wolf violence promoted through alt-right forums from 4chan to Andrew Anglin’s Daily Stormer website. The response to such a violent movement that slaughters law abiding citizens for no other reason than acting on the defense of civil rights must be unified opposition.  This has always been how white supremacist groups operate, mobilizing those who feel powerless to feed on their bigoted rage and to enact putrid acts of violence while the leaders stay comfortable in their plush Montana homes.

The “based knifeman” alt-right double murder, it should be noted, came on the one-month anniversary of another alt-right attack—this one carried out on a university campus in Kentucky by a young man brandishing a machete. It came less than a week after a cowardly member of the alt-right stabbed and killed Richard Collins III, a second lieutenant in the US Army, while waiting for an Uber ride at the University of Maryland. It came one week after police discovered the gruesome murder of two people by a member of the alt-right who, like Jeremy Christian, idealized Timothy McVeigh, and was apparently building a dirty bomb.

Jeremy “based knifeman” Christian is not someone outside of the realm of the alt-right. He is, as their community members have claimed, a part of the increased pressure the alt-right has placed on college campuses and left-leaning liberal hubs throughout the US. No self-respecting human being in the US should participate in the atrocious deterioration of humanity manifested by the alt-right and its persistent attacks against the innocent and vulnerable in society. Ask yourself, if you are an Oath Keeper, a militia member, or if you are just a right-wing member of society—would you support the slaughter of innocent civilians at war? If the alt-right is doing that today under the auspices of a self-declared war against a society that wants nothing to do with them, why support them in that effort? Why wrap villainy in the flag and give it that protection, rather than identify the movement for what it is?

The alt-right no more believes in the American flag than it does the Kekistan flag or the memes of Pepe the frog. They are using you to gain ground, and once it came to your turn, they would turn against you as mercilessly as if you were a teenage Muslim girl or those attempting to protect her. In supporting Joey Gibson, “Based Stickman,” and the alt-right’s mobilizations, you are encouraging the murder of innocent people in defiance of your own stated ideals. We can all see where this hypocrisy leads. We ask you humbly to step away from it before it destroys you and us.

In loving memory of Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche and Rick Best.

In solidarity against fascism and the alt-right. 

Click here to donate to the surviving person attacked by Jeremy Christian.

Donate to the Muslim Women Who Were Assaulted in Portland by the Alt Right Murderer

The story of what happened in Portland, Oregon on Friday, May 26th has gone viral.  An Alt Right person on a train began assaulting two young Muslim women for wearing Hijabs.  Three men stood up to intervene and they were brutally attacked with a knife, two of them were killed and one of them left in serious condition in the hospital.

We are trying to post the fundraisers for everyone who were involved, and we just posted the fundraiser for the survivor of the attack who is currently in the hospital.  We are now sharing the fundraiser for the two women who were targeted by the white supremacist and had to endure one of the most traumatizing experiences imaginable.  The money is intended to support them in their recovery, from treatment to transportation, and the funds will be critical to allowing them the time and space needed.

We need to support each other not just with words, but with actions.  Donating some money is a great start, but it cannot end there.  We need to get involved in a material basis, organizing in our communities and confronting these fascist movements as they grow and confront.  We stand with a “no platform” mentality, where we disallow people like this to actually recruit and organize.  Jeremy Christian, the Alt Right murderer on public transportation that day, was a part of the Alt Right “free speech” rallies that were happening in Portland.  On June 4th, Kyle Chapman, the “based stickman,” is holding another rally in Portland, one where Christian was likely to be.  For those in the area, Rose City Antifa, the Pacific Northwest Anti-Fascist Workers Collective, the Torch Network, and a number of supporters, including the Black Rose Anarchist Federation, are organizing to stand up to the Alt Right.  They will not let something like this happen again in their town.

Donate Here to the Women Targeted by the Alt Right Murderer