Category Archives: Militia Movement

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.

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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.

What Would Have Happened to the Alt Right if Trump Had Lost?

 

The presidential election of 2016 is going to go down as one of the largest political upsets in history.  Even into the evening, most mainstream pollsters and political rags were declaring a decisive Clinton victory, and as the states rolled in red, a sense of desperation hit the streets.  Sure, Clinton was a candidate of the capitalist class, but Trump had awakened the racist id of white America.  No matter what you think of the political caste, he provided a mass mobilization to the Alt Right, who lacked a connection to the mainstream before his campaign.  They had grown by leaps and bounds, but what would have happened to them if Trump had actually lost?

***

A slight tone of mourning would have graced the Ronald Regan building as the suit and tie guests make their way through metal detectors and waves of counter-protesters. But also a feeling of victory. The sold-out conference, which sold out its discounted “Millennial” tickets weeks in advance, knows where its boost has come from. Even if Trump had lost, their numbers had increased more than any of them could have dreamed.

The National Policy Institute’s annual conference took place on November 19th, and was the largest Alt Right meeting of the year. With the steroid injection they have received from crossover figures like Milo Yianouplous and the caustic rhetoric of Trump, it was not surprising it was the biggest in their short history. The National Policy Institute is the benign name for the central institution of the diffuse Alt Right, the latest attempt at rebranding the white nationalist movement. Founded by William Regnery, the inheritor to the Regnery Publishing operation, and Sam Francis, now deceased paleoconservative and racialist author known for his work at the Washington Post, the organization was taken over several years ago by Alternative Right founder Richard Spencer. In the years since, Spencer has made it an “identitarian” think-tank, bringing together the various strains of the Alt Right into a meeting point that can try to take the movement’s ideas forward.

Their conferences have become a “who’s who” of the movement, linking up “shitlords” on Twitter with white racialists who have been in the movement for decades. In years past we have seen people like long-time white nationalist Sam Dickson, VDare founder Peter Brimelow, French New Right philosopher Alain De Benoist, and “male tribalism” advocate Jack Donovan.  In 2016 they rode the wave of celebrity and even included Tila Tequila, the bi-racial reality-television celebrity who has come under fire for her virulent anti-Semitism, anti-black racism, and Holocaust Denial and “flat earth” conspiracy theories. Peter Brimelow was ported over again, as well as Dr. Kevin MacDonald, a former University of California at Long Beach professor whose work on Jews has become the central doctrine for modern anti-Semitism. Millennial Woes, F. Roger Devlin, and the people behind Red Ice Creations, all of which have become Alt Right stars in the world of Internet podcasting and streaming video, joined them. British nationalist politician Matthew Tait spoke about Brexit after his time supporing the UK Independence Party.

In an attempt to make the NPI gatherings more of a social network and fraternal community, they included nationalist neofolk and post-industrial musicians Xurious and Upward Path, as well as evening cocktails and polite banter before the main conference presentations begin the following afternoon.

For the Alt Right as a branded movement, this was the high water mark, and though the Trump victory added an element of celebration, a loss would have had much the same atmosphere.  One of rebellion, race, and revolution.  The cameras from The Atlantic later caught conference goers Seig Heiling as Richard Spencer yelled “Hail Trump, Hail our people, Hail victory!”

 

Breaking Through to the Mainstream

What is undeniable is that a Trump loss in the Presidential election would have cost the Alt Right their bridge to the GOP.  As Spencer has often derided, the GOP is not explicitly in line with their political vision. Instead, the Republican focus on free markets, tax policy, foreign intervention, and other disparate “idea clusters” distracts from what they want, which is an institution dedicated to manifesting white ethnic interests. Beyond all of their guesses, the GOP then turned in their favor as Trump rode a populist-wave into the Republican nomination, and if Hillary had taken the White House that branding would not have stuck.

Instead, a Trump loss would lead the GOP to strip out all remnants of the Trump campaign, including supporters, messaging, and partnerships. For years the GOP has searched to reestablish a soul, one that was lost after the George W. Bush presidency took the country to the nadir of Neoconservative approval. It went through various stages of possible rebranding, such as the Tea Party and hard libertarianism, but all failed to galvanize the base into a real ideological force that they could ride into a new coherent identity. Trump’s civic nationalism represents another branding opportunity, and a loss would have added it to the list of losing identities.

Places like Breitbart would of moved on to the next trendy thing in conservatism, just like they did in the various incarnations it has been through since Andrew Breitbart first dreamed it up at the Huffington Post. This would have pushed the ‘Alt Lite,” the people like Milo Yianoupoulos and Gavin McGinnis who mainstream the Alt Right’s message, further away from the Alt Right’s ideological core, turning on the white nationalists and repudiating their radical base.

Since the base of Trump’s support in rural and midwestern states have yet to prove that they have a grassroots movement building strategy separate from the Trump campaign, it would have been unlikely that there would have been a mainstream “Trump Republican” movement beyond this election. This message can be drawn explicitly from the Bernie Sanders campaign, which has yet to show that it has legs to exist as something tangible past the election and piecemeal victories like influencing the Democratic Party platform.

For the Alt Right and the various strands of white nationalism, this would have effectively become the “black pill,” a tool for them to lose faith in the political system and forces them to look to other options.

 

No Enemies to the Right

Even before the election, the Alt Right began consolidating itself to the right. In a large part this came from the growth of the Alt Lite and the desire that many had in core Alt Right circles to define themselves ideologically. They were not just “anti-PC, “anti-SJW,” against immigration and for Trump, they were white nationalists. This meant creating strong allies within the “1488 crowd,” which means the more explicit neo-Nazi and KKK communities. This is going to help them re-enter the white nationalist subculture as access to mainstream conservatism shrinks over the coming months. This would help to slowly dissolve the cultural identity that made the Alt Right distinct from the larger white nationalist project, one that was forged out of its middle-class character and associations with high paying tech jobs. As they further meld with the larger mass of white nationalism it will further radicalize their constituency, even if people like Richard Spencer and American Renaissance’s Jared Taylor will desperately try to hold on to the moderate intellectual tone they have achieved.

“I do think that their approach, generally speaking, will be to double down and triple down on overt appeals to Ethnonationalism,” says Tim Wise, an anti-racist writer discussing their possibilities if Trump was to lose.

“There will be a threshold that they will find themselves bumping up against because there is still an aversion to their open fascism.”

This exit from the political sphere would force a “reform vs. revolution” discussion inside of the fascist right, one that has happened for years in anticipation. Even as recently as the 2015 American Renaissance conference there was as a staged debate about whether or not the “race problem” can be solved inside the American political system. Peter Brimelow and former National Review writer John Derbyshire sided with the electoral system, while Spencer and Dickson took a more revolutionary position. With their feelings confirmed, Spencer would likely have continued his call for a “meta-political identity” that can eventually take advantage of what many on the Alt Right see as the inevitable “Balkanization” of American states. They want to foment white revolution just as many neo-Nazis have suggested for years, and that notion would have crystalized after the loss. Their proposed “Ethnostate” would then become a revolutionary project; one that will require the overthrow of the U.S. government in some form, even if they believe the American project is doomed even without their revolutionary opposition.

 

U.S. Under Attack

The most dramatic increase in possibly violent tension from the far right would have happened in the form of the militia movement, which already poses itself as a revolutionary faction. Though Trump will only intensify this turn, it has been validated in the recent acquittal of the Bundy family and accomplices in the 2015 occupation and standoff at the Malheur Wildlife Sanctuary outside of Burns, Oregon. The recent verdict in federal court shocked many, especially as arrests and confrontations littered the largely peaceful encampment blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock. The armed occupation, which damaged sacred Paiute land and cost the state millions, was the latest stage in a build up coming from Patriot groups fighting for privatizing land rights.

Though the Trump camp would likely have been unable to create a grassroots movement outside the election, it is fertile territory for a well-crafted message from militia groups like the Oath Keepers and the 3%ers. They will be able to speak to the rural angst of many of these groups, intermixing their experiences of financial instability with a reactionary white anger. As rural America sees hits on small farms, the decrease of unionized manufacturing, and the shrinking of local economies, the instability is likely to increase these feelings of isolation. The militias have used this to their advantage and have stoked a racially motivated anger out of that situation in the absence of the left.

Though the Alt Right is an outsider to these movements, they can continue to contribute rhetorically by continuing to ignite fears about immigration, non-white crime, and the perils of a “progressive government.” There may even be a material support that begins to transpire as the wealthier elements of the Alt Right attempt to hedge their bets, but either way it will means an effort to further racialized the Patriot movement and prepare them for nationalist confrontation.

 

A Move Towards Violence

The Alt Right, especially in its leadership, has been clear that they do not want violence. For people like Spencer and Taylor, this would change the public perception of their movement and stop them from achieving the mass groundswell they would need for a radical change in the country. They have an uphill battle since the history of white nationalism is the history of racist violence, and its one they are slowly trying to build an alternative for.

The problem for them is that this dynamic would begin to change with a swiftness as their core constituencies, who are radical white nationalists, saw that their previous efforts were partial failures and they begin to look towards possibilities with more firepower. Their rhetoric turns violent through an image of revolution where confrontation with the government, and eventually other races, is inevitable.

“Some of the people who have been brought into this Alt Right orbit, who are not the intellectuals…are going to turn to a much more reactionary approach,” says Wise.

“I fear that there will be a sort of uptick in blatantly terroristic actions, probably done in lone-wolf fashion, not necessarily organized… I think there will be certain there will be some folks in that movement that say ‘It’s time for war.’”

For years, white nationalism has seen this logic through its notion of “lone wolf” violence. This comes from the “leaderless resistance” model proposed by people like Louis Beam, who saw a failure in electoral politics after his participation in the early campaigns of David Duke. The notion was further proposed by Tom Metzger, the founder of the Nazi skinhead allied White Aryan Resistance who was sued into oblivion by the Southern Poverty Law Center after WAR affiliated skinheads murder an Ethiopian student. Lone wolf action sees spontaneous, disconnected violence and murder as a possibility, with the targeting of Jews, non-whites, and political officials as key action items. While this seems disconnected from the discourse inside the Alt Right, its further consolidation within the larger white nationalist movement and a feeling of political helplessness as conservatism abandons them after Trump’s loss could increase its likelihood. When the rhetoric is of necessity and the method is revolution, unstable individuals who feel like they “must do something” have the potential to slip into acts of seemingly random mass violence.

This turn would be self-reinforcing, as the increasingly violent rhetoric would continue to marginalize the Alt Right, which will continue to push it towards violent tendencies.

 

History Repeats Itself

The pattern of white nationalist failure has been seen over the last several decades as they have had similar periods of crossover. In the 1960s, as the Civil Rights movement began to set fire to the policies of the Jim Crow South, many white nationalists saw a crossover potential in the pro-segregationist movement and organizations like the White Citizen’s Councils. As they began to lose the third-era of the Ku Klux Klan began resorting to terrorist violence, including the bombing of children in churches and the murders of civil rights activists.

Through the 1980s, the failure of white nationalist politics to head into mainstream conservatism led to the creation of the revolutionary group The Order. Using support from militia groups and neo-Nazi havens like the Aryan Nations, they went on a stream of bank robberies and murder until federal agents took them down in fiery episodes of violence.

White nationalism from the Second World War onward has a pattern of attempting to find crossover movements that they can use to mainstream their messages. They are inevitably betrayed by those movements as they moderate, which sends their ideological core to become more radical. This often leads to disorganized actions of mass violence that horrifies their leadership, which were hoping that their ethnic nationalism could finally be taken seriously by the mainstream.

With this pattern in mind, it could be a mistake to dismiss the Alt Right as merely a fringe phenomenon of over-privileged white men using Anime avatars from their basement. The Alt Right has shown its ability to utilize electoral campaigns, but that is the end of its reach since it shares the same identity as the organizations posting on Stormfront, reveling in their long history of violence.

Anti-racist movements will have to tangle with this counter force for years to come, and that is only intensifying in Trump’s America. The advantages that these organizations have today is the years of education and multiracial organizing that have built a base to confront these voices, though undoing their logic of conspiracy theory, scientific racism, and manipulation is going to require an ongoing focus on anti-racist education and community empowerment. As these voices transmute and possibly become more pernicious it will mean a stronger effort in communities to see the threat that white nationalism actually presents for safety and to find solutions that both bring the community together and protect the most vulnerable.

Now that Trump has won, the question remains, what’s next?  As Trump betrays his promises, capitulates to international capital, and is a failure at his primary policy points, it is likely the same direction will happen with the Alt Right.  Some segments are growing, as seen with the recent Lauren Southern event, but others are shrinking as well.  It seems like now that Alt Right is trying to define itself back into its radical image, and the final break with Trump could signal a return to the terrorism that white nationalism is known for.

 

 

 

The Complete Anti-Fascist Reading List

The term “fascism” has been thrown around left circles for decades as a proxy for authoritarianism, racism, or both. This inability to properly define and understand how fascist movements erupt and grow has created a deficit in organizing, and as we head into a Trump presidential administration and the massive growth of the Alt Right and white nationalism organizers across the left need the tools to break down these movements and how they work. There have been a lot of “reading lists” put out recently, so we thought we would compile one of our own that combines a whole number of threads that are important for understanding how fascism works. This includes detailed looks at the Alt Right, the more mainstream “Alt Lite,” the role of Neofolk and goth music, white nationalist organizing, the history of white nationalist violence, how the revival of scientific racism works, how anti-Semitism plays out, and all the other tentacles that make the intersectional beast of the new fascist movement.

This list of readings is far from complete, and this page is going to continue to be updated as we add new sections and flesh out the ones that are here. If you think there are some great ones that are missing, let us know, and also know that it is the writings, videos, and audio recordings below that make up a lot of the thinking that goes into this website. We have also angled the list below more in favor of newer articles as well as ones that are generally accessible(though there are a few academic ones dotted in there).

 

Alt Right

 

Alt Lite

 

Neofolk

 

White Nationalist Organizing

 

Anti-Semitism

 

Scientific Racism

 

Defining Fascism

 

Queerness and Fascism

 

Esoteric Fascism

 

National Anarchism

 

Third Position

 

White Nationalist Violence

 

Conspiracy Theory

 

Militia Movement

 

Donald Trump and White Nationalism

 

Anti-Fascist Organizing

INDIANA: WHITE NATIONALISTS, NEO-NAZIS, AND “PATRIOTS” COLLABORATE FOR EVENT

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Editor’s Note: Due to high calls, the Lion’s Club of Indiana has contacted the people who originally booked the event and told them that they do not want their business. We were told on the phone by the Lion’s Club that they do not agree with the views of these groups and are opposed to them. They also stated that the fascists told the Lion’s Club on the phone that they had already found another venue and that the event was still happening. So stay vigilant, but as for now, it appears that the Lion’s Club event has been shut down. 

The Traditionalist Workers Party, which recently made headlines for joining with other neo-Nazis in the failed rally in Sacramento as well as promising to promote Donald Trump from left-wing detractors, is one of the co-sponsors of an Indiana event promising to bring in “Patriots and Constitutional Nationalists.” The event is billed as hosted by The Sons and Daughters of Liberty Radio, a racist mouthpiece for the Midwest militia movement. The Indiana chapters of the Soldiers of Odin, a racialist vigilante group formed to attack Muslim refugees, will also join as organizers of the project. The III%s and the Indiana chapter of American Patriots United, as well as unnamed “local car, motorcycle, and truck clubs” have also added their name to the event.

This is a surprisingly large event for groups such as these, and an open statement from the regional militia movement that they are closely allied with groups that are open about anti-Semitism, Holocaust Denial, and racial nationalism. Heimbach, the founder and leader of theTraditionalist Workers Party, states publicly that he believes there are racial differences in intelligence, that Jews are running a global conspiracy to destroy the “West,” believes that queer people should be executed, and that the Third Reich should have won World War II. For groups like the Patriots that attempt to venerate veterans, this seems like a reasonably broad oversight.

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According to their public posts, the key organizer of the event is Brien James, who is also the person behind American Vikings Clothing. The website for American Vikings explains that the clothes were originally made for the “MMA and ATV crowd,” yet then falls into bizarre tribalist nonsense about the Havamal, which is a collection of quotes supposedly from first millennium pre-Christian Vikings. While the book is often used in pagan circles, the openly Nazi “Wotanist” branches have specifically appropriated it, mainly because it is easily quotable and focuses on warrior lines that sound intimidating. The website has a section labeled “Havamalism,” which he explains is a focus on the “masculinity” seen in Norse paganism.

The most basic description for Havamalism would be that it is the use of the writings known as the Havamal, as a basis for guiding ones self through life. It is also much more than that, given that I have specifically created the term to stand in both support of, and in contrast to, some widely held beliefs and modern ideas within the Nordic Heathen community.

Havamalism places less emphasis on the scholastic and ritualistic applications of Nordic Heathenry and a stronger emphasis on physicality, masculinity, and general spirituality. We believe in the idea of Valhalla. Literally. We would rather strive to go there than die the straw death. We believe in honor, combat, and righteous violence. A portion of the Heathen community has been infiltrated by weak universalist progressives who can name you every God and Goddess, and dress up and do an excellent blot, but when they insult another man and he challenges them… they are lost and afraid. Always left making excuses about what “battle” and Valhalla do and do not mean in the modern age. We stand in stark contrast to these people and ideas. Battle means what it has always meant. Strength and honor mean what they have always meant.

In another section labeled “Be a Man,” he has some illiterate rants with coded racial language, all of which is meant to goat readers into acting like “a warrior” while attempting to sound like a working-class philosopher.

The best way to keep the chimps and hyenas at bay is to mold yourself into a lion or gorilla. Humans are animals too. Be a ferocious one. Be the hero of your own life story. An able protector. A warrior. Instead of watching formidable men play sports and obsessing over it, go to the gym. Skip the bar Friday night and buy some boxing gloves with your buddies. Get punched in the face. Realize that you aren’t fragile. Carrying a warm mildly sore black eye around feels good. Feels alive. May just be the first time you ever really felt like a man in your life. Try it. Learn the difference between pain and injury. Realize that they both heal quicker than fear or shame. Make yourself formidable. Stand up to anyone and everything that you think is wrong. You might get hurt. You might get arrested. Sure. You might even die in the process.

The actual clothing us even more blatant than the rest of the website’s attempts at primitive pseudo-philosophy, where he sells “White Pride” shirts and clever lines like “This Cracker Won’t Crumble.” Along with various Nordic pagan themes he has ones that just say Irish in the center, which seems a bit ironic given the fact that the Vikings took the Irish as slaves and sacked their homelands repeatedly. A false history has been constructed in the minds of many white nationalists who literally see Irish and Scandinavian history as the same, erasing the historical ethnic conflicts and subsuming them into a constructed whiteness.

Brien is also the founder of the Sons and Daughters of Liberty Radio, as well as a current “Councilman” for their board. Brien’s own friends list shows how deep many of these connections run, between the patriots, the Alt Right, the Men’s Rights movement, and neo-Nazis. His own connections include Justin Garcia, the host of the male tribalist Pressure Project podcast who often hosts Alt Right favorites like Jack Donovan,Richard Spencer, and Jared Taylor. The Traditionalist Workers Party’s Matthew Heimbach is among them, as well as fascist politician Augustus Invictus, Trad Worker co-founder Matt Parrott, and Indiana KKK organizer Thomas Buhls. The rest are filled with skinheads from the reformed American Front and other organizations, and it is mainly a mess of Trump posters, neo-pagan insignia, and patriot militia banners.

 

The Traditionalist Workers Party is always apt to network at events like these, especially since patriot groups are slightly less reviled than they are. Young members of TWP/TYN like Charles Brown are going to be in attendance. Matthew Heimbach is set to give a rousing speech at the event, which shows that they have to be clearly aware of who he is and what his message is about.

The music will be provided by pseudo-Nazi Paddy Tarleton, who got booted from playing in folk music bands in the Northeast after his association with the White Student Union, the Traditionalist Youth Network, and other racist organizations.  His songs often include snide references to Jews and people of color, and he openly advocates for creating a white Ethnostate, forcefully deporting non-whites, and attacking Jews.  Tarleton recently made a fool of himself after he was tricked by Antifa organizers to reveal inside information about the Trad Worker /Golden State Skinhead event in Sacramento, as well as revealing that the organization did not have unity about that event.

Keystone Skinheads, a notoriously violent neo-Nazi skinhead street gang, have openly been invited, and will be trying to mobilize membership to go to the event.

Note: This event at the Lion’s Club has been shut down, but according to LC officials, they Neo-Nazis have already moved the venue. 

Traditionalist Workers Party Event Canceled by Venue After Anti-Fascist Pressure

Just a few days ago, we ran a story about the Traditionalist Workers Party linking up with Patriot and skinhead groups to hold a community event in Charlottesville, Indiana. The event was booked to be held at the city’s Lion’s Club lodge, which looked to be an inside/outside event for the facility. Several Lion’s Club members voiced their outrage about the event, and anti-racists and anti-fascists in the Indiana area, and from around the country, went to work to counter the scheduled event and contact the Lion’s Club International.

The Lion’s Club acted quickly after being notified, putting out a public statement noting that they did not know the nature of the event and that they were canceling it.

The event which you referenced, was not a Lions Event. The Charlottesville Lions Club was given misinformation regarding the event, when someone asked to rent their building.

Once we were all made aware, Charlottesville Lions realized they did not have a contract for this event, and actually the building was double booked.

It is my understanding that the venue has been changed.

Lions Clubs do not condone these types of meetings. They are in direct violation of our Code of Ethics.

Thank you for your concern.

Sue Topf

The local chapter of the Lion’s Club also put out a statement saying that they were not involved with the event. This is a positive move for a community organization like the Lion’s Club, which took a strong anti-racist stand much more quickly than many community organizations do.

Brien James, the organizer of the event, had to issue a public statement to supporters that they event has lost its venue and is being changed to a private one. This information is no longer public, and you have to message James specifically to get the information. This will all but cancel the event as communication will be difficult and the location will likely end up being difficult to distribute widely. Since it is likely a private residence, there is a smaller likelihood that large numbers will even want to attend.

James found our original article and foolishly commented on it, attempting to distort allegations of the event’s racialist nature.

Come on out if you want. We have nothing to hide. The event is open to the public. There will be people of all races and faiths attending. The 3%ers, SDL, and SOO are all multi-ethnic groups. One of the bike clubs invited is a black bike club. If you are genuinely curious as to what is going on you are welcome to send a representative. If you are just hell bent on looking for trouble you can find that too.

As we reported in the original article, James’ racist organizing and views are well known, as are the organizations involved in the event. No matter what type of posturing he attempts here, anti-fascists are aware of his true intentions.

The canceling of this event is from the direct work of anti-fascists who reached out quickly and organized both an on-the-ground response and those who called in to pressure the Lion’s Club. This is a great show of unity as Alt Right groups reach out to Patriot militias and traditional Nazi organizations, all emboldened by the Donald Trump campaign.

Donald Trump is Coming to Vancouver, WA, Coalition Forms to Confront Him

The Trump train is going to be coming to the Pacific Northwest as a sort of end of the GOP hate-bus. Donald Trump is now battling for the 1,237-delegate number so that he can win the Republican Presidential nomination without contest, something that Ted Cruz and John Kasich came together to try and stop. Even though Cruz and Kasich have officially dropped out of the race, there could still be a certain amount of fear hanging over the Trump campaign about what is going to happen in Cleveland if they do not skate in above the cap. This means more stops than normal, even though it is clear that, by standard delegate counting, no Republican politician could possibly beat him at this point. Even companies like Microsoft how now dumped their support of the RNC so as not to be associated with Trump, showing that even the GOP is being dismantled by a fascist coup on their already existing right-wing ideology.

Besides normal stops in places like Seattle, Trump is planning on coming to Vancouver on May 7th. This stop puts him in earshot of Portland, as Vancouver is one of its suburbs, just across the Columbia River. Though people thought he would make regular Oregon stops since Trump campaign offices opened up in both Eugene and Tigard, Oregon, given that this appearance is just ten days away from the Oregon primary, this may be the only stop in the Portland metro area. He then announced that he will be coming to both Eugene and Medford on quick stops the day before, Friday, May 6th.

Oregon and Washington left and radical organizations have come together in a united front to confront this event, hoping to replicate the opposition that shut down the Chicago event or blockaded roads in the Southwest. A rally has been planned by a coalition of groups including a range from OneAmerica Votes, UFCW and SEIU locals, Bernie coalition supporters, and a range of groups that are taking a radical contingent, including Hella 503, the Portland Solidarity Network, and the Black Rose Anarchist Federation.

This effort has only been bolstered by recent confrontations with the Portland State Students for Trump, who brought in militia supporters from the conspiracy-depot Infowars to bait, harass, and intimidate counter-protesters from the Portland State University Student Union. Their founder, Vladimir Kolychef, is an open nationalist who is regularly posting “race realist” content on his Facebook, sharing quotes from National Alliance leader William Pierce, and using in-jokes from white nationalist websites like the Right Stuff and the Daily Shoah. The Trump campaign has continued to network them besides this information being known, and Vlad continues to publicly state that people have color have a lower IQ than whites and that he prefers a state close to that of Pinochet’s Chile.

It is unsure whether or not their will be open fascist or racialist participants, but the American Front does have a foundation in Vancouver, Washington.  The militia movement seems like it will be the largest racist contingent, coming after the Malheur standoff and the recent call from Infowars to stand with Trump supporters against leftist protesters.

The rally is planned outside the venue on Saturday, May 7th, where speakers will be highlighting Latino voices that are being targeted by the Trump campaign and its racist supporters.

Organizers and anti-fascists are calling for all those that oppose Trump’s fascist program to come out and confront him and his supporters directly, and show that they are not welcome in this area of the country, period.

Come to the event and join the anti-fascist and anti-capitalist contingent, which shows that we support the broad anti-Trump coalition and that we make up a more militant base that will do what it takes to shut down Donald Trump!

Right now the exact time and location is not available, and will likely not be released until the day before. We will share that information right as soon as it is available, and update this article. Below is the Facebook event for the counter-action organized by the coalition, and before that is a Google form that one of their organizations is using to get phone numbers to send last minute text announcements to.

RSVP on the Facebook Event

Sign the Pledge to Confront Donald Trump in Vancouver

Soldiers of Odin Plan Meet-Up in Lodi Lake, CA on April 30th

A big thanks comes to Heathens United Against Racism, who did a large amount of research for this article.

The reframing of Syrian refugee migration into Europe and the United States is critical to the messaging of the racist right-wing.  Instead of seeing these as rightful refugees of an incredibly violent, war-torn region, they are instead painted as “invading hordes.”  The dehumanization of these immigrants of color is obvious, but it is also an effort by Alt Right voices to reframe the discussion in terms of their own interpretation of pre-modern tribal norms.  The term “hordes” inspires the listener to immediately apply “barbarian” to it, which inclines them to think in an “us and them” mentality.  The idea here is to begin thinking of people of European ancestry, specifically Northern Europe, as a distinct “tribe” with its own interests.  This is opposed to the universal morality that sees actions within the same moral framework whether they happen to someone of a similar ethnic background or someone from a distant country with different customs and religious practices.  To see the refugees as “invaders” is to then see the need to protect the “tribe” from the immigrant populations that you are absolved of the responsibility to care about.

This shift in perspective plays directly in the new Soldiers of Odin phenomenon, a group of people who are trying to “defend” European nations and the U.S. from these refugees.  Playing on fallacious notion that the refugees are responsible for increased rates of crime and sexual violence, they have created an impetus that street vigilante action against non-white people is necessary.  The “Odinic” reference is also key as Odinism/Asatru, as a resurrection of the ancient Nordic pagan religion, is often interpreted racially, using the pseudoscientific concept of “meta-genetics” to say that the Nordic Gods are literally a part of the psyche of people deriving from Northern Europe.

The Soldiers of Odin were created in Kemi, Finland in October of 2015, towards the beginning of what is now phrased as the “refugee crisis.”  This was created to be a street gang that would patrol areas with asylum seekers, often appearing as a motorcycle gang or mirroring white tribalist groups like the Wolves of Vinland.  The founder of the movement, Mike Ranta, was close to the nationalist Finnish Resistant Movement, as well having a 2005 conviction for a racist attack that injured two victims.

The group’s dynamics of racial violence seem obvious, but they have grown over the last five months, creating locals all over Europe and moving into several places in the United States.  The process began by creating multiple Facebook groups, all with lax security protocols, that have open racialist understandings of who the “invaders” are.  Even with this white nationalist slant, the growth of these groups has been incredible and the numbers of people unaffiliated with the racialist movement at large has been striking.  Large numbers have been coming directly from the Odinist/Asatru movement, even beyond the explicitly racialist forms.

Among these new groups is one for Colorado, with members running the gamut.  This includes the Gothi, or clergy, of the Eagles of Yggdrasil, a folksih heathen kindred.

Canadian locals have popped up with common membership, indicating that there is likely less local organizing happening as much as a few enthusiastic metal-head racists who are creating these groups for different regions in the hopes that it will spark some growth.  The blog Anti-Racist Canada has reported on this growth, noting that the nativist Canadians United 4 Canada have begun to ally with neo-Nazis in the Soldiers of Odin project.  Charlene O’Farrell, who started that group on Facebook, has posted long diatribes in support of the Soldiers of Odin to start “protecting Canada and us(sic) women, children and even men who can’t defend themselves from being attacked or rapped(sic) if this should happen here in Canada.”

Dave FightingBack, a Facebook name, has also been a high profile member organizing in Canada, known for neo-Nazi connections, has sent back the kind words to O’Farrell.  Anti-Racist Canada further exposed several of the SOO organizers who were sporting neo-Nazi tattoos and images, Confederate battle flags, and “seig heiling” in various social media posts.  Several of them are members of known skinhead gangs, affiliated with Blood and Honor “white noise” music networks, and sporting Rock Against Communism and Totenkopf t-shirt images.  This includes one SOO organizer, Kory Knowles, who, among being friends with O’Farrell, is also friends with open Creativity Movement followers.  It would appear that, at least in Canada, the SOO movement is almost entirely run by neo-Nazi skinheads looking for a political crossover, and the crossover between them and Canadians United 4 Canada has led many open neo-Nazis to now be made admins of the Canadians United 4 Canada Facebook group.

Now the Soldiers of Odin have organized a “meet-up” event for those interested in their racist organizing project, one that is not a public event and instead a private gathering dedicated towards furthering organizing projects.  In California, a meet-up is planned for April 30th at Lodi Lake Park, in Lodi, CA.  Topher Justis, one of the U.S. Soldiers of Odin organizer who has been active online, seems to be one of the key organizers of this.

In an effort to call attention to the racial violence that is embedded in the Soldiers of Odin project, as well as to demoralize their plans, this would be a great event to have an anti-fascist contingent attempt to attend and counter-protest.  If you would like to go under the radar, you could also attend and send in a report back that could further aid anti-fascist counter organizers to give inside information on plans, specific organizers, and hard information.

Protesters Confront Portland State Students for Trump [VIDEO]

On Saturday, April 17th a group of anti-racist and anti-fascist organizers in Portland, Oregon congregated at the Urban Plaza at Portland State University. The plan was to head across campus and over to the Park Blocks to confront the Portland State Students for Trump, the aggressive student campaign in support of the Donald Trump GOP candidacy. The group was formed by the same students behind the PSU White Student Union, and has made the organization a front group for thinly veiled Alt Right racialist language.

The founding member and clear leader is Vladimir Kolychef, a small boy from Ukraine who first came to people’s attention when posting in anarchist groups on Facebook saying that he was an “anarcho-capitalist” and “race realist.” The latter term indicates that he believes in differences in racial capacity for intelligence, believing that African descended peoples to have a lower innate IQ than whites and to be more prone to criminality. A quick look at his Facebook reveals a block of white nationalist talking points and jokes, often dog whistle lingo from openly racist websites like The Right Stuff and the Daily Shoah(like calling black people ‘dindus’).

The group had recently been shut down during a meeting by the Portland State University Student Union and other allies, who overwhelmed them almost 20:1. This garnered quite a bit of media attention, all of which negated the fact that Kolychef was an open far-right nationalist with growing ties to American white nationalist organizations. Infowars, the reactionary conspiracy theory website from Alex Jones, picked up on the story quickly, interviewing Kolychef and another founding member.

This is what drew out their support on Saturday, where their crowd swelled to almost a hundred supporters, almost all from Patriot organizations and Infowars directly. They marched over to confront the counter-protesters, leading to an extended confrontation in the plaza where Trump supporters were shut down by a small army of noisemakers and loudspeaker sirens. Here the Infowars group tried to bait protesters by using openly racist and homophobic language, shoving cameras in their faces, and attempting to intimidate women of color. On their videos later, Infowars dropped all pretense and posted titles that called protesters “Trannies,” “SJWs, and “the REAL racists.” Infowars is known for being the sillier side of the Internet, yet when looking at recent articles they have allied with nationalism explicitly and are parroting the more offensive side of recent transphobic exclusionary movements. They have gone so far as to even use jokes from violently racialist website like The Right Stuff and the Daily Stormer. They have gladly become what Breitbart is to a large degree: a crossover point for nationalists into the mainstream of conservatism.

At a certain point the Trump supporters went back to the Park Blocks, marched around town, and made their way to the City Center park, Pioneer Courthouse Square. They were consistently overrun by noise from counter-protesters, but they continued to use vitriolic hate language to try and intimidate the crowd. When African descended protesters put their hands up, referencing “hands up, don’t shoot” to raise attention to the proliferation racist violence, the white protesters mocked and imitated them. They eventually tackled and held down a passerby who threw water on them, a “citizen’s arrest” that is in line with their embarrassing notion that they are the real core of America.  The admiration for Vlad was open, yet in videos where many of them are questioned about Vlad’s politics, or that of the PSU Trump group broad, most people are completely lost to their open associations and racial nationalism.

Below is a video collage that shows a bit of how the action went, as well as being an antidote to the bizarre Infowars perspective.

Making LaVoy a Martyr: Militia Movement Rallies in Oregon [Photos]

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After the Malheur stand-off resulted in one person dead and several of the original militia members facing felony charges, it seemed like the far-right militia movement that rallied around the Hammond family would take a hit.  In recent weeks we have seen them self-reviving, having rallies around Oregon(and around the country) calling for federal lands to be turned over to financial interests like mining and logging.  This has been called the great “second wave” of the militia movement, which was declared dead after a previous generation of its activity culminated in the 1995 bombing on the Oklahoma Federal Building.  Previous raids by the ATF on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco Texas and the earlier intervention on Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge had started a wave of their organizing, often being founded around deeply racist enclaves like the Christian Identity church and Posse Comitatus.

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On Saturday, March 5th, supporters of the militias and “patriots” came out in Portland and other cities on a call from the Oath Keepers.  Beyond calling for the abolition of federal land, many are calling for a prosecution of the law enforcement officers who killed LaVoy Finicum.  Many have gone online calling for a “citizen’s grand jury” where individuals are “deputized” to “indict” the people involved in Finicum’s death.  Memes, t-shirts, and signs show an LV logo to remind people of LaVoy, as well as the more common symbols associated with the movement, such as excessive number of American flags and notices including coded racial language.

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A small counter protest was organized in support of public land, such as the Malheur preserve that was disturbed by the militia occupation, as well as in support of First Nations tribal land, like the Palute tribal land that was desecrated during the stand-off.

While these coordinated rallies show a sign of both the rise of the radical wing of the “patriot” movement, it also indicates the mainstreaming of many of their ideas.  While there were regular conservative supporters that came out for the openly racist and Nativist core of the movement, there is also a public “land grab” that is happening on the state level around the country.  In Alaska, a legislative committee is going against federal law by assigning 222 million acres of public lands over to the state for dissemination.  The Outdoor Industry Association notes that public land brings in over $646 billion in “economic benefit,” not to mention 6.1 million jobs.  The attempt to take out federal land is not one that would give it further access to “the people,” but instead an ideological war that large extractionist companies would benefit from as they would gain access to land that was considered a part of the commons.  The militia camp sees it as a sign of an overreaching government, which is a point at which lacks even the most basic understandings as to what elements of the state maintain systemic oppression or enable the elements of capital.  The militia instead make up a cultural segment of a growing reactionary core that is protesting progress, whether it is environmentalism, racial multiculturalism, or a multi-religious community.

At the rally in Portland, the police prevented intermingling between the “patriots” and the counter-protesters who were calling for a support for publicly accessible land.  Masked protesters were blocked when running in to confront the militia supporters, though many were allowed to intermingle when being more unassuming in appearance.

I almost wish you guys critiquing their racism had the “privilege” to show up as a person of color,” said one counter-protester who made their way through the opposing crowd.

It’s the only time I’ve been watched so closely by people and asked in an angry tone over and over “Why are you taking pictures?”, “Who are you with?”, “Where are these going?”, “Why?”. “Why?”, “Why?”. I’ve been asked that question usually once or twice at every event I cover, but never once in an accusatory manner as if I shouldn’t be there, and NEVER as many times as it happened today, not even close. Then there was the revealing moment when they all got so happy because a black guy had waved out his window and honked as he drove by–you should have witnessed all their back-patting and pleasure and excitement that they got from getting their token PoC for the day. It was a strange reaction when he was just one of many that waved and honked with no fan-fare.

One photographer reported being shoved while taking pictures.

The militia movement was set back after their bizarre overreaching at Malheur, but it is a growing player in the far-right that anti-fascists around the country will continue to encounter.