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Trump Campaign Cancels Vancouver Event Amidst Massive Counter-Protests

For almost two weeks, both the hard right and the anti-fascist left of the Pacific Northwest have been preparing for Donald Trump’s campaign visit. Even after his opposition dropped out, the Trump campaign continued to hedge towards his visit to Vancouver, Washington. Vancouver is a suburb of the larger Portland metro area, known for its strong left-wing protest element. As the Trump campaign began looking for a venue, a coalition began forming that included unions from throughout Oregon and Washington, Latino and progressive organizations, and the Stop Trump PDX coalition of almost twenty radical and revolutionary organizations that were dedicated to shutting it down.

It looks like that pressure, mixed with practical concerns, has finally pushed the Trump campaign to cancel their Vancouver event. The Saturday, May 7th appearance in Southern Washington has now been officially canceled as no venue would have them. The coalitions calling for the confrontation of Trump were growing so massive at this point that they could have vastly outnumbered the Trump supporters coming to rally, which could lead to a repeat of the Chicago shut-down.

Many of the different coalitions are now moving to continue the battle against Trump, with the Washington progressive organizations focusing on the now set Saturday event in Spokane Washington. This will happen at the Spokane Convention Center at 12:00pm.

For those in Portland looking to continue the work that the coalition began, organizers are jumping behind the already massive counter-demonstration in Eugene. This “non-violent” demonstration is showing hundreds on social media, and is organizing the general protest contingent as well as the Families Against Fascism event that is going to be all-ages and child friendly.

Many counter-protesters would like to get inside to the Trump event, and there are only two tickets allowed per person ordering them. They are free, but a person will need them to get in, and if they want to get into the venue they will have to arrive several hours before it begins at 7:00pm. Since they have been kicking out people at random, and hundreds of people may be getting tickets to go in and protest, those who get in will have to dress conservatively and blend into the crowd.

This is likely the last time he will come to the Pacific Northwest as these are not swing states and he will have almost no chance of success there in the general election.

For a country that just elected a fascist politician on a major ticket, this will be just the beginning of a mass-action oriented anti-fascist movement to confront the growing white nationalist forces that he is emboldening.

Get Tickets to the Eugene Trump Event

Facebook RSVP to the Eugene Anti-Trump Action

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

Going Full Fash: Breitbart Mainstreams the ‘Alt Right’

The radical right has always needed a stop over point on its way to middle American conservatism.  For years, the Libertarian Party and its various “economic” projects were this, from the anti-tax movement of California to the mainstreaming of their ideas with the Tea Party.  Libertarianism has headed into the Beltway as one of the last popular coherent philosophies for the new GOP, mired in mainstream liberal values mixed with cut-through capitalism.  In this move to the mainstream it has shed much of its racialist and white nationalist connections, leaving the growing Alt Right looking for its new crossover point.  They have found that friend in Brietbart.

Brietbart News began with the now-deceased perpetual yell of Andrew Breitbart, which brought a young and confrontational style to the Tea Party.  From “exposing” Acorn with edited videos that took low-wage organizing workers’ statements out of context to asking for “video proof” that Congressmen John Lewis was called the N-word at a public Tea Party event, Breitbart, and its various web staples such as the embarrassing BigGovernment.com, has made a name for itself for standing to the right of Fox News and engaging in the kind of silly click-bait that allows it to compete in an angry Twitter-verse.

The Alt Right, meaning the newest incarnation of the “intellectual” and Internet-driven white nationalist movement, has needed some friends in the the world of Beltway Conservative Inc., and Breitbart has proven that it can act as the middle point between their lair and the Brooks Brothers and “fiscal conservatism” of D.C.’s Republican establishment.

This relationship has been cemented with Breitbart’s recent fawning feature, “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right.”  The article begins by immediately drawing the comparison between the Alt Right’s role in conservatism to the role of Marxism to the contemporary left by saying “A specter is haunting the dinner parties, fundraisers and think-tanks of the Establishment: the specter of the ‘alternative right.;” The main thrust of the article is a large-scale defense of the Alt Right against allegations of racism, bigotry, and ideological violence.  Their defense begins with the perceived intelligence of the Alt Right in comparison to the caricatures of Klansman, which says nothing of their ideological orientations.  They go on to quote male-tribalist Jack Donovan, who one of the authors of the article, Milo Yiannopoulos, is friends with online.  This is not surprising as Donovan is known for being a sort of “anti-gay gay author” whose basic ideology is that queer men should abandon the gay identity because it is associated with feminism, effeminacy, and leftist politics.  Yiannopoulos, for his part, is publicly a gay man, which led to many of the reasons that the Alt Right had mixed reactions to this work (we will get into this later on).

This opening section mentions the ideological framework for the Alt Right as being diverse, and including Oswald Spengler, H.L. Mencken, Julius Evola, Sam Francis, and the French New Right, as well as having a relationship to the paleoconservative movement of the 1980s-90s.  This is meant to insulate it from accusations of extreme racism supposedly, and he goes on to mention more modern incarnations of this ideological current such as Steve Sailer’s HBD blog, the anti-immigration web publication VDARE, and the current center of “race realism”: American Renaissance.

When you cut through their ironic abstractions, what they are indicating is class rather than ideology.  They are noting that the Alt Right has a more middle-class and educated character, not that they do not hold the ideological foundations that have always driven neo-fascist movements.  The assumption here is that skinheads and KKK members lack a strong ideological foundation, yet there has always been an intellectual side to the far-right.  Oswald Spengler’s anti-Semitic racial nationalism has been key for decades, and Julius Evola has become the defining far-right philosopher both for intellectual Pagan racists and for street-level skinheads.  His work was key to the violent right-wing terrorism of people like Ordine Nuovo or contemporary Ultra movements in Rome, and his alleged “anti-fascism” only came from his view that fascism needed to move further to the right to install an aristocratic racialist society built on authority, hierarchy, and violence.  The assumptions implicit in Breitbart’s article is that the criticisms of fascism today come from its association with “lone wolf” violence rather than the possibility of a violent political theology of enforce inequality, which misses a thorough understanding of the diversity and history of fascism since its interwar inception.

Milo does something useful in this place, however, in that he rightly identifies the more web-board intellectual Neoreactionary movement(NRx), the HBD networks, and the manosphere as part of this broad “Alt Right.”  As much as these movements want to self-identify with their own “unique” ideology, especially the culture of Men’s Rights Activism and “game” blogs, they are a part of the anti-egalitarian Alt Right current that essentializes biology and roots for the oppressor.

What they spend a great deal of time on is this notion of “Natural Conservatives,” which is the position they seem to agree with the most (This is not actually a popular idea used on the far-right.).  This comes from the idea that some people are just built for conservatism in some kind of bio-psychological way (R-K Selection Theory may be the best example of this).  Much of this rhetoric comes in pieces from the Alt Right, who are attempting to draw out some kind of scientific framework to argue that different views are driven by biological difference.  This logic has an insidious underpinning as it is intended to be an “essentialist” view of behavior and nature as coming from the body rather than from environment.  In this way they can argue that there are essential racial, gender, and regional biological differences that influence ideology, and therefore the defining character of a society is demographic rather than its ideas.  This is why they can then argue that “Western” society is going to fall apart because it is now less-white, which means it has few of the people from which its character was developed from.  This logic has been echoed, however discreetly, in the work of establishment conservatives like Charles Murray, whose The Bell Curve took on the notion that IQ was biologically fixed and determined your level of socio-economic success.

They co-opt the notion from social psychologist Jonathan Haidt that there is “an instinct keenly felt by a huge watche of the political population: the conservative instinct.”

The conservative instinct, as described by Haidt, includes a preference for homogeneity over diversity, for stability over change, and for hierarchy and order over radical egalitarianism. Their instinctive wariness of the foreign and the unfamiliar is an instinct that we all share – an evolutionary safeguard against excessive, potentially perilous curiosity – but natural conservatives feel it with more intensity. They instinctively prefer familiar societies, familiar norms, and familiar institutions.

It should be noted that Haidt is an incredibly marginal voice, and this notion of biologically driven conservatism is not actually held by most of the psychological scientific community.

The prime purpose here is for Breitbart to go on through what are essentially nativist, nationalist, and racialist behaviors and explain them as being “natural and normal,” the kind of talking point that the Alt Right usually uses to explain itself.

The alt-right do not hold a utopian view of the human condition: just as they are inclined to prioritise the interests of their tribe, they recognise that other groups – Mexicans, African-Americans or Muslims – are likely to do the same. As communities become comprised of different peoples, the culture and politics of those communities become an expression of their constituent peoples.

You’ll often encounter doomsday rhetoric in alt-right online communities: that’s because many of them instinctively feel that once large enough and ethnically distinct enough groups are brought together, they will inevitably come to blows. In short, they doubt that full “integration” is ever possible. If it is, it won’t be successful in the “kumbaya” sense. Border walls are a much safer option.

The alt-right’s intellectuals would also argue that culture is inseparable from race. The alt-right believe that some degree of separation between peoples is necessary for a culture to be preserved. A Mosque next to an English street full of houses bearing the flag of St. George, according to alt-righters, is neither an English street nor a Muslim street — separation is necessary for distinctiveness.

Here they are not proving that the Alt Right has been mischaracterized, but instead attempting to say that their logic is sound and respectable even if it is not always shared amongst establishment types.  They want to allege that these talking points are fundamentally different from those of the neo-Nazi crowd, but they are almost completely synonymous with what people like David Duke, Tom Metzger, or the National Socialist Movement will say publicly.  The “suit and tie” rhetoric has dominated amongst racist groups for decades, and the only difference between the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the Alt Right’s “identitarianism” is vocabulary, not ideology.

What has led to many in the Alt Right actually denouncing this article is actually the starkest problem with it from the anti-fascist left-wing point of view as well.  In the section titled “The Meme Team,” they go into the Twitter troll phenomenon, lead by The Right Stuff, along with the offensive memes that call conventional conservatives “Cucks,” deny and mock the Holocaust, and are cruelly racist.  Bokhari and Yiannopoulos allege that the people behind this wing of the movement essentially do not believe what they are saying, but instead are libertarians attempting to offend people and behave as iconoclasts.  There is no evidence of this and instead the vocal centers of this wing of the Alt Right have been incredibly clear about their resurrection of conventional angry anti-Semitism, their belief that non-whites are subhuman “mud” races, and that we literally need a fascist revolution.  To deny the reality of “the meme team” is to be purposely blind, which seems partially the ironic way that many in the hipster side of Breitbart see the Alt Right.  Bokhari comes from a middle-eastern ethnic origin and Yiannopoulos is openly gay, two things that make them openly targets of ridicule from the same people they are venerating here.  Yiannopoulos has even used the term Alt Right to describe himself, yet he seems to lack a clear understanding of the actual depth and intensity of its fascist politic.

The Daily Shoah picked up on this dynamic almost immediately, thinking that instead of simply getting the meme section dead wrong, Yiannopoulos actually is trying to make the Alt Right more palatable to his editors and audience.

He might be saying that in order to get it through an editor and make his own relative acceptance of the Alt Right acceptable and keep his job.  He could really think it.  He could be fooling himself, I don’t know.  But I think that there’s a tactical presentation going on there.

In a strange way, it is his own disbelief in the Alt Right (at least in its entirety) that has led to the fetishization of it.  In a recent episode of the Right Stuff podcast Fash the Nation, which is meant to mainly cover Trump’s political battles, they had on one of the founders of the infamous “Coon Town” Reddit channel.  There they had such classic sub-Reddits like “N*****s Dying” where people posted videos of black men being murdered or executed to the glee of the commentators.  Generally, it was the most extreme edges of guttural racism, where black people were openly called degenerate animals, slavery was celebrated, genocide was discussed with a certain admiration, and it marked the hallmark of insipid internet bigotry.  The hosts of Fash the Nation, including the aptly named Marcus Halberstram, joked with and complimented the guest, who was going by the pseudonym of GreatApeNiggy.  On this episode they casually talked about how people of color have innately lower IQs and were degenerate “jungle people,” how Jews are secretly destroying the West through race mixing, how LGBTQ people were filthy AIDs receptacles, and that some form of nationalist fascism was the answer.  Their language, which included open racial slurs, was politically and rhetorically more extreme than most neo-Nazis and KKK members of today.  For Breitbart, who knows full well that Fash the Nation and the Right Stuff is a signature part of the Alt Right since they linked to their blog, to say that they are somehow ideologically removed from the neo-Nazi revolutionary white supremacist crowd is for them to engage in intentional self-deception.

Yiannopoulos has defended the Alt Right before, going on Dave Rubin’s podcast to show allegiance to the Alt Right and protect it against allegations of anti-Semitism (Sort of.).

Generation Trump, the alt right people, the people who like me, they’re not anti-Semites. They don’t care about Jews. I mean, they may have some assumptions about things, how the Jews run everything; well, we do. How the Jews run the banks; well, we do. How the Jews run the media; well, we do. They’re right about all that stuff…It’s a fact, this is not in debate. It’s a statistical fact….Jews are vastly disproportionately represented in all of these professions. It’s just a fact. It’s not anti-Semitic to point out statistics….The anti-Semitism on the internet, which is really important, I want people to understand this because nobody seems to, when Jonah Goldberg of National Review is bombarded with these memes, and anti-Semitic “take a hike, kike” stuff, it’s not because there’s a spontaneous outpouring of anti-Semitism from 22-year-olds in this country. What it is is it’s a mischievous, dissident, trolly generation who do it because it gets a reaction. Right? That’s been the case for young people for generations….They can get to people in positions of power, and people in positions of power and keep biting, they keep taking the bait….It’s a direct response to the language policing, it’s a direct response to being told they can’t say things.

They go on to mock, as the Alt Righters do, the “1488” crowd, which essentially means those that use Hitler iconography unironically.  This would make up essentially the “old guard” of racist organizing, the pre-AmRen network of Christian Identity followers, Klansman, and the like who are too wrapped up in figures of the past.  They quote RamZPaul in making fun of them, yet he is really the tip of the iceberg.  The Daily Shoah has made that a staple of their program, where they ask listeners to donate $14.88, a tongue in cheek reference.  Yiannopoulos uses this disregard for that wing of the white nationalist movement as a sign that they are not ideologically similar, but that misses the thing that they actually admonish the neo-Nazis for.  Instead of decrying their genocidal racism and anti-Semitism, it is the “LARPing” that they find ridiculous.  As the Daily Shoah and the Neoreactionary Ascending the Tower have often said, they support the 14 from the “1488.”  This refers to the 14-word line by Order member David Lane, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”  The 88 refers to HH, Heil Hitler, which they see as being too focused on the past.  It is not so much that they reject Hitler as a political ideologue, some do and some don’t, but it is the useless political role-playing that they are attacking when rejecting the “1488.”  They certainly do not seem to support the seemingly random violence as well, they regularly laud those who attack refugee centers, but that is not the foundation of their break from the past.  Instead, it has a much more classed component, where they simply see the “low class” neo-Nazis and KKK members not living up to their own high-brow version of fascist racism.

The Daily Shoah picked up on Yiannopoulos’ claims about the unseriousness of the meme culture immediately, calling him a “flaming, Jewish f****t.”  Mike Enoch said that he has had private message conversations with him on Twitter, though he did not know that he was actually the host of the Daily Shoah at the time.  This section of the article was roundly insulted as absurd, and Breitbart itself mocked thoroughly, even though they generally thought it was a fine representation of their movement and were happy to have the coverage.  Fash the Nation also mentioned it, saying that it was a sign that the term Alt Right was starting to be well known and that their views were a semi-respectable part of acceptable discourse.

There certainly was an anger coming from some of the annals of the Alt Right, with the Daily Stormer being the best example.  Andrew Anglin, the voice behind the Stormer, is sort of the meeting point between the “1488 crowd” and the rest of the Alt Right.  His work is more in line with the Right Stuff, but he also has offloaded his work to places like Radio Aryan, which is better known for reviving neo-Nazi speeches by people like the National Alliance founder William Pierce.  Anglin’s article about Breitbart’s treatment, titled “Breitbart’s Alt Right Analysis is the Product of a Degenerate Homosexual and an Ethnic Mongrel.”  He notes immediately that one of the authors(Bokhari) is “half Paki,” and that Yiannopoulos is both Jewish and gay.  Anglin is likely correct in his main allegation against Brietbart: they are coopting the energy of the Alt Right.  His main points of contention here are that they do not give the Daily Stormer the due he feels is deserved, and, second, they don’t talk about the Jews.

Anglin continues his regular diatribes, calling the Bosnian genocide a joke and the authors cucks.  He goes through the article almost paragraph by paragraph with a Live-Tweet transcript of self-indulgence, something the Daily Stormer does in its tired frenzy to stay relevant among its angry racist subculture.  He also picks up that seem to think that the Alt Right is actually queer and Jewish friendly, and that the jokes are, well, just jokes.

Well, let me go ahead and explain something which the authors of this piece are already aware of: the people who invite homos and Pakis to their conferences are a totally separate group than the people who are joking about the Holocaust. As I said above, what this article attempts to do is force the entire alt-right movement under the banner of a tiny minority who no one actually cares about and who get virtually zero traffic on their pro-Jew, pro-homo websites.

This article attempts to create confusion where there isn’t any.

Also, I don’t know what a non-satirical Holocaust joke would look like, exactly, but no one who jokes about the Holocaust believes it actually happened.

 

The reception to the Breitbart piece from the mainstream press has been mixed, with places like Daily Wire taking a sort of “respectful disagreement” stance.  They note that the Alt Right gives “cover to actual anti-Semites and racists.”  This in and of itself still plays into Breitbart’s point, which is that the Alt Right is not just openly the newest branding of neo-fascism.  The Alt Right provides no cover: it is what racists, anti-Semites, misogynists, and neo-fascist are today.  Milo has stated publicly that the Alt Right and the Trump phenomenon are direct responses to the left, in that the anti-PC nature of it is for show and a response to allegations of racism.  This is the voice of someone who either cannot simply believe the level of racism he is associating with, or who thinks that he can use ironic ugliness to slide nationalism into the internet substream.

“There’s no hatefulness, racism, sexism, homophobia left in this country,” Milo said in a televised discussion with Dave Rubin.  This came directly after saying that many stereotypes turn out to by right before shifting into the idea that differences and prejudices may exist yet should be tolerated as long as they were not violent or intrusive.  This is not only a grade-school attempt at analyzing social structures, but it is a G-rated version of the “identitarianism” peddled by most of the Alt Right.  Milo has clearly been walking this line for some time now, coming to prominence first for siding with the Men’s Rights Activists during the “Gamergate” non-controversy.

It may end up being unfair to single Milo and his co-author out since it is Breitbart at large that has been a crossover point for the far-right, at least in terms of racialism, immigration restriction, homophobia, and rape apologism.

The relationship between the Alt Right and Breitbart has not always been an easy one, however.  Richard Spencer, the person who coined the term Alternative Right and now runs the National Policy Institute and the Radix Journal, covered the firing of John Derbyshire from the National Review heavily in 2012.  Derbyshire was let go after a column he wrote for Taki’s Magazine was released called The Talk: The Non-Black Version.  The article was a sort-of parody of the talk that many black families have to have with their sons to explain racial targeting by the police.  Derbyshire’s family talk, on the other hand, was to warn his children to stay away from black people.  Shortly after his firing, and before he spoke at the American Renaissance conference that year, he was roundly denounced by publications around the country.  Breitbart was vicious in their condemnation, but, as Spencer pointed out, Breitbart is part of a new conservative media that based their entire existence on subliminal race-baiting.

Glenn Beck and the late Andrew Breitbart are (and were) Grand Mastersof(sic) the race-baiting game. Breitbart rose to national awareness publishing videos of James O’Keefe, dressed as a ‘70s Black pimp, entering a Black-run ACORN office in search of government funding for his “ho.” Breitbart later warned conservatives of the dangers of Black Nationalists in the Department of Agriculture. His posthumous coup (which ultimately fell flat) was to hint that the President himself isn’t what he seems . . . . He’s no liberal backed by Wall Street, no; he’s a closet Black Nationalist!

The Blaze and Breitbart (Beck’s and Breitbart’s answers to the Huffington Post) have filled their webpages with salacious stories of various flash-mob attacks and general Black misbehavior. As I write (Sunday, April 8), the top story on The Blaze is about the New Black Panther Party’s call for a “race war.” On the same night that Breitbart declared John Derbyshire to be a non-person for talking about the dangers of Blacks, its best-read story was one on a unsuspecting White Man who ventured into Black Baltimore and was attacked and stripped of all clothes and possession by a feral gang.

When Andrew Breitbart explicitly talked about his political philosophy, one got the impression that it was some kind of universalistic libertarianism; Beck outdid him in genuflecting to the myth of Martin Luther King. But what they sold to their readers is quite different. It was never about race, but about “principles” and “fair play.”

Breitbart and Glenn Beck have made white tensions the foundation of their popularity, playing the populist game on a direct route to Donald Trump.  Breitbart columnists have made names for themselves trying to attack liberals, publicly using “dog whistle” racial language, and trying their best to instill fears of demographic replacement and non-white crime in aging Caucasian Baby Boomers.

The animosity between the Alt Right and Breitbart slowly dissipated, and by 2015 there began to be a certain amount of cross-over in the same way that Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter have had tacit flirtations with the movement as well.  The #Cuckservative meme was the beginning of major topical crossovers, with Breitbart reporters using the phrase popularized by the Right Stuff and Twitter personalities like Ricky Vaughn to describe Beltway conservatives they felt were making poor immigration choices.  In “’Cuckservative’ is a Gloriously Effective Insult That Should Not Be Slurred, Demonised, or Ridiculed,” Milo Yiannopoulos had already defended the 4Chan white nationalist community by bringing Breitbart to their side unequivocally.

But we don’t cry “racist” whenever someone says any of these words. That would be stupid. That would be playing the sort of dumb, disingenuous game that liberal race-baiters do. Right?

Thus, “cuckservative” can mean many things. It could mean conservatives who are afraid of social exclusion and kowtow to the liberal media establishment. It could mean conservatives who play the left’s game of identity politics, accusing their internal opponents, such as Donald Trump, of being racist or sexist or rapey for spurious or opportunistic reasons.

This support moved to their “edgy” backing of Donald Trump, though they still have a coin in the race for Ted Cruz.  People like Milo seem to have a strong voice inside of Breitbart’s political presence, where he is seen as the hip new face of conservatism.  This may be why they will continue to allow him to use their popularity as a gateway for white nationalism since they generally see this as just another “young” political phenomenon they do not understand.  Best trust Milo on this one.

Their focus on racism may only have intensified in the last year as they really are carrying on Andrew Breitbart’s effort to bait the left.  In articles like “Racism: ‘White Men Must be Stopped’ Says Salon Magazine,” they attempt to undermine real reporting on issues of racism so as to take out the legs of an effective anti-racist movement.  In the above mentioned article, Lee Stranahan goes almost line by line through a Salon article, tries to minimize how cruel chattel slavery was, and cherry-picks evidence to make slavery in America nothing too “unique.”  In a world where, as they accuse, mainstream conservatives are continuing to slide away from open racism, Breitbart and its constituency are doubling down (And if you view Breitbart’s comments section, that might be tripling down.).

Milo may not be making the kind of friends he hoped he had, but the Alt Right is happy for the continued exposure.  The far-right needs stop over points so that they can manipulate the moments of populism that the GOP can still muster.  Donald Trump is mainstreaming their views, and Breitbart, among others, is actually giving their name a bit of credibility among the fragmenting parts of the disheveled Republican Party.  Breitbart is one of the devices that conservatives are looking to rebrand and identify themselves now that the conservative movement invented by William Buckley as a Cold War tool is dead, a mantle also being taken up by places like Reason Magazine and other libertarian vessels.  The moment when it seemed clear that the libertarians were going to hold the keys for the future of conservatism is over, as can be see very obviously by the fate of people like Rand Paul.  Now it seems that nationalism is the key to winning the populist wave, something that could not have been predicted to cross over in this way before Trump turned off-the-cuff racism into a winning strategy.

Milo is attempting to recruit this racism, put it in skinny jeans, and make it the outlier constituency of the Breitbart defined American conservative.  It will likely not take place the way he is hoping, but it can easily be a tool to recruit and further build the white nationalist movement that is seeing a new kind of Renaissance.  In this way, it is important to identify exactly what they are doing and saying, and to make Breitbart accountable for being a mouthpiece of the far right.  They enjoy the battle with the liberal left, but what about the actual radical left?

When it comes to the recent Chicago shut down of Donald Trump and the growing Antifa presence, there are some avenues to show Breitbart that their snarky racism can be shut down.  Real fast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operation Equinox Nefolk Tour Continues to Be Confronted by Antifa

The popular Neofolk bands that have joined the Operation Equinox Tour have had quite a bit of trouble from anti-fascist rabblerousers since the shows began.  The tour is being co-sponsored by the far-right Heathen Harvest, which we covered previously in our look deep into their politics and the fascist sympathies of most the bands on this tour’s bill.  The tour’s main sponsor, Annihilvs Power Electronix, is the face that many of the venues actually know, so when confronted many of the stage managers actually did not know about the Heathen Harvest connection (though the bands were already publicly controversial).

Lee Bartow of Annihilvs went back to Heathen Harvest in an interview to attack Antifa organizers who he thinks are unfairly targeting this tour and, of course, he believes his own multicultural background should insulate the tour from criticism.

The thing that strikes me as odd about this whole thing is, in the very few posts I’ve seen online about boycotting or resisting or calls to action against the perceived fascism of the artists on this tour, I have been either not mentioned at all, or mentioned only in passing, as though I am some peripheral figure to be half-mentioned. Nobody has contacted me directly about any of it. Looking at the whole thing from my particular perspective, [it] strikes me as one individual’s personal vendetta. The fact that I orchestrated the entire tour, coordinated with all the promoters, collected the funds for the airfare, and am renting and driving the vehicle, which will take them from city to city, has been entirely ignored. The fact that I have a Jewish mother and African-American father seems to me as the most likely reason for this. It would put a rather salient dent in the argument that we’re all a bunch of Nazis hell-bent on spreading a gospel of intolerance across the country. As a child, I bore witness to my father being threatened and insulted because of the color of his skin, and I myself was called a “penny-pinching Jew” by all the black kids in my neighborhood, while the white kids saw fit to call me “zebra” or “half-breed.” The implication that I’d have any interest in supporting anyone’s racist agenda is preposterous. But, particularly in the current age of Internet-armchair warriors, it’s extremely difficult for people to comprehend the nuances of real life. They are uncomfortable with the concept of moral ambiguity; they cannot comprehend that a half-black Jew would count someone like Boyd Rice among his biggest influences, nor do they have the capacity to realize that the world is not interested in hearing of their outrage. Some of the biggest Death in June fans I know are Jewish.

He went on to say that there certainly is a part of the “scene” that has these far-right connections, but he is just here for the music.  This is a transparent attempt to whitewash the reality of the movement he is helping to promote, where he gives a tacit support of racial nationalism by not only providing them a voice, but making money doing so.  He alleges that the Antifa protesters are really totalitarians, an easy go-to for those who want to defend fascists on free speech grounds, but he fails to see the role of community action in the attack of totalitarian racial movements in utero.

The confrontations for the tour continued and on Wednesday, March 30th, the Philadelphia show date at the Convent was directly confronted by community anti-fascists.  According to a report back posted by It’s Going Down, this included the destruction of one of the band’s gear.

On Wednesday, March 30, the neofolk music tour “Operation Equinox 2016,” sponsored by extreme right blog Heathen Harvest, held its Philly show date. Held at a small former convent called The Convent in a deeply creepy, almost entirely white neighborhood that was filled with blue porch lights and cameras on residences, the show ended prematurely with the arrival of the cops, presumably called in by the cop-loving neighbors. While the cops were inside the show only a block away, a small mob of reckless vandals attacked the touring bands’ van, slashing its tires, painting the windshield and sides, and destroying several of its windows.

It’s disgusting and ridiculous that these bands even got booked at all. Fascist ideas should have no place anywhere, including in DIY music scenes. Yet this isn’t the first time we hear about crypto-fascist bands playing outside of the typical racist skinhead milieus, veiling white supremacist views in more sympathetic counter-cultural words and aesthetics. Wherever fascism rears its head, whether wearing swastikas and boots or studded vests and torn jeans, our reaction will always be the same: No Pasaran!

Let’s hope this is just the start not of just confronting the soon ending Operation Equinox, but Neofolk tours who maintain these New Right and Alt Right connections.  Let this be a line in the sand for anti-racist Neofolk musicians and fans to stop supporting this wing of the movement.

 

 

Paramilitary ‘Brown Shirt’ Organization Announced to Attack Opposition to Donald Trump

The debate as to whether or not the Donald Trump campaign is fascist has tossed between scholars and activists for months, with more and more people allying with the idea that Trumpism is a unique, 21st century American fascism.  Some established scholars in Comparative Fascist Studies have refused to go beyond lines like “fascist-like,” “proto-fascist,” or “right populist” to describe the phenomenon.  Robert O. Paxon, often called the establishment voice of Comparative Fascist Studies with his book The Anatomy of Fascism, recently went on Democracy Now to discuss the Trump phenomenon.  Here he correctly said it was inappropriate to call Republicans or authoritarianism at-large fascism, and then went on to say that if a paramilitary violent force was institutionalized in support of Trump then he would truly be a fascist.

One of the qualities of fascism was that they admired violence. They thought that violence had an esthetic quality, provided it was violence directed toward the revival of a damaged country or damaged state. And a little of that redemptive violence is showing up in Trump’s rhetoric, because he’s suggesting to the crowd and encouraging them to think that it’s good to rough up people they disagree with. And this is an ominous development.

It looks like, only a couple of days later, this has crystalized.

Donald Trump rallies have seen increasing violence against protesters, from videos of angry white men yelling “go back to Africa” or “send them to Auschwitz” to demonstrators to the aging racist who sucker punched a black protester as he was being led out.  Protests have only increased, culminating in the Chicago action that completely shut down the Trump rally before it began.

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Now, a group of militant Donald Trump protesters have formed a militia paramilitary wing to attack leftist opposition at Trump events.  Named after a quote from Benito Mussolini, “It is better to live one day as a lion than one-hundred years as a sheep!”, a quote which was already passed around by Trump on Twitter, the Lion Guard is exploding onto the right-wing political scene and adding locals in different states.  In their announcement letter, they say that the leftist opposition comes from an unchallenged “cult,” of which they see the need to create a counter-cult of violence to shut them down.

On March 11, 2016, five decades of radical left coddling reached its newest and most disgusting low as members of the free stuff cult, by deception and violence, attacked the Trump 2016 rally in Chicago, Illinois. In his magnanimity and concern for public safety, Donald Trump responded by canceling the rally. The Spartacists posers crowed they had canceled the rally, chanting they “Stumped Trump.” As a single event, it was minor and unsurprising, Chicago was the scene of the 1968 Democrat Convention Riot and, in the current year, the city is teeming with anti-American agitators and a skyrocketing murder rate. But this was not an isolated incident, this was part of a long train of abuses imposed upon the American public by treasonous horde.

The wicked deeds of this horde are not merely historical events; as many witnessed this weekend, an American hating brigand attempted to take the life of Donald Trump. He did not get there as part of some grand conspiracy, no one dare implies the Secret Service or Trump’s own security knowingly allowed this marauder into the rally. How did this son of a Democrat establishment cog get so close to Donald Trump? The same way as the scores of hooligans infiltrated the Trump rally in Chicago: lies.

Numerous tweets discovered after the leftist hate-nanny in Chicago revealed, these agents of chaos posed as Trump supporters to get tickets and to get access to the event. Amazingly, these people were gloating before the event started. Posting to social media their plans and appearances in a desperate attempt for social approval of their Maoist tactics. When seeing these egotistical tweets, there were two choices: endure the outrage of this conceit or stand up to it. To “Make America Great Again” there could only be one choice: stand up to it.

The foes arrayed against the movement to Make America Great Again are not invincible. If there is one word to describe them, they are vain. They act not out of a sense of patriotism but a compulsive need for affirmation that they are morally superior. With the advent of social media, this quest for recognition has taken new directions. In the past, these rabble would find much needed approval at their turncoat gatherings, seeing fellow cultists recite the same slogans and pantomime the same charades. Today, these malcontents can get their approval before they even engage in their pretentious farces by merely broadcasting their plans. They are not hesitant to announce their depravity because they think there are no consequences for their conduct. They gloat while under the hallucination they are above the law.

In the current year, it is very difficult to disabuse them of such a fantasy. Within 24 hours, the man who attempted to assassinate Mr. Trump in Dayton, Ohio, was released from jail and being interviewed on CNN. Within 24 hours an avowed anti-American bigot that tried to kill a presidential candidate was being interviewed by a major US news network like a national hero. Today in the United States, hating America and attacking American patriots is celebrated, while loving the USA and defending patriots is ridiculed as “extremism” or other sophistries. With the establishment, both left and right, against any effort to Make America Great Again, we cannot expect traditional channels of influence to stem this perfidious tide. Make America Great Again cannot be a mere slogan, it has to become a life choice in the face of force that wants to make America cinders forever.

At his Kansas City rally Sunday night, Donald Trump correctly identified the cultists attacking his rallies as the same forces trying to destroy America. As patriotic Americans, we must stand up to them. How to stand up to them is the issue. One suggestion is creating a paramilitary organization to patrol future Trump rallies and stop any violence by the America-hating fiends. While not a bad idea, it calls on fellow Trump supporters to engage in the sort of brawling the mainstream media wants to use against the Trump campaign. It also seems redundant, Mr. Trump already had secret service protecting his life and well paid security protecting his events from gate crashers. Mr. Trump’s problem is not the barbarians at the gate, it’s the sappers within them!

Another suggestion is to scour social media for all threats against Mr. Trump and his rallies and to report them to the secret service. While this can be useful with blatant threats against the life of Mr. Trump and his supporters, it is unreasonable to expect the Secret Service to use its limited resources to screen out reprobates trying to cause another Chicago. Trump’s security may have more resources for screening, but it is doubtful they have the necessary resources to gather intelligence and identify infiltrators before they can act. This creates a gap in Mr. Trump’s security, where those who wish to intimidate Trump’s supporters can sow discord at Trump rallies. While reporting would-be assassins to the Secret Service and Trump’s security helps, it is not enough to stop another Chicago or Dayton.

The Lion Guard is a call to put the words “Make America Great Again” into action and aid Trump’s security and show our adversaries we are disciplined, perceptive, and watching. Everyone who identifies with the idea of Lion Guard is called to search out for any Anti-M.A.G.A. social media account that is planning to infiltrate, disrupt, attack, or otherwise do harm to Mr. Trump, any Trump rally, or any Trump supporter. Archive any post or other broadcast plotting these assaults and the identity of the plotter(s) and share it on your own social media account, with the Trump Campaign, with the Secret Service and/or with Lion Guard. Fellow Trump supporters at the rally, will see these exposed plots find the plotters in the rally crowd and report them to Trump’s security for prompt expulsion because they breached the terms of their ticket. If you want to make sure there are Trump supporters on watch at every rally, start a Lion Guard chapter in your town TODAY. But remember, Lion Guard is principally to observe and report these vandals to the proper authorities, not confront them with force; we will not give the media more fodder against Mr. Trump and his plans to Make America Great Again.

The Lion Guard needs partner in Mr. Trump’s quest to Make America Great Again to stand up and really want to do something to make every Trump rally a safe and positive environment for American patriots. Every plot we expose and stop is one less incident for the mainstream media to use. Every plot we expose and stop is one more blow to the morale of the America-hating horde. Every plot we expose and stop is another accomplishment to Make America Great Again.

This force is the modern version of the Brownshirts, a paramilitary force that is meant to attack political opponents and leftist voices and to institute a social force of violent coercion.  For Paxon’s view of the Five Stage of Fascism, this paramilitary wing is a crucial part of the development of a fascist movement that leads into the seizure of state power.  For those that have decried analogies comparing Donald Trump to the European fascism of the interwar period, it seems like the parallels are becoming hardened as we increasingly fit the model that almost all scholars have been warning us about.

This presents a unique challenge for anti-fascist as the numbers of those willing to rise up against this fascist political movement are increasing, and they are seeing violence as almost assured.  As Trump heads towards the general election, hopefully anti-racist and anti-fascist organizing will only continue, link arms with the larger immigrant rights and Black Lives Matter movement, and be able to confront the Lions Guard directly.

Bank Blocked: The Daily Shoah Gets Banned on PayPal

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Using their own language, they got “ovened” and “Shoa’d,” which speaks to exactly the offensive self-importance that got them removed.  Just a few months after being dropped from their podcast hosting at Soundcloud, The Right Stuff and the Daily Shoah just got dropped from PayPal.  On every single show they read out PayPal donations that sum into the several hundred a week.  This seems to be their primary area of funding and besides this they accept Bitcoin, which they had been encouraging some of these payments because their new hosting service actually does take this crypto-currency.

Now they are giving their racist fan base two primary options, with the one available today being Bitcoin.  This is going to be a near impossibility as Bitcoin is becoming increasingly irrelevant and unused by most people, primarily because of its difficulty of acquisition and its unstable exchange rate.  They are discussing using private PayPal accounts for known donators, but it is not going to allow them to take general public donations because they rabidly hide their identities.

This great “shuddering” is similar to what Richard Spencer of Radix Journal and the National Policy Institute spoke of in a recent video and on the Daily Shoah, in that this is a “new” type of censorship where monolithic private companies ban them and their ideas from doing business.  This is incredible overstep as the Daily Shoah looks like an incredible exception because of their language and coded references to violence.

They spent most of the beginning of the newest Daily Shoah, #75, laughing sadly about it and discussing alternative options.

This comes as they also announce that they are officially a corporation, with news just in from their attorney.  They had been working on efforts to incorporate so as to be able to write off expenses and accept donations without having their name attached.  Their fear is that anti-fascists would be able to look up their tax records and reveal their legal names, which could then get them fired from their jobs.  While they may rant and rave on their podcasts, they are actually very protective of their private lives.

This seems as though it will be an ongoing problem for the growing Right Stuff network of podcasts as they are battling to keep their digital facilities going.  The large influx of money has always helped, but this is going to be a huge bomb on their fundraising abilities.  This will likely slow down attempts to keep their process going more so than most others, and is further relegating them outside of public speech platforms.

iTunes, Soundcloud, and their forum hosting has all shaken them off at this point, and it is just a matter of time before even more public companies refuse to do business with their violent racism.  This “shuddering” is happening at the same time as the white nationalist podcasting renaissance, which means that the battle has largely been taken to these platforms in a way that anti-fascists have never seen before.  This is not the first time that PayPal has banned groups like these, with Andrew Anglin from The Daily Stormer and the National Youth Front(now in the process of changing its name) was kicked off as well.

This may give a new organizing angle for anti-fascists dealing with this new mill of white nationalist material, where this centralization gives constant pressure points for organizers.  At the same time, many of these services could likely ban anti-fascist and anarchist voices as well, so the implications are mixed.

NeoFascist: Heathen Harvest, Neofolk, and Fascist Subcultural Entryism

The post-industrial, black metal, and neofolk music scene has been defined by fascist plausible deniability.  The earliest days of the black metal scene were defined by iconoclastic misanthropic malaise, a generalized anger against everyone and everything.  The scene was mired with early days of violence, but also embarrassing interviews from early bands about their obsessions with death and “evil.”  This culminated in the murder of Euronymous by Varg Vikernes of Burzum, as well as the dozens of church burnings.  The burnings themselves were both begging for some kind of high-schoolesque rebellion as well as a resistance against the past Christianization of Scandinavia, namely in Norway.  Virknes eventually came out as a racial Odinist and white nationalist, with the church burnings being an act of religious war both against a “universalist/non-ethnic” religion and against an ethos that says “turn the other cheek.”

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Michael Moynihan

The black metal community was largely defined later by fellow far-rightist Michael Moynihan, who wrote the book Lords of Chaos about the early years.  The book, largely built on interviews with the band, see the movement as being the manifestation of an Odinic demonic spirit welling up in them.  This draws on an idea from Carl Jung that people have archetypical spirits in their collective unconscious based on race, with white “Aryans” having the spirit of Nordic gods inside of them.  This is the foundation of racial heathenry and is an idea that both animated much of Nazi occultism and the contemporary ethnic Asatru and Odinic sects.

While National Socialist Black Metal is certainly a phenomenon, racism is not the permanent state of the black metal community.  Instead, there are very real problematic elements in terms of violence and nihilism, some of which taking an elitist and masculanist obsession, but the vast majority of bands do not share nationalist sympathies openly.  What people tend to pick up on is instead that they share many themes with genres like neofolk and martial industrial, both of which have strong ties to the far-right.

Neofolk broadly can be defined by resurrecting musical styles inspired by early pre-Christian music synthesized with modern post-industrial.  You might find throw backs to Renaissance, Romantic, Medieval, and other eras mixed with traditional European “folk music.”  This is then paralleled with a lyrical obsession with pre-Christian myths, paganism, warrior stories, fairy tales, along with general themes of occultism, religion, decadence and decline, and romanticism of the past.  This has often been associated with fascism in as much as many of the prominent bands have lyrical and aesthetic content that draws both on Nazism and on broader fascist themes, of which fans often use plausible deniability to say that it is more about lurid obsessions rather than their own fascist politics.  This might be accepted if the lyrics were not often a straight line to Pan-European nationalism, as well as seeing prominent bands directly associated with fascist movements.  The most obvious of these has been Death in June, but Sol Invictus, Fire + Ice, Ostara, Allerseelen, and Waldteufel, among many others, have been shown to not only play with imagery, but to have aligned themselves with the far-right.  This often ranges between Nordic racial paganism to the traditionalism of Julius Evola to right-wing interpretations of Aliester Crowley’s Thelema and Chaos Magick, all focused on hierarchy, power, strength, and elitist control.

It has often been difficult to verify these sorts of allegiances, mainly because they are incredibly subtle references.  Much of the inspiration for neofolk is in resurrecting a European romanticism, yet the neofolk scene attracts many who have anti-racist sympathies yet also enjoy the mythos and themes of early Europe.  If a person wants to verify exactly what this musical scene is delving into we luckily do not have to jump into esoteric Gothic magazines or foreign press because a few Americans have created a website to dumb down their own pan-pagan racism.

Heathen Harvest is a music website focusing on “post-industrial” for over a decade.  Here you are really going to find news, interviews, features, and reviews about music spanning the “Dark genres” and “extreme music.”  Though this could broadly include metal and industrial, it seems to have carved a niche for itself in  the music associated with dark religious obsession, paganism, and the occult. If you know what you are looking at, even just a quick survey will reveal that there are racial sentiments boiling under the surface.

In almost every interview on the site they will begin referencing racial and neo-fascist themes.  Often times questions reference the perennial traditionalism of Julius Evola, books like Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of the West, or racial paganism.  While some musicians resist these associations, many play into them directly, even if not incredibly deeply.  Ostara, for example, gets prompted repeatedly by the interviewer to discuss Spangler and traditionalism, which they oblige, but it is clear that they are having a difficulty making their way through the list of fascist texts that have been provided for them by the scene.  What drives a common spirit is a disgust for the “modern world,” a term that has become in popular use from Evola.  Some interpret this as things like industrial capitalism and environmental destruction, but in the traditionalist school this more aptly means multiculturalism, democracy, and equality.

Their podcast, The Forest Passage, drops much of the pretense and takes us directly back to the racism of the Alt Right.  In Podcast #12, they open with jokes like calling our current period the “current year,” a joke from the rabidly racist and anti-Semitic podcast The Daily Shoah.  They go on to deride “liberals” for their universalizing morality, they admire nationalism instead of “globalism,” and certainly side with the idea that elites should be running society.  They had on Florida Libertarian Party candidate Augustus Sol Invictus, where they rapped about Left-Hand Path occultism and nationalism.  In this episode one of the hosts discusses Germany’s choice to let in Syrian refugees, which they say is “destroying” Europe.  They present contemporary politics as “Nationalism vs. Globalism,” presenting the common straw-man argument from fascists that to be against nationalism is to be in favor of global corporate capitalism.   One of the hosts derives his name GJ Anarch from far-right philosopher Ernst Junger’s concept of the Anarch, which means a “sovereign person.”  At almost any point on their website you can find references to the coming collapse, when the western decadence of the “Kali Yuga” will bring us back to a possible Western Golden Age.  While they rarely jump into openly “racist” language, they have a consistent voice in favor of white racial nationalism.  They functionally make the same arguments as places like the Radix Journal or The Daily Shoah, but have recolored it with esoteric, pagan, and counter-cultural language so as to provide an intellectual mirage that provides a feeling of rebellious superiority to their audience.  Plainly put: They are white nationalism with an occultist lens and inside of a musical scene.

VICE Magazine did a recent article called “How a Thor Worshipping Religion Turned Racist” looking briefly how the resurrection of Nordic paganism became racially inclined.  HH responded to this by stating that they mischaracterized racial paganism, going into the tired rhetoric about “love for your own doesn’t mean hate for the other.”  They specifically come to the support of Asatru Folk Assembly founder Stephen McNallen and the band Changes, whose members were also members of the Third Positionist American Front.

If you claim to favour the global patchwork that is multiculturalism then you cannot set about removing chosen patches from that quilt. You also cannot take it upon yourself to redefine any of those patches lest the cultures that they represent have set out to harm you—and even then you’ll be fighting the force of a million forefathers who have slowly woven that world for their descendents. This goes for any folk around the world—all of whom deserve control over the culture of their ancestors. In practical terms this control may manifest as a sense of exclusivity, but consider this: exclusivity maintains the boundary between one thing and another—forest and field; football and rugby; public and private. It is no more hateful an act than it would be to reject D♯ from a musical composition in the key of A-minor.

The website goes on to have reviews of Julius Evola’s Fascism Viewed from the Right, a tome where Evola observes the points where fascism diverted from a true right wing path, as well as his autobiography, The Path of Cinnebar.  Their commitment to “folksih” Heathenry, meaning racially defined Heathenry, is near complete, though they do hold a single article containing arguments in favor of universalist heathenry and against folkishness .  Their reviews extend to right-wing journals, like the “radical traditionalist” TYR, also edited by Michael Moynihan.  That occasional journal publishes work looking at the “pre-Modern European traditions,” though this is very eschewed.  In reality it publishes articles on Odinism, Evola, and right-wing interpretations of myths and folktales, featuring white nationalist Heathens like Colin Cleary.  HH are often covering Arktos Media, a traditionalist publisher run by white nationalist John Morgan.  The publisher was founded to translate and publish works of the French New Right like Alain De Benoist and traditionalists like Julius Evola for an American audience.  They have really gotten behind neofolk, both as a popular right-wing musical scene and one that focuses on the traditionalist and romantic themes of Europe rather than just the vulgar racism of the skinhead Oi! and Rock Against Communism scene(Though they include interviews with RAC musicians like Vapaudenristi.).  They regularly review books with racial content, especially as it applies to edge political scenes like National Anarchism.  This includes a shining review of A Life in the Political Wilderness by Welf Herfurth, which draws on the work of Troy Southgate, Tomislav Sunic, and Alain De Benoist.  They follow similar queues to other nationalist website in reviewing the work by controversial French author and Islamophobic iconoclast Michel Houellebecq, giving a “traditionalist” review of his book Submission.  All of this really is just a snippet as this content is such a regular feature that even a survey of it would be incredibly dense.  HH is likely to counter these claims, citing reviews of books like The White Nationalist Skinhead Movement by Robert Forbes where they show little sympathy, but this should only be persuasive to those who do not have a firm understanding of what the new trends in neo-fascism are and how they differ from the antiquated skinhead gang culture.  HH represents a vision of nationalism and anti-egalitarian thinking that grounds itself in spiritual and philosophical themes, and so its own self aggrandizement is likely what allows it to feel as though it is not in the same camp as Combat 18 and those that clashed with Antifa in Dover.

What is most insidious about HH is that is has crossover appeal, which is to say that it is not explicitly a racial website.  Many bands refuse to take the bait on the racism, including bands like Agalloch.  It should be noted that HH absolutely does not interfere with bands with left and post-left leanings, and gives them an open platform to speak up from this perspective.  An example of this would be an interview they have BRUT, where the band members discuss the way that female musicians have been marginalized in the industrial and dark music scene.  This runs in contrast to the way that many authors, editors, and podcast hosts make fun of the concept of “toxic masculinity,” and often discuss the need for men to come together in tribes(or, in particular, “white men”) against the modern world(Jack Donovan comes up more than once, and his books are reviewed on the site.).  Given the fact that they focus on “extreme” music, you are going to get a lot of anti-authoritarian left bands as well, though there seems to be little differentiation done by them when it comes to HH’s affiliations.

What should be noted is that even the non-racist crowd inside much of these circles have supported and joined up with problematic musicians like Michael Moynihan, Boyd Rice, and Death in June.  The boundaries are not set inside of neofolk as they would inside of the anti-racist world, so we have to keep that in mind so as to see them for their intentions rather than just their associations.  While Agalloch may be willing to support Sol Invictus, they have also stated that their opposition to the “modern world” is exclusively because of techno-industry and not because of multiculturalism.  This makes their associations equally problematic, but notes that not everyone inside of this musical subculture share the nationalist political roots.

Heathen Harvest has now prepared a tour across the U.S. of popular European neofolk and post-industrial bands, though they are only one of the sponsors along with Annihilvs Power Electronix.  Operation Equinox 2016 will include the Danish bands Of The Wand and the Moon and Die Weisse Rose, the U.S. based Blood and Sun, and Vril Jager, Destroying Angel, and Scout Pare-Phillips.  Blood and Sun also joined bands like Waldteufel at Stella Natura, a questionable neofolk music festival put together by the Asatru Folk Assembly.  Luke Tromiczak of the band was interviewed on Episode 13 of The Forest Passage, where he talks about the romanticism and opposition to modernity in neofolk. According to New York City Antifa, Luke Tramicza has dressed as a Nazi brownshirt at shows, collaborates with Nazi bands, and has “associates in White Power circles.”  Fascism Watch, who wrote a letter trying to have a New York City venue cancel a show with Blood and Sun and Death in June listed that he had “neo-Nazi connections in his native Minnesota.

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Die Weisse Rose actually naming themselves after the German pacifist student movement that resisted the Nazis, yet they list their politics as Revolutionary Conservative on MySpace.  This puts them in line with people like fascist legal scholar Carl Schmitt, another obscure philosopher popular with this strain of the far-right.

Of the Wand and the Moon, the project of Kim Larsen, has often gotten painted with the same brush because of their focus on romanticism and runes, and while there is not strong indications from his music, his use of fascist symbols is so dense that it is hard to argue with these allegations.  Larsen has especially been targeted for using the same runic Algiz necklace as members of the neo-Nazi Heathen Front.  With situations like this it is quite difficult to determine exactly how to approach it, as well as his collaborations and compilations with bands like Death in June, Sol Invictus, and Allerseelen(She was also featured at Stella Natura).  What this says very clearly is that even if Larsen does not hold racial ideas, he is certainly not an ally to the aims of anti-fascist progress and standards.  Vril Jager takes its name from a Nazi-era fighter plane, and also a project of Kim Larsen.

This tour provides an opportunity for anti-fascists to either confront the concerts directly or to pressure the bands not associated with racist causes to distance themselves from the more problematic elements.  If bands like Die Weisse Rose eschew racist politics, then it is reasonable to hold them to the same standards of association that we would in any other community.  No one wants to be culturally policed, but instead it is critical to continue to show the reactionary power that fascist music can have and how it is mobilizing a very dangerous white nationalist movement that is leading to mass violence against refugees across Europe.  Segregating bands like Blood Axis and Death in June from the rest of the musical movement, putting them in the same camp as skinhead “white noise” scenes, will help to keep the organized racism out of subcultural and Goth spaces.  With this kind of creeping sub-cultural fascism, anti-fascists need to confront them directly and build a movement that is not going to allow it to seep in under vague philosophical arguments that attempt to divert our attention from the reality of their genocidal racism.

This gives you an opportunity to contact the venues to tell them that the community does not want to deal with racist bands and promoters, as well as to contact the bands directly to tell them that this music community will not accept fascist associations.  The shows will be on the east coast and midwest, so local counter-organizing can happen drawing on the larger anti-racist movements of the regions.  Below some of the dates below is the venue contact information.

 

3/23/2016 Nothing Changes – New York, NY *combined performance
info@nothingchangesnyc.com

3/25/2016 Machines With Magnets – Pawtucket, RI

mail@machinewithmagnets.com

Phone: 401.475.2655
Address: 400 Main Street Pawtucket, RI 02860

 

3/27/2016 Black Bear Bar – Brooklyn, NY @ Sort Påske Festival
Chip@newislandgroup.com
tel:347-614-6886
70 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
3/30/2016 The Convent – Philadelphia, PA *combined performance
3/31/2016 The Depot – Baltimore, MD
4/02/2016 The Burlington Bar – Chicago, IL 
Address: 3425 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
booking@theburlingtonbar.com
4/03/2016 Gates Of Heaven Synagogue – Madison, WI 

Pop Conspiracy: B.O.B., Tila Tequila, and the Digitizing of Old School Anti-Semitism

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A Twitter-storm is now the new headline factory, which is no surprise since silliness often hits the top of CNN and the New York Times based on trending hashtags.  While the Malheur rebellion was hitting its twilight, and the police standoff ended in a fatal shooting, B.O.B. was stealing some of the spotlight with his geological ideas.

For those who have not seen the flurry of articles and late-night monologues about this: B.O.B. believes the earth is flat.  We don’t mean this as a Friedmanesque analogy about 21st century corporate globalization, but literally that it is a disc.  The Flat Earth Society has existed for over a century continuing to play on contemporary conspiracy theories to argue that the Earth is not a globe as all of contemporary science proves.  Instead, they make strange arguments about the angling of the horizon and fundamentalist readings of the Bible to argue against what has been the consensus for hundreds of years.  In this view the Arctic Ocean and North Pole reside at the center of this spinning disc, Antarctica is a 150-foot ice wall that holds the oceans in from falling off the edge, and the Sun is about 3,000 miles above Earth.

Those who do ascribe to Flat Earth Theory are not your regular Alex Jones type crackpots, or even those who believe world leaders to be secret Reptilian Humanoids from the lower fourth-dimension.  No, this is the fringe of the fringe, and it would be hard to believe that their numbers are larger than a few hundred in the whole world.  Now, they have a few celebrity cohorts.

This began several weeks ago with former reality-star Tila Tequila going to Twitter to post that the earth was, in fact, flat.  “I WILL STOP MY #FLATEARTH TALK IF SOMEONE CAN SEND ME A GOD DAMN PHOTO OF THE HORIZON WITH A CURVATURE! OTHERWISE IT IS FLAT!,” read one of these.

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B.O.B., the rapper also going by Bobby Ray, then took this idea and ran with it, quoting silly talking points from Flat Earthers about the edge of the horizon, the angle of the sun, and the angles of vision.  Both Tila and B.O.B. went on to basically insult the world’s intelligence and call non-believers sheep, which is why it has been easy to focus on the level of stupidity at pla.  The unfortunate part is that neither Tila nor B.O.B. are simply parroting innocent eccentricities.

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After being made fun of by famed physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, B.O.B. released a new track called Flatline.  Beyond being barely produced and sung, the song basically strung together various inane conspiracy theories.  Here he insinuates that NASA is a government control plot and pays Tyson for his participation.  Later B.O.B. tweeted him asking if he was a Freemason.  In Flatline, he goes on to discuss cloning, which he says is being done to black celebrities, and that science is a cult of liars.  At midpoint during the song he drops the following line:

Before you try to curve it, do your research on David Irving.

Stalin was way worse than Hitler.

That’s why POTUS gotta wear a Kippa

There is really only one thing that David Irving is famous for today: Holocaust Denial.

Irving began as a semi-respected historian of the Second World War, especially of Nazi Germany.  Though he was certainly allied with neo-fascist political programs while in college, he went on to publish major works on the Third Reich that were on cutting edge in terms of legitimate scholarship.  It was true that his work was problematic and sympathetic to Nazism even from the earliest publications, and he eventually began saying that the Holocaust was not on the direct order of Hitler.  After the Canadian trial of Ernst Zundel, who was being tried for “inciting racial hatred” for publishing the pamphlet Did Six Million Really Die?, Irving was swayed by the debunked testimony of Fred Leuchter.  He has associated with far-right and neo-Nazi groups, both in speaking for them in talks that blame Jews for their own persecution and for openly stating his own racial nationalist ideas.  Today, he is the most famous Holocaust Denier in the world as he is one of the only deniers who had a historical pedigree ahead of the denial.  He gained further notoriety after suing Deborah Lipstadt in the early 1990s after her book, the seminal work on holocaust denial, Denying the Holocaust, claimed that he was, in fact, a racist and a liar.  He then went through an embarrassing trial where he was forced to try and defend his claims about the Holocaust as a planned program for Jewish extermination, which he could not do.  He eventually lost both his claims and the counter-suit that Lipstadt leveled against him.  Later he was imprisoned in Austria for denying the Holocaust, where it is actually a serious crime.

What B.O.B. seems to be referencing here is a common claim on the far-right that Hitler’s numbers in terms of extermination and oppression were inflated, and in fact it was the Soviets who were the bigger criminals.  Part of this comes from the inclusion of German casualties to Soviet troops in WWII, as well as the numbers from political repression and incompetence in Stalin’s Russia.  The purpose of this comparison is to dethrone ethnic nationalism as an immediately recognized genocidal force and to instead list Nazi Germany as just one of the many violent regimes that have blanketed human history.  B.O.B. goes on to label the Jews specifically by mentioning the Kippa, saying that world leaders have to have Jewish allegiances.

This is not a coded message about Holocaust Denial, but an open reference to anyone that researched his message.  This took several days, and Salon was essentially the first source to go deep into his comments to analyze their background.  B.O.B. has referenced things like “false flag” U.S. attacks, bringing up the Alex Jones type conspiracy theories about 9/11.

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B.O.B. might seem like an outlier even to the conspiracy theory crowd, but, as Tila Tequila has shown previously, the connection to open anti-Semitism is much more ingrained.  In 2013 she inspired a massive controversy by posting a picture of herself in a modified Hitler costume.  Many people thought this was an ill-tempered attempt at provocation, but it was quickly put in context as she posted multiple blogs on her website showing admiration for Hitler and doubting the “official story” of the Holocaust.  If you were to then go through her forums and comments section, this connection became even more explicit.  Over and over again she said that contemporary Jews were in fact not Jews at all, but Khazars.  This is a less known conspiracy theory to the broad tinfoil hat crowd, and one that comes from the most violent annals of white nationalism.  Often present in Christian Identity churches, which also believe that people of color are not fully human and without souls, they believe that the ancient Israelites of the Bible were actually the European white race.  Jews were in fact a demonic tribe of people, sometimes considered to be a tribal band known as the Khazars.  They converted to the Babylonian Temple religion, a perverted version of the Old Testament, and its devious plans are fully revealed in the Babylonian Talmud.  In this theory, their main function is to leech on dominant national populations, trying to destroy the white race by inspiring race mixing.  This may sound too extreme for Tila Tequila to believe, and it is most likely from reading her mixed posts that she probably only read parts of a few blogs and articles before deciding Jews were evil, but this is certainly at the heart of her ranting.  Anyone that disagrees with her she calls a “dirty Jew” and a “Kike.”  She repeatedly says that Jews lie to get the State of Israel, that they tarnished great men like Hitler, and that they are in control of the media and the investment banks.  She was even thrown off of Celebrity Big Brother in mid-2015 after her comments surfaced, especially that she was the reincarnation of Hitler.

Hitler was a good man and it takes some f*****g balls for someone to say this out loud in this day and age, especially for a public figure like myself…Here is a man who was not a coward, stood up for his country in a desperate time of need… and yet not only did he try his best to help his country and people get out of what was a time of depression, economic collapse, high unemploymeny(sic). He lost the war and was painted out to be a monster after his death. This is what breaks my heart. (From her blog)

When speaking about the Jews in WWII specifically she was pretty candid.

What do you think war is about? People DIE in wars that is why I am against wars… I understand the Jewish people went through some s**t too, but hey guess what?? SO DID THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE WHO SUFFERED IN EVERY SINGLE WAR THAT TOOK PLACE! You were NOT the only ones! So please, if the rest of us can forgive and forget maybe it’s time you do also!!!

The question that comes up from many media outlets right now is how two folks of color, B.O.B. and Tila Tequila, would be parroting extreme genocidal racists who would likely want to see them in camps just as much as Jewish people.  This is complex, but anti-Semitism itself has been ever present inside conspiracy theories that are still common in some communities of color.  Often deeply held inside black nationalist groups like the Nation of Islam, the Black Hebrew Israelites, and the Nuwabian Nation, Jews are vilified and seen as a primary agent in the colonial slave trade.  Anti-Semitism has historically been a main focus of conspiracy theories, from the identification of Freemasons as controlling the secret government to the trans-national Illuminati that is repackaged for every ideological specific development.  In How to Overthrow the Illuminati, which was a popular pamphlet discussing conspiracy theories in African American communities, anti-Semitism is able to unite working class people against their own interest in the same way that general racism can unite the white working class against their class unity.

Anti-Semitism united poor workers with small business owners, despite their opposed interests. The poor workers were angry about their treatment under capitalism, but saw Jews as a bigger enemy than their exploiting factory bosses. The small business owners worked to become the big-time exploiters of the poor workers, and felt Jews stood in the way of their goals. These two classes were fundamentally opposed to each other, but temporarily joined together in a populist movement, because of their mutual, misguided anti-Semitism. Populist movements join poor people with the petit-bourgeoisie, against imagined elite enemies. They speak in the name of the “common man,” but they’re guided by middle class elements, and screw over poor and working participants in the end. Contemporary examples of populism include the Tea Party, some parts of Occupy Wall Street, and the Nation of Islam. Illuminati theories are often populist in character. Many populist theories draw on anti-Semitism to identify an evil elite that runs the world.

Anti-Semitism is so ingrained in the history of conspiracy theory that any new conspiracy theory that has any continuity to the past will lead back to the blaming of Jews.  This is present in the notion that it was Israelis who committed 9/11 as well as the David Icke presented idea that there are certain “bloodlines” that control banks and who benefit from global violence.  This brings us right back to B.O.B., who uses the lyric “there’s no superior bloodline” in Flatline’s chorus, which, in this context, seems like a clearly coded reference to Jews and their supposedly “secret bloodline” that allows them to control global affairs.

B.O.B. is continuing to mention online that there are cloning centers that he himself has witnessed and that he is “going up against the greatest liars in history.”  He will likely be dismissed as a crank, which he is, yet his return to very traditional anti-Semitic conspiracy theories is a frightening reminder that this caricature of Jews is on the tip of people’s tongues.  When David Irving was questioned about B.O.B.’s reference to him in his song, he said, “[B.o.B] does not quite go along with what the media (and shortly, Hollywood) says about me, quite right.”  As Salon pointed out, Hollywood in this context is likely a snide reference to Jews.  It took all of two days before B.O.B. was added to the Wikipedia list of Holocaust Deniers.

Neil deGrasse Tyson responded to the recent Flat Earth claims by discussing the failure of American education, especially when it comes to the physical sciences.  He kept it pretty light with an appearance on the Daily Show, basically making fun of B.O.B. for his statements.  This is part and parcel of a media representation that has largely missed the depth that his comments.

This actually presents a challenge to anti-racists in that it requires a certain understanding of the history of anti-Semitism, its role in conspiracy theory and economic populism, and how we can continue to highlight how it goes unchallenged in many political spaces.  As we hit Holocaust Remembrance Day, it is a critical time to remember what has come before and what unchallenged hatred and scapegoating can result in.

 

White Nationalist American Freedom Party Running Donald Trump Super PAC

People may have noticed an aggressive shift in Republican Party politics with the inclusion of Donald Trump, and we aren’t talking about the Sarah Palin endorsement.  Iowa voters recently got a series of “robocalls” telling them to vote trump.  The calls featured the voice of Jared Taylor of the white nationalist organization, American Renaissance.

“I’m Jared Taylor with American Renaissance,” Taylor says. “I urge you to vote for Donald Trump because he is the one candidate who points out that we should accept immigrants who are good for America. We don’t need Muslims. We need smart, well-educated white people who will assimilate to our culture. Vote Trump.”

It also uses the Christian pedigree of Reverend Ronald Tan, the controversial Christian radio host.

‘My name is Reverend Ronald Tan, host of the Christian radio talk show program For God and Country. First Corinthians states: God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise and God chose the weak things of this world to shame the strong. For the Iowa caucuses, please support Donald Trump. He is courageous and he speaks his mind. God Bless.’

The Super PAC that has been going after swing-state voters with a call for “white unity” is funded by the American Freedom Party founder, William Johnson.  Johnson founded the AFP originally as the American Third Position party, referencing the “anti-communist, anti-capitalist” trend of fascism that rose in popularity in the 1980s.  His brand of white nationalism was less in line with these esoteric anti-capitalist fascist traditions and more American and “constitutionalist,” so they changed the name to gain broader appeal.  The Board of Directors of the AFP is a cast of the usual suspects of the far right.  Included are famed anti-Semite Kevin McDonald, anti-immigrant radical Virginia Abernathy, white nationalist radio-host James Edwards, and pseudo-academic nationalist Tomislav Sunic(strangely an immigrant himself).  They ran a presidential candidate in 2012 with Merlin Miller, a former filmmaker who became just beside himself with non-whites in Hollywood and the influence of “Jewish Cultural Marxism.”  The party itself was actually founded through the Golden State Skinheads, Southern California skinhead gangs, who wanted to take their politics in a more “legitimate” direction.

William Johnson himself was not new to white racialist politics.  When using the pseudonym James O. Pace he wrote a book that advocated what became known as the “Pace Amendment.”  This would repeal the 14th and 15th amendments and institutionalize deportations for all non-whites, except Native Americans and Hawaiians who would be allowed regulated reservations.  Johnson then used his own name to found the League of Pace Amendment Advocates to advocate for this man James O. Pace and his ideas.  He ran for public office in 1989, 2006, and 2008 on a white nationalist platform, scarcely even being mentioned in the results.  This poor showing inspired him to form what would become the AFP in 2010 as its only chairman.  His ideas have been part and parcel of the Americanist wing of the white nationalist movement, allied largely with the militia movement and general racial politics.  The only difference is his general support for Israel, which is certainly not shared by most in his party.

Donald Trump was pressed to denounce the robocalls from Media Matters, which he finally did with great reluctance.

BURNETT: Mr. Trump, when you hear that, does that shock you? Do you denounce that?

TRUMP: Nothing in this country shocks me. I would disavow it, but nothing in this country shocks me. People are angry. They’re angry at what’s going on. They’re angry at the border. They’re angry at the crime. They’re angry at people coming in and shooting Kate in the back in California and San Francisco. They’re angry when Jamiel Shaw shot in the face by an illegal immigrant. They’re angry when the woman, the veteran, 65 years old is raped, sodomized, and killed by an illegal immigrant. And, they’re very angry about it, and — by the way, thousands of other cases like that. They’re very angry about it. So, I would disavow that, but I will tell you people are extremely angry.

BURNETT: People are extremely angry, but to be clear, when he says, “We need smart, well-educated white people to assimilate to our culture, vote Trump,” you’re saying you disavow that. You do denounce that?

TRUMP: Well, you just heard me. I said it. How many times do you want me to say it?

BURNETT: A third would be good.

TRUMP: I said I disavow.

This no doubt upset Johnson to a degree, but is not going to stop the support.  He went on the Political Cesspool, the racialist radio program hosted by the AFP board member James Edwards, to discuss the issue.

JOHNSON: Donald Trump’s response when he was asked to address it was just a wonderful response. He disavowed us, but he explained why there is so much anger in America that I couldn’t have asked for a better approach from him.

EDWARDS: I was going to ask you about that. So, you know, of course I saw that. In a perfect world he would say, “You know what? These guys are right. What are you going to do about it?” But understandably there is still a political reality. I think fundamentally, as I say on this show time and time again, most middle American, middle class whites agree with us fundamentally on the issues. But he’s operating in a different world than that — I think it was certainly better than to be expected. And I thought too it was quite good, as you did Bill, so this was something that you can live with in terms of a response from the Trump campaign and of course from there it’s over. You know, the news cycle is over, if he’s asked about it again he’s already gone on record, he is the Teflon Don. He’s the Teflon candidate. This wasn’t of course made to hurt him, I don’t know how much it hurt or helped him. Ultimately I don’t think it did much of either — it might have marginally helped him. It certainly didn’t hurt him. And so his response is something that you greet with a level of respect, am I right?

JOHNSON: Oh yeah I do, I like it very much. And also the response that I got — I put my own cell phone number out there. And I got, oh, a hundred calls regarding it. Most of the calls were hang-ups. They wanted to know if it was a real phone number. So they’d either hang up or say, “Oh I’m sorry, wrong number.” But there were a majority of calls who were opposed to it but there were a minority of calls who approved of it, and liked it. So that was encouraging also. And that is a new phenomenon. Before we would have gotten no one who would be willing to come out and say that so these little things incrementally help raise awareness of the issues and help change public opinion.

The same response basically came from Jared Taylor as well, who went on to answer what he thought of the Trump “denouncement.”

Yes, he was, you know, for days everybody was calling him up, calling up his campaign saying, “What do you think of these horrible people? Denounce them, denounce them.” And he didn’t. You know, he just maintained a dignified silence as he’s capable of doing. And then finally when CNN’s Erin Burnett really forced him to say, “Well, I would disavow it.” But she asked him, “are you shocked by this? Will you denounce this?” “I’m not shocked by anything in America.” I thought that was a great line. He’s so quick on his feet. And then he goes to say, “I would disavow it” but then he goes on to explain why people are so angry. In effect, he’s saying, “Yeah, yeah, if you want me to denounce it I will, but I understand exactly what these guys are saying, they’re furious, and they’re right to be furious.” So if he disavowed us, he did it, I thought, in the nicest possible way.

The way that Trump handled this was similar to the response he had to the David Duke endorsement, where he basically took it in stride.

Johnson’s new Super PAC will be running the robocalls in Iowa until the beginning of February, which have already cost around $9,000.  Jared Taylor, who is lending his white nationalist “celebrity” to the calls, will be hosting his American Renaissance conference in Tennessee on May 20-22.  Anti-fascist organizers are planning counter demonstrations to confront what will likely be one of the largest racist events of the year.

 

Why We Should Stop Calling the Malheur Militia Terrorists, and Start Calling Them Racists

This last week has seen news coverage dominated by the resurrection of the Cliven Bundy ranch stand-off, this time in rural Oregon.  The story, which has been a little difficult to track down in the dense media coverage, reflects much of what sparked the Bundy standoff a couple years ago: rich white ranchers being incensed that they cannot use federal land at will and do what they want without legal recourse.  Dwight and Steve Hammond, ranchers in Eastern Oregon, own around 12,000 acres of land, as well as federal land use rights, that they use to graze cattle.  In 2012 the two were found guilty of lighting fires on Bureau of Land Management land in 2001 and 2006, which was listed as their way of hiding their illegal poaching attempts.  A judge friendly to the family gave them less than the mandatory-minimum sentences, which the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals later overturned after the two men had been released from their light prison stay.  They were court ordered then to return to prison to carry out their five year sentences.  Part of this comes from a perceived terrorism that was used to enhance the sentence, which comes from the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 because of the threat the fire had to trap four BLM firefighters and the fact that it was an arson on federal land.

This terrorism enhancement and recall of their release was seen as “double jeopardy” to many on the right, and it was taken up by a growing militia movement that see this as the federal government overreaching into the property rights of rural ranchers.  Ammon Bundy, son of white supremacist rancher Cliven Bundy, used this as an opportunity to restart the militia movement response to his family’s fight with federal authorities over his unpaid grazing fees for use of federal land.  What came next was well watched, as Bundy and Ryan Payne, a well known Islamophobic conspiracy theorist, came to Burns in December and set up a meeting called the Committee of Safety to try and stop the sentencing of the Hammonds.  As the group swelled, almost entirely from non-residents, they moved on to enter and occupy an administration building at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.  This is essentially a federal building used to protect the habitat and wildlife of the area, and likely an example of the kind of “liberal” public use of land that they want to see turned over to ranchers, miners, and loggers.

Left wing press jumped on this immediately, as it should as the danger of the right-wing militia movement brings the current threat to its peak in the early 1990s.  The conversation quickly shifted to the double standard that refuses to label this occupation as “terrorism,” especially given the fact that they are discussing “violent revolution” and are brandishing semi-automatic weapons.  While this rhetoric brings up obvious dissonance in media characterizations of things like Black Lives Matter versus the militia movement, it draws a problematic narrative that can have consequences that the radical left will feel.  When looking at the ongoing occupation of the federal buildings, there are a few key reasons that left wing commentary should move away from consistently calling them terrorists.

 

  1. The Term “Terrorism” Is a Bully Club of the State to Criminalize Dissent

 

Over the last fifty years of political organizing and conflict in the U.S., it is not the right-wing that has been the ideological victim of the word “terrorist.” In the early 2000s, the environmental and animal rights movement saw all semi-militant action moved directly under the banner of “eco-terrorism” with legislation like the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.  Using the term “terrorism” is to a method of re-labeling militant actions as outside of possible political behavior and discourse, discredits it as conscious political activity with logical motivations, and attempts to reinforce the narrative that the state and its parallel institutions need to be protected from these “terrorists.”  This narrative is important because it creates a social support for the state and the ways it sets parameters of “acceptable political behavior.”  This notion does not necessarily undermine the reality that terrorism does exist, with a clear example of this being the culmination of the 1990s militia movement in the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing of 1995.  Instead, going after non-violent direct action and labeling it as terrorism creates a model where by militant action of any kind, not just on the right, has the ability to be undermined and criminalized as such.

This issue is especially true when looking at the tactics of the militia’s confrontation currently, which is a building occupation.  This has been a staple of movements on the left for decades, many of which have matched its use of armed personnel and revolutionary rhetoric.  An example of this is the occupation of Alcatraz by the Indians of All Tribes, lasting for almost two years from 1969-71.  Citing the Treaty of Fort Laramie, unused federal land must be returned to the First Nations people who resided on it previously.  The occupation drew on the Civil Rights Movement and the growing anti-war movement, where occupations of tactical buildings was commonplace.  Since then, occupations have been used as a radical option in nearly every movement with direct action components, and on the flip side we have seen the BLM targeted by Earth First! organizers in similar ways.

Beyond its application for radical movements on the left, the term terrorism has been one of the primary forces of victimization in the all out assault on Muslims, both in this country and abroad.  The broad “war on terror” has been one of the most disasterous periods of U.S. foreign policy, leading the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and an ongoing crisis of bigotry that singles Muslims out as prime suspects in almost every type of offense.  Simply the concept of terrorism, both undefined and inconsistent, is one that has lost almost all useful descriptive power, and its mere invocation is one that brings us back to the underlying bigotry and imperialism that it is used to justify.  In a similar way to discussions around “hate crimes” legislation in places like Against Equality, it is difficult to see why invoking terrorism can do anything but further empower an “anti-terrorist” state apparatus that is unequally victimizing to people of color and other minorities.  It is not going to be the shotgun clad ranchers that feel the brunt over any resurgence of “terrorist” fervor, it is going to be the most oppressed classes in general.

The judge that issued the terrorism enhancements and called for the Hammonds to return to prison to serve out a much longer sentence was Judge Anne Aiken.  People may remember her as the Judge who ruled over the 2005 Operation Backfire arrests, where members of the Earth Liberation Front had terrorism enhancements added to their sentences for property destruction actions.  This was part of a larger “Green Scare” that labeled this sort of radicalism as terrorism in the wake of 9/11, and here we saw possible sentences into the hundreds of years as a way to intimidate both the public and the defendants into informing on each other.  The same principle is at play here, yet it is exactly the tools of the state and “anti-terrorism” infrastructures that will attack left-wing radicals and minority groups more severely in the future.

If the term terrorism is empowered to confront the militia standoff, it maintains that power to be used to marginalize later on.  This essentially “borrows from Peter to pay Paul” in that, while using the term to win this rhetorical battle, it can then be used against us later.

 

  1. “Terrorism” Is Besides the Point

 

The Bundy occupation is a ridiculous show of privilege from rich ranchers who exhibit racist, sexist, and bizarre conspiracy ideas that should be exposed and openly opposed.  They represent a regressive part of the American middle class, which holds onto their white privilege as their last life line as they see demographics shift in the U.S.  The militia movement itself was on the decline dramatically through the Bush years, but rose up along with the Tea Party once there was a person of color in the white house.  Most of their narratives see the federal government as “overreaching” and “oppressive” mainly because of minor inconveniences like taxes, which they generally opposed because they do not like the idea of a welfare state being accessible to people who look unlike themselves.  They are a growing and violent part of the white supremacist right, but their problematic nature is not derivative of their tactics in this stand-off.

To focus in on much of the milder protest actions, such as keeping guns on the premises or ranting and raving to the media, then labeling this behavior terrorism, it misses the point that it is their ideology and political role that should be exposed and challenged.  There are very real and obvious impulses and disgusting elements that they represent, but we miss those entirely when we instead focus on the protest action that we cannot tie directly to what gives them political distinction.

Plainly put: we don’t declare this militia movement enemies because this standoff represents “terrorism,” we stand against them because they are racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, anti-working class, and violently reactionary.  This should be the center of our discourse and narrative about the new Bundy standoff and not whether or not they broke specific laws in their protest actions.

 

  1. The “Terrorism” Double Standard Itself Should Be the Discussion

 

Much of this use of the term “terrorism” when discussing the occupation came from the realization that the media failed to label this group as terrorists, while direct action occupations with people of color are commonly labeled as such.  This is absolutely true and we need to continue to expose the way that white men in confrontational situations are allowed clear perceptive privilege.  There needs to be an ongoing discussion for how the same behavior and actions are characterized for people of color to make them appear more frightening and less rational.

That does not, however, actually mean that anyone in this story are, in fact, terrorists.  Instead, what it should act as is a prompt to see the absolute inequality in media narratives, and we should continue to use moments like these to expose the disparity.  It is not useful to then try to reverse the disparity as, beyond what was mentioned earlier, it just distracts from the issue that people of color are almost always painted as violent extremists.

Anti-fascist writer Spencer Sunshine recently elaborated on this in his articles “Where the Oregon Militias Came From” for The Progressive.

Many of us who watch the far right have long believed that after Rudy Ridge and Waco, the federal government adopted an unspoken rule that it would treat armed (largely white) right-wing groups with kid gloves. While a domestic “war on terror” was unleashed on Muslims and radical leftwing activists, the far right has been spared. This was certainly true at the Bundy Ranch, when Patriot movement activists pointed guns at federal officials, but were never arrested. The federal government has held the door open for the Bundy militia, and they’ve walked through it.

There is certainly a racially charged double-standard in the use of the “terrorism” label; however, the federal terrorism enhancement has been used so wantonly that it is hard to argue in favor of expanding it. Instead of applying it to the paramilitaries, it would be more productive to reevaluate those sentences affected by the 1996 law. While using arson to hide poaching is illegal—as is setting fire to logging machinery—neither one amounts to terrorism.

For a lot organizing on the radical left, we need to consistently consider how tactics used today may be reinterpreted later for broader anti-racist struggle.  This is critical in how we employ terms like “terrorism,” and why it should often be reserved for outright wanton civilian violence.

 

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Much of what we think of as the militia movement was started with Posse Comitatus in the 1960s, which was built on radicalizing much of the anti-semitic conspiracy theories that were found in places like the John Birch society.  Right from the start it was closely allied with the Christian Identity movement, which was one of the most virulently violent racialist versions of Christianity.  In this interpretation, people of color were considered the “beasts of the field” and not actually humans with souls, Jews were literally the spawns of Satan out to destroy the white race, and the ancient Israelites of the Old Testament are actually European descended people who they now think are in diaspora.  Posse Comitatus organizational charters actually came from Portland, Oregon in 1969 by Henry Lamont Beach, who was formally a member of the Nazi-allied Silver Shirts.  Throughout the existence of the militia movement they kept close allegiences with the more militant rural wings of the neo-Nazi revolutionary movements, most specifically the Christian Identity churches under the banner of Aryan Nations and the Church of Jesus Christ Christian.  It is exactly this connection that fueled the standoff at Ruby Ridge as well as the radicalization see with Timothy McVeigh.  At all levels, the militia movement is built on the foundation of conspiratorial fear of a state built on leftist values, ones that have a secret cabal of “outsiders” and out to benefit people who are not of their insular in-groups.

The newest incarnation of the militia movement has again followed suit by coding racial fears in vague economic and totalitarian terms, which is seen in the creation of the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters.  The Oath Keepers, made up of former police, military, and first-responders who are making an oath to defend the “people” against perceived government authoritarianism.  What this has meant in practice is actually patrolling in places like Ferguson, Missouri to defend against Black Lives Matter protesters as well as supporting just about every open white nationalist in times of social struggle.  The Three Percenters, named for the unverified theory that only three percent of early American colonists actually rose up and fought the British, have taken all of the “black helicopter” rhetoric even further and often ally with almost explicitly racialist language as they defend “white rights.”  Both groups have made the various Bundy standoffs their pet cause, even though now leadership in the Oath Keepers are now calling for a pull out from Oregon.  This standoff is seeing a strong support from the newer Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, which feels like a a direct inheritor of the racist revolutionary program of Posee Comitatus.

Oregon itself is not just a surprise target in this occupation, which many seem to argue because of the perception of Portland as a liberal homeland.  Instead, this has been a consistent feature of Oregon’s history.  This was the home of the “skinhead wars” of the 1980s and 90s when East Side White Pride skinheads associated with the White Aryan Resistance attacked ethopian student Mulegata Seraw.  The KKK has seen a long history heading all the way back to the state’s founding as a “white homeland,” even up until recent efforts to organize in white working class areas of the city.  Recently, after the shooting at Umqua Community College in Roseberg, militia organized embarrassing “gun rights” rallies to intimidate Obama on his visit.  The Sugar Pine mine fiasco last year, where “patriots” including the Oath Keepers came to defend a mine from BLM intervention, bolstered the idea that these types of militia occupations could be successful.  In that case, a judge finally ordered the BLM to walk away from enforcing normal regulations on the mine.  The logic may be to push local authorities to back down just as they did there and with the Cliven Bundy blunder, and, unfortunately, they could be right.  Without a strong counter-movement, which fights to both counter the reactionaries and the rights of rich property owners, it is hard to see how authorities will not buckle under ongoing pressure from increasingly volatile ideologues.

 

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While moving away from the terrorism rhetoric, we may be able to more clearly create an opposition that can really counter them politically, and identify them as the racists they are.  Their occupation of both the environmental land and Paiute tribal areas calls for the intersection of the environmental and First Nations movement, as well as highlights the illogical and offensive way that propertied militia members continue to victimize tribal peoples as part of their role in the global land grab.  The Paiute Tribe of the Burns areas has unequivocally called for the militia member to leave, which is not to mention the Hammonds themselves, who have distanced themselves while reporting to prison to serve their sentences.

The growth of the militia movement is not just a problem for Oregon, but for areas across the country as they make up a more rural wing of a larger reactionary political thrust.  Empowered by Donald Trump, given intellectual pedigree by the Alt Right and Neoreaction, and given a voice through trolling and “headline jacking,” militias are only a part of the larger backlash of a growing white nationalist movement.  While the militia in Oregon avoids racialized language, it is those anxieties that hits directly at their root.  For anti-racists and anti-fascists organizers, this means building an intersectional movement that can mobilize beyond the radical sphere is critical to both fighting back when they arrive and eroding their disaffected white working class base.  The Bundy standoff will end soon, and the pundit talking points will fade just as they did after the Nevada sideshow, but it is the reactionary white masculinity that is going to continue to drive confrontations like this.

The impulse to support those going after the government, no matter what their motivations are, is often strong in a disparate radical left without strong political foundations.  In Alexander Reid Ross’s recent article from inside the Bundy occupation, “Toward an Anti-Fascist Analysis of the Malheur Rebellion,” he calls for the need for ongoing counter-organizing since we cannot rely on the state to effectively counter such movements.

We need the Cascadians, moderates, and anti-statists of every variety to come out directly against the Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupation and all other occupations motivated by colonial narratives lodged in racism and the interests of capital. We also need to be respectfully and responsibly introspective about the small ways in which we perpetuate what Joel Olson called “white democracy” in everyday life.  The racists, Islamophobes, and lunatics involved are clearly manipulating our rhetoric for the use of big business and private interests. Their hope—to bring down the government by enshrining the corporate state even further through the sacralization of the patriot movement and its would-be martyrdom—remains the enemy of all we stand for.

While we empathize with many people in Burns who distrust of the FBI, police, and federal government, we also agree with their higher levels of animosity toward the Bundys for bringing those forces to bear in their community. We believe that the far right is ultimately not the government’s responsibility to deal with. Antifascists must organize to stop the spread of the far right with local communities, because no one else will.

This is really true when it comes to the far-right across all cultural manifestations, and we can extend that call to counter as Islamophobia hits critical levels, the Men’s Rights movement only grows, and the internet-focused Alt Right attempts to re-frame the narratives about equality, democracy, and immigration.  A strong counter-movement, one built on a developing anti-racist analysis, is how this type of false consciousness can be answered, and where many of the disaffected members of the white working class can be given an actual revolutionary alternative.